Feb 17 - Living Small... a Follow-Up

Based on page-hits and comments, my last post entitled "It Can Be Done" struck a chord with some. And I'm feeling the need to follow on with some additional musings and thoughts.

When it comes to selecting an RV most people start with "big" in mind. What's the largest rig we can afford? We did. But we found that much of the need for space isn't for us or the demands of our travel style... it had more to do with our assumptions about what we needed to live full-time... what other people told us we'd needed... and, well, we've got the space... let's fill 'er up. Other reasons for going BIG might include hobbies, toys, pets, a large waistline, the unstated assumption that bigger is better, and, perhaps, the All-American need to one-up the neighbors... or some combination of all those. You might feel good about why you went big, but I doubt it has anything to do with what works best while traveling and exploring.

If the goal is to take as much of your suburban life along with you when you go camping, and you tend to sit for long periods of time, then go ahead and get as much RV as you can afford. I mean... be happy. You're not hurting anyone.

But if the goal is to explore, to nose around the countryside, to wander, to see, to learn, I think it'll be obvious to most folks with those simpler interests to see the beauty in going small and living simply.. with less.

What's the paradigm you started with.... the big trophy 3000 sq. ft. house that many of us have lived in for long periods of time??... or... the backpack that many have lived out of for long periods of time while traversing the Appalachian Trail or traveling throughout Europe??

In other words, in thinking about life on the road do you start with that big house and try to figure out what you've got to whittle-down and leave out in order to make it all fit into an RV? Or do you start with the backpacker or the one suitcase lean-mode world traveler and try to figure out what few things you can add to make life a little easier or more rewarding?

In thinking and planning for Sabbatical II (the next chapter of our travels) we're focused on keeping things small and simple.


As you know my rig is not really small but is smaller than most. The one main point I feel is important to me is a separate shower for bathing. A wet bath is not to my liking. Identifying your most wanted items is important when choosing a small rig.
Suzie said…
I am having so much fun with your blog! You have been out there doing it for such a long time! We are just beginning and have just purchased our first rig. We love our space and I was really concerned at first about a place for all my stuff. I have found that I don't need most of the stuff that I brought with us! (we are full-timers)

It will be interesting how I feel about it in a couple of years.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
I like your invention of a second reference point, the backpacker, as a way to give yourself a broad perspective. If a person starts from the reference point of a suburban house, a person would be suckered into being too timid and conventional for real adventure.

For my part, I came up with the idea of being an RVer when I was retired and still living in a boring suburban house in a boring, sterile suburb. I took a bus trip to a place that I considered moving to. I didn't move there, but I was so inspired by imagining myself as a traveler, with just a bag or two, and no other encumbrances or impedimenta. Anything that makes you feel 25 years younger is worth pursuing!

How it would it make you feel young to play a few more years of keep-up-with-the-Jones?
Unknown said…
Just started reading your blog a few weeks ago and really enjoy it. I have been reading RV FT blogs for about five years now since it is something I want to do down the road.
I have gone through stages in opinion of what I need based on peoples blogs and also experimenting since when I vacation every year I rent an RV to start my experiment.
At first I was of the mindset of getting the biggest thing I could afford because that is a typical stick and brick mentality. Quickly I learned that is not why I want to RV. It is to travel and go off the beaten path.
As I rent RV's I notice that I am very comfortable in downsizing and in fact enjoy smaller because it means more flexibility.
Your last two entries are spot on, keep up the great work!
Brian said…
Hell of a note when a gypsy cowboy is too busted to be able to afford hauling less ain't it? :)

ah... but our next year, like yours should be showing some pretty sweet changes, one way or the other anyway! :)

Boonie is right too... showing those two extremes... SHOWS people they can do just fine with other than, or Less than... they have now!

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