Full-Time RV Living the Way to Go for Some People

by NanciArvizu

Have you ever thought about living in an RV as you travel the country?

If you've ever envied those massive mobile estates or tiny teardrops tagging behind an SUV, thinking "yeah, someday I'm going to do that," it's time to put some serious thought into the possibility of living life of the road.

Start making a pros and cons list and get real about going nomadic. You might find out it's the way to roll, or you could decide to stay home instead. While it's a great way to experience the call of the open road, it's not for everyone.

Pioneer Travel Trailer at Rest

Where my home on wheels resides
Nice place to rest
Nice place to rest
Nanci Arvizu
Nice place to rest
Nice place to rest
Nanci Arvizu

Tow or be Towed

Motorhome verses Travel Trailer

Which is the better way to go? Do you invest in a massive motor home and pull a vehicle to drive at your destination, or do you pull a travel trailer with your vehicle?

Right now, my method is pulling a 2013 Pioneer travel trailer with a 2013 3/4 ton Chevy Suburban. But I'm rethinking this.

First, is gas mileage. My Suburban gets 12 mpg, curiously, no matter what's happening. Towing or not, city driving or highway, I average 12 miles per gallon according to my OnStar RemoteLink App. 

That means that even when I'm not camping, when I'm at home, this is my vehicle and I'm getting 12 mpg. Parking this massive dark knight at the Scottsdale Quarter or Fashion Square can be a bitch. But I like being big on the road and for some reason, I am a much calmer driver behind the wheel of the bigger vehicle. I get behind the wheel of a little car, especially something with a little power, and I'm a speed demon cursing those around me who dare block my path to 80+. Crazy, I know.

Our last trip from Scottsdale, Arizona to Bodega Bay, CA and back cost us dang near $1000 in gas - especially with the Golden States gas prices still hovering in the $4 range. (What is up with that?! I feel for those people...) 

On the other hand, if we were to have driven a Class C, with miles per gallon ranges of 10-14 for a Ford V-10 engine or 15-20 mpg with a Mercedes-powered diesel, I might have saved myself a little on gas because once I arrived at my destination I would have been driving my towed vehicle. A vehicle I have yet to purchase, because at this time, that's not my set up. Remember, I'm driving a suburban pulling a trailer. 

And that smaller car, the one I have to purchase, would surley get better gas mileage that 12 mpg and it would be easier to park around town. The point is that it would save me money on a daily use basis, instead of driving a work horse vehicle all the time.

Useful Items to Take With You in the RV

It's the smallest of things you'll miss while on the road.
UltraFire 7W 200LM Mini XPE Q5 Zoomab...LE Adjustable Focus CREE LED Flashlig...

But what about liveabilaty? I wouldn't even begin to compare the living quarters of travel trailers and motor homes. They've become become functional mini mansions on wheels, engine or no engine. So I'll leave that opinion out while we focus of the main question, drive or pull your fort on wheels?

One thing that I'm jealous of when it comes to driving the fort: Being able to get up and around while rolling down the road. Okay, I admit, I'm not all the comfortable being unseatbelted during travel, especially the way I think my husband drives. (Admittedly, he's only had one misshap and was less about driving down the road and more about parking.) But being able to get into the fridge for a cold drink or maybe even using the restroom, would be kind of nice. Especially since potty stops can sometimes be a hassle. And a time waster when you're trying to get to where you are going before dark.

 

Know Before You Go

Book to read before selling the house and hitting the open road.

Downsizing for Real

Can you really live with less?

I'm a fan of the Tiny Home craze. I think it's great that people everywhere are letting go of all their excess stuff, creating clutter free lives and getting minimal about what they think they need to live comfortably on a day to day basis. I envy them.

Since my youngest child left home a year ago, I've been slowly going through the stuff that we've accumulated since moving into our current home 8 years ago. I clean out a closet, or at least I think I do, but when I go back a few days later to bask in the glow of my letting go, I'm amazed. It's like what I left in there multiplied like bunnies. It never goes completely away.

My home is too big for the two of us. It's more of a storage container for the things we've collected along our journey of life. And a lot of what we've collected is crap.

There is so much to get rid of, when clearing out a family home in preparations for a next chapter, a much smaller, and hopefully simpler chapter of life.

What do I keep, and what do I pass on? By Passing On, I mean either to my children or selling or donating. I know, sell the big stuff if the kids don't want it, furniture mostely. Then there are things like pictures, art and all the doo-hickey things that people can become attached to. Blankets, linens, towels. Jewelery. Scarves. Purses. Shoes. I didn't realize I had a whole drawer of scarves. Nothing but scarves packed into a fairly large drawer. Do I really need that many scarves, regardless of how large my home is? It drives me crazy.

What really drives me crazy is to think that I bought yet another scarf, something I obviously did not need. I know I should have passed on the scarf and put the $30 into my savings account. I'd be way ahead of the retirement game if I'd have lived my life like that. I wouldn't be spending time going through and getting rid of stuff.

And there it is in a nutshell: I think these Tiny Home people will be the Savers, instead of the spenders. They'll spend their money on things like vacations and experiences, knowing there is no room in their lives for another scarf.

Time to go tackle another closet. 

 

My Latest Trip in a Travel Trailer

A small place in the sand, Bodega Bay, California
Bodega Bay, California
Bodega Bay, California
Nanci Arvizu
Bodega Bay
Bodega Bay
Nanci Arvizu

What Say You?

I'm not sure which way I'd go given the option.

I have loved using the Pioneer Travel Trailer. It's suited our needs perfectly, without any wasted space. Without any extra space to waste. 

Driving the Suburban as my main vehicle isn't so bad either. I get a few extra steps parking in the out regions. Limiting my trips into town helps.

But having been in a friend new Class C with 3 slides has me thinking... 

What do you think? 

Updated: 06/29/2015, NanciArvizu
 
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NanciArvizu on 06/29/2015

Thank you Marsha and Sheila for the comments. I haven't set out on a long adventure - yet - nothing more than a few days at a time. Someday though...

CruiseReady on 06/01/2015

I do admire your adventurous spirit! I'm not sure I'm up to a nomadic lifestyle, and I know hubby isn't, but there are times I envy the freedom that must come with it. Kudos to you for actually doing it.

MBC on 05/22/2015

Yes, I considered it for a while, but in the meanwhile I have used a regular panel van which is good on gas and can hold a twin bed inside. Looks like you are serious and I wish you well on your adventures.

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