Living in an RV was never the dream. The towable home was merely a means to an end, a necessary adjustment for a family of four that wanted to travel although they didn’t have a hefty savings with which to do it. The RV was going to be cheaper than staying in hotels and provide the kids with a little mobile security amidst of life filled with daily changes. After living in an RV for an entire summer, I’ve realized that it’s not necessarily cheaper than living in inexpensive motels, but there are some unexpected benefits to living in a 24 by 8 foot home.
7 Things I Love About Living in an RV
1. I never fight with the kids about cleaning their rooms.
They do still leave socks on the floor and papers on the table, but a mess can only be as large as the space in which it’s contained. The kids don’t have rooms, they have bunks and a bin each to hold their prized possessions. Parenthood can so often seem like a constant lesson in choosing battles; it’s nice to have one that’s no longer relevant.
2. I get to watch my kids play together.
As I type this, I’m watching my 11 and 6-year old sit beside each other at the table, coloring and sharing tips for improving artistic technique. They’re talking to each other like people, a sight any mother who has had to dole out punishment for sibling in-fighting can appreciate. I had seen my children play before, certainly, but I also more told them regularly to “Go play” in an effort to get something done. They went into rooms and behind closed doors, a respite I swore I needed. And yet somehow I survive with them in my sight more often than not, and I get to bear witness to the relationship the two of them share.
3. I don’t have to dust.
Or vacuum. Or mop, or wash windows, or do any number of household chores that took up a good chunk of my weekend hours when I had thousands of square footage to maintain. The RV does have to be cleaned up, but it requires little more than 15 minutes with a rag and a broom to get everything shining from top to bottom. As I’ve said before, the less you own, the less you have to clean.
4. My entertainment options are limited.
I have books, my camera, my computer, and journals. We also have a television and a Wii and a deck of cards. This may sound like a bad thing, but it actually makes it easier to decide what we’ll do with our free time. I haven’t once found myself flipping through the channels bemoaning a lack of anything to watch. That being said, I still haven’t kept up with the trip scrapbooking.
5. If we don’t like the neighborhood, we move.
We’ve been fairly happy with most of the campgrounds we’ve stayed in, but it’s nice to know we have the freedom to choose our surroundings on an almost daily basis. When we’ve really liked a spot, we’ve been able to extend our stay. Traveling with an RV doesn’t afford quite the flexibility of traveling with just a backpack, but we’re certainly more agile than we were with a house.
6. We don’t spend much time in the RV.
Living in a small space forces you to get out into the world. It wasn’t uncommon for me to go several days without leaving the house when I was working from home back in Central Florida. While that was possible, it definitely wasn’t good for me physically, mentally, or spiritually. I need to get out and blow the stink off, soak up the sunshine, and engage with the world around me. I always wanted to live a life of being out and about, but that only became a reality when my home became too small to sustain hermit living.
7. I’m more closely connected with nature.
This is a combination of having to get out of the RV and the RV being made of fairly thin material. I can hear the rain better than I ever could in a house, and I have only to take two steps out of my bed to feel the weather outside. Trying to achieve “room temperature” in the RV is a challenge, but the trade off is a more intimate connection to nature than I’ve ever experienced. I’m surprisingly pleased with this connection.
Am I suggesting you move into an RV? Absolutely not. Not at all. But you might be surprised at the benefits of living in a small space or having less stuff. Mostly, I’m surprised by the things I consider benefits today that I never even thought to long for before. I think that’s a testament to the availability of blessings in any location.
What blessings can be found in your home?