Shane & Emily’s First RV
Well, the RV lifestyle has been a trip (no pun intended). It’s been the most rewarding and terrifying experience that we’ve had, and we’re gonna try to break it down and tell you a little bit about it!
First off, let’s talk about money, because that’s probably one of the biggest concerns when considering a lifestyle like this. What are the pros, and what are the cons?
Well, for a 22-year old musician with no credit, and a Canadian who’s only been in the states a few years, getting an RV seemed next to impossible for quite awhile. We learned very quickly that at the place we were in life, financially, there wasn’t much we could do to get such a huge loan on our own, praise the Lord, we met Brian and Liz Feister, who saw something they liked in a couple of borderline irresponsible kids who wanted to do something borderline crazy, and they co-signed for Harvey (our RV) and saved our butts! It’s always a little scary making such a big change, but it didn’t take long to realize how beneficial it was. There are no monthly water bills, no electricity bills, no crazy landlords, and no financial drawbacks for us. We understand that it may not be the most efficient way of life for some people, because there isn’t a set amount of money that’s the same every month, but it works for us. When we want electricity, we plug into a friends house for a few days, or just fill up the gas tank! If we need propane, it’s just $30 to fill up and being in Florida, that lasts ages. And our “rent” (loan payment and insurance) comes out to under $400. Once Shane and I get married in June and I move into the RV with him, our monthly bills will be go from over $2,300 per month to under $500. So really, as far as bills go, the only potential con I can think of is that the amount of money you spend fluctuates a little bit from month to month.
So, maybe this goes without saying, but I’m gonna say it anyhow; spending long periods of time in an RV means you have to learn to live a much more minimalistic life. Although it’s abundantly more luxurious than, say, camping in a tent in the woods, you may be surprised at the daily indulgences and conveniences that you have in your home, that are far from reach when you’re on the road. Things you would never even think about! So we pack light and do lots of laundry. We get inventive when to comes to where we put laundry baskets, crock pots, and even litter boxes, and we conserve water like nobody’s business! But the incredible upside to this is how much more FREEING life is when you realize that you don’t need all of the things you think you do. As a woman, I was concerned about doing my hair and makeup while driving, and it turns out that I didn’t do either of those things for most of the time on our trips so far, and it’s helped me enjoy my life more! You should give it a try for a week or two.
One thing we’ve learned is how incredibly important it is to clean as you go. Something my mom taught me all growing up that finally has meaning! Being in such a small living space, things get cluttered faster than you can imagine. I’ve somehow made a habit over the years of throwing my clothes everywhere when I change my outfit a million times in the morning, because I can always just shut the door to my room and clean at the end of the night, but in a home on wheels, every bit of open space is like a rare exotic treasure that must be guarded at all costs. Little canvas storage containers have been a huge life saver in the organizing game.
Something that I’ve been impressed with as I watch Shane do all the dirty work, is how you quickly become a handy man when you travel as much as we do in the RV, because things are bound to happen when you’re driving an entire house across the country several times a year. If you’re not a patient person, you will learn to be! And I mean that in the best sense. Shane has had the black water tank spray all over him and his clean clothes, we’ve had a scare with the CO detector and had to call the fire department, and we’ve driven through Manhattan at 3am, praying that we could escape before the city woke up, and it’s all made for the best stories and memories.
There are things about being in a mobile home that can be difficult, like trying to watch Netflix without getting an enormous cell phone bill, but I’ve learned that attitude is everything. Because really, what on earth is better than living in a different city every day!! There is never a worry that maybe we left something important for the trip at home, or who will take care of the cat while we’re gone, or where we could possibly take a nap if we get tired! And there are no electricity bills, which is a huge plus. It’s important to really be on top of your RV maintenance “to-do” list, making sure that you’re always checking the oil in the generator, the propane level, and knowing where you can and can’t go to dump your tanks and get potable water, but all of these things become just as routine as knowing when your internet bill is due, or that you need to clean the litter box. It’s just a simpler way of living that I think most people would really enjoy if they truly gave it a chance. And I say why not! Take a year, get a mobile home and go to all the places you’ve always wanted to go to. I can’t see how anyone could regret doing that.