My partner and I lived in a 25’ Komfort travel trailer for 18 months. We made the move out of calculated desperation. What I mean is we sold our beautiful, amazing, rural home at the perfect time, financially that is. We purchased our home when the market was low (2009) and we decided to sell when the market was peaking, specifically in the town where we lived. The school district is very well rated and everyone wants to get their kids in the schools. We made a tidy little profit on our home because of our good timing. I was also making a career change and a mortgage seemed like a large burden we did’t need. I was loving the tiny home movement and thought a quick, simple and inexpensive way to get into the tiny house game would be to buy a RV.
We purchased a 25’ (the longest we could fit in my Mom’s driveway) for about $7K. We totally renovated the inside, which I will write about that in a different post, and we moved in. It was a full “house” with 2 adults, 2 cats and one medium sized dog. We lived there for 18 months, then we moved into a house that was semi-included with E’s new job. We went back about 8 weeks later to finish cleaning the trailer and sell it. We were about to sell it in 12 hours, but I felt bitter sweet about the whole experience. So I thought I was reminisce and tell you about why I was sad to see the trailer go.
Even though it was small, it was ours. I could do anything I wanted there. Paint it, put holes in it. Clean it, leave it dirty. I owned it, outright. No loans, no landlords, no one to say I can’t do that. I miss that terribly now being in a rental house. While we have more space I still feel like I’m in someone else’s house. Owning something all yours is a special feeling, one not to be disregarded.
2. Private Space
Even though it was small it was private. No sharing space with parents, roommates, co-workers (I often live in shared housing for work). I could do what I wanted, when I wanted without worrying about bothering anyone. I could cook the way I wanted, clean what I wanted and never feel judged. For the record I often feel judged because I like to clean often and in-depth. I could have a one women dance party and the were no neighbors sharing a wall to be annoyed. The RV was a private space for us, without the weight of a rent or a mortgage on us.
*The cabinet doors are missing because I was not finished painting them
3. Saving $$$$$
This is probably the biggest thing I miss. We were plugged into shore power and water so I did give my Mom $ for utilities and that was all we had to pay. Something like $150/month on average. This afforded us a lot of freedom. So much so that E was able to quite his soul sucking job and explore new career opportunities. I worked as an AmeriCorps Member and if you know anything about that program you know they are volunteers who get a very small monthly living stipend. We traveled often, went on little and large trips. We were able to save as well. I was finally able to start saving for retirement. The financial freedom was amazing and I recommend it even on a short term basis to save up some cash!
4. Cozy and Romantic
Yes, I said romantic. Sometimes it was not so romantic (picture your bathroom 2’ from kitchen/living/dining area) but we were always together. We had to agree on what to do, what to watch etc. In the house we had it was enormous, part of the reason why we sold it, and we often lost each other in the house. What a crazy though, losing someone in your house. The couch was small and so the whole family, cats, dog and people all had to cuddle to share space. It was our cozy space. We also knew what the other was up to and could make sure the animals were not getting into trouble.
5. Everything in Close Proximity
Picture this: you need some socks for your cold feet. That means you have to get off the couch, walk across the room, up the stairs, down the hall, into your bedroom and then all the way back. Now picture taking 3 steps into your bedroom and grabbing a pair. You could be back to your Netflix show within 3 seconds instead of 3 minutes. It was nearly impossible to lose anything in the trailer. You could rip through everything in about 5 minutes and see everything you own very quickly. In our old house I would lose things often, with all the space we had, so many closets, drawer etc. mostly full of crap we didn’t need or use. In the RV we had everything we needed at our finger tips.
6. Quick and Easy to Clean
Bottom line, it took me less then 1 hour to clean the trailer top to bottom. That means floors, windows, bathroom, kitchen, even wiping down walls and cabinets. Remember we also have 2 cats and a dog in there, which really added to the dirt/hair factor. I don’t really need to explain how that impacted my life in a positive way, do I?!
7. Forced Outdoors
While at times I loved that cozy feel of the small living space, other times I felt claustrophobic. This forced us to get out more I believe. We got out of the house more, and since we had more money we could afford to go out more. But we didn’t just go out, we visited to outdoors more as well. Walking, hiking, even just day road trips. Visiting friends and family more and never feeling stress about ignoring house chores to do something fun. Having a small space gave us comfort but also got us out of the house more.
*June Lake, Mt. St. Helens
So in short, there are things I miss about our little home on wheels and I hope my cathartic reminiscing will benefit others thinking about taking the plunge into RV living.