Our desire to travel is huge and we were always going to do it someday. Then, about a year or so ago, Richard had his second heart attack and that day turned into now! Let’s not wait! Because, let’s face it … none of us actually ever know what might happen tomorrow. The only time we actually have is the present, the future is not guaranteed! And that’s what started us looking at all the options available to us within our very small budget. We realised that we would never get there if we didn’t make some serious lifestyle changes.
So in our quest to downsize and live life a little cheaper, we gave up our home and went on a drive to sell all our “stuff”. Isn’t it amazing just how much we collect in a short space of time? Even when we don’t plan to?
It’s like there’s a space so it must be filled, right? Totally not intentional, but it simply happens and before you even realise it … poof! You have “stuff” in every nook and cranny.
The same applies to the budget. We seem to grow into the money we have available to live on. Saving should be completely normal and part of our budget but … it seems to be put aside until you have something specific to save for and often life just keeps on moving along and the days run into months and then into years and suddenly we realise that we haven’t got to that dream yet!
Anyway, I digress … this is a background to how we got to be living in a motorhome and having to deal with all the little things, that one would never normally think of, that comes with small space living! Did I say small space? It is minute compared to a house but more about how we cope with that later.
This blog is to help anyone thinking of making this change with some items that you would not even consider in normal day to day living.
- FLYING DEBRIS AND MISSILES
Anything and everything that is not either nailed down, firmly attached to be walls, floor or roof or restrained in some manner will either fall over, shift and/or become a flying missile when you negotiate bends and corners!
The fear of being stabbed or de-capitated is real people! So… make sure you secure everything that can move. This is not something one has to deal with when living in a fixed abode so until it happens … it never enters your head.
Drawers will fly open and the contents will be strewn everywhere! You will have to put some sort of locking system in place. There are a number of ways to do this, but we have found that the cheapest that also is not an eyesore is simple childlocks. You could also use those catches that are screwed on and simply twist to hold the door in place, on the outside of cupboard doors or drawers, but they can be unsightly and if you are like me … then you will bash yourself on them whenever you walk by and end up looking all bruised and battered. So simple cheap childlocks that are fitted inside will do the trick and save you from damage as well as prevent the contents escaping.
- YOUR VEHICLE IS HIGHER AND WIDER
This is something you have to really think about and get used to in the beginning. It may seem obvious but we all normally drive regular cars on a day to day basis and that is automatic. I mean, you just know how high and wide your car is, don’t you? You don’t have to stop and think about whether you can go into a multi story carpark or into a shopping centre parking area. But … in your motorhome … this is not so simple! Any parking area that has a boom or height restriction will be out of bounds for you. There are a whole lot of multi-story car parks that also have height restrictions as well as very tight bends to negotiate to the various levels. Believe me, your motorhome will not fit in and neither will it be able to get round those tight bends … not without carrying out 22 point turns and holding up everyone in a rush to do their shopping!
Then, of course, there are narrow country roads to consider and sometimes you get there unintentionally! A wrong turn, a misreading of the satnav … you can’t simply back up or do a u-turn as easily as in a car. What about overhanging trees, side branches sticking out into the road, low bridges?? All these things can remove or damage your side mirrors, take off whatever you have on the roof. eg your TV aerial.
If it sounds like we have experience with this … believe me we do! We once had a tv aerial … hahaha …. Now we don’t even have a TV. We have found that it’s not worth the space it takes up and there are much more interesting things to do than watch TV.
On the bright side … you very quickly adjust once you have to replace a few necessary items!!
- TEMPORARILY PLACING SOMETHING ON THE ROOF
My advice is don’t use the roof to store anything temporarily because you will forget you put it there, even though you tell yourself that you definitely won’t, and it will fly far and wide on the very first corner you take … We had a shower tent once!
- REMEMBER TO CHECK UNDER YOUR HOME BEFORE MOVING
Always check under your vehicle before you move off, even if you’re just going to refill the water tank!
Most motorhomes and caravans have very restricted living space and a number of items live outside and quite often under the vehicle from the minute you arrive at your pitch, simply so that you have some room to actually move about and use the inside space more effectively. For example … deck chairs, and outdoor tables, buckets and basins to name but a few. Squished and crooked chairs and tables don’t work very well we’ve found. Once you have driven over them they are no longer fit for purpose and you will have to re-purchase. Not good for the budget!
- CHECK THE WHOLE VEHICLE BEFORE MOVING OFF
You will need to remember to check the whole vehicle, under, around, roof top, inside and outside, before moving off. I suppose this is sort of like checking that your house is locked up before you go off on a holiday, which you would obviously do, wouldn’t you?
With your Motorhome, you need to do this every time you decide to move. Make sure all skylights are closed or they may very well be ripped off by either by the wind along the road or overhanging branches etc. You do not need a hole in your roof and/or yet another essential item to replace.
Nevermind about having to execute repairs on the roadside as well.
The same applies to windows … these items will be seriously missed if you lose them and you will if they are not properly secured before hitting the road.
Again, check all internal doors, drawers etc are secured with whatever method you decide to use before moving. It is extremely frustrating to hear the tell tale sound of something flying across the room and hitting the floor and knowing that the first thing you have to do when you stop is clean up the mess and repack what was already packed, thus delaying the start to your relaxing holiday or trip! Or replace due to breakages …
This does all become automatic to do in a very short space of time … it is simply another way of life, a new lifestyle.
So – DON’T RUSH – leave yourself enough time to get to where you are going and enjoy the ride!
These vehicles (ours especially) are not speedy … Going nowhere slowly is more like it, but the holiday starts when you start the vehicle and hit the road!
And the best part, according to Rich is, no matter where you are or where you stop, when you close the door and the blinds … You are home!