A great thing about social media is it gives us a direct line to our RV Lifestyle Fellow Travelers.
Conversely, it gives RV Fellow Travelers a direct line to each other.
I couldn’t help but notice a couple of posts to the RV Lifestyle Group on Facebook related to the full-time RV Lifestyle in the last week.
Here is one post:
Help! I purchased a 32 ft motorhome, 1990 as emergency housing last winter. Haven't really driven it much. Stayed in RV park around Jackson, WY. Debating what to do now….. ? Don't know anything about travelling and living in an RV, about being a camp host, boon docking through winter, or how to maintain an RV. Feels like too much responsibility. Scary stuff. About ready to sell it and live in my car!
Can anybody help make this lifestyle seem doable, and even attractive, practically speaking. I truly love nature, and freedom, and being able to write a book; but I don't know anything about RVing. It feels like a scary proposition. Thanks so much!
And here is another:
So we have decided to sell the house and just jump into the RVing life! We have 9 month old twin boys and a greater swiss mountain dog. We are trying to figure out the best sleep arrangements. So I'm curious what other people did with younger kids and what floorplan would be best? I would want to keep it right around 30 feet. We want to be comfortable but also be able to go places. Also want to find a way to have an “office” for my wife's work. I was thinking of modifying the living space so she could be loud and funny without worrying about waking the kids up. The second option is to modify a enclosed trailer that could fit our car while driving and work as a office space while we are camping. She teaches English to kids in China over skype, and has to be happy and upbeat. To me the trailer seems to be the best option. But what would cons be to have that setup? Parking?
So my questions
1.What's the best way to travel with younger kids and the best sleeping arrangements?
2. Any ideas on an “office,” would my trailer idea work?
If you didn’t see how RV Fellow Travelers stepped up with their thoughts and useful advice, you definitely should check it out.
It also brought to mind a recent interview I did with Marc and Julie Bennett – full-time RVers known to their thousands of fans as RV Love. They have a blog, a YouTube Channel and they’ve written an awesome book on fulltime RV travel, Living the RV Life: Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road. They have traveled to all 50 USA states over the past 4 years, sharing their journey and learnings along the way.
And one of the things I like the best about Mark and Julie and their various RV Love platforms, is they tell it as it really is, sharing the good and the bad and always being up front about just what the full-time RV life is…. and isn’t.
They offered a kind of reality check about full-time RVing when I spoke to them.
“I remember our first thought (about full-time RVing) was ‘My gosh, we’re about to completely turn our life upside down and change everything as we know it,’” Julie said. “I think we were pretty overwhelmed with the amount of things that we had to do to even make the lifestyle a reality, practical things you know.”
As she explained, there are a lot of emotions and reactions involved — something that was somewhat unexpected.
“Give yourself some time to adjust emotionally into how you are going to deal with living your significant other in 300 square feet of space when you’re used to 3,000 square feet of space,” Julie said.
Another thing to think about, Marc said, is timing.
“A lot of people that get into this lifestyle are doing it at a time when they’re retiring from their careers and so they’re actually doing multiple major changes in their life at the same time,” he said. “The couple may be used to spending significant time apart while one’s at work or one’s out doing other activities, and so not only are they in a smaller space, they’re actually drastically increasing the amount of time together and they’re trying to adjust to multiple transitions at the same time.”
I also asked them about another issue: dealing with the feelings of leaving friends and family behind, including when those same friends and family accuse RVers of “abandoning” them.
Julie suggest simply reminding people that’s not the case, and that you’ve made the decision to go off to explore and live your lives the way you want.
“Maybe for the first few weeks or month or even the first few months, plan to stay local,” she suggests. “Find a local RV park or campground where you can situate yourself, on a monthly rate is more affordable, and just ease into your RV life while you’re still close to home and your loved ones. Invite them over to see your new life. It’s not such a shock for everybody and it just gives everyone a chance to settle in.”
Marc said there’s an added benefit, too.
“Letting them see your new home also helps them more quickly visualize you when you’re out on the road so that they feel more connected to you when you’re out there,” he said
However, when it comes to sharing your travels via social media, the Bennetts suggest keeping it in check.
“We suggest starting up a separate Facebook page. Or a blog, but we say a Facebook page because it’s less work than a blog,” Julie said. “Facebook makes it easy to do that and it can be a separate page, or even a closed group if you want it to be private, because that way you can just share your travels there and those that want to can opt in and follow that page.”
And one last thing I had to ask the Bennetts about was why full-time RVing doesn’t work out for some people?
“I think some people that don’t succeed in the lifestyle are those that maybe didn’t do enough research ahead of time and made some decisions that were not sustainable,” Marc said. “Whether it be financial or just lifestyle, or … health things,” he said. “It can go the other way, sometimes a health concern pulls people back off the road. There’s support to be able to be on the road, but that is a common one that pulls people back out.
But should you try full-time RVing and it doesn’t work out, there’s no need to be hard on yourself or feel like a failure.
“People say ‘well, what if, what if you don’t like this’ and I say ‘if it’s worse than not doing it at all, I’ll never know unless I do it,’” Marc said.
If you're interested in hearing my interview with the Bennetts, click here for a link to episode 253 of the RV Lifestyle podcast.