Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Readjusting to life off the road: Little things throw me for a loop

For the past several years, Hubby and I have spent about half of our time continuously on the road and the other half in our stix-n-brix home. There’s always a period of adjustment either way, but I’m noticing that it’s a bit more challenging for me to readjust from life on the road to being back in our “stationary” home, life off the road.

Do you spend extended periods of time in your rig like we do? Does it take you a while to readjust to being tethered to one spot, like me?

Here are some things I’ve noticed. Maybe you’ve noticed them, too.

Readjusting to life off the road

  • The “yank.” (Muscle memory is real.) RV drawers and cupboards have a stiff latch that keeps them securely closed as we travel. (I still bungie tie them together, just in case we hit rough roads.) After months on the road, I get used to yanking handles to open everything. When we get back to our “stationary” home, I sometimes forget and continue the “yank.” I’ve pulled hard enough to completely remove a drawer from its cabinet! That’s quite a yank!
  • The “badgering.” (Bad habits are hard to break.) “Pick it up and put it away where it belongs.” That’s my mantra while we’re living in our RV. It doesn’t take long for things to get cramped, covered up and lost, or ruined if not put in their designated place. Once we move back into our stationary home, constant badgering is no longer needed. (Hubby repeatedly assures me that badgering is no longer necessary! Really.)
  • The “four square rule.” Hubby and I have negotiated and come up with a plan that works. (Works for us anyway. Please don’t judge!) While in the RV I try to use no more than four squares of toilet paper per “#1 go.” We do this in order to put less paper into the black tank. When I find myself counting squares in our stix-n-brix home, I do a mental head slap! No need to count. Better yet, I can enjoy the plush feeling of actual two-ply tissue! What luxury!
  • The “step flush.” (Or, muscle memory strikes again.) I’ve lost count of how many times in our stationary home I’ve stood to flush our toilet with my foot already poised to “step.” I’ve even actually looked for the foot pedal! More than once. Ah, another convenience of the stationary life: flush handle at hand height.
  • The “blind pull.” Having spent several weeks in warm Florida, I’m used to pulling the shades about mid-morning to stay ahead of the heat. (Our RV’s air conditioner can’t always catch up and cool the unit unless I take this precautionary step.) At home, Hubby wonders why he’s living in a cave. Obviously, I don’t need to lower blinds in our stix-n-brix home; but, out of habit, I do.
  • The “hunt” for stuff. Because our RV is smaller and arranged differently than our stix-n-brix home, I have to stop and think about where specific items are located. Take the cheese grater, for example. In the RV, it’s stored in a lower cabinet beside the sink. Not so in our stationary home. It takes me a second or two to think about where I’ll find our “home base” cheese grater. An even bigger issue is finding things that “travel” from our RV into our stationary home and back again. We own only one large Crock-Pot. Before I dig out my soup recipes, I have to stop and find the Crock-Pot. “Is it in the RV?” Or “Did I box it up to bring it home?” Or “Where did I put it?”
  • The “teeny loads.” When using our small RV washer and dryer, I can only wash a few items at a time: Two pair of jeans and some socks, for example. Or four shorts and some underwear. I do a double-take when loading my stix-n-brix washer. Wow! The capacity compared to the one in our RV amazes me every time! I no longer need to wash laundry every other day! Plus, it takes less than an hour for a normal load to dry. Now that’s a happy adjustment!
  • The “fatigue.” I can fully clean our entire RV in about half an hour. That includes cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, and living area. Our stationary home? Not even close! I seem to spend most of my time carting cleaning supplies from one end of the house to the other. And the vacuum plug? I’m accustomed to plugging in once in the RV. At home, I plug and unplug and re-plug that cord five or six times—at least! (And our home isn’t that big!)

So, there you have it! A few minor adjustments that need to be made as I transition from RV living back to life off the road in our stationary home. How about you? Can you relate? Share your story with us, please!



Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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1 year ago

I relate to all of them!

1 year ago

Our apartment is 70 feet long. Every time I have to walk the length to get something I am surprised at how far it is. We can’t just “walk outside” from our fourth floor apartment with no balcony, have to ride the elevator every time (interior staircases are locked against reentry to upper floors for security). The apartment is located in central city and is far from the quiet of the countryside as is imaginable, yet we love its central location. I too find my foot looking for the flush pedal in moments of inattention. We keep a large bin near the door for stuff that needs to go to the coach before we return to home on the road. We generally spend 8 to 10 months in the coach and the rest of the year in the apartment.

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul
1 year ago

For me, it’s “I can’t wait to get on the road” before we leave our stix ‘n brix. Then, after 4-6 weeks on the road, for my wife it’s “I can’t wait to get home!”. But nearly 3 months into our Alaska trip in a 22’ travel trailer, we were both saying, “Let’s skip Glacier and Yellowstone NPs and just get home!” Of course, that decision was made easy due to having been to both US NPs multiple times and having just left Jasper and Banff NPs on our route south through Alberta.

But the biggest change when we get home for me is all those cable TV and on-demand sports channels. For my wife, it’s her craft/hobby room, sewing machine, and quilting frame, which don’t fit in our Sprinter motorhome.

And that’s why we spent our last snowbird trip (we got home a week before the pandemic lockdown) in an Arizona park model with a big spare room and a metal shed. The spare room was ideal for my wife’s crafting supplies and sewing machine. And the shed was my workshop and “paint booth”. Great trip!

1 year ago
Reply to  Steve

Good for you! Best wishes to you both.

Tom Herbert
1 year ago

It’s the looking for the foot pedal for me. Most of the rest is pretty similar.

1 year ago

Instead of your 4-square rule, perhaps disposing of the used #1 paper into a garbage can instead of flushing it would help your black tank. We use paper lunch bags inside the garbage can. Those bags can then be placed into the campfire.

Theresa Ornoff
1 year ago

Believe it or not my husband and I sleep on opposite sides of the bed in the camper than at home. It has to do with the location of the plug for his c-pap. It always takes me several nights to get used to the change.

1 year ago
Reply to  Theresa Ornoff

Oh my goodness! That would throw me for a loop, too!

1 year ago
Reply to  Theresa Ornoff

Same here. Recently, we learned that both of us will have a CPAP. Guess we’ll be running an extension cord somewhere.

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