Living in a camper, RV, trailer whatever you want to call it is a wild ride filled with amazing travels! We have also realized that living this life has made us appreciate a lot of things that we took for granted when we lived in a house. RV living is definitely a different kind of living. Being on the road means there are really good times and also times of frustration and struggles where you miss the comforts of a house.
Here is our list of 10 things that we have learned after 6 months of living full time in our RV with 4 kids and 2 dogs. Yes this is our Crazy Family Adventure and also an amazing journey where we are learning so much about ourselves, our family and the world around us.
Table of Contents
- You always feel a little bit lost!
- You get really excited when the campground has an awesome laundry room!
- Not sure where you are when you get up in the morning
- Water pressure!
- Privacy . . . does not exist!
- One bathroom . . .
- Jackets, Shoes, Wet Suits, Oh My!!!
- WOW . . .
- Stopping to breath and take it in.
You always feel a little bit lost!
Whenever we pull into a new place we get ourselves settled at the campsite and hang out to enjoy it! Eventually we have to go out to get groceries or just to explore and the fun begins. Thank goodness for Google Maps on my phone – it gets me everywhere when we are in a new place.
So I might know where I am supposed to go but getting there is always interesting – what lane turns right, can I do a U-turn here, I see where I want to go but how the heck do I get in there and where is parking? We eventually find everywhere but it isn’t always easy. Then there is the fun of grocery shopping in a new grocery store every week . . .
When we were in our hometown I could pretty much drive all the places I needed to go while being half asleep (not really but you know what I mean). Out on the road, not so much!
My husband always laughs but I also feel very lost when I walk into a new grocery store in a new city we are visiting. I don’t know where anything is and I end up walking around the grocery store at least twice before I am done since I can never find everything I need the first time through. Then again we have found some great food and brands around the country that we didn’t have in our home town so I guess it isn’t all bad.
You get really excited when the campground has an awesome laundry room!
Yes we have a washer and dryer in our RV – but it is mini! So when you see one with industrial size washers and dryers that will dry everything in 25 minutes (instead of 2 hours like the RV one) you get really excited :)! It really does become about the little things you took for granted in a house when you live in an RV. And yes there are times I REALLY miss my large washer and dryer that we had in our house . . .
Then again I was never caught up on laundry when we lived in a house. Now living in an RV we are always caught up on laundry since we don’t have anywhere for it to pile up. Plus we all have a limited amount of clothes so we need to be on top of washing it and putting it away so we have it when we need it.
Not sure where you are when you get up in the morning
When we wake up in the morning we have to stop and ask ourselves where are we? I think this is especially the case for our 2-year-old Knox. The other day he got up and said “Mommy where are we?”. Does it make us question if that is a good or bad thing – yes! But when we come out of our room and have a view like this we figure it is worth it for everyone!
When we went to stay with my Parents we thought we were going to get blown away from the water pressure coming out of the shower and sink! I could have stayed in the shower for an hour and then went and washed dishes for another hour. This is one of those things that you don’t realize you are going to miss. Water in general can be an issue, especially drinking water which is why we use a Berkey water purifier which is awesome!
It is really amazing how we don’t take things like water pressure or even having consistent running water – which we don’t have if we are boondocking or at a site with just electric for granted anymore. I do like the fact that it is also teaching our kids to be aware of water and they are really good at not wasting it now.
Privacy . . . does not exist!
Not only does it not exist in the RV but also at the campsites! Sometimes we will be at a place where no one else is there – but most of the time we have people living right next door to us and a lot of the time those neighbors are literally right there – as in our awning would touch their campers! This can be stressful if one of the kids is having a breakdown and we don’t want the whole campsite to hear. But normally it is just helpful for all of us to work on keeping our voices down and not yelling at each other!
As for the privacy inside the RV – anyone with young kids knows no matter where you are kids have a way of always finding you. But when we were at the house I could go hide upstairs and take a bath and they didn’t know I was there . . . not so much anymore. It has been an adjustment – but again it has been worth it and luckily we all love each other so much and enjoy being close to each other!
One bathroom . . .
Need I say more. This is definitely one of the things that houses usually have more of well that and more spaces to spread out. Not to mention the black tank that my husband has to deal with emptying. But it is all good – at least most of the time. . . You really do get use to one bathroom and a small living space.
Jackets, Shoes, Wet Suits, Oh My!!!
I use to have a mudroom and it always felt unorganized and messy. Well now there is no mudroom and there is no room! Trying to figure out where to put everything has been a challenge and continues to be a challenge. For now we have a big bucket for shoes – that seems to be working.
Then sweatshirts use to have a hook – but the sweatshirts never found it to the hook – so now we just leave them in the car or hang them over a seat. Wet suits get to hang outside on a lawn chair. Is it perfect – NO! It is a work in progress. With 4 kids I think that will always be the case.
WOW . . .
It is amazing how many times we have said WOW did you see that! Or this is so cool! Here is why we are doing this – to see new things all the time and to be able to sit back and really take them in. Living this lifestyle allows us to visit places for weeks or even months at a time.
What that means is we get to really immerse ourself in the location we are at. We don’t have to rush through and only do the top tourist things. Instead we can stay for days and enjoy relaxing some of those days and exploring on others. I have to say it is a great way to see new locations!
Stopping to breath and take it in.
It seemed like when we were living in a house we were always running all over the place and doing this that and the other thing. With living in a RV we have had more of a chance to sit back and to try to slow down and really take each moment in. Am I at where I want to be with this? No – it is also a work in progress.
It seems like I am really good at always finding something to do and I have had to tell myself to stop and relax and just enjoy the moment. Which does seem easier to do while being the RV. Maybe because we have less to maintain or else because I am truly amazed by the things we are seeing and the reaction that the kids are having. I will continue to work on being better at this!
It seems like we are always planning our next move (in more way then one). I am ok with this since I like planning. But it can be overwhelming! When you don’t know where you are going to be parking the next month you need to make decisions and make a plan and it isn’t always easy. But again it is fun and worth it and over time this part gets easier.
So those are just 10 things I have learned so far – and I know there is so much more learning to come. We are happy about our decision and what we are doing and sometimes we have to stop and sit back and say – is this really our life?! It is funny if I hear about someone else doing something like this or see a blog about it I get the feeling like – Wow that is awesome! I wonder how they are doing it?! Then I say – oh yeah that is right – we are doing it!
Since writing this post we have written a few more about what life in an RV is like: