Mar 062010

We have talked a lot about handy RV accessories we enjoy, and ones we consider indispensible. But what about the not so great options you have seen, or have in your rig?

No two RVers are the same, so what one of us considers essential, the next guy may think of as a waste of money and space. The flip side of that coin, of course, is that there are probably things I couldn’t live without that would leave you scratching your head and asking “Why?”.

Here are my Top 10 Things I Can Do Without, in no particular order.

1. Outdoor entertainment center – Our Winnebago motorhome has a radio in the front storage bay on the passenger side, which I have never turned on, and probably never will. I love music, but when I’m sitting outside of our rig, I’m usually reading a book, or visiting with friends and folks who wander by. I’ve seen many RVs that also have a television in an outdoor bay. That would be totally useless to me. If I want to watch TV, I sit inside and relax to enjoy the show. If I’m outside, it’s because I don’t want to waste my time watching television.

2. In-motion satellite television – I’d run my motorhome into a ditch if I tried to watch TV and drive at the same time! I guess if you had little kids with you, it might entertain them, but if I did travel with munchkins, I’d tell them to turn off the darned TV and look out the windows and see America going by!

3. Automatic awnings – I just don’t trust them. I just know that mine would fail just as a strong wind came up, and I’d be replacing them as soon as the storm passed.

4. Heated driver’s seats – I have seen this option on some upscale coaches, but I’ll pass. I prefer to be where it’s warm to start with, instead of being anyplace where I need to have my seat warmed to keep my seat warm.

5. Fireplace – We know a couple of people who have gas fireplaces in their RV. Yeah, I guess it would be cozy to cuddle in front of on a cold day, but see my thoughts above on being anyplace where it’s cold.

6. Garbage disposal – Why would I want to devote precious space and add to my RV’s overall weight with one of these things when the good folks at WalMart give me perfectly good trash bags every time we go to the store? Besides, walking down to the campground dumpster is sometimes the only exercise I get all day.

7. Dishwasher – Again, why add to the weight and lose space for this? Isn’t it just easier to wash dishes after use instead of letting them accumulate until you have enough for a load in the dishwasher?

8. Washer/dryer combo – Miss Terry and I don’t agree on this one. She likes it, but it seems like she is always doing laundry, due to the unit’s small capacity. To me it makes more sense to just go to the laundromat once a week and get it all done with at once. But since she does the laundry, it’s her choice.

9. Bathtub – I haven’t seen one in an RV yet that I could fit into, and I’m a shower guy anyway.

10. Barbecue Grill – We love our little stainless steel propane gas grill, but I have seen some motorhomes that have a huge slide out grill in one of the curbside storage bays. I guess if you are into tailgate parties it would come in handy, but I don’t need anything that big, and I can use the space for better things.   

So that’s my list of ten things that many RVers no doubt love, but that I don’t care to have. What about you? What accessories or options could you well do without?

Thought For The Day – Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  23 Responses to “10 Things I Don’t Need”

  1. My thoughts about the electric awning was like yours Nick, but since the used MH we bought had one I wasn’t going to change it until it did mess up. The thing is I’m finding that pushing the button comes in handy at times, and I’m beginning to like it more and more every time I push that button.
    Now the thing I really think I could do without is the remote control that I found that allows me to push the awning button from anywhere. I really think we have too many remotes without having one to put the awning in or out.

  2. This reminds me of the lump on the head I caused myself when I suggested that we look at this “Nice” toyhauler, perfect for full-timing and you only lose about half of your kitchen space …. Cookie Momma didn’t exactly agree with my choice to get some working office space that cut down factory production of lots of great to eat yummies! An RV is all about the best real world compromise. One persons “gotta have” option is the next persons “Waste of money!”

  3. Nick, I had to chuckle when I read #8 about the washer/dryer. I’ll bet it’s entirely possible Miss Terry would give up that heavy appliance if YOU did the laundry and wanted to take it to the laundromat once a week 🙂 I’d be happy to give my hubby that job 🙂

  4. I agree with Miss Terry on the washer/dryer. I’ve had one of the combo units for all of my 7 years of full-timing and wouldn’t be without it. Yes, you can always go to a laundromat – this doesn’t remove that option, and we often do that to catch up after we’ve been without a sewer connection for a while. But it’s really nice when Don says “Sweetie, I don’t have any clean underwear for tomorrow” at about 8 pm. I can pop a few skivvies in the machine and they’re clean by the time we go to bed. And I can keep up with our laundry when we do have full hookups, and don’t have to go sit in a laundromat for a couple of hours, and deal with non-working and/or sometimes dirty machines.

    I had an electric fireplace and a garden tub in my 5th wheel, and I miss both of them. The fireplace (check with your friends, I’ll bet theirs are electric, not gas) was a surprise. I didn’t think I’d use it, but I did. It provided a nice, quiet alternative to the noisy and inefficient furnace – I didn’t have a heat pump – and didn’t use up my propane. Most RV parks include electricity in the nightly/weekly fee.

    As for the tub, well, your point is well-taken for your own use of one! I liked the option of bringing my feet closer to my hands, to be able to wash them easily, and just to be able to soak for a while in warm water, in private.

    And I love our electric awning. We rarely trust the automatic feature, but it’s great to push a button to extend/retract it. I don’t have to climb on a ladder like I did with the manual one.

  5. I put a post recently on Escapees fourm reference doodads. The items that you see in campgrounds that make your site look like a midway at the county fair. Pinwheels/chimes/signs that almost tell your lifes story and of course the pink birds.
    Like you I feel they take up needed space and the time to put them up is time lost for better things. Then there is the cost of the items too. I fully understand that this is a personnal choice and would not consider limiting your rights. For us…its not necessary.

  6. When we boought our motohome, the salesman was touting a rig that had –TADA! — an electric fold out couch / bed! My first thought about that was “here’s something that will stop working at a crucial time.” And since Suzy’s mother, at age 95, was traveling with us and sleeping on the fold-out couch, we had to have one that worked. So – no electric fold out couch. We’re right with you on all those options you can live without.

    As to Sharon and Don with their washer/dryer (and we cherish their friendship), if I were to wait until 8:00 at night to tell Suzy I don’t have clean underwear for tomorrow, she’d send me to either the laundromat to wash them myself or to WalMart to buy some more. But she’s won’t either of those until after she’d bashed my head with a skillet!

  7. Well — houseplants and flowers are not exactly an option or an accessory, but I don’t get why some people travel with them — unless it is to cover up the picnic table when they park.
    We don’t have plants and flowers. That’s just more stuff to pack and mess around with.

  8. We only go to the laundromat once every 3 weeks. An hour and a half of our time isn’t bad. Sure wouldn’t want to wash clothes daily…we would have to give up boondocking and that just isn’t going to happen.

    I agree with all the plants, flags etc that people carry. We do have solar lights that we put out but sometimes after dark that’s the only way we can find “home” when coming back from a night in town.

  9. I just don’t get the “outside” radio/TV/media center. Total waste of space and weight for us. When I am outside, it’s to enjoy the peace and quiet and to commune with Mother Nature – not listen to loud music or sports events. Not only is it a waste (see above), but it is rude and distracting when someone else is using it. I really hate “noise” pollution:(

  10. Our coach came with “The Horn” and a separate 1000 cube a day ice maker. I thought they were stupid. Now I won’t be without the ice maker (we use lots of ice) and “The Horn” that plays tunes is fun especially when we pass kids. They love the tunes.
    I don’t want slides, a washer/dryer, automatic awnings, a dishwasher, a compactor, a garbage grinder, a hot tub, AquaHot/Wabasto/etc (we have a simple gas/electric 10 gallon hot water heater, easy to use and easy to replace), a fireplace, a large TV that hangs down to bash our heads on, front door entry (we love our side door entry), an electronic engine (we have a mechanical engine (anyone can work on it), a double door electric only refrigerator (we have a two way single door which can come through the entry door when it needs to be replaced not through the windshield hole).
    We like simple, easy to fix, lasts a long time. We have had the coach 14 years and it is almost 18 years old. Its well built, solid, easy to work on and easy to replace parts and refurbish the inside.
    When will manufacturers learn?

  11. How about the built in safe? We ordered our 5W with one over 3 years ago and haven’t opened it yet. It’s so well hidden and inaccessable that we don’t bother.

  12. I agree with Miss Terry on the washer/dryer combo. I have had one for over 10 years. When we consider a different motor home the first thing we check for is whether it has a washer/dryer combo or whether there is a space for one. I do not want dirty laundry piled up and I hate going to a laundromat.

  13. Guess I am the lone woman who doesn’t like the washer and dryer combo units. Ours never did a good job and it broke four tmes. I finally told my husband to just pull it out and we converted the space to storage. I enjoy going to campground laundry, it gives me time to read, chat with other ladies, and get to know my neighbors. Part of the problem with ours was that it wasn’t vented and I hear that makes a big difference in performance.

  14. Our coach came with the washer/dryer combo and I thought it w/b a waste of space. Now I would not be without it. It is more efficient to be able to do other things while “washing” even if it does take longer to dry. And although Aqua-Hot can be fussy, it sure puts out the hot water endlessly. I love it!

    We have only been full-timing for 6 months; but we NEVER use our large awning. I am afraid of having issues with it and find that I don’t need it. I know that is silly, but fear is fear.

  15. Our coach came with both an ice maker and a washer-drier combo. They brought $250 and $550 on ebay respectively and we have loads more storage. The W-D was a non vented unit that was only used once. I do like my electric awning but have lost faith in it’s sensor. At one time it worked well. The other lost item was a TV in the bedroom. That is for sleeping and my neck won’t accept that angle anyway. More storage. The front TV was replaced with a flat screen on a door and now have a convenient bookcase. My 2 cs Ron

  16. About the in -motion satellite system. Our Winnebago shuts off the TV when you start the engine. We do not have the in-motion system but I can think of a use. If you have satellite system with 30 some music channels you could listen to the music as you drive.

  17. A couch. It is uncomfortable to sit on, and I would trade it in a minute for a second recliner. Then we could BOTH be comfortable!

    And all that other stuff you said. After 6 years, most of it’s never been used, even if we do have it.

    We do miss the ice maker. But they never work two minutes past the warranty, anyway.

  18. Okay Nick-

    So far you’re only using that kayak for one purpose. Since you’re already experienced at jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, its time you joined the sport of the future, Skyaking.

    And no, I’m not going to participate, even if they offer free lessons.

  19. Well I agree with most of your dislikes but some of them I like… We never watch our in-motion unless the grandkids are with us but it works good to find the satellite when we park… LOVE my washer & dryer… Hate Laudermats!!! And as for my outdoor entertainment center… we don’t use it a lot but when we do we have fun with it… Usually with the kids or if our group has a popcorn and movie night… Now we play the WII outdoors. But you know the old saying to each their own… Have a super day my friend and travel safe!!!

  20. Things we don’t need: hmmm, let’s start with RAIN at the GJ Yuma Rally.

    Our rig came with a dishwasher drawer and we’ve used it 5 times in more than a year — after big group dinners when we opted for “real” plates. It uses 4.5 gal for a regular load or 2.5 gals. on “eco”. That’s fine when we are hooked up, but our galley gray tank (we have two gray tanks) only holds 30 gallon which can fill pretty fast when you also do all the pots & pans & plastics that I don’t put in the dishwasher. I think I’d take the storage space or even a gas oven (aka also storage) instead,
    – Judy

  21. Hmmm, love our automatic awning, much less worry than my old standard one. Love having a stack washer/dryer…means I can wear my favorite clothes more often. LOL! Love my electric fireplace…both for heat and ambiance. HATE my dishwasher, it clogs constantly and is a waste of space. Can’t wait till it dies completely and I can get more storage!

    But think I pretty much agree with the rest of your list…I think. LOL!

  22. Nick, both of us love the washer-dryer combo and both of us do the laundry – who ever runs out first (and I make sure that I have more undies than my husband). Before we had the washer-dryer in the RV, we often had to go to public laundromats. They were often scuzzy and I had to spend time cleaning the washer and dryer before I put our clothes in. Give us our own washer-dryer we can count on. We often do the laundry in the evening, put it out in the RV to dry overnight (I don’t like to dry my t-shirts completely), fold it in the morning. No hassle.
    But, I’ll agree on the rest of your items.

  23. sorry, Nick,

    I was reading about the Keys in 2012 and found myself on this blog. How I got on such an old blog I don’t know but I’ve got fast fingers on the computer and they take me to many places I didn’t know I was going.

    And, by the way, having the washer-dryer combo in the RV means I can do lots of other things while the laundry is going. At the laundromat, I just get to sit. Waste of time.

    Thanks for all you write.

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