We’ve just past the “one month” mark of our adventure on the road. Here’s what I’ve realized and some initial impressions:
1. I Really Like our New Home
We’re still getting used to things, like you would in any new house. (What drawer did I put the duct tape in? Where are the cotton balls? Why is the shower head at that height?) I like to take walks and look at the other travel trailers and the more I see the more I realize that we chose well for our lifestyle and needs. Our trailer is just big enough where we can all have our own space. We don’t feel cramped or step over each other at all. I can vacuum the entire place in 2.65 minutes! There’s no grass to mow and there’s much less noise from neighbors. There’s no dishwasher, which I always used as an excuse for a clean (or dirty) dish storage location. Having less “stuff” means having less to worry about. Finally, I love that we can pack up and be in a new place whenever we want.
2. I Don’t Miss TV
After falling asleep to the TV every night for the last 20-some years, I expected to have a hard time getting to sleep without it. Actually, I’ve had no trouble! I’m sleeping better because I’m not waking up in the middle of the night to the light and noise. (I’m still waking up to Survival Cat meowing in my face at 4:00 AM however.) Instead of wasting my evenings mindlessly watching cable TV, I can mindlessly surf the Internet, read a book, or go somewhere interesting. (We went to the beach last night and tonight!) There are a couple shows I miss, but most of them can be found online. With all our devices, there’s no shortage of digital access.
3. My Work Schedule is Exactly the Same
Working from home, and working from my new trailer home are exactly the same. I connect to the same Internet and login to the same local and remote computers as before. The only thing that has changed is the scenery out the window. As long as we travel to locations with good cell service, I’m able to work and be just as productive as usual. I get my Internet access through my cell phone. I always check to make sure we’re close to one or more cell towers before we lock in our next location. I also have a cell booster and a back up plan in case it’s ever needed.
4. The Trailer Isn’t Complicated
We’ve learned so much in a short amount of time! Once you get the hang of the nuances of the trailer, it’s really not that complicated. It took us a while to get the water flowing, we refilled a propane tank yesterday, and I’ve learned how to use a lighter to turn on the oven. (Not that I have any business using the oven!) We think the maintenance will be much easier to keep up with than in a sticks and bricks house. I find some activities a bit hard on my back (ex: cranking the stabilizer jacks up or down, crawling out of the bedroom in the morning, etc) but I’m certain I’ll be able to find a way to do it differently.
5. Roadside Assistance Was a Good Purchase
I’ve never had roadside assistance before, but I was sure glad to have it when we had three tires blow out in one weekend! It’s already paid for itself. Having it for both the truck and the trailer (which are separate insurance policies) was a smart call.
6. The Trips are Getting Better
I still don’t like barreling down the road with a pickup truck towing a travel trailer, but it has gotten easier. Each trip is a little better than the last because we’re able to plan better each time. Now I know that we need to plan our stops and pre-research our route. (No more just following wherever the GPS says, like you can do in a car. I miss the simplicity and flexibility of my Smart car!) Instead, we plan gas fill-ups at truck stops, bathroom breaks at rest areas, and pack lunches all so we don’t get in a situation where we have to stop. I try to plan as much as possible for all the variables. We still haven’t tackled tolls and tunnels yet. (Eeek!) We’re starting to develop a routine where we “pack up” and put the slides in the night before, so there’s less to do on “roll out” day.
7. Endless Possibilities Are Ahead
With this lifestyle, we can go anywhere a (truck friendly) road can take us. That’s an exciting possibility! We’ve camped at five different locations in three states so far. We’ve been traveling approx 4 hours each weekend. I suspect we’ll slow it down a little bit in the near future.
I started this adventure so I could see the National Parks, see states not yet visited, tour more Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, and experience different foods. That plan is full steam ahead!
As Kayak Chris puts it: “We don’t have it all figured out yet, but we are getting closer to how we should be living!”