Losing Your Shit

RV living is basically trading in traditional housing to live in resorts, campgrounds and on government land.

But it’s more than just a change of scenery, you’re also shedding most of the junk you collected over the years. A lot of that junk is used to take care of a house that the bank owns, which forces you to drive to a job you likely hate, in a car also owned by the bank. You pay for the gas in the car with a credit card also issued by a bank. See a pattern here? If any of that juggling act falls apart, the bank owns you.

It’s bizarre when you think about it. So many people, so much stress and so much of it dancing on the credit string of banks that own you. The appeal of ditching all that for a lower stress lifestyle is powerful and understandable.

This table comes highly recommended by full timers. It holds a lot and stows small.

It’s not just the house you’re getting rid of, it’s also the hamster wheel of modern life. You’re trading 2,400 square feet of space for less than 400. Taking care of the smaller space is a lot easier and doesn’t require a shed full of lawn mowers, edgers, leaf blowers, rakes, shovels and toxic chemicals. The campgrounds take care of all that for you.

And it costs less. For about a third of a standard house payment you can live like a king, moving from one five star RV resort to the next. Or, you can make your way boondocking on public land for the cost of consumables and fuel.

The trade off is you have to shed most of your possessions and, if you have a lot of clothing, most of that as well. That’s not as easy as it sounds. When you get down to it you’ll discover you have way more junk than you realized. Dishes, plates, silverware, kitchen appliances, TVs, furniture, a junk room full of, well, junk…the list goes on and on. Every drawer, every cabinet, every closet. A small mountain of consumer goods. It’s going to take you a long time to get rid of all your junk and there will be a lot of emotional decisions along the way.

Some people try to hang on to their junk. We did. We put the things we couldn’t part with in a warehouse and paid $115 a month for years. We never missed any of that stuff on the road. Then we had to make an expensive trip half-way across the country to clean out that warehouse, throw most of that junk away, and make an expensive trip back. Don’t do that. If you’re going, go. Get rid of the junk. You’ll never miss it.

Whether you’re going in a van, Class A, travel trailer, 5th wheel or tiny house, downsizing your junk is part of the cost of admission. You don’t have to become a minimalist, but you’ll have to keep your stuff down to a manageable level. Don’t underestimate how difficult this step will be or how long it will take. The last thing you want to do is be forced to make those decisions when you only have days left before your departure.

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