Do We Miss The Security Of The Stick And Bricks?
It’s been over a year now that we are Fulltime in the RV. We truly wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for the world. But we’ve come to realize that sometimes we do miss the security of the stick and bricks. At times it isn’t even the security, but just “things.” Doug recently wrote an article about the 10 Things That Suck About RV Living. However, in this article, I’d like to focus on things that are missed when you no longer have an actual house.
When Doug and I started out we didn’t have much. Both of us are worker bee’s and made something out of nothing pretty quickly. We have both always strived for improvement or to reach our next goal. Buying a home. Moving to a better school district. Surviving the loss of everything we’d worked for in Hurricane Sandy. We just keep going. That’s what we do. Goals are set with the intent of meeting them. Moving into the camper was one of those goals. And we accomplished it.
But sometimes, having a house would really be awesome. There have been plenty of things that we both just MISS from the Stick and Bricks!
Security Of The Stick and Bricks
Yeah, you’re right, there are still doors and windows. But they’re much thinner now. Yes, we can still lock everything up, and we do. My neighbors are a lot closer now though. You don’t have an opportunity to know your neighbors either. Yeah, you’ve said hi. You’ve even shared dinners. But do you KNOW them? Like really know them the same way you knew your old neighborhood? Do you need to know everything about them? Just when you think you’re comfortable, one of you moves! Onto new neighbors once again.
Campground theft is a real thing. At my house, I could leave my bicycle in the driveway over night. Since moving into the camper, it needs to be locked up all the time. Whether staying in a National Forest or a Campground Resort, theft has been an issue everywhere. We weren’t at the resort in South Florida for 10 minutes before we were told of e-bikes being stolen. Not by fellow campers, but by people in the surrounding neighborhoods. Out to Home Depot for some thick cable and Amazon for bike alarms.
Even silly things like new sounds outside can make you seek that security of a house more. When you live somewhere for a while, you grow accustomed to the noises. Creeks in the floorboards. Trains going past in the distance. Road traffic. Anything. But when you’re constantly on the move, those noises are always changing. Even Lagertha has her ears tuned in more to the different sounds.
A Household Kitchen
The camper we chose for our Fulltime Lifestyle was partially chosen because of the size and layout of the kitchen. In all honesty, I can’t say that my camper kitchen is little per se. The stove and the oven ARE little though. Eating out all of the time is not an option. First, it is way too expensive. Second, it is seriously unhealthy. I enjoy cooking! We cook in the camper. Outside space and cooking gadgets are a must, and we use them frequently too. But have you ever tried to use your camper oven for something large? Like maybe a turkey breast?
The oven doesn’t even hold a standard pan. I had to go out and get a special 13×9 cooking pan with very little handles to fit in there. Forget about making a cake. You can only do one layer at a time. Cookies too! The tiny cookie sheet I was able to find holds 8 cookies at a time. A batch of cookies is now an all day project.
Aside from the size of the oven and stove is counter space. In the camper, everything has a very specific home. Any deviation from that home creates clutter. Perhaps I’ve always been spoiled with a large kitchen. But finding a place to prep any meal or goodies is like finding a needle in a haystack. Not impossible, just not likely. And certainly not without some kind of mess happening.
I didn’t know I missed these. Really, until our last home, we never even had them. We’ve always lived in pretty rural locations and sidewalks didn’t exist. In our last home though, we lived in a development that had sidewalks. Everyday I would take Lagertha out for a walk up and down the sidewalks in our neighborhood. She knew to sit at the end of the road and wait for me to tell her it was ok to cross. We didn’t worry about cars driving down the road. They were in the road. We were on the sidewalk.
Now that we’re in campgrounds or out on public land, there is no such thing as sidewalks anymore. I’m glad there aren’t… It would really look a bit ridiculous. But I miss them! I miss having them there when I go for my daily walk with Lagertha. She’s pretty good about staying on the side of the road, but sometimes… “SQUIRRELL!” We have to be even more vigilant listening for cars coming up behind us. Not always an easy task with electric cars these days.
Lagertha has decided on her own, that she doesn’t go to the bathroom on our site. Putting up a little fence for her to roam in on the site isn’t really an option for her. We need to take our walk everyday. Hikes are wonderful, and one of her favorite things. But sometimes, she just needs to do her business. And going for a walk is what we do. Having a sidewalk to do so on, would really be nice sometimes.
Garage / Shop / Driveway
This is one we KNEW we were going to miss. Doug definitely misses it more than me, but damn! I didn’t realize just how much we were going to miss having a place to work on things. Things go wrong in a camper. Repairs will need to be made. Before moving into the camper, we had a garage. If the vehicle Doug was working on didn’t fit in the garage, we had the driveway. And if the project was more complicated we even have a friend with a full mechanics shop.
Not everyone has access to all of the above, but before moving into the camper, we all likely have a driveway. Or a place where we can pull things out and work on them. When things break now, we are really quarantined to our site. Which is pretty full with the camper and the truck already. Let alone the tools that we no longer have. Time to complete a repair in a campground is much tighter too. We only have as long as we’re there.
I’m thinking about painting and remodeling our living room in the RV. I’m not about to start this project at a campground, Harvest Host, or boondocking location. Space is needed! I have to be able to pull it all apart to paint. Put it outside to dry. If I had a driveway, I could lay everything out and do it there. But I don’t. So this project requires a lot more logistics and creative thinking to accomplish. And once again, I’m back to the time for completion.
A Fenced Yard
This is totally a double edge sword. We certainly do NOT miss yard work like mowing and weeding. But, we do miss just letting Lagertha outside. She misses sunbathing whenever she wants. Some mornings we are busy doing things and all she wants is to be outside. If we still had a fenced in yard, we could let her out to run around. She could get her exercise without us dropping what we’re doing. Since being in the camper, that’s no longer an option.
I miss decorating my yard. Sounds silly, and it kinda is. But I miss putting my fake flowers out for every holiday. Making my yard and home feel loved and welcoming brings me joy. We’re only usually at any given camp site for 2 weeks. I’m not decorating my site every time we move. Not only because it isn’t my property to decorate. But we don’t have space to store decorations. Halloween is coming up right now. I’d really like to carve a pumpkin for my front steps. But I don’t have front steps anymore. And I certainly don’t have space for big ol’ carved and decorated pumpkin.
A Real Shower
Once again, this is something that we knew we were sacrificing when we decided to go fulltime in the camper. The showerhead has been upgraded. We changed out our mixing valve to have separate hot and cold dials. Doug even put a holding tank in so our water pressure was more steady. But even with all of the modifications, we still don’t have a REAL shower like we did in our house.
Both Doug and I agree that a hot shower is pretty damn close to the top of the list of all time best inventions. After a long strenuous day of hiking a long hot shower feels amazing. However, if you live in a camper, you best go find the bathhouse if that’s what you want. Long hot showers are a thing of the past. At best we can get a long moderately warm shower. Or a short hot shower. Never long AND hot in the same shower.
Same goes when you aren’t feeling great. I’ve been fighting a head cold for a week now. There isn’t much I wouldn’t do to just stand in a hot shower for as long as I want. Let the water beat on my face to help break everything up. Unfortunately, that isn’t an option. Thank God for Vicks, or I may not be able to breathe out of my nose.
Still Wouldn’t Give It Up
There are probably several more things that I could add to this list. Little things. Simple things. Things you don’t even think about until they’re not there. But we aren’t ready to trade the wheels in for bricks just yet. The pros still outweigh the cons on our list.
Before you make the leap and decide to go fulltime, really think about all of the things you’ll be giving up though. Think about the things that you’re gonna miss. Make a list and read other’s articles. You need to make sure that every thing on your list is something that you can live without. Missing things are one thing, but can you honestly give them up?