Tag Archives: gypsy soul

Despite the struggles...this lifestyle is still "worth the squeeze!"  Photo credit: Snapped photo edit

RV Living: Worth the Squeeze?

As we are nearing our two year nomadiversary, I reflect back on some of our struggles since starting this crazy wonderful adventure.  We spent the last 6 months back home in Indiana and were asked about our living situation by our friends and family on more than one occasion.  We are used to the way our lifestyle opens up a dialogue with complete strangers we may never see again, but it can be a bit different with people you know and see on a regular basis.  Some people we’ve met and talked with do not completely understand why anyone would willing choose this lifestyle.  And quite frankly, I’ve had a few moments where I’ve wondered the same thing!

I’m sure after previous posts over the last two years and having a glimpse of how great RV living can be, you all want to go out and buy a RV and travel the country. <written in sarcasm text>. This lifestyle is pretty amazing and rather epic, but with that comes the reality that everyday isn’t like this.  We have days that are rough; stuff breaks, things happen, and it’s not always rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns.  I’ll attempt to shed some light on the less than ideal moments one might find themselves in while full-timing in a RV (from personal experience).

Photo credit: Pinterest

Photo credit: Pinterest

Mechanical Issues

We bought our RV new in the fall of 2014 and hit the road that December.  We had a one year warranty on everything and before we even brought it home, we knew of a few things that needed attention, which were all minor repairs.  Living within 3 hours of the dealer and not actually living in the RV yet, made it fairly easy to have it in the shop for warranty work.  However, once it becomes your home and you’re on the road and you could be over 6 hours from a dealer; makes for a whole new logistical nightmare.  This became evident last summer when our master bedroom slide wouldn’t push out.  We were living in “middle of nowhere” Northern California coast and over 6 hours from a dealer that would need our “home” in the shop for several days…not going to happen.  So, naturally we lived with our slide stuck in for 5 months.  Affording us the opportunity to climb over the bed to do laundry or get to the closets, and lifting the bed to get into our dresser (first world problems, but still an inconvenience)!  When you only have 400 square feet and you lose 12 “very functional” square feet, it can be a struggle.

Now I hold my breath every time we have to push slides in or out

Now I hold my breath every time we have to push slides in or out

Mother Nature

We also had a run in (literally) with Mother Nature last summer, thankfully no one was hurt and fortunately neither was our camper.  We had a perfect and large campsite at the back of the campground on the beach in Westport, CA. Unfortunately, one of our shade trees decided it no longer needed one of its’ very large branches.

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Thankful for the campground crew that came and successfully removed the branch with no damage to the awning our RV.

Thankful for the campground crew that came and successfully removed the branch with no damage to the awning or our RV.

Leaks

The dreaded word in the RV world and rightfully so, they can be difficult to remedy and hard to find the culprit.  We found a wet spot near our washer, and figured that was the problem, unfortunately it was not.  Once everything was dry, we then used caulk on every seam on the outside of our camper near the leak location and voila, no more wet carpet!

Caulk...an RVers "duct tape"

Caulk…an RVers “duct tape”

Tire Blowouts

These are definitely not out of the ordinary for full time RV travel, but somehow we managed to go over 10,000 miles around the country before experiencing one.  Very thankful for a husband that is so mechanically inclined.  His expertise has diverted many disasters over the last two years!

Somewhere in New Mexico

Somewhere in New Mexico

Less is More

We have always said “less is more” when we started talking about this kind of a lifestyle.  I agree with this in nearly every aspect of our lifestyle except, our kitchen counter space, and lack of it!  What I wouldn’t give for just four more square feet some days!

It can get a bit ridiculous when trying to make certain meals

It can get a bit ridiculous when trying to make certain meals

Cleaning

It’s a breeze when you have such a small space; but because of this, you (okay, I) tend to want it constantly clean and picked up.  It has been awesome living on the beaches in California and amongst the beautiful pines of Oregon, but the sand and pine needles that consumed our tiny space was my nemesis.  

Our sandy beach in Westport versus the pine along the Umpqua River in Roseburg

Our sandy beach in Westport versus the pine along the Umpqua River in Roseburg

RV Language

There has also been a learning curve to the RV world lingo.  For example, we are now a FTF (full time family) that sold their S&B (stick and brick home), bought a 5er (5th wheel RV), and now roam the country exploring all that it has to offer.  So, we now live a much simpler life in a 400 square foot, split level ranch on a “basement”, that happens to have wheels!  Perception is everything!  

RV life is slow and simple and amusing, and living this way reminds me to walk gently in these moments without worry or busyness.  It’s a lifestyle we’ve chosen; and sometimes you have to take some bad to have this much good.

Despite the struggles...this lifestyle is still "worth the squeeze!"  Photo credit: Snapped photo edit

Despite the struggles…this lifestyle is still “worth the squeeze!” Photo credit: Snapseed photo editor

Salt in the air

As our time on the west coast is nearing an end (at least for the next 6 months), I’m already fearing a future withdraw of the coast and all it has to offer.

photo credit: Pinterest

photo credit: Pinterest

We have now lived on the west coast for nearly a year, and six of those months have been spent within a five minute walk to the beach.  The affinity I have developed for this place is difficult to describe, but I know it’s more than just the salt in the air.  I have no great literary language, nor am I a writer by any stretch of the word, so trying to put into words the feelings I’ve had living here is nearly impossible.

photo credit: Pinterest

photo credit: Pinterest

With that said, a word picture of my big feelings for this place would fail miserably.  So…while these pictures do not do it justice, I’ll try to portray some of the beauty that I have become so fond of and the reason it may feel so hard for me to leave!

(Photo credits: myself and an iPhone)

Mendocino coast

Mendocino coast

My daily drive along Highway 1 from Westport to Fort Bragg!

My daily drive to work along Highway 1 from Westport to Fort Bragg!

The view from our campground at Westport Beach

The view from our campground at Westport Beach

The big trees...nothing like the Northern California coast!  The ocean in your front yard and the redwoods in your backyard (photo credit: Tim, my partner in crime)

The big trees…nothing like the Northern California coast! The ocean in your front yard and the redwoods in your backyard (photo credit: Tim, my partner in crime)

A California coast sunset...never gets old!

A California coast sunset…never gets old!

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Along the PCH somewhere between Bodega Bay and Point Arena

Along the PCH somewhere between Bodega Bay and Point Arena

Westport Beach sunset

Westport Beach sunset

A view you will find all over the west coast...photo of a friend we met in Fort Bragg who ran a surf school!

A view you will find all over the west coast…photo of a friend we met in Fort Bragg who ran a surf school!

Footprints in the sand (photo credit: my gypsy soul sister, Autumn Gillen)

Footprints in the sand (photo credit: my gypsy soul sister, Autumn Gillen)

From the beaches of California to the beautiful mountains of Oregon!

From the beaches of California to the beautiful mountains of Oregon!

We spent the last year surrounded by great wineries!  The view from Cooper Ridge tasting room...delightful wine and lovely atmosphere!

We spent the last year surrounded by great wineries! The view from Cooper Ridge tasting room…delightful wine and lovely atmosphere!

Ruestle Winery in Roseburg, Oregon

Ruestle Winery in Roseburg, Oregon

Toketee Falls

Toketee Falls

Tioga Bridge over the Umpqua River

Tioga Bridge over the Umpqua River

Crater Lake...leaves you speechless!

Crater Lake…leaves you speechless!

The Oregon coast

The Oregon coast

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Heceta Head Lighthouse

The trail leading to the lighthouse

The trail leading to the lighthouse

The Oregon dunes at Honeyman State Park

The Oregon dunes at Honeyman State Park

Back to the California coast...Santa Barbara pier

Back to the California coast…Santa Barbara pier

Palm trees in Santa Barbara

Palm trees in Santa Barbara

The rugged coast along Montaña de Oro State Park

The rugged coast along Montaña de Oro State Park

Wildlife in their natural habitat...the elephant seals of San Simeon

Wildlife in their natural habitat…the elephant seals of San Simeon

Morro Bay, California

Morro Bay, California

The native flowers, the harbor, floating sea otters, and as Griffin puts it "our rock"!

The native flowers, the harbor, floating sea otters, and as Griffin puts it “our rock”!

Morro Bay, California...one of the many places we have called home during our travels!

Morro Bay, California…one of the many places we have called home during our travels!

I’m sure it’s difficult to empathize through just these pictures, but the feelings I have with just looking through them is amazing, and habit-forming, and leaves you wanting more!

photo credit: Pinterest

photo credit: Pinterest

Although our journey so far has been wonderful, it has done little to satisfy my wanderlust.  Quite on the contrary, it has only furthered my desire to go and explore more places, connect with more people, learn more things, and to grow myself along the way!

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