Friday, February 10, 2012
This is a post all about how we live in a space that is about 120 sq feet. We lived in 3800 sq ft in Ks, on 6 acres. We also had 4 vehicles. Now we have 1 vehicle, we live in an RV park and we have 120 sq ft of space. These photos look pretty messy, but this is just life. Living stuff, it has to be out. I could clean up and put everything away, and take pictures but I will just wait till we move next. Because then, I have to do that. In this picture, you can see our kitchen table and benches, the left bench holds sewing machines and herbs, the left one is school supplies, books and games. The door can be opened for daily need items for school, we keep them just inside. The benches are otherwise opened by removing the cushions. We use the 50 lb flour bucket for an extra seat at the table. Nathalie's loft ladder and the couch can be seen here too. The TV cabinet behind the ladder is now a food shelf, we dont have a TV. The ugly curtains are because they help when we move, things fall out less easily this way.
We put up thermal curtains with sewing pins everywhere, windows and doors. There is a padded cloth decoration over each window/door so it is easy to pin thermal fabric or curtains temporarily, and when it is very cold out we drop these, and they save on propane/elec heating costs, they make our home an avg of 15 deg warmer. They stay down at night. You can see my dish drying area, a flour bag nearly empty and, well, my entire kitchen. The step stool allows me to reach all of the neat storage areas in this RV.
Back room, this is a toy hauler RV so this room is a garage. It has a door and 2 windows, and the back folds down like a ramp-thus the muddy footprints. Tads bed is back here, and under his bed you can see the edges of boxes. He has 3 low boxes that slide in and they contain his clothing. Their toys are all back here too, and trash waiting to go out. Tad and Nathalie enter our home in this room because our boots are big. We use the front door. The back left corner here has a bean bag, a shop vac and some other junk that will move to our storage unit tonight. We rented one for all the extra stuff we carried, this way the kids get a room.
This is from the outside of my bedroom. There is a door that closes right here, so you have to open it to get to the shower on right, toilet room on left. Just past that is a heavy curtain we can pull across which means the sink is in our room. The kids open the door to go potty at night and wash hands at the kitchen sink so that we have some privacy.
View from our bedroom, above kitchen/LR area and into Nathalie's loft. It continues back on the left side. It is a queen size bed with the cabinet and then a large "shelf" where her red back pack is. The cabinets are for her clothes, her stuffed animals live up here with her. There is little room left after them! Her little travel toys and a few art things live in the backpack.
Again from our bedroom, RVs are built with a large amount of cabinet space. My friend Amanda probably has the same amount of space in her regular house. They will remodel their home, that is continue, but in the meantime I dont think I have a lot less space, so if she can do it, so can I! You can see our tacky pinned up curtains, I wont take them down till spring. We like to have them at night, but we NEED the sunlight so we open them up (almost all) during the day, and then open the blinds.
Another shot of the kitchen. I am trying to use up the 25 lb bag of flour, because the 50 lb bucket is full as is the small 3 lb bin that I refill from the bucket. The 25 lb bag ended up getting torn, so we had to use it from there.
This is our bedroom. It is a pain to make the bed unless you are up in the pillow area. Most mornings I pull it up when I get up, but didnt today. You can walk around it, we get in from the bottom. It is a real mattress, not a temperpedic but something similar so it is larger and heavier, and more comfortable than what the RV came with. The whole mattress lifts up along with the plyboard underneath, but bc this mattress is heavy the shocks wont hold it up. So Tad holds it up, we get things from it, or someone does. Our knitting things and all of my extra fabric and sewing supplies are under there.
The shower, you definitely are confined within it but I am tiny, it isnt difficult. We can use it, and likely will soon. On our trip, we had to conserve water and we hated short showers. So much. As the showers at our current park are free, close and hot, we walk over and use them. This RV has frozen hook ups. As in, we cannot do a constant hook up for water and sewer. In the summer, you put sewer hose from your gray and black to the dump, and you constantly dump. Water, you put a hose to your city connection and thats it, full time water. But since they are frozen, we fill our 110 gal fresh water tank with water, and then monitor it from a panel that shows us levels of fill in freshwater, kitchen and bathroom gray water tanks, and the black water tank. Because we have no on site dump, we use what is called a smart tote (ours is 27 gal or Tad and I couldnt do it alone) and dump our waste into it (this is completely contained, nothing on us or ground) and pull it to the 1 main (not frozen) dump. We did this yesterday, took about an hr for 4 runs with the tote, Frank did the first run with me and then Tad and I did 3 while Frank and Nathalie hooked hoses together and filled our fresh tank. It takes about an hr as a family every 10 days or so.
Another view of our room, we brought our printer with us (frank's idea) which we have been so glad for. Great for school, taxes, Frank's job, many items. Oh and we can scan and email which is easier than driving somewhere to fax. These 4 drawers hold our clothes, then we use the closet of course and we have a lot of storage in the closet as well.
Our closet has stuff like this at both ends, 2 shelves in corners plus of course floor space, and a whole shelf all the way across. Things we do not use daily go in here, like extra towels. I do laundry about every 2 wks, because we can go that long. It is a long time, but the washer/dryers cost the same amount full or not, so we make sure we are full.
More cabinet space, lots of things go in here. We need a flow chart showing us what is stored where! would make life easier when we lose stuff. The cord you can see is plugged into a 12 volt inverter, giving full time power (even when going down road because only 12 volt works then) to the most exposed water pipes under the RV, these have a heat tape. The heat tape is what allowed us to have water even in the Yukon at -65 degrees. We can likely unplug it now, it only kicks on if the pipes get below 40. It isnt very cold or windy here, and we are sitting still. always warmer than moving breeze. Frank is going to drill a couple of holes so we wont see this cord next winter but for now, we have water unlike any other person in this park!
You can see we have a lot of windows, which is a must for me in the winter. I really need my sunshine. Tad is doing his typing program here, homeschool is really easy in here. The kids dont magically disappear while I am doing dishes! Just kidding... it was more me than them, I got distracted in a big house. Here, I really dont. You can see our library books as well, we stack them here. We have been going so far 2x a wk, we need a lot of books. We are depending wholly on the library except for a small trunk of books we brought that are in our storage room. We dont have space for all of our stuff with comfort so we moved them. The library is nice, and the kids love the variety of books.
Just another window. We shrink wrapped all of our windows, most RVs have single pane windows. This one does, and adding the plastic (sticky tape, plastic, blow dry) allowed us several more degrees of warmth.
We put in this chest, kept our spare tires under it during our trip and today the last one will move to the storage. We dont need them here. The chest includes a drawer for Tad's stuff, whatever he wants (Nathalie has a shelf in her room), one drawer holds hats/gloves and other winter stuff, and the other 2 are Frank's. Tools, flashlights, batteries etc. Tad's guitar is, well what he plays daily. He starts lessons as soon as we have a 2nd vehicle. This chest is in Tads room, or otherwise the back room of our house. We have only 4 rooms IF you count the bathroom as a room.
Another view of his room, this room isnt as well insulated. We are going to insulate the floor, when there is less icy water under our home. This radiator heater runs all the time in his room, unless we need to run some other thing that draws too much, so we switch it off for a couple of minutes. We run a small blower heater in his room at night as well, off of the microwave socket (unplug microwave to do so) and that keeps it warm. It doesnt have vents like the rest of the RV.
Oh see, thats darling! Nathalie doing her math in front of his heater, which she has switched on. It isnt cold in here, its probably 65 degrees.
Oh but see, thats a pretty picture! The oranges and apples on left are out of the fridge because our fridge freezes some things solid. Really bad for produce. We have 2 coolers outside and they hold our excess cold goods. no one steals them, which is neat. Other people have a small box freezer outside, which would be nice. I dont completely trust the coolers to not thaw too much, and let my meat spoil.
Ok so thats it for now. Lots of other facts and interesting things but will share more later. I PROMISE to try to blog, but I have to also pass my college classes which I dont feel up to right now. So maybe I can blog once per assignment... good incentive.