Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pod Mods

As perfect as the Pod is, as we all know there is always room for improvement!

We've been reading up a lot over at the R-Pod Owners Forum and I came across some really great, simple ideas for sprucing up the interior.  I chose a few of my favorites and they were extremely affordable and easy.

1.)  The sink cover hanger thingy:

 This was a mod that immediately caught my eye.  The sink cover is great - when you're not using the sink, it gives you more work space.  But what to do with it when the sink is in use?  A simple Command hook stuck to the wall and voila - problem solved.  Command hooks come in all kinds of colors but I really like the look of the faux brushed nickel one I found here on Amazon.

2.)  The velcroed wall clock:

Not a necessity, but why not?  It looks pretty!  The trick here is to make sure you buy a clock that doesn't weigh much.  The one I got (can be purchased here) is so light it probably weighs less than a frisbee.  Attach a few velcro circles to the back and to the wall, and now you've got a wall clock that stays put and at the same time allows for you to change the batteries when necessary.

3.)  The wall mounted glow in the dark toothbrush holder:

I like this one so much I might get a couple for the house!  I can't stand keeping our toothbrushes in plastic bags and stuff when we camp.  It grosses me out.  This little miracle is super cheap and equally as handy.  The backing is double sided tape and sticks right to the wall.  Yet another Amazon purchase and can be found here.

4.)  The over the door towel rack:

I have a love/hate relationship with this one.  I just really wanted a place to hang towels so we wouldn't need to store them.  This rack does the trick and fits the door great, but one thing I didn't take into consideration was that it sticks out from the door about 3-4 inches.  No problem in a regular bathroom but the Pod's bathroom is only about 24 inches wide to begin with.  It's a tight squeeze and now it's even tighter. We'll see how it all plays out the first time one of us tries to shower.  I'm thinking we can either leave the door open and pull the curtain across or just turn the rack around while we're in there so it's on the outside of the door.

5.) The all stainless steel appliances, center island and granite counter top kitchen make over!!

Just kidding... ;)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Organizational Piece

Last weekend, the daunting task of emptying the old camper and filling the new one took up most of our time.  The pop-up really had a ton of storage, between the space under the large dinette and the cabinets.  The R-Pod - not so much.  Things like the heater, water heater and slide mechanism are taking up spots that would normally serve as storage areas, so we really had to be selective with what decided to keep.  Storage space is at a minimum in the new camper for sure!

There were many things inside the old camper that we'd never even used before, so it was a no brainer to toss those items.  When we bought the pop-up the people before us were nice enough to include much of their gear, but we just didn't find a use for all of it.  That also meant we acquired a camper that was already full of stuff. With the R-Pod we are starting with a clean slate - which is great!  And as far as the "clean" part goes, my aim is to try and keep it that way.

Outside we have a storage compartment underneath the camper that will be great for chairs, the R-dome, the outdoor carpet, and things of that nature.  It's not huge, but it's pretty decent.  We have ample storage under the bottom bunk bed, and storage underneath one bench in the dinette.  We also have 2 drawers under the counter, a shallow cabinet under the sink and a small upper cabinet over the sink.  That's pretty much it besides a few shelves.  Space is at a premium in our little Pod, so the plan is to maximize it every way I can.

I started out by measuring the space and purchasing some plastic bins and laundry basket to go under the bunk and dinette.  I was amazed at how much we fit in them!  One bin houses the kids outside toys, one holds the rainy day games, books and activities, the other holds all of our "outdoor use" items (lanterns, flashlights, bug sprays, rain ponchos, tablecloths) and ultimately the plan for the laundry basket is to use it for dirty clothes.

Under the dinette we decided to store all of our kitchen items - pots, pans, strainers, mixing bowls, cooking utensils, the percolator, the dishwashing basins and of course the ever-fabulous Coleman Camp Oven that we reviewed last year (a little shameless linking there to old blog if you'd like to read more!)

Overall we were VERY surprised by what we fit in the limited space we have.  We still haven't put a thing in the cabinets or on the shelves so for the moment we've got room to spare....(I probably shouldn't have said that out loud...)

Sunday, April 7, 2013


The decision to upgrade to a travel trailer from the pop-up was really a no brainer.

Don't get me wrong - we have had a blast in the pop-up!  But it was back breaking setting that monster up every time we camped.  It is 24 feet long opened up and it was no picnic getting it to that point!  Once it was up we were in heaven, but....then we had to break it all down again when it was time to go.  It took the better part of about 3-4 hours to get everything from outside packed inside, put the dinette down (a giant jigsaw puzzle of cushions) flip the sink, crank it down, put the bike rack on top, bungee the bikes to the rack, hook the camper up to the car, put the canoe on the roof - it's exhausting just thinking about it!  And God forbid it was raining while we packed up - you can't leave the canvas wet, so that meant once we finally arrived home, we'd have to set it all up again.  This was my least favorite part of camping.

Enter the R-Pod 176t by Forest River (insert angelic singing voices and a beautiful sunrise behind the totally awesome camper you see here:)

Ed stumbled across it during one of our many searches for a hybrid travel trailer and we were both immediately smitten.  I'm talking heart palpitations and love at first sight, people.  We had never seen anything like it.  Originally we had thought we'd like something larger, but that would mean we would have to upgrade our tow vehicle as well.  The R-Pod is so light we can easily pull it with our Pathfinder.  It has a tent end queen size bed on one side that folds out and still gives us the feel of sleeping outdoors and bunk beds on the other side which the kids think are way cool.  And it has a BATHROOM - there are no words to describe my appreciation for this super tiny, yet totally freaking awesome feature.  No more folding potty!  No more "changing the bag"!!  This is monumental for us!

176t Floor Plan

Interior looking at bunk beds

Interior looking at queen bed

My little slice of heaven...

We searched high and low for a local dealer that had the 176t in stock and the closest we could find was an RV dealership in Fitchburg, MA.  We made the 2 hour drive up to check it out and were happy with what we saw, however the price was firm and this guy was about $2500 over a quote we had gotten from a dealership in Ohio.  The decision was made that Ed would drive out and pick it up in order to avoid the $1100 delivery fee.

The 'Pod making a pit stop in Washington, PA on its way home

Long story short (I know, too late...) he arrived home with the R-Pod last weekend.  I'd like to take a moment and give a shout out to the guys at Jeff Couch's RV Nation in Hamilton, OH.  They gave us a great deal and spent a lot of time with Ed showing him all the in's and out's of the trailer before sending him on his way.  They even threw in the R-Dome awning/screen room that attaches to the front of the trailer free of charge.

Right about now we are having grandiose daydreams of easy set ups/break downs and a fun-filled Summer.  Let's hope it pans out!  With 5 trips already planned we will be busy for sure.  We can't wait to get out for our first trip Memorial Day weekend.

And oh yeah....anyone wanna buy a pop-up???