You’ll hear a lot of adjectives to describe RV and camper living. They’re usually emotional words like “freedom” and “dream” but most often those those words are being expressed by those trying to sell you something.
The truth is RV and camper living has its own set chores that will eventually wear you down. At some point, you’ll be ready to throw in the towel and transition back to a more stationary lifestyle. Some of our good friends decided today that they’re done with RV living and done with camping period. Their reasons for throwing in the towel aren’t big things, just a parade of little things.
Driving Wears You Down
When I was young I could drive for hours but not anymore. One of the realities of aging is a loss of visual acuity and reflexes. Combined with that is the fact that some people on the roads are freaking crazy, at least here in Florida. Driving is hard enough, driving while hauling a load is a whole different animal. You will get tired of hauling that load and fighting the idiots for your share of the pavement.
Setting Up and Taking Down
The larger and more roomy your camper, the more effort it is to set up and take down. When you’re traveling that becomes a new chore that you have to do twice a day. It’s a little easier when you have a helper but it still gets to you after a while. It’s not very convenient. You’ll have to do that inconvenient chore after driving for hours and then backing your trailer into a narrow space. The nights you can just pull into a truck stop and crawl in the back without setting up are a luxury.
Campgrounds Are Crowded
Campground living isn’t like it was just five or ten years ago. It’s getting crowded out there. You’ll be making reservations farther and farther in advance. Even then the only reservations you can get in popular destinations will be far from where the fun stuff is taking place. RV and camper living used to be a really small fraternity and much more fun than it is today. As campgrounds and RV parks become more crowded people become less tolerant. Like when too many mice are put in a small space, they start chewing on one another.
The Lack of Space
I can pack all the stuff I care about into a 10×10 room. Even that space-conscious lifestyle is challenged by RV and camper living. The chronic shortness of storage space will be a constant challenge.
Been There, Done That
The people who last in the RV lifestyle have some hobby or activity that they go places to do. Scuba diving, surfing, golfing, kayaking, bike riding are all adventure sports that motivate people to get out and explore places. Without that drive, you’ll eventually get tired of traveling.
I know to some people that sounds crazy. Get tired of traveling? Never! But it will happen. Once you’ve been on the road for 10 or 15 years, one day you’ll realize you’ve been everywhere you care about going. You’ll wake up one day and realize you’ve seen most places you care about seeing.
Take mountains for instance. I used to live in Washington State where I got my fill of mountains and majestic forests. Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, the Cascade Mountains and the Olympic Mountains all tried to kill me at least once. The Cascades nearly got it done. I don’t give a crap if ever see another mountain in my life. My wife feels the same way about cities. “They’re just buildings,” she explains. “Another city is just a different set of buildings.” You have to admit, the lady has a point.
You’ll Find Your Nirvana
Everyone starts out on the road intending to travel forever and, at some point, they find a place they just don’t want to leave. The combination of small negatives will add up and, one day, you’ll stumble across a place you truly love. Negatives for leaving, combined with positive things to stay in one place, and your road adventure will come to a sudden halt.
That explains why parks like The Great Outdoors in Titusville tend to have a progression. People living in RVs buy an RV space and, after a few years, they end up buying a house, and then a bigger house. That’s because they travel less and less and the advantages to RV living quickly evaporate.
So, yeah, it will happen to you at some point. You’ll have enough and either need or want to take a break from the road. And that’s totally okay. Sometimes all you need is to find the place that’s right for you and RV and camper living is awesome for that.