People who are planners often try hard to prepare for what’s around the bend. For example, many RVers with dreams of hitting the road for good often ask: What’s the biggest challenge for new full-time RVers?
In the iRV2 Lifestyles Discussion Forum about Full-timing, long-time supporter MSHappyCampers posed this popular question to members:
After you started full-timing, what was your biggest challenge? By that I mean the one thing that you had the most trouble adjusting to, such as:
1. Living in a “tiny house”
2. Leaving family and friends
3. Giving up the sticks and bricks
Fact-finding missions in places like this forum is an ideal place to begin the transition to this fun, new lifestyle. Member feedback from those who have “been there/done that” is often enlightening and helpful when it comes to planning and execution. This wisdom can even save you money.
The Biggest Challenge for New Full-time RVers May Surprise You
The biggest challenge that full-time RVers reported may surprise you. Can you guess what it is?
I missed my shop and my tools. – MaverickBBD
It was also really hard to pare down decades worth of stuff to a few cubic feet. I’m still not done . . . – cwsqbm
Our biggest challenge was downsizing. Everyone can say the words but doing it is another story. What to keep, what to toss . . . – Finally
The answers were telling. The biggest challenge for new full-time RVers wasn’t breaking ties with community, or living in a small space, it was letting go of possessions.
My husband and I were the exact same way. When we hit the road we thought we downsized and got rid of excess clutter. We had a moving and storage company haul the rest into storage. Two years later when we returned to the warehouse to assess our stuff, we couldn’t believe what we kept! So much was just clutter that could easily be replaced. After paying nearly $1,000 for our security blanket of stuff, we downsized even more. It was a major lesson and one we’ll never repeat.
Tips for Downsizing “Stuff”
It’s human nature to spend our entire working lives buying things that prop up our egos and help us feel more secure in a scary world. Letting go of those possessions isn’t easy and some of us take longer to do it than others.
If you’re trying to make the transition to full-timing, see how others downsized their stuff before moving into the RV. You’ll find lessons like:
I took two years to downsize and 4 months to sell the place. I would suggest people take their time and do it right. – narampa
Start small, do a little bit each day and you will be done in no time. – Finally
My best advice when it comes to downsizing is:
Avoid a Moving or Storage Company to Store Your Belongings
We tried to save time and hassle by allowing movers to come into our house and haul into storage what we thought was bare bones stuff. By skipping the painful process of fitting everything into a rented storage locker, we had no concept of the sheer size those “bare bones” possessions took up. If we had jammed everything into a locker ourselves, we would have ditched so much more and saved money in the process.
(photo by snookwheel)
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.