Last week, I posted a blog about the day I left the backyard of my suburban apartment and embarked on my new life. And today I’m sitting in my RV, writing and working, while enjoying a warm breezy day, the sound of a gentle stream and views of Deschutes National Forest right outside my door. I have to admit; life is pretty damn good!
Four months ago, when I started this new chapter, I had a whole bunch of ideas about what this life would look like. Guess what? It looks nothing like that! (What is that saying about the best laid plans??? ) All I know is that nothing every turns out like I plan – and it’s always better than I could have imagined
and try to retain a small portion of my old professional life. The fact is, trying to live in an RV in such a densely populated area completely sucked. My goal had been to live in National Forests a couple hours away and commute back a couple times a month. This proved to be too expensive and stressful.
I’m not retired, I have to work. Many of the places I’d planned on living had zero cell coverage. Which meant I had to spend more time in cities. I have to tell ya, trying to be invisible and fly under the radar living in a 29’ Class C RV, so people don’t think I’m a homeless vagrant got old pretty quick. (Read my blog, “How to Stealth Camp in a 29′ Class C RV” here).
Oh my gosh, how uptight and mean California seems now that I’m living on the fringes of society! When I left California for Arizona two months ago, I knew I never wanted to go back; I fell in love with the open space, the tiny, uncrowded towns and the obvious absence of “Do Not Enter”, “No Trespassing” and “Private Property” signs. Over the past two months, I’ve spent 2 weeks in California – and 6 of those days was a backpacking trip. I love California, but not as a full time RVer!
I’m independent and I like being alone. Sure, I had some reservations about constantly being alone, living in remote areas of the National Forests, but I knew I’d be just fine. The last thing I expected when I headed to Arizona for CheapRVLiving.com’s summer Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) was to meet someone I’d develop a deep connection with and end up traveling with. Today Bob and I have been traveling together on and off for 5 weeks. It’s nice to have a fellow nomad to be with when I want company and who understand when I need my alone time and need to take off for a few days – or few weeks! After-all, my new life s about freedom and living my life MY way: no exceptions. Besides my RV Life looking quite different than I’d expected, I’ve learned a TON! (There is so much to learn!).
before I need to dump my black and gray water tanks and fill fresh water (F/W 33G + 6G H/W; B/W 33G; G/W 25G).
I cook twice a day, it runs my refrigerator and I turn on the water heater maybe once a week. I can also run the heat for about 30 minutes in the morning 4-5 days per week.
for black and gray water, propane and battery levels on the range hood are useless. They either don’t work at all or are inaccurate. The only one that works is the fresh water light.
needs to be filled with distilled water about once per month. (I fried my first battery).
Property house battery charging and maintenance is very important if you don’t want to keep frying batteries! (I’ve bought two already – but in all fairness, the first one came with the RV and was 5 years old).
I live with dirt, eat wit dirt and even sleep with dirt. When you boondock in National Forests, dirt is a fact of life (especially with Capone).
and uses about 1/10 of the water. (Speaking of bathing – baby wipes are your friend – stock up!)
no matter what, they shift and move around when I drive. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had cans come crashing on my head after moving camp. The other night, I almost killed Bob with a giant mason jar full of lentils!
All that money I thought I’d save by not paying rent??? Yeah, it goes in the gas tank and repairs. I was at the gas station one day and the guy next to me looked over my rig and said, “that thing must really eat the gas!” I replied, “yeah, I call it ‘Rent’”. I get somewhere between 8-9 MPG.
I started out with 10 – and now I barely get by with 30. I only stream about 3-4 hours of TV a month, the rest is work; email, social media, uploads and downloads, etc.
In my first four weeks, I was kicked out of 4 different spots. For some reason I thought “Full Time RVer” meant “Outlaw” and rules didn’t apply to me! I was quickly set straight by unamused property owners, security guards and police officers. I’m now happy to say my outlaw days are over and I’m a law abiding Nomad (mostly). More about this in my blog about stealth camping in a Class C RV.
New issues pop up almost every day. Yesterday I turned on my water heater and the place flooded with the smell of propane. My fuse keeps blowing in my speedometer and odometer and the last time I tried to change it, it sparked… so it stays blown (find out why this was a huge deal!) My ABS light has been on for two months. My engine stopped charging my house battery… the list just never ends. Learn from my mistakes: get your rig inspected before you buy it!!! (So,, at the very least, you know what needs work = peace of mind!). (Read my future blogs about the transmission rebuild.. ughhh).
Even on my toughest days (and there have been a few – especially in the beginning), the thought of going back to my former life fills me with angst and dread. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. I am exactly where I want to be!
I’m sure there are a million other things I’ve learned – and have yet to learn. I’ll be sharing them as they come up. I look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries on the road!
DISCLAIMER: Carolyn’s RV Life and Carolyn Higgins share her experiences, thoughts, opinions and ideas in this blog post and on this website for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, instruction or guidance. Viewers/Readers should consult with professionals before pursing any actions or behaviors exhibited in this video. Carolyn’s RV Life or Carolyn Higgins cannot be held liable in the event of any accident or injury that may occur as a result of application of procedures and information provided in this video.