Living in an RV
A lot of people have called us crazy for living in an RV, and I’m sure even more people think it. When we tell people that we live in an RV, we usually get the “you’re absolutely crazy” look or the “poor you, I can’t believe you are forced to live in a vehicle” look.
Many people think that living in an RV would be a bad thing and wonder why we would choose to live like this.
Well, we did choose it, and I don’t regret it one bit.
See, in February of 2015 we moved to Colorado to explore a new place, and in the meantime, we put our house in Missouri up for sale. We started by just renting in Colorado, because the plan was to buy a house after we explored and decided which town we liked best.
We wanted to to make traveling back home easy, and we also wanted to travel around the country part-time, so in July of 2015, after our house in Missouri finally sold, we bought an RV.
I never thought that we would become full-time RVers. I didn’t know a single thing about RVing, and at that time, I didn’t know a single person who RVed. Plus, I had never even stepped foot in an RV – unless you count the one that we bought.
But, we immediately fell in love with RVing.
Almost as soon as we bought the RV did we decide that we would become full-time RVers. We absolutely fell in love with the lifestyle and just couldn’t imagine going back to our rental house or any other house for that matter.
However, that meant that we would have to get rid of a lot of stuff. While we did donate a lot when we sold our house in Missouri, our house rental in Colorado was still a two-story house that we filled up with our belongings.
We also learned that preparing to RV full-time isn’t easy. There’s a lot to learn, you have to get rid of a LOT of stuff in order to fit into a tiny space, you have to get along with your spouse in close-quarters, and more.
So, why would we do this? Why would we give away nearly all of our stuff just to live in an RV? Well, we quickly learned the benefits of such big transition.
I’ve learned a lot from downsizing
Often, there’s a negative connotation when it comes to downsizing, as many people think that it would be difficult to live with so much less.
But, I disagree!
When we downsized, we got rid of nearly all of our things. We had neighbors come over and take whatever they wanted for free, we gave away all of our furniture to family members, and then donated everything else.
All we have now is the stuff in our RV, plus some items from our childhood that are stored with my in-laws.
Getting rid of everything was definitely a huge task, one that I never want to do again. It took a lot of hard work and caused a lot of stress.
However, it was well worth it.
Since downsizing, I put much more thought into anything I think about buying.
I’ve come to realize that I don’t need a lot of the things I once thought I did, and I’m a lot happier because of it!
Now, all we have is what is with us. We have a small amount of everything, and we like it best this way.
We are much more mindful of what we buy, we waste hardly anything, and this is allowing us to save money as well.
Living in an RV is a lot of fun
We moved to Colorado for a reason – we love the outdoors and wanted to be surrounded by it. We enjoy going on hikes, cycling, rock climbing, Jeeping, and more. And, we were already spending a lot of time traveling around the country in our Jeep and camping out of it too.
So, RVing wasn’t really too far from what we were already doing. Except that RVing is definitely a lot more comfortable!
By RVing, we’re always able to do the things that we love.
We’ve had unbeatable views out of our RV window, we’ve parked in some of the most beautiful national parks, state parks, and more.
We’ve traveled to many amazing places in our RV, such as:
- The Pacific Northwest (my husband cycled 1,000 miles from Port Angeles, Washington to San Francisco, California, while I drove myself and our two dogs in the RV). We went to Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, Kalaloch and Ruby Beach, Hoh National Rainforest, La Push Beach, and many other beautiful places. This was the trip of a lifetime!
- Utah – Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, and many other places.
- Colorado – Rocky Mountain National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado National Monument, Dinosaur National Monument, and many other places.
- Arizona – Saguaro National Park, Tucson, Sedona, Phoenix, and more.
- California – This was a part of the Pacific Northwest trip, but we continued on and hopped along beaches all the way to Los Angeles.
- Wyoming – Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park.
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
You can live wherever you want
One of the best things about living in an RV is that you can live in whatever area of the country or continent that you want. That is a huge positive for us because we love so many parts of the United States, and it would be hard to pick one specific place to live permanently.
If we want to live near a beach – we can easily do that. If we want to be in a forest – we can do that as well.
We can live anywhere we want!
Being a digital nomad is amazing
I’m a full-time blogger at Making Sense of Cents, which means that I can work from wherever.
So, because I love to travel, it’s a no-brainer to travel full-time in our RV.
If I want to take a break from work and go on a hike, I can do that. If I want to go mountain biking in the morning before I start answering emails, I can do that.
The list goes on and on!
Being in an RV makes traveling while working (and living) much more enjoyable because I can bring my home everywhere I go. I don’t have to worry about forgetting something, bringing a suitcase, or anything – I always have what I need with me.
Having more stuff doesn’t make you a happier person
I’ve come to realize over the years that owning more stuff doesn’t make you happier. This is far different from the Michelle of just a few years ago. I would hoard everything – clothes, keepsakes, random deals I found, and more.
However, I now know that having more stuff doesn’t make you a happier person.
You should only own something if you truly want it. Who cares about what everyone else has!?
We are living our own life now, and it’s one that I know will continue to create many amazing stories and memories that we will carry with us for a long time.
RVing is something that we really love, and if we hadn’t gotten rid of our stuff and downsized, then it would have never been possible.
Are you interested in RVing? Why or why not?
Bio: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner is the founder and writer at Making Sense of Cents. On her blog, she helps readers learn how to make extra money, save money, and reach their dream life. Michelle and her husband sold their house in 2015 and currently travel full-time in an RV with their two dogs.
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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