It’s been nearly three months since we moved into our fifth wheel full-time.
It’s been exactly two months since we moved to the preserve that is our first workcamping position.
And it’s been just more than one month since we sold our house, also known as a sticks-and-bricks.
Several have asked how it’s been and what our impression and feelings about it are. To put it one way, we’re already set up with two more workamping assignments at other Florida state parks. We definitely plan to do this for at least another year. But that’s not to say there haven’t been a few of challenges, which we’d like to share if for no other reason than a little perspective.
Cleaning bed sheets is never fun, no matter where you live. However, when you’re in an RV, you’d better be a bit flexible, especially if your bed is positioned so you have no walk-around space or you happen to have bunk beds. (In our case, Mama’s side of the bed is free of stuff, while Papa’s side always has things piled up, and our boys have bunk beds. LOL) This was something we were well aware of when we were part-time RVers, but when you’re full-time and find yourself doing a little bit of gymnastics and a little bit of yoga just to clean and redress beds every two weeks or so, you realize the chore of doing bedding on regular beds really isn’t a big deal. (On the up side, Mama is physically more flexible now!)
We’re proud of how much storage space our rig has, and we’ve downsized a lot, but we’re still finding ourselves getting rid of more and more stuff! Now seriously, this is both a challenge and a blessing. When you have a house with closet space to store those articles of clothes that you’ll wear or fit in to “one day,” you finally realize it’s pointless when you’re in an RV and limited on how many pieces you can keep. Honestly, it’s not all that bad. You start wearing pants and shirts more than once before tossing them into the hamper to get washed…and this is especially true for jeans and shorts. We’ve actually hung up Command hooks and set hooks over closet doors as designated space for those have-worn-once-or-twice-but-it’s-not-dirty-enough-to-wash-but-can’t-got-back-in-the-drawer-or-closet-but-there’s-not-enough-space-to-toss-it-over-a-chair pieces.
The same is true for shoes, books, towels, and keeping extras of whatever. We each started with a couple of pairs of sneakers, waterproof boots, flip-flops, and sandals. We’ve since cut down on sneakers to one pair each because we wear our boots when we’re working or hiking outdoors, and we have slimmed down on the number of flip-flops and sandals we have because it’s definitely better to have the majority of your feet covered with boots or sneakers when walking outside…or we just go barefoot right around the rig. We’ve parted with most books and converted to electronic versions, with the exception of the boys’ school and reference books; we all only have one towel each for drying off after showering and one towel each for the beach or swimming; and we avoid extras of just about everything. If we’re starting to get noticeably low on something, then we’ll get one more since it would be needed in the next day or two, but otherwise you won’t find us with bulk, gallon, or multiples of anything. And that includes school supplies.
Things will never get or stay clean. Nothing. For crying out loud, we have a cordless Dyson vacuum cleaner hanging conveniently by the front door, and no sooner does someone vacuum the floors that there is dirt again. There is no foyer, there is no convenient or clean transition from outside to inside. Leave your shoes outside and you’ll end up with water or some little 4-, 6-, or 8-legged creature in them. Take your shoes off before coming in and your socks will end up either dirty or wet. Things will get — and are — dirty, and that’s simply the nature of…well, nature.
In no way, shape, or form are any of these challenges bad, however. We’ve yet to find a down side to this lifestyle. You have less stuff, you’re forced to be more relaxed and flexible, and you have a bigger appreciation for it all.
We still have not shed a single tear about selling the house. Neither of the boys miss having it or the yard. If they had their way, we wouldn’t even leave this preserve and go to another park. But something tells us they won’t want to leave the next one either…or the one after that…
Mama volunteers more than 20 hours per week, and each of the boys and Papa average 5-10 hours per week. We have everything we could possibly need or want, and we’re truly enjoying this more than we could have imagined.
So how has it been?
Three…two…one…we’re having a blast!