Starting The Full Time RV Life

by andrewodom on January 22, 2014 · 9 comments


whereyouparkitAs I sit here next to the door of our fifth wheel camper letting the sun dry my winter soaked legs and the 72° air wash over me I realize I have set little about our transition to this point.

By now most readers know that we have shut our tiny house down for the winter and transitioned into a fifth wheel camper at a beautiful RV resort campground in southern Florida. But little has been said about getting to this point emotionally, physically, mentally, financially, etc. So before I head back to work (which consists of logging on to a VPN network and starting a virtual time clock) I want to share a bit about the adventure thus far.

I have to admit that this has quickly become one of the hardest posts I have written in four years primarily because all I want to do is be outside in the sun living life and not thinking about how to capture the moment in words.

Why Live In An RV Full Time

For us the decision was entirely emotional. We have lived in our tiny house for a year now. It has been wonderful. After taking about 14 months to build our 240 sq.ft., single level, “beach cottage” tiny house, life has become quite normal as one of the “fringe” people who choose to live in a small space. I never thought that life in a tiny house would ever seem normal. But somehow it has and we have since settled into a rather normal routine. Yes, we have continued to invest in life and adventure in 2013 and yes, our daughter has kept us more than busy, and yes, we have continued to develop our house and our overall plans. But as late October turned to November and the nights began to get colder and colder……well, that isn’t true.

In 2011 the winter wasn’t all that cold. It was grey though. The sky was grey. The clouds seemed grey. The garden was buttoned up for the winter. The days were short and with a newborn in our then Bungalow (more photos here) the nights were long. Our tiny house seemed months away from being done and it felt as if we had been dreaming and preparing for years. 2012 was no better although we were now living in rural middle Georgia at my parents house wrapping up the tiny house. The winter seemed somehow colder and other than going to work each day and building each evening life was pretty uneventful. Our budget was maxed out, our daughter required much of our attention, and our skin tone had turned to a pasty color neither of us were familiar with.

One night Crystal turned to me at supper and said she wished we could be on a remote island somewhere or at least in a place where the sun shined all day and temperatures allowed her to walk barefoot through the grass like she did as a little girl in Carolina. I more or less scoffed at the idea because it seemed even more ludicrous than building a tiny house and living an off-grid life. But I listened to her. No. I heard her. I tuned in to her words and saw that she needed relief and wanted to desperately to just breath the salt air only our coasts could provide and she wanted to do it at the sacrifice of our Southern winters. Not much of a sacrifice I thought. In fact, that night I specifically remember hearing ‘Some Beach‘ by a very mullet-adorned Blake Shelton and thinking “Yeah. I could spend a winter on some beach / Somewhere / [where] There’s a beautiful sunset burning up that atmosphere / [where] There’s music and dancing and lovers romancing in the salty evening air.” The next day I told her that if she still wanted to “snow bird” next year we would; no questions asked.

Sometime about late August Crystal again brought up the idea. She had recently had a major birthday. Our daughter was about to turn 2-years old and the days were starting to get shorter. We knew fall and winter were not long off. That night I did a fair amount of late-night googling and came across the Norton family (2 parents and 6 kids) web site and after reading of their conversion to the RV life came across their choice to head down to SW Florida. I followed a few links, fell onto Woodsmoke, and promptly emailed the link to Crystal with the subject: This is it. I know it.

The next morning I got an email in return. I was already in my tiny office with the space heater running. Her response? I love it. When do you want to leave?

NOTE: I realize now that this post is going to spread out over several days. Please stay tuned to read Part 2 of our latest Tiny r(E)volution adventure!

 

  • Elvira Moon

    There’s a growing sub-culture of location-independent people living in RVs. I’m one, too ( a tethered nomad). You are near a couple that have refined it. Cherie and Chris are in southern FL right now. :) Stop in for a visit!
    http://www.technomadia.com/

    • http://www.tinyrevolution.us/ anotherkindofdrew

      I have talked to Chris online before as we were hoping to go to NuRvers about two years ago. We keep up with them online though. Where are they in Florida? Oh, and thanks for reading our blog and keeping up with us!

      • Elvira Moon

        They are in Cedar Key for the winter. Check their FB page for more details. Have a good winter! (I’m in the SW Texas desert ;)

  • Suzannah Kolbeck

    Glad you started to write this down; you will be glad you did, even at the cost of a couple hours of sunshine!

    • http://www.tinyrevolution.us/ anotherkindofdrew

      I have actually enjoyed writing out my thoughts and memories on the subject. Thank you for the encouragement Suzannah.

  • Sheliah Lewis

    This is great Drew! I have been thinking about buying one and putting everything in storage if I have any more money problems and delays in building my tiny house. I could save up so much money as I have two other places I can take everything with and build for almost no cost. My concern has been having my own living space while I build so I can keep my cats, this would work! Either way I am out of here (Michigan) by June and I vow to never spend another winter in the cold!

    • http://www.tinyrevolution.us/ anotherkindofdrew

      Amen to that Sheliah!

  • Forest Lake

    g’day from Australia ! just wanted to say i look forward to reading more from you :) i currently live in a caravan/trailer which is 11 square metres (118 square feet) and really enjoy it despite the small space :)

    • http://www.tinyrevolution.us/ anotherkindofdrew

      Sounds awesome Forest. Chime in anytime!

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