No Shoes Inside! The Unspoken Code of Camping

When you live in 184 sq ft, you notice things.

Is that a bug? No, just sock fuzz.
Is that a pea under my mattress? No, everyone already knows I’m a princess, no need to test.
Is that a pebble on the floor or a boulder? I can’t escape it while walking around the vast and spacious trailer. Does it follow me?

Have Shoes, No Service

It’s just a given–no shoes inside the trailer. There’s nature outside and we don’t want it inside. See, that’s why we HAVE an “inside.”

RV stair matTo minimize the entrance of nature and all of its filth, err, beauty, I have a traditional door mat at the base of the camper stairs. It helps, sure. But then when I pack up for the next location, that mat goes in the “basement” and rudely gets things dirty. I should have bought outdoor fabric to put on the stairs–but I didn’t know. It’s  not too late, but the door mat it so cute…. (No pics, sorry; I’m in a hotel waiting for my camper to be repaired post-accident. Good times. I’ll tell you ALL about the accident after insurance clears.)

So the minute I walk in, the day’s shoes come off. If I need to go outside, I slide on flipflops and then take them off ASAP. Yet somehow the dirt still collects: gritty and sticky and yucky and my tender bare feet feel it. And they don’t like it. At all. Pebbles are a near-daily discovery and they roll around like it’s a game. It’s not.

I’ll Wipe the Floor with You (I say to the Swiffer)

Enter Bissell.* Yup, the vacuum people. They have a model that’s perfect for campers and I love it as much as is appropriate for a human to love a cleaning product. Its full name is the BISSELL Perfect Sweep Turbo sweeper. So now you can shop for one. A near-silent rechargeable motor picks up every (damn) thing and then I dump it out in the trash. Easy Peasy.

But wait, there’s more! It also picks up small toys like Legos and Polly Pockets (are Polly Pockets even still around?) – so you don’t have to squat with a tweezers to clean up after your kids. Dump the loot into soapy water to extricate the dirt that inevitably came along for the ride, and you’ve done double duty! I know this because I have an extensive collection of Polly Pockets who I play with nightly before bedtime.

Next up, the Swiffer WetJet Spray! I naively thought, what a waste to toss the cleaning pads. I mean, they can clean 3x as much space as I have. But then I looked at the filthy pad; black with all that, nature. And no qualms about being efficient. Buh, bye!

You don’t Sort your Laundry Here, Missy

Back when I had a home, I did soooo many loads of laundry. Whites vs darks. Delicates (AKA work clothes) in matching colors, multiple loads, and sometimes just one item. Towels and then sheets. And I hung all clothes to air dry to protect colors and shape.

Well, those days are over.

Everybody in! I do have enough laundry to create a pseudo lights vs darks sorting, but it’s not as segregated as I’d like it to be. (Everyone ok with the use of “segregated” in this context?) Fear of bleeding colors sent me to Shout – not literally, to the product. Add the Color Catcher sheets to the laundry and it magically absorbs colors so they don’t infect your clothes with each other’s color. It claims that you’ll see reds and such caught there, but I’ve only seen a dirty grey. Is that simply from being in the washing machine… with my clothes who have been exposed to so much nature? Or is it working? Dunno, don’t care. I’ll keep using it.

The first load of laundry needed a sherpa. See, I brought the goober size liquid detergent from Costco. Umm, never doing that again. You try walking across a campground with your skivvies exposed PLUS you’re carrying pounds of detergent. And, we’re done. I promptly bought detergent pods. Much happier.

I fantasize about a rolling cart that old ladies use at outdoor markets–to lug my laundry easier. I already play Bridge (badly) and Mah Jongg, so I might as well get the cart. And old ladies wear comfortable, albeit ugly, shoes. And lately so do I. Hiking ain’t a fashionable sport. And people who go sight-seeing in flip flops–don’t even get me started about that idiocy. But I digress. I got caught up talking about kids these days when I was defending how, despite the similarities, I am not a little old lady.

Here’s your Chance to re-Live College

Through the pay-with-quarters laundry machine. Yup, that’s what I think about when reminiscing.

coin operated laundry machines

Recycling on the Road

You would think that I’m trying to dispose of Uranium. It’s practically impossible to find recycling at campgrounds, so I take to town and hope I can find the municipal recycling station and that they won’t fuss at me for not being a resident. I want to start a petition (truly) to lobby for recycling at campgrounds, but since most are privately owned it seems like an effort in futility. Anyone have ideas for how to make it un-futile?

Shall we Shop?

Take a look at the products mentioned above – perhaps you’ll buy, but mostly it’s built so you can see what I’m talking about. Look at that wheeling cart – isn’t it classic/awesome?!

*Disclosure: The fine folks at Bissell gave me the sweeper via their agency Fizz. These are my true feelings of love for this inanimate object, regardless of getting it for free. Another thing: if you opt to buy anything from the store below, I’ll get a commission from the purchase. Want to know legal things about these money-making efforts and product reviews? Read my Disclosure Policy.


What’s your cleaning trick? RV living or a rooted permanent structure?

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