Oh no! A rainy day, especially an unexpected one, can definitely put a cramp in your plans. Many people use their motorhomes — or even rent one — for vacation. Often, when staying at a campground, visiting with new and existing friends, hiking, biking, campfires, and other outdoor activities are the vacation, and a rainy day has the potential for ruining an entire day (or two) of fun. At the very least, it may leave campers wondering what to do to make the most of their time.
Regardless, there are many things that wet weather gives you an excuse to tend to. Whether it is completing unplanned chores, catching up on rest, or visiting with friends or family, there are plenty of things that can keep your entire group active, engaged, and entertained.
Catch Up on Cleaning.
Although you probably do a cursory cleaning of your RV on a daily basis, addressing intermittent messes as they occur, how often do you take the time to do a thorough cleaning of some of the more out of the way areas? When the weather is inclement, it is the perfect time to get creative with your semi-seasonal cleaning, starting at the top.
Cleaning the Ceiling. This is probably the most overlooked area when it comes to regular washing. With any steam or smoke from indoor cooking, spider webs, and the dust from the road, it needs periodic cleaning.
Start with the air vents. Rinse out the filter and wash the cover with soap and water. Let them dry before replacing.
Using an extendable duster, begin at a corner and run the duster around the perimeter of the ceiling. To make the job easier, spray the duster with a product like Endust or Seventh Generation dusting spray. Or just use a spray made from 1-part vinegar to 4-parts water. Add an essential oil for scent.
Then, turning the duster at a 90-degree angle, swipe back and forth across the ceiling.
By starting with the ceiling, you ensure that the rest of the RV won’t become dirty from things falling from above.
Wiping Down Walls. Using the same duster, solution, and the same process, wipe down all of the walls. If you don’t have a duster with an extension handle, you can use your broom, just wrap a rag around it and secure it with a rubber band.
Cleaning Inside Cupboards and Drawers. People rarely consider the amount of use and potential dust or grime the interiors of their cabinets and kitchen drawers see. It is actually faster and easier if you handle them all during the same cleaning.
Remove everything from the interiors. If necessary, wipe down the items you removed— especially if it is something that is seldom used — with the vinegar solution or clean them with dish soap and water.
Use a duster to wipe down the corners to eliminate cobwebs.
Then, use a damp rag or sponge to clean all of the interior surfaces.
Let everything dry before putting everything back.
Removing everything gives you an opportunity to reassess and improve your organizational system. Also, don’t forget to clean the appliances!
Catch Up on Social Media
For some, spending time on social media networks like Facebook or LinkedIn is a normal part of everyday life like checking voicemail or brushing their teeth. For others, however, it is a luxury to be flipped through when time allows.
A rainy day is a perfect time to catch up on what friends have been posting, as well as to add your personal opinion, letting people know that even though you are traveling, you're still interested.
Catch Up on Journaling
Many people who travel, whether for vacation or as a full-time RVer like to blog or journal their experiences. There are so many things to see and do, however, that they often run out of time. This creates a backlog of adventures that haven’t yet been described. A rainy day is a great day to reminisce and document some of the highlights and misadventures for posterity, as well as to share with others.
Photo-journaling or Scrapbooking
For some, a picture truly is “worth a thousand words.” For them, working on their social media photo albums is just as relaxing; plus, it's how they share their experiences with friends and family. Still others continue to prefer the more tactile format of scrapbooking. Partly craft and partly journal, these books are a labor of love.
Often, after a long day of driving, the last thing you feel like doing is reading. This is especially true if you were the one doing the driving. A rainy day is the reader’s friend. When the sky is dark and the day is gloomy, nothing sounds better than a cup of tea and a good book. And with all the electronic devices these days and a full library available online, the options are limitless.
There are many ways to pass the time collectively, whether you are part of a group of two or many more than that. The following are just a few of the ways you can spend time together on a rainy day in the RV.
Board games. Whether you're going on a trip with kids or live in your RV full-time, it's always a good idea to stow away a few of your favorite board games. Not only are these great for use on rainy days, they come in handy when you are boondocking and are without electricity. Consider travel-sized games or, better yet, a multi-pack or three-in-one that provides several games within one convenient container.
On a rainy day, you can’t go wrong with a deck of playing cards. Although there may not be an infinite number of card games, there are more than a person could probably play within one lifetime and certainly more than enough to pass an hour or two. From Texas Hold-em to Go Fish, from Hearts to Bridge, there is a style and a level of difficulty and sophistication appropriate for everyone.
Electronic games. When necessary, break out the electronic devices. Challenge one another to your favorite video game, whether it can be played together, against one another, or parallel to each other. Having common gaming goals is a great way to bond in the rain.
Read aloud. Another favorite wet weather pastime is reading aloud. Choose a story, or book of short stories, that everyone can agree upon. Try to keep it short enough to maintain the interest of everyone, as well as finish before the rain does. Take turns reading or have the person with the most dynamic reading style read aloud. Periodically, pause to discuss and ensure everyone remains engaged.
Too many times, life gets in the way of creativity and traveling full or even part time often makes it that much more difficult. Many hobbies take space and supplies that need to be dragged out when you want to use them and stowed before you move to the next location. A rainy day is the perfect time to get them out.
Work on crafts.
Whether you are a full-time quilter, knitter, woodworker, or fishing enthusiast, a rainy day is a great time to practice your craft or work on a project. Additionally, if you have children, crafts can entertain and educate, as they pass the time. Whether you teach them a skill you want to pass on or just have some paper, pens, and scissors, there are many options.
If you didn’t pack any art or craft supplies, consider what you have around and google the items and the words “craft ideas”. Be creative and think of ways to combine a few twigs from outside, an empty paper towel roll, and some paper.
Cook Something Elaborate. Now is the time to get creative in the kitchen! Provided you brought some ingredients and have a supply of spices, you could develop a culinary masterpiece. If you don’t have adequate supplies, perhaps the campground’s general store has a few. Otherwise, if the nearest store isn’t too far away, a rainy day is a great time for a trip into town!
Make up stories. A great way to pass the time on a rainy day is to make up stories. This can be done in a couple of different ways depending on your preference, how many are in your group, and their general ages.
Make up stories about a given topic, then share. It is a well-known fact that Mary Shelley’s book “Frankenstein” began as a story created under similar circumstances.
Round robin one story. This is where one person chooses a topic and begins the story. At any point, he or she passes the story to the next person to carry on however that person sees fit and so on. Usually, they become pretty silly.
True or false? Players take turns telling a story about themselves. When they are done, the other person/people guess whether or not it was true.
There are many other ways this can be done. Your choice is limited only by your creativity. In fact, you may want to combine this rainy day activity with the next one.
Make up skits. Make up a short story to act out. Do a “one-man show” of the movie, television show, or book of your choice and see if the other member or members of your group can guess what it is, or time them and see how long it takes them to guess correctly. Consider it a sort of impromptu game of “Charades.” Otherwise, there are tons of old “standbys” online.
Catch Up on Sleep
Traveling is exhilarating, but it can also be tiring and when going outside to work or play isn’t exactly an option, sleep may be just what the doctor ordered. Take the opportunity to nap and catch up on some much-needed rest. Even if you don’t feel that tired, the sound of the rain and the naturally dim light the weather provides are an excellent conduit. There is a reason that many people use the rain setting on their ambiance generators to sleep.
Spend Time Outside
Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean that you can’t spend time outside. It can actually be soothing and quite enjoyable. It is, after all, just water.
If you didn’t pack rain gear, create a makeshift poncho out of a large-sized trash bag to keep their clothes from getting too wet. If they have shower shoes or water moccasins, these would be great alternatives to galoshes, and allows them to splash around and play as long as they want, provided there is no lightening nearby.
Go for a walk. If there are plenty of trees, they actually provide a bit of shelter and the freshly wet foliage smells wonderful. It can create quite a meditative experience. You can also sit under your awning or canopy and enjoy it that way.
Don’t want to get wet? Open a window on the opposite side of the RV from the direction the rain is coming and sit next to it. You may find that the sounds and smells of the rain are too tempting to resist.
Make sure that all members of your group remain indoors if conditions are ripe for lightning or thunder. And when in doubt, seek shelter at whatever enclosed community building the campground provides.
It’s easy to get “stuck” in a rut of normal routines and rainy days have the potential to shake things up. Often people see camping as a retreat from their normal, stressful life. It allows them to de-stimulate in a serene and relaxing environment. Inclement weather shouldn’t adversely affect that. Plan ahead just in case the environment changes to ensure there is plenty to do for everyone. Try to vary indoor activities to keep things interesting.