The sheets story: When I was researching RVs, I read comments from several people that the Travato beds were as comfortable as their beds at home. I know now the appropriate response to that should be, “Something is drastically wrong with your bed at home, get yourself a new mattress!” I’m not so uncomfortable that it’s making me sad, but I definitely haven’t figured out how to sleep soundly in this bed yet.
The bed, as I’m referring to it, is actually two twin beds, with a low table set between them that supports two cushions, making a oddly-shaped, full-sized bed. Oddly shaped, because the two cushions don’t add up to a twin-size length, so the top of the bed has a gap in the middle, like a capital H with the space under the connector filled in.
Before I got Serenity, I figured I’d just use my usual sheets and leave the bed set up all the time. I knew the first time I tried to make it that that would never work. If you’ve ever tried to make a bed in a corner, with walls on two sides, you know the experience, except this was trying to make a bed with multiple walled corners and a fitted sheet that didn’t fit right. Plus two dogs being total pests during the process.
And there was no way to use my real quilts, because there’s no place for the sides of the blanket to go, except to be tucked underneath the mattress entirely, which is really difficult to do when you’re also having to crawl on the mattress.
I also figured out quickly that leaving the bed set-up made my space a lot less livable, since I had to crawl across the bed to reach my clothes or some of my kitchen stuff or even the switches to turn on the water or propane.
I theorized initially that I could leave the beds made as twin beds — with both fitted sheets and flat sheets — and then put my queen-size fitted sheet on top when I set up the table/cushion part of the bed. Didn’t work. The four extra layers of fabric were enough that the cushions were very hard to squeeze into place and prone to bumping up, making lumps in the bed.
I then wound up using two flat queen-size sheets, one as a bottom sheet, one as a top. But they worked their way loose because I’m a restless sleeper, making me an even more restless sleeper as my bed got uncomfortable and lumpy.
Next I tried a sleeping bag liner, thinking I could simply put it on top of the cushions. Nope. I can’t keep myself entirely in the liner and I can’t sleep with the feel of the cushions under me — they’re ridged, like couch cushions, which is practical for when they’re being couch cushions, but I’m turning out to be very princess-and-the-pea about them. Misery.
I finally found a solution that almost worked. I covered both twin beds with a fitted twin-sheet, and when I set up the middle, I covered the cushions with a flat twin sheet, edges tucked under. I then used the sleeping bag liner for my own sheets. The bed was flat and neat and not lumpy and I was tucked in, not kicking the covers loose. Yay, it worked.
Except… oh, what a princess I am. My real sheets, the queen-size sheets from my former bed, are extremely nice sheets. I buy my sheets on sale or at extreme discount stores, but even so, I spend good money on them. My twin sheets and the sleeping bag liner are not. Extremely nice, that is. The sheets are generic cheap sheets, bought at Target so that I would have something for when I needed to use the beds as twin beds, i.e. when my niece was staying with me. The liner is microfiber, which is okay for a night or two, but not something I love.
Add to that the dogs, campground, dirt thing and I was sleeping on uncomfortable sheets that were usually dirty, encased in a polyester bag. Not a happy camper. And being over-tired all the time has not been enhancing my life.
My latest solution was having my sister-in-law’s mother take my good queen sheets and sew them closed along the side and the bottom, turning them into sleeping bag-style pouches. I think that’s almost done it. It means that I have comfortable sheets above and below me, yay, and I can’t kick them loose. It’s a little imperfect for Zelda, who can’t figure out how to crawl under the covers with me, and who wakes me up by trying to burrow into them, but it’s mostly working for me. Folding them up and putting them away every morning is helping keep them clean, too.
The next step will be finding something to cover the cushions with, something better than my cheap (and ugly) twin fitted sheets, that’s comfortable to sit and sleep on. I’m not sure what that will be. If I knew how to sew or if my mom was still around, I’d be browsing the racks of some local fabric store, trying to find a comfortable, soft, dirt-resistant, attractive fabric to make slipcovers with, but as it is, I’m probably going to be searching for better twin sheets. Still, progress, not perfection!
It’s been a month today since I sold the house and took to the road. It doesn’t feel like it. I’m still very much in the constant process of tweaking my space, trying to find better solutions for storage and cooking and sleeping, even bathing. But it’s been a good month: no disasters, no scares, no major downswings.
I don’t really feel comfortable yet — I’m still worried when I set up that I’ll do something wrong and anxious when I’m trying to park her. And it’s been so hot that the dogs have been a constant concern, which wasn’t something that I anticipated. The scope of what I imagine myself doing narrowed drastically, because I can’t leave the dogs — so no casual stops at restaurants, no wandering around museums, and so on. That said, the dogs have been pretty good overall and they’re adjusting.
And so am I. One month in, and I still feel lucky. My tiny house is indeed very tiny, but it’s working.
Judy, Judy, Judy said:
I don’t think you are being a princess. I think you are working things out to be comfortable long-term; a reasonable thing to do. Wow it doesn’t seem like a month. Also the heat will pass and you will be freer. I’m glad the dogs are adjusting.
Did you keep the insta pot?
So far, yeah! I’m still not sure it’s a good long-term option, but we’ll see. I cooked rice pasta in it this week and it’s the first time I’ve thrown food away as inedible in a very, very long time. I might at some point trade it out for a portable grill and see whether that’s more useful, because I really do miss my grill. A small grill would be really nice.
Oh gosh, I can relate to so many of your little RV trials that of course don’t seem ‘little’ when you’re dealing with them. My struggle with making the bed in my van is a little different since the bed doesn’t make attempts to also be anything else like a couch or a table. But basically the mattress is surrounded by walls on all four sides and it is very hard to make the thing while sitting on it! And yes, the whole thing about there being no place for the extra blankets to hang over the edge and being very hard to tuck them under while sitting on it. Plus, depending on how much stuff I have with me on a trip, the bed tends to be the place extra stuff gets stored since there isn’t much storage elsewhere. It’s also not any sort of standard size so the sheets that fit are too big. All of this is just to say that you’re in good company!
I’m doing that, too! The stuff on the bed, I mean. It’s just the easiest place to leave stuff out, so I wind up going to sleep with some tupperware, some clothes, my laptop, the cord to my phone, etc., all piled up in the various corners of the bed. Not to mention the two dogs, of course! It is not the best set of choices for a restless sleeper. But I’m trying to think of it as cozy, not crowded, and the new sheets have made a big difference.