I’ve noticed that the theme of housing these days seems to be edging toward, “the smaller, the better.” Especially in cities like Los Angeles where the rent prices are so high. People are beginning to realize that the cost of living has gotten out of hand, it’s not worth the money to own a big home, or even rent an apartment. Not only is the cost of living high, but seeing all the traveling your friends do on Social Media the adventurous bug might be hitting you. You want to get out and see the world. If you’ve ever thought about leaving a structured life behind, along with the rent on your apartment, your can join the growing number who have opted to live in an RV. Before you do, however, see my list of things I miss the most now that I do not live in an apartment anymore and be sure you’re willing to sacrifice.
Ok, not all apartments are open and spacious floor plans, but unless you plan on getting a large, luxury RV to live and travel in, more than likely you will be leaving behind some space and stuff you may come to miss. In an RV, space is used as efficiently as possible which means narrow passageways, kitchens, and bathrooms are set in small quarters and the living space where you kick back to watch TV or visit, is often intertwined with the galley, or possibly, right next to the tiny bathroom. That can bring about some interesting conversations. You’ll have to find ways to get around your significant other to keep from bumping bellies in the galley, but adjusting is possible. My RV is really small, my main hangout space is the bed. This is where I work and spend my nights watching TV. Sometimes I get annoyed and frustrated by the small space and I am now thinking to upgrade to a slightly bigger RV. Ideally, you want to spend more time outdoors and less indoors which you can do when the weather permits it.
If you are one to lounge in a regular-sized tub and primping in front of a big mirror, even leisurely getting dressed in your bathroom, you will find yourself having to change that routine. You won’t find that kind of leisurely-soak-in-a-tub kind of space in an RV. Unless you have a big one. You will more than likely be using the bathroom in your RV for just the necessities; toilet, shower, and brush your teeth. Showering is not ever going to be the same as before. If you are not hooked up in water and boondock a lot (dry camp) you will become more conscious about your water usage. You will turn off the water while shaving and shampooing your hair. You will just use the water to rinse off. Using the toilet also will change. Most RVers that I’ve met are not throwing toilet paper down in the toilet. They throw that in a separate garbage bag which will save space in your black water tank. It’s all about being flexible when you’re in an RV, but for some people, it may be hard to get used to the tight quarters for grooming.
Clean laundry may not be as easy to come by in an RV. Depending on the type of RV you’ve chosen to call home, there’s a big chance you won’t have a washer and dryer included; not even a stackable. You may not have had the biggest laundry room in your apartment or the most expensive set of washer and dryer, but at least you had one you could fill anytime you needed to do a load. In your RV, you may be lucky to have a laundry room on-site at the RV park you’re staying at, but if you’ve decided to stop somewhere off the beaten path, you’ll be building your pile of dirty clothes until you get to a laundromat somewhere back in civilization. One tip is to use the same clothing multiple times. I am not talking about your underwear but most of the clothing could be worn multiple times. What it boils down to is a personal preference. You can love being in an apartment for the obvious reasons, or love having the freedom to pick up and go where you want and when you want. Most people find that the little idiosyncrasies are insignificant enough that they are able to deal with them and find ways of getting around them. Life is all about compromise and that’s what RV living is, too.
Your devices are very important to you so is the internet. Especially if you are a digital nomad and need to work from the road – you will need your computer, your phone, and your TV to work while traveling. When you live in an apartment this is not an issue. You sign up to a provider and you will have unlimited, uninterrupted internet 24/7. When you live in an RV and travel you will find places with spotty or very slow data coverage. This can be a major inconvenience for many. After a while though, you will find ways to make this work. Here is my article about how to get internet remotely.
Be On Top Of It At All Times
Unless you live in a park for a longer amount of time you won’t have utility bills. This is great! However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to think about your electric, water, and propane usage all the time. If you dry camp often and it’s cold out you will need to make sure you have plenty of propane and your batteries are charged so your furnace can keep you warm all night. When your battery dies so does the furnace. You really don’t want to run out of your battery in the middle of the night when it’s the coldest out. Some RVer only uses warm blankets, or hot bottles in the bed even in sub-zero temperatures. I personally like to sleep under heavy covers, I only run my furnace during the evening. When I am plugged in I use my electric heater which is the easiest option. The same things apply when it’s really warm out. You will need lots of power to make your AC work. Or if you can you just have to avoid places where it gets too hot during the days. Most of your cooking will require propane or electric power. Solar panels will help to keep your batteries charged when it is sunny out but you are out of luck if it is cloudy or rainy. You might have to run your generator for hours which needs gas.
You will always have to be on top of your battery usage, water, and propane levels if you don’t want to run out. This might sound a lot and scary for a beginner, it will require some getting used to. But if I could do it, you can do it too!
You will have to give up some of the things you like when you leave your house or apartment and decide to move into your RV full-time. In exchange, though you will get to live life every day, meet a lot of interesting, fun people, and have an unlimited adventure ahead of you. I love this lifestyle and even though I have all these small inconveniences I would not go back to a stationary lifestyle. If you are already living in your RV, please comment below on what do you miss the most. If you are not, what is that keeping you? What are you going to miss the most?