#Camperlife Must-haves

I get the question often from those who recently took the LEAP into RV livin’:

 “What do I need? What do you recommend?” 

Well, here ya go!

My little camper, Shaktipod, is a cute R-pod 180! Shakti is a Yoga term roughly defined as the Feminine Life Force energy of the Universe. When I decided to embark on this adventure, I consciously decided it would be a ‘surrender experiment’ of Life unfolding FOR me- deeply inspired by Micky’s Singer’s book The Surrender Experiment.  Hence, as a yogini with an R-pod, Shakti-pod and I hit the open road!

My recommendations revolve around making set up easier as a single traveler, making my space homey, cozy, and ‘mine’, creating peace of mind, accommodating my active lifestyle that included biking and my love of boondocking (camping off-grid without hookups).

Let’s start with the most practical- safety, peace of mind and ease of getting set-up!

Let’s talk tires!

Checking your tire pressure regularly is of course important. I travel with the Kobalt 120v & 12v Portable Air Compressor that plugs right into my Jeep12 volt adapter or into the outlet on my R-pod when I have shore power.


To give me peace of mind when I am on the road, I LOVE the Solar Wireless Tire Pressure Monitoring System that sits on my dash. I comes with 4 tire pressure caps and I recommend keeping the spare 2 should you randomly destroy one like I did!  

I was also given the advice to cover my tires to protect them from the sun! These are the simple wheel covers I chose! 

Okay, let’s get to the fun stuff! Making the camper “mine” and homey was important to me! I am an avid ‘oiler’ as many of you know! These cute spice racks are PERFECT for my oils! (I do have reflectix behind the oils to repell the heat that sometimes is absorbed by the wall since we never want to 'heat' the oils)

 I use these wall anchors without any problem as they are under an inch. No hole preparation is required and they secure well into the R-pod wall which is Styrofoam. I’ve also used them for some pretty heavy file cabinet style wall mounted organizers on the hollow wall between the bathroom and kitchen!!! They are rated to hang up to 50 pounds even on gypsum wallboard! 

I did paint my cabinets white which really made the space much Lighter. I do not recommend the chalk paint route I took! If I had to do it again, I’d sand, prime and paint! I did however choose CUTE peel and stick wallpaper for the bathroom and kitchen backspash I’d recommend! This is the bathroom tile-looking backsplash I chose and this is the faux wood plank wallpaper I placed horizontal for the kitchen area! I have been in diverse climates for the past 3 years and have had no problems with it holding up!

My other FAVORITE purchase that I enjoy daily is the most comfortable chair on the planet! If you like a firm chair or need extra support, this is not the one for you, but if you like comfort, this oversized camping chair is big enough for me to sit cross legged in, recline on with my feet up and relax in for hours!

Are you a boondocker? A good solar setup makes camping without electricity a piece of cake! My Renogy 100 watt briefcase Solar briefcase has not let me down. 

I did get these extension cables so I can easily park in the shade but leave my solar panels in the sun! This cute Luci Solar Light is inflatable so it doesn’t take up much space and is super sweet for indoor or outdoor use with lots of fun colors to choose from! I usually hang it on my door railing at night!

My bike set up is another of my most favorite things! I chose straddle trailer hitch mount set-up so I can simply transition the bike rack to my Jeep when I’m ‘parked” and want to drive to some mountain bike trails! When I am driving I can also see my bike(s) in the rear view mirror and not have to wonder if they fell off my RV bumper!! I use this hitch tightener to stabilize the slight wobble that developed after it loosened after a few thousand miles! There’s a solution to every problem!


My #musthave camping blog wouldn’t be complete without my 2 favorite Young Living Camper must-haves! #1 Thieves Household Cleaner. It’s super concentrated so you just put an ounce in 30 ounces of water. I use it for EVERYTHING- from washing the camper to cleaning the kitchen! It won’t asphyxiate you when you’re cleaning a small enclosed space like the bathroom and it’s safe for kids and pets! Its plant based, a powerful cleaner, and is even BENEFICIAL to our immune a respiratory system- what other cleaner can say all that?! Curious about Thieves? Learn more here. 

My other must have for traveling in the Young Living Insect Repellant. It’s free of harmful synthetic chemicals, safe for kids and yes- furry family members too- and REALLY WORKS! This is coming from someone who loves playing in the deep back woods of the east coast. I just reapply every few hours. More plant-based, safe options for ‘Fun in the Sun’ here!

Two things that will make parking and set up easier are this camper leveler/chock all-in-one that you just drive the low side of your camper onto various heights! Especially if you’re parking solo (or want to avoid any parking tension with your partner), just pop in and out of the car a few times instead of dealing with the endless lego game of block levelers! A few inches takes you up and down easily between 1/2" & 4" increments!

This Camco drill bit  and a cordless drill saves you from using the crank to lower your RV Leveling Scissor Jack! It’s such a luxurious treat during set-up after a long drive!!!

Finally, we will end with some practicality!

I LOVE this digital door lock and not having to deal with or remember my keys! I installed it myself in a few minutes with just a screw driver! (Don’t be impressed. It was THAT easy!)

And on the subject of locks, I got this hitch lock for peace of mind. I did get a cheap $20 hitch lock initially, but after watching the video on Proven Locks of those cheap locks being broken within seconds, I decided to make the investment to protect my little Shakti-pod. Locks keep honest people honest, right? Well, this lock, will keep the dishonest ones honest too!

My final tip for being on the road is Harvest Hosts! They are a network of farmers markets, breweries, wineries, golf courses, etc that let you stay for the night as long as you have a self-contained RV! I usually plan long trips around overnights at some of these super unique locations- I even stayed at an Alligator sanctuary once! They make a regular overnight stop into something often quite memorable! 

Happppppy Camping!

Comment below with questions and YOU’RE favorite camping must-haves!






  1. Melissa, Love your tips and links for goodies. I too am a RV'r with a 180. I would have liked also to paint my cabinets white to create a more open look but more work than I have time for. I have the same tile in my kitchen and bathroom as you have in your bathroom. Decorated in a beach theme. Happy travels but most of all be safe!!!
  2. Absolutely ingenius !!!
    Love it .. some women even today wouldn't dare imagine the thought of independence or freedom however it's there and your showing how easy with technology to make it happen .. put a smile on my face !
    Melissa I love these ideas and I would love to hear more over the phone . Call me !
  3. Wonderful to see things going so well for you!
  4. Thanks for ALL the awesome advice!
  5. Hey Melissa,
    Patt from CS. I am so impressed❣️Love your camper. Carol told me you were doing this, I had reservations, after reading your blog, I realized how prepared you are. Hope you are happy, when you are in the NE I have a place you can park.
    Take care, know you are loved and missed❣️
  6. Thanks for the info
  7. Great Info,thanks for sharing.
  8. I would love more information.
  9. you're living my dream! I'd love to follow along 😊
  10. Elizabeth G Simon  03/01/2021 04:42 PM Central
    Looks like you have an awesome setup!
  11. I also have a 180, love to keep up with different mods
  12. Lot's of great tips and products that I found useful.
  13. Hello fellow solo rver.

    Thank you for info!

    It sure would be nice to pick your mind on a rvin stuff.

    I am a solo rver as well.
    I am in a 45ft triple axle toy hauler.
    I have not purchased my generators yet.
    I have a 100 watt non mounted solar panel still in its box .
    Not sure of my questions yet. Im just giving you a little insight of my RV Nomad Life. .

    I look forward to your reply.

  14. Thanks for sharing...I look forward to more insight. We also have a 180 that we love. It’s used by myself, my wife and our dog Joy....
  15. I just got a 2017 182g and am learning all I can as we lead up to camping weather. I thought your post here was smart and informative. I look forward to reading more.
  16. As usual, no loss for words,
    Good blog camper.
    Melissa Russo AUTHOR  02/11/2021 10:54 PM Central
    Thanks Bobby!!!
  17. .
    Melissa Russo AUTHOR  02/11/2021 10:54 PM Central
  18. Very useful information...
    Melissa Russo AUTHOR  02/11/2021 10:55 PM Central
    Hope it's helpful!
  19. Stan Pierkowski  02/11/2021 08:28 AM Central
    Nice going! So I guess the Jeep has enough power to pull the weight. I have been thinking about getting a class B.
    Great to see you living your dream.
    Keep having FUN out there.
    Melissa Russo AUTHOR  02/11/2021 10:57 PM Central
    The Grand Cherokee has a town package option that increases the tow capacity to 6000lbs! The rpods are also pretty light- mine is 3000lbs dry! And regarding getting a class B- that would be AWEOSME!!!!!!💃💃💃💃 Happy travels!!!
  20. I love this!
    Melissa Russo AUTHOR  02/11/2021 10:57 PM Central
  21. GWENDOLYN THERESA PHILMECK  02/11/2021 07:09 AM Central
    Love all these good tips!
    Melissa Russo AUTHOR  02/11/2021 10:58 PM Central
    Yay!!!!!! Miss you Gwen!!!
  22. Single traveler also plus one pup. National Park geek, biker, hiker and kayaker. I like your suggestions. We are currently in Phoenix and hope to be in Florida in a few weeks. We usually camp at military bases. John
    Melissa Russo AUTHOR  02/11/2021 10:59 PM Central
    Ahhhh!!! I LOOOOOVE national park magic!!!! Which have your favorites so far?!?!
  23. Love your list and tips! Thanks for sharing! And love me some YL oils and products! The best!! Happy camping!!
    Melissa Russo AUTHOR  02/11/2021 11:00 PM Central
    Oils and Rving!!!!!!!
    Happy travels!!💃☀️👐🏽🎉👍🏽

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