"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Apr 28, 2016

10 Pounds of Pants

“What?” 

“That’s what I’ve got, and it’s too much!” 

I love that every now and again I’m still able to throw my sister, Hillary, a curve. At this point in the conversation our concepts of ‘load of pants’ differed; until I explained that according to the truck scale down the road, I’ve overloaded my motor home’s to the tune of about 1,000 pounds.

Dutch lace curtains
sold by the meter
1,000 pounds.  I simply can’t fathom that volume when it comes to my clothes, electronics and emergency rations, so I’m comparing it to 10 skinny people. Much more manageable. That overhead cabinet’s equivalent to one skinny person; and once folded in half another could fit under the dinette. The cargo carrier alone is 50 pounds; my portable greenhouse tops 35; and next thing you know you’ve packed 10 pounds of pants.

According to the owner’s manual, unloaded my 1992 Winnebago weighs 5,300 pounds with a full tank of gas.  Gross vehicular weight should be no more than 6,000 pounds.   I’m allowing 200 pounds for BC and me (including her food); leaving 500 pounds of stuff to carry.  Seemed like a lot but that’s really not much.


Since Day 1 I’ve been carrying armloads of junk back and forth between my old and new RV homes (in addition to painting everything); determining what I couldn’t live without while selecting the most lightweight items whenever possible.  A few weeks ago I dragged a friend along to the truck scale to check my progress.

4,800 pounds?  Is that possible?”  Sally and I stared at the digital readout.


“Well, there’s another (scale) on the other side of the road.”  I Louied to that one and it said the same thing.  Additional, higher and lower readouts popped up while getting on (both) scales but eventually settling on 4800 and we liked that number.  Ya-hoo!  I went home to pack some more, starting with my totem pole, which makes a great coat rack.

You’ve heard the adage, “If it’s too good to be true…”  Why is that so difficult to accept for ourselves?  I went back to the scale the other day since I thought I was ready to hit the road, but I couldn’t have been more stunned if I’d been hit with a 2-by-4.

Insulated ceiling with
painted skylight
7,000 pounds?  What the hell??!!  I sat there alone, staring at the readout; then slowly rolled the RV back and forth watching, “2,000….7,000…5,000…7,000…2,000…7,000…5,000.”  There was only a moment when both axles were on the scale at the same time; otherwise it was reading each axle separately and maybe I was supposed to add them together?  I am a stupid woman, and it's a good thing I did not breed.

No, no, no…I’m still reading that wrong.  It CAN’T be!  Well, I can wish for pennies to fall from Heaven, too, for all the good it’ll do.  Unfortunately this news came at the end of one of those days, so I treated myself to a hot cooked chicken from Walmart (not covered by food stamps) and went home to stick my head in the sand.


Ultra vinyl plank flo
I was so proud I didn’t break down ONCE in public; not after learning my electrical problems were back to where they were in November; not after unexpectedly replacing 4 back tires; not after doing the math over and over in my head.  Following Big Sister’s advice I borrowed a scale, grabbed a bucket and began yanking out some of the ‘can’t live withouts’, or as she called it, Prioritizing.

Yes, yes, I’ve got paper plates; plus two Correlle in case I plan a fancy dinner date. Hardly any food, since I rarely combine more than one package in a pan. No, I don’t NEED Mom’s Corning teapot which doubles as a small pitcher, but it would be nice.  Warm fuzzies, you know.  In the past two days I’ve removed 140 pounds, and if I have to I’ll take off some cupboard doors and use netting.


Horrified with my hoarding, I felt better when I read one blog post discussing RV weight-distribution, claiming the average couple carries about 2,000 pounds worth of STUFF onto an RV; and if they’re full-timer’s like me it’s 3,000.  When you consider furniture, tanks and major appliances are already built-in, it still makes me scratch my head.  George Carlin’s Stuff routine comes to mind.


I’ve learned a gallon of water weighs 8 pounds; gasoline only 6; and propane 4.2. I yanked out my couch and microwave during my renovation but added a new floor; I'm guessing that balanced out.  Now that I’m adding photos to this post I’m noticing anew my painted antlers wrestled from the pack of dogs; the oar which was floating by Ruff Life; my old license plate; I guess it all adds up.  Darn!  Does paint weigh the same on the walls as it does in the can?

I don’t want an experience reminiscent of the Perfect Storm...chugging up some 7,000 ft. elevation; near the top; suddenly slowed by a crawling semi; and sliding back down the mountain?  Only happens in my nightmares, but still and all, 1,000 excess pounds equals more gasoline, and the prices are already climbing.


1,000 pounds of cherished possessions; the last of all I own (not already shipped East).  Those items I can’t or won’t ship will be bequeathed to local friends with houses and families, since you can only fit so much in a coffin.  But some things I just can part with: a favorite poster by southwest artist Pena acts as a room divider for my bed area; the totem pole Tino and I picked up during our own cross-country trip in 1993; Mom’s tarnished silverplate, which I’ve managed to use in some unique ways; my fake potatoes which are just fun?

Due to aforementioned electrical circumstances I must remain until after Mother’s Day, when the RV mechanic can squeeze me in. Which is fine.  It’ll take me that long to get rid of all this excess STUFF.  I'm terribly disappointed; my once-empty former RV next door is quickly filling up again.  I'm avoiding people and establishments where I’ve declared over and over since November, “I’m leaving.”  

I'm the girl who cried,"Wolf!"

Click here for my simple ‘How-to create a white-washed appearance using chalk paint’.
The cabinet on the right was done using 2 coats of Celery chalk paint, then streaking lightly a bit of Ultramarine Blue artist's paint (craft is fine) with a sponge, following the instructions in that link.  Additional instructions and projects will be coming; soon as get rid of all this STUFF!

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