Reality Bites

When this is your front yard, you’ll feel better about life on the road.

Some of you who choose to launch your RV full time life this summer are hitting a wall about now. I call it the Reality Wall and it bites. This is about the time the euphoria of being on the road has worn off and you’ve fallen into a routine. Some of the less glamorous aspects of RV living have now manifest themselves and you’re starting to come to grips with a reality that is different from the idealized version you had in your head the last few years.

First off, relax, what you’re going through is perfectly normal with any lifestyle change. In this case what you’re experiencing is called ennui, a vague feeling dissatisfaction and weariness. That stems from the mental process of rationalizing your dreams against your current reality.

You must have these. They’ll keep bugs off your food when you’re eating outside. And you’ll be eating outdoors a lot.

Again, normal, and you shouldn’t feel bad and should resist the urge to sell your RV and go buy a house. You might do that someday, but do it for the right reasons. Here are a few of the insights you’re likely gaining.

You Discovered That There’s No Perfect Camper

You could have the finest, high-end Airstream ever produced and still find things you don’t like about it. No matter how much you spend, no matter the brand, there is no perfect camper. We have friends who had their campers custom made by the factory and still find little niggles they don’t like. It’s all part of the process.

You Discovered There’s No Perfect Campsite

This is especially true in parks and boondocking, but is also true in high-end luxury resort that charges thousands per month. You’re going to be too close to the neighbors, there’s not enough parking, you have to back in at an impossible angle, the site tilts one way or another, it’s under a tree that rains squirrels and other vermin, it’s too far from the amenities, it’s too close to the amenities….you get the picture.

You Discovered Your RV Is Too Big

When going from a house to an RV, the space adjustment seems tremendous. You’re going from 2,500 square feet to under 400, and most of the time under 300. That seems crazy tight. Then you discover that most of the junk you own in a house, serves the house. When you whittle down the extra clothes, boxes of junk, lawn tools, and extra kitchenware you’ll be amazed how little space you need.

You Discovered There Is Drama

Any animals packed into overcrowded spaces are anxious and aggressive. It happens to mice in small cages and it happens to humans in high density RV parks. Add to it that a good third of your neighbors are functional alcoholics and you have a formula for conflict. We actually found it pretty rare, but it did happen to us once. It’s happened to everyone once. I don’t have any research to back it up, but my sense is tension is on the rise recently. People are busy, stressed out, angry and that doesn’t end when they get in the camper. A little bit of rage goes a long way in spoiling the calm.

It Will Get Better

This will pass. Your knowledge about maintaining an RV will increase, you’ll make connections with crafty maintenance people who know how to fix things right, and you’ll learn to manage road hazards and flat tires. You’ll get so good at handling things that it won’t seem like a job anymore. You’ll get used to the space issues and, one day, you’ll step out your front door to an amazing view. You’ll sit down in your camp chair with a cup of coffee and suddenly the appeal will be back.

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