Living in an RV

You asked, and finally I deliver.

We have video upon video about towing the trailer, setting it up for travel, setting up utilities at the campground, and a tour of the space.

Go make some popcorn, this is going to take a while.
I’ll wait. Go ahead.

You’re likely thinking, “How long could this really be?” Thirty minutes – seriously. It takes me nearly an hour to set up and another to pack up – for every leg of the trip. So consider yourself lucky with this abridged version. Another thing to be grateful for: while the film quality is feeble, YouTube has a magical “stabilize” button – otherwise you’d also be sea-sick.

Hitching the Trailer to the SUV

It’s truly incredible that 1. a single hitch tows 5,000 pounds of weight, and 2. that I can do all of these connections. At the beginning it took forever to undo a single clasp – now, it’s easy peasy.

I bought a gardening cushion, thinking I would sit on that vs the ground. Ha! A waste of money. Maybe if I encounter mud, but now I can do this without having to sit. Progress.

Now that it’s no longer 100 degree days, I don’t “glisten” quite as much as I did during set-up. But since I have to do this twice in one day: leaving campground A and going to campground B, I don’t shower that morning. Too much information? If you got grimy and your hands looked like a mechanic’s, you would wait, too.

Bringing Civilization to Camping

Each and every campsite has hookups for potable water, electricity, and plumbing. Glory be!

Plus you need to stabilize the trailer – think of adding training wheels to a bike. Otherwise the trailer would be a rockin’ and no would come a knockin’ when all you’re doing is washing dishes.

Curious about the Mummenschanz reference? Watch here.

Prepping the Trailer for Towing

Stuff goes flying when on the road. Think about exits off the highway that are round. There are signs (that you likely ignore) calling for 25mph. I follow those signs now. Tipping, shifting – these are not good words.

Railroad tracks: I hate them. Road construction with unfinished roads: not only are they cruel to my bladder, they also make things bounce in the trailer.

So before a trip, batten down the hatches. After one, look to see what fell and put it away. This is why I use plastic dishes – they can’t break.

More Room with the Touch of a Button

It’s enough to tow 19 more feet; I don’t also need a “wide load” scenario. Enter the slide room. It’s compact for driving and when extended, adds much needed space.

Living in 184 Square Feet

It feels much more spacious than that – perhaps because of the convex roof, the excellent use of storage, or pure denial.

Trailer Sweet Trailer

There you have it! It’s work, but it’s worth it. You commute, I pack up to tow. You wear fancy clothes, I have the option not to shower. You live in blissful ignorance about plumbing, I am unfortunately intimate with mine.


How does this reality fit with what you had in your imagination?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.

18 Responses

The first of the videos is marked as “private” and hence unviewable by visitors to your site.

We recently bought a fifth wheel, and love finding instructional videos like this. A few differences between a TT and a 5, but there’s more similarity than differences.

Joseph – thanks for letting me know about the private video. It’s fixed now. Hope you do find this instructional – it’s intended more for my family and friends who don’t understand RV life – but perhaps there will be some tips for you. For instance: that bug zapper is a life safer and tons of fun! (And I’m a peaceful girl). WalMart!

After seeing your refrigerator you are more than welcome to rearrange ours when back in the Tucker area….

Josh – I had an organizing business for a while. Who knows, maybe when i return that’ll be my gig?


OK. So when I saw this post I thought, “please oh please do not let me find out that someone recorded video of my inability to direct my friend in backing up the trailer from that vexing dead end street!” Imagine my relief when I viewed the instructional videos that you posted. Whew!! I escaped further embarrassment!
And these videos are good stuff! It brought back memories of camping adventures with you (the good and the ahem…um, shall we say challenging).
Power onw! Anchors away or jacks up and tow hitched!

Regina – it’s a shame we didn’t tape it, bc it was funny (now). which left? crap, gotta go straight again.


Your Comments Paula: Winston and I are enjoying keeping up with you through your travel blog. Your writing style is informative and very amusing. Keep up the good work! Since I went to college with your mother, I would really appreciate a video of her living the “camping” lifestyle when she meets up with your somewhere along the way this year. (Cannot imagine it even in my wildest dreams.) If your travels take you to Houston, let me know. We would love to show you parts of our city.

June – the only camping experience Mom will have is to see my camper when we meet up. She’ll absolutely be in a hotel! And you’re right – it would be awesome to see her try to camp!


These were fantastic videos!! I loved seeing all the technical features as well as your decor. The bathroom was spectacular as was the new obsessive hand washing reality.
Did you really hear the qtips as the flew around before you face them a Tupperware home? What do they sound like when you jam the in your ear? How fascinating.

Cori – I would hardly call the bathroom spectacular, but I do keep it clean. 😉 And yes, I CAN hear the q-tips screaming. I’m supersonic.




Paula, this is a delightful post. I can’t imagine doing what you are doing but it sounds intriquing. By the way, Jay Leno, during his headlines portion Monday, showed an instruction card for checking tire pressure and the very first instruction was to insure that the vehicle was not moving. Have you encountered any problem in this area?

Dick – stopping the car first…excellent advice. I knew I was having too much trouble filling the tank with gas.


Aww, the best part was hearing Paula’s voice! Thanks for the inside view of your new life!


Would you have EVER thought you’d be kneeling in mud situating your RV a year ago? Your adventures and abilities never cease to amaze me. All I can say is: you. complete. me.

I have to hide this post from my husband until I get him to try out an RV trip. Actually, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. Mine is the only blog he reads and that’s only because he’s too embarrassed not to!
Just One Boomer (Suzanne) recently posted..Tenerife, the Canary Islands – More Sol Than the Costa del SolMy Profile

These videos made 2 small boys very, very happy! Thank you. I am so impressed with what you are doing, and what you’ve learned!


The sunrises and senusts over the mountains surrounding Tucson are the best! We can’t take enough of them either. We are currently on the coast and in a few days heading north ..then we make our long two month journey home. Take care.

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