My wife grew up on a farm. She’s always been surrounded by horses, chickens, llamas (seriously…llamas), and open space. After we were married on her parent’s farm in 2009, we moved into a small basement suite in a nice neighborhood to start our life together.
Or so we thought. Turns out the basement was a bit of a dive.
There was mold growing all around the windows, constant noise from the landlord as well as a variety of other issues. We knew that we weren’t going to be able to stay in that place.
Somewhere along the line, somebody suggested that we consider living in an RV. We had access to the space we needed (in-law’s farm), the credit required to get the loan for our trailer, and a simple lifestyle that was well-suited to a 400 square foot living space.
We ended up living in that trailer for 4 years. Eventually we outgrew the space as most people will, but it was a valuable time for us and though RV living has it’s challenges, both my wife and I look back on it fondly.
In the years since then, I’ve recommended to many people that they seriously should consider living in an RV. Below I’ve listed some reasons why.
A crowded camper is better than an empty castle
1. Living in an RV is a great savings plan
Our trailer was a good deal. We paid 31,000 for it delivered to our site. I cared for it carefully over the 4 years we lived there and when we sold the trailer, we held out for the right price and were able to get $26,000. At that time, the trailer was getting closer to being paid off, leaving us with $15,000 that we were able to use toward a down payment on our townhouse. If not for that money, we wouldn’t have been able to get into the place we have now.
2. You’ll learn how to live simply
When you have 400 square feet to live in (plus a couple of storage spaces on the exterior), you learn how to live with little. It was a valuable learning experience for us. Every new thing that came into our home required the removal of something else. We simple didn’t have the space to collect stuff and thus, we both developed a taste for minimalism.
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3. It’s good for a marriage
Ever heard that saying: “don’t go to bed angry”?. Living in a 5th wheel gives it new meaning. When we had a fight, we more or less had to work it out because even if I wanted to sleep on the couch, it was 15 feet away from the bed so I wasn’t accomplishing much. Living in the trailer helped teach us how to resolve issues before they blew up into larger ones. In such small living quarters, you’re always up in your spouse’s space.
4. It’s cheap
Not only can you earn a good-sized chunk of change when you sell your trailer, it’s also pretty cheap to live day to day. Our trailer payment was $450 per month, and on top of that we paid $250 for the space and electricity. Now obviously not everybody is going to have access to that deal, but I bet you can find somebody with land who would be happy to let you park there for far less than a rental would cost. Even if we’d lived down at the local RV park, we’d still have done better monthly than renting a place in our city.
We didn’t travel with our 5th wheel for a variety of reasons, but it’s a great option! Saving money is fantastic but for some the call of the open road may be a stronger motivator. If you want to see your state, country or beyond then an RV is a great option. Long considered the choice of retirees only, more and more young families are hitting the road in RVs.
Downsides to living in an RV
Of course like everything, RV living has it’s downsides. Being that we live in Canada, winter was always a balance of trying to keep the trailer warm while also maintaining some airflow to reduce moisture and humidity.
Another challenge was storage. There just isn’t much of it in a trailer. Though it forces you to live minimally, which is nice, it can be a pain not having room to store extras that you might want to have in your home. There was never a goo place to put my guitar for example.
There were other issues along the way but overall, living in a 5th wheel was a great experience for us. We left with some great memories and some extra money to help us buy a home.
RV living is becoming more and more popular, have you ever lived in an RV? How did you find it?