This year we celebrate 7 years of near Fulltime RV Travel. And this year we are questioning the celebrating moniker. Sure, RVing has been fun. It’s given us the ability to personally witness the beauty of our own country and given us the avenue to travel all over the US and Canada.
I mean, let’s be honest, not many families get to see and do all we’ve done over the last 7 years. I’m filled with gratitude that Dan and I had the courage to do what everyone around us thought was nothing short of insanity. Our kids are more worldly, have a greater perspective of the world and are light years ahead of their peers in their awe of life and creation. Yes, really.
I think we owe much of this to the minimalist way in which we’ve been living for the last 7 years. I’ve been saying that it’s a much easier, simpler life in the RV. I don’t want as much as I do when we stop at home. I certainly don’t need as much. It’s easy to keep everything clean and somewhat organized and we definitely get out and do things more. And, in the RV, there is zero Keep Up With the Jones pressure.
All Good Things Come To An End, So Goes Fulltime RV Travel
So, as we embark on the next chapter of our lives, it appears that it will involve much less RV’ing. However, we are choosing to go forth with these same values. Less Stuff, More Living. But, yes, we will be doing much less RVing as it’s hard, and we have said from the beginning when it stops working for any of us, we will call it quits.
And, folks, it has kinda stopped working for me. I don’t get much out of it anymore. It seems we are just retracing our steps. RVing has become much less about the journey. In fact, to be honest, I’ve said screw the journey for about 2.5 years. It’s all about the destination and since that is the case, there are much faster ways to get to our destination than traveling in the equivalent of a mobile home. In fact, on our most recent drive home, I experienced some synchronicity. There was a billboard with the photo of a plane. The caption read, “You would already be there.” Boom. That sign spoke loudly to me. Plus, our kids are older now. They are therefore more independent and, as a result, travel is easier.
Fulltime RV Travel Loses It’s Charm
Further, I’m craving the unknown, the wild, the crazy, the insane feeling we had when we first started out in the RV. The gaping stares of our family and friends. I want to be challenged and wow’d. And so, y’all we are taking a trial trip to Europe this summer. We are gonna test out the waters, see if maybe we should take our gang over there for a few years. You know, try the whole foreign language, totally different culture, ex-pat lifestyle. Put the wow back in our travels.
Mostly, I am just sick of the the trials of RVing and am looking for a whole new set of trials. We aren’t like everyone else. None of us are seeking an easy life … just an extraordinary one. We fully realize that by focusing on world travel, we are simply trading in a tried and true set of tribulations for an entirely new set. That is exciting to me. So, what struggles are we ready to trade in for new ones? Below are just a few … you know, off the top of my head…
Sex Sucks In Fulltime RV Travel
RVing is a trade-off. I’ve said many times that RVing is not easy, not by a long-shot, but that the greater picture has always made the struggles “worth it”.
Well, that is starting to slowly wane. It’s becoming less and less true. I mean, don’t get me wrong. RVing serves it’s purpose for us and probably always will. There is no better way to adventure travel, hands down, RVing gets an A+ for adventure travel with kids! It’s hands down better than tent camping for extended periods of time. No question.
But, Dan and I are sick to death of sneaking out of our home to get some … errrr, adult time. We are sick of having to be so careful so as not to scar our children for life, ya know? To be fair, it was fun at first, but as with most things, the charming aspect of it is long gone.
Zero Down Time In Fulltime RV Travel With Kids
RVing is quite possibly the most family oriented way to travel extensively. The bonding that naturally occurs is immeasurable. Every waking breathing moment is spent with those you love. And, I’m not gonna knock the true goodness of this fact, I’m only going to say that every single person on the planet needs time to regroup and recharge.
This is nearly impossible In an RV. There are no separate rooms to retreat to for some R&R. Dan doesn’t even have the semblance of an office in which to get work done. We have are zero barriers, closed doors mean nothing, because there are no locks. There is no privacy. God forbid you have an argument, it’s better than cable TV for other RVers shoppers, and even adventurers.
It is Still ALL About the Destination
Don’t let anyone fool you, RV travel is 100% about the destination. It is simply a cheaper way to get a group of people to that destination. If you have the money to fly your family to the beach and stay in a nice hotel, with maid and room service, that is still the preferable way to do it.
No-one wants to cook while on vacation. Who wants to clean up after the kids while on vacation. Do you want to wash your own bedding while on vacation? What about worrying about repairs, or dumping your own waste or sweeping sand out of every nook and cranny of your traveling home, hourly?
If you have the money, fly. If you don’t, RVing will legit save you serious cash, but you’ll be more stressed … it’s a trade-off. It used to be 100% worth it for our huge family. I mean, when we travel we have to book 3 hotel rooms and food is way too expensive to eat out every meal …
Unless You Buy a $400k RV, You Will Be Roughing It To Some Degree
Let’s cut to the chase, unless you have the big bucks to purchase an RV with all the bells and whistles you will be roughing it. You will be cold in the winter and warm in the summer. You will not eat as you are accustomed as RV ovens are beyond lame in size. Food prep is a nightmare because counter space is limited real estate. You will be deprived of nice long hot showers or baths as RVing is all about water conservation.
The big rig’s are were the comfort and feeling of home exist. Unless you have beaucoup bucks, you will have a tiny refrigerator. Your kids will sleep on pull out couches … fine for little kids, “roughing it” for older ones. One bathroom is crazy talk for your typical family of 4 or 5,, completely absurd for larger families.
RV’s Are Not Made To Last or Survive Kidageddon
You think I’m kidding, but I’ve never been more serious. RV interiors decimate when used often. Yes, we are hard on our possessions, our vehicles, our house, everything. But I’m telling you, I’ve been in RV’s inhabited by the quietest homebody kids and they look like Kansas after an F5 tornado.
Think about it. Every inch of your RV is used daily, by multiple people. The bathroom sees a parade of people daily, there are rarely other bathrooms in an RV to share the burden. The cabinets are opened and closed continuously all day long. The hooks, the blinds, the two sofas, the dinette, the driver seat, the passenger seat …
Not to mention travel. Everything in your RV gets jostled every trip. It’s akin to an earthquake. God forbid you hit a pothole the cabinets open and everything spills out. We have to Gorilla Tape every cabinet prior to departure.
Sliding doors come off alignment, steps separate from the RV and drag down the highway, even the dashboard can potentially separate due to poor roads. Be aware. If you must keep things as though they are brand new … you should plan on a new RV every 5 years.
Laundromats Are the Bane of Fulltime RV Travel Existence
OK, so I have been quoted as saying laundry is easier in the RV. It is, if you are the type who actually does laundry. I mean, while traveling, we have to do laundry. We have a limited number of clothes with us and we bring one blanket, one pillow case and one set of sheets. Unlike at home. We have a seemingly unlimited number of clothes and bedding. Laundry can literally lay on the laundry room floor for weeks at home. No problem.
In the RV, I guess we adult more when it comes to laundry. It is all done in 3 hours flat. All of it. Every last bit. From blankets and pillow cases to underwear and socks. It also gets folded immediately.
However, what’s easier than a 3 hour block of time to do laundry is actually not doing laundry at all. That’s my preferred MO. Who wants to spend 3 hours every week, or at least every other week, in a laundromat doing mounds of laundry? I finished that stage of life after my first apartment of married life. I also rarely find “nice” laundromats in “nice” parts of a city. After being in a laundromat I always feel like I need to shower and the kids should be wearing gloves and masks.