Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Simplicity of RV Living

Simple RV Living
      *******  Update - June 2015 *******
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I just returned home from almost four months of living in my RV.  It was a first for me.  I took the RV south in December and spent a wonderful 2 1/2 months at an RV park in Fort Myers Beach, FL escaping the cold New England winter.  From there, we hung around St. Augustine for a couple more weeks and then headed west for a month on the road exploring west Texas.  I had a great time.  The Fort Myers stay was the first time I had stayed parked in an RV for such an extended time and it worked out just fine.  And the roadtrip was paced with several multi-day stop overs.  I was gone 111 days and drove over 7,000 miles.  It was a long time to be away, but I grew very accustomed to the simplicity of living in my RV.

My sons did a fine job of taking care of my house while I was gone, but there was still a lot of work to do upon my return.  The RV needed to be unpacked, washed, and re-winterized. Piles of mail had to be culled and gone through.  I had to fix a broken dryer, broken screen door closer, a malfunctioning electrical outlet, and get my VOIP phone system working again.  Then the cars needed to be washed and cleaned, garage swept out, and two truck loads of trash taken to the dump.  Then the taxes needed to get done.  I was going non-stop for a week and hadn't even contemplated the yard work.

As I was laying in bed one morning thinking about my to do list for the upcoming day, a stark thought entered my headed. When I was living in the RV I didn't have this much work to do.  It gave me a pause.  Having just worked my butt off for the past 5 days, I began to ponder the simplicity of RV living.

I've been RVing for almost 4+ years now.  It took a couple years, a couple of RV's, and several major trips to find my groove in how I like to travel.  I'm now spending about 6 months out of the year in the RV and have grown accustomed to living in a small mobile space.  For me, the living part is pretty simple.  Here as some comparisons of my home living versus my RV living.

Less Space Means Less Stuff
At home, I have a closet full of clothes and a bureau full of more clothes.  All this stuff needs to be washed and cleaned.  With all the space in the house, its easy to accumulate stuff.  There are books, DVD's, electronic gadgets, tools, art work, do dads, heirlooms, and toys.  Then there's the stuff you don't want to get rid of because you might use it someday like the tennis racket, cross country skis, extra bicycles, camping gear, and spare stuff.

With the RV, there's only room for a couple change of clothes and a weeks worth of underwear.  I travel with two hats, two coats, a couple pairs of shoes, and two vests.  I might travel with a couple books but those get recycled when I'm done and a couple new ones get picked up.  There are a few DVD's for rainy days.  There's just a few electronic gadgets (laptop, tablet, cameras) and there's no room for art work, heirlooms, or the spare stuff.  Just the basic stuff I need to live.  There's less clutter and no daunting cleaning chores.

The inside of my RV home

Less Stuff Means Less Stuff Needs to be Maintained
Maintaining my property can sometimes feel like a full time job.  It seems like something always needs to be fixed or cleaned.  With a house, there's always something that needs painting, a cracked or rotted board that needs replacing, and a gap that needs caulking.  There's carpets that need cleaning, floors that need sweeping, windows that need washing, and rooms to be dusted.  There's always cars to wash and maintain.  And then there's the chests and racks of tools to maintain it all.

With the RV, much of this goes away.  Cleaning the RV can be done in less than 20 minutes.  The single bathroom can be swabbed out in about 3 minutes.  I usually use the RV park shower and there's no washer or dryer to worry about.  The routine RV maintenance of checking batteries, flushing tanks, lubing the steps and seals, etc is pretty easy and quick.  I carry a simple tool bag because it something major breaks in the RV, I'm not equipped or skilled to fix it and need to bring it to a dealer to get serviced.  The RV is much simpler and easy.

No Yard Means No Yard Work
When living in an RV at an RV park or on road, there's no yard work to be done and no yard machines to maintain. There's no weeding to be done and no leaves to rake.  There's no pool to clean and chemicals to check.  There's no lawn and patio furniture to clean and have place to store

With the RV, all this stuff is provided and maintained by the RV park.  Its included in the "rent" and frees up a lot of time.

My RV "yard" - no maintenance!

Less Work Means More Time for Enjoyment
What I found while living in my RV for 4 months, was that I had much more time for creative pursuits and enjoyment.  At home, my routine on many days is driven by what I'm going to fix or clean or what project I'm going to start.  When I'm in the RV, my routine is more driven by where I want to go for lunch, where to go for a bike ride or hike, is it nice enough to hang out at a beach, is there a activity I'm scheduled for, what happy hour am I going to, or where to go for some picture taking.  While I like fixing things, it can become daunting when it piles up.  And as I've got older, I'm becoming more interested in enjoyment and less interested in fixing things.

J. Dawg kite flying

Which brings me to what I've concluded.  My RV lifestyle is a much simpler lifestyle and one that I enjoy.  It has shown me that my days of owning my big country home are numbered.  I'm not ready to chuck it all and go full time in a RV.  I like having a home base with family and my support mechanisms.  But, I'm going to want something a lot smaller, with much less maintenance, and something I don't have to worry about while I'm out RVing.

Because right now, this Dawg likes being out traveling to different parts of the country and enjoying what they have to offer.

At the Chisos Mountains in Big Bend


  1. I understand exactly what your saying, were considering downsiding our RV to a View, we feel it will allow us to travel more. Now off I go to catch up on some yard work, and to get the boat ready for the summer. As the old saying goes, I don't know how I got all this done when I was working.

    1. I just started on the yard work - cleanup, raking, burn some brush, get the tractor going, edging and mulching flower beds, etc. Then there's the patio furniture, the pool area to clean up, open it up and get it going. Then two vehicles to get serviced and three doctor appts for me. I've got 5 weeks to get everything done before I head out on my next 6 week trip (more like a 6 week break). Thanks for reading.

  2. Maybe you need to blog about yard work and car maintenance when your at home.

    1. That's the stuff I try to forget about but can't ;)

  3. Nail head soundly hit! You said it so much better than I.

  4. Just read your post from the link on Kim's blog and it came at such a great time. We have been downsizing for a year and our house has been for sale for 6 weeks. Today I drove up the mountain to see the condition of our future home, one side of a duplex that I've owned for years. After taking in the dreariness, the landscaping, the need for new flooring and painting, I came home ready to take the house off the market and stay put. Reading your blog came at just the right time...ready to do what must be done to keep on simplifying. Thanks!

    1. Lynne,
      Thanks for reading and commenting.
      J. Dawg