Trial Run #2 – Peace vs. Anxiety
For the beginning of our RV living journal, go here to read previous articles.
The journey to RV living continues as we contemplate selling our sticks and “Austin stone” house and living full time in a 36′ fifth wheel. I’ve read tons of articles by people who live full-time in their RV and the overwhelming opinion is that RV living is heaven on earth, but there is nothing as truth-telling as a personal experience. Now that I’ve had a few days to process our time, I came up with some pros and cons that will have to be considered.
Is RV living all it’s cracked up to be? We stayed in our RV parked on our property for a total of 8 days. The first 2-day trial run was cut short when the hot water heater went out. We made repairs and this time around definitely gave us a better idea of what it’s like to live in an RV. It is roughly 320 square feet compared to our home of 1576, so the RV is approximately one-fifth of the space we normally stretch out in. Wow!
After this stay, I received some revealing spiritual truth that had an impact on our decision-making process. It involves God’s timing and trusting Him. I will talk about that at the end.
Keeping It Real
In order to make this as realistic as possible while parked on our property, my goal was to treat our home as a grocery store; only going in for items I had forgotten. Therefore, each trial run starts with me carrying a boatload of stuff out to the RV. We don’t want a bunch of duplicate items to sell off later, so I’ve chosen to carry what we use back and forth between the home and the RV.
I love to cook; therefore, I begin with the kitchen.This includes appliances such as the coffee maker, Instant Pot, and toaster. I take utensils, seasonings, and keeping in mind the much smaller refrigerator and freezer space, I try to be very strategic in what I take. Finally, I lug out my heavy cast iron skillets because no serious chef would cook without them!
RV Pantry Space
The more I bring out, the more I realize the lack of storage space. Inside my home, I have a pantry stocked to the brim with duplicates of everything I use. During my younger adult life, there were seasons where money was scarce and days when I wasn’t sure how I’d feed my children. Once my financial situation improved, I started buying food staples in bulk such as sugar, flour, rice, and beans. I never want to run out of anything, so I have an extra of everything we use. If we empty a bottle of ketchup, no worries! There’s one in the pantry. I keep a 5-gallon bucket of sugar on top of a 5-gallon bucket of rice, and so on. Are you beginning to get a glimpse inside my head, I mean my pantry?
If the RV became our full-time home, my buying habits would change considerably. I would have to buy items in much smaller quantities. Instead of buying the largest bottle of ketchup, I would purchase the smaller version and so on. I must admit to a bit of anxiety thinking about not having extra food items on hand. What if an apocalypse happened or a recession caused a food shortage? What if my husband lost his job? What if North Korea dropped an EMP on us?
In case you don’t know this already, the what-ifs are life killers!
After the kitchen and food, comes clothes, computers, Bibles and devotionals, bathroom toiletries, phone chargers, and finally, pet supplies and our dog, Emma. Working through the afternoon, I get everything in place and end up sweating like nobody’s business because it’s 90 degrees outside! Exhausted, I look around at the cozy results and think, “Yeah, I could do this,” and I wait for Marshall to come home from work so he can admire my handiwork.
RV Living Pros and Cons
Every time we stay in it, we learn things we like and don’t like. I’ve outlined the pros and cons below.
Let’s start with the positive:
- It’s cozy-looking when everything is put up. It doesn’t take long to clean up either.
- Being free from a mortgage payment is very inviting. I kept thinking about the money we could save before retirement, or you know, before the job loss, apocalypse, recession, or EMP happens.
- The 10-gallon hot water heater provides plenty of hot water, even when I wash my hair. The large skylight over the shower helps me not feel so claustrophobic inside the small space.
- The convection/microwave oven doesn’t heat up the RV like the gas stove inside our home.
- When we’re watching TV, I can actually reach Marshall and touch his arm. That’s nice!
- The big picture windows allows views of the scenery, which will be nicer in the mountains than my yard.
- The new washer and dryer work well. I was able to hang the clothes out on my handy-dandy clothes line that hooks onto the outside ladder and then fluff them in the dryer. I love saving money on the electric bill.
Now for the negatives:
- The recliner chairs are not comfortable at all. We need to replace the seating for sure.
- It gets a bit tiring climbing up and down the entry door steps, as they are steeper than our home’s front porch steps. Also, Emma has a hard time navigating them.
- I felt totally discombobulated. I’d forget where I put things, so I was constantly opening cabinets and drawers looking for stuff.
- In Texas heat, the air conditioner just wasn’t able to cool things down enough. Marshall wants to have it checked out.
- The skylight over the shower makes me feel a bit vulnerable to God’s eyes or to peeping drones.
Peace vs. Anxiety
All of the negatives can be remedied or adjusted to, so the biggest issue wasn’t the cons. During this stay, I felt anxious the whole time. I never had peace that this was the right thing to do. After our stay, I went to prayer and asked God why I felt such anxiety. He assured me the RV was in His plan for us and He would provide whenever Marshall wasn’t able to work. However, He showed me how I was getting ahead of Him by trying to force the transition too early. If we were debt free, lived in the paid-for RV, then everything would be fine, right? That’s putting my trust in circumstances instead of God. A tornado could wipe out the RV. Circumstances can change at the drop of a hat, but God is always trustworthy. I realized what I was doing wrong. I told Him how sorry I was and peace flooded my heart. He blessed us with the RV, but I need to wait on His timing and His direction and stop trying to help Him.
Is RV living all it’s cracked up to be? For now, the jury is still out. One thing I know is that God’s ways are higher than ours and when His plan for the RV comes together, I won’t have all the anxiety. There will be peace in my heart knowing I’m in God’s will.
Until next time,
P.S. Read the beginning of our RV journey here.