In about a week, we head to St. Louis to visit family and to pick up our new Free Spirit SS at Van City RV, a dealer that specializes in class B motorhomes. In contrast to the large (bus-size) class A models, all class B motorhomes are built within the metal framework of a cargo van. About 1/3 of our Sprinter’s 23-foot length is devoted to the cab/engine portion, and the other 2/3 has to include storage for diesel, propane, electricity, fresh water, and wastewater. Making a home out of the remaining interior space poses some of the same challenges as the “tiny house movement” (in this case, a moving tiny house?).
It’s a big exercise to think small, since we have to consider not only space but also power restrictions in a motorhome. Most of the housewares we’ve had to buy fall into four common themes: small, sturdy, energy-efficient, and multi-purpose. When we start to think like this, even a standard coffeemaker violates all those rules: it takes up too much counter space, has a breakable carafe, draws too many watts to be powered on the motorhome batteries, and has a singular (though essential!) function.
But we are making progress, between online purchases and a little houseware shopping spree last weekend. Some of my favorite new items were a compact toolkit, a rechargeable handheld vacuum, and clear shatterproof “glasses” (martini glasses included, of course!). Other purchases have been very specialized hardware to accommodate camping sites, such as a 30-amp surge/voltage protector and leveling blocks.
And what about coffee? Well, there’s only so much I’m willing to compromise when it comes to my best morning friend. We ended up buying a Nespresso Pixie, which is at least small and sturdy and multi-purpose (well, it makes both coffee and espresso). Yes, the wattage is too high, but let’s just say it’s worth firing up the propane generator for something this important.