We were drastically unprepared for RV life when we started. These are just a few of the things we wish we’d known.
- Boondocking (parking for free) is a thing
- Simple everyday tasks take much more time and energy in an RV (dishes, laundry, internet, cooking, organization)
- Go south in the winter
- Nothing about moving around full-time is a cheap lifestyle
We prepared like crazy before moving into the RV, but we didn’t prepare at all for actually living in it. The problem is, you don’t know what you don’t know, and that’s exactly what happened. Several things led to our failure in the RV life
We lived in an RV park
We needed to be near Denver so that Aaron could get settled into his job for a few months before we hit the road, so we decided to stay in Colorado Springs. This is probably the worst place to try and find an affordable RV park. The only one that was available was GOG RV resort, which was beautiful, but expensive. At around $900 per month, we were back to paying a mortgage payment.
We spent the winter in Colorado
We arrived in Colorado Springs in October, so we had to immediately prepare for winter, which is no small undertaking for newbies. There’s a reason RVers head south during the winter. We put foam board skirting around the base of the RV, insulating material in the windows, and used 3 space heaters, but we were still cold all the time. Our bays aren’t heated and needed constant monitoring during the coldest months and their own space heater.
We lacked stability in multiple areas of life.
I didn’t have a stable online job yet and Aaron was still getting his bearings at his. Aaron had taken 4 months off to find a job, so money was tight. Moving into a new place, new jobs, a new home and a new lifestyle all at once was a very bad idea.
Adjusting to RV life is stressful.
Everything is disorganized until you figure out where you want things to go. We had way too much stuff at first, so everything was jammed in the cabinets and hard to get to. Simple tasks like dishes, laundry, walking the dog and cooking were more difficult and time consuming. We had to work from coffee shops to get reliable Internet (a pre-2018 problem).
We weren’t mobile
I could not find a remote job and had to take a work from home job that required me living in town. Aaron realized that getting settled at his new job would take longer than a few months, and wanted to stay in Colorado Springs through the summer.
We realized that we were basically living the sticks and bricks lifestyle, but in a cramped, cold and uncomfortable RV. What was the point in that? The point of living in the RV is to actually move!
After 6 months, it was time to make a decision – either hit the road or give up. We were in no position to hit the road, but we aren’t ones to give up either, so we decided to compromise. We put the RV in storage and got an apartment until we were ready to live the RV lifestyle properly.
In a way, the 6 months we spent in the RV was a much-needed test run that helped us to actually prepare properly for full-timing. We learned so much about what we really wanted out of the lifestyle, and how to make it happen.
That year ended up being a major year of growth. We found answers to long-standing health issues, met incredible people that will be lifelong friends, and experienced epic outdoor adventures. We fell deeply in love with Colorado and plan to settle down there someday. Maybe.