RV Life: How It All Started!
Rv Life: How it all started!
How We Became Rv'ers!
I am an avid outdoors-lover and have always found solace in the trees, the reminder that all things are temporary and that to dust I shall return someday. Cares fade away when I am in the woods and I feel God’s presence where things are most basic and simple. I dry-camped (no water or electric) as a kid, slept on a cot under the stars, slept with the moon, and awoke with the sun.
My grandparents were RVers, always traveling when I was a teen. I remember wondering what adventure they were on and what souvenir they would bring me. As I grew up, I inherited a natural travel bug.
As a married couple for 20+ years, we have moved between multiple houses in both Arizona and California. We have always instilled a love of adventure in our kids. We had exchange students who brought the world and cultural differences into our home. We learned a lot from our new "family" members and my kids gained a sister.
We owned two homes in the Phoenix Area back in 2008. However when we purchased our 2nd home in 2008, we immediately lost about $150,000 as the market crashed. We stayed in our home for 3 years before giving up. Our loan had been passed through multiple banks with no information on who to pay or where to send payments. We had to decide where to live. How would it have even been possible to make 3 years of house payments at $2800 a month?
We had an old Georgie Boy Class A in the driveway that we had been working on that could sleep all four of us. Many times, I imagined living in the old rv but it all seemed impossible at the time. There was no way us and all our pets and stuff would fit into a 30-foot rv. Could we? At the time, we settled on moving out and renting another house.
Everything fell into place. We were able to move into a rental in a nice neighborhood at the close of one month and the beginning of another and we had saved enough to do so. We started to be really aware of our money habits, spending, and where we needed to budget and cut back. Our church had a seminar on spending. This was a turning point for us, the people with a media and entertainment subscription to everything from Hulu to Amazon and cell phone bills equal to most car payments.
We fine tuned everything and cut back on all unnecessary costs. We started to realize that what we truly needed and what we wanted were two different things. We stayed in the rental house from 2012 until 2015. We never had a late payment because we understood the importance of having a good payment history.
We managed to keep the lights and the AC on because, in Arizona, you better or you will cook in the summer. We were in a house in a nice neighborhood, but I still could not keep that "moving into an rv" idea out of my mind. As the months past, we realized it cost us a minimum of two grand to live, including the rent and utilities. There had to be a better way - a way that wouldn't make us a slave to a government agency. Yet, the world tells us to be “normal” or to live in debt in homes we can barely afford and can’t hope to pay off.
I spent many nights reading self-help books about cutting back, saving, money, and minimalism. That’s when I realized that our possessions own us. We buy bigger houses because we need more room. We buy more things for the space. This is a problem. We shouldn't upsize to turn our homes into storage facilities, causing us to pay for bigger homes than we need to house the things we need.
If we owned less, we would need less space and have fewer bills or less to pay for. I went on Amazon to find a book about it and came across Bob Wells’ book, How to live in a Car, Van or Rv. I started reading excerpts to my husband. The book covered his life and how he became a van-dweller. I saw why he downsized, but I thought there was no way we could live in a van. Maybe, we could live in an RV. It all began to make sense.
To be continued...