POP UP Camper Conclusion..finally

Wowsers… summer flew by. I didn’t intend to take so long to post a pop up camper rv living update conclusion–but such is life and well here it is now.

Let’s start with the good things about our pop up experience. As a reminder, we closed on our old house and had about 2 months of time before we would close on our new house. So we had this small window of time and well I decided let’s do it!! Let’s do this full time rving thing —on a small scale. I am totally the person that would love to sell everything, pack the kids into an RV and hit the road.  To me that is living life. Literally living it.  Going where we want, how we want, when we want. I have a teen that isn’t on board with living in a RV during the school year otherwise I am fairly confident I’d be blogging via RV right now 🙂

So the positive:

  1. Talk about connection and quality time with your kids! Words can’t even describe it. Our pop up didn’t have a tv, well we put a small one in but you could only watch movies on it and it was sort of a pain so we didn’t use it much.  This equated to loads of quality time and true interaction.
  2. Life experience.  I still to this day (granted only about 2 months out) but each day I hear a story about the pop up living from my kids. Whether it is the rain, frogs, food, etc. I hear a story about us living in the pop up everyday and I love it!!
  3. Met some incredible people!! Not only the “locals”/temporary residents but the long term full time rving families that were there. All there for different reasons too. One family was a doctor family who moved from their 400K house and wanted to just downgrade and take time to decide what their next move was. Another came as a temporary thing while they were in between housing and a job loss and some 7 years later are still there with their 3 kids.
  4. Having the kids realize that they don’t need “stuff” to live or be happy or do things. Literally all summer no tv, no internet, no stuff to occupy their times. It was them, their few toys we had (ie bikes and roller blades), swimming pool, frogs, bug catching tools, etc. It was neat to see them sort of band together and make new friends and just be kids. Wet, muddy, dirty, no shoes on, holding different bugs and critters each day and smiling all day about it.
  5. Besides the cliche obvious things like it put a roof over our head etc. I truly enjoyed my time in the pop up and am now more confident then ever that the rv life is totally “me”.
  6. I have now learned and proven first hand you don’t need a giant pantry full of shit that is going to sit in there for months, you don’t need a huge freezer full of food that again will sit there for who knows how long, and you don’t need a fridge full of an entire weeks++ worth of food! Seriously! Yet, what is the one thing I did when I closed on my new house and moved in…packed the fridge, pantry, and freezer…oye vey! LOL

The not so positive:

  1.  It isn’t as cheap as one would think.  Especially since our fridge was smallll and that meant regular trips to the grocery store. The meal portion of this RV living added up quick especially because I don’t eat meat and well see #2 :), so these made it a little tricky and since I wasn’t overly prepared for this aspect my food bill was more then I would have liked.
  2. STOVE, we had a small stove in the camper but since space was already an issue and I have little hands in the camper I didn’t want to turn the stove that is propane fueled on.  So the only cooking ability was outside on the grill. It made it a little tricky and the constant rain didn’t help either.
  3. THE RAIN!! There was a lot of rain…. a lot… so being in a campground that didn’t handle rain very well and in a pop up with no tv, no cooking, etc it was a patience testing process at times. Or maybe a sanity testing process is a better way to describe it 🙂
  4. OMG let me not forget the laundry!!! Hands down my single biggest failure to be prepared for was laundry!! Having to cart my stuff to a laundry mat. It was not a huge thing but I wasn’t prepared for it at all so it totally caught me off guard and made me really forget how FANTASTIC having a washer and dryer in your own home is. 🙂
  5. The pop up was fine for a short 60 day stint-not ideal for that length but doable and we made it work BUT truly a smaller travel trailer would have been even more ideal.  We could have used just a few more sq ft of space and storage compartment for some of our stuff underneath the rv woudl have been great.
  6. ISOLATION… if you aren’t careful and don’t make it a point to get out, get around people, socialize … it is super easy to find yourself lonely and isolated. I did pretty good at this, it helped having 3 kids to cart around but being new to the town and knowing no one and being in the pop up. It was a bit of a fine balance of socializing versus isolation.

These are a few of my biggest takeaways. Overall I can say I am so glad I did this! It was a blast. Great memories. Great adventure. I wish we could have moved campgrounds more but given the circumstances that wasn’t how our trip was this summer.

Here’s what I can tell you!!! I am already planning on another summertime excursion for the next summer.  YEP you read it here!! I just announced over the weekend to friends and family that this summer I will be planning a 4-6 week excursion across country. I have a few goals this time

  1. Trade in my pop up and get a small light weight travel trailer!
  2. More campgrounds!! I am hoping to start in Florida and travel all the way to the Seattle/Portland areas! Stopping at many many locations in between!!! CRAZY EXCITED.
  3. Putting more of our adventures on the blog this time!

I receive many behind the scenes comments on my blog! Thank you! I love your feedback and comments whether it is on the blog or off the blog. I am going to start researching the best travel trailer for my needs and routes/places to stop. If you have any favorites feel free to shoot them over to me!!

 

 

So you are living in an RV

It is so cool, neat, and funny how life works sometimes.

For years I have teetered with the idea of living in an RV.  I have brought the subject up many times to my spouse and well let’s just say we have two very different thoughts on living in an RV.

I am in love with the idea of living out of an RV, homeschooling my kiddos, and traveling the country. I have these fantastic images of learning math and spelling words while exploring the Grand Canyon, sitting at a picnic in Manitou Springs, etc.

Our lives took a very unexpected turn this year. Our marriage has always been beyond blessed and we are both fortunate to have great educations and careers. We haven’t had a ton of “crisis” type events in our world until this year.

Ten months ago our very foundations of human beings got rocked and the pieces crumbled hard and they aren’t done crumbling. There has been plenty of craziness in the last 10 months but finally I smile a little victory smile.

See, in the most twisted ironic way, I am getting my wish! We sold our house (close May 12). We have a window of about 60 days until we close on our new home. As I searched for temporary housing I realized it is peak tourist season and everywhere wanted $2K or so a month for temporary furnished housing.

I evaluated the budget and the numbers AND I seized the opportunity.  Finally, I could convince my husband on the RV living idea because the black and white numbers made sense. So, we bought a pop up camper and have planned out some different camp grounds to stay at for the next 60 days.  The first night we brought the pop up home we spent a couple hours as a family just hanging out in it in the driveway. It was so cool to see the kids faces and excitement as we explained some of our plans and things we would do and had them help “claim” who would sleep where.

I excitedly began a list of things I need to grab and stock the RV with to make this a success!

I have found it interesting how when I told my friends and family there were several who immediately acted like this was such a huge issue or questioned if we needed money. It is so intriguing how we have become so programmed in life to think that life must look a certain way. My children are about to have a massive, long, extended, sweet ass vacation for the summer and I couldn’t be more excited.

Life is messy, life is unpredictable.  Who would have thought when our world got turned upside down August 2015 that my personal wish for RV living would happen just a year later!!!

So excited and am ready for the good, bad, and indifferent of this experience because at the end of it I am creating wonderful lasting memories with my family and that is something no money can buy and no one can take away from you!

Here begins the journey with our 3 kids: 16, 8, and 6

 

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Heather Pincelli