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Full Time RV Living
The Final Report, 2005

King of the Road RV Club Rally, Tucson, AZ
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What is the attraction to RV living? For me, it has always been several things. I like the idea of waking up some place new each day, exploring a new geography and meeting then talking with new people. I also like the idea of “compact” living. I always seem to have trouble keeping my stuff organized when there is enough room to spread out, I do much better when I must keep everything in the right place because of the smaller space. I guess this is “forced” organization. I prefer to be organized and neat although my desktop never looks like it. With this experiment, once parked, I did not move the fifth wheel for seven months so the enjoyment of RV living must have been the “compact” living and being in the mountains during all my off hours. This just means that I have the “travel part” of RV living to look forward to. The last “attraction”I must admit is the enjoyment of towing the trailer behind the pickup. It’s a new driving challenge and it’s enjoyable standing-up to the challenge.

Towing the RV

In my midterm evaluation I mentioned advantages, disadvantages and problems which needed a solution. The advantages are strong enough that Gwen and I have already committed to another season at the lake. This time, however, we will clean out, and

Howard Prairie Lake Resort

then rent our house which is a huge step for us. We don’t expect to return to our house in the fall but will continue living in our fifth wheel at another location after the resort has closed for the season. I know for most, this would be a difficult decision because it means either storing possessions or selling/giving them away. In our case we will not store anything so all our possessions must fit into the fifth wheel. I have been through two divorces, so you might think this would come easily since I’ve had to start-my-life-over twice. Just from observation, I think it has come easier than for most. I see my neighbors laboring over mowing their lawns, making house repairs or spending their entire weekends in maintenance projects. I don’t want to become a “slave” to the property I own, I’d rather be traveling, hiking, kayaking or biking. Even so, when Gwen and I start setting aside all the things we’ve gathered to sell or give away we struggle to not think of what those items cost or the reminders of past-life-experiences we might be losing. I think there is also a haunting feeling that we will be “homeless’ even though we still own the house. So there must be something awfully good about living full-time in an RV. It certainly won’t be much of a change when I finally retire and we get to add “travel” to RV living.


There are still problems which need solutions but many of those have been solved or are in the process of solution. Keeping the carpets clean was the first problem I mentioned. We still use the hand held vacuum which works well but remembering to remove shoes at the door has been difficult and the inconvenience of removing those shoes is still a pain-in-the-back. Another solved problem, we purchased the equipment to give us 24/7 Internet access. This was a substantial investment but has made RV living much better for us. Finally, the external cell phone antenna works to solve our cell phone reception problem about 85% of the time. That seems to be good enough for us.

We still have problems needing solutions. The rocking motion of the trailer is to be tackled next week. I’ve designed my own rear stabilizer jack arms to stop the motion. I have purchased the raw material and will have the welder install them next week. I’ll report on those after we have a chance to test them. Gwen and I would really like to have a better entrance platform, real stairs leading to a platform before entry into the trailer. This would eliminate the folding steps which we currently use. The next project is to build a “shelter” for the shower skylight.


The shower is only a few feet from our bed, rain causes a drumming sound on the plastic skylight. This drumming is disturbing to our sleep so a solution is needed. The final mid-term problem is the US Mail. By next April we will need an alternative mailing address other than our Grants Pass home.

The purpose of our experiment was to learn if Gwen and I would continue to enjoy the RV lifestyle when living in the RV full-time. We are active, outdoor people; we spend much of our free time doing recreational activities away from our living quarters. We don’t want the responsibilities of home ownership making us “slaves” to our property and living in 350 square feet has not changed our active life style. For these reasons, over the next year, we are choosing to go the next step of year-around RV living.

On the road again
January 26, 2006: Update on solving the paper-mail problem. We have chosen a UPS Store within walking distance to my office in Medford to solve the US Mail problem. If you rent a box for one year, you get three months free. But that's not the only reason to rent a box here. This location will accept shipments from all carriers. They will also check your box when you call to learn UPS Store
if you have mail. Eventually, I could use this store to forward my mail to a distant location. I hope to have all paper mail eliminated before that day arrives. Once we have changed our mailing address, we will not have to worry about holding our mail in Grants Pass or visiting Grants Pass to pickup paper mail when we are away for lengthy periods.
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