And now part II of our transition from living in a 700 square foot cabin in the woods to a 31 foot Class-C RV. In case you missed part I, click here.
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First Modifications (desk/dinette/lounge area)
While packing up, Shane found himself becoming frustrated with the desk situation. He has quite the set up for his remote work, that includes a full desktop computer along with 3 monitors. Therefore installing a proper desk was a priority. As for me, I’m more of a mobile worker. Give me my laptop, a flat surface inside or out and I’m good to go. (Seriously, I could set up on a beach somewhere.) After looking around online and not finding what he was looking for, I made a suggestion. Turned out to be a game changer. We kept Shane’s desk he used in the cabin just in case we could use it. After measuring the RV sofa space area, we determined it would fit perfectly. No need to buy another desk and within an afternoon, his work station was set up.
After taking out the sofa I knew we would need an inside lounge area for those not so great weather days. Again utilizing what we already had I made a modular lounge area out of the dinette area. It works perfectly and allows us to still use the dinette during the day as a desk and place to eat. At night, with a quick configuration change, we have a place to hang out and relax.
Our First RV Travels
Paynetown SRA – Bloomington, IN
After loading up our rig and still needing a few additional items we hit the road for our old summer stomping grounds, Lake Monroe. Lake Monroe is near the college town of Bloomington. This gave us access to a nice view for a few days along with plenty of stores to finalize our list of items needed. Our first campground experience in the RV was Paynetown Campground, right on Lake Monroe. We were there through the week plus it was early April so the place was largely empty. We found a great spot overlooking Lake Monroe. Bonus, the next day was warm enough for our first kayaking of the year. Getting back out on the lake felt wonderful and even better to know our home was a mere 5 minutes away after a fun day on the lake.
Yellowwood – Nashville, IN
With the weekend approaching and higher prices at Paynetown we loaded up and headed another 30 minutes east to Yellowwood State Forest. This campground was primitive with no hook-ups and their water was still off for the season. But with a generator, freshly filled water tanks at Paynetown and empty waste water tanks, we were good to go for the weekend. Turned out to be rainy 3 out of the 4 days we were there. But we were lucky to have one day to get out on Lake Yellowwood and kayak yet again (twice in one week!). The rest of the time we spent getting work done and organizing our rig even more.
Benson Campground – Cassopolis, MI
From there we headed on up to Michigan to visit with Shane’s family and park it for a bit while we put the finishing touches on our new home. With a home base to park, plug in to electric, and have packages delivered we were set for a bit. Plus the added bonus of wonderful quality time with his dad, step mom and other family members. We really enjoyed our stay at their house. Finally getting back to our yoga practice and trading in our breakable dishes for wooden ones. Doing our own thing mostly during the day and meeting up for dinner in the evenings, making us great house guests. We bring our house with us! It was mostly colder with a little bit of snow one day. We managed to run out of propane our last night there due to running the heat so much.
Our biggest challenge faced thus far was finding items we needed locally. It really became frustrating. We would go to multiple stores and sometimes find some of what we needed but more often than not walk out mostly empty handed. With RV living there are several specific things you need and finding those things proved to be rather difficult. We were so used to ordering things on Amazon and not needing to drive from store to store. Without a nearby address to ship things to we found ourselves spending a lot of time shopping in store. I should point out neither of us are big on shopping. Once we parked up at Shane’s family’s house we were finally able to order some remaining items and finalize the rig.
We had to fix a few things early on. Our house batteries had to be replaced, took us a couple of days to realize that. But that was an easy fix. We had a small leak from our water pump. It seems a valve worked it’s way opened and we only realized it once the carpet was slightly damp. Spent an afternoon pulling carpet up and used a fan to dry underneath. No major damage from that. Then when we parked in Michigan, we inadvertently plugged into 220 instead of 110. Fried a couple of our surge protectors for the computer. Thanks to Shane’s brother we were able to determine it also fried our converter box. He was able to get us one from his work and installed it for us. Dodged a bullet there, as it could have fried all of our electrical systems. We now have a surge protector we use anytime we are plugged in, which will protect from that happening again.
Lastly, Shane has had frustrations getting things in place and working for his remote work. One of his responsibilities involves hosting webinars for a trading site. Some of the challenges he faced include; working with a smaller set-up during the move/transition, getting the hotspot set up and working properly, webcam and mic issues, dropped connection mere minutes before he is supposed to go live (due to the hotspot overheating), and getting his work space set up in general.
A quick note: thus far we have had a reliable internet connection through our AT&T hotspot but I’m sure down the road that will not be the case adding to our challenges faced. In our case having internet is important as we are working remotely from our RV.
Pros + Cons
- Quality time with family
- Simple life – less stuff
- New views and experiences, plenty of exploring
- Time – not feeling rushed
- Way better than tent camping
- Always have your house and stuff with you
- It’s fun and different each day
- Obtaining items needed locally
- Lack of physical address for orders/important mail
- Fixing all of the things that come up
- Getting settled and figuring it all out
- Being aware of power, water, and data usage
- Finding places to park, fill up, and dump
What We Think of It
I must say overall and in all honesty we are loving our new lifestyle. It’s taking us some time to get settled in and find our new normal. But despite that this fits us so well. It’s like our time at the cabin was training us for this new adventure. We have both commented on how much we love our new space while hanging out and just taking it all in. Since picking up our RV we’ve had more rainy and cold days than nice ones. Thus plenty of quality time spent inside the rig. It is a small space, yet we have adapted quite easily to it. My son and his wife came down to visit us while in Yellowwood and he later commented on how easily we seem to have adapted.
It’s exciting to think we can go wherever we want, practically when we want. Sure we have to plan ahead and make sure we will have internet when needed for both of us to do our work remotely. But the ability to visit people we haven’t seen in awhile and explore new places on our time table is priceless. We have already taken advantage of our flexibility and stayed at campgrounds Sunday through Wednesday when most are cheaper and less crowded. Then finding other options for the weekends to save on costs and busier times.
I look forward to many new adventures to come. Plus we have learned so much in the last month with more to learn as we go. I am so happy we decided to go for it and make a big change in our life. Despite the frustrations and challenges along the way, the good things far outweigh the negative.