Living in an RV can sometimes be portrayed as a lovely escape into the wild. With nature and adventure out every window. People always look so happy in the photos! We are happy AND we have our own set of challenges in this lifestyle.
In reality, the physical setup of an RV can be quite challenging. So, today I present to you the challenges one faces with living in an RV as the structure of your home.
My Old House Life Versus RV Life
1. A toilet that flushes with the push of a handle.
A toilet that flushes with a foot pedal and a tiny stream of water. A minute later it is full enough to open the hatch and let gravity pull it all down the hole. Learning a life lesson that you need to use lots of water not less water otherwise there is a back up that needs a stick.
2. A few showers, or bathtubs of hot water.
One shower and then wait 15 minutes for the tank to heat up. And God forbid anyone uses the kitchen sink!
3. A sewer that you don’t have to ponder.
A gray tank (for waste water in the sink and shower), and a black tank (for the unmentionables) that you personally get to engage with – sometimes with sight and smell. Sometimes you just throw away your clothes after the “incident.”
4. Various rooms to find a quiet spot to sit.
One long room with a pocket door for division. Oh, and the addition of a curtain. One spot on the couch and one driver’s chair left to choose from when the kids are all in.
5. A bathtub for soaking and pondering.
A shower that can you can barely squeeze your butt in before shutting the door.
6. Cabinetry that remains intact for months at a time.
Cabinetry that falls apart as you rattle down the road. Drawers falling out. Cabinet side panels pulling off. Even the walls they fasten to now share gaps of sunlight as the screws have broken in half and now the wall no longer fastens to the flooring. Dashboard sagging to rest its edges on the carpet as it no longer sits below the window.
7. Ceilings that rarely leak.
A treasure hunt to find where to goop this round.
8. Ceiling fans that need cleaning spring and fall.
Ceiling fans that need cleaning bi-weekly as the dust from the camper eventually seals the air flow.
9. A kitchen full of utensils, pots, and pans within reach of my prep area.
Two shoebox rubbermaids tucked under the sink full of the utensils that didn’t fit in the one skinny drawer offered. A two minute struggle with my head halfway under the sink to locate the pan behind the storage containers.
10. A refrigerator that keeps food for a week.
I have this too now that we chucked the fire hazard of an RV fridge out the door! Before that, we had enough to last us three days. The milk, eggs, butter took one shelf.
11. Clothing that filled a walk-in closet off of my master bedroom.
A bedroom the size of my old walk-in closet. Clothing that fits in a shelf and three feet of hanging space that I share with three other people – two of them are girls.
12. A four season porch with windows on each side as my art studio.
A bed that flips up with art stored underneath. Art in two large rubbermaid containers in the closet. Art supplies in three milk crates jammed in the hall closet where coats crinkle up as they have no room to stretch.
13. A garage for tools and bikes.
A Honda Odyssey van that stores a cooler, vacuum, beach towels, laundry detergent, and hiking backpacks. When we zoom down the road it stores lawn chairs, a recycling bin, scooters, skateboards, a bike, a large outdoor mat, and two bins full of shoes that fill up the air with their traveling tales.
14. An entertainment system with a modern TV and speakers.
Two TVs from the 1990s that weigh as much as one of the kids. Speakers that have lost connections. A receiver with a loose knob so that in an attempt to turn the volume down it shoots the sound up!
15. Enough beds for each person and one to spare!!
One bed, a couch that jack-knives out and two REI camp beds for the floor. When we have company they scootch the boys over and find the last slot available with their sleeping bag. And for a spare room we do offer a crappy pup tent.
16. A two acre piece of land with a walk-out basement backyard and no neighbors to see.
A patch of gravel, desert sand, concrete, crispy or green grass. A site big enough for an awning and some lawn chairs as you look across in wonder at your neighbor’s rig. Sometimes you get to see a glance of him wandering around in his boxers through the unshaded window that looks into yours. Bonus!
17. A home that bugs sometimes visit.
A home that bugs and spiders (especially in the warmer areas like Florida) like to call home. Nightly checks in southern states with a flashlight on the ceilings before bed. Not mentioning my finds to the kids. Especially, the super tropical creepy kinds with the long legs. Taking Black Widows off of the undercarriage doors with a stick and driving off.
18. Dealing with mice out in the garage.
Dealing with mice living under my bed. Dealing with mice under the refrigerator. Dealing with a mouse who only got his foot in the trap. Switching to live trapping. Dealing with mice nesting behind the TV with stuff stored in the undercarriage. Finding the holes the mice were using and filling it with expanding insulation foam and laughing an evil laugh. Driving the mouse out to a field miles away because your kids begged you after looking at their little brown eyes.
19. Items had a place they could call home and they made sense.
“No, did you look in the closet? Did you look in the box shoved under where you sit in the car? You still haven’t found it? Hmmm…have you looked for it (Nerf gun) under the passenger seat of the RV?”
20. A list of Honey Do items because projects need to be finished.
A list of Honey Do items because the whole dam place seems to be rattling apart.