If you’ve read my blog or followed along on various social media channels you probably think we live a very charmed life, and we do. Many of you are likely sick of hearing how great it all is traveling around and living full time in our RV.
Well, I thought I would twist things up a bit on the blog and post a slightly different article. Not one telling you about a terrific new scenic boondocking spot we found or recap of another spectacular snowbirding adventure. So, here are 8 things I think suck about my full-time RV lifestyle.
1) The Laundry
Doing the laundry is a drag for regular homeowners too but for full-time RVers is even more of a downer. First, you have to figure out where in the limited space of the RV you are going to store the dirty clothes. Then you need to find a decent place to take the laundry to. If you move around a lot, like us, it can be difficult to find a place with well maintain machines at a reasonable cost. Then, even the best-kept machines may have leftover detergents and fabric softening chemicals from the previous user. Quite often my clothes have a fragrance even though we use a non-scented detergent. Some folks have an RV with a small washer and dryer, but they are small and add weight and complexity to a rig.
2) The Kitchen
I’m the chief cook and bottle washer in our home so I’m very aware of drawbacks to cooking in an RV. Because this is our full-time life, it’s not like a vacation. We need to be able to eat regular type home cooked meals like most people do. Only problem is limited space issues. Our freezer and fridge are very small so having lots of variety of fresh foods on hand is difficult. Also. we can’t really take advantage of bulk buying of things on sale.
Once I have a meal all planned out, execution of it involves sometimes a carefully orchestrated dance, especially something complex like a Thanksgiving dinner. Then when the eating is over there is a whack of dishes and two tiny sinks to do them in. Add in boondocking where water is precious and I sometimes long for a regular home kitchen equipped with the dish washing robot most folks have.
Another grumble in the kitchen is not being able to carry along all those cool kitchen appliances, like fancy coffee makers, toaster ovens, large blenders, juicers, bread makers, etc. We must carefully choose our few favorites due to limited storage and RV weight issues.
3) The Furniture
The furniture our RV came pre-equipped with just plain sucks! The foam inside was very low quality and has squished down to the point that the underlying springs are poking through, this includes the bed’s mattress. Problem is, it isn’t as easy as walking into the average furniture store and picking out nice replacement stuff. Most of the rigs furniture is a slightly smaller size than normal. The rocker recliners are a few inches less wide and the bed mattress is what they call a short queen (4 inches less long that a regular queen mattress).
Another issue with replacement furniture is the weight of it. To avoid dangerously overloading the rig we need to keep our overall weight below a certain point. Everything adds up and heavy furniture is a no go if we want to also carry other items of importance. I’m quickly finding out we are very limited in our furniture choices and this is causing me to look at doing a minor renovation to the fifth wheels layout to accommodate some nice, quality furniture in the future.
4) Home Entertainment
No giant screen TV’s or big honking subwoofer speakers are in my immediate future, that’s for sure. I really miss the big home theater experience and even more than that I miss high-speed internet with huge, cheap bandwidth. While most of the world is streaming Netflix, YouTube, etc. and gobbling up copious amounts of data on cheap home internet plans we pay through the nose for cell data or crawl along in campground WiFi. Sure if we are on 4G service we can stream but the data costs are prohibitive.
My wife Anne used to love to play her piano. Well, hahaha, that’s not an option in the RV. For me puttering on things in my home workshop was a great joy, but I can only do that sort of thing on a very small scale in the RV.
5) More Fuel, Again!
As a full-time RVer, you spend a good amount of time finding and hanging out in fuel stations. Those propane cylinders or generator gas cans always seem to be empty. Then there is our big diesel truck engine. When we are on the move and towing our house we are chewing up a gallon every 10 miles or so. Stopping in twice at a fuel station is not abnormal on a long travel day. Once you have the fuel, then there is the job of securing it and making sure everything is safe and not leaking. Some days I smell like I work in a refinery.
6) Waste Management
Regular sticks and bricks owners flush the throne and all is gone. We RVers flush the throne and the package drops into the belly of the RV waiting for us to do something with it. Definitely, the crappiest part of full-time RVing is the chore of managing the levels, hooking up to and dumping the waste tanks.
Unfortunately along with dumping there is also flushing the tanks, hoses, and adding tank chemicals. This job has gotten old very fast. It’s even worse for us because we dry camp and travel around quite a bit; we have the added task of locating garbage and waste dump sites.
7) Taking Our Medicine
Because we travel out of our home province of British Columbia we have to buy extended medical insurance when away. Beyond the extra cost, there is a 300 dollar deductible for a doctor visit. So unlike in BC where if we have a problem we think nothing of booking a free appointment to have it checked out. On the road we sometimes will have to suffer through an illness, weighing if it is serious enough or not to spend the cash and also possibly affect our future coverage. Prescriptions are another problem. Attaining enough extra to last a long trip can be a problem.
8) Missing Our Family and Friends
By far the thing I dislike the most about our full-time RV lifestyle is missing our loved ones back home. It’s difficult to not be there for them and to miss out on special occasions like birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. Skyping, Facebook or chatting on email is not like being there in person. It is also hard sometimes to maintain friendships when you are away for so long.
Well after re-reading that I’m a little depressed! Well, not really, we live an awesome life and there are trade-offs to every way of living. In the big picture, I’m not ready to head back to a comfy sticks n bricks life quite yet. We have too much to see. I hope this post helped out those looking at jumping into the full-time RV lifestyle. It’s a terrific way to live but research things and know what you’re getting into first. Cheers Ray
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