We are officially 9 -- nay almost 10! -- months into our yearlong road trip. And one thing we continue to marvel at is just how well our 1968 travel trailer has held up. Carson and I both keep waiting for the wheels to fall off or the first fatal crack to show, but it hasn't happened (yet!).
In fact, Elsie looks almost the same today as when we left last December. We've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't in a space like this. Here's a few of our notes on organizing and keeping your THOW in tip top shape:
1. Bring Less
It's inevitable that any first-timer will bring too much. We've talked with other couples on this trip that experienced the same thing. Unless it serves a real day-to-day purpose, you probably don't need it. The first place you'll overpack? The kitchen.
2. Accept Things Will Break
When our sink finish peeled off 3 months in and the wallpaper on the ceiling came up on the edges, I cried. Now when a latch breaks or the finish peels or the drawer doesn't shut quite like it used to, I accept it. These minor bumps and bruises will happen; best to accept it now and move on!
3. Problem Solve at All Costs
Traveling this long will mean you'll see things happen in the trailer that you never thought possible. Doors will open, appliances will shift, pans will fall and things will break. Full-time travel means constantly problem solving to keep everything in place. My advice? Buy a set of bungee cords. Trust us, you'll use them in ways you never imagined...
4. Clean, Like A Lot
Your teeny tiny THOW is the only thing standing between you and "the elements," which means that dust, dirt, leaves, pine needles and rocks are all pretty much guaranteed to walk inside your front door. If you've got a dog, like us, count on that debris doubling. We sweep, vacuum, wash, and wipe down things to no end. But it does pay off.
5. Embrace The Minimalist Lifestyle
Truth be told, I don't know that we've each purchased more than a handful of things on the trip. If we did, they were socks, new running shoes or something else entirely too practical. You don't have space to buy anything(!), so embrace your new minimalist lifestyle. It's eye-opening to see just how much even a little time in a THOW will reset your priorities.