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The Learning Curve (3 Months In)

July 27, 2012

Trinity & Xandra helping me remove the old carpet from the RV

Today marks 3 months that my family of 4 has been living in an RV.  As it turns out, we’re actually house sitting for some friends who are on a 2 week vacation (Thanks Ken & Katie!) so we’re kind of not living in an RV, but it’s giving us the opportunity to rip everything apart and work on that wood floor installation I’ve been wanting to do (more on that in a future post).  Nonetheless, I wanted to take a second to post my 3-months-in thoughts.

1.  We are STILL loving this!  We haven’t really discovered a down side yet.  Mostly, we know it’s a season, are enjoying the adventure of it, and are thrilled that what used to be flushed down the toilet as rent is now purchasing our RV, which in only 8 more months we will own outright, at which point we will have NO HOUSE PAYMENT, NO RENT, and a paid-for asset (yes, I know what an asset is – don’t bug me right now).  So while there may  come some troubles in our future, right now we are just diggin’ it!

2.  This is forcing some good stuff.  I like to say “configure you’re life in such a way as to make the things you value happen automatically”, and we’ve automated some pretty great stuff over the past 3 months.  More good conversations;  More opportunities to teach our kids stuff by virtue of the fact that they HAVE to be with us doing things – there’s no where else for them to go; More time with friends because we’re staying in their yards;  More reading; I’m even staying on top of my books at the shop better because in some cases I’ve got nothing else to do!  This usually happens because the kids are asleep and Carissa is at an appointment so I can’t go anywhere so I have to work on things that need attention.  I like to think that before incessant TV, internet, and non-stop entertainment options folks did a better job of practicing their fiddle and keeping their house clean.  Who knows…
3.  People are really generous.  We’ve been extremely blessed and honored by good friends who view our adventure as an opportunity to engage with us on a new level, like opening up their homes to us, letting us work on our leaky tank in their driveway, or inviting us to house sit while they’re away.  We really appreciate that, and it’s part of what makes our current stage so enjoyable.
4.  There are a lot of people out wandering around during the middle of the night.  Since we park mostly on streets with our windows open, our heads are about 3 or 4 feet from the sidewalk, so we hear all kinds of stuff.  A couple nights ago I awoke at 4:30 to a guy yelling “Phil!  Over here!” and I peeked out to watch one guy pull an old truck and trailer full of junk up, while another guy snagged a piece of something large and loud out of someone’s yard and threw it in.  THREW IT.  In.  Whatever noise you think that made is exactly what happened.  Then they jumped in and sped off.  I only later pieced together that they were probably scavenging junk metal to sell for scrap.  Either that or they were extremely ambitious (if somewhat inconsiderate) good Samaritans just helping out their neighbors.
5.  The Minimalists are Right:  We need even LESS than we thought we would.  It’s been pretty cool to continue trimming down what we thought were absolute essentials to an even smaller number.  Any good backpacker can tell you this, but you always think you’re going to need more than you do.  For us those things included pillows, socks, shoes, dishes, and the like.
6.  People LOVE the idea of what we’re doing.  At least they say they do.  Most folks say some sort of thing about how they’d do the same if things were different.  I hear the words “jealous” and “envious” a lot.  I love that we have kind of lucked in to a situation where this is really possible for us.  Part of that had to do with marrying Carissa who thinks life is her personal adventure, then having two kids who are pretty mellow and whose idea of a good time is “letting them” just read one more chapter.  So don’t get me wrong, we’re nobody’s geniuses.  Just kind of lucky that our life accommodates our little whimsical idea of a good time.  But I guess the one thing we got going for us is we’ve always been the kind of people that when we get an idea to do something we don’t come up with reasons why it won’t work out, we come up with reasons why it ought to work just fine.  Then we go do it.

And speaking of doing it, I got some more wood floor to lay down.  Thanks for your time.

Beginning stages of new flooring

  1. james cho permalink

    HI. I just joined the RV world by buying a 2004 Rialta last week for my family of 4. I am also interested in replacing the carpet with wood flooring. Could you give me any advice or resources. thanks

  2. Hi James. Stay tuned for a post about the whole process. I’m in the middle of the process now, so I don’t want to post an incomplete report. But it should be finished in a week or so.

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