We recently wrote a blog piece 10 Things we should have known before going full-time. It was our list of challenges we have faced since full-time RVing. We hope that didn't scare those of you who are contemplating this lifestyle. Though brutally honest, we hope it saves future RVers' sanity or helps to better prepare them, then that piece was worth sharing. We certainly don't want to be a downer. We're just honest and transparent. Ya just gotta see the grit and dirt. We get asked a lot about full-timing and the romance of it, but sometimes that may obscure the real deal. So, take that for what it was intended. Nothing is all puffy clouds and rainbows; RVing included.
Okay, now that we got THAT out of the way...
We've come up with our own list of our 10 Reasons Why RVership is Better than Homeownership. This is a fun list we put together for your enjoyment, and perhaps it may be that nudge you need to push yourselves over the edge into selling it all to go on the road.
1) LAWNSCAPING - We hope we never have to pull the cord to a lawn mower ever again...or firing up a chain saw or weed wacker. Our dreams of never having to pick up a shovel to dig holes to plant things or worry about our hard-worked gardens and lawns drying up in the heat of the summer have come true. Admittedly though, it is fun to sit in our chairs outside with our cold beverages watching others do it. That said, we always offer a cold bottle of water or ice tea to them as they painstakingly do their chores while we relax or do other things. Sorry...not sorry!
2) ALL DAY HOUSECLEANING - Never do we miss a day of taking one, two or even three days to thoroughly clean our former 3,600 square foot home. NOPE! No more lugging the big monster vacuum up and down the stairs, dusting four bedrooms, washing curtains and window treatments, organizing the never-ending craft room mess, scrubbing floors, and constantly wiping knickknacks and wall art. It always seemed to be endless chore after chore. Now, we can have the bed made, dishes done, bathroom cleaned, floor mopped, pillows pounded, lateral sizes dusted, etc. all in the course of ONE HOUR. Can you imagine? Our 380-ish square foot Landmark 5th wheel doesn't need massive cleanings anyways because we always keep it clean and picked up. We have to or we'll trip over it.
3) COLLECTING STUFF/CLUTTER - We simply can't. We don't have the room and we have to 'make weight'. Every few months, we purge. If it's not been used since the last purging, out it goes. We buy 'disposable' holiday decorations. When the holiday is over, 'out out damn spot!' If its good useable stuff, we usually put things in the RV park or campground laundry rooms. Two or three hours later, we'll notice it's gone; so its a good way to see others enjoy our givings. If they are big things or clothes, we'll donate. Our choice donation centers are on military posts/bases where young military families can get our contributions for nearly nothing.
4) HOUSEFUL OF FURNITURE - When buying an RV, it comes completely outfitted with furniture and even decor. We've picked up a couple pieces of small basket holders and bought a much better mattress but that's it. We took a couple photo frames and small table lamps; one for our buffet and the other for our nightstand in the Captain's Cabin, but the rest stayed behind. We may pick up a piece or two of wall art, but if we replace something, the old one goes. We usually buy less expensive decor so we don't feel bad about getting rid of it when it's time.
5) PAYING REAL ESTATE TAX - While some may say this seems selfish, its not. We paid dearly for years while we owned three homes at different duty station locations. The only taxes we pay now are federal tax on Dan's military pension and our contract work, sales tax on purchases, taxes on fuel and road tolls, and truck/RV/motorcycle registrations. We don't miss having to set aside upwards to hundreds a month for real estate taxes...a savings of about $4,000 per year.
6) SHOVELING SNOW - NOPE!! We prefer consistent 70's and 80's, but unless we're in Cabo San Luca, that isn't going to happen. Although we have been bit by cold snaps a few times, we quickly look at our map's latitude lines and tell each other, 'let's head for better weather!' Once in awhile we have to run our furnace...but we hate to.
7) OBNOXIOUS CABLE BILLS - Some RVers have Direct TV or Dish Network. We prefer not to. For fun watching, we subscribe to Netflix or Hulu for occasional movies, and we have a case full of DVD movies. If an RV park or resort has cable tv in their hookups that's part of their rate, fine but we won't pay extra just to have it. In fact, all of January and most of February, we've not even turned the television on. We went hiking, walking, sightseeing, played cards, visited friends, and just enjoyed the other things.
8) WASTING FOOD - Rarely do we throw food away because simply, we don't have the room for two loaves of bread and bagels, numerous boxes of crackers, etc. to eat in time or forget. We don't do a monthly grocery shopping anymore or bulk shopping at Costco or Sam's. We plan out our meals each week and shop for those provisions. We don't cook for an Army (or Coast Guard) anymore; its just us two and perhaps a couple more servings for leftovers for lunch the next day unless we're entertaining.
9) JUNK MAIL - We don't get bills in the mail because we 'went paperless'. Not only are we conservation-minded, we have more time to do the things we want to do instead of opening mail, putting it in a pile and then shredding it. If we do get something that's personal, we have a small bin for burning for future campfires. To read about how we handle our physical mail, read our blog piece, You've Got Mail.
10) SAME BACKYARD - Seriously, with our nomadic life, our backyards change frequently. Sometimes we have the beach or mountains, other times we have the forest or desert. Our neighbors change also; if it's not us that's relocating, it's them. If we end up with boring scenery, we hitch up Liberty and find something cooler to look at or interesting places to go. Our back picture window is constantly changing. Even Krissie and Kandi, our nomad cats, enjoy not seeing the deer and antelope playing or the same dogs being walked.
As you have read, while it may sound like we've gotten lazy or selfish, we have not. We fill our time with exciting activities like hiking, ADV motorcycle riding, visiting distant friends and family, blogging, writing, jewelry making, etc. We even volunteer sometimes. We keep busy and exercise not only our bodies, but also our minds. Our days still start early (okay, that's a lie!) and our nights...well, we don't have set bedtimes anymore either. It's our life now and we love it. What's ironic, it may seem like we have all the time in the world; we still live one moment at a time. We now have time to really 'stop and smell the roses'. We've learned how to LIVE and enjoy it and homeownership isn't one of them...right now.