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Posts tagged with: rv living

Dealing with even Tinier Living Space

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I need to start out with two important points here:

  1. I am very grateful for my friends generosity of loaning us their RV and camp space for a few months at no cost.  It will be a great learning experience and true adventure.  And give me a rare opportunity to really save up some money since our living expenses will be pretty much nothing other than food.
  2. This is temporary, and really the only reason I have taken them up on the offer is it is the only way we can stay here at least a few more months, and staying here is our first choice.

Now to the reality of the situation, I have to admit that I am dreading our new temporary living space, probably just a tad bit more than I am excited about the idea to really save some money.  I’ve never been a camper, ever.  I in no way shape or form want to sound ungrateful for this opportunity, but I am dreading the logistics of it quite a bit.

We will have access to a 10 person sleeper RV and a mobile home which is used as a office, but will provide a full kitchen and two full bathrooms.  They are parked next to each other and the office is seldom used.  We are going out on Monday to see everything so I can wrap my head around space.  We have already begun packing and hope to start moving things that will not be trashed, sold or taken to a storage unit next week.

So I’ve been working out a plan in my head, please feel free to chime in with ideas:

  1. All the kids will once again be on a summer swim team, so we will be up and out every morning for a couple of hours of swim practice.  Good start for the day.  I will use this time for work. I’ve also though that this might be the ideal time for me to do the wash as I don’t think we have access to laundry facilities.  Luckily, the pool is literally right across from a laundry mat.
  2. I will pack a cooler nightly with food to take with us since most of them won’t eat before practice and will be starving after.  Will include fruit, yogurt, bagels, hard boiled eggs, etc.
  3. From there, we will hit the local library for a couple of hours of school/work time.  Air conditioning, lots of options of things to do (reading, schoolwork, computer time, etc.)  On nice weather days, we could hit up one of the many local parks which equals work time for me and play time for the kids, especially since we can pick up any number of their friends to join us.
  4. Cooler will include lunch options: sandwiches, yogurt, fruit or salad.
  5. Return to the RV for the hottest part of the afternoon for some quiet/down time on electronics, naps or outside time if wanted.  We will have an entire farm to roam with lots of trails, animals and chores to help out with.
  6. Back out at night for sports activities…Gymnast trains at night, Princess will be playing softball as well as working out at a local gym.  On nights when we don’t have to go out, family fun outside with bonfires, grilling and games.

What do you think?  I think it gets us out enough that we won’t feel super cramped in the RV.  The twins are going to be working full time for the most part, History Buff at his current job and Sea Cadet has applied to work as a Jr. Camp Counselor at a local camp which will take him away weeks at a time.  Since History Buff is driving, I imagine we won’t see much of them after swim practice between work and social life, but they are both very responsible and respectful of the guidelines as far as their freedom goes so I don’t mind them having the extra time.

If I can keep eating out to a minimum and paid activities to maybe once a week, this will be a great opportunity to get some savings for moving into a new place and let me move forward on paying off a bit of debt.

I am well aware that this choice, maybe most of my choices aren’t the ‘norm’ but I have to tell you that all of us have fully embraced the minimalist life we have been living. While there are a few things I truly miss, for the most part, I do not mind living with less ‘stuff’ and truly appreciate the amount of time and energy we have to spend on experiences and adventures rather than cleaning and managing our clutter!  And as I’ve been researching living in an RV for a while now, it is amazing how many people do it full time or are just weekend RV’ers.  I don’t think that’s for me, but there are a lot of resources out there on it.

Update: We went out this past Monday to get a feel for the situation…all of us went.  And I have to say, after seeing the true nature of how we will live after a thorough tour of the RV, trailer, layout and access to the farm…EVERYONE is so excited!  The little ones are most excited about all the animals, and the big ones are excited about getting to have all their guy friends out for some ‘guy time’ for lack of a better term.  Acres to roam, bike trails to ride, 3 bathrooms, full size kitchen and dining table, patio and grill….yes, we are all pretty excited now about our ‘glamping’ experience!


Housing – It’s All in Name and Our Plan

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Update: Read below for my original post.  But the day after I wrote this, I was offered a significant enough local contract to decide to stay put.  It’s not enough to pay the bills yet, but it is enough to make staying put the best decision financially for now.  We will be going with Option 2 for the time being as far as housing goes; the kids are thrilled for a number of reasons!  I won’t start the new contract until sometime in March so still scrimping to get by for now…but I am so grateful.

As of May 1st we will be homeless, meaning we must move out of our current apartment and without a job, I will not be able to qualify for any other housing.  This has been a HUGE stressor for me since learning about it in December.

You’ve probably figured out by now that I am willing and open to most anything as long as I have some time to get used to it.  I’m very open to thinking outside the box.  So here is what the plan is currently:

Option 1: If by April 1st, I do not have a job that keeps us here (or forces us to move elsewhere):

We will be packing most of our stuff and putting it in storage.  We will then hit the road to travel for 4-6 weeks, staying mostly with family and camping.  I currently have a route mapped out which takes us across the center of the US via St. Louis and Denver, down the California coastline and then to my parents in Texas via New Orleans.  I hope to take the kids to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone and other places that they might not otherwise see, some I haven’t seen.  We will then return to VA for the summer while I continue looking for a job and doing odd jobs.  Income at this time will consist of adoption assistance for the twins and my part time income from my current part time job.  Yes, we will have gas expenses, but we will no longer have rent, utilities and several other monthly bills.  It will not be a luxurious trip, but I think it will be a lot of fun.  We are calling this plan….The Nomad Experience!  See below on where we will live when we return to VA.

Option 2: If I have a job by April 1st that requires us to stay here and/or when we return from the Nomad Experience:

A family friend with quite a bit of land and a couple RVs has offered to let us live on their land in a 10 person RV (where they have a hook up for water and electricity) for FREE.  So we will be putting most of our stuff in storage when we have to leave the apartment and moving with just the necessities to the RV at least temporarily – I am thinking the first two months of the summer.

Now obviously, if I get a job out of state, etc. we will move there and rent a place.  But since our #1 goal is to stay here if at all possible, this free living situation will either 1) let us live here while I continue to look for a job or ideally 2) let us live for a couple of months on a much smaller budget letting me catch up and get ahead a bit.

So right now…that is the housing plan come May.  RV living is certainly not ideal but with far less stuff, a summer with activities and the twins working and driving themselves, I think it will be manageable and even a fun adventure.  Did I mention the land we will be living on has sheeps, pigs, goat, chickens, turkeys…how fun will that be?  Or at least a new experience for my city dwelling kids!