I've lived on the road for 6 years. Here are the 15 things I always keep in my home on wheels.

·7 min read
I've lived on the road for 6 years. Here are the 15 things I always keep in my home on wheels.
van
I keep these 15 things around for life on the road. Jenn Norrell for Insider
  • I've lived on the road for the past six years and found that these items are great to have around.

  • Physical or electronic books and board games make for easy entertainment.

  • I'm always stocked up on kitchen supplies like tea and baking ingredients.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Over the last six years of living on the road with my husband and daughter, I have learned that although there are a few necessities for the lifestyle, most of what you choose to keep on hand is a matter of personal preference.

Here's a glimpse into what my family always makes space for in our home on wheels:

We've stocked up on both physical and electronic books

reading books
We've made sure our daughter has grown up with physical books. Jenn Norrell for Insider

We are a family of readers, and although my husband was able to convince me to use a Kindle, we wanted to make sure our daughter grew up with physical books.

So you'll find our home full of picture and chapter books, early readers, field guides, and two fully loaded Kindles, despite the weight they add to our rig.

The makings of a mobile office are important to us

My husband works 40 hours a week, he just so happens to do it remotely from wherever we want to be.

Over the years, we've perfected his mobile workplace needs, like hot spots, battery packs, a cell booster, noise-canceling headphones, and a lap desk for when he needs to move to his "truck office."

We've also had various forms of separate work spaces for him over the years, from truck campers on our tow rig to a tent, since working in the same room as a young kid isn't always ideal.

A wireless portable printer can be a major lifesaver

Wireless printers can come in super handy for producing random documents, working on homeschool assignments, and making signs on the spot when you lose your dog in the desert (don't worry, we found him).

Also, seemingly most people don't have one, so all of your traveling friends will come to you for their printing needs.

Hobby supplies are an essential in our home

painting
Hobbies keep things interesting when on the road. Jenn Norrell for Insider

Between musical instruments, skeins of yarn, Lego collections, art supplies, a sewing machine, we are equal opportunists when it comes to hobbies.

Just because we love to travel and explore doesn't mean we aren't also homebodies who like to stay inside and enjoy other interests.

It can't hurt to keep a first aid kit around

A first aid kit is never a bad idea to have around since sometimes you are in the middle of nowhere and have to drive to a whole other state to reach the closest hospital - speaking from experience.

Growing up around my mom's anxiety and in Girl Scouts has taught me to always be prepared, so much so that we might have more than one kit onboard at all times.

We love having a blender

You may roll your eyes at this one, but having a blender has been a game-changer.

It's bulky and heavy, but we eat a largely plant-based diet, and making my own cashew milk for my hot tea is a requirement.

Levelers keep your home even

leveled RV
It's important to keep your space level. Jenn Norrell for Insider

Although we once used stumps to help stabilize our Airstream on a friend's property, a supply of levelers to keep your camper even is a must-have.

Spending a week - or even a night - with blood rushing to your head while you sleep is never fun. Plus being uneven can affect shower drainage and the accuracy of your water-tank levels.

A generator is an important backup

Technically, this item lives in the back of our truck, but it's important to have.

Whether you find yourself in a national forest during a string of cloudy days or driving through a lot of tree cover that blocks your solar panels, you'll eventually need to charge your computer for work or want to run your blender, so a generator can really come in handy.

Supplies for living off the grid are important to us

Items like solar panels, water jugs, and a composting toilet allow us to live completely off-grid for an indefinite amount of time.

We've had panels and water jugs for a number of years now, but the recent addition of a composting toilet completed the trifecta for off-the-road living, and I don't think we will ever go back.

Telescopes are great to have for clear nights

telescope
We get great views of the stars while on the road. Jenn Norrell for Insider

I grew up in the suburbs of New Jersey, so I didn't pay too much attention to the moon or stars because I couldn't really see them.

But since my daughter has grown up on the road and has spent so many nights gazing at a sky filled with bright stars, it feels like a wasted opportunity if we don't try to get a closer look.

I keep around more tea than anyone needs

I am a tea drinker and can be a picky one.

When your home moves regularly, so does your grocery store - and your ability to easily get online orders - so we make sure to keep an extra stock of items, like tea, that we really love or know we can only get in certain parts of the country.

All grocery stores are not created equal, even Trader Joe's and Costco, which is why you'll usually find six jars of huckleberry jam, huge bags of Hippeas, or quite a few boxes of PG tips in our outside compartments.

Baking supplies make life on the road better

baking supplies
We always have some kind of baking ingredients onboard. Jenn Norrell for Insider

The exact supplies have changed over time with the various rigs we've had, but even in our tiny 17-foot Casita trailer, I had an outdoor oven and a handful of baking ingredients.

My family and I love to make and eat baked goods, so even though tart pans, rolling pins, and a mixer probably aren't on most people's must-have list, they're on mine.

A tiny vacuum makes quick cleanups easy

Even though we don't have much space, living in the woods, desert, beach, or any kind of campground can dirty your floor real quick, especially with a kid and a dog or two around.

So small vacuums make cleanup convenient and quick.

We make sure to have lots of pillows and blankets on hand

We've heard lots of people complain about how many throw pillows RVs come with.

Although we didn't keep any of the original ones, we definitely have some cozy blankets and pillows handy for cold, rainy days when we turn our dinette into a cozy lounge or when the heater breaks in the middle of nowhere and temperatures are in the single digits overnight.

Games and puzzles make for simple entertainment

board games
Games are great for keeping our kid entertained. Jenn Norrell for Insider

Tabletop games are not only fun for rainy days, but they're also easy to manage in a small space and awesome for keeping our little one occupied while we spend an afternoon snacking and having a beverage on a patio.

Portable games are also good to bring along when we have to spend a couple of hours at the laundromat.

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