We have been asked by almost everyone if we miss being on the road. The answer is yes and no. Ben definitely has more of the wandering feet than I do, so I think he misses it the most. I am more of a homebody, so being able to stay in one place for a while is nice.
What I don’t miss:
- Sharing 1 bathroom. Seriously, 3 boys and 1 girl sharing a bathroom. I’m not even that needy in the bathroom, but I can’t pee outside as easily as they can.
- My house moving while I sleep. No, I did not sleep in the trailer on move days (which is illegal for tow behinds). Nick is very energetic: he bounces while he walks, and tosses and turns in his sleep. Since they were at the front and we were in the back, we felt every time he turned over.
- Dealing with poop. I know there is the occasional clogged toilet that may happen in my future. However, I do not miss having to keep an eye on the black tank levels, having to empty the tank, and deal with the hoses on move day. I also enjoy not having to add water to the black tank and adding chemicals every time we emptied it. I will say that the height of the RV toilet was really nice. It was taller than a standard toilet, so the first time I went to sit down on a regular house toilet, I fell a bit.
- Hearing our neighbors. I like our new location and when we first moved in, we only had neighbors on one side and they are really quiet. Some RV parks presented us with interesting neighbors. RV walls are not very thick; if I can hear people talking outside, then the chances are they can hear us inside, which I didn’t like.
- Navy showers. The water heater and grey tank could only hold so much, so any showers were Navy style (get wet, water off, soap up, water on to rinse off). Our shower now is huge compared to the RV shower. We can turn all the way around and I can actually bend over to shave in the shower. The water pressure is also much better.
- The bed. RV beds are not really known for being very comfortable for more than a weekend. We added a foam mattress topper which really helped. However, the normal RV beds are short queens. You can occasionally find normal sized queen or king beds, but when we were looking, it seemed like it was all short queens. A normal queen is 80×60″, a short queen is 75×60″. Those 5 inches make a big difference. (RV Listings will list it as a queen, so if it matters to you, ask if it is a real queen or measure it.)
- Mom and Dad, don’t read this one! The expression “don’t come a knocking when the trailer is a rocking” is valid. No matter how stable we made it, certain things made it… um… bounce.
What I miss:
- Seeing new things. We normally moved every 2 weeks, so we got to see new things pretty often. I am hoping that once we get more settled into our schedule, that we start adventuring near home. There is plenty of “tourist” stuff that we have never done, even though we’ve lived here forever! It was nice to have a different view out of our windows on a regular basis though.
- Cooking with gas. Our new place has an electric stove/oven, but I really miss cooking with gas. Ever since we were married, we have had a house with natural gas and the RV had propane. I like how it heats up faster.
- “Free” electric and water. Water was included in the campground fees, and unless you were staying a month or longer, so was electric. Now we have bills!
- New neighbors. What?! Didn’t I just say I wouldn’t miss campground neighbors? I did, and I won’t really miss the rowdy ones. We had neighbors move into the empty apartment next to us, and they are not quite as quiet as the other side. For the most part they are ok, but when the parents are gone, the group of teenage boys get a little loud. Being in a stationary house means we can’t just move and get away from them.
- The kids had no place to hide when trying to sneak video games. With only 3 rooms of living space, we could tell when they would sneak off to play video games. The house is great for having our own spaces, but with it being a 2 story, it is easier for them to sneak in more video game time.
Will we do it again? Maybe! We are thinking of possibly renting a RV and finishing up the west coast (Yosemite, Alcatraz, maybe Canada). Ben is still interested in continuing a nomad life after the kids are out of high school/go to college. However, we would be looking at a Class C or Class A with a toad (towed vehicle) when it’s just the two of us. It is certainly nice not to have to find suitcases and pack/unpack all your clothes to go on a trip when your whole house (and dressers) just moves with you!