RV-living: What I’ve learned (just in 1st year)

As time goes by, some things may change, as in the world of gadgets and technology and as well, so can one’s needs, routines and wants. C .Star. V

Whether you are looking forward in traveling, going camping (with tents, rv or any other) taking some time to enjoy the outdoors or even in having living in your RV as your residence, there’s no set-way to do so, only guidelines. It’s what-ever can work for you and what you need, are trying to accomplish or enjoy. Learning how to adjust and adapt to living an RV-Life, can be exciting and fun, but also could be overwhelming.

In fact, for many it’s not just: “Hey let’s sell most of your possessions, put some stuff in storage, purchase an RV of some sort and travel all over”. Yeah, that’s not always how it all goes down (well maybe for some, but not for most). There are those (like my husband and I and our 2 dogs) that actually had two other RV’s and had never gotten a chance to use them, one had issues that never got resolved by dealership (after we bought it, before we removed it from dealership), so it never left the dealership and because of dealing with family crisis’s and an abundance of responsibilities. Yet, we still dreamt of someday having an RV-lifestyle, but not in the way we had gotten thrown into it real fast! We did what we could to make good decisions and continue to support ourselves and plan things out as much as possible. We live in our RV at local city parks and such, in the same city our last home was in and nearby where our 2 youngest children live. I know a few things by now about how to do things more efficiently, with a much easier transition, a lot less stress and struggle, but success in doing anything will still be up to the individual and what they are tying to accomplish. I say this because against all odds, with everything we had to cope with and against us, we still manage and made it work. We do have a family member that helps us from time to time as needed and we made RV friends that help as well because of my husband’s disabilities.

There are differences from living in our “sticks and bricks” (a nickname for a traditional house) than living in our RV-home, but there’s several things that are similar. I had done a bit of RV-ing, camping with tents and traveling within the United States in my younger years and I also lived on a sailboat (with 2 of my eldest children) for almost 2 years. My husband had parents that were also RV-ers, so we both already had some experience in living, travel and outdoor life. Yet in life, you never stop learning..

After my first year of RV-living and lifestyle, I’ve learned a lot about how to make the process easier and as comfortable as possible (from the home maker’s point of view), even though I do know some mechanical, electrical and physical knowledge about the Rv-life. I manage what I do, as my husband and I are a team (he has disabilities), so I have to assist and help-him more. I’ve learned a lot more about RV-ing and it’s community, but I also learned more about myself, what my needs are, what’s important to me and how the weather, can tremendously dictate our plans, among several other things.

Here’s some additional things I’ve learned just in the 1st year of RV life:

*Having patience, planning, being organized and disciplined, is not only a virtue, but could be a necessity.

*Taking care of yourself (health) is not a selfish act, but mandatory.

*One may not seem to have much, but could have everything (they really need).

*Even though we may not always be stationery and may or may not have a different destination, it’s not always a vacation…

*I loved my homes that I’ve had and lived in for years, but I like being in the RV better (don’t miss cleaning and fixing the big house nor trying to keep up the lawn, among other things).

*Time is truly most precious in life and most importantly, how you spend it, as well as with and around whom. Read and learn about something consistently. Make time, don’t waste it and don’t rush it (especially when you’re on the road, take the time to enjoy, do not rush to the next destination).

*Having clean water is crucial as you can’t carry a lot of water with you because it is a heavy load. Having dry-wood is good and needed for making a fire in fire-pits or grills to cook food and always check your propane levels (if you use propane).

*Being able to estimate how many gallons of water you need or use each day, is vital (as we have and use 3 different tanks). There’s a fresh water tank that holds your fresh water you fill into the RV fresh water tank that’s used for washing, flushing toilet, showers (I purify all incoming water that we fill our fresh tank from wells or city water etc.) and use to have for cooking or drinking. There’s a grey water tank that holds all the water used from sinks and shower and a black water tank that hold the sewer form your toilet. So it is very helpful to know your usage in a timeframe and/or adjust it, for your travels to areas with or without water and sewage hook-ups (along with knowledge of battery, electricity & amp usage)!

*There’s many nice people out enjoying camping and all levels of RV-living, not all want company, some just want a friendly chat, hello or get to-gethers. A lot of people have pets with them (many are dogs), some treat their pets like family and really care about them, others will leave their dogs barking in their RV and don’t seem very caring to their dog/pet (which makes me sad). Some bring a plastic bag with them when taking their dog for a walk, clean-up after their dog and some don’t.

*Often we do errands, go exploring, go visiting and do other things away from the RV and campsite. Most of the time, we take our dogs as they love being with us, even if they sit in our truck with the windows down (to get fresh air, but not all the way down for them to jump-out). We don’t like to leave them and if we have to leave them in the RV, we always take them out and make sure they get to go potty, right before we leave. We turn the a/c on and turn gas and water off. We often arrange the timing to be out, usually around their napping time and only if we know, we will only be gone no more than a couple hours or so.

*Campgrounds are not just for weekend warriors (of friends, family) camping in tents and such or part-time or full-time RVers. Campgrounds can be a place where people call their home, for a short time or longer times. It’s a place people go to relax, get away, visit friends and family and have get to-gether’s to have fun, enjoy their time and it shouldn’t be a place for those to leave trash, waste, dog’s poop or destruction after they visit or leave.

* If having to use a public shower, they all aren’t yucky. Wearing some waterproof flip-flops or such and bringing an organized plastic zippered 2-sided cosmetic bag that folds & can be hung up and unzipped as you use the items, along with a clean towel and fresh clothes in another plastic bag.. can make things a bit nicer.

* Comfy clothes are very in-style as a camper (and wearing more than once), as you may not get to do laundry or shower as often as you normally would, but still get your things and yourself washed.

*I’ve learned to appreciate paper towels, paper plates, bamboo utensils, clean water, showers, and having clean clothes.

*The importance of taking off your shoes when coming into the RV and having the right shoes for different terrains. Waterproof shoes to wear for using public showering and during rainy weather. Also, liking to wear socks when in the RV!!

*Living in close quarters, (ours is about 270sqft), you will need to really like the person a lot, that you share that space with…

*Our lifestyle has changed dramatically in that, we live by the weather more, but also by what area we will be at and the ever changing scenario’s and terrain.

*Getting Mail hasn’t been difficult because we have stayed close to one area (as our youngest grown children and grandchildren live in those vicinities), so we use their address or another close dependable relative, for now.

*Over the course of life, we seem to collect so much more than we really ever need or may even use. Often having to end-up giving it away or getting rid of it, just to have what we want or really need.

*Collecting things and to think we need all kind of stuff, isn’t necessary. Need to just save your money for something more beneficial. We always seem to have what we need anyways or can make do and if we don’t or can’t, we get it. We have given away over half or more of our things.

*Plants don’t like to travel. They like being stationary (for the most part, maybe moved to sunlight or a window), after all they are plants and unlike humans don’t need, nor desire to venture out or move much.

*Bigger is not always better, neither is having more (that pertains from food to things), happiness is very possible with less, a lot less. Experiencing more pleasant memories, over having things.

*I’ve learned that all my recycling habits, water and energy saving habits, food preparation and healthier eating habits, have all been so useful and helpful. Also, there’s less of a need for buying a lot of foods all at once.

*Rinsing off or cleaning anything in the sink (even hands), can be done just as good with the water running softly (not blasting).

*Living closer to and with nature is much more healthy mentally, physically, spiritually and more natural.

*Occasionally when parked in the woods and surrounded by trees, either sticks or small branches could drop also small animals (birds, raccoons and such), could hop onto the top of your RV and it can sounds like someone knocked on your door. Even though it’s coming from the top it may cause movement to the front door.

*I learned about what products to safely use to keep the bugs and pests out of our RV and to make my own and effective repellents. Also, even if you love the outdoors, camping and nature, there are many bugs that will love you even more!

*Camping & RV living may not be for everyone, but for many it can be rewarding and enjoyable.

*We all could be wanting, looking or waiting for something and this is true, but most likely we already have most of what is needed or at least enough to life happier, its just possibly, one is not on or can’t see the road, instead, just spending time thinking of what they think are obstacles”. C .Star. V

I’ll be posting real people and real RV-life, tips and tricks on this blog and on my instagram @cstarsrvvibes.

As always, if there is a question or information I can help with or you want to tell me about your RV or camping experiences, let me know.

C .Star. V