Preparing for Full-Time RV Living.
How big is your home? According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, the average size of a new single-family home in 2015 was 2,467 square feet. That is 61% bigger than people bought in 1975, which if I figured right would have made the homes 40 years ago a mere 963 square feet. Houses are definitely getting bigger. How does yours compare? We all want our own space. We need big backyards for our outdoor kitchens and today’s independent children must have their own rooms. Husbands escape into their man caves equipped with large-screen TVs and refrigerators, while the women just nest throughout the whole house.
If homes are getting bigger, then why is there a tiny house movement? Have you heard of this?
It’s where a family of 2 or more move into what can only be described as an overgrown shoe box and somehow they manage not to kill each other. And then, there are the full-time RVers. These come in all age ranges and social spheres, but many are retirees, who sold their homes, moved themselves and 2 dogs into a home on wheels, and travel around the country. Nuts, right? Wrong! My husband and I have been researching this phenomenon and have discovered hundreds of people who absolutely love this lifestyle.
Before our research, I always thought people who did such things were a bit touched in the head. I mean, I can camp out with the best of them. I grew up going down to the Red River in North Texas many weekends and salivating as my parents cooked breakfast over an open fire. Nothing tastes better than potatoes fried up in an iron skillet and thrown down next to scrambled eggs and crispy bacon. But after a few days, we packed up all the dirt we had accumulated and went back to our nice home and comfy beds.
So, how can I exuberantly choose to live in something smaller than most people’s garages? What will we do with everything? It took years to acquire this stuff and a lot of money to boot! The furniture, kitchenware, bedding, tools, years and years’ worth of bank statements, and how in the world can I get rid of all my Christmas decorations? After all, little Johnny made this snowflake when he was only 2!
Ah, now we are getting to the crux of the matter. Stuff! We all have it. It fills every nook and cranny of our homes, garages, attics, workshops, and cars. Like us, you may even have a small RV sitting in the backyard being neglected until that once a year camping trip when you clean out all the lady bugs, load up with food, and drive to a crowded RV park, only to be kept awake by the neighbor’s yapping dog.
This photo is a case in point. The first one we purchased in 2014 was a 1997 Coachmen 25-foot in all its glory pull-behind and we learned quickly how small it was when we went to pass each other. But we bought it purely for recreational purposes, you know, that yearly trip!
Then the day came when senior discounts kicked in and arthritic joints started acting up. We live in a cozy, smaller than most, cottage nestled in the country on 3 acres. Like many hard-working Americans, we don’t have a retirement plan, so the closer we got to retirement age, we started praying and asking God to help us develop a plan. Even though retirement is still 2-3 years away, we have started taking the first steps and it’s time for our nooks and crannies to start downsizing. Let the fun begin!
This article is the first of many to come journaling our departure from being rich in stuff to learning how to live more simply. I will record for posterity my path through all the emotions and tears as well as the joys of becoming free, not only of debt, but of owning more things than we will ever need. I invite you to come along and share this experience with me. If you have walked here already, I’d love to hear about your journey.
Before I leave you today, I’ll show you a photo of the first of many steps in our plan. After much searching, we purchased our future home, a 2004 36-foot McKenzie Lakota 5th wheel equipped with 3 slides in pristine condition. I am already rearranging furniture, cabinets, and researching all the storage tips on Pinterest. Lord, help me!
Until next time,
P.S. Read the next RV journal entry here.