We Are Not On Vacation
The Truth About Full-Time RV Living
I used to be the kind of person that couldn’t function in the morning until I had my breakfast and coffee. I would roll out of bed grumpily, put on slippers and a warm hoodie or housecoat and make my way to the kitchen without speaking (I’m lucky to have a husband that’s a morning person, so he would attend to our daughter first thing). After about 20 minutes of eating and sipping coffee I became human again and could do regular things like talk to my family.
Life in the RV doesn’t allow for that way of being though. You see, when the kitchen table must be “built” every morning by folding it out of someone’s bed, one has no choice but to work for their breakfast. The routine is mundane:
- Put away
our “nightstands” (our tiny baskets of books and journals that fit neatly under
- Build the
couch: shove the pillows on the top bunk and either fold up the blankets or
neatly lay them out (for a lovely slip cover!)
- Remove the
luggage from the kid’s bed and put it on the couch, now that there’s space for
- Shove all
the stuffies onto the top bunk and neatly make her a new bed on the bunk so we
can still use the kitchen table at nap time.
- Turn the
kid’s bed into the kitchen table.
- Move the
electric heater from the kitchen to the front cab so that we can move.
Thankfully, while I’m doing this Cody has usually started on the coffee. So, by the time I’m done we can all sit down at the table and eat together.
What would a regular family do next? Washing seems in order, which isn’t too bad except that the water is always cold and usually Cody needs to go outside to get us more. We take turns brushing our teeth and washing our faces in our tiny bathroom while the other is getting dressed in the “kitchen.” If we are showering that day we would first need to pack our bag – flip flops, towel, shampoo and soap, and a change of clothes – before heading to the communal bathrooms. We weren’t sure Reesen (4) would be okay without her usual bath, but she is adjusting to showers quite nicely!
We try to get out of the “house” everyday. When we were actively on tour we were busy all the time but now that we are settled for the coldest part of winter we are careful not to get stir-crazy in our tiny home. We go for long walks and I take Reesen to as much free kid’s programming as I can find. We take turns working - building hoops, processing orders, planning events and training. Still, Cody is hunting for a seasonal job to supplement our income since we can’t make much money when we’re not teaching classes or hosting instructor training.
After lunch its nap time and we have an important decision to make: do we want to stay in the motorhome the entire time or stay out of the motorhome the entire time?
If we want to stay in the RV then we must set-up Reesen’s bed on the top bunk, carefully lining up the luggage around her so she doesn’t fall, but also committing to staying in the RV the entire time to supervise. If we want to stay out of the RV – maybe to hoop outside if the weather is nice or do laundry – then we can set up Reesen’s bed on the couch. We requested a site really close to the main office (bathrooms and laundry) so we can use the baby monitor to keep tabs on her, but if she’s on the couch then there’s no going back into the RV once she’s asleep. She would sleep through a bomb at night, but if we opened the door during her nap she would be up immediately and very grumpy after that. (I know, I know, I have a 4-yr old who still naps so I won’t complain about the logistics!).
In the evening, we prepare our supper on our propane stove or toaster oven, boil water for dishes, and repeat the morning routine in reverse. We might leave the RV for Reesen to fall asleep and once she’s out we can return and chat, make a snack or even listen to music without waking her.
Maybe we want to snuggle up and watch some TV together? No big deal. We just have to get out the folding stool to build a TV stand, get out the laptop and either connect the external hard drive with all our shows or get Netflix going. Just don’t think about going anywhere now, because the only place for the “TV” is in front of the door.
Now I’m not saying that full-time RV life is any harder than life before, I’m just saying that, unlike how it might look, we are not on vacation. We have work to do everyday and if we had the time and money to go “sight-seeing” we would have the added work of packing up the RV to drive it (don’t even get me started on that routine).
But, in many ways, life is a lot easier.
For example, I can clean my entire house in under 10 minutes! I’m talking clean the bathroom, wipe down the counters, vacuum, and wash the floors – heck if I wanted to change the sheets, clean out the fridge and wipe down all the cupboards I’d be looking at maybe half an hour! The laundry never piles up because there’s nowhere to put it, and projects are finished once they’re started because there’s no room for that either!
With less space there is less stuff, which leaves me with a little less to worry about.
Sure I fantasize about a bigger RV – one with a separate bedroom for Reese and enough floor space to do a plank. But there was always something else I thought I needed when I lived in a bigger house too.
And what does Reesen think of this lifestyle?
She has declared that she will live in Osoyoos when she grows up and build a house with room for us in the basement, she is excited to go on tour again and specifically wants to see the ocean and Nova Scotia, her and Tori the cat have seriously bonded…
… but should we do this forever? “HA! No, Mom!”
- Until next time,
Katelyn, Cody, Reesen & Tori the Cat @ hoopplay.ca
We are having so much fun on the road that we’ve decided to keep going! Starting in March we’re going to take Hoop Play across Canada, coast-to-coast, ending up in Moose Jaw next August for the last Connect Festival! We’re working on the tour details right now, but we plan to host Level One & Two Instructor Certification in major cities across the country! Learn more about our program at www.hoopplay.ca