The RV lifestyle is not an effort to escape life. (at least it shouldn’t be) There’s no escaping anything if you decide to go RV’ing. All you do — in some regards — is make life more complicated.
I was reading a sort of review of Wendell Berry’s new book in which the reviewer takes on the role of specialization in modern day life; bemoaning the dissatisfaction and frustration that living in a world of specialization causes modern day citizens. The review is thought provoking and worth a read but I only reference it as an inspiration for what follows on a completely different subject.
What struck me while reading was the opposite of what non-RV’ers think about the RV lifestyle: RV’ing is not a way to escape from the troubles of life — it’s a world and a life of it’s own unique complexities and we are in no way isolated from the need for specialists in our alternative lifestyle.
If you’ve ever driven up to the service entrance of an RV shop you’ll get the idea; and if you haven’t let me help you imagine. A Class A motorcoach like our Holiday Rambler is pretty much a combination of automobile, truck &house. So where you have it serviced you need people conversant with engines and brakes and plumbing and electrical. Throw in HVAC and refrigeration as well as computer networking and solar power. There are so many specialty fields to be worked on in a modern day coach that it boggles the mind. And of course dealers think nothing of charging you labor rates that are commensurate with what they consider their level of expertise.
But it’s not just the maintenance part of RV’ing that can be complicated. Those of us who have a lifetime of living may not think of it this way but other parts of RV’ing are just as specialized. Where do you go? How do you get there? — Planning a route when you are 55 feet long, 13’ 2” high and weigh 30,000 lbs is not the same as doing it for a car. Our Honda will make a Y-Turn almost anywhere. Our coach will not. Our Honda will be legal on pretty much any highway in the US. our coach is not.
And what about doctors — do you keep returning to one caretaker or do you take your chances dropping in on someone who knows nothing about your history.
If you think about it, the RV lifestyle is a great way to complicate your life a lot more than staying at home in the same house, at the same address with the same services and facilities that you’ve always know.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m not painting the RV lifestyle as some kind of hardship. What I’m saying is that no matter what kind of life you live you don’t really escape from life. LIFE has a sneaky way of following you even if you try to escape.
If you’re already RV’ing I’m not telling you anything. When you leave home for the first time as a full-time RV’er you learn very quickly that life has completely changed.
But if you aren’t an RV’er yet and you are considering the lifestyle be assured that no matter what your dreams of what it would be like to ‘go RV’ing’ — the reality will be different. And the longer your planning window — the more different things will be. Make sure if you are considering selling your bricks and sticks and going mobile that you do your research. Don’t trust someone else’s research; don’t trust what you think you know — make sure before you sign on the dotted line that you know what you’re getting into.
Why do I say this? Because I know of couples who have spend a couple hundred thousand dollars on an RV, took one trip in it, and put it up for sale. RV’ing isn’t for everyone; it’s wonderful for some of us, but for others it’s hell on wheels. Do your due diligence!
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.