A Different Type of RV Living

Having lived in our motorhome for more than 3 years now, we’ve begun to reflect on the different ways we have utilized our home on wheels.

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We started life in the motorhome with a lighter version of RV living. In 2015, we had sold our home and were parked in my parents’ driveway.

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We were essentially just sleeping in a separate space, using it like the guest bedroom, because we were showering, cooking, and doing virtually everything else inside my parents’ house. It was a way of easing us into our smaller space, but we didn’t really get a feel for true motorhome living until we went on the road.

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While traveling, we learned all about the trials and tribulations — and excitement — of living in a motorhome.

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Almost getting rained out in South Dakota
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Snowstorm in New Mexico

We went through tornado and wildfire scares, snowstorms, extreme heat, and much more. But while traveling in different climates and weather conditions was its own type of thrilling, we also learned about the difference between traveling and just sleeping in a motorhome.

We had to conserve water so as not to fill our tanks too quickly; we had to plan out where to fill our propane tank; we learned to shower in campground showers; we learned how to dump our black water and gray water tanks. And we learned the lingo (black water sounds a lot nicer than poop).

We learned how long we could travel on a tank of gas through the mountains; how long we could go without dumping our tanks if we didn’t do dishes or shower inside; how long we could go if we did take showers. We learned how to weigh the pros and cons of every decision we made.

When we became park hosts in California, our lives changed again.

We were now living in an RV that had full hookups, so it felt like a house. We didn’t have to worry about our tanks filling up because we were hooked up to a drain. We didn’t have to conserve water because we had a water line coming in (we still conserve where we can).

It was a whole new way of living, and one that made living in a motorhome very comfortable. We lived like this for two years before moving on.

Going back on the road after that two-year period was interesting. We knew what our motorhome was capable of, but now we were camping once again. And that felt like the difference — camping vs. living.

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Now that we are back in Minnesota, we are living in our motorhome but not the same way as we were in California or on the road. It is more like how it first was when we were in my parents’ driveway.

We have no hookups other than electricity, and this is a lower amperage than our host site in Cali, so we have to watch how much we use at a time or we blow fuses. We cannot run the AC and microwave at the same time, for example (a mistake I make often).

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It is a different type of living. We bring our dishes in the house to wash them to help conserve water. And we shower inside once again. It makes me less likely to want to cook big meals in the motorhome knowing I will have to carry the dishes inside later. We have found that we can last almost exactly two weeks before we need to dump our tanks.

Though it is still our own separate space — and we love it — living this way has its ups and downs. While sitting in the living room the other night, discussing the differences, we realized just how much we’ve learned and how far we’ve come from the very beginning.

 

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