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7 Things That Make Doing This Possible

January 24, 2013

As we come up on the 9 month mark of full timing in a tiny RV, I am increasingly aware that there a number of things that just kinda worked out for us, and that would make doing what we’re doing all but impossible if things were just a little different.  And I don’t mean just living in an RV.  I mean living in a 21 foot RV.  On the streets.  In the dead of winter (currently).   While running two businesses.  Here are 6 things that make it possible:

1.  Let’s start with the size of our RV.  This is the foundation for the whole thing because if we had a larger RV we couldn’t just camp around the city.  It would require an RV park, or a parking lot or a friend with a big yard and it just wouldn’t work.  We drive our RV as a second vehicle, parking on streets and fitting into regular parking spots at grocery stores.  And since we only use electricity that we generate driving, NOT driving isn’t an option.  And since I have a particularly low tolerance for people hating me for being the guy in a 30 foot machine taking up too much space and being obnoxious, NOT having a small RV isn’t an option.  So all this just means that having a tiny RV and being able to LIVE in that amount of space is the doorway to everything else.

2.  We just have two kids, they’re both girls, and are the perfect age and temperament – If we had 3 it’d be a different story (there are just two full size beds).  If they were different sexes it’d really change things (privacy issues start becoming more obvious around this ageIMG_6307).  If they were much younger it is hard to imagine how it would work (screaming babies and fit throwing toddlers aren’t noises people like to hear coming from the anonymous RV parked in front of their house).  And if they were wall climbers (don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about) I just don’t think we could handle it.  Note that none of these things have to do with parenting or intelligence or anything.  Just dumb luck really.  Our kids just happen to be the type, age, sex, and number to work just right for this.

3.  We live in the Pacific Northwest, which is the perfect climate for full time RV living.  The summers are just heavenly here.  Daytime highs are in the 70’s, and when it gets hotter, it still cools off in the evening.  The winters are nice and mild too, if a bit soggy.  But at least we’re not dealing with frozen water pipes and driving around in 18 inches of snow to charge our batteries.

Our RV in front of our Coffee Shop

Our RV in front of our Coffee Shop

4.  We own a third space.  It is not lost on me that owning a coffee shop during this time is kind of – as my dad says – “cheating”.  If you must know we have a shower in that shop and of course utilize it regularly when we just need some space to “be”.  Watching a movie.  Using a real toilet.  Standing upright.  That type of thing.  We also fill our water tank and when necessary, charge our devices such as computers or power tools.  Once or twice it’s been nice to have a place to be sick at night, and we have as much high-speed internet access as we desire (even from the RV in the parking lot).  And we still receive all our mail there as well (although we’ll switch to a service once we leave the city).

5.  Our Culture Celebrates The Lifestyle – As I’ve said before, everyone in our city who finds out what we’re doing just loves it.  These people include everyone from our good friends to coffee shop customers to parents at our kids’ school (Trinity announced to us one evening that she had told the whole class during a show and tell kind of time, complete with a bird’s eye view layout drawing on the chalk board and a Q&A time).  We’ve never gotten so much as a raised eyebrow about the weirdness of it all.  Mostly we see a faint twinkle with either a spoken or unspoken “I’d like to do that sometime” kind of smile.

6.  Our Jobs – We are preparing to launch into our nationwide tour, but meanwhile we run a coffee shop and doula practice in Portland.  This creates automatic “space” where I’m gone most mornings before the girls wake, and Carissa is gone somewhat frequently in the evenings, which has the net effect of drastically reducing the amount of time we spend together in our tiny home.  That said…

7.  We really like each other – I hope that most families do.  But not every couple is lucky enough to like being around one another all the time.  Different families have different dynamics, and sometimes those dynamics include needing some space.  We make wekisstheyrunsure and create that space a lot (I go out with the guys, the kids have play dates, etc) but we have a ton of time where we’re just together in a small space with no escape.  And we kinda like that.

I’m really grateful that these things are what they are, because I’m really having the time of my life.  There are certainly modifications that could overcome each of these, but all together they create kind of a perfect storm, if you will, for us to be doing what we’re doing in the way we’re doing it.

  1. Paul/Lorna Keeling permalink

    God is blessing you in a way which you
    like. We are good. GOD IS ALL THE

  2. Vic permalink

    Yes, “liking each other” is very important. My wife and I are retired and travel in our Rialta, and we’ve often said “we are glad we like each other”. Plus it helps to be on the thinner side, otherwise, maneuvering in tight quarters could be difficult.

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