As our 2-year nomadversary approaches, we have been thinking about all of the lessons we have learned during our time full-time RV living; and boy have we learned some lessons!!! If you have also transitioned from a sticks and bricks home to living in an RV full-time, I am sure you will relate…
We have been very vulnerable in sharing our lives with our tiny humans in a tiny space in hopes of inspiring you to collect more experiences during your time here on Earth, so here we are again being a total open book with our top lessons learned from full-time RV living!
Lesson # 1: It’s Still Life
Just like living in a brick and sticks home, things will happen. We have learned how to just smile and laugh when unexpected things occur. When we took our RV out for a test run a few weeks before hitting the road full-time, our neighbor (who was also full-timing) told us, “Things will happen, learn how to just go with it!” This was his biggest tip to us. I swear the universe wanted to prep us early because that weekend before going back to our sticks and bricks, one of our landing legs did not want to go up!
We have learned that kids leave faucets running, rainstorms cause chaos, and sometimes things just stop working, After every “terrible” unannounced situation life has thrown at us, we have been able to laugh about it and learn a lesson from it as well.
Lesson # 2: Slow Down
We learned this very quickly after crossing the country from Florida to California in less than a week (just writing that makes me exhausted) after only being on the road for 2 months!
After talking to many RVers, they have also learned this lesson the hard way because they have experienced getting burned out. I understand that it is so exciting at first that it’s easy to try to do it all, but trust us, (we learned the hard way) not only is it exhausting, but you do not get to enjoy yourself as much.
When we learned the art of slowing down, we began to remember our experiences more clearly vs feeling like we had run a marathon and every memory was starting to mesh together. It also allowed us to really explore the area we were visiting including the non-tourist attractions.
We also learned the art of not driving 10+ hours in a day, the maximum we ever do now is 4 hours and the least we have done has been 25 minutes. Growing up in NYC, I didn’t realize how much I had been programmed to live my life in a hurry for absolutely no reason and I almost feel guilty that I had kind of rubbed off on my better half without either of us realizing it. So, I am very grateful for learning this lesson thanks to this lifestyle because our kids are learning the art of slowing down as well (#priceless).
Lesson #3: Collect Experiences
Coming from an 1,800+ sq. ft sticks and bricks home where I had been conditioned to fill every nook and cranny just because I had the room I quickly realized this was not possible in our lovely house on wheels. Not only is there not a ton of space, but there are also weight limits in the RV I had to keep in mind.
We have been determined to make every day memorable vs filling ourselves up with junk we truly don’t need. Our slogan “Collect Experiences, Not Junk” came to me on a random night as I looked through our recent adventures at the time and realized how joyous my heart was just from thinking back on all of these experiences.
If it had not been for this lifestyle, I am not sure we would have seen and done as much as we have. It is one thing seeing videos and reading about it and it’s a whole other story living the experience yourself. We have definitely collected more experiences in the last 23 months than most people do in 10 years thanks to RVing.
You can imagine what it’s like to go kayaking in uncharted waters, fish across the country, climb up a 1,300 foot mountain in the rugged Upper Peninsula of Michigan, sit in an actual NASA room, walk through a cave that used to be a copper mine, hike through the Poconos to find a huge hidden waterfall that can only be seen by climbing up the mountain, go swimming in a spring fed pool in the middle of the Rocky Mountains…. but your imagination is nothing like collecting that experience. Doing this with our children beside us has been life changing because we know in our hearts we are helping them realize the power of collecting experiences simply through living.
Lesson # 4: Research RVs
This lesson right here could have saved us a bit of a headache in the beginning. We were one of those couples that dove in head first with zero knowledge about RVs! We ended up picking a fifth wheel (we didn’t even know what that meant) and learned very quickly that the weight was a little too much for our truck at the time. We had already made the purchase, so we ended up having to purchase a truck that handled the weight and that also fit all of us because our truck at the time was only a 3-seater.
I even recommend renting the type of RV you are looking for on a site like Outdoorsy because then you can really get a feel for the type of layout and you will meet the owners of the RV and get to ask them questions too! Quite frankly, if someone had told me this when we first looked at RVs, I would have totally done it! Learn from us: do more research on type, length weight, diesel or gas, etc.
Lesson # 5: Meet Others on the Same Path
In the beginning, it was a pretty lonely journey. Our friends and family did not really get our lifestyle and they did not understand the landing legs, sewer fun times and all the “funny” lessons we were learning. We began to connect with more fellow RVers online (thank you Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter) and we quickly found so many “crazy” folks like us!
We have slowly began meeting each other in real life and collecting experiences with these folks too! It has made the journey that much more memorable to know that there are folks just like us out there escaping the chains of what we were told our entire lives was “normal.” We love our friends and family, and of course, keep them up to date, but until you live in an RV full-time, you won’t truly understand all the lessons this lifestyle throws at you.
Thank you so much for reading about our lessons learned! We are on a mission to inspire you through our actions to collect experiences of your own instead of junk while living a more intentional life. We would love to hear your thoughts below and any lessons you have learned from living in an RV full-time.