by Kim | 7:26 pm

The Joy of Living in 400 Square Feet

Life Simplified

One fee covers “rent”, water, electricity and sometimes even sewer and cable.  You can just pay your fees and not have to be concerned with usage or bills later.  Depending on where you “camp”, fees can be anywhere from $12-$99 per night.  The average is about $32 per night.  Any more than that is considered “pricey” and you’ll find that more at the resort-style campgrounds.  The cheapest campgrounds we found were National Parks in New Mexico.  

Along the way, we discovered the Army Corps of Engineers campgrounds.  These are maintained by the ACOE and most always located on lakefronts.  They’re usually on the lower end of the rate scale and rarely include sewer.  Without sewer you have to pay attention to your grey and blace water tanks (toilet, shower and galley outbound water) since there’s no sewer in which to empty it.  But after a few weeks, we discovered that we can camp for 5-7 days before we have to pump so we just do it at the pump out station after we check out to leave.

Less maintenance than a bricks and sticks home… most of the time.  Cleaning the interior, sweeping and siping things down, must be done daily due to the small space. I have found that this keeps me on a routine and it doesn’t have to wait until it’s bad.  Just sweep, swipe and you’re done!  Some rigs even have dishwashers!  We don’t, but with only 2 of us, it works out fine.

The exterior just needs a wash once in a while but we encountered a lot of rain which decreased the need for that.  The slides need clearing before you bring them in as leaves, twigs and other debris can cause problems. That means a ladder and a broom.  Dry out the awnings periodically to prevent mildew. And, of course, the truck requires a fluid change now and then and the tires checked. 

And finally, the luxury of relaxation on the days you don’t have anything planned to see or do.  Ahhhh!  I spent a lot of time reading.  Nothing better than a cocktail and a Kindle.

    Traveling

    Change the view at will.

    Winter morning in New Mexico

    Early winter morning in New Mexico. The silence was amazing. 

    From the ocean in SoCal and San Francisco, to the lakes in Central California and all across the country and the mountains in New Mexico and Colorado, we sat at our modified dining room turned office and drank coffee and cocktails enjoying the best views and expressing our gratitude for everything we could see and do.

      Fun

      There’s always something to do or see.  

      Buellton, CA

      Mendenhall Museum in Buellton, CA. Awesome collection of eveything racing… and then some.

      We hiked trails to waterfalls, drove through towns that seemed like time had forgotten them, caught fish in the chill of spring at the most beautiful, mountain lakes, walked our cats in the snow (yes, you read that correctly), made new friends at Lake Powell in Arizona and met up with them few days later at Four Corners, snuggled up in quite a few major thunderstorms… I can’t remember all of the special moments.

        Ritual

        Departures and Arrivals require the same routines ever time, such as backing in (not my favorite part), hitching and unhitching, tire chocks, automatic leveling jacks (thank goodness for those buttons! Manual leveling looks tedious), slides in, slides out, transferring the cats from truck to trailer and vice versa.  There was preparing for Travel Days: packing a snack, catnip for The Boyz to keep them calm, things like that. 

        Rituals and routines are important at they connect meaning to actions.  It really was a sacred part of our trip and it created a feeling of appreciation for each other that I can’t explain.  We learned to take care of ourselves and each other much better as well.  And now, the memories are some of our most intimate secrets as we are the only two people present in them.  They are also part of what we miss the most since we settled back into a house.

          I hope I have inspired you to try it

          It helped get us out and about and reinvigorated our life and our relationship.  It also changed our perspective on other states, other cultures, God, nature, material things, money, nutrition… the list goes on!  I found out more about who I really am and I realized that I keep that part of me with The Palace.  When I come home, I am the responsible, loving Wife, Mom and Grandma who likes to keep busy with my writing, art and the neverending chores.  But when we enter the fifth wheel, I turn into a hippie teenager who loves to take walks, swim and wear next to nothing if weather permits.  For me, that’s a huge change from who I was: a straight-laced, conforming, insecure woman.  

          If you have been thinking about doing it, I strongly believe you should at least try it for a week or two.  Most of us out on the road long to stay there and many do.  We will, God willing, be doing this full time for a few years to come until we’re ready to settle down.. if that time ever comes.

          I think the more you read about our adventures from the past year, you’ll think more and more about doing! Stay in touch!  Join our mailing list so you’ll know as soon as I post a new share!

          XO

          K

          Comments

          Kohl

          That seems like it would be a super fun experience! Getting to travel around in an RV with other(s). A change of scenery indeed, but a whole different way of living! I have been camping numerous times, and know just how fun that is! What would be your favourite part of living on the road in 400 square feet? Thanks for the article!

          Oct 03.2019 | 07:46 pm

            admin

            My most favorite thing about full time RV traveling is getting to drag my house all over with me.  And when we arrive at a destination, we have a whole new view just outside our front door.  It almost feels like getting the best seat at some kind of event. It never gets old.  And when you’re in the woods, it’s like having a tree house.  I mean, who wouldn’t love that?  Thanks, Kohl.

            Oct 03.2019 | 11:10 pm

          Jordan Smith

          Looks like you having a fun filled life. My wife and I will be soon moving into a 30-ft RV full time while she travel for work (hopefully – that’s the major plan, anyway)!! Getting rid of our stuff was so so challenging, but now that we’ve done it, I wonder what really took me so long! I feel so free!

          Regards!

          Oct 03.2019 | 07:49 pm

            admin

            That sounds like a dream job for her. You should watch some of the RV shows on Great American Country.  Lots of stories of people living on the road. Isn’t simplicity wonderful?  Thank you.

            Oct 03.2019 | 11:08 pm

          Nate Stone

          Hey, 

          So this looks interesting and the scenery looks absolutely breath taking in New Mexico. I’m from the UK and didn’t even know it snowed there, for a long time I’ve been wanting to do a 4 – 6 week trip in the US, travelling across a couple of different states. It’s something I’m going to look at doing next year, New Mexico is most definitely on my list now!

          Oct 03.2019 | 07:49 pm

            admin

            Wow!  That trip sounds like it will be a lot of fun!  New Mexico has some of the best skiing, I’m told.  I also recommend Zion and Bryce Canyon in Utah and Colorado if you’re traveling in the winter and want to see snow.  Have a great time!

            Oct 03.2019 | 11:06 pm

          Jones

          This Is just what I need  right now, an escape form this stressed and boring routine of mine, it’ll help me relax my brain and also catch fun too. I always prefer to pay for the rent alongside every other bills so I’ll know what to spend at once instead of paying one after the other when I’m renting a campground. I’ll share this article to my girlfriend so she’ll check it out, I think New Mexico will be a great place to be. Thanks.

          Oct 03.2019 | 07:57 pm

            admin

            Thank you 🙂  New Mexico has the most beautiful parks and lakes I’ve ever seen. Have fun!

            Oct 03.2019 | 11:03 pm

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