RV

One Year of Living in a RV – Pros & Cons

 

The end of August marks the one year anniversary of living full time in our RV. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year! When we went into this, I had two little girls, was pregnant with our son, and we had no idea what we were doing! Now, our girls are 4 and 2, our son is 10 months, and we’ve learned quite a bit about this fun lifestyle. We love living this way and we’ve even managed to inspire other families to live in a RV. 

However, it’s all not rainbow and roses. There have been some snags along the way and some learning curves. So in celebrating our one year anniversary, here are the pros and cons for living full time in a RV.

PROS

1. Change of scenery!

I get restless constantly, no matter where I live. I was getting tired of being forced to live in a place for a year minimum. Life was too unpredictable and I didn’t like not having the option of moving. In a RV, our home stays the same, but we’re constantly moving. I love being able to move around whenever we want to. 

2. Less cleaning

I was tired of constantly cleaning our last place, even though it was only 800 sq. Ft. While this place does get dirtier sooner, it also takes way less time to clean. It leaves me more time to actually live life and enjoy time with my family.

3. Cheap traveling

We didn’t travel often in the past, because hotels were just too expensive for us. However, with a RV, we take our home with us and we can find places that are 1/3 to 1/2 cheaper than most hotel rooms (and that’s the cheaper hotel rooms we’re talking about.) It saves us tons of money when we travel that can be used for way more useful or fun things. 

4. Less spending

I used to love to window shop many stores. Now, I no longer do it as much, because where on earth would I store it in this trailer? With 5 people living in 350 sq. Ft., there isn’t much room for decorations. Looking at furniture is out too. Almost all the furniture is already provided, so there’s no point in even looking. Besides, that money needs to go to way more important things, like everyday basics! 

5. Cheaper living

Notice I said cheaper, not cheap.  There are definitely ways to save money while living in a RV. Our rent right now is about $850 a month, which is amazing for this area! So it can be done!

CONS

1. Rent can be expensive.

So how is this category be in both pros and cons? If we were paying full price in the Pacific Northwest area, our total “rent” would come out to between $1300-$1700 a month. For that price, I could easily rent a small two or three bedroom apartment or house. However, if you can find the right place, you can get that number lowered significantly (as our $850 a month proves.)

2. Heating costs are ridiculously expensive

Well, for an RV. In the winter time, this RV can get freezing cold. We figured out our average propane cost for the winter months is about $200. In the summer, our propane costs are about $25.

3. No washer and dryer.

There is no washer and dryer in this RV, so this can make the laundry complicated. There’s pretty much two options, hand washing or a laundromat. Hand washing is hard work and I would be doing it constantly for 5 people. The laundromat isn’t cheap. Whatever is your preference works. Doesn’t make is any easier though.

4. The black tank

Having to deal with your own waste is a little gross, but part of the RV lifestyle. Thankfully, the whole system is simple and easy. I’m just glad my husband does it for me! 

5. Plastic sinks

Seriously, this is a no go. The sinks stain like crazy, collect a grimy, dirty layer of scum and require this soft scrub to even clean it. One of the main things I have on my list is switching the sinks (especially the bathroom one) to a much easier material to clean, probably metal for it’s lightness. 

6. Not enough room for my books.

Seriously, not enough room. When we moved, I managed to downsize just about everything. Except books. I could never get rid of my books. However, I do have a majority of them in storage until we find a way to stash more books in this place. Surprisingly, my books aren’t the ones causing trouble. It’s the kid’s books that are overflowing and honestly, its getting really annoying. It’s at the top of our to do list to get this problem fixed! (Mostly so I can raid my books in storage and bring a bunch into the RV. I’ve missed them!)

NEUTRAL

1. No dishwasher

I’ve found out I actually don’t mind washing dishes by hand. I find it much more efficient for a RV, since unless the dishes are washed consistently (several times a day), we tend to run out of dishes very quickly. 

2. Packing up the whole RV to move

While sometimes this can get annoying, we’ve managed to streamline this process and really, it is necessary to move the RV. So I don’t pay much attention and it has the added bonus of forcing me to keep the place clean and picked up.

So here are the pros, cons and even neutrals about living in a RV for me. However, I’m loving this life and am so grateful that we’ve had this opportunity. I’m looking forward to the next year and seeing what it brings!

Would you live in a RV full time?

Family

6 Tips to Survive a Rough Pospartum Period

Oftentimes, a woman has very little support after a baby is born. This can make the postpartum period a challenging time.

I’ll use the birth of my third child as an example. I had a rough few last months of my pregnancy and then a traumatic birthing experience. It was also my third kid in three years and I was emotionally and physically exhausted. I was released from the hospital 24 hours later. From there, I was taken to my parents house and cared for the next 4 days, but I got little rest as I was adjusting to this new life. On day 6, I was left alone with my two children all day and had to pack everything to go home. We got home that night, exhausted. Now I was home all day with the girls (18 month and 3) for 12 hours.

Thank God my parents sent me home with some leftovers. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise. That was my next three days. Then was Sunday, with church, eating out and shopping. Monday brought another full day of shopping. Then back to being home by myself for 12 hours a day, except my oldest daughter was now really sick. I then watched my husband get sick and then my other daughter. My husband still worked his 12 hour days, but I was left nursing all the sick ones in the house. I was only 2 weeks postpartum when everyone was sick. Going into the third week, I got sick. Let’s just say that things got really tough then. Now the postpartum period is usually considered to be six weeks. I was still supposed to resting and not doing much of anything but taking care of baby. I never really even had that kind of resting with my third child at all. 

Along the way, I picked up some valuable tips to surviving a rough postpartum period. I’m sharing them with you, in case you ever have to face a situation like that one. 

1. Free Food

If you can get any kind of help at all, having meals delivered is the most helpful thing, especially if the mom has more than one kid. I didn’t have to think about feeding my family. It was already done for me. If there is no help to be had, using a mail subscription meal service, like Blue Apron, can really help as well. You don’t have to worry about thinking up meals and shopping. All that is done for you and the recipe and ingredients are delivered to your door. 

2. Rest

When you can’t stay in bed for hours on end, rest when you can. And yes, that means ignoring the dirty floors, the piles of dirty clothes and dishes, and the toys scattered everywhere. While it’s not the most fun to sit in a messy house, rest is vital to your recovery!

3. One Chore a Day

On the other hand, yes, the chores need to be done. If you can’t get any help with these, then choose one chore a day to do. No, the house won’t be spotless, but what is necessary to live is getting done. I had a rotating schedule between dishes, laundry and some basic cleaning (kitchen, floors, and bathroom.) It wasn’t until much later, that I was able to clean in any depth.

4. Keep Distractions on Hand

When you have other children in the house, especially younger children, having distractions will help retain your sanity and help you reset. In our house, we don’t have cable and rarely watch movies. However, an exception was made for this time. Their grandma bought them Frozen and my girls watched this daily until we all had the movie memorized. But it gave me a two hour gap to rest and kept the little ones resting when they were sick.

5. Have Adult Visitors

If you spend your days alone and/or with kids all day, you need a break! Whether it is finding a babysitter for the older children and going out with a friend (with baby of course!) or just having someone drop in for a chat, being with another adult can really be a breathe of fresh air.

6. Ask for Help

Now granted, this one I’m still working on, but asking for help is important. I even asked my sick husband who worked 12 hour days to occasionally put a child to bed or take out the trash. It can be hard to ask for any kind of help, but there is no shame in needing help in this vulnerable and overwhelming time of your life.

I know that a rough pregnancy, birth and low/no support during postpartum can be a really rough time. I pray that you don’t have to go through that. However, if you are ever in that unfortunate situation, I hope these tips help you survive. I know they helped me survive and I also know that I will be much more insistent on help with the next child and will be asking people ahead of time for the specific help I need.

Have you ever had to survive a rough postpartum period? 

Recipes

Indoor S’mores

Have you ever sat there on a rainy fall day, where the air is cool and crisp, and wanted s’mores? How about any time of the year, when where you live doesn’t have any access to a fire for s’mores? We’ve managed to find the perfect solution!

So, when my parents took me camping when I was young, they always packed all the fixin’s for s’mores; but they were for me. We found a similar recipe on a box of cereal and ever since then, my mom always made these for every camping trip. I loved both and still to this day, love this recipe. It’s the perfect recipe when I’m craving s’mores on those cold winter days. It always brings a bit of summer weather feeling into the house.

Indulge in a bit of outdoorsy life brought to the indoor life. You’ll enjoy these and wonder why these aren’t more popular!

Indoor S'mores
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Ingredients
  1. 8 c. graham cereal
  2. 1 bag (10 oz.) mini marshmallows
  3. 1 1/2 c. milk chocolate chips
  4. 5 Tbsp. butter
  5. 1/4 c. sugar
  6. 1 Tbsp. water
  7. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Grease a 13x9 pan. Pour cereal in a large bowl. Reserve 1 cup marshmallows.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the remaining marshmallows, chocolate chips, butter, sugar and water over low heat until completely melted. Remove from heat and mix in the vanilla. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and stir until completely coated. Mix in remaining marshmallows.
  3. Pour into greased pan and press firmly. Let cool for 1 hour. Cut into bars and serve!
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Goldilocks Domesticated http://www.goldilocksdomesticated.com/