Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Is Two Too Much Of A Crowd?

A fellow Chinook owner recently asked me if I had any tips or tricks for two people living together for extended periods of time in the close confines of a 21' motor-home so that they are not always getting in one another's way.  I thought I would share my reply:

We don't live full time in the Chinook, but we do spend fairly long periods of time travelling in it.  Last year we went up the left coast across to Montana and back home through Utah - about a 5 month trip.   Earlier this year we did something like 8,500 miles in 4 months across country via TX to NC and back through CO.  If it had not been for a tree crashing into us during a storm in Nashville we would have been gone about 9 months - our original plan was to run up the Eastern seaboard to PEI / Cape Breton but we had to cut the trip short to get the rig repaired back home in CA. Currently we're in Northern CA shaking down the RV after nearly $20K of repairs.

Yes not a lot of room in 21' but we do just fine.  When I say we, that's me, my wife, and our two dogs - her's is a 7lb poodle, mine is a 65lb GSD/Kelpie cross.  

When we set out on a trip after being at home a while we find the first week can be a bit trying but then we settle into our groove.

No special 'tricks', but here are a few things that spring to mind:
  • Work on taking less stuff than you think you need - after each trip we find we took things that we can do without on the next one
  • Keep clothes to a minimum - you can always pick up extras if you really need them
  • Plan on layering for warmth rather than taking a heavy coat
  • Use compression sacks for clothes and quilts - color code to make it easy to grab what you need e.g. blue compression sack for socks, green sack for underwear, beige one for T-Shirts, etc.
  • Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place at all times
  • Adopt roles that maximize natural abilities / habits so that you are less likely to annoy your partner.  For example we do a lot of boondocking and therefore have to minimize water usage - if I let my wife do the washing up I'd go crazy watching her use too much water.  So I always do the washing up - I'm a real water miser and have found ways to do the job without using much :)
  • The dogs are adept at moving out of the way when we are changing from day to night orientation and vice versa - they have learned where they need to be to take up the least amount of space
  • Make use of outside space as much as possible - much more difficult to stay confined to 21' during inclement weather!
  • Follow the weather so that as far as possible you are not too hot, not too cold

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