Campers are very innovative with the goal of saving resources as well as the environment. As we all know we have a finite number of natural resources and whenever possible we should give ourselves over to the idea of conservation. God has made us stewards of this earth so we are expected to take care of it. Dan and I are making a conscious effort to learn how to do that.
As we talk to long time full-time RVERS we find out they have been doing all this for many years, some for decades. Some are working on budgeting and using the less costly methods to do everyday chores. Others are solely trying to conserve resources. Many have great ideas.
We recently met a woman at Manzano Mountains State Park in New Mexico who worked at saving the water and electric they used by doing her laundry by hand. This is not so startling an idea when you wash a couple things at home but, more revolutionary when done while camping. She has developed a system whereby she often does a few items every day or so. Using a couple 5 gallon pails, she fills them with water and lets it warm in the sun. She adds some detergent and some Oxy, then lets the clothes soak. Every so often she swishes the clothes around and scrubs them a bit and continues their soak. Rinse water is thrown over them and she dries them across a mesh type metal picnic table. The system seems adequate and is done at their leisure.
This is the same person who loaned us some solar patio lights when she saw we were without electric. She places them outside early in the morning and by nighttime they can come inside and be used to light your camper. She had several put together like a light bouquet, which were placed in a coffee can lid through holes with their bottoms in the can itself. We had plenty of light to play cards by them. Our new favorite is Phase 10, I won incidentally. We even had light left in the morning.
The Apel’s, a couple we met in Storrie Lake in New Mexico were aware of conserving resources and told us about a system she found online to have hot water. It is not too complicated and is done with a series of plastic bottles. Starting with one liter bottles, she used one from flavored water sold at Wal-Mart. She fills that bottle with water and places the cap back on it. Next she uses one half of a black sock over it. Buys the socks at the dollar store and cuts each one in half so a pair would be four pieces. She cuts the top from a two liter bottle and puts the sock covered one inside but, upside down. The two liter bottle with the first one inside then goes in a three liter bottle upside down. I believe a half gallon one would work also. She puts this whole affair into an opaque plastic bag. It goes into the sunlight at about 7 am and is ready for wash, bathing etc. by about 2 or 3 pm. She claims this works well but, you do need to do several of these bottles in order to have enough for some uses.
Another couple, Margo and Tom Apel gave us another hint that those same lights could be placed in the handles of your cabinets which meant the light could be used throughout the whole camper. I believe she took off the outer plastic part of the bottoms to make these fit.
Our first lady also talked about using her cigarette lighter in the tow vehicle to charge all their electronics so it was ready to bring into the camper and use upon arrival.
This may be common knowledge to old timers but, to us it worked better. Our motor home is old and the bed is tucked into the corner as many older ones were so I decided to simplify bed making. At first we tried to make it up in the traditional way, bur that really was a pain in the butt. It never looked made, was hard on our backs and we constantly could not find what to pull up for cover while sleeping. We decided we would not give up our two pillows in standard pillowcases, but made the bed up with a heavy down quilt on the bottom and another large quilt on top for the colder weather. We also purchased a very nice thinner camping blanket for hotter weather. The good part is, it is simple to throw the quilt on and not ruin your back doing bed making calisthenics. We only need to pull up one cover and for those muddy days our pets can lay on top of an older blanket and not mess anything up. Works for me!