As most of you know, our lives took a turn for the smaller a year and a half ago. We left our apartments, drove halfway across the country and moved into our new home: an RV. From that point on, we’ve been full time RV living, and nineteen feet of less-than luxurious living space has been all ours.
To see this blog post in video-format, watch below! It’s way more entertaining than reading it!
But we aren’t alone in this downsizing movement. RVs are becoming popular again, and YouTube is flooded with people living and working right from their mobile homes.
However, many of these YouTubers tend to gloss over some of the big negatives of living in a home the size of most people’s back porches.
Do you want to know the truth about what it means to live in an RV? We aren’t holding anything back, so read on to learn what we think are the ten biggest challenges of living together in a tiny space.
1. Every bit of space needs to have multiple purposes.
Throughout our RV we have one table, and it has to work for a ton of different purposes, which means that coffee and laptops and groceries are usually on the table at the same time, among other random items, which gets old fast.
In other words, our office is our kitchen table, dining room table, where we relax, is our kitchen, and is our flat space where we put everything that doesn’t have an obvious home.
Every day that passes where we haven’t fried a computer by spilling coffee on it is certainly a success worth celebrating.
Part of the reason our table is so cluttered is the fact that we both make an income online… so office equipment is a must.
2. Minimal natural light.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a really big challenge in our lives (we don’t actually have this… but you know how it is), and we had to buy extra high-quality lights just to make ourselves feel alive! The good news is these lights don’t take much power (we’re off grid and rely on solar power, so power isn’t always in abundance) so we can keep them on without guilt.
3. Cooking is a challenge.
Minimal counter top space means that meals need to be simple because there just isn’t room to make anything else. For that reason, we are big fans of the one pot meals!
4. Scant storage space.
Our closet is about two feet wide- and we have to share it between us. Worst of all, Jesse’s bulky menswear takes up over 75% of that closet space! It’s not a girl’s dream come true, I can tell you that.
I really don’t have much space to store my winter wardrobe! Clothing items end up all over the trailer when they’re not in use.
5. Sleep interruptions.
If you find yourself restless and awake in the middle of the night you’re kind of out of luck, as there isn’t enough space in an RV to hang out respectfully while someone else is resting.
Sometimes one of us will take a trip into town to try to get to work some work done, but that puts us at the mercy of outside internet service, which tends to be unreliable.
6. No privacy!
Get ready for your partner to know about all your daily habits…even in the bathroom. I think we can all use our imaginations here.
7. No place to put all our possessions.
No basement, no large closets and no real garage space means we often are limited in where we can store our homestead tools.
Though it’s tempting to build extra outbuildings to store critical belongings, we are waiting until we have our house setup so that we only have to do the hard work of laying a foundation once rather than a different time for each building.
We do have a tiny cabin attached to the end of our RV garage which gives us some extra storage space, but this was primarily built to keep our RV warm in winter… not for space to put our things.
8. All that dirt.
The amount of filth we track in his incredible, especially since it gets concentrated in such a tiny space. This means we usually sweep our RV twice a day.
We also use a wall mounted shot vac to keep our floors clean when we have our generator running.
9. General wear and tear.
Things in RVs aren’t necessarily designed for 24/7 use and tend to be fragile and expensive to replace.
After one year of living we are finding ourselves fixing tons of things throughout the RV, from fans to our water systems and even the seat cushions underneath our table!
10. Messy charging station.
We already have no space to live, but we still have to keep the laptops charged, camera batteries, cell phones and other electrical accessories. We have a swamp of cords under our kitchen table which wouldn’t normally be a huge deal, but it really encroaches on our already tiny space!
Full Time RV Living Blogs & Resources
Now… we aren’t full time RV living like most people – we are completely stationary and have no intentions of touring around the United States in our RV! That said, if that’s what you ARE interested, here are some quality blogs, YouTube channels and Facebook groups of folks that are doing such thing… hopefully they’ll be a great additional source of inspiration to you!
So…why do we do the full time RV living thing?
Why go through the inconvenience of living in an RV for years at a time?
First and foremost, living in an RV is our way of turning our dreams into reality. We are willing to make short term sacrifices in our life in order to live the life we want to live in the future.
Our journey of building an off grid home is about us striving to live a life away from debt in order to achieve freedom in the future.
Living in an affordable RV opens lots of doors for us, and in our minds it is a tool to help us get to where we want to be someday; debt free on our own property and free to live how we want.
These ten challenges might be annoying, but we both think the inconvenience is well worth it.
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