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 other) taking some time to enjoy the outdoors or even in having to live 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 or are trying to accomplish. 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, storing some and purchase an RV of some sort and travel all over”. Yeah, that’s not always how it all goes down. There are those (like my husband and I and our 2 dogs), that actually had two other RV’s and never used them because of dealing with family crisis’s. Yet, still had dreamt of someday having an RV-lifestyle, but had to be thrown into it real fast, did what we could to continue to support ourselves and figured it out from there. 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 can give advice on how to do things more efficiently, with a much easier transition, a lot less stress and struggle, but success in doing so, will still be up to the individual. I say this because against all odds, we still managed and made it work.

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 some RVing in my younger years and lived on a sailboat (with 2 of my eldest children) for almost 2 years and my husband had parents that were RV-ers, so we both already had some experience in living, travel and outdoor life, but in life you should 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 things. I manage what I do, as my husband and I are a team (yet, he has some disabilities), so I have to help-out more. I’ve learned a lot more about RV-ing and it’s community of course, but also learned more about myself, what my needs are, what’s important and how the weather, can tremendously dictate our plans, among several other things.

Here’s some other 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.

*Even though we may not always be stationery and 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).

*Time is truly most precious in life and most importantly, how you spend it, as well as with and around whom. Take time, don’t rush it, but don’t waste 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.

*Being able to estimate how many gallons of water you need or use each day is very helpful (along with 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, enjoy their time and it shouldn’t be a place for those to leave trash, waste or destruction after they visit or leave.

*I mainly wear comfy clothes (and 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 get 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.

*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, 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 a 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; http://www.instgram.com/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

Now is our Someday

“RV-Living, can be for anyone, if you like the outdoors, don’t mind being mobile & likes to travel, respects nature & camping rules, often living by the weather, learn having less can be best, do planning & can be resourceful and can manage yourself wherever you go”. C .Star. V

This picture above was in 2021, we finally started our full-time RV-living journey, as we may never would have had a chance to, unless we just took the jump. We had some experience and know how, but with everything against us, and only a start in plans, it wasn’t exactly the way we had thought we would be (as in having more time, money, travel and options) doing this transition, but finally we had all of our children old enough and able to get on their own (had my last 2 late in life). After raising all the children (having to give-up any career to do so) and after my husband whom had worked the majority of his life, he had progressive disabilities from his past years in the military and injury while at work, which had prevented him from being able to continue his employment. We also had no where else to live, as not only did we have the dream of RV-life, we had to sell our family home and other properties to get out of debts from years of all our family responsibilities, some mismanagement of money, and my husband’s parents had to move-into our home we used to rent out. So with little or no funds or plans we needed to find and purchase our RV months before we ended up selling our home in 2021, due to all of this and various other reasons, we possibly would-never or it would take awhile for us to ever-be-able to purchase an RV and we aren’t in our 30-40’s or 50’s anymore!!

My husband served in the Navy for 14yrs, then became employed as an IT and worked on an oil-drilling-ship for many more years. We always talked about, “Someday “ getting an RV and doing some traveling and live in it (after we raise the children). My husband worked all his young adult to senior life. He always went to work and worked hard at his job, supported his large family and paid his bills, but he didn’t always know the most beneficial way to utilize his income (even while he was finally earning better income), but we survived through much drama and turbulent times. Meanwhile, raising a large blended family with 2 sets of aging parents.

During our marriage, at one point I had a chance to start my career and finally earn an income of my own, but chose to be a stay at home mom, “Since I never found any type of employment that ever needed me, more than my family”. Within all those years, I had to learn how to budget. While practicing it, I became pretty good at creating a fulfilling life, with a full house of children and while keeping on a tight budget. People always thought we had a lot more money then we did, but it was just finding how-to’s and being resourceful by being creative, keeping things simple, yet useful and making-do with what I had. I am now implementing my knowledge and know-how’s, in tips towards a simpler, healthier and enjoyable lifestyle.

**Our Rving journey, had been long awaited. Raised last set of children in my 40’s and when they were all (almost), all grown-up, we bought several RV’s (hoping to do some weekend fun or mini trips), but never had a chance to use them and had to sell them both times (family dilemmas with aging parents and children), but didn’t give up the dream. Even though, our income was shrinking, not solid, with a much tighter budget then ever before, with everything else going on within our life, family and right in the middle of Covid, lost our beloved dog and my husband wasn’t able to continue working because of his injury and progressive disabilities. It all changed from being a dream, in feeling more of a total challenge. After deciding to sell our home (had a quick sale), it was out of necessity to live in our RV (for several reasons) and start our someday, if not now, it possibly may be never.

*So, in this month it will be a full year of full-time-RVing for us and our 2 dogs, this was our 3rd RV and 3rd try and the turn of events had us sad at first. Even on our smaller budget, not as young anymore and with my husbands disabilities, we made a go of it. At this point, we had now been able to live in our RV and put it to use, but have to stay a bit stationary (hubby in physical therapy) hoping to one day do more traveling, but grateful for being a part of a super RV-ing community, have met some really great people and made new friends. So, there’s no “one-way” to RV-living and camping. No matter if you are part-timers, weekend warriors or full- timers. “Find-out now, that happiness doesn’t require as much as one may think”.

On this blog I will share some tips and tricks that could be helpful and a glimpse of the things we’ve experienced along the way of our journey so far and as our adventure continues. Also more on my http://www.instagram.com/cstarsrvvibes/

I have always loved scrapbooking, but today we have blogs, Instagram and other platforms that our children, grandchildren and family can see and share.. As well, that possibly could help others, upon their journey or surviving getting to their life goals. Whether they might be thinking about RVing or already in the midst of it.

Meanwhile, keeping our ongoing RV-living and dreams of travel, even with all we’re coping with ..“Aiming to, Send and Receive Good-Vibes Only”.

C .Star. V

RVing

“There are far better things ahead, than something’s we leave behind”.

There is much information out there about RV-ing, camping, travel and more with so many articles, blogs, social media platforms (such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook) and sometimes it seems there is such a lot to take in, but it is super to have such access, to all kinds of information. Within all the beautiful and captivating pictures, shown of beautiful people without-a-care-in-the world, traveling and having a beautiful life in a beautiful place, all displayed on these platforms and it may all looks so interesting. Yet, many of the displays and portrayals on the internet of these feelings and lifestyle goals, could be of companies and marketers advertising or selling something. Although! Yes! The experience and the goals for this lifestyle (realistically), may look a little different then some photos or stories we see, but it can be very possible, inviting, very enjoying, relaxing, rewarding and for some very economical.

There are also opportunities as well for bloggers and others on social media platforms (Instagram, YouTube and Facebook) that can suggest and recommend items and earn a small percentage, which can help support them in and on their journeys and that’s great !! Most of us on this planet, needs to earn an income in order to survive and get the needs we need. As well, with all the technology today, it has provided many ways to achieve that.

Yet, just like any other decisions that any of us make in our lives, it’s a choice and how you choose to live it, use it and enjoy it, all can vary. I will be sharing my stories, ideas, & information, about RV-ing from our experience and give realistic-life advice & suggestions, on this blog and my http://www.instagram.com/cstarsrvvibes/

I do enjoy many pleasures from the analog days vs. todays fast pace, as when people told their stories and gave realistic simple advice, before there was a lot of technology and gadgets. Life just was a little less hectic and living simpler, seemed more meaningful and I grew up in those days (tried to keep as much of valuable traditions, as I could in raising my children) and I was very happy to be able to do so. I also enjoy all or any good vibes, coming from today’s world and today’s insights, so I value both as there’s so much information out there to be shared and much to be enjoyed.

So, whether it’s just for a couple of days, for a weekend or Full-time RV-living, there’s no one way that makes it better or it right.. Just read up, make plans and get yourself out there!

C .Star. V

Transitioning to FT-RV-life

“Our FT RV-Life was not fully planned all out, but totally happened! As seniors still wanting to live-the-life we waited for, even on a smaller budget” .

In the Picture above was when we first bought our RV, however we weren’t able to embark and to start any journeys or even live in the RV, at that time because we were still in the midst of selling our house and trying to plan our transition from a large-size home to an RV, just under 300 sqtft.

Although this was our third time buying an RV, (we hadn’t been able to utilize the past two) and we had to sell them. The timing just was not good as we had experienced some crisis with aging parents and our children, but this time we were determined and able to make a go of it and did . More on my Instagram http://www.instagram.com/cstarsrvvibes/

In buying an RV, as in anytime making a large purchasing or a purchase of something that has to be maintained (and in this case lived-in), one must not be in a rush, must research, read reviews and look at many different ones at different places . We did, but had still not found one that we really wanted and could afford. Time was crucial and pressing at this point and it was right in the middle of the Covid pandemic, our income had been drastically cut, my husband now had been dealing with his disabilities progressing and could no longer go to work, we just lost our eldest and beloved dog, and now out of necessity (fortunately something that we always wanted to do) we had to find an RV as we may never get a chance again..

At that time there was also, starting to be a scarce amount of used RV’s, as RV-ing had begun to get very popular again, but we had to make a decision. My husband and I each, may have wanted a different type of RV, but the cost, availability and the timeframe pressed on. We decided on a used class A 31UL Jayco precept. There are so many different types of RVs and any one of them we would’ve been happy with and made it work, as we’ve had different types before, but this specific one met our needs (at that time)..

In choosing a class A motorhome we found comfort and ability since we also have two dogs RV-ing with us. Having the Class A or a Class C, we would be able to take the dogs with us when we travel, opposed to having to hatch on to the back of a truck and pull the RV, wherever you go and be inside your truck to travel (we once had one like that, but it’s just a personal preference any-type can be enjoyed). So, now we all can be in the RV, as we travel from place to place, whether we end up towing our vehicle or not..

The type of vehicle, tent or living component that you’re going to be in, what you can afford to have and keep-up and with, where you’re going to choose to park, camp, live and your ability of and in your income, will have the biggest bearing on what kind of lifestyle you’ll have. Yet, it comes down to your real needs and no matter the budget, everyone can do and see much of the same things… Although, it could be in various ways, as these choices and situations have different needs and requirements, but they also have similar needs and requirements. Since, RV parks, campgrounds, state and city parks offer utilities and amenities and some don’t. So, everyone will adjust and manage in their own way and for what their needs will be.

There are even RV parks that are just like apartment complexes for RVers with a community of its own and many perks such as WiFi, trash pickup, propane refills, a general store, a fitness center and a laundry room. Some places are just available land, that have resources for parking and camping no matter what type of vehicle or tent set-up you have, but some don’t have any various utilities to use. Boondocking usually falls into a category that you will need to be able to be more self -sustainable and Moochdocking could be if you are able to stay at someone’s backyard or land and are able to plug into electricity and maybe use shower or bathroom facilities!!!

For us, I myself, have moved and changed my residence’s many-a-times. For most of us, each and every time we go through a move, it seems that no matter, how much we plan, how much time, money or help we have nor how much or little of stuff we have, it’s never an easy process..

Moving into this Fulltime RV-ing endeavor had been a bit challenging, moving from a 5/5, almost 4,000 sqft house to a 31 ft, 270 sqft. RV. Yet, moving or relocating in itself can be overwhelming, as it is a process when moving and downsizing and that alone is a process within a process.

Here below I’ve listed just a quick general process. I have other posts that go into more depth of downsizing and moving). One should try and go through this process at least 6 months prior to moving. (I started 2 yrs before and I still had a difficult time) so, the sooner the better!

1. First the uncluttering and this can consist of going through each closet, each drawer and each and every space in each room.

2. Evaluating what all you have, which includes your clothes, your shoes and all your stuff, that means even going through paperwork, papers saved, file cabinets and just everything all around your home. Cleaning out things that are garbage, or old and outdated ( such as: food, spices, medicines, beauty products etc.) things that are broken (either fix or repair them or if beyond repairing that you’ll ever find the time to do) and things you don’t really need or won’t be really needing (think in terms of what needs for your end goal and what path you are going onto).

3. Re-organize (re-group) all your things according to what they are, where they need to be, put or stored (for convenient usage or easy accessibility or if not being used that often stored away). Example: kitchen (what goes into kitchen area) and what will go in each room, bedrooms, bathrooms, office, closet, drawers and if you have a garage as well. Also, important documents saved or wanting to save (put in file cabinet or file boxes and with file folders marked of the contents or what it is pertaining to.

4. Once all of your possessions and the clutter is gone through (good time to get rid of things you’re not going to use or not going to take with you to your new residence) getting a storage for things you want to keep and reorganize them for when and if you need them (seasonal clothing , tools etc.).

There are so many different ways, opinions, opportunities and methods to any of our journeys in life.. just as there are parks, places and people that go camping and RVing. No matter whether one is a part time RVer, camper, weekend warrior or fulltime RV-living. Many people are always willing to offer each other advice and information about transitioning or on certain equipment needs, personal needs, lifestyle needs and about the amenities, utilities, campgrounds, camping sites and more..

“There is no one-way or set-ways to Rv-ing, just tips, tricks & helpful guidelines”

C .Star. V