When people find out we live in an RV, we get a lot of different reactions. Some think it’s cool, some change the subject, and some think we’re nuts.
Despite the range of responses, people always ask us the same questions. We’re surprised by the things they want to know, because for us, living in an RV hasn’t been much different than living in a house.
Why did you move into an RV?
We did everything we were “supposed” to do (go to college, get “normal” jobs, buy a house, etc.) and it made us miserable.
We had jobs that ran us ragged, lots of student loan debt, and a house that wasn’t worth what we paid for it after the housing market crash.
Through Levi’s travel for work, we fell in love Tucson, Arizona. We knew we wanted to end up there, and we didn’t want to make the home buying mistake again.
Renting didn’t appeal to us, so we went the RV route. We both love nature and travel, wanted change, and have laid back personalities, so this life is a good match for both of us.
What kind of RV do you have?
We have a 2006 Fleetwood Discovery Class A diesel pusher. She’s not perfect, but she’s ours and we love her. We found her at a small RV dealership on a farm near Toledo, Ohio.
Where are you from?
We’re from two small towns in north central Indiana, USA. We lived near Anderson, IN for a number of years and worked in Indianapolis, IN.
If you don’t know what Indiana is like I’ll sum it up for you: corn, potholes, and snow. All kidding aside, we had lived there for long enough and were ready for something new and different.
Do you travel or just stay in one place?
We call Tucson, AZ home, and for now we’re parked in one place. We’ll take trips in our car to places like New Mexico and northern Arizona from time to time, and we plan to take our motorhome on trips to keep her moving and in good shape.
This makes us a little different from other full-time RVers we’ve met, and that’s okay.
How did you end up in Tucson?
We always knew we wouldn’t stay in Indiana, we just weren’t sure where we’d end up. Florida was the easy answer because I have family there.
Levi traveled to Tucson for work over a period of 6 years and fell in love with it. He took me to Tucson at different times of the year, and I fell in love too. The rest is history. We made a plan and worked our asses off to get here.
What do you do for work?
I worked in medical device quality and regulatory compliance for almost 10 years, but always wanted to try starting a business. I left healthcare in 2015 and ran a small digital marketing and virtual assistance service for a year.
I decided that wasn’t for me, and in late 2017 I began a career change into web development.
Levi is a former biomed technician turned HIPAA compliance for connected medical devices guru. We can work from anywhere as long as we have an internet connection, and Levi travels a lot so as long as he’s near an airport it doesn’t matter where he lives.
Where do you put your stuff?
A lot of our stuff is in a storage unit in Indiana. In the RV, we use our basement (under the RV) storage a lot. Fleetwood did a great job building in places to store things, so it hasn’t been a problem for us.
We also have a large closet in our bedroom and a lot of cabinets and drawers to utilize.
How do you cook?
Our motorhome has a propane stove, cooktop, and a convection oven. We also grill outside and use our Instant Pot a lot. Overall, it’s not much different from how we cooked in our house.
Where do you, uh…you know, go?
We use the toilet in our RV. When we flush, it goes into what’s called a black tank. When the black tank starts to get full, we dump it into a sewer line.
It scared us when we were thinking about moving into an RV, but it’s not a big deal. And if anything ever goes wrong with our on-board toilet, the RV park we’re at has restrooms.
How do you shower?
We use the shower in our motorhome. Many people have told us horror stories of not having enough room, having to take “Navy showers” where you shut the water off while you’re sudsing up, and running out of hot water.
That hasn’t been our experience. We’ve never run out of hot water, and showering is not an issue for us. If it ever becomes an issue, the RV park we’re staying at has showers.
How do you put up with each other in such a small space?
It has never been a problem for us, as we enjoy each other’s company. We got along when we lived in a house, and we get along now that we live in an RV.
When Levi travels, he looks forward to coming home and I miss him while he’s gone. Guess we’re just lucky!
Why did you choose a class A motorhome?
We chose an older Class A diesel pusher because we didn’t have the budget for a big diesel truck and fifth wheel, and we liked the layout options and storage in the Class A motorhomes.
We knew that we’d want to take our small car with us, so we needed a rig that would tow it. Since we both work remotely we needed to be able to set up separate office spaces, and the roomy Class A made that easy.
We both like cooking, and the room and features of the Class A kitchens are more than ample.
Levi grew up on a farm and has experience driving and maintaining things with big engines. We like the reliability of diesel, and we don’t plan on selling our rig for a long time.
The cost vs. reliability and power analysis between gas and diesel made the most sense for our situation and where we wanted to spend our time. Plus, big-ass diesel engines are just cool.
How do you get mail?
Initially, we were using a service called Traveling Mailbox to manage our mail for us. After we got to Tucson, we signed up for a UPS box.
Now we receive mail using the address of our RV park and our site number. I’d love to eliminate all paper mail, but unfortunately some things still need to be done the old fashioned way.
How do you use the internet?
We have hotspots on our phones and the AT&T Home Wireless Internet service. After we figured out that we wanted to stay put for a while, we had the local cable company add cable internet service to our site.
If any of those options fail us, our RV park has “good enough” Wi-Fi we can purchase. Or we could drive down the road to a coffee shop or library.
How do you do laundry?
Our RV has a combination washer and dryer that works great for us. Because there’s so much sun here in Tucson, we often dry our clothes outside. For larger loads of laundry, the RV park has facilities we can use.
What do you miss from your house?
We’ve talked about this at length and the honest answer is…not much. Gardening, a garage, and having a dishwasher are the only things we’ve been able to come up with.
Selling our house, moving into an RV, and moving across the country was scary. It was a lot of work, but for us it was 150% worth the effort.
How do you deal with the heat?
There aren’t many days where we’re “dealing with” heat. We love the climate here, and we Arizonans get made fun of for saying “it’s a dry heat,” but the lack of humidity really does make a difference.
Also, elevation matters. We’re at around 3,000 ft., and although we get our share of 100+ degree days, it doesn’t get quite as hot here as it does in other areas of Arizona.
The thing that will bite you in the Sonoran desert is the sun. We have sun screens on our front windows and door, and we use reflectix insulation on lots of things. We have shade trees at our site, and our RV awnings are out a lot.
The RV park we’re in has a pool, and our motorhome has two air conditioners that keep us comfortable. We’ve also done creative things like building an evaporative cooler out of a trash can.
How much does it cost?
The honest answer is that it depends. There are a lot of different ways to live the full-time RV life, and it depends on what works for your situation.
We’re a bit different than a lot of other full-time RVers in that Tucson is our home and apart from small trips here and there, we aren’t on the road a lot.
We rent our spot at an RV park on a long-term basis, and it’s roughly $350 a month. Water and sewer are included, and electric and propane are the only other things we pay for.
Our RV payment is around $500, so at the end of the day it’s no more expensive than our mortgage was, and we’re a lot happier.
Hey, congrats on making it to the end of this monster post. If you’ve been considering the RV life, I hope our answers to these common questions gave you some insight. Thanks for reading!
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