I was asked via comment on a previous blog post on the steps taken to full time RV living. While the picture to the right isn’t really a step, it was the driving force and ideology that landed me where I am today. While there isn’t I believe a single right or wrong way on achieving and moving into this lifestyle, the only thing that would hold common sense for me is the statement in the picture. Then again, that’s just me. It could very well be different for you.
As mentioned in a previous post, my decision to go full time in an RV wasn’t made over night. In fact, it started off watching a video about tiny homes a few years ago. Having paid a larger rent, moving into bigger places and accumulating junk year after year, the idea of an extreme down size seemed very intoxicating. Taking stock of my current bills and utilities over the years, and seeing the saving other families where experiencing in these homes was nothing short of amazing. Not to mention the freedom the lifestyle seemed to offer them. Many stating they quit a job they had worked for decades, all in the name of paying for “stuff” even though they loathed the career they had chose. Seeing Tiny Home living as a way to significantly reduce my monthly expense and potentially chase a career I’d love, made the decision much easier.
Now the hard part, what to do with a lifetime of accumulated junk?
Can my three dogs and I co-habitat a 200 square foot home harmoniously?
The persistent conscious nag in the back of my mind, what will people think?
For starters, the junk was the easiest part. Going room to room. Finding things that I had forgotten even existed. If it had been forgotten, then it wasn’t anything that needed to be packed. A large apartment was eventually wittled down to just a few bags, and boxes. Large items such as furniture was either tossed ( due to age, or the dogs destroying it ) while others items were given away. Just that act alone, lifted a weight off my shoulders like nothing ever has. As for knick nacks and other similar items it did take a bit longer. Somethings had emotional value, while others just have a “cool” factor to them. But with much struggle, and some easy throw away decisions I had my junk wittled to nothing ( if at least just mentally, for when I acquired a Tiny Home )
So far the dogs and I have found our harmony. We are still working on manors regarding the neighbors and how often my dogs make them selves known. Beyond that, and a few accidents everyone has settled in. There hasn’t been a feeling of claustrophobia with them in here. In regards to what other people think, I’ve began to adopt a thought that is response to the photo above. Lately when people ask “You live in a camper?” with a negative tone. My response is simple:
I became discouraged quickly regarding the tiny home idea. Locating a suitable trailer to build on. The materials, time and expertise were lacking. Not to mention a tow vehicle large enough to move 10k+ lbs of home. Where would I put this home? Another question that lingered on and never seemed to find an answer. At this time of my frustration videos on YouTube began to surface regarding Full Time RV living. I flirted with the idea at first but the negative stereo types squashed that romance quickly.
Would I ever find a partner that would find this acceptable?
Would I be viewed as trailer trash?
Should I just scrap the idea all together?
It seemed for a while that staying in my nearly vacant apartment was a better idea. The rat race of life, while unattractive to me personally seemed to fit societies views on living much better then what was being considered. The taboo of living in a camper wasn’t sitting well at all. Which is odd, considering my insentient researching on building a tiny home, on a trailer. That was until, my eyes set on the camper I’m sitting in now. It had been sitting for a few months, un used. Was dirty with the previous owners life. But with the help of a few cleaning this place front to back, top to bottom it showed its true inner beauty. The idea was no longer taboo, but a reality. Offering many pro’s over a Tiny Home. The first being it was designed to be moved, and often via tow vehicle. Where as a tiny home, while portable aren’t usually built or designed for extended periods of travel. There were no concerns of losing shingles off the roof. No issues of body flexing and having drywall, or wall coverings inside the camper splitting or cracking as it was towed down the road. Better yet, I didn’t have to build it!
For 1/10th of the price of a tiny home build, this 28′ camper was purchased. Needing only minimal plumbing work and a bit of old fashioned elbow grease to clean it up. The hunt for a place to put it was on! A conversation was had with a known local land owner. A spot was secured for under $200 a month, and a neighbor on the property even offered up some electric! The downside was no fresh water. This camper has a 35 gallon fresh water tank, meaning seven five gallon jugs, or a mix of one gallon jugs and a five gallon had to be filled nearly every day. Not a huge deal really, but when you are getting settled into your first “Tiny Space” the last thing you’re thinking about when staring at a faucet or shower is “How much water is left?” There also wasn’t a place to dump the Blackwater tank. The Grey water was fine, but seeing how water was being brought in every day to keep it topped off, water use was at a minimum and rendered the Grey water tank issue, moot.
Call it crazy, but a transition from running and functioning services you’ve become accustomed to while residing in a traditional home are things you look for. It was decided that it wasn’t working, and with some added disagreements with the land owner the camper was brought back to it’s original spot. Not long after it was brought back a suitable camp ground that offered all year spots was found. Even better was it was found six miles down the same road I work on. The Seasonal fee’s seemed fair and the site offered all the hookups needed to make the transition smoother. It’s a decision I wish had been made much sooner.
The last step taken was officially leaving my apartment. Having done so thrust me right into the world of full time RV Living. It’s been a unique, troubling and exhilarating experience all at once. The money savings are already being realized. I’m sleeping better. Eating better, ( the novelty of cooking in a tiny kitchen hasn’t worn off yet ) and just all around feeling more accomplished and relaxed. My plans for the next 12-14 months are to save up what I can, purchase a more capable tow vehicle and make my first travels South / South West!
So while there was a plan in the beginning, the end result came from chaos and changing needs. It’s hard to really plan for a move like this if you don’t have the funds readily available. But I’m proof the funds don’t have to be available to get the ball rolling. It would seem you need to roll with the punches and take things as they come. Ready to modify your needs, and direction until you become established with whatever goals you have in mind. Just remember, there is no right or wrong way. It’s whatever way works for you.