In June 2016, we upgraded our travel trailer to a 5th-wheel toy hauler… a huge camper by any measure (king size master bed, 1 1/2 baths, kitchen with a large fridge, queen size bed in the back end along with dining table and full size couch). Who could ask for anything more?! We had been camping – or rather “glamping” – for over two years in a smaller camper. We loved it, so we planned to start camping more often with our new purchase.
We started off the summer by taking the RV to Port Aransas for a week. It was fabulous! We were able to take our golf cart in the back end and just drive around town like we were made for that kind of life. We went on a few more weekend excursions throughout the summer. Each felt quite like glamorous camping (glamping) in full style and luxury!
Then, at the end of October, the housing market was very favorable in our area. We (completely lost our minds) decided to just put the house on the market and see what kind of offer we got. After a very short time, we had a buyer (and a moving out date by the end of November with no idea where we would go)!
We began searching for a house with acreage – not much – but still within our school district. Our choices were very limited, and we finally put an offer on a house on 5 acres that had been on the market for months. Remember how I said it was a seller’s market? That very day, another couple looked at the house, put in a better offer (evidently), and we did not get the one house that met all of our criteria.
So, I, beginning the brilliant one in the family, had a fabulous idea. Let’s just buy land and build the house we want on that acreage. That will take like 6-8 months, right? WE CAN LIVE IN OUR CAMPER! IT WOULD BE SO MUCH FUN! My husband, who was so thrilled that I was finally willing to move out to the country, pointed out that 6-8 months was a long time to live in such a small space. I argued, “Small space? Our camper is huge, and we will save so much money by living in it!” He reluctantly agreed to it, and our adventure began.
Well, seven months in, as you can imagine, living in any size camper with two adults, an 11 year old, a 13 year old, two labs, and a cat is far from the ideal fairy tale with rainbows and unicorns. It was glamorous for about a month. But, now, not so much. I am truly lucky that I love my family so much (and that they love me). Because, if I have to step over another dog and around another child just to get to the potty one more time, I might just start screaming and never, ever stop. Our big, huge, glamorous camper has turned into a tiny little prison we can’t escape. “Orange is the New Black” ladies, I’m feeling your over-crowded oppression right about now. And, I won’t even get started on the financial side… paying for furniture storage and that manager at the campsite said, “ching, ching $$” when she saw that big ol’ RV rolled up into a spot. “They must be able to pay a daily rate and electricity.” Um, no.
But, this crazy adventure is nearing an end… a fact that makes each day even a little bit harder. Our house is so close to being finished, and we are hopeful that we can move in before school starts. We had Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, two birthdays (and two more before we are done), the Last Day of School, and Summer Break for our kids and I. We have seen all 4 seasons. Oh, how I hope and pray the First Day of School won’t be added to that list! Soon… it will be over, and one day, I hope to love my huge, glamping RV again. (On a side note, I have made my husband swear to NOT let me sell our RV once we get in the house. I know I can love glamping again!)
As for all of you folks (especially with kids) that live year round in campers, I used to envy you – I could imagine nothing better than traveling the country and exposing my kids to so many new things. Now, I believe you are the most patient, calm people on the planet. I could never be as adventurous as you! Hats off!
For any of you considering living in your RV for an extended period of time, I give two pieces of advice:
1. Make sure you REALLY love your family.
2. Make sure EVERYONE has a good set of earphones.