By Cathy Duesterhoeft
My king size bed is what I miss the most after living in our RV for six months. It is incredible how fast you learn to cope with less space and less stuff.
On Feb. 3, we began our quest to save money. No rent and no mortgage, meant more money we could pour into our project. So what is our project, you ask? A new house, built with cash, freeing us of a mortgage in the future. We jumped at the chance to save money, knowing we could suck up anything for six months.
Because the house we are building is in Wisconsin, we got as far as we could go with the cash we had and then closed it down for the winter. We spent nine weeks in the desert of Organ, N.M., parked in a friend’s yard, who also happens to be our boss.
He provided us with sewer and electric hookup in exchange for some work with his business and around his property. What a rewarding experience! But, the adventure did not end there. We spent several weeks traveling throughout the United States staging marathons with the same friend before heading home to Wisconsin in June.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to gain occupancy to our house as early as expected. Our plumber and HVAC installer absconded with money we had paid them in advance for material and labor. Because of their thievery, we had to seek another plumber, which required us to pay him, too. Ouch. The delay has meant that we will not be able to move in the house before winter which means traveling south yet again this year. Our planned six months in the RV is going to stretch to 15 months at least.
When shopping for a good, used RV, we purposely looked for one without slides. We felt that any moving part could malfunction. We found an excellent deal on a 31-foot, Winnebago Brave. It is an older model, but had low mileage. There has been no buyer’s remorse with our purchase.
After living in our RV for six months, we have discovered that one slider would have been convenient, as it would have given us more space in the kitchen and dining room aisle. Oh well, we have learned to suck in our guts and butts, allowing each other to pass when necessary.
Just before we left Wisconsin, we put all of our household goods in storage. After living without the clothes, furniture, and other sundry items for six months, we wonder why we are holding onto so much stuff. When we eventually move into our new house, we will have a rummage sale to rid us of our access baggage.
Besides saving money by not paying rent, we also save by not paying utilities, besides cell phone. When it comes to buying clothes, we buy only to replace worn out items. I do not have a problem wearing the same clothes over and over, as long as they are clean, that is all that matters. When it came time to pack the RV, I had packed only comfortable clothing anyway.
I have also saved time by living in the RV. Clean up is a snap! I do not need to invest hours and hours into clean up when there is so little space to get dirty. I find myself sweeping more frequently than normal, but that is due to construction sand that gets tracked in. A quick swipe in the bathroom with a disinfectant, and dishwashing when needed, is the most time I spend on clean up.
We are blessed to live on adjoining properties with our daughter and her family so I am able to use her washing machine and dryer. We also use her Wi-Fi to check our emails, etc., on a daily basis. When we travel south for the winter again we will have the same amenities from our friend. It’s like living with people without being underfoot all day everyday.
When we found out we needed to travel south for the winter again, our natural instinct was to stay at a campground in or near Las Cruces, N.M. We did not want to impose on our friends for such a long period of time. However, they have invited us, and insisted that we accept their invitation to “camp” in their yard yet again this winter.
Our RV continues to provide us with the comforts of home, and it has given us the opportunity to explore the United States — all while saving us money. Our house on wheels has provided the shelter we needed, when we needed it.
I am looking forward to having a new house to move into, but will miss the intimacy we have found thanks to our close quarters. However, I cannot wait to get our king size bed out of storage!