There is a lot to be said for tiny living. In fact, you may have noticed that there is something of a tiny house movement. Living in a travel trailer full-time offers many of those benefits — less clutter, less house to clean and maintain, smaller footprint. But it also offers unique challenges that the traditional tiny house does not.
5 Things I Have Learned When Your House Travels
- When your house travels, everything has be secured before moving. This means that the coffee pot has to be stored away each time. The little stand in the bathroom that provides essential storage for towels, etc. has to be picked up and placed in the tub alongside the dirty clothes basket before moving.
- When your house travels, it has to be opened and closed before and after use. Our 300+ sq. ft. would be much closer to 250 without the slide-outs. Believe me, I love the slide-outs. They have their own issues, however. When closing up to leave, everything has to be cleared. Ottomans cannot remain in front of the couch. Instead, they have to be stacked on said couch along with pillows, rugs, and any other decorative item that would be left out in a traditional home. Worse, though, is when they are pushed back out. The slide-outs are exposed to the elements and when they are pulled in, they bring a tremendous amount of dust and dirt with them. Each time we arrive at our new “home”, I have to vacuum, sweep, and mop the whole house. Every single time, no matter how tired I am. Trust me after 6 hours of driving, in a truck, with two kids, and a dog, I am tired. (Though in fairness, I should say riding, Mr. Hero is the driver. He’s REALLY tired after 6 hours!)
- When your house travels, it gets dirty! I mean, DIRTY! Travel trailers cannot be driven through a car wash and while water is made available for drinking and septic, the parks rightfully frown on it being used to wash the trailer. Truck/trailer washes are few and far between and RV cleaning services are expensive. Our sparkling white trailer of a year ago now ranges in various states of grey as we pray for a cleansing rain to follow with a towel wipe-down (the parts we can reach, that is).
- When your house travels, it is much harder to conserve and be green. While we are certainly using much less electricity and water than before, our ability to buy in bulk and consume less packaging is very difficult. I used to have a giant tub of re-useable snack containers. I have no place for these now. I don’t have a place for the big box of snack to start! This has become an issue. Also, I used cloth napkins and towels almost exclusively. I no longer have a washing machine. If we are between locations and I run out of cloth, I have no choice but to use paper. I can only buy so many cloth towels! My drawers are overflowing. And by drawers, I mean three. For the whole kitchen.And surprisingly, many of the state parks don’t have recycling facilities. Really! This blew me away as they are supposed to be the bastion of conservancy. We bought a popup recycle box to try to recycle what we can but again in our closed down state of 250 sq. ft., we can’t become a recycling center. Though we almost pulled of the Kramer-Newman scheme as we did bring a few non-NY deposit cans into NY for recycling. 🙂
- Finally, when your house travels, every morning is truly a new day. I can wake up in a completely different state than the day before. It is an amazing feeling to open my eyes and look out at an entirely new “backyard”. I have “lived” in the desert mountains and lakeside. I have awoken in Big Bend and the Appalachians. And that’s why I put up with the other four. Because there is nothing like living everywhere you want to go.
I am sure as our travels continue, this list will grow. I think that’s part of the adventure. We are constantly learning and adjusting. Even after three full months on the road, I feel like we are still finding our
sea land legs. Needs and wants are being adjusted to fit this life; a life where our house travels.