Saturday, December 27, 2014

Living in a Small RV - My Florida Winter Plan


I'm about to try something new - staying put for an extended time living in my small RV.  Living in an RV is not something new or novel.  Lots of folks do it.  Full timers do it all the time.  I’ve done a fair amount of traveling in RV’s.  Over the past few years, I've spent the equivalent of several months away from home living on the road in my RV.  But its been living on the road, which involves a lot of traveling, sightseeing, and moving to a new campsite every few days.

This winter will be a new experience for my me and my wife.  We'll spend 10+ weeks in Florida parked and living in our small 25 ft Winnebago View motorhome, which has about 200 sq ft of living space. If you look over at the right side column you'll see a picture of the RV we'll be living it.  We’re doing this in lieu of renting a condo for part of the winter, which has been our usual wintering roosting method for the past several years.  We bought a new RV last year and one of the reasons we bought this particular unit (see J. Dawg's RV ) was to use it for our winter stay. So, this winter will be the test to see how my best laid plan works out.

Undoubtedly, staying parked and living in such a small space for several weeks will present us with a new set of challenges.  Obviously, we won’t have all the conveniences we have at home and we'll be living in very close quarters.  I figure it will be somewhat like living on the road (see Living on the Road) but without all the movement and exploring.  Here’s some of the things we’ll have to deal with.
  • The only vehicle we’ll have is the RV – there’s no car for 10+ weeks.  My wife’s nick name is “Runaround Annie” because of her constant bebopping around in her car to visit friends and shopping.   We’ll see how “Runaround” does being grounded with just a bike and an occasional untethering of the RV.
  • We brought bikes so we’re planning to use them, walking, and public transit for much of our getting around. This will be a change for a couple of 60 yr olds used to driving to most places.  It should be a good thing for our exercise regime.
  • The RV has all the cooking essentials (stove, microwave) but it doesn’t have an oven or big cooking area.  Meals will have to stay simple and hopefully we can do some cooking outside.
  • TV reception will be on air and limited to the basic networks.  There’s no cable, no Netflix, and the internet at the RV park can less than high speed.   We brought lots of DVD’s and reading material.  I figure we made it thru the 70’s and 80’s without a lot of these things so we’ll see how we do going back in time.
  • We could only bring about a week’s worth of clothes.  We’ll see how we do wearing the same sets of clothes for weeks on end.  At least it will easy to recognize each other.
  • The only “toys” I brought are camera’s, a laptop, a bike, and a mandolin.  I can easily entertain myself taking pictures, shooting videos, writing, biking, and learning new songs.  Not sure what my wife brought, though non-stop texting, listening to her iPod, playing Farmville, playing Candy Crush and Words with Friends keeps her entertained at home and these should still work while we’re in FL.
  • We need to remember to take some solo downtime.  I love my wife, but sometimes I need some male bonding.
The good thing about our location is that we’re in the tropical zone and near the ocean.  Hopefully, we have warm weather and can spend a lot of time outside.  We'll also have lots of neighbors close by to visit with.   I’m also hoping we enjoy the closeness and frequent  togetherness.  Otherwise, I could end up writing a post like "The War of the Roses”.  So, stay tuned.  I’ll post updates to let you know how it goes and what we learn.

The Wife's Toys

16 comments:

  1. No TOAD, that will be interesting. Do you plan on Packing up and driving to a movie some nights or to go shopping or ride bikes? (Chris who started the V/N site)

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    1. With the View its pretty easy to untether. When we unhook, we usually plan a day of activities (shopping, movie, or sightseeing). So far after a week, I've only unhooked once. There are movies, a beach, and lots of restaurants within a easy bike ride or trolly. Thanks for reading.

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  2. I enjoy your post, we're looking at downsizing from a 35 foot class A to a View or something similar. We hope to use it for travel and three months in Florida or Texas during the winter months. For me I will tow my Honda crv during snowbirding, I think it's worth the effort to have a vehicle.

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    1. Thanks for reading. I'll be writing about how it goes without a car.

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  3. Nice blog J. Dawg. I will be following your experiences.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this with us.. I will be reading with keen interest to see how it works out for you.

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  5. Hope to try something similar in early winter 16. My wife spends a lot of sister time. I'm thinking 8 weeks will be all for winter, heck it's almost pontooning time in March in TN around here.

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    1. We stay in FL until the end of Feb. We then head west to TX for a 30 day road trip. So much easier to go to the SW from FL than driving back to New England and then going back. This will be the second year we do a SW roadtrip right after our winter stay. Thanks for reading.

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  6. So glad to find your blog tonight! Retiring soon and we've been trying to decide on our first RV. Our focus is on the small ones for the same reasons you describe. We've been looking at B's and small Sprinter based C's- Roadtreks, Views and Leisure Travels mainly. My wife has repeatedly suggested that a fixed bed would be best, so I got the "I told you so" look when we read your comments on that subject. Looking forward to reading more about your experiences with the View. Our last 5 vacations have been to the Florida Gulf Coast and the Keys. Very envious as we enjoy the 30 degree weather here in Virginia!

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    1. Thanks for reading my blog. We started out in a Roadtrek Class B. It was great for roadtripping but we found it wasn't great for stay put living. We like the View because of the fixed bed setup and its as easy to drive as the Roadtrek. Good luck with your selection.

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  7. We too will experience our first 'long' stay in a small RV this year. We have a Lexington 27 Feet and will be staying 4 months in Mexico. After 30 years of RVing this will be the first time that we stay more than 2 weeks at the same place. The last 6 years, we have been traveling in Mexico and Guatemale all over from Valarta to Antigua. Because of the extreme and unpredictable violence in USA, the costs of living, and the variable wheather we try not to stay too long in USA and prefer traveling in Central America where the temperature is always above 80F., the people are friendly and charming and where the cost of life is afordable. We will be staying at a beautiful Hotel/Camping/Camping (Only 7 RV alowed) where there is a nice swimming pool and a sandy beach. We do not anticipate any inconvenient with the space in the RV since we will be living outside most of the time. We are from Quebec and find it very sad that the bad and false publicity made TO MEXICO by the USA STOPS THE AMERICANS FROM COMING TO MEXICO. These exagerated allegations are causing much difficultiea to the tourist industry of Mexico. But the 'good' side of it is that we are not crowded on the beaches.

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  8. So should I be on the look out for Anne? Either one or both of you will get a lot of bike exercising.

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    1. So far, so good. No ones got hurt.

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