When we have to really get to work, I need to be in what we like to call “attack position”. Madison always laughs at me when I say that, but I am 100 percent serious. I can’t be effective while lounging on the couch with my laptop on my belly. The only thing is, we aren’t able to leave a permanent office set up in the RV – there just isn’t that kind of real estate available. So, we had to come up with a few solutions.
Really there were three requirements when I set out to look for the perfect mount: 1.) I needed something that I could take down and remove when we didn’t want the office set up. So there had to be a way to clamp it on to the table. 2.) I also needed the mount to be at eye level, so I didn’t have to crane my neck an look down at the screen all day. We are talking something ergonomically sound here. 3.) I needed something that could support a second monitor.
Power is always a big deal when you are on the road. We try and avoid everything with big power draws. I had read that there was such a thing as USB powered monitors and knew I needed one. I wanted a second monitor to have my email/messages pulled up on the other screen, while I had another application I was working in on the main screen. (in all reality, I just wanted to be able to have the Cubs game on while I worked haha)
The screen quality isn’t anywhere close to the Retina Display on my MacBook, but that’s okay. That isn’t what I am really looking for. I don’t need a million pixels to read my email. I am not planning on editing photos or anything crazy on this screen, just something to display texts and emails.
So, there is one trick to the USB powered monitor – for most instances, it needs two USB plugs to power it. So since I didn’t have two free plugs on my computer right next to each other, I had to get a USB hub. This gave me free ports to make sure everything can be plugged in at once.
Back to the whole idea of keeping our set up as ergonomically fit as possible, I need something to keep me sitting up straight. At first, this thing felt VERY strange. But I can’t work at my station, or drive now, without it.
Since I was getting this amazing set up, I felt bad for essentially condemning Madison to a lifetime of “couch slouch” work. Even though she says she doesn’t mind getting snuggly in a blanket and busting things out, I got her a tray that she can fold out and use to work when we are really getting down to business. And actually, this has proven to be the BEST things as we are driving down the road. She sets it up to be at the height of the dash and has a whole station to edit and do work as we roll down the road. And now that we have a whole on-board internet set up, things have never been more effective to work as we drive.
Since the laptop us up higher to keep the screen at eye level, and wireless keyboard is needed on the desk.
I am a huge fan of the trackpad. I use all the shortcuts and gestures on the track pad, so it had to be a track pad. I also have a portable wireless mouse for specific intricate things like photoshop or illustrator.
Sometimes things get really intense and I have to really get into work mode with some 80’s jams. (Nothing like some Men At Work to take you to next level working situation) The AirPods are so portable and compact that there is really no beating them. Simple and easy.
To cap the perfect mobile office, you have to have a mobile internet set up. We combined a WeBoost Cell Booster with a Wifi Ranger Sky Pro Wifi Extender to get the set up that we are comfortable with. To see the nitty gritty of how we have it all set up, check out our post here: How We Stay Connected On The Road.