Fulltime RVing: Finding Space For Your Hobbies, Crafts & Fun Stuff

Many of you have asked how I manage to sew and quilt in an RV. To paraphrase an old adage, my answer has always been “Where there is a quilter, there is a way.”

Here are some fun ideas for finding space inside your RV for all of your hobby and craft supplies.

RV Size Matters
One of the best ways to ensure that you will have the room to work on any hobby you may have in an RV is to consider what you will want to do in your RV before buying one. That way, you will be able to measure spaces inside the unit before you put your money down.

If you are an avid crafter, if your hobby is a very big part of your life, or you are thinking of following the craft show circuit, try looking at some of the toy hauler models of travel trailers and 5th wheels.

While they are built with motorcycles and ATVs in mind, there is no reason you would not be able to add a couple of cabinets and countertops to customize it to your needs. I have even seen a bunkhouse model where the bunk beds were taken out, and the resulting space was turned into a hobby room or office.

Think Outside The Box
There is a cubby in the bedroom of our unit that is intended for a second TV. I use it to store the materials for my works in progress. I bought a wicker trunk to use as a coffee table in the living area. It is lightweight, and provides ample storage space for my fabric stash and other sewing supplies and equipment.

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I also have a lightweight plastic rectangular folding table. I prop one end of it with the legs still folded on the dresser in the bedroom. I have to put a little board under the other two legs to make it level, but it provides a large work area for my sewing projects. And I can leave it up for days or weeks, depending on how long we will be parked somewhere.

As a side note, I sometimes do demos of products in retail stores, and I use that same table when I do. It also comes in handy when we have extra company for dinner or a cook-out.

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My ironing board is a little folding one that fits on the top of the dresser in the bedroom, or on the kitchen counter. Both the iron and the ironing board get lots of use — either for pressing seams and fabrics, or ironing uniform shirts when we work at campgrounds.

A real handy sewing accessory for travelers is this magnetic dish to hold pins, needles, and small scissors. I got mine at an auto parts store! I have not lost a pin in more than 5 years. It is my favorite sewing accessory of all time.

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Those of us who like to sew know how fast all those quilting, sewing, and craft magazines can add up, and they are HEAVY! So, what I do is tear out the patterns I am interested in making, then throw out the rest of the magazine. I store them in a folder until I have the time to scan them to save on my laptop computer. I have a very large collection of quilting, sewing, and crochet patterns saved to a CD. When I am ready to use one, I just print it out.

The best part about all this stuff? It all fits neatly under the bed when it is time to go! Whether it is quilting and sewing, wood carving, jewelry making, building model airplanes, stamp collecting, or any other thing that makes your heart sing, you will be able to find the space if you choose the right RV.

Need A Larger Workspace?
When it comes time to pin baste anything larger than a baby quilt, I have to search for alternative spaces. Most RV parks have an activity building or rec hall, where there are some large tables. I have never been turned down when I ask if I can use one of the tables for my project — as long as there is no activity going on. And I usually wind up with a helper or two, when other ladies see what I am doing.

If there happens to be no activity area in the park I am in, I try to find a quilt shop in the area. They will let you use their back room, if they have no classes going on. Just ask. They can also point you in the direction of a good long arm quilter to finish your project.

Karen

My hubby and I have been living in a travel trailer and working at campgrounds and resorts for the past several years. We decide where we want to go, and look for a job there.

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  • Forrestlf

    Great info! Thanks so much. My sister beads and I quilt, and we’ve been trying to figure out how we could possibly RV AND craft – how to have our cake and eat it too.

  • marie

    I’m going off  for 5 months, were doing the snowbird,  in our r.v. and yes this is our 1st time.. big issue is what to take, and I quilt as well,as  knit. where does it all go ?  and how will I manage to quilt.   and what else should i take? tks for yr info.  happy trails.