Julie’s top 11 favorite items to have while Airstreaming!
(Not in any specific order)
1. Dyson hard floor vacuum
I use my Dyson hand mop every single day. Our dog Afred sheds a LOT. I joke about him having a new coat of fur every day. I’m not sure it is a joke. I have also found a lot of dirt generally comes in walking outside to inside. We did buy a nice rug for the entrance, but it doesn’t capture everything. The smaller space makes you really see the dirt inside and there isn’t very much room for it to go. In our previous house I would only vacuum once a week but all of Alfred’s fur would be spread out and not really noticable like it is in our small space. So this is a must have item to make life easier and cleaner.
2. Heated mattress pad
Ahh, the warm bed. I have never had a heated blanket before. The first night we had this heated mattress pad I thought I might have gone to heaven. It was so wonderful! Espically useful now in the winter months. During the night we can turn down the furnance to around 50 degrees and I’m still nice and sometimes too toasty. The Airstream bed is actually not very insulated. You can feel quite a chill from below it since it is almost directly linked to outside. If you lift it up and have the back door open, TA-DA! The outside is right there. This was the perfect fix to sleeping a lot better at night. It also serves as one more fluffy layer on the bed too which I enjoy.
3. Stackable pots and pans
The storage space for my kitchen stuff seems a bit limited. Most of our plates, cups, cooking pots and pans are all above the counter. But I have food up there as well. I find that with our new pots the removable handle really lets me stack them all. So instead of having 3 pots taking up my whole upper cabinet, it really just uses the space of one.
4. Mifi internet
This is a biggie! We have the Verizon mi-fi hot spot. It has worked at nearly every location we have gone to so far. I’m using it right now as I type this. We are big internet users. From doing our blog, to upoading photos. Online games even work perfectly on the mi-fi. We can be sitting on the top of a mountain in a state park, playing an online game with my brother in Florida. How cool is that! When we were first thinking about doing Airstreaming full time, my hesitation was partly not having any internet. The only down side to the mi-fi is that you pay for every 1GB overage. My beloved Apple TV has really become a thing of the past. I used to download tv shows and rent movies every day. But with the limited amout of data that can be downloaded I have had to change tactics. I have tried going to a local spot with “Free wi-fi!” but they never seem fast enough to download a full show. Unless I want to sit there for 6 hours to download a 30 minute show. The last time we went to a hotel I had my whole list of shows and did a massive download. Or when I have been to a family members home, I use theirs as well for the big downloads. But overall I have been really impressed with the speed and reliability of the mi-fi.
5. Walkie talkies
The fun walkie talkie! 10-4 over and out. These are used mainly when we are traveling from place to place. We use them a lot while driving, since we have two vehicles and have to be separate. Its nice to just press a button and say “lets stop at the next rest area”. Instead of using cell phones everytime. Also we use the walkie talkies when we are parking the Airstream. I will stand in the spot that we are backing into and give direction to which way it needs to go. Also they have been used when going out with Alfred late at night. I have walked around a park late at night when it is dark and have the walkie talkie handy to just say something to Anthony inside the Airstream, or vise versa. It’s just an extra security to always be in touch with one another at the push of a button.
6. Stay put hangers
These are so handy to have. At first you might think… umm hangers? really? But YES, really! After the Airstream has been on the road, every single time my closet of clothes would be all in a pile at the bottom. So annoying to go to your closet after a long day of driving and having everything in a heap and wrinkled. Then you have to take the time to rehang them all, etc. It sounds like a silly little thing, but these hangers have made my life better. My clothes always stay put now when we travel. We have the hangers in both side wardrobes and also our bigger closet, where we hang our coats.
Crocs were really cool maybe 2 years ago? Well I think they need to have a comeback already. They are the perfect shoe for Airstreaming. You can just slip them on, take the dog outside quick. They can get wet, snowy, muddy, sandy. Just give them a rinse and PRESTO clean and ready to go. I have a pair of nice hiking shoes, but once they get wet, they stay wet. I find it very difficult to dry things inside the Airstream. Especially in the cold weather that we have been in lately. You can’t just leave your wet things outside to dry because they will just turn into an ice cube instead. You also don’t want a bunch of wet stuff inside the Airstream, because a damp stream is a big no no. All our shoe problems were solved with these little rubbery shoes.
8. Micro fiber towels
Towels were also a big problem with dampness. We had great big fluffy towels to use after showers. They were wonderful and soft. But they would never seem to dry. You could leave the exhaust vent on in the bathroom all day long and they still wouldn’t dry out. Eventually after a couple of days they would start to get that musty smell, as if you had left a load of clothes in the washer too long. This was not good. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if I had my own washer and dryer in the trunk of my car but I do not. Going to the laundromat is already time consuming. I didn’t want to make special trips to one just to wash my towels every few days. The answer to this problem was micro fiber towels. They are thin and feel a bit strange to dry off with. They do however dry very quickly! They don’t take up a lot of space in the laundry loads either. They are a real win win for Airstreaming.
9. Folding bikes
We actually purchased the bikes before the Airstream. We saw a blog post from ‘Where is Kyle now’ and he had a folding bike. So we went ahead and ordered two of them for us. The only difference that I can really tell between the folding bike and a regular bike is that the wheels are smaller which makes your turning radius a little different. But these bikes are so cool! I can just fold it up, put it in my trunk and away I go. The folding/unfolding process takes only a minute or less. I have been using my bike nearly every warm day so far. I look forward to using it even more with the summer weather. I suppose we could have bought a hitch to put regular sized bikes on the back of the Airstream while traveling. But these bikes fit in the bed of the truck. Super easy for anyone to use.
To be honest I had a Kindle before we started Airsteaming. But the Kindle is the perfect book for a small space. Sometimes I miss the feel and smell of a real book. Streamer_a got me the new paper white Kindle for Christmas and I am in love. I’ve always been a reader, ever since I was young. There is something about sitting outside your Airstream on a warm day reading that is just wonderful. The new Kindle has a backlight feature which is very nice. The Kindle can have hundreads of books on it which otherwise would fill up the space of the entire Airstream. So huge space saver and fun to use.
11. Small space heater
The space heater in our ‘stream has saved us hundreads in propane, I’m certain of it. We upgraded to a larger space heater then we started with. The one we have now doesn’t get hot to the touch which I thought would be safer with Alfred playing around by it on the floor. The heater really keeps the space in the Airstream warm. When it is really cold outside the furnance will still come on but half as often with having this little heater running too.
There are other things we have bought since starting this journey as well. I just wanted to do a quick update with my favorites that we have acquired since the start. Do any other full-timers have a must have item that we don’t know of? Reach out to us on Twitter.
– Julie, Colorado Springs, CO