It’s a common suggestion in lots of newsletters and groups that you should create an inventory of what you have with you in your RV. On the surface, that sorta makes sense and sounds good.
Lots of new RVers (especially when they take that first extended trip or start fulltiming) will create an inventory of stuff stored in their underneath compartments. I’ve heard suggestions to store everything in those big plastic tubs (obviously organized with shoes in one, lubricants in another, etc.), then create a written inventory of what’s in each tub (maybe a spreadsheet), and then name or number the tubs. I’ve also heard the suggestion to make a copy of the inventory for each tub and tape it to the tub so as to make it easy to find the item. The suggestion was also to take all this data and create a master inventory (another spreadsheet?) that is accessible all the time—even while driving. That way, if one of you says, “Where is the grill brush? or “…my hiking boots?” or “…windshield washer solution?” then one of you can pull up the spreadsheet (or inventory sheet), find the tub number, and locate the individual item in question. Granted, it seems like a solution to knowing where something is stored.
However, when living (fulltiming) in an RV—even the largest RV—you have a limited amount of stuff you can take with you and a limited amount of space in which to store it. Underneath “pass-through” compartments can never be wider than the vehicle (with the slides in) so the only way to gain additional storage space underneath is with a bit of extra height. A few really expensive RVs have this extra height underneath. Most don’t. So, you end up with limited storage space.
Even with “extra” space, my guess is that when you drive away in your RV, you have with you maybe 10-15% of what you have accumulated in your house. You certainly can’t take it all with you.
Now think about this…
- Did you have a complete inventory of all your stuff when you were in your house? Probably not.
- Did you have each closet inventoried? Probably not.
So why would you even think that you needed an inventory to keep track of a tiny percentage of the stuff because you are now in an RV? So, when you are asked, “Where is the grill brush?” perhaps the proper answer should be, “It’s probably underneath.” and let them look for it. After all, that’s exactly what you did when you lived in a house (okay, you more likely said, “It’s probably in the garage.”) However, in your RV, you actually have less stuff to go through to find it. Plus, in your RV, they will probably remember (or at least have a good guess) where it was the next time they need that same item. If not, let them look underneath again.
Dump the idea of inventorying and just pack up and go. If you forget something, buy it when you need it. If you forget something on your inventory, you won’t know that you have it anyway!
RVing is a lifestyle that gives you the freedom you did not have back in that house, apartment, or condo. Why would you want to clutter your life with make-work chores?