Yes, it’s finally happened. After months of waiting for an RV park space to open up, we’ve finally done it; we’ve moved into our motorhome. I thought I would be nervous. I thought it would be nerve racking and stressful. Maybe a little stressful, but for the most part, it was easy. Perhaps, the best thing I’ve ever done. I wish I hadn’t waited so long.
In order to get to the point where I sit, a great purge took place. This purge of un-needed items began back in Pennsylvania two years ago and accelerated when we decided late last year to purchase an RV as our first home. By far, the downsizing was the hardest part of the process of Squatching our life (It’s a Bigfoot Motorhome). Really, it wasn’t the difficulty of parting with things, it was the trouble of selling, recycling, and giving things away that was hard. Towards the last few weeks, I just wanted to come home from work and find that our apartment was broken into, and the thieves stole the massive pile of crap in the middle of the living room. But, between Craigslist, the local consignment shop (The Village Merchant in Portland, OR — You MUST GO!!!), Goodwill, and a the magic street corner where everything disappears, we were able to minimize our possessions down to a manageable level. So much so, that we actually have room to spare! Seriously! We have extra basement storage, as well as empty cabinets inside!
Our previous landlord has been nice enough to reimburse us for moving out early, and between that, the hefty security deposit and selling the washer and dryer, we’ll have some extra cash to throw at our personal loan which paid for much of the motorhome. On top of that, our space rent here in the park is less than half of the rent we were paying for an apartment!
We haven’t been very good consumers for a long time now, other than good food and drink. Neither one of us have been much for purchasing new things. Erin had a habit of finding really cool things at yard sales and Goodwill, which found a way of filling up a whole house in Pennsylvania. I have a tendency towards dragging home free junk and building materials. But now, we simply don’t have the space for these things, and have found life to be much more enjoyable without the clutter. I must strive to further my purging within my workshop trailer. Things are much less organized in there. It is much harder for me to downsize tools and building materials when we’ve done so much remodeling in our motorhome, with much more to come. I do make a concerted effort to eliminate redundancies.
On a Friday, without much stress or high tempers, I drove the Squatch down to Milwaukie and pulled it into our new spot. Our two cats don’t mind the motorhome, but they do hate when it’s moving! I dumped the tanks, refilled the fresh water, and met the neighbors. On Saturday, I borrowed a truck from work and pulled my workshop trailer down too. Fortunately, we have the only pull through spot in the park, which makes it pretty easy. We also have enough space to park at least two cars plus the guest parking. We only have one car and that may be going away once we adapt to a no car lifestyle.
I’ve set up the solar panels which, with the batteries, provide all the power for lights, water pump, and fans. I did have to buy a shore power extension cord so that we could run the air conditioner on these hot, and unusually humid days. While the shore power is hooked up I’m running the TV and charging devices on the grid, but once the need for air conditioning ends, I’ll try to convert as many charging devices to 12VDC, and what remains will have to utilize the power inverter.
Rather than use the city water directly, I fill my onboard tank and use the motorhome pump for our water. This may seem strange to some, but I feel that it pushes us to conserve more. So far, we are averaging about 6 gallons of fresh water per day, as a household. This does not include washing clothes, which is done in the laundry facility provided.
Likewise, our sewer connection is not permanently fixed, and is used only when needed.
I have many little projects and a great number of data I want to collect as we continue our adventure. We are very happy with our decision to downsize and live like this. Surely, the novelty will wear off eventually, but at that point we’ll likely be interested in constructing our own tiny home, made to our liking and not that of an RV manufacturer. Perhaps, two years of this lifestyle will put us in a better mindset, with more experience, to undertake such an endeavor.