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).
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.
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.
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!
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!
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’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.
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.