5 Things you don’t want to hear about full time rv living
WELCOME TO full time RV liVING
R emember when Batman finds himself locked in a small room with spiked walls? A motor starts somewhere, and the walls move?
The superhero stretches his arms to stop the walls from crushing him, but it’s no use.
Where’s Robin when you need him? This can be what full time tv living feels like, only part of the time.
The long Thanksgiving weekend was cold and rainy. It felt good to snuggle in with Netflix.
But a heavy restlessness settled in with one day melting into the other.
Scientists say feeling cooped-up is a claustrophobic reaction. We know it as cabin fever, one result of full time rv living.
Cabin fever is one thing you don’t want to hear about living in a tiny space.
The HGTV tiny house owners seem ecstatic moving into their hip designed 200-square-feet or less living space.
But after the “Oh my gosh. This is amazing. How did you get that there?” exclamations and the cameras turn off…
What happens when reality hits and you “just need to breathe?”
Keep reading for the next four things you don’t want to find out about living full-time in an RV and what you can do to avoid them.
Let’s get this one out of the way.
There are consequences associated with good and bad behaviors.
Sometimes a consequence doesn’t match the behavior, such as eating a delicious bean salad that results in the unpleasant effect of passing gas.
Passing gas is a healthy body function. It’s what we do as humans.
But when you live in a ‘sticks and bricks’, there’s enough space to expel without offending the other person.
Not so much in an RV.
HOW TO PASS GAS AND STILL
LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER
• Bathroom Ceiling Fan
It’s impressive how well the pre-installed exhaust fan in our 2017 Vanleigh Vilano fifth-wheel works. It has three speeds to use based on your need. Switch on the fan and whoosh—the offending smell disappears. Be sure to use the fan after you flush the toilet to avoid sucking black water tank odors up into the RV. And realize as soon as you turn the fan on, your partner will figure out what you’re doing.
Spritz a little Poo-Pourri before you go and your partner will never be the wiser. Poo-Pourri is a spray of essential oils that create a barrier around the stinky odor and traps it from escaping out to your partner’s nose. And it’s safe for the black water tank. Spray a squirt inside the toilet, and you’re good to go.
• Alone Time
Volunteer to take out the garbage, walk Fluffy, walk to the lake, fetch something out of the truck, anything to snag alone time to expel. Releasing your wind in the wind is the ultimate natural solution.
• Own It
The best policy is to own it. Be honest. Make little jokes like, “Did you hear a Rocky Mountain Barking Spider?” or “Sorry, we have to get that squeaky floorboard fixed” or look straight at your partner and say, “Seriously?” Passing gas in front of each other without embarrassment is true love. ❤️
LEARNING THE TWO-STEP SHUFFLE
Ever walked a dog and got tangled in the lease causing you to do a little dance to become untangled?
Ever had your arms stuck in a sweater or shirt and can’t get it off, so you end up pulling your arms out in awkward directions?
You might feel the same way when you first move into an RV.
Imagine meeting your partner at the fridge that forces one of you to do-si-do around the other.
Or you meet in the hallway and do the two-step shuffle so the other person can pass.
Once we found ourselves butt-to-butt in the bathroom causing us to laugh.
Creating a Dynamic System
The good news is that scientists say we subconsciously coordinate our body movements with each other.
Which means when a cooperative relationship exists (i.e., living together in an RV), our brains form a dynamic system.
Being together in a dynamic system means by sharing a space you will transform over time.
The keyword here is time.
When you’re new to RV living, being in a small space with another person can shock you into a “stuck in the middle with you” scenario.
But with a little coordination and effort, you can develop a synchronized living environment that enriches your lives beyond measure.
HOW TO CREATE A
• Avoid Space Invasion
Stay in your lane, meaning, try to stay in your own space. As humans, we love to create a personal nesting place. Try to stick to your section when you’re reading and working. Have an unwritten code to respect each other’s territory and don’t space invade. And be sure the areas are fair. One shouldn’t have their things spread over one space leaving less room for the other.
• Say No to Clutter
Keeping a small space free of clutter makes your living area appear larger. The fewer places you need to put stuff, the more room for you. The more room for you, the less likely you will bump into each other.
• Stick to a Schedule
Get into the habit of sticking to a schedule. As an example, choose who showers first. During that time, the bathroom is “owned” by the person occupying it, freeing up space for both of you. Coordinating your schedule is the start of creating a synchronized living environment.
Daniel Craig, the English actor, best known for his James Bond role, once said, “I’ve always retained my privacy, but now I protect it even more.”
Craig’s statement is good philosophy for the RV community.
Protecting your privacy while living full-time in an RV is a challenge in crowded RV Parks.
Remembering you no longer live in a house can be difficult if your RV resembles a small luxury apartment as ours does.
Your RV is Not a House
The ‘sticks and bricks’ of a traditional house create a sound barrier between you and the outside world.
The fiberglass and plywood of an RV have no sound barrier.
A good rule of thumb is if you can hear voices outside while in your RV, people outside can hear you too.
So following Aimee Mann’s advice to, Hush, hush, keep it down now, voices carry, is useful to remember.
But despite the lack of privacy while living full-time in an RV, there are steps you can take to protect your privacy as fierce as Daniel Craig.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR PRIVACY
• Watch the Light
One early winter evening while cooking, I glanced out the window. A group of people walked by at that very moment and waved. What? They can see me?? Not realizing the sun was setting, and it was getting dark, the shades were still open. With the lights shining on the inside, anyone walking by could see me cooking through the windows. Pull the shades down when the sun sets to avoid waving to strangers and being on display.
• Use Your Inside Voice
If you’re prone to loud arguments, living full-time in an RV may not be for you. Speaking to one another in a “normal” voice is imperative for keeping the peace. Plus maintaining a civil conversation is less stressful and embarrassing. If you’ve ever overheard a couple arguing, you understand what I mean. You don’t want to be “that” couple. Keep your private conversations quiet on the inside where only the two of you can hear each other.
• Park in the Back
There’s more privacy in the back of the RV Park. Seek spaces away from the front where most of the traffic occurs. Try to secure a site in the back row where RVs aren’t parked behind you. You can then sit behind the RV and enjoy magnificent scenery without viewing another RV. And remember to stay off other people’s sites. One of our pet peeves is when people use our space as a thoroughfare. If you respect others’ privacy, hopefully, they will respect yours too.
Breaking up is hard to do.
Photo by: Antranias released under [Creative Commons CC0], via Pixabay
Breaking up is hard to do.
As creatures of habit, we enjoy going to the same professional places for services, such as the dentist and hairdresser because it provides comfort.
Changing familiar routines can be alarming, which causes stress and discomfort.
Being on the road traveling full-time in an RV forces a breakup with your long-term doctor, dentist, hairdresser, and massage therapist.
Even going to new grocery stores, dining at strange restaurants, and traveling unfamiliar roads can cause nervousness.
The good news is that changing your routine and having unique experiences instead of the everyday fall-in-a-rut routine is healthy for you. That’s why changing the furniture or getting a new hairstyle feels good, even if the change might not be a positive one.
But if you stay “set in your ways” and believe you “can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” your brain declines, and you become old and feeble.
Keep reading to learn ways to lessen professional breakups stress and how to embrace new ones.
HOW TO LEAVE PROFESSIONALS BEHIND
AND STILL BE HAPPY
The kind thing to do is to inform your professionals you will no longer be seeing them instead of disappearing without notice. Praise them for their services and how you appreciate the long-term relationship. Ask if you can contact them for questions. Keeping communication channels open with your past professionals may be important when using unfamiliar services.
• Secure Records
Make sure you obtain personal records from your ‘stick and brick’ professionals before you leave. I met with a new hairdresser without knowing my hair color or tools used to cut my hair and ended up with a mess. Keep electronic files to bring on new visits.
• Ask Locals
What do you do when you need a haircut, teeth cleaning, or the cat gets sick on the road? Inquiring at the RV Park is a good choice. Most RV Parks are happy to help and will steer you in the right direction. Another good way to finding new professionals on the road is to use social networking sites like Yelp and Facebook. Reading reviews and a little research can go a long way.
• Keep an Open Mind
Once you have a new professional in mind, make sure they can provide the service you need. I now give new hairdressers information before making an appointment. Ask questions and keep an open mind. Try to go with the flow and maintain a positive attitude. Making new friends and keeping the old with an open mind will turn your full time RV living experience into silver and gold memories!
BATMAN ESCAPES AND SO CAN YOU!
Cabin fever, passing gas, small spaces, lack of privacy, and losing community relationships are full time RV living inconveniences.
But with awareness comes knowledge, which ultimately creates empowerment.
Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.”
Knowing when it’s time to get out of the RV and breathe, learning the best place to pass gas in a small living space, maintaining privacy, and learning ways to work with new professionals, will provide a sense of comfort and stability.
Just as Batman escapes the spikes of doom just in the nick of time by wedging the moving walls with a crowbar (he didn’t even need Robin!); you can use the tools of awareness and a good sense of humor to escape the unpleasantries of full time RV living! 😉
What’s Outside Our Door explores the full time RV life creating inspiration, wonderment, and knowledge for a freer, simpler, and happier way to live explained in 15 Tips to Take Full Time RV Living to the Next Level and The Ultimate Step-by-Step Full Time RV Guide for Beginners ebooks. They also publish the free Full-Time RV Life bi-monthly newsletter of 8 things worth sharing about full-time RV living you might find interesting.
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