In our 47 years of marriage, we’ve lived in nine different homes. A few more than some people, and a lot less than others. In this season of life, we’ve transitioned from a six-bedroom 4200
square foot home where we hosted all of the family events, (even the birth of our first grandson), to now living in a 420 square foot fifth wheel travel trailer in the mountains of Colorado where it’s hard to get anyone to come and visit. Did we come upon hard times and need to make this change? Not at all, we actually chose to make this life change because it provides the lifestyle we’re loving in this season of life.
As a fishing guide, Bob has always wanted to live in the mountains close to his fishing lakes, my work as an executive virtual assistant allows me to work from anywhere I have an internet connection. After much research, looking at RV’s online and attending trade shows (pre-COVID 19), and watching numerous YouTube videos, we made our selection. We chose a 2020 Grand Design Momentum 395m toy hauler. While I really liked the models that have a large living room space in the top front of the 5th wheel, having the garage in the back gives us a lot of storage space that we need in this stage of life including a large food/kitchen pantry, washer/dryer, and a freezer. These are luxuries indeed in an RV.
Many people our age are hitting the road and exploring this great country of ours. I grew up as a military child and then worked for many years in a position that had me travel the country as well as international. I loved every minute of it; however, I have no desire to travel in our RV and Bob needs to be close to “his” lakes. We found a beautiful, well-kept RV park for long term stationary tenants that meets our need perfectly at this time. Who knows what the future might bring?
So, how’s it all working out? We get this question a lot as well as a few others that might help you talk to your partner if you are thinking about living in an RV.
How’s it all working out? Well, it’s different and it’s tight. Bob is a packrat, and we still have a storage unit that needs to be eliminated. When fishing season is in full swing, the place if full of fishing supplies and that gets on my nerves. We are finding that traditional spaces can be used for alternative functions. Our loft, for instance, is not going to be used for sleeping so we’ve turn it into a storage unit. When/if Bob is able to part with some of his “stuff” we’ll have more room. I on the other hand find it easier to let go of things, sometimes too early and find I need to repurchase it. This can be just as frustrating.
Do we get claustrophobic in our “tiny” home? This past winter we not only experienced "COVID", but a cold and very snowy winter and we didn’t get out much. If we had a different or smaller RV, it honestly might have been a bit more claustrophobic. We have opposing slides that makes our living room
larger than some and allows us to each have our own space. We also have a couple of neighbors that we get together with and who visit periodically. One of the keys I’ve found to keeping a feeling of spaciousness is to keep the place tidy. Clutter equals a loss of space which is at a premium in our home.
Is it difficult to be with each other 24/7? Yes, it is. Bob was a firefighter by trade and therefore spent 24 hours at a time at the fire department. When our son was young, they would be gone on weekend overnighters and weeklong camping trips. Later in our marriage, my job sent me around the globe, and I was gone up to a month at a time. Time away from each other actually gave us a bit of space to be ourselves and enjoy things the other might not find as enjoyable. Now, however, as semi-retired folks, working from home, things are very different. We are with each other 24/7, at least until the fishing season. Actually, it is nice to have your best friend with you a great deal of the time. But in a small space, you can’t get away from each other easily and the COVID-19 pandemic made it even worse.
So how do we handle that? Well, Bob has learned to pick up after himself a bit more and I let things lie as needed. We both pitch in on cooking and keeping the dishes washed and put away. When one of us is not feeling well, the other takes over their chores so things don’t get overwhelming. Summer allows us to enjoy spending time together tending the flowers on our deck and enjoying the deer and other wildlife in the evenings from our patio and of course fishing.
Everything takes work, including marriage and especially transitioning to living in a tiny home. When you think of the other person as much or more than you think of yourself, it makes just about everything work.