My Favorite Camper-Sized Things

I have to start off by saying that Charlie is THE BEST camper-sized puppy I could ever wish for! IMG_2807

Now, moving onto camper-sized THINGS

Living full-time in a camper takes some adjusting to but overall I love it. Before I moved in with Allen for good I went through all my clothes and got rid of half of them. Then I went through again and got rid of another half. I still probably have too much, and I TRY to live by the rule that when I get something new, I need to get rid of something, but that doesn’t always work out perfectly!

The biggest challenge for me is staying tidy. Just ask Allen! He sometimes starts twitching (slight exaggeration) coming in the door from work if I have crafty stuff on “his side” of the bench, and let’s not forget walking into the bathroom if I’ve forgotten to put my makeup and hair stuff away… (Let’s just say my tidiness is a work in progress!)

You know that saying: benjamin-franklin-quotes_10351-0Well… This is more like it:


True that!!!

But in a camper, you need to be organized and live by this rule or things can get out of hand rather quickly!

So here’s a list of some of my favorite things that work well for me in our camper. Some I have, some I just really want!

  • I have a set of nesting mixing bowls and measuring cups just like these, but I got mine from Aldi (it’s a discount grocery in Cincinnati) and I only paid around $15. This set is $30. The only thing I wish is that my green bowl had the same little pour spout-that’s kinda nifty! Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 2.46.38 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-21 at 2.46.26 PM
  • These Magma nesting pots and pans look SO nice! A dream come true! They all stack neatly inside of each other and there are two removable handles so they don’t get in the way! I am in love with them. I’m REALLY hoping my wonderful mother gets us these for Christmas! I saw them first on Shore Looks Nice.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 2.44.00 PM

Considering my drawer for pots and pans (and my coffee pot) looks like this currently, I can only imagine how amazing these would be!  

  • When we had the other camper, I would do dishes and set them on a dish towel on the stove, leaning against the wall to dry. But with our new camper, the sink is on the island, which means there is no wall to lean plates and things against to dry. So one of the first things I bought was this drying rack. It folds up and fits under the sink when I’m not using it. Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 2.42.41 PM
  • I’m also in DESPARATE need of a spice rack! I cook dinner almost everyday. 6 days a week, if not 7 sometimes. And I use a LOT of spices. Right now I have them all stacked/falling off of a lazy susan on a shelf in the pantry. I bought this spice rack from Kohl’s when we were in Waynesville, but when I got it home I realized how cheaply it was made so I returned it.Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.17.45 PMNow I’m thinking maybe this will work out better. I can stack things on top of it, and even though it’s not as fancy looking as the one above, I can use my existing spices! Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 2.51.08 PM
  • I absolutely love our washer/dryer combo, but sometimes I don’t have the patience to wait for things to dry all the way, OR they just don’t. This mostly happens with jeans and heavy sweatshirts. So I picked up this drying rack and it gets a lot of use! Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.25.19 PM
  • And, even though it’s not storage related, I think it’s fair to mention that I’ve found some really decent dishes at Big Lots.  I usually look in the picnic section for plastic plates and bowls. And I try to find thicker, better quality ones that will last a while. We had some black ceramic dinner plates and bowls that Allen loved, but it was just too much of a hassle to have to stack paper plates in between them every time we would travel so they wouldn’t break that I finally gave them away. He’s still a little sad about it! But it wasn’t practical (sorry babe!)
  • I don’t have this shoe holder but I want to make one. My friend recently sent me some fabric and I think some of it might work out really well for a shoe holder! I’m sure it wouldn’t be TOO hard to DIY!

  • I know they probably sell the “pop-a-bag” things that hold your plastic grocery bags, but you can just as easily make one yourself. I made mine out of an empty Clorox Wipes container. I just stuffed the bags inside and tore off the little plastic prong-y things. Super easy! I used to have them in a tissue box and that worked too! Here’s the pop-a-plate and pop-a-tissue. (I don’t have or want either one of these, I think they are kind of a waste of money, and now I don’t have anywhere to put them.)Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.39.16 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-21 at 3.40.03 PMThese are both at Camping World
  • Some kitchen appliances that I can’t really function without: 
    Immersion Blender (I actually found this at Goodwill for $3!!!)

    Immersion Blender (I actually found this at Goodwill for $3!!!)



If you have any ideas that I missed or some favorite camper-sized things of your own, please share!

The Never-Ending Jack Issues!

We are still patiently waiting for the replacement valve to show up. We spoke with Lippert last Monday and they said they would send it out via UPS but it hasn’t gotten here yet. In the meantime, our jacks have been “popping” more than ever and now they are actually moving. They woke us up a couple of times last night even! It’s a loud popping noise accompanied by the camper moving, slipping down the jacks. It’s mostly in the front two jacks but the middle two are also acting up. 

It makes me a little worried that our camper is going to nose-dive and that would be no good whatsoever! 

I’ve been Googling the problem and I think when we do finally take it in for the yearly inspection we should do so a few months early. I want to make sure everything is still under the one year manufacturer warranty from Grand Design. We need to have them fix the issue with the jacks but also I think they should fix the floor by our kitchen island. It is super creaky, it creaks when Charlie walks on it, and she only weighs 8lbs! 

Since I don’t have any photos of broken, creaky leveling jacks, here’s a few of Charlie. We got her a Lamb Chop toy this weekend and she’s already emptied the stuffing and won’t leave the room without it! 

Oh, and the Cincinnati Bengals won yesterday!  

Oh, and I’m currently losing my battle with the stray cats in the campground. They insist on using the dirt right outside our front door as a litter box. I’ve tried cayenne pepper and ammonia so far to no avail. Any suggestions on how to keep them away?? And how to keep flies away?? 


This New Fad: “Cold-Brewed Coffee”

When the weather is warm, there is nothing better than a big glass, or cup in my case, of iced coffee in the morning, or afternoon for that matter!

And the weather was SUPER warm last week in San Francisco! Like, abnormally hot, record-breaking, school closing heat… And being parked in an asphalt parking lot doesn’t help matters…
I saw a how-to for cold brewed coffee on a blog I follow. Then that same evening I saw a Starbucks commercial for cold brewed coffee, so I knew I had to try it. I was a little worried it wouldn’t be strong enough for my liking, but followed the instructions nonetheless (something I do very rarely).IMG_2560-0
It was super simple to make, the hardest part was remembering to do it the night before so it was ready in the morning!
I don’t have a coffee grinder. I’m not a coffee connoisseur. I drink Folgers Classic Roast on a daily basis, and enjoy a Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks on occasion. I also don’t own cheesecloth. But, the owner of the blog said it should be fine if I used a coffee filter in place of cheesecloth. (Here’s a link to the original post from Italian Home Kitchen ) And here’s what I did:
  • I put 5 big spoonfuls of coffee into the largest cup I had, which turned out to be a bartender mixing thing and actually that worked out pretty well. Then I filled it up with cold water. I put the lid on it. Then I went to bed. And slept.
  • When I woke up the next morning I got my mesh strainer out, along with a coffee filter, some wax paper, scissors, and a giant Starbucks cup. (I hang onto decent plastic cups-it saves us having to buy them, and since we don’t travel around with glass, why not?)IMG_2561-0
  • I put the strainer over the empty cup, cut a hole in the middle of the wax paper, and put the coffee filter in the open spot. Then I began the painfully slow process of straining the coffee from the coffee grounds. It was about as slow as a drip coffee maker, but when you have to stand there and watch, it feels like waiting for a pot of water to boil, or watching paint dry. Ok, maybe it’s not that bad. But I was anxious to try this new cold brewed coffee!IMG_2563
It came out super dark colored and instead of my assumption that it would be too weak, I was afraid it would be way too strong.IMG_2562
So after I got it all strained I poured it over ice and added some milk and sugar like I would with iced coffee.IMG_2564-0
Then I tasted it.
(I swished it around as if I were a coffee connoisseur)
Very good.
I’d say it’s milder than iced coffee.
It was pretty yummy.
It doesn’t have as much of an acidic taste as hot or normal brewed coffee does.
I liked it.
I had two full cups.
I’ll probably make it again.

Craving a Donut Hole!

I love donut holes.  

 But I’m actually talking about the donut hole in weather systems.  

 Our neighbor Carmen scored us some tickets for the Reds vs. Giants game tonight and the weather people are calling for rain.  

Last year after the Reds vs Giants

 I know the ENTIRE state of California needs rain terribly, so I’m hoping for a donut hole just over AT&T Stadium!   

Let’s go RedLegs!

Confession: I’m not an avid baseball fan, and I have no Reds gear, so I will be wearing my Giants jersey I got about 8years ago…  

Last year I borrowed a Reds jersey to go overtop my Giants one


The view from our seats last year.

I’m super excited for garlic fries! And I hope they don’t get soggy from rain!  


Some Tag-Team Camper Fixin’!

I posted a week or so ago about our broken leveling jacks. They were not making ANY sense and just being all wonky out of nowhere, all of a sudden. They started messing up when we were checking the hydraulic fluid level when we started hearing a “popping” sound coming from them. And we couldn’t get the camper level again. 

We have the Lippert Components 6-point Hydraulic automatic leveling system called Level-Up. 

Well, today, Allen had the day off so we started with them again. He called Lippert and they started walking us through closing and opening valves to see what the issue was. Then our call got disconnected. Great.  

 We tried to suck all the slides in, to make sure they were still working. Once we got them in, they wouldn’t go back out!  

 We got Lippert on the line again and he determined we had a bad valve in the front leg Jack. He walked us through swapping that one with the valve for the slides. And they are sending us a new valve! Finally.  

 We are just so happy that we don’t have to take it somewhere or try to find a mobile RV repair place to come out and have a look. (I’ve called 3, THREE, places and nobody wants to come out. That’s one way to do business…)

Also, Lippert confirmed what I found online regarding the jacks “popping”. He said first to try and purge the system of air. After we get the valve replaced, suck the jacks all the way in, extend them all the way, repeat, a few times and this should fix the problem. OR we could add something called fork oil to the hydraulic fluid to give it more lubrication.  

 Anyway, cheers to a productive Monday! 

Roasted Garbanzo Beans

I’ve roasted garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, years ago. They are a crunchy, healthy snack and you can flavor them however you want.

I saw a post about Sweet and Spicy Roasted Nuts that caught my attention and it brought back the distant memory of roasted garbanzo beans.
Then my mouth started to water. And I added garbanzo beans to my shopping list.
I was afraid to make them “sweet” because they roast so much longer than the cashews in the original post that gave me the idea. So I just went with a similar concoction to what I’ve done in the past.
Instead of an actual oven, I used our convection microwave. It occurred to me that the reason I haven’t made these in FOREVER is because I haven’t had access to an “oven” that will cook things for long periods of time.  The camper oven is small and heats from the bottom, so it’s a little difficult to use. It’s definitely something you need to adjust to and account for!
Here’s the general recipe I followed:
***Full disclosure: I never measure ingredients (unless I’m using my bread maker). I eyeball and account for my preference of how I want the dish to taste. Sometimes I will use my palm or pinch with my fingers, but it’s nothing I could communicate in an actual measurement. So I say, just go with what you think will taste good. Or measure.
  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed, dried
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • cayenne pepper
Rinse the beans then drain them. I spread them on a paper towels then roll them around a bit to dry them off. I also pick out the little “skins” that fall off. I drizzled them with olive oil then sprinkled them with seasoning.

The wine is only for my sanity, not a part of the recipe!

I roasted them in the convection oven on 375 degrees for about 40 minutes total, I stirred them around twice.
In a regular oven you would do 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
I like mine crunchy, so inevitably some of them will get a little burnt. I like those little guys too.
Just to be totally honest, I love these, but Allen thinks they are disgusting.  But then again, he uses that word to describe a lot of things. It drives me nuts. And he knows it.
He has described as disgusting the following things that come to mind:
  • wine
  • roasted garlic
  • ground turkey (he will eat an entire serving and more of spaghetti or chili or “sausage” though)
  • my toothpaste

Anyway, if you’re in the market for a spicy, crunchy snack, and you’re not as crazy as my boyfriend, I say give these little guys a try!

Cheers to football Sunday!


Tour of Our Home on Wheels (part 4- the bedroom and bathrooms)

Our bedroom now is an actual room… A place to relax…Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 8.22.26 AM

Our bedroom in our previous camper was a bed.

This was it. You couldn't walk at the foot of the bed. And this was pretty much the extent of our closet/dresser space.

This was it. You couldn’t walk at the foot of the bed. And this was pretty much the extent of our closet/dresser space.

Just to give you a visual, because I know I keep comparing the two campers, but we do just have so much more room now, here’s the floorpan for the 26′ Wildwood we had and the floorplan for the 43′ Momentum we have now.

Taken from FunTown RV

Taken from FunTown RV


Taken from Grand Design.

I’m pretty sure the bedroom is Allen’s favorite room. It might be Charlie’s favorite too.image

We have a king size bed and we finally found some sheets we love! (100% cotton=amazing) The mattress is super comfy, but we still have our short queen size memory foam pad on top (we are waiting for our Walmart Savings Catcher money to add up to get one that actually fits!) Hahaha

The bedroom is the only room with carpet, unless you count the strip in front of and under the couch. Charlie has a bed on either side of our bed and one in the closet, but she still sleeps with us of course!

The closet has shelves across the back and shelves and a bar for hangers on the left. It DID have the same thing on the right but we put a washer/dryer combo in. My mom got it for us for a housewarming gift – thanks mom! The washer/dryer is SO nice! I LOVE not having to lug everything down to the laundry room in whatever campground we are in. And the money we save is crazy; when we aren’t paying electric!

Thank you Camping World for the image.

Thank you Camping World for the image.

We have a dresser with 4 drawers and a TV above that. The bed lifts up for more storage. It came with a built in safe and an ottoman that pulls out from the foot of the bed and opens for even more storage. The ottoman is also Charlie’s step stool and she will sit and whine if it isn’t pulled out for her. We have 4 windows in the bedroom (3 that open). And our bed is in the third slide. I definitely wanted a bed that was sideways when we started looking. I guess I just wanted something different.

Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 8.23.36 AM

Oh, and there are LED lights in the closet too.

There are outlets on either side of the bed. Our closet doors have mirrors on them and the bedroom door is frosted. We have an A/C in the bedroom with its own thermostat. It gets warm in the bedroom, I think because the ceiling is lower, there’s carpet, and the exterior of the nose is painted black. So that A/C works the hardest.

As I mentioned in my previous post, there are speakers connected through the surround sound that play in the bedroom also. The thermostat control is in the bedroom along with this little panel that tells us what we are running on (50amp, 30amp, generator). And when we are running on the generator it will tell us how many amps we are using at any given time.

The main bathroom is next to the bedroom. It has a large shower with an adjustable height shower head and a seat. We have a 12 gallon hot water heater now (5 gallons previously) and Allen thinks it’s bad for the environment because it encourages him to take super long showers. We never had that luxury before! There’s a vent fan in the bathroom (no rain sensor this time), it has a vessel bowl sink that I love. The countertop almost matches the kitchen. There’s a medicine cabinet, a storage cabinet under the sink, 3 drawers, and a big linen closet that is super deep. The toilet is a foot flush and a porcelain bowl. (Fancy, fancy!)

Our bathroom will never be this clutter-free again (sorry babe), so I had to steal this photo from Grand Design.

Our bathroom will never be this clutter-free again (sorry babe), so I had to steal this photo from Grand Design.

The half bath has just a toilet and sink, but it DOES have a window!Screen Shot 2015-09-12 at 8.21.56 AM


  • I used Command picture hanging strips to hang two things in the bedroom to the left of the dresser. I want to hang more things but I’m still deciding exactly what I want.IMG_1608
  • We put up Command hooks in both bathrooms for hand towels and one in the half bathroom to hang the broom. Here’s a post about hanging things with Command products. IMG_1641
  • We also had to install the toilet paper holders ourselves. Allen did that, and I tell him all the time they are a bit crooked. (They aren’t.)

    In the main bathroom.

    In the half bathroom.

    On a side note, I love these blinds. Charlie can’t stick her little head through and bend them like she used to!


Tour of Our Home on Wheels (part 3- the living room and kitchen)

The layout of the main living area in our camper is just about perfect for us. It has opposing slides, which open up the space a lot. Also, the ceilings being so high help with that. (We are 13’6″ high.) Some images I’ve taken from Grand Design‘s website and some are my own.

All of the brochures say there are overhead cabinets above the couch. There aren’t. I think there may have been in 2013 and 2014 and Grand Design has just failed to remove that part…

I’ll start with the kitchen…

I really wanted an island when we were looking at new campers. Not only does it add counter space (which in campers, is always at a minimum) but it also let’s me have a conversation with Allen when I’m prepping dinner or my least favorite chore: washing dishes, which he doesn’t do nearly enough of, IMHO.

 The island in our Grand Design Momentum has a marble looking top and double basin sink with sink covers. We usually keep the smaller side covered, adding even more counter space. The faucet has a sprayer that pulls down so you can rinse the whole sink. Under the sink there is room for a small trash can on one side and two shelves on the other. Next to those cabinet doors are three drawers. There are three shelves on either side of the island with blue LED lights under them and outlets on both sides as well. Directly above the island are two chandelier lights that hang down and add a nice touch that I haven’t seen too often in campers.

In the kitchen slide, there is a large pantry with 3 shelves and 3 drawers, an oven and stove- with stove covers that match the island, a storage drawer underneath the stove, a marble looking backsplash, a convection microwave above, and another storage cabinet above that.

The stove WITH the covers on.

The stove WITHOUT the covers.

This would be my attempt at organizing the pantry… for probably the third time…  yikes!

Next to the stove is our “residential-size” fridge. Which means it’s huge in the world of campers, but still not quite as deep as normal ACTUAL residential fridges. (We can’t fit one of those can holders that roll the cans forward for instance). All the appliances are stainless steel. And our fridge is actually magnetic! Another rarity in the camper world…

I think I might be overly excited about the magnetic fridge…It’s getting quite cluttered.  And I’ve been on a post-it note kick lately so those are stuck everywhere!

Above the kitchen there is a vent hatch with a fan. It is controlled by buttons on the wall, has four speeds, and has a rain sensor, so when it starts raining, it’ll automatically close. There’s also an air conditioner that has a heat pump on it. I didn’t know what the heat pump was until I started Googling. It’ll warm up the room by 4 degrees at a time. Any more than that, the furnace will kick on. But that is going to be really nice come wintertime! (And since I’m kind of spoiled with it, and we aren’t paying electric right now, I’ve used it twice here in San Francisco in the morning when it’s chilly – it’s awesome!)

Combine the heat pump with the electric fireplace (I’ve used that too…), and we should be nice and cozy! The fireplace has 10 different looks going from super bright and blazing, to just a small little thing, and 2 different heat blower levels. It also has a remote and a timer that can be set. The fireplace is under the flat screen TV. It’s flanked by two storage cabinets. (Ours contain liquor on one side and dog food on the other.) Above one of the cabinets is a radio/CD player/DVD player/Bluetooth and USB capable thing that plays through the surround sound system and can play in the living room, the bedroom, or outside, or any combination of those three. Above the TV there are cabinets all the way across where we keep our DVDs and books. Above the TV there are light switches and a USB charging port. (It took us a full week to figure out how to turn the LED lights on the island off!)

***Full disclosure: This entertainment system is also junk, but not as bad as the one in the garage. It’s a Furrion radio/CD player and a Haier TV. Furrion products are supposed to be able to communicate with other Furrion products so I’m not sure why Grand Design would skimp on the Furrion TV here. If we watch TV we can’t use the surround sound system. But if we watch a DVD or listen to music we can. Also, every time we switch between the DVD player and our separate BlueRay player, we have to unplug and replug in the TV because it gets all confused and will play sound but no picture. We thought at first it was a faulty HDMI cord so Grand Design sent us a new one… Read about that fiasco in the DIYs & MODs section at the bottom of this post…

That’s our Bug-A-Salt rifle sitting under the TV. It’s pretty awesome!

Across from the kitchen is the other slide that holds the couch, 4 theater style seats. They all recline all the way back. The two end seats have cup holders, massage, and heat. There are blue LED lights under the couch also. There are huge picture windows behind and on either side of the couch, letting lots of light and fresh air in, which I love! We have a table that matches the countertops that we can set up in front of the couch if we want to eat in the living room. We’ve only done that a few times though.

You can get to the garage through a glass door and to the half-bath from the living room. There is a loft bed on top of the bath, that has a pull out ladder to get up to it. There is another vent hatch with a fan up there and a window (just for light, it doesn’t open). Currently we just use that space for storage. We keep our out-of-season clothes in Ziploc Space Saver bags (I love those things). Luckily for us, and Allen’s OCD tendencies, the loft came with a curtain that slides across and covers all that.

I took this one from Grand Design's website. (I don't ever have that many lemons laying around.)

I took this one from Grand Design’s website. (I don’t ever have that many lemons laying around.)

The floor is lighter colored and patterned which makes it like camouflage for dirt. I love it! There is a built in central vac with a plug-in spot on the second step leading up to the bathroom and bedroom and a kick plate so you can just sweep dust and dirt right in! Also, right by the steps is a coat closet with a couple hooks inside. Above that is the “jimmy jankster” – Allen’s term – or the control center.  It’s where the controls for the awning, step lights, porch lights, and slides are. It’s also where you can see how full the tanks are (fresh, 2 gray and 2 black- although I’m always iffy if we should trust those sensors.)

Some sensors I DO trust because I know they work are the smoke alarm and propane alarm! Allen set the smoke alarm off the first time he made breakfast for us, and set the propane alarm off because he insisted on spraying sunscreen on me INSIDE!

One thing I do want to mention that I love about this camper is that when we are traveling, and stop at a rest stop or what not, I can get to the bathroom and one side of the fridge. In our old camper we had to open the slide to get to the bathroom. And in order to be able to crack the fridge open enough to grab a soda, we had to climb over the couch. So I really like this part.


  • I’ll start with the HDMI cord. After waiting weeks for my buddy Jerry in the warranty department to get us a replacement HDMI cord, we discovered that all of the cords running between the TV and speakers and CD player are all enclosed in the entertainment center hutch thing.  So Allen tried to attach the new cord to the old one and pull it through. Well, there’s some tiny holes it runs through inside the entertainment center that we couldn’t get to. So he wound up cutting a small hole and running the cord up behind the TV. It doesn’t look bad at all. Plus it’s behind the TV. Still, one of those annoying little things that come with all new campers.

    This is right behind the pole that the TV is attached to.

    And this is underneath, you can’t see it.

  • We’ve run an extension cord from the right side of the couch, behind, and out the other side to have outlets on both ends. (Allen got sick of handing me my phone when it was charging on “his side” of the couch, and decided to remedy that!)
  • I’ve put up Command hooks on the backsplash of the stove to hang utensils I use a lot. And we put one on the side of the entertainment center to hang MY keys (Allen never loses his…)IMG_1640
  • We’ve also put small pieces of Velcro to hold remotes, since EVERYTHING has a remote and it’s hard to keep track of which remote goes to which device. (But, we were drinking that night -combine that with the Xzilon coating- and we woke up to remotes all over the floor because the Velcro didn’t stick!)
  • I’ve made a few throw pillow covers to add some personality to the living room: DIY Pillow Covers, and DIY Pillow Covers, Round 2IMG_2391


Next up:

Tour of Our Home on Wheels (part 2- the garage)

Our 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385TH has a 12’2″ garage, which is perfect for us! We didn’t want anything TOO large, because you are giving up comfy living space for garage space. (I’ve taken some images from Grand Design‘s website, I’m sure you can tell which ones!)

The garage, or the toy hauler if you prefer, gets used about as much as the rest of the house.  We needed a large enough space to be able to travel with a motorcycle and Allen’s huge tool box (for now), and a Smart car at some point down the road.

If they can do it, we can too!

If they can do it, we can too!

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.29.55 PM

The back hatch folds down to a ramp so you can move your “toys” in and out, but also has the option of turning into a patio or deck in the back.  It has railings that pin into place all around, and a set of stairs that pin to the back and lead down from the patio.  There is a manual awning that goes overtop the patio and has stabilizing legs on it (it took us a couple times putting the awning out and thinking that it was super flimsy before we, well, in all fairness, I, discovered this!)  When the patio is down, there is a 3-season garage wall.  It’s basically sliding screen doors with plastic that can velcro over the screen.  The doors also open all the way to get toys in and out. There are vents that can be opened when traveling to circulate the air and let fumes out if you have “toys” in the garage. Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.28.45 PM

In Louisiana, the entire RV park was a muddy mess, so the only way to get to the street was to leave the patio set up with the steps leading to the road!

In Louisiana, the entire RV park was a muddy mess, so the only way to get to the street was to leave the patio set up with the steps leading to the road!

Inside, it has a Happijac bunk system: 2 queen bunks that can raise all the way up and stay out of the way while traveling, or come down for extra sleeping room.  The bottom bunk also turns into 2 benches and there is a table that fits into place in between the bunks.  This is how we have it set up most of the time. Especially if we are somewhere that we can’t have the hatch open and the patio set up. The garage came with a roll of carpet that you could potentially lay down, but we tossed that out. We take advantage of the garage floor as a place to take off shoes and muddy boots.

There is a TV, radio and CD/DVD player in the garage.

***Full disclosure: (because I want to be super honest about everything) This radio is junk. We are on our third one from the factory so far. We’ve talked to another guy who has the same camper and he concurs with our opinion. It’s a Furrion CD player for a car that they mounted in the cabinet. It switched by itself from the speakers in the ceiling to the speakers by the TV. It constantly sounds like it is trying to spit out a disc even when it’s turned off and there’s nothing in there (that sound drives me crazy!) and it turns its volume up and down on it’s own.

Moving on.

A small cabinet passes through to the living room and a hatch opens up on the floor for more storage.  We have an electric space heater, rain boots, and ratchet straps in there right now.  We have a metal file cabinet under the pass through cabinet with the printer on top, and Allen’s tool box set up in the garage right now (sometimes he takes it to work depending on the job). A glass door leads to the main living area and a door to the left of that leads to the half-bath.  There’s a 3rd A/C in the garage.IMG_2528


  • We drilled more holes in the Happi-Jac bunk rails to give us more options of where to have the top bunk. We wanted to be able to keep some things on top of the bunk when we were stationary for a period of time. (Crock Pot, sewing machine, rice cooker, etc.) Here’s a post about that: A Little Camper Fixing IMG_2210 
  • We hung a tension rod with black out curtains across the back wall. When we have the patio set up, you can see right into the house at night through the 3-season garage wall, so this gives us some privacy. The curtains are all black on the side that faces the rest of the world. IMG_2212

Previously: Tour of Our Home on Wheels (part 1)

Next up:

Tour of Our Home on Wheels (part 1)

It’s recently occurred to me, as I’ve been checking out other RV blogs, that I’ve never actually given a tour of our camper… In the blogosphere at least! I love our home, and I’m proud of it, so here it goes!

We live on the road full-time in a 2015 Grand Design Momentum 385TH.  We bought it in March from Palm Beach RV in Florida.  We looked for months (at least 6) and went to numerous RV shows in multiple states, visited dealers, looked online and read reviews.  We knew we wanted a 5th wheel. We knew we wanted a toy hauler (that’s what the TH stands for in the name).  And we knew we need at least a 12ft garage to eventually fit a Smart car.

The rest we kind of decided along the way:

  • an island in the kitchen
  • a full size fridge
  • a king size bed
  • a washer/dryer
  • actual closet space
  • a pantry
  • a couch AND a table to eat dinner at
  • a patio
  • nice entry steps that don’t rust
  • automatic leveling jacks
  • a generator

***Notice the order those are listed in: my top priorities first  😉 -I’m writing this post so that’s allowed!

The Momentum 385TH met our wants and needs, and even more. So, we went for it!

She’s good looking’ huh??!


The morning after we picked her up, at Palm Beach Traveler RV Park, we were ready to take off for the muddy swamp that some call Louisiana!

I’ll start with the basic exterior features, then work my way through the inside.  I’m going to list DIYs and MODs we’ve done as well.  I always find it interesting and helpful to see what other RVers have done, so I’ll share our little tweaks (and issues we’ve had along the way also).

The camper (some people say fifth wheel, some say rig, RV, etc., I just refer to her as a camper) is 43′ long. Here’s the basic layout and numbers:Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.34.25 PM

Some of these photos I took from Grand Design’s website, others are my own. You can probably tell the difference!

It came equipped with a Onan 5500 generator in the front that can run everything. We have run it all night long on less than 5 gallons. There are 2 – 30gallon fuel tanks. One that feeds into the generator. And one that has a pump that you can connect to pump fuel into your toys, motorcycle, car, etc. or pump into the generator tank.Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.33.18 PM

There are 3 slides, 2 electric awnings (the main awning has LED lights across it), 2 entry doors (with aluminum steps that won’t rust), a patio that folds down in the back with a manual awning over it, frameless tinted windows, 3 air conditioners, heated tanks with an insulated and heated underbelly (which will help like crazy this winter if we get stuck somewhere cold like last year! – Oklahoma City… Frozen water lines… Frozen toilet… New toilet… Not fun…). There are LED lights under the steps and flood lights in the back.  We opted to add a Xzilon coating to the outside, as well as the inside (which guarantees we won’t have to wax it for 5 years).Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 12.28.45 PM

There is a large pass through cubby in the front-ish.  The generator is actually in the very front.  But it’s to the right of the front door.  All the cubby doors slam-latch closed, and most of them have magnetic something or others that hold them open.  The pass through cubby is heated so things, as well as water lines won’t freeze in the winter.

 The camper came with a swing arm for a TV, and we just mounted the TV from our old camper on it.  I like being able to sit outside and watch the race or a game (or occasionally Dr. Phil-Allen’s favorite! Haha! Just kidding…). We used to have to set up the white folding table and run the cord out through the door if we wanted to watch TV outside.  Which wasn’t so bad either, just more work.

Twin Rivers RV Park, Hobe Sound, Florida, May 2013

Twin Rivers RV Park, Hobe Sound, Florida, May 2013

Red Coconut RV Park, Fort Myers Beach, Florida, January 2014

Red Coconut RV Park, Fort Myers Beach, Florida, January 2014

Abe’s RV Park, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, September 2014

Lake Pines RV Park, Columbus, Georgia, February 2014


  • Allen found some metal hooks and screws at an Ace Hardware (where employees still actually take the time to help you) that we hung up on the ceiling of the cubby for our fishing poles. He mounted them to the metal beams that went across. So far they are working well! It keeps them from getting all tangled and broken when we drive. ***Disclosure: we are NOT avid or even somewhat avid fishermen. We took his kids fishing this summer a couple of times, but we had to buy poles for that, and so we needed somewhere to keep them.Charlie sleeping in the cubby
  • We discovered a puddle in the cubby and found a leak in the water line so we had to fix that a couple of weeks ago. Here’s that scenario: Leaks are the Worst!IMG_1930
  • Currently the leveling system is all wonky and has lost its mind. Here’s that situation: Broken Leveling Jacks. I’ll update when we finally fix it.
  • Allen had a little run-in with a yellow pole in a gas station parking lot. Here’s where we fixed the ladder: A Little Camper FixingIMG_2209

I’m going to give you the tour in parts… If I did it all in one post, it would be ridiculously long! But I will link them all together as I get them written!

Next up: