When we started this grand adventure that has become my life we lived in a travel trailer for five months. We sold our big house in a small city before we knew for sure if the sale on our place was going to close. Fortunately, we already had a 26-foot travel trailer. We sold most of our furniture, moved what was left into a storage unit, and went “camping.” Had I known how long we would be in the trailer I am not sure I would have agreed at all!
We completely renovated the kitchen and bathroom before we moved in. Every room in the house was painted and put in new flooring everywhere. Handy Husband estimated it would take him about two months to complete the renovations himself. He was… mistaken! There we were living in my parent’s backyard.
The most difficult part for me was not having hookups. We did not have electricity, an internet connection, or water/sewer connections. In RV camping terms, we were dry camping. I was less than thrilled about waking up in the morning and stepping outside to start our generator. Not to mention very frequent trips to dump the RV tanks. Most of the time I was pretty much on my own with the kids, or with my parents. Hand Husband not only worked at his day job the entire time, he actually changed jobs in the middle of all this. When he wasn’t at work, he was working on the new house. He and I did everything ourselves, and it was a ton of work.
- It was not that bad. I think families that travel in an RV and have the advantage of seeing new country each day really have something figured out. We took a big trip in July and stayed busy through August. We had an absolutely fantastic summer living in our trailer.
- But sometimes it was that bad. Like when Handy Husband was out-of-town and our generator stopped working. It was cold. I would avoid living in a trailer in cold climates if possible. If you have to do it, be well set up.
- Throw the hammer down. Do not let your husband take an extended hunting trip in the middle of a major renovation project!
- Similar to living in a very small house, the secret to living in an RV is keeping just what you need and nothing more. We had minimal wardrobes and only a few toys in the trailer. It was cozy, but as long as things stayed orderly it was okay.
- Like so many other things in life, it is all about priorities and organization. Spending some time setting up systems and keeping things tidy made all the difference. We were even able to set up and use daily a homeschool preschool program. The girls loved our morning school work at the table.
- The RV toilet can always use more enzymes. Always.
- Go ahead and buy the bigger trailer if you live in it.
- If at all possible, avoid large projects for work during the time you live in an RV. I did not do this, and I should have!
- I prefer not to cook inside our travel trailer. We set up an outdoor kitchen under our awning with a Coleman camp stove and BBQ.
- Use the space outside your trailer. We had a nice outdoor rug and chairs and use the space outside our trailer as ‘living room.’
We only lived in our trailer for five months. Many people do it for much longer. The entire time our trailer was parked in my parent’s yard. We always had access to a regular kitchen and bathroom. Most of the time we cooked and ate dinner as a larger family in the house. For the most part, I showered and got ready for work in the house. After it got really cold, in about November, the girls and I had all we could take and started sleeping inside. Handy Husband was determined to stick it out in the trailer. I am sure he and the dog were very happy together out there in the cold, I wouldn’t know!