Why Go Small RVing?

Of all the things that I have decided to do with my life, my choice to downsize and live simply has been met with more confusion than perhaps even the choice to go RVing itself. Most people assume that when you have big dreams and ambitions that you want more, and that more is always better.

Even among RVers who all understand the need to downsize, when I brought up that I wanted nothing larger than a ½ ton truck, and then asked what size trailer would be safe to tow with that, many responses that I got when I posted to the Escapees forum in July were to look for a larger tow vehicle.

In answer to the question above, yes, I do want more. More freedom, more fun, and more adventure. And downsizing and having a small RV is going to allow me to live a larger, fuller, happier life. Let me explain how.

The obvious answer is cost. A smaller RV and tow vehicle are going to cost less money to purchase up front. This is very true and certainly a factor that influenced my decision, but it runs much deeper than that. A smaller RV is also less expensive to own in that if I had bought a larger one at the same price as the Casita, it would have been older and/or less well built, meaning that the costs of maintenance along the way would be higher. Either in money to take it to a shop somewhere to get the issues addressed, or in time to fix them myself. If you love fixing things and that brings you satisfaction and joy this is a viable route, but I do not.

So with fixer-uppers out of the picture, a larger rig of a higher quality would have required a loan, or more time spent saving up money. Going small means I don’t need to have debt of any kind in my life, which decreases stress and means I’m beholden to no one else. It’s incredibly freeing to know that I don’t owe anybody anything right now. I don’t need to worry about monthly payments, or not having enough to meet the minimum balance, and that is a huge load off my mind.

It also means that I won’t have to wait years and years to live my dream, like if I had decided to stay at my job longer to save up for a bigger rig. That’s more time spent living the life I want right now and less time delaying my goals to a point in the future that could change based on circumstances outside of my control.

And I think it goes without saying that a smaller rig will mean cheaper fuel prices, which is great because I’m going to be living in an RV to see the country, not sit in one spot indefinitely to save on gas.

The smaller my home, the less I can own. Again, I find this a liberating feeling and a positive instead of a negative. Everything that I have in that RV is going to be extremely useful. The less possessions I have, the less I’ll have to worry about where to keep them, and what would happen if I were to lose them in some way or another. And again, it’ll cut down on costs.

By now you have probably noticed a theme: cutting costs. Why is this so important to me? First of all it’ll leave more money to spend on experiences and life goals, which matter more to me than the number of shoes in my closet.

Secondly, spending less money also means I won’t have to make as much money. In the beginning, this means I won’t have to be taking odd jobs as much and can spend more time traveling in my RV. This benefit will carry over to when I transition from more traditional work to location independent work. I can then spend more of my time doing things I love to do, like learning, hiking, singing, and whatever projects or hobbies I take up while on the road.

Besides the money issues, there are some other advantages to a smaller RV. I’ll have a better selection of parking spots that fit the size of my rig. Older RV parks and campgrounds were made for smaller rigs, particularly state parks. Less worrying about where I’ll fit is a good thing.

Smaller RVs are also easier to maneuver, easier to get around with in cities, and easier to boondock with. In a city setting, many people who own Class B’s engage in stealth camping, which is camping where it’s normally not allowed. They can do this because there RV looks enough like a van where the authorities don’t realize that there is someone actually living in it.

Away from the cities, a smaller RV is going to have an easier time going down rough roads and reaching out of the way places for boondocking than a larger rig will. Although if you go this route with boondocking you still want to be very careful off-roading.

While it wasn’t a factor for me personally, other people start with a small RV because they aren’t really sure what they want until they’ve had a chance to live in one, and this makes sense too. Better to buy something smaller and cheaper as a test run while you work out the kinks and get a feel for what will really end up working for you in the long run.

I know of several bloggers who have written about simple and small living, and they’re all probably better at explaining the pros and cons than I am. If you have any interest in the topic at all, here are some good places to look for more in-depth information:

Chris and Cherie at Technomadia spent a several years living in small travel trailers, first a 16′ T@B tear drop, then a 17′ Oliver fiberglass trailer. Clicking on the links will take you directly to the category page for posts related to their experiences in small TTs.

Sue over at RVSue and her canine crew is a solo full-timer who travels in a Casita with her two dogs, and is a particularly good resource for anyone who is curious about how well dogs travel in a small RV.

Glenn at To Simplify is also a solo full-timer. He travels in a Class B RV with his cat and earns his living as a composer and musician.

And for something just a little different, Tammy over at RowdyKittens lives with her husband in a tiny house on wheels – it’s less portable than a RV but sturdier built.

My future Casita is going to be 17′ in length.  If you’re on the road now, or have been in the past, what is/was the size of your RV?  If you haven’t made your escape yet, what’s the smallest RV that you think you could live comfortably in?

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33 Responses to Why Go Small RVing?

  1. Nancy December 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm #

    Becky, I was very comfortable for 6 months in a 23 ft trailer with my Lab, Jack. I bought a used truck to pull it-bigger than it needed to be so that I would be comfortable one steep mountain grades. I came home because of family commitments, etc., but I think I could have lived the rest of my life in that space. Solo female.
    Nancy recently posted..Did Absolutely Nothing, TodayMy Profile

    • Becky December 22, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

      Thanks for your input Nancy. The truck that I bought used is also a step up from what I’ll need to pull my trailer. Like you I want to be able to do steep grades more easily. 😛 Sadly that means my gas mileage now isn’t as good as it could have been so I’m saving a bit less, but it’ll all work out in the end I’m sure, I still love that truck.

      I think you’re the first person I’ve talked to who had a dog as big as a lab in a small trailer. How did he do traveling?

  2. Nancy December 22, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    At first I had two Labs in a Chalet. That’s one of the little teepee push up side fold down campers. I lost my sweet Lizzie two years ago New Years Eve. Both adapted to traveling very well. Jack was with me for 6 months in the small trailer last year and enjoyed every moment of it. He no longer had the queen bed to sleep in with Lizzie, but I fixed up the couch and table bed so he could sleep with me or have his own bed. (We even had matching sheets) LOL He loved every minute of the trip, and he was great company. I wound up using the queen bed for storage and made a closet with a pole in the bathroom because storage is the biggest issue. In the Chalet it was an issue because there just isn’t any storage, no bath, and I was balancing things on my head! Still, for the most part we lived outside and in inclement weather when I had the two, they slept quietly and content while I read. I always had good rain gear with me so weather rarely stopped us from long walks on trails and swimming, of course!!

    I truly believe it’s not the actual space that can get under your skin, its the inability to organize and have
    things neat. So storage is very important to me.

    Sorry this comment isn’t very well written, but it’s not letting me organize my thought or more truthfully, it may be my brain preventing it. I got little sleep last night and I’m about to pass out. I sure hope if my back holds out, we can hit the road, again in March. I would love to run across you as I wander the backroads. My favorite places are in the northwest. Who knows that may happen. I love the picture of you on the beach. Happy holidays to you.
    Nancy recently posted..Did Absolutely Nothing, TodayMy Profile

    • Nancy December 22, 2011 at 9:13 pm #

      Well, that was a mangled mess. When I had the Chalet, I pulled it with the Jeep. I got a cover for my truck bed so set up, etc., is more efficient.
      Nancy recently posted..Did Absolutely Nothing, TodayMy Profile

      • Becky December 22, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

        Well it made sense to me. There are a 3 floorplans available for the 17′ Casita and I’ll be looking for the Spirit Deluxe – that one has the most storage space. Right now I live in a 1150ish square foot townhouse with a roommate, it’s very spacious and I end up spending the majority of my time at my desk in my bedroom so I really use very little of it.

        I’m going to have to keep my bathroom as a real bathroom though, first because it’s set up marine style with the toilet and shower together, secondly because when I’m boondocking I’ll be needing to use the shower part. 😛 I know some people who have modded their Casitas to add more storage space though, if it becomes an issue for me I have options at least.

        I’m sorry to hear about Lizzie but glad you still have Jack. I’m getting the feeling mature adult pets are easier to RV with than young ones, much less energy and running around – which is a problem with the limited space in a RV.

        I hope your back holds out too, and I would love to meet up with you sometime. I live less than an hour from Hunting Island State Park in SC, that’s where the majority of the pictures on the site come from. It’s a very beautiful place and has camping with RV spots. I’m actually going to be doing a blog post about it in the future once I can get out there again to take pictures of the campground area. In the summers I spend a lot of weekends out there.

        Now I should be getting to bed too as I work bright and early tomorrow morning. Have a good night Nancy, and Happy Holidays to you as well. 🙂

        • Nancy December 22, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

          Both dogs were pups when my husband and I started traveling in an RV. I sold it when I lost him, and decided to get the Chalet so I could give Lizzie and Jack the life that he wanted them to have.

          In the trailer I have, now, I was able to leave my tub and shower in tact and just put the bar across outside the shower curtain. Again, we stayed in the country in our travels where they could enjoy their lives as dogs should. It’s a light weight trailer-2008 Jayco Model 218 http://tinyurl.com/2jj2a7 I got the bunk bend over queen option, took the mattress off the bunk and it gave me a “shelf”, if you will with lots of storage space.

          Hunting Island! I camped there three years ago with Lizzie and Jack and had a wonderful time. It is a beautiful place. others that we hear about so often. I have pictures of the campground–I was there for 8 or 9 days, I think. I’ve camped all along the coast of Georgia in the state parks, too. I don’t camp in the summer in the east.

          That’s what I love about the west, too. Oregon has isolated beaches in off season, and Idaho is a gorgeous state as are all the usual states we know to be beautiful. See what happens when you get me talking about getting out on the backroads? I really am going to bed, now.
          Nancy recently posted..Did Absolutely Nothing, TodayMy Profile

          • Becky December 23, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

            Oh! I actually looked at that Jayco model this past summer when I got to the point where I had decided to get a travel trailer but didn’t know what kind. I loved floor plans that had the bunk bed over a double or queen bed and for a good while I thought that was the kind of model I was going to be getting because it would have allowed my roommate to have a dedicated bed during the times she came adventuring with me.

            I wanted one that had both a dinette and sofa in it for more space for 2 people, in fact in that topic on the Escapee’s forum that’s the kind of model I was referring to in my original post, but it turned out that a 1/2 ton truck would be kind of iffy for pulling the one I liked most. Instead of getting a bigger truck I decided on a smaller trailer. My roommate isn’t going to be traveling with me too often so she’ll just have to make due on the little single bed that the smaller dinette turns into 😉

            I’m sorry for your loss, but glad that you had the courage to go RVing even once your husband was gone. I’m sure the dogs enjoyed it immensely. The beaches on the West coast are definitely on my list of places to visit once I’m RVing. I follow a blog called Wheeling It and the couple who run it spent a good 2ish months or so in Oregon this past fall. Nina, who does most of the posting, is an amazing photographer and her photographs of the area are what inspired me. The blog can be seen here: http://wheelingit.wordpress.com/

  3. Steve December 23, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    What a great adventure you’re starting and thanks for the blog. My first RV was a small 13 foot lark in the “olden days” (1973 when I was just out of college). It served me and later my wife and me nicely for a few years on vacations. Then later a 24 foot Campanion, WOW what room. Time moved on and a 32 foot Montana fifth wheel was next for the multi-month long vacations. Now it’s a 38 foot motorhome. Still need the stick house, but we have hit every state and most national parks.

    Breaking away while your young and not tied down is a wonderful idea … life does change and it seems to only get better, more exciting and bigger.

    We have also enjoyed Hunting Island State Park SC and that cool light house… Good luck on your full timing and your life journey. Be safe

    • Becky December 23, 2011 at 6:43 pm #

      Thank you for commenting Steve. 13′ is small! Smaller than I think even I could handle. I congratulate you and your wife for being able to vacation in something that size.

      I love state and national parks (usually they’re very pretty) and to have been to so many is quite an accomplishment. I’m not sure yet if I’ll make that a goal of mine or not, at least like you said I’ll have a lot of time to sort it out. 😛

      Good luck to you too and happy trails.

  4. Carolyn December 23, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Hello Becky,

    Yeah for you! I wish I would have done something like you are about to do when I was your age. Well, I can’t go back, but I sure can go forward.

    I purchased a 2010 35 cougar fifth wheel with a truck to pull it in Dec 2009. I plan on “most timing” when I retire in1 year 10 months. 🙂 Now, I am doing weekend and some week long trips inbetween working, until my retirement date.

    I camped/RVed with my parents at a young age. Later own I did tent camping, then stopped for years. I dreamed of camping and traveling in an RV for years, but my husband was not interested in traveling or camping. After my divorce, I decided I wanted to travel and camp in an RV. So, I bought an RV and a truck to pull it…that was my divorce present to me. 🙂

    I did a lot of research about RVing, RVs, etc. I thought of what I wanted in an RV and how & where I was going to use it. Everything you said about going small is true. Trust me, I flip-flopped about this for months…small, large, small. I could live in smaller, but decided to go larger with more liveable and storage space. I decided that if after traveling for awhile I want something smaller…I will go smaller.

    I look forward to following you on your travels via your blog. Who knows, we may meet up on the road somewhere.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    • Becky December 23, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

      Greetings Carolyn and welcome to the community! I see you commented on a lot of my posts, I’ll get to the rest of them when I have a bit more time (silly work getting in the way) but in the meantime I’ll respond here.

      As you said, regrets never did anyone any good. What’s past is past and can’t be changed, so instead think about what you can do today to make the most of your life. It sounds like you have a good handle on this, good for you for going RVing by yourself once your ex was out of the picture. 🙂

      My parents took me tent camping every summer when I was little and I have very fond memories of those times, it definitely was part of what made me decide to go RVing. They were anti RV though and thought tenting was the only way to camp. I still love tent camping and go on weekends with my roommate, but I couldn’t see myself living in one full-time (although I do know of a lady who does travel and live in a tent and she seems very happy).

      I would be happy to meet up with you on the road sometime once I’m full-timing – less than 2 years to go for me! I bet the next year and 10 months can’t go fast enough for you.

      Happy holidays! Here’s a toast to a bright future. 🙂

  5. Nancy December 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm #

    Becky, I keep my table/dinette bed down permanently. I put two 3 inch foam mattresses on it. It’s really storage space for one of them because when my kids/grands flew out to see me, I just took one mattress off and put it on the couch which I put down into the bed position. My dinette bed is a full twin which is plenty of room for me and I love having all the windows around me. My bed becomes my couch during a rainy day if I want to read or sometimes I sit out under the awning if it’s warm enough.

    I was fortunate to find my “Big Blue” as I call it. As I said, it was used–3500 Doge Ram Diesel so it has a lot of power. It was dumb luck to find it. I think your friend would be more comfortable on the couch and if you took the mattress off the twin over queen it you have a shelf with a four inch lip so nothing falls out when you ride. I have plastic bins in which I keep my linens, towels, underwear/socks, sweats, and one that holds my electric heater, a small hand held vacuum (My mop goes in the clothes closet (narrow) which only holds a heavy coat or two, and shoes, etc.

    I notice there’s an 18 foot Jayco with a twin over double. I wouldn’t try to convince you about what you should get, but I’ve been happy with the quality of my trailer. I have a feeling my recent water problems are
    my own doing. I think I may have missed a step in winterizing. I wish I could find the specs as far as weight. I don’t know what your towing capacity is, but they are light trailers and they are fiberglass.

    I’m probably repeating myself, but by making the closet, I spend a lot less on laundry when on the road–it’s expensive!

    I’ll be watching your blog because like Carolyn and others, I think it’s great that you’re going to enjoy the great life while you’re young and able. I’m so excited for you.

    I hope I haven’t been too intrusive with my comments, but one last thing I love about my Jayco is the windows. It’s incredible to wake up at the beach to the sound of waves or a river passing right by me.
    Nancy recently posted..Celebrating the Little Things in LifeMy Profile

    • Nancy December 23, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

      I’m sorry. As a side note, I picked up a little table that fits perfectly between the bed and the couch where I keep my computer, etc. Instead of carrying books on my next trip I treated myself to a Kindle and got 5 of my favorite authors on Amazon for 99 cents each, and there are lots of free sites to get free books. Okay, I’ll shut up, now!!!

      I’m assuming since you were at Hunting Island that you must live on the east coast. Lots of great state parks and Corp of Engineer Parks in SC and GA. Love the mountains in NC, too. Okay, okay…I’m outta here. LOL
      Nancy recently posted..Celebrating the Little Things in LifeMy Profile

  6. Nancy December 23, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    I follow Wheeling it, too, and I love Nina.
    Nancy recently posted..Celebrating the Little Things in LifeMy Profile

    • Becky December 24, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

      I’m set on a Casita, I love their design and how lightweight they are. They do have pretty good windows in the back where the bed is.

      I have a kindle as of a couple months ago, like you I got it so I could take my books with me. All I asked for for Christmas from my relatives is Amazon giftcards so I can buy ebooks, haha.

      I live less than an hour from Hunting Island, in Bluffton, SC. That’s how I get to go out there so often. 🙂 This past fall my roommate and I spent a long weekend camping in the Smokies, it was very beautiful!

  7. Sam` December 24, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    My primary needs pointed to a 4 season slide-in truck camper. I purchased an 11 1/2′ camper with a dinette slide-out and on-board generator. From the extended cab-over to the bumper, it’s 19′ overall. It has all the amenities of other RVs, including a dry bath, Everything is compartmentalized requiring no conversions unless I have a guest. Then the dinette doubles as a bed. Weighing in at 4,000 lbs ready to camp, a stout truck is required to haul it. A F-350 diesel dually does the job. I’m nearly 23′ in length overall with the ability to park just about anywhere and capable of living a week or two off grid in any weather with all the comforts of home, ie. air-conditioning, sat TV, phone, internet, etc. A six ton rolling condo achieving 13 mpg is more than respectable. The combination also offers me versatility. The rig looks similar to a Class C. However, with remote controlled electric jacks, I can off-load the “house” into a campsite freeing up the truck to be my daily driver (@ 18 mpg). I don’t need to break camp or require a toad. Small isn’t always the least expensive. One could easily have $70-$80,000 tied up into a brand new rig. It’s the “go anywhere anytime” SUV of RVs.

    In closing, I’ll confess… 161 sg ft. is not quite my ideal full timing RV 🙂 It has served this solo RVer admirably, although it lacks a couple of desired features that are on a “geezer’s” must have list. Of course, I wasn’t a geezer at the time of purchase. LOL But, with one guest aboard, there are a lot of “excuse me(s)”. With three, it’s “Get the H&@! out of my way! . Sometimes I have to go outside just to change my mind. I live out of the camper, not in it. However, a string of bad weather days on occasion has me convinced that a 5th wheel is in my near future when again, one of life’s moments becomes a game changer. LOL

    One thing’s for sure. Nothing remains the same over time. Inspirational dissatisfaction is a strong motivator and your excitement and positive attitude towards the future will make the dream happen. But, just as current needs are driving you toward vagabonding, those needs will also change. Whether it’s considering a larger RV or planning an exit strategy from the lifestyle, you have it within you to either make the right decision or make the decision right. Be well and travel safe, Becky.


    • Becky December 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

      Thank you for your insight Sam. I didn’t include anything about slide-in truck campers in either of my ‘About RVs’ posts because I really don’t know much about them. Now I can say I know a little more. 🙂 I’m surprised that a dry bath, dinette, and bed can all fit in one, I had no idea. That must indeed be convenient. The price tag surprises me a little. A brand new Casita with all the bells and whistles costs maybe $20,000. I can’t afford that, so I’ll be buying a used one. Just as well that I decided on a travel trailer then, considering the costs. Being able to set up a ‘camp’ by leaving the trailer behind and going places with the truck is definitely a positive for me too.

      I think you hit on something with the living out of the camper and not in it statement. I love being outdoors and anticipate being outside in my fold up chair as often as the weather permits. And as I told Nancy, I’ll have all my books available to read on the Kindle at the touch of a button. 😉

      I also hear you about change being inevitable. This is something I’d already thought about. At some point in my life I think I’d like to travel globally and live overseas, but for now RVing excites me the most, so that’s what I’m doing.

      Safe travels to you as well, and happy trails!

    • hitekhomeless (jenn) June 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm #

      Hey Sam, how long have you been in your rig? We have been fulltiming in almost exactly the same rig for four plus years. We sure wish we would have bought a smaller rig. These giant ones really only seem built well enough to handle a nice campsite at a COE park… not the backwoods roads that we had hoped for. Our next rig will most likely be an 8′ popup truck camper.

      What year is you f350 that you are getting 18 and 13mph?
      hitekhomeless (jenn) recently posted..Chicken Pluckin’My Profile

  8. Pleinguy December 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    I’m with you on this Becky. I don’t want the rig to be any larger than absolutely necessary. All the reasons you give are right-on. I looked at the Casita choice you made, but decided on a 23.5 ft Class C instead. I will need to buy used; but, that’s OK because I won’t feel constrained about modifying it to fit my needs. If all works out as planned I’ll be on the road in one year. Best of luck to you.
    Pleinguy recently posted..On the Home StretchMy Profile

    • Becky December 26, 2011 at 8:44 am #

      Aww I always did like Class C’s. It’s that over-the-cab bed, just a fun concept to me. 😉 Glad to see another partner in thinking small. If you’re handy, there is almost no limit to the stuff you can modify with a RV, just about every RVing forum out there has a section for do-it-yourself types. Good luck in your search, and hope to see you on the road someday soon. 🙂

  9. Sophia December 26, 2011 at 8:38 am #

    It is glad to enter into your blog and I have to say you have a amazing style of the life and have a unique idea. The more maybe is not the better. yes I agree with that. Also I am amazing your RVing life.
    Sophia recently posted..Forex Robots Are DangerousMy Profile

    • Becky December 26, 2011 at 9:50 am #

      Thank you Sophia. I’m glad you find the information helpful and inspirational. 🙂

  10. retiredtraveler December 29, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    As a boomer, far older than you, you seem to have your head on straight. We’re not as adventurous as yourself, but have taken the ‘less is more’ approach throughout life and have been able to retire early and travel/camp/hike/bike as much as we care too. I look forward to your future postings.
    So few people seem to find out, until decades later, that owning ‘stuff’ just doesn’t make you happy.

    • Becky December 29, 2011 at 9:24 am #

      Thanks traveler, and welcome to IO. I think coming to the conclusion to do this was a true epiphany for me. I’m so excited to see how it all turns out.

  11. Micki August 28, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    My husband and I decided early on to work less, have less, and see and experience more. In 1977 we traveled from NY State to California in a van and it was addictive. We wanted more. So as time passed, we bought a ’69 Pace Arrow 22′ RV and traveled around the US for a few years, with my young son. Then we bought a 34′ partially converted old school bus, and finished the work on it while living in it on Fiesta Island, off San Diego, CA. You could do that then. We lived in the bus for 10 years traveling cross-country several times. In summers we mined gold in N. Calif with other travelers, and I worked on my stock..creating earrings, necklaces, bracelets and more to sell in the winter. After that we lived in several different RVs. We didn’t stay in parks. We boon-docked, never stayed in campgrounds.
    That is, till we were older. We had foolishly settled down, got the opportunity to sell our house and bought a 34′ nearly new RV. Bad mistake. It meant staying in campgrounds, so we spent 3 winters in Yuma and weren’t very happy there. The RV was too big, too expensive and we don’t like being around people much.
    This is not a new way of life, many thousands of people were living on the road back when we started, and millions now are living full-time in rigs. We worked when we had to, to give our son a good start in life. He went to school in 5 states, and is now at the top of his field in Forest fire-fighting. I mention this so no one will think his needs were not carefully thought out.
    I am now fascinated with the new wave of people who recognize that being free is more important than making money and having more. Having less is actually a wonderful way to live. Being in a small space with the rule that ‘If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t go’ worked for us. We have seen all but 2 of the lower 48 states,
    I am 80 now, if that tells you anything :), and we are ‘sometimes camping’ in the national forests in a passenger van. We mean to buy a camper van soon and go back out for a month or two at a time.
    You have to have a permanent address for just about anything now, so we will keep our sweet little apartment. But we will go back out and boon-dock, and see more of the states around us. Last week we camped free in a National Forest for 3 days and nights and it was wonderful. Living on the west coast gives us a lot of room to roam; Nevada and Arizona are very accessible too. We have only SS but it is enough.
    If you value life over money and a promise of security that may not be kept and want to live free..do it. Don’t give your life up to grind till you are 65 then wonder if you dare go out and do what you always wanted to do.
    Becky your blog is helpful to people just wanting to get off the starting block with some good information.
    Thank you for reading.

    • Becky August 29, 2014 at 6:18 pm #

      And thank you for writing Micki, wow, what a treasure trove of experience. I agree with pretty much everything you say, although I’d like to point out for others who read this that you can go full-timing and not have a fixed address if you’re willing to pay a mail forwarding place to be your “domicile” like I do. Perhaps this doesn’t work in your case Micki with SS checks and stuff, but it has worked for me.

      Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

  12. Katsus October 27, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

    I’m a 72-year-young woman who travels in a 20-ft Rialta by myself unless I pick up a friend for a few weeks of travel. I just returned from a 15,000+ mile trip starting in Seattle to Florida (where I parked the RV and went on a 43 day trip to Carnaval in Rio de Janerio and up the Amazon River – back down too!). Then, after I joined a Rialta Rally for two weeks, I followed warm weather up the east coast to do genealogy in NY, PA, MA, CT, and up into Quebec and Ontario, Canada. I boondocked all but 10 nights of the 6-month trip, went to Niagara Falls and drove the “Going to the Sun Road” in Glacier National Park as well as visiting the Great Smokies and the Blue Ridge areas and some Civil War Battlefields. I averaged 16.5 mpg in my 2005QD Rialta and stopped for showers at YMCAs (I am a Silver Sneakers member) cuz the shower in my RV is less spacious than I like. Stopped at farmers’ markets and grocery stores so I could cook all my meals and eat well (and cheaply!) My DH of 50+ years likes to fly and stay in hotels, but is willing to pay the VISA card, so I go!!! I prefer an RV because I do not have to get out of the vehicle to get into the living area and, because it is so small, I can park on streets and be unobtrusive in parking lots of libraries, hospitals, and malls. I can also leave without going outside if I do not feel comfortable in an area. It’s perfect for me and my hobby!!! Kat

    • Becky October 29, 2014 at 4:35 pm #

      Good for you Kat! Sounds like you had a really fun trip this year. I’ve seen Rialtas on the road before, neat little RVs. And I definitely hear you about little showers. Do you know I’ve lived in my Casita for over two years now and have never showered in it? If I ever trade in for a different RV I think I’ll choose more space over a shower. 😉 I’ve never thought about the YMCA as a place to get showers though, that’s clever.

      Safe travels and happy trails!

  13. Art April 2, 2015 at 6:12 am #

    Hi Becky;

    We lived in a 29ft airstream trailer for 3 years while we were building our off grid passive solar home. The trailer served us well even though it was 25 years old. We would hit the road in October and head to Florida then across to Arizona. Met lots of wonderful people and have many great memories.

    The trailer was big enough for two people and we installed a solar system on it so we could boondock where we liked.

    Once we get our mortgage under control then we will hit the road again for 4-6 months a year.

    WE live on 33 acres about 4 hours north of Toronto, Canada. If you are ever up this way send us a note. You are welcome to camp and explore our area.

    Enjoyed ready your blog. All the best.


    • Becky April 2, 2015 at 8:24 am #

      Hello Art, welcome to IO!

      That sounds like a good way to get a house built; all the comforts of home in a small package while getting the real home built, I like it.

      Airstreams are great RVs and last a long time. I wish you the best of luck with your mortgage and hope you can get back on the road soon!

  14. Terri November 30, 2015 at 7:34 am #

    You are so so so so smart, and I agree, smaller is better, for so many reasons. Now that I have a fifth wheel, I see I don’t need all this space, and the cats don’t either. This morning it was cold and I woke up to find all of them on the bed with me. Well, one has her hiding spot/bed up high in the closet, but usually she’s also with me. And the dog was under the covers. Those are also the nights I seem to sleep the best. We’re all one family all in the small space of the bedroom of my fifth wheel. And I feel content in that part of it too. Plus, it takes less to heat a small space. And cool it!

    So if I go nomadic next year, I’m looking at older class Bs. I’ve got my mind set on it. If I get a smaller trailer like you have, I need to get another tow vehicle because the Mazda2 isn’t going to cut it. And I like the idea of not towing something. Of course, then I might need to look at getting a bike, but exercise never killed anyone, that’s for sure. Or a moped, since we both know I hate scooters and will probably feel safer on a moped. (Something about the balancing portion of it, I think.)

    I’m really enjoying reading all of these older posts of yours. You were wise beyond your years even when you first started the blog. Not that I’m surprised.

    And yes, I definitely would love to meet you someday. I think I’d feel like I’d met a long-lost friend. 🙂
    Terri recently posted..Zion National Park’s Pa’Rus TrailMy Profile

    • Becky December 1, 2015 at 7:52 pm #

      I love snuggling up with a pet on cold nights Terri! It’s such a cozy feeling. I’m glad to hear yours are taking living in the RV so well – that much be a huge load off your mind knowing that they’re comfortable with less space.

      Most people I know with Class B’s have maybe a bicycle if that – mostly they pack up camp and drive the RV if they need to go somewhere and can’t get a ride with someone. The nice thing about B’s is they’ll fit in a standard parking spot so it’s not much different from driving a regular vehicle. If you get a Class B, I wonder where the best place to store the moped would be while traveling. You might need to get a hitch put on the back of it with a storage rack or something, I bet if you go on Google or Youtube you can find answers.

      Glad you found this post helpful, next summer is a ways away yet so you’ve got some time to sort through what you want and don’t want and come to a conclusion. 🙂


  1. My Sites I Follow List…. « Annie Prepares to Hit the Road - August 31, 2012

    […] Interstellar Orchid Lessons on the Journey to full time RV-ing http://www.interstellarorchard.com/2011/12/22/why-go-small-rving/ […]

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