So after 5 weeks into our RV adventure, let me share my Top 10 list of what I’ve learned so far:
RV living requires a wide span of knowledge across a variety of topics. Electricity, plumbing, HVAC, gas/propane, vehicle maintenance/safety, etc. I’m no stranger to being conversant across a variety of topics in a business or social setting ; however, the range of questions and considerations in RV living is staggering and never just one or even two dimensional. My regular slate of questions now consists of “how full is my black tank, is my fifth wheel level or why isn’t it level, what was that noise, where else can we critter proof our RV, what is that smell, do I need to torque my lug nuts, what kind of torque wrench do I really need, which way do I turn to make the RV go the way I need it to, can I fit in that space?....the list is endless and yet I find great pleasure in knowing this is how the term Renaissance Man came into existence centuries ago.
Owning a diesel truck with six wheels has been critical to our early wins in our journey. After much consideration, we landed on a F-350 to pull our fifth wheel. 16,000+ lbs of RV weight requires a serious tow vehicle and our dually has not and will not disappoint. I am blown away by its sheer power and feeling of reassurance that gives me on the road.
Cooking with propane - what’s not to love? We just bought a 22” Blackstone griddle and I LOVE it...I can absolutely see us cooking many breakfasts, lunches and dinners on this thing over the next year. I’ve always enjoyed cooking and this is especially exciting for me to use this adventure as a learning lab for experimentation and sharpening skills.
Dump Stations or Sewage Hookups are a necessary evil. This one had me most concerned when we first decided on taking this adventure (picture Robin Williams in the hilariously funny movie “RV”). After all, we’ve always had indoor plumbing where nothing like this was ever seen or dealt with on the back end. Early lessons on this one- recruit Will to help , wear good disposable gloves, move quickly but not carelessly, recruit Will to help (did I mention that?), try and get sites with sewage hookup AT our future campsites.
I married very well (worst kept secret on earth). Beth has been amazing on getting us organized and setting up our new home in a way that makes it feel warm and really like home. From the arrival and departure checklists (indoor and outdoor) to the hooks, rods, shelves and baskets to store all of our stuff, she is organizing us in a way I could only dream of...I am grateful because I have zero sense about outfitting and decorating a tiny house (barely much more sense for this in our larger home).
My kids think it is a weekend day , every day....my wife might too. I’ve lost track of days and since I am not regularly working, the boys think every day could be a weekend day. I find that my sense of purpose and success on a daily basis has certainly shifted from a largely corporate setting to an exclusively family setting. I need to remember that this is a unique and temporary moment in time so I need to savor every day with Beth, Will and Nate.
Life is slower...even though we’ve not pushed off officially yet. There’s something to be said about managing a 400 square foot home, not sitting in work traffic, not traveling through an airport, being able to cook, eat, clean up and not worry about getting to the next activity, practice or meeting.
People living the RV lifestyle are very friendly and quite helpful. No crazies yet...everyone we’ve met so far has been extremely supportive, encouraging and helpful to us newbies. From our neighbors at the RV parks to the park managers themselves, we’re finding that RV campers are a pretty good bunch of people. We’re connected in to a couple of private Facebook groups with fellow RV travelers and owners and they’ve been equally helpful and encouraging to us at the beginning of our journey.
Living in tight quarters has been much better than I had expected. The boys each have their own respective areas and of course, Beth and I have our own bedroom. That said, each of us is finding our way in making sure we are not on top of each other as a course of our daily life. Ask me about this when we get to a place where it rains several days in a row...😀
God continues to show up at every turn. He has not only provisioned for us to pursue this dream, but He also knows what we need as a family and the timing of when we need it. Despite a series of unexpected delays that have kept us in Atlanta a little longer than we wanted, we are still confident of His sequence and timing of activities for this adventure.