This week our Monday Q&A question about RV Life comes from a YouTube viewer preparing for life on the road. He writes,
“My girlfriend has been very stressed-out thinking about our trip… Is there anything that either of you were very nervous about (before leaving) that was really no big deal or something that you did not think about that are now big concerns?”
We’ll break it down into two sections; concerns that are no big deal & concerns that we deal with regularly.
Watch the Video:
Concerns That Are Actually No Big Deal
1. Forgetting Something
Just like leaving on vacation, a shadow of fear loomed over us suggesting that we’d forget something important. Thankfully we did a test-run to iron out the wrinkles. And, yes, we forgot a few things during the test run; most importantly, pillows!
However, the larger lesson we learned is that even if we did forget something (like a $15 water filter), we could simply buy it on Amazon.
2. Towing the Camper
Towing the camper was a valid concern during the first few months on the road. We had to learn how to brake, cross passes, and back into sites. By our eighth month on the road, towing the camper became “no big deal” – and now a year into it, we actually enjoy towing the old girl.
Everyone will have a person learning curve when it comes to towing – but there will come a day when it feels natural.
Our family seemed to be more concerned about our safety than we were; many believed that the boogey man lived right outside the county lines.
Safety is something we take seriously, but don’t stress over. As fulltime travelers, we keep our senses active and steer clear of complacency. This allows us to feel confident with the places we decide to set up camp.
We also believe that humans are kind; and we put a lot of faith in “good vibes”.
4. The Happiness & Health of our Dog
River became part of our family six months prior to hitting the road. We thought she’d provide companionship and security – and she’s exceeded our expectations in both categories. We had concerns about training her, finding vets, and keeping her happy. Fortunately, we’ve been able to do all these things quite easily.
From time to time – when she eats poisonous caterpillars or bees – we’ll have a quick scare. But, as long as we have internet access, we can either call a local vet or research symptoms online.
5. Mechanical Issues
It’s never fun to see the “check engine” light turn on or a tire low on air, but we’ve learned that these are the type of things you just have to roll with. We’ve been able to solve some issues ourselves and we’ve also taken the truck to the shop multiple times.
It’s not easy to lump this into the “no big deal” section, but we’ve learned that it doesn’t do any good to stress about it.
6. Vault Toilets
Being that I (Kyle) never went camping before hitting the road, the idea of using a vault toilet grossed me out. I thought somehow the floor would cave in and I’d fall into the pit of hell. However, this hasn’t happened yet, and I’ve grown accustomed to them.
Concerns That Remain a Big Deal
1. Income / Expenses
Our Etsy shop is a great source of portable revenue that doesn’t require much time. The downside is that revenue isn’t consistent. It can fluctuate by up to $1000+/- monthly.
We’ve began creating revenue through Amazon & YouTube, but currently its only 18% of our overall income. We’d like to have at 33% equal split between the three revenue streams in six months.
But, for now, we have to remain vigilant with controlling our expenses and creating new income.
Our internet arsenal includes two AT&T cellular plans and one T-Mobile hotspot with a total of 32 gigs. We also have a WeBoost cellular booster and a WiFiRanger for added power. This set up keeps us connected almost always if we steer clear of rural, mountainous boondocking.
But, finding fast connectivity is like hunting a wild beast; research, equipment, and energy are always needed.
Water is great at finding its way inside our camper.
We don’t have any outlandish leaks, but once a month a new leak will spring up. We’ve sealed and resealed, however the constant earthquake conditions seem to foster cracks and separations.
4. Battery Life
We’ve talked about this issue more than we’d like. Simply put, our roof is maxed out of space for solar and our battery storage area is full to the brim. Did we mention, our mini fridge is all electric 110v.
We’ve found ways to work around our lack of amp hours; but, it remains a constant concern.
5. Gas Prices
While low gas prices seem to be the new norm (knock on wood), there is always a better deal to be had. We reference the GasBuddy app to find the lowest prices before making a purchase. Complacency can cost a traveler over $1000/year.
6. Wildlife / Plants
Maybe I have an unrealistic fear of bears, but large wild beasts frighten me – especially while on a wilderness hike. We’ve encountered scorpions, snakes, and overly aggressive, long horned sheep. Its amazing to witness these creatures in their natural habit, but its not something to take lightly.
We’ve also had some sticky situations with cacti!
Thanks for reading our blog. Help support our mission – to live freely and deliberately – by checking out our Etsy store or shopping Amazon through our link.