Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO LIVE IN A MOTORHOME?


What’s it like to live in a motorhome?  So many of you have asked Nancy and me that question that we thought we would both add our thoughts and what we have talked about between us on this subject.  I’ll start since I’m inspired to write my thoughts today!

First, we had to get used to a much smaller space in which we both spend time.  And remember, both of us had professional careers and worked some long hours during the day.  Then we would be together in the evening and would talk about our days’ events.  The difference now is that we are together most all of the time so we are sharing the days’ experiences together as they unfold and we feared that we might not be as interesting to each other.  So, we agreed that when one of us wants to do something on our own, the other must understand.  So far that has worked.  But as time went on and instead of just sitting on a beach, we began sightseeing, biking, kayaking etc., we were sharing a lot of our common interests.  We also met a lot of new people and had new things to talk about with them.  Now that we have been in Maine with my brother and spend a lot of time with him and helping him at our Maples Inn B&B, we don’t spend a lot of time during the day in each other’s company so we have lots to talk about.  I think that both of us have learned each other’s daily habits and moods and if trouble brews, as can happen in any relationship, one of us goes outside the motorhome or goes biking or jogging or whatever just to allow space to the other.  Whatever, it’s really working and we are having the time of our lives sharing each other’s company!
Betsy's domain - the washer and dryer ..... her own little laundromat.
The actual physical space in the motorhome isn’t a problem because we have everything that we need to live in it and most of our time is spent outside.  Nance cooks outside most of the time, we eat outside, we entertain friends outside, we relax outside and even watch TV outside because we have a TV built into the side of the motorhome.  It is a home with a motor!  It doesn’t take long to clean the mo ho because of its’ size which is great…….leaves more time for fun.  We have a washer and dryer so we do laundry while we’re doing other things just like in a real house.  We also have a central vacuum.  We must now hand wash dishes as there is no dish washer, something I had to get used to because I’m usually the dish washer.  We do everyday stuff in the mo ho, just like living in a house.  When we had our dog Otter, we had to clean more often due to the small space and a shedding dog.

Betsy and her brother, Mark, relaxing outside.
Here’s a big difference which is great fun.  After a week, our outside surroundings change…..a whole new front yard as we move from campground to campground.  Sometimes we look out on the ocean.  And we don’t have the same neighbors…….we meet new people……some we like and some that we are glad to move away from!  The outside chores that we have are setting up camp (to live outside when the weather is good) and washing the mo ho when we can.  We also hook up sewer, water and electric when we pull in and also have the care of our tanks that allow us to be mobile and means flushing them several times a week.  It usually takes us about an hour to set up when we arrive at a new campground and an hour to break camp when we leave.  Not too high a price to pay with our time for all of the freedom the mo ho is giving us.
Nancy hooking up the sewer hose.

We have spent a lot more time planning where we will be going next than we thought we would.  We spend time looking at maps, identifying campgrounds, making reservations especially up here in the northeast because the campgrounds fill up quickly in the summer.  We also must try to price these campgrounds because they can run from $9 (state park) to $65 (private parks) to $102 (ocean view) per night and everything in between……also depends on the amenities.  Weekly and monthly rates are cheaper and if you belong to camping clubs like Good Sam, Passport America, Escapees etc., there are discounts.  We have set a budget for ourselves and we try to keep records on what we spend…….just like everyday life in a house.  We have had minor problems with the mo ho like a broken air conditioner and awning problems, all of which we will get fixed when we take the mo ho back to Sherman RV in Tupelo, Ms. for its’ full service as we head south in the fall.  We did need to call a road RV service when we had awning failure because we couldn’t drive the mo ho until it was temporarily fixed on site…….a pain.  But at least the one thing that we do have is time, no need to rush anymore.
Where to go next?
We both drive the mo ho and love doing so.  Nance is the better navigator with the GPS.  We had to learn to drive in hard rain storms and have pulled over when conditions worsened.  We don’t like long driving days so we plan our next campground so that we drive no longer than about 4 hours.  We seldom drive at night and like to beat others to the campground so that we can watch them set up!  So many full time RVers’ have given us advice and made us feel welcome and we hope we can help others along the way.

This adventure and the way that we have eased into it through life in a motor home have surprised me.  I really thought that I might miss life in a house and the seclusion that we had at our wonderful home in New Orleans with 1,200 acres of privacy around us.  We no longer have privacy in a campground as often the next door neighbors are very close.  But the freedom of time and mobility, exploration and new things to learn and see and new people to meet has definitely intrigued me and filled my days.  My time with Nancy, to share these things, laugh, and stay active while both of us are healthy is all a real blessing.  We know that we can always sell the mo ho and move back into a house but for the foreseeable future we don’t know where we would want that house and that’s another great reason that we want to stay on the road……..new adventures await as we drive our home down the road!

Nancy's domain - the outdoor kitchen.  She can do wonders with a portable grill
and induction burner.
Nancy started an herb garden in Maine.  We put the box in our car and take it
to the next campsite.  They are very well traveled herbs.
Don't fall (at least until you finish washing the roof)!
Sunset over our yard pretties in the front yard.
Sometimes the yard is big enough for Nancy's hammock.
One of our favorite campsites - Gulf Islands National Seashore, Pensacola Beach, FL
The ocean is just down across the dune in the background.
Last Christmas in Natchez, Nancy and Mark decorated the motohome with garland,
4 wreaths, a star, and candles.  Betsy stayed inside where it was warm.
Our new yard in Warren, Maine.  A stark contrast from the last park that had
much smaller sites and lots of people.

5 comments:

  1. Beautiful Rig. We always enjoy reading your blog. We're finding it very easy to live in our fifth wheel. We haven't been at it very long but we are relly enjoying it.

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  2. Still reading (started from the beginning) and trying to catch up but I had to comment on this post.

    I hit the road November 3, 2010 and never looked back. I love it ! My RV has everything I need and more !

    And yes, the chores do have to get done. LOL

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