Can’t run away


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.

2014112415295101If 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.  ten ton limitWhere 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.

escapees mail serviceAnd then how do you handle mail delivery when you aren’t always in the same place?

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.

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12 Comments

  1. If you hit this sign, you will snap off your plumbing vent caps, MaxxAir vent covers…. 🙂

    Love this post. I always feel that successfully navigating this lifestyle is directly related to a person’s openness to change. Honestly, some days my ‘Change-o-meter’ is running on empty…but I draw from the majority of the days that my sense of adventure is bigger than my reluctance to change. It is a great way to live for those who can handle it. And if you can’t…that’s OK too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YOU hit the nail on the head Jim. It’s really about change. From the daily/weekly/monthly/bi-annual RV moves from place to place to learning that a refrigerator is not the same refrigerator that you always knew — and neither are most of your other appliances— it’s all about change.
      You know, I have a friend from High School who is not a traveler. She has no idea at all why I would ever want to go ANYWHERE — much less do it repeatedly month after month after month. Her husband wanted a sailboat, now it sits in the backyard rotted because they never use it. He wants to move to Alaska (strangely enough the guy is always COLD and wants to move to Alaska), all she wants to do is build a garden. She isn’t against change — she says her plants have wheels because she’s always moving them — but she can’t get down to the courthouse without getting lost in her own county. This lifestyle clearly is not for everyone. (and the big secret of life is marrying someone with the same kind of crazy as yourself — so that when you want to do something crazy like going RV’ing your partner is with you on it!)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s why I often recommend renting an RV before buying one–you just don’t know what you don’t know before you experience it. Even then you can make mistakes: we rented a Class C and loved traveling in it then bought a Class B–not big enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have recommended the same. But, you know it’s funny how some people seem to think that’s a ‘waste of money.’ — yet buying something you don’t like is a BIGGER waste, right? > >

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  3. When I retired I figured I’d do some of the things I never had time to do while working–travel, get my house cleaned and fixed up, write, read more, etc. Retirement should be time for doing what you want. I never expected to fall apart physically. I write and read and get to church more often. While my retirement is nothing like I expected, I’m still enjoying life.
    RV life may have a few drawbacks, but focus on the good parts–time together; time with friends; making new friends; learning new things; laughing over the oops that happen; and most importantly, seeing God’s creation as many others fail to have the chance to see it–up close and personal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Believe me, I AM focussed on the good stuff! I write about things that strike me but that doesn’t mean that I’m depressed about the things that I write about. Oh, like anyone else I have my moments, but I am by nature a happy guy, living a happy life, with a woman I’m happy to be with.

      You mention the reality of life: that it doesn’t always turn out the way we thought/planned/wanted. And no matter what — there’s not much we can do about forces greater than ourselves. Nature is a Bully, and she gets her way — pretty much all the time. In the great battle for who is Alpha — Momma Nature has the big guns and Momma Nature always wins the matchup.

      I’m glad for my faith in God, but I’m not so faith-full that I don’t realize some things happen because of genetics, other things happen because I habitually put myself in certain situations. And neither of those mean that God doesn’t love me, nor do they mean that God doesn’t exist. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Learning to make the most of what we have (not what we don’t have) and giving him the glory is my goal. I work at it each day.

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      1. Sometimes I miss read. But anyway, it’s all about communication, right?
        One of my favorite admonitions is:

        “If you want to be understood, you have to make yourself understandable.”

        I first read that years ago at the same time I was having issues with other people complaining about how they were treated. I knew that the problem as one of communication — they were using ‘hot button’ words and as soon as people heard the word they would turn off. A little adjustment of vocabulary and they found the people who had been insulting them were helping them. It’s so hard to communicate and none of us does it very well. And then there are politicians….. 🙂

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  4. My nurses’ notes were always short and to-the-point. I was used to thinking in topic points: pain, voiding, intake, bleeding, wounds, etc. Now, I ramble, lose my train, can’t find words, and feel my thoughts are scattered. I’ve been off seizure med for over a year, but it still has some lingering effects. I think I missed the word “continue” which should have made my comment more understandable to you since you have always posted on the positive side. My comment was supposed to be encouraging not confusing. Maybe my brain is trying to make everyone else feel as confused as I do some days. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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