The first two weeks of our trip have taught us a lot...especially about how bad we are at living on the road. Luckily, we've dedicated this month in the US (before we head to South America) as a "shakedown cruise" to refine our kit, hone our skills, and adjust to our new lifestyle.
Below are a few of the lessons we've been learning:
1. Pack to 80%. Less is more. We packed way too much stuff. On the second day of our trip, we pulled off to the side of the road and identified at least 20 things we didn't need. Jeremy accidentally brought three pairs of jeans. Elise brought three types of soap. The stick-on lights we put inside our car turned out not to be so sticky. Our cooler was too big and the cube-like water jugs we bought had nowhere to go. Books, while great, are heavy and bulky. Pick the ones you want and go ebook for the rest. Pack to 80% full - we'll probably find cool stuff to fill the last 20% on the road.
2. If it doesn't have more than one use, chuck it. This goes along with #1. This helped us get rid of a LOT of things that didn't have dual-usage and were taking up precious space. Thanks Alexis, Alex and Riley for the tip!
3. Pack like you'll use it. This can be hard to fully realize until you're moving a week's worth of food to get to the spot where you stashed your flip flops. It's important to pack your belongings while considering how frequently you'll need to access items. Our final solution: spare parts, recovery equipment, and backpacking gear are stashed in harder to reach cubbies over the wheel wells. Our clothing, the kitchen kit and common-use items are all boxed/bagged and arranged on shelving behind the rear door.
While not perfect, everyday we're learning a little more on how to make our home on wheels more comfortable. If you have any other tips, please share!