Hanging Out & Day-to-Day Life in the RV
We woke up to a rather grey day this morning with lightning clouds looming on the horizon, Initially we had planned to drive South today, but given the mood of the weather and our general laziness we decided to stay tight. There are days like this, you know, when you just hang out and those end up being nice days too. In the super-comfy “beast” we have everything to keep us occupied -> sofa, bed, warmth, light, Kindle, Satellite TV, DVDs (we bought our entire collection in a CD wallet) and Internet. We really are roaming luxury, and I haven’t felt want for either space or things since we started RVing.
In fact all in all, I’m surprised at how easy this RVing business came to us. I’m not sure if it’s our core nomadic personalities (I’ve always been a bit of a roamer) or our love of nature (we spend oodles of time outdoors), but we slipped smoothly into this lifestyle without any real significant issues.
So today, since it’s kind of an indoor day, I thought I would share the RV, open our door to you and answer some of the most common questions that people ask us about our lifestyle:
1/ Do you ever feel cramped for space? Surprisingly, never! We went from a huge home (>4,000 sq.ft) to a 40-foot RV, but I’ve rarely felt constrained. We spend most of our time outdoors and deliberately stay in nature-abundant spots. I have yet to feel claustrophobic in the RV, and in fact I feel more than free when we have a wide view out the window.
2/ Don’t you get bored? Again, never! The mind and body are amazing resources when you put them to use. Both Paul and I have very varied interests intellectually as well as physically. Paul spends a lot of time investing and reading/blogging about that. I’m interested in photography and blogging. I also run an online forum dedicated to feline health issues and we both read profusely (love, love, love my Kindle). Physically we hike daily and do Yoga, sprinting and other activities. We are also dedicated foodies and spend time researching and preparing gourmet meals.
3/ Don’t you get tired of your partner? Once again, no! Now, we may be an unusual couple here in that we met at a company and worked together in that same place for over 12 years (many of those right in the next-door cubicle). So, we commuted, worked and went home together 24-hours a day, everyday almost since the day we met. But, we also keep separate interests. I like to photograph and some days I’ll go out and get lost in the woods for an afternoon on my own.
4/ Don’t you miss having a house? Honestly, rarely! I love the fact that the RV takes only 20 mins to clean and we can change our view anytime we like. I’ve never been particularly attached to “things” so I don’t miss that aspect of house-living. The only items I do miss are having a garden and a community. At some point those two things will probably draw us back into part-time RVing.
Well, the day is clearing up and the Texas winds are whipping the coulds into a foamy (and I should add photographically interesting) mass. So, I think I’ll take a long walk with pooch and see what new views will stimulate our eyes and mind.
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
You are so living my dream!!! I got the perfect man…the same interests…just need the mtoor home and health insurance :O) Thanks for sharing your travels every day with us!
CJ, Well I’ll be rooting for you to get there! Regarding the Health Insurance check out ehealthinsurance.com and look specifically at their high-deductable plans. We got a plan through there for $150/mo (combined for the 2 of us). Very reasonable deal. Nina
Samantha Butler says
Your kitchen is more spacious than mine…
Hehe…yeah, we actually find it more spacious than the one we had in HK too. HK cooking definitely taught us about moving around in a small space. Nina
I’m a new follower to you site here (first ran across y’all on one of the RV forums) and I’m enjoying it; thanks for taking the time to post your thoughts and experiences.
My wife Shelley laughed at the photo of your husband with the dog on the end of the couch and the cat on his chest. She said it just as easily could have been taken in our motorhome. We have an Australian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler) and a cat and we live aboard full time. We aren’t free to travel just “whenever” just yet but we’re getting closer everyday. Even still being tied to jobs we manage to get the motorhome underway at least a couple of times a week and go enjoy the area we’re in now.
Shelley and I can so relate to loving the compact organization that is a motorhome. Having a place for everything and being able to clean up in a few minutes rather than hours is very liberating. Rather than feeling more restricted by a small space (compared to a house) we feel like we’ve been handed our freedom.
Meant just to say “hi” mostly…this is getting to long! 🙂
Hi Les, I’m so very happy to “meet” you on the blog! Our Polly definitely has some Cattle Dog in her,and I know the breed well. Lovely dogs all around and so very, very loyal and smart. I’m totally with you on that liberating feeling too! I’m sure some people disagree, but for us moving into the RV was most definitely a freeing experience. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment and hope to see ya on the road at some point! Nina
Jerry and Suzy LeRoy says
Couldn’t agree with you more. The first seven and a half years we were full-timing, now we have a stable winter base in an RV Park. In those first years, we felt exactly as you do — didn’t miss the house (ours was quite a bit smaller anyway), never got bored, never got tired of each other (after more than 50 years married, that’s pretty darned good!). Actually, anyone who gets bored very often isn’t trying very hard to enjoy life!
So with you on everything you said! I can certainly see us looking for a part-time homebase at some point (either winter or summer), so I can see that road in the future. For now we’re still “newbies” to this whole thing, especially compared to the multi-year pros like you guys! Nina
My hubby and I just moved into our RV permanently 2 days ago. I’m resonating with everything you just wrote and uplifted by it! We are in the throes of the ‘transition period’, but I see the vision of being where you are. We moved from a 3300 sf house (sold all our belongings) into a 40 ft. motor home with 2 dogs and 2 cats. I’m going to find your feline health forum.
Your post (my hubby forwarded it to me) came at just the right time for me.
Have a wonderful day!!! Robin
Hi Robin, So pleased to “meet” you on here! The Feline Forum I run is a bit specialized -> it’s for cats with urinary issues (something my cat almost died from several years ago). It’s called the yahoo FLUTD forum. Wholecathealth (not run by me) is another great forum if you’re into general feline health. Enjoy your new RV life and hope to see ya on the road! Nina
Big Canoe says
Ok, I need you guys to work on my wife. She thinks we should wait a bit to jump on board this adventure. I need some influencers to help push her a bit.
I aniouxly await for your nest blog entry . I am a semi retired Real Estate developer (wonder why I am retired!!!) in my late 40’s. My wife has a nice corp job and we have greatly benefited in the recession by her income and benefits. I have saved well and I believe we could actually live better and enjoy more of the world and possibly live cheaper in a fulltime RV. Depending on the outcome of fuel! My only hesitation is that selling into this market will be a big loser. I may try to attract a full time renter rather than sell when we jump on board.
I have 2 dogs (German Shepard/black lab mix and Aust Shep mix) and 2 cats (indoor). My wife is concerned about the cats getting out of the coach and running off. At least one probably would. I love backpacking/hiking and dream of pulling a rig deep in forest and then heading off on foot for a few nights and coming back to a nice hot shower!!
Please keep blogging. Its great to find someone in our age and demographic to watch. If you find yourself in GA/Florida let us know! Thanks for all the info!
Hi Big Canoe. Great to meet ya on the blog! For the cats I actually recommend leash training. We did that years ago and it’s the perfect way to give them exercise and mental stimulation while we’re on the road. Also the kitties get to hang out with us in camp and are always quiet and asleep after the walk. We use the HDW walking jacket (you can google). Anyway it’s an idea.
For now it’s lovely to have you along for the ride on the blog!
Leash training a great idea, but not for cats that are 18 and 17 years old! I can guarantee that would not end well for any of us…. 🙂 My concern is just that our kitties are so old and one of them is in poor health…and gets car sick. And the other one was a feral cat that we took in….and she is not easily handled. So life in an RV would probably be hard on them…and for us with them! But we’re definitely going to do it someday! I’m just trying to talk husband (Big Canoe) into the 40-footer. He wants a smaller one – I think if we’re going to live in it we need the big one! We’ll be following your blog closely!
Awwww….older kitties. Those babies are definitely getting on in age. We do have one of our cats who has CRF that we manage on the road, but I understand the reluctance to get the kitties into an RV when they’re getting on like that. 40-foot is definitely a nice size for full-time living, although you can get by a tad smaller with slides. The bigger RV gives more living space, but a smaller one lets you get into more campgrounds (some of the public campgrounds (e.g. State Parks, National Forest, National Park) have size limitations and we like to camp mostly in those areas). It’s something to think about when you’re buying.
Anyway here’s to maybe seeing you on the road one day!
Big Canoe says
Editorial note from the wife! She is not concerned about the cats getting away. She just does not want to deal with them on a RV (Messy, loud etc). She wants me to ask you guys if you have a washer/dryer in the rig? I want to know if you really need it! Take care.
My husband and I just made the leap…almost identical circumstances…down to the dogs and cats. Ross is 47 and I turn 48 this week. We left jobs, sold house and all our stuff, brought along our rottweiler and our corgi, plus 2 cats (a sprinter cat who likes to run away) and an old lazy cat. We moved into the RV on SATURDAY. Here’s our blog (we need to update with the last few days, but it’s been a bit hectic). http://www.magicbus.us/
Big Canoe says
Left you post on your blog. Thanks!!
jil mohr says
hey nina….nice entry…..can so relate except for the animals of course…one more month here and we are back on the road….
Leo Murray says
I really enjoy reading each and every blog entry you submit. This one I found especially interesting. The only RV experience Elaine and I’ve had was in Tasmania a few years back …… for about a week …… in a VW – sized vehicle. I’d like to have another ‘go’ ……. but graduating to what youse guys move around in is too daunting for us non – engineers to seriously consider. Heck, I’ve never ever even owned a car!
Hehe…yeah, I think “the beast” might not be quite your style. Perhaps a smaller trailer (something like this: Casita Trailer) and car would be more to your liking, or a small Class C. Then again, knowing you, you will probably just decide to ditch it all and bicycle around the whole country with a tent 🙂
Sue Malone says
I so understand the gardening thing. I, too, would miss that most if I were full-timing. The Community comment was especially interesting. I think people seem to have developed a sense of community in the RV full time world with many variations. I am thinking especially of Pam and Randy, who have contributed so much to the larger community of Habitat. Also, on the other end of the spectrum, those folks out at the Slabs in Arizona have another kind of community. My daughter at last lives near me, and is part of our community in Klamath. I loved your comment because it made me think about what “community” means in the larger sense of commitment and contribution. As always, great post.
You are so right about the community! In fact, the whole community question is so very much deeper than the passing comment I made about it here. While RVing I’ve discovered an on-line community and we keep in touch wth many other full-timers on the road. The folks you mention (RV Care-A-Vanners) is a whole different and positive community that we hope to link up with at some point, and there are so many others out there who do interesting and valuable work. And, like you mention, many RVers stay for extended periods in one spot (e.g. snowbirders) and build friends and community that way too. It’s a different exeperience from a “town” community, but the sense of togetherness and purpose can be certainly found while RVing too. We’re still adapting and learning!
Bob McLean says
Oh man! There are moments when I really miss our motorhome. Taking a peek into your place, while fun and all, sort of gave me one of those moments of refection. Not your fault. I’m just saying. Probably has something to do with the slightly sour weather here today.
I like the “pull-out” thingy in the kitchen. Haven’t seen too many Holiday Rambler products with that. Did you order it, or did you just happen to stumble on a unit with that feature? Makes a huge difference.
I don’t think I’d miss the “sticks and bricks” aspect of a house all that much, but I would certainly miss my woodshop. Any time we’re home “on vacation” I tend to spend a lot of time in there. Some hobbies take a few pieces of heavy equipment. Well, at least one of the ones I enjoy.
Of course, my wife still insists on referring to it as “the garage”. The nerve!
We have another solid 15 months to go in Vienna, then maybe we’ll be back home.
I’m enjoying your blog. Keep on keepin’ on.
You know I haven’t seen that pull-out thingy on other rigs either. It was the #1 item that sold the motorhome to us the moment we saw it. Really neat feature. It was part of the original MH, so it must have been part of the HR line around the time our rig was built (2008). By the way I can totally relate to the whole tools thing. I’m rather a tool-woman (still remember the Christmas hubby gave me my first heavy-duty electric drill), and would love to have a nice workshop, but we’ve had to tone that down a bit in the rig. Interesting that you guys are living in Vienna…I’ll check in on your blog.
Jim Hummel says
I’m curious if you have ever calculated the square footage of your RV. I’m sure it’s markedly different than your 4,000 SF home, but I suspect that an RV is more organized (or forces you to be!) and makes more efficient use of the available space.
Also, do you know the volume of basement space?
Thanks in advance