An Update: Life in an RV

We have been traveling in our RV for four months now and have been technically living in it for nine months.  It’s about time that I give a brief update on what life is like living full-time in a motorhome.

To recap, we live in a 34′ National Dolphin RV (hence the name ‘Wandering Dolphin’).  When the slide is extended, it comes to almost exactly 300 sq. ft.  We share our space (Andy and myself) with two dogs, two cats, and a bird.  We are fortunate enough to have ‘central’ heat and A/C, a stove, a convection oven, and a pretty nice shower setup.

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I realize that the ‘tiny house’ movement is sweeping the U.S. and that many of them are smaller than our RV; let me remind everyone that they are also built with higher quality materials, are typically stationary once they get placed on their plot of land, and often have a partial upper level.  So, though our living styles are comparable, there are still many differences in day-to-day life.

We switched from living in a 1500 sq. ft. house to a 300 sq. ft. motorhome.  So, how is it going?

I would have to say pretty darn well.  We have run into quite a few issues along the way and have had to learn about the ways of RV living pretty quickly but overall, we could not be happier with the decision we have made.  Aside from our many issues that I’ve talked about in previous blogs, we have learned a lot about living with each other in such a small space.  I honestly could never do this with anyone other than Andy and have told him precisely this many times.

Here are a few of the smaller things we have had to learn about:

1.) A small, three-burner stove means a lot of one-pot meals.  With a space hardly large enough for our pan, we have learned to juggle what we make for dinner and have gotten very creative with some of our meals.

2.) Space is always an issue; any way that we can save space is worth it!  Using space-saving kitchen supplies like this colander, our measuring cups, and bowls means that we have more room for other things we want to include in our lives (like cookbooks that have one-pot meals…).

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3.) It is very important to use RV toilet paper!  Don’t run out and don’t use regular TP or you will have a master clog on your hands.  Just don’t try it.

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4.) A good vacuum and cleaning schedule are requirements for living in a small space–especially with so many furry critters sharing that space!  We made the decision early on that a good vacuum would be worth it and we were right.

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5.) Learn about water conservation.  With limited water tank space available, it is crucial that dishes and showers are being done with the best methods possible.  AND now that we are in California, it is important not to contribute to the water crisis.  It would probably help even more if I cut my hair…

WARNING: It’s about to get cheesy. 

6.) The last and most important thing we have learned: it’s about the journey, not the destination.  Take in each day, live life, and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.  Every moment is precious and can be taken away.  Love the people you are with and surround yourself with people that you love.

So, you get it, we like this life but what do we do all day?

Now that we are in Ramona with our free living space (other than the volunteer hours we put in), we are getting experience in the things that we love.  Andy just started a job at a nursery; he has always been very interested in plants, ever since growing up surrounded by all the plants his dad kept.  He even wanted to study horticulture in college so he is very excited for this opportunity to learn more!

I am working on an editing project (a novel) for someone who is getting ready to publish and have been in contact with local newspapers about writing for them.  I am still working on my own book and on writing for conservation groups in the area.  My upcoming orientation at the Wolf Sanctuary is an exciting step in the right direction.

We are enjoying a quieter life without the pressures of being strapped for time and money.  Downsizing has given us more flexibility so we can get into the things that inspire us and spend more quality time with each other.

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We set up our bird feeders and it already feels more like home!

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