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This is a guest post from Liz Wilcox of The Virtual Campground. We met Liz through our Facebook community, but finally met her in real life at the RV Entrepreneur Summit back in February. When not trying to make people laugh through her writing and storytelling, Liz is a blogger on a mission to help other people start RVing. You can catch her misadventures and find inspiration to start your own over at her virtual campground, thevirtualcampground.com.
I meet a lot of people at the RV park and their first question to me is “How long are you here for?” When I reply “Oh, just another 18 months,” their faces get all screwy. And I can’t say I blame them. Stationary RV life does sound pretty weird.
I mean an RV is a literal home on wheels! If you’re not moving around, why not just live in a regular house? Why choose to live in a box with tires? And above all else, how could stationary RV living possibly be worthwhile or fun?
Who on earth would even think of something like that?
Well, hi! My name is Liz Wilcox and I am “that lady” livin’ it up full-time in the RV park.
You’re right. Stationary RV living isn’t glamorous. No, my days aren’t filled with planning trips and my toes aren’t dipped in the sand of anywhere new and exciting. Yet, somehow life is incredibly different and more meaningful since I moved into the RV. Stationary RVing is the best decision my husband and I have ever made in our marriage.
Here’s 5 reasons I absolutely love the stationary RV life and you will too.
1. Money problems are at an all time low.
First and foremost, ya gotta know I am a cheap wad in every sense of the phrase. I once almost broke my finger grabbing a quarter stuck between two washing machines. When asked if it was worth it, I replied “Duh. Now I only need 3 more to get my soda refill.”
Before the RV, every paycheck was carefully analyzed, stressed over, and budgeted to the cent. Now I breathe a lot easier, knowing all my living expenses like electric, water, and rent are a flat rate that won’t go up or down each month. I love having that predictability in my finances. I also love that these expenses are about 2/3 cheaper than when renting an apartment.
As I’ve mentioned, I am married. Now, according to Everyone and Their Mother, financial arguments are the number one reason for divorce. Since moving into the RV, we fight less and less about money each month. This is a huge victory for a one-income family like mine.
So if you’re like me and love to have money, save it, and feel comfortable in your finances, you will have a ton of fun living stationary in an RV.
2. The sense of community is surreal.
In case you haven’t noticed, Mr. Roger’s neighborhood is a fallacy, y’all. My last neighborhood had hundreds of townhouses occupied by thousands of people. Sure I had people living next to me, but did I have any neighbors? No way.
Being stationary, I’m constantly making connections with new people. People come in and out of the park often and even when they’re only around a day or two, they become my neighbor.
Someone is always willing to strike up a conversation. It is eye-opening to meet all types of people from all over the country and world. You never know who is going to pull in, and their RV or license plate is the perfect ice breaker! I have so much fun getting to know my neighbors.
When I’m tired of being inside, I can just walk outside and find someone to talk or walk with. As complete noobs, Ed and I needed help when we first moved into the park, and someone was always willing to give a hand.
In winter, the park gathered for a potluck every other week. It really felt like a loving community. I heard stories about youth, travels, and grandkids. I was able to share frustrations and get advice about being a new mom. My husband had immediate access to a melting pot of men to confide in.
And the most special thing of all? My daughter witnessed the simplest and most essential aspect of humanity—people coming together to share food and each other’s company. It brings my heart tremendous joy to know my child lives in a community that values, strives for, and seeks out human connection. (And here I thought an RV park just offered a parking spot.)
I never imagined modern life could be so friendly and inviting.
3. Nature is suddenly a part of everyday life.
Unless you’re a member of the Addams family you probably find the outdoors refreshing. Whether you’re a “long walks on the beach” type of guy or simply like the smell of rain, stationary RVing encourages you to get outside!
You see, a house is comfortable. It’s so comfortable it practically begs you to stay inside. If you close the door and those amazing blackout curtains, you can forget what time it is and take a nap at 2pm. No need to be productive. And don’t worry, when you can’t sleep tonight you can go in the living room and watch TV. It won’t disturb anyone sleeping upstairs.
An RV makes that type of living a little harder (as it should be because that lifestyle is so not healthy, my friend.) There is no upstairs. The TV is going to disturb everyone. And why close the curtains and nap when only a door separates you from the great outdoors?
Sunlight and a little breeze is good for you, baby! You don’t have to be a full-time traveler to get a little more of it in your life. With little effort, stationary RVers can enjoy nature, too. Every day, I go for a walk around the campground. Each afternoon I spend a couple hours working at the picnic table under the awning. And when the weather is right, I sit in my beach chair soaking up sun rays.
Okay, okay. I know not everyone has the luxury of taking a day to just lay around the campground. I’m sure if you are a stationary RVer, you probably have to go to some 9-5 gig. Well, after 5pm you can still go for nature walk, grill and eat outside, or just spend a few moments breathing some fresh air before you go inside.
My husband is an air traffic controller, one of the most stressful careers…ever. After a hard day, he can come home, sit in the shade, and simply listen to the outdoors. He is now a much more engaged and relaxed husband and father.
Just yesterday I spent almost 12 hours outside. Why not? As a stationary RVer, I live on a campground, in nature, and I take full advantage of the situation. All day I had beautiful scenery to look at, tons of room to run and play with my daughter, and a relaxing chair to sit in and feel the breeze under my awning.
It was a day I once would have dreamed about, saved money for, and planned carefully. Now it’s just life.
4. Cleaning is a much smaller burden.
Okay, so I know this is a bit obvious but it is 100% list-worthy. In all honesty, it could be the only thing on the list for me. I was a slob as a kid, a disgusting excuse for a 20 year old, and simply felt so overwhelmed as a new mom in a townhouse.
Don’t get me wrong, RV life does not equate to no cleaning. The small space just makes it more manageable. I have made a house rule to never leave a room messier than when I entered. This is really rubbing off on my 2 year old, and my husband. When something is out of place, it can be seen from just about everywhere in the RV. Have you ever been in a small space that was dirty? It can be maddening.
Now we all work together to keep the house tidy and stress levels low.
Of course, life is not perfect and neither am I. There are times when I ignore the dishes, “forget” to sweep, and let the clothes pile up unseen in the shower. Yet, even at its dirtiest, the RV seems to be cleaned with ease.
Could it be because it gets dirtier more quickly than a home? Like, it’s literally impossible to go weeks without cleaning. The RV only has room for 4 plates, one set of utensils, and there is only one sofa to sit on. Once all that stuff is used up, you really have no choice to clean. And lucky for you, you really only have 4 plates, one set of utensils, and a sofa to take care of. RV magic, baby.
5. Cookouts and more cookouts
I grew up in Northern Michigan. In the summer months, we would spend all day outside. My mom would take us camping or we would stay at home and host a party centered around our giant backyard bonfire. All day long, the fire would be cooking up something delicious while Led Zeppelin rocked out on my mother’s oversized stereo. I’m pretty sure the neighbors hated us, but who cared? We were making the best type of memories.
Being a stationary RVer means I can create these moments with my family easily and often. I’m talking every night if I want. I’m in a campground people, it just sort of happens.
It’s like this:
Why cook in my tiny RV kitchen when I can grill outside by the picnic table? And not have to worry about a greasy stovetop? And enjoy the cooler evening temps? And pretend I’m on vacation? And then remember this is real life and this is my front yard and wow, isn’t life so amazing?!?!
You get what I’m saying here, right?
There is just something relaxing about having a cookout. And let me tell you, as someone who does it just about every night, it does not get old! It becomes a fun way to relax after a long (sometimes hard and strenuous) day. My husband loves cooking on it, I get wrapped up in childhood nostalgia, and my daughter is downright fascinated by it all. Dinner time has truly become a way to unite the whole family.
Single? No kids? Don’t worry. You will still enjoy cookouts. After all, what red-blooded American doesn’t desire to dig into a hot-off-the-grill chicken leg and watch the sunset? (Hoo-rah!)
You don’t have to be a full-time traveler to enjoy the benefits of making an RV your home.
My whole life has changed since becoming a stationary RVer. Collectively, these reasons have shifted my whole perspective on life; they’ve forced me to tune in to what I really want in my life and in return, out of life. My day-to-day has changed so much. No longer do I spend my days stressing about money, cleaning house, and even what to make for dinner. Instead, I’m outside getting to know my neighbors and pointing out wildlife to not only my daughter, but to myself.
In love yet?