Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A few of my favorite things

If Oprah can share her “favorite things”, I guess I can too!   Living full-time in a small RV this past winter, I appreciated a few refinements I had made to make it a more comfortable place to live and work from.  These items turned out to be my favorites:

1. Folding Ottoman (JCPenney – $29)

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One of the gals on the View/Navion Owner’s Forum posted last November about a sale JCPenney was running on her favorite folding leather ottoman. I happened to be near a store in Florida at the time and nabbed one for only $19!  This little item has done wonders to improve seating comfort inside the View—it’s the perfect height when using it either with the swivel cab seat or the sofa.  It’s also does double duty as a place to hide shoes when it’s in use.  Best of all, it folds and stores in the small nook between the slideout and the kitchen sink when traveling so it’s never “in the way”

2. Double Camp Mattress (Sierra Trading Post – $122)

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I actually bought my mattresses from Gander Mountain (they were called the Guide Series 3” Camping Pad, but are now discontinued).  I originally had purchased them a few years ago for 2 camping cots I used when tent camping.

The standard jackknife sofa that comes in the View 24H is not all that awful to sleep on for a couple nights (especially if you’re sleeping on the wider side of it with the spring cushions).  But the backrest side is rather firm, and the crack down  that runs the length of the sofa is very unforgiving.
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I first tried using 2” memory foam.  That helped a bit, but the bed was still uneven and too firm (and the foam was too warm in the summertime).  I then tried a Coleman twin bed air mattress.  That was more comfortable, but it was only 34” wide (the sofa is 50”), and by the end of the night the mattress would lose a bit of air and become too wobbly.

Finally, out of desperation, I pulled the old camp mattresses out to see if they might work.  Wow!  Just right!  The comfort of an air mattress, the firmness to smooth out the dips in the sofa, and when the two mattresses Velcro together, the precise width needed!

Combined with my Travasak bedding (sadly, also a discontinued product), this has really made the sofa a comfortable bed for a few months a year.
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While this solution is easy to set up and take down each day, I’d be lying if I didn’t wish the View were a bit longer and had a full bedroom in back with a real mattress bed.  But as no turbo diesel RV exists with such a combination (well, not without making way too many compromises on the front living space), I’ll stay contented with my solution for now.

3. Rival Crock Pot (Various Stores – $15)

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This was a fabulous addition to my RV kitchen!  I had found it on sale at a big box store for only $7, and figured “why not?”   I’ve never been a very good cook, but armed with a few Slow Cooker cookbooks and online recipes, I was turning out delicious, goof-proof meals in no time.  An especially nice way to make the RV feel warm and homey on chilly snowbird days!

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