5 Surprising Benefits of RV Life
Welcome to our 7nomads blog! We are a family of 7, and we live in our RV 80% of the year, doing ministry, traveling and exploring the USA. The RV life is a wonderful fit for us, and so I thought I would share some of the benefits we have experienced with RV living:
1. Simple is beautiful
While I certainly enjoy shopping, and if you ask my husband, I might have some hoarder-tendacies; but I have discovered the wonderfully freeing feeling of simplifying our life. Marie Kondo has tapped into this minimalism phenomenon, and aren't we americans prime candidates? We are so richly blessed in general, and most of us have way more than enough - I know we did.
When we decided to downsize, we went through each room and then each category of things that would be in the rv. We had to be insanely practical and ask ourselves questions about everything in the house. It was like spring cleaning x100. How many coffee mugs do two adults need? How many small appliances do I actually use? Do I really need a tote full of products from bath and body works? How many pairs of socks and shoes does each person need?(the shoes were a little painful to downsize to be honest)
In the process, I found expired medicine, spices, bath products, yuck! Why was this in the back of my cabinet? I found toys rarely played with and clothes rarely worn. The more we got rid of stuff, the more enjoyable it became, I know this sounds silly, but I actually felt lighter and more free!
Now that we've been in the RV for almost 3 years, I still enjoy the freedom and simplicity of this life. I still have to evaluate our possessions every so often, because we only have room for so much. The beautiful part of this simplicity is that everything we have, we love, and I can find what I need quickly(that is a huge deal for someone who loses stuff alot!).
2. We are Really Close
Yes, we are physically really close to each other all the time - less than 400sq ft for a family of 7 means we are really close. Here is the crazy part: we like it! We are surprised at how much we enjoy the closeness. There is always someone to talk to, play with, or just to be with. If they need alone time, we made a rule for the kids, that if they close their curtain on their bunk, then the other kids must give them space.
The kids still argue and fight at times, just like all families, but we have found that we have to deal with our problems right away - we don't have the space for someone to run to their room and slam the door, or pout in the corner. So working out our problems right away seems to have had a positive effect on us all.
I have noticed the kids have really bonded over all of our shared travel experiences, and they are each others buddies and support system whenever we are meeting new people. I love that, and I think every parent hopes that their kids will be close friends.
3. There are Nice People Everywhere!
I have so enjoyed meeting interesting and kind people all across America. I think Mark Twain said this: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness,..." I have found this to be true in our lives, as we meet different groups of people, it is hard to think badly towards a group of people as a whole.
It has made the world seem smaller to us, and more familiar, and I feel like a familiar thing is not a scary thing. It has helped that we are a family traveling in ministry. When we travel we are seeing the world and exploring, but we are also ministering with different churches. That has helped us to have a sense of community even though we are with different people every week. I think this is why many rv families join up with traveling groups and reach out to each other - that sense of community is important.
4. It is Cheaper than Living in a House
To be fair, we have a used RV, so our monthly payment is really low. Even with the large amount of money that we spend on gas, and the routine RV maintenance and repair, our costs come out below that of home ownership. We keep costs low by cooking in the RV kitchen and boondocking(dry camping) when possible.
Our costs are way cheaper if you figure in what it would cost us to visit all of the wonderful places we have seen in a more traditional/vacation sort of way. There is no way we could afford to stay in hotels and eat out at all of these destinations. We feel that this lifestyle has made the travel affordable for us.
5. I (almost) Never Have to Pack
I don't mind packing for a trip for myself all that much. But I do not like packing for 7 people, and I hate feeling like I have forgotten something. This was a surprising benefit to me about living in the RV. Everywhere we go, we have everything we need with us on board! That is a huge deal, I'm sure everyone has left their swimsuit, or their kid's dress shoes, or someone's asthma medication behind when going on vacation, what a hassle and extra expense when you are trying to go and relax.
It is also nice that the kids can always go to sleep in their own beds no matter where we are. If it has been a long-driving day, or a stressful day, we still have the comfort of home with us wherever we go, and start fresh the next day.
Thank you for reading!
You can check out all of the awesome t-shirts we offer right here at www.7nomads.net !
You can find out more about our ministry, Kingdom Pursuit Ministries, at www.kpministry.org.