Saturday, September 23, 2023


Full-time RVers: What object(s) could you NOT leave behind?

By Chuck Woodbury
This video below got me thinking. I think you will like it. What it made me think about relates to full-time RVers who sold their homes for a life on the road.

I’ll pose my thought as a question: What object (or objects) could you absolutely NOT part with when you moved into your RV? Was it a certain photo, or maybe your mother’s necklace, or an old coat you’ve had for years and years but could simply not do without?

Please confess to the world about that certain something you simply could not, no matter how hard you tried, sell, give away or otherwise be without.

To give you an idea of what I could not leave behind: I could not part with my father’s hairbrush. When he died nine years ago, I put the brush inside two Ziploc bags. The brush still smells like my father. Once a year on his birthday I open the bag-in-a-bag, close my eyes, and inhale a whiff of what my father smelled like. It brings a flood a memories. We can see pictures of someone we lost, we can hear their recorded voice, but we cannot smell them. That brush allows me to preserve a little extra memory of my father. I could not give it up.

So what can’t you part with? Please (please, please, please) leave a comment!


##RVT810 ##RVDT1358

Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.


  1. Tire pressure monitoring system. You are driving blind without one. If you don’t arrive safely, all the gadgets in the world don’t matter.

  2. Our two miniature schnauzers Lucy & Ricky. My laptop & goose down pillow (DW.) For the Dh, it would be the TV, and his Traeger grill.

  3. My wife won’t leave without a sewing machine and ongoing sewing projects. I need the computer, a printer, and a good “hot spot. A pile of unread books, and depending how long we are on the road, a case or two of our favorite wine.

  4. So far, I haven’t been able to leave behind family photos collected over at least four generations. My goal is to scan the best ones and then pitch them all. But it’s going to take a lot of rainy days in camp to do that job!

  5. I am a widower and my dog passed away last week. Yesterday, a friend asked if I was going to get another dog and I remember answering, ‘yes, I can’t even imagine traveling alone and going for walks around a campground without one’.

    • So sorry about your wife and your dog, Jack. Good luck finding a new traveling and walking companion. 😀 —Diane at

  6. I have scrapbooks and journals going back nearly 50 years. I was going to stop when we started full timing 15 years ago but missed reliving those special trips. I asked my daughters did they want me to stop since when my husband and I die it will be hard for them to part with. They encouraged me to continue. They are all together in our sticks and brick home in case of a quick evacuation and copies are on shutterfly. We are suppose to be on a canal journey in Wales right now but instead we are cleaning and rehabbing our home and RV. Every day I bring out a couple of scrapbooks to go over during breakfast or in the evening. This has done wonders in helping us “get over” our trip cancellation and missing our daughters and grandson.

  7. If it works with the camper? I am good. Otherwise into the donation or trash box. After cleaning out my mothers house? I am now on mine. The stuff you accumulate. Donate or toss. Attached to a pine cone? OK…..

  8. We really had to pare down our possessions. At one time I had a large storage bin filled with sentimental things. Over the years I had scanned many pictures so when I had to reduce the amount, I got rid of those that were scanned. We don’t have children, so there’s no one to hand them down to. We finally got the “sentimentals” down to a small plastic box. There are just some things like those pictures that are irreplaceable.

  9. I don’t take them when I go camping, but if I was going full time my boys ashes, 2 cats and 2 dogs. Of course I don’t leave my current pets behind, 3 cats, 1 dog and a parrot.

  10. I cannot think of anything I carry beyond the tool box which used to go back and forth between coach and house when there was a house. Wife has an old address book that is mostly unused these days. We have a collection of stuffed animals Fox, Owl, Sheep on a pillow form New Zealand and an Olm from Slovenia. All of these were acquired along the way, never had stuffed animals on the bed in the S & B.

  11. I have a “Lone Wolf” print that my mother gave to her parents Christmas 1923. It’s the first thing hung when moving and will remain with me until I die. No one in my family has an interest in it.

  12. I took out the mother in law chair and carry Klipsch tower speakers and a four foot cat condo for our three cats. I fabricated a “seatbelt of white nylon webbing so nothing falls while driving .

  13. My KitchenAid mixer. I gave it to my daughter but when I saw it was in the same place I left it at her house seven months later, I took it back! told her she would get it some day.

    • I have my KA mixer, too! We haven’t even been full timing 2 months and Al is asking for cookies already. Now the challenge of the convection oven!

  14. My wife has a framed picture of her great grandparents. Her uncle made the very unusual frame. It goes with us. I still carry the remaining tools of my Dad’s with us, in among all my other tools.

  15. I always take my hand carved wooden-yellow lab dog. My Mom was an avid hobbyist, and she passed a couple years ago losing her battle with Cancer, previously giving it to me for our MH trips!.
    Since we don’t have animals, we love taking it with us. He never complains, don’t need to feed him, clean up his poop, and never have to leave the outside lights on or take him for a walk! He lives on my dash.
    I guess my tools is a close second!!!

  16. 4+ yrs ago the DW passed after 50+ happy years. Would not/Could not leave her ashes; my armory, and two devoted aging labs. Sold the McMansion, gave away the rest and happily on the road since..

  17. My best friend’s ashes. We travelled to a lot of places, including RVing across Scotland to the Isle of Lewis. I still feel his companionship carrying his ashes with me in a Oor Wullie fudge tin.

  18. I would just sell everything not needed and leave some furniture and then BNB the house. Bare necessities. Otherwise, give me my lap top, my tablet, phone and television and we are good to go.

  19. 25 years worth of handwritten travel journals. Probably 80lbs of words and paper.
    Thanks Chuck and Gail for your time. I greatly appreciate your interest and advice.

  20. A handcrafted wooden angel, given to us on our wedding day, by a dear friend. She said as long as we kept the angel, she would watch I we us and keep us safe. As we sit directly in Irma’s, all prepped and tied down, on our 28th anniversary, I have complete faith that everything here will be fine. That Angel stayed with us as we were full timers and kept us safe all over the country, through lots of adventures.

  21. When each of my 3 sons were in 3rd grade the school brought them on a field trip to a museum. I used to collect dolphins and each of my boys bought me a small glass dolphin in the museum gift shop. The funny part is each of the boys bought me the exact same dolphin! The gift shop still sells them to this day! Could never part with those 3 tiny things.

  22. Somehow over the years I had accumulated a number of stuffed animals. I kept one small one that reminded me of each of our children and grandchildren – Yogi Bear for one grandchild that loved to camp at Jellystone Parks, mini- Mickey and Minnie for the other granddaughter I took to Walt Disney World, a Chef Mickey to remind me of our chef son, Toy Story Woody for the sons that loved Toy Story so much and Ernie for the son that my husband used to sing “Rubber Ducky” to when my he took a bath. As much as I think about getting rid of the clutter on the side of the dash, every time I look at them I smile.

    • Started reading this and went, wow, someone who saved some of the same stuff as me then realized the post was from ME two years ago. The small stuffed animals are still with us but have moved to a plastic container under the bed.

  23. A God Bless Our Home plaque that was given to my parents on their wedding day, May 12, 1940. My father passed it on to me after my mother died. One of the first things I did after purchasing our Class A motorhome was to hang the plaque above the windshield on the passenger’s side.

    • Ditto. I replicate calendars and call them calendar quilts – they are beautiful appliqué
      quilts. But the best part is, I give them all away. I’ll upgrade my sewing machine, but will never be without one!


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