Getting Ready For An RV or Campervan
Tiny House or RV?
Have you ever dreamed of downsizing? You know, just chucking all your excess stuff and starting again smarter? Bonnie Noble-Smith and her husband did just that. They left their stick and brick home to discover life on the road. That’s right, they decided to leave everything behind and downsize into an RV.
So how did a normal everyday couple decide to make such a big change? Believe it or not, thousands of couples (and singles) downsize to an RV each year for a variety of reasons. For Bonnie and Dewey a forced early retirement encouraged them to rethink their future.
The recession inspired many families to rethink their priorities. Here are just a few of the reasons people choose to RV.
1. Save Money – The RV lifestyle can cost as much or as little as you want to spend.
2. Flexible Budget– Simple changes are available to RVers. If you need to save money one month you can travel less or change your park location. You can boondock (Park on public land for free) You can change rigs to lower your monthly expenses. (Just try that with your mortgage!)
3. Need To Roam: Today mobile jobs are plentiful. Technology has also enabled people to take their work with them. If you’ve always wanted to travel, living in an RV can open the doors to a dream come true.
4. Less Stuff- The tiny house movement is on the rise. People desire to live with less and experience more. The RV lifestyle teaches people to live in 400 square feet or less.
5. Weather – Crazy weather is everywhere. Downsizing to an RV will allow you to move where the weather suits you best. Head to the mountains in the summer and the desert in the winter. See the oceans or the jungles. When your home is mobile, where you live is up to you. (And it may change from day to day!)
Bonnie and Dewey didn’t wake up one day and RV the next. They created a plan and took two years to put it into action. At first they sold their home and moved into a much smaller apartment. This was a great first step. It allowed them to keep working, but discover what items were important to them and which items were ready to donate or give away.
The couple began to talk to other RVers. They attended RV shows and decided what they liked and what they didn’t. They read forums, chatted with full timers and re-prioritized their life. It took time.
After two years of planning, they bought their first RV and began to move in. The first lesson they learned was “avoid clutter in an RV!” There has to be a place for everything and it gets crowded fast.
What did they love? What could they take? What should they store? What should they give away? These are tough questions that take time to sort out.
The first decision the couple made was to take their dog and cat with them on the road. They decided to downsize as a family and that family included a dog and cat.
So what do you think? Could you downsize your life and live in an RV? If so, what would that look like? (Would you bring your pets?)
Bonnie and Dewey wanted to travel so they usually live in one location a week or two and then travel to the next place. Of course, there are no rules set in stone. They are free to stay as long or as short as they want because they are mobile. They can follow the sun!
Think this lifestyle is only for the retired? Think again. In fact, thousands of young people are choosing to live “small.” There is also a growing group of families who choose to combine travel with “road schooling.” These kids learn about history and experience history all at the same time.
Downsizing can be a huge challenge in an UPSIZING world. The downsize movement is about living with things you love and finding contentment in your lifestyle. Living small is about loving your life, not just loving your stuff
Here are a few things that RV travelers know that the rest of us are yet to learn:
1. You can make it with just one set of everything. (Think dishes, glasses, sheets, towels and more)
2. Technology enables a paperless existence. (Throw out that file cabinet and save your documents in the cloud.)
3. Think like a Swiss Army Knife! (The Swiss Army knife has more than one function. In fact, it does almost everything. When you downsize think about each item and how many tasks it can perform. If it only does one thing, it may not be worth the space!)
4. You can keep moving. – Feel stagnant? Or Discontent? Rvers know that excitement is just around the corner. (So take risks, live life and be brave! You’ll thank me later.)
If you are considering downsizing to an RV here Bonnie suggests you spend as much time as possible researching your options. Read the forums, blogs and YouTube discussions. There are many books on Amazon as well as in your library. Read everything you can.
Remember, downsizing to an RV means living in a much tinier space. Be prepared to give your partner space as well as a creative outlet. You will be living a much closer life. Expect change and embrace it as it comes. Listen to each other and take time out when needed.
Finally, not every friend and family member will support your new idea. In fact, they may think you are crazy. That’s ok. Rving may or may not be right for you. The key is not giving up just because the people around you don’t like the idea. Listen to suggestions. Ask questions. Make wise choices. In the end, you have to live your life. Sometimes you have to go small to live big! Why not give it a try?
Authors Note: If you’d like to give RVing a try consider renting. RVShare offers hundreds of rental opportunities around the country. Save thousands of dollars by renting first and discovering WHAT you want before you buy.
Thanks for reading!