Many folks ask us “how is life different from living in a house”. I thought it might be interesting to go through some of the most common questions people ask us. We are currently in our second coach where we wanted to upgrade our Entegra Anthem 5 model years of engine and coach improvements, a larger shower, a window in the kitchen, a walk-in closet, and much more storage space.
How are we able to handle living in a small space?
Here is the floor plan of our home on wheels. There are two doors between the bedroom and the living room/kitchen combo. I like to get up early and close both of the pocket doors and Dave can continue to get a peaceful sleep. With the open floor plan, there’s a nice separation between the kitchen and living room enabling easy cooking while watching TV together. Our living room is also very comfortable with a reclining couch and dinette booth.
We have discovered (or created) a NEW “normal”
Our individual space isn’t divided as you would normally think of, but really it’s the living room or the kitchen or the bedroom or the outside. Each of these areas has its usefulness and we use all the space in our home.
Do we want to kill each other when we don’t really have any alone time?
I like to spend time alone in the early morning playing on the internet and watching morning shows while Dave sleeps. He has his alone time after I go to bed around 11 pm.
We also have two little dogs where taking them for walks gives us some time to ourselves and together. It is interesting that the dogs always know where their “home” is even though it changes locations about every month. Maybe they recognize it? Do they know the smell? When we got our second coach, we also changed the outside color from brownish to red, white, and black… and the dogs still know which coach belongs to them. At least our dogs are very resilient and happy to be wherever we are. Here is the article about how we travel with the dogs.
Do we miss having a yard or garden that we can call our own?
I have always loved to have a little nature around me and I now have an AeroGarden where I can grow herbs, vegetables, flowers… Currently, I’m learning to grow and care for bonsai trees! I’m on my third attempt and my Brazilian rain tree is doing very well at the moment. It’s a fun little hobby that doesn’t take much time and little to no cost.
How do we handle being in different locations and surroundings with nothing being familiar?
One of the reasons we’ve found that some folks don’t want to have this lifestyle is that they love the feeling of being comfortable with where they are and where they need to go to do (or get) anything. We do not have that luxury. But we find it’s fun and an adventure to figure out how to make each new location livable. Google Maps is truly our best friend as we travel the country and we are able to find almost any business we may need. We use a number of chain stores that have more or less the same layout in every city (e.g. Walmart, PetSmart). These stores enable us to go into any one of their locations and we can normally find what we are looking for.
Because we use Google Maps so much for their reviews and photos, I also am a Google Local Guide where I also contribute to help the next person who is also looking for a business or service. You can see my Maps Profile here. You can select to follow our adventures on Google Maps.
Here’s my Google Local Guide 2020 application video that talks about this topic.
…for a laugh, here are the bloopers from recording the video 🙂
Hope you like them!
How did we decide what to keep and what to discard when moving from a house into our small space?
Moving into a much smaller space was quite challenging! This was one of the toughest things we did to start this new life. I think it took us at least three attempts and many months to be able to fit our “stuff” into our RV.
This was where we got rid of the obvious things that we realized that we didn’t want or need
This was the first serious look at our belongings to determine if any item was going to be usable in the RV and if it wasn’t
- Do we need to keep it?
- Does any family member want it?
- Should we donate it?
This was where the rubber meets the road. If we had an item that really shouldn’t go in the RV, we had to ask ourselves why it didn’t go away during the second attempt. Maybe it was an heirloom? Maybe it had a wonderful memory? …but if it couldn’t (or shouldn’t) go into the RV, it had to go somewhere and that was probably into paid storage. At this point, I had to determine the following for each item
- Will we use this item if we ever bought a home again? E.g. kitchen item, wall hanging
- If not, will this item always be in a box, probably never to be opened again and is very important personally to keep? E.g. heirloom, fond memory
Paid storage is very expensive especially if we planned to do this new lifestyle for many years. We had to think about how much it would cost to replace vs paid storage… so we got rid of all (or most) TVs, furniture, linens, kitchen appliances, clothes
- As it turns out we were able to get our “extra” stuff down to few enough things that we have been able to leverage family to store anything that we are not carrying in our RV.
- Once a year, we go through our RV from end to end and get rid of anything that we haven’t used in the previous year.
So what is life like living in a mobile RV vs a house?
Different! …but with a new “normal” that we love! What questions do you have?