I have been a gypsy for the past couple of years. My house in NY is almost sold, I have already moved to New Hampshire, and have been living out of my RV full time.
It’s WONDERFUL! and I would highly recommend considering it if you can somehow manage to make that drastic of a change in your life.
I have never been fond of winter or lack of freedom in NY, as most aren’t, so I decided to do something about it. I now spend the cold half of the year somewhere in the South part of the country. It’s the ultimate freedom to just travel anywhere/anytime and move on when you feel like it.
I was originally inspired by watching videos on tiny houses, and realized that would fit my housing need perfectly. I didn’t even think of going the mobile route until I started pricing tiny houses, and permanent plots of land to build it on. This also comes with the limitations put on by the government, which can restrict minimum house size, zoning, septic, water, etc. The list really goes on and on, but that’s beside the point of this. So, the expense and limitations really got me considering alternatives.
When I realized that a mobile house would be even more ideal for me than a tiny house, I also remembered when I first saw inside a motor home around the age of 10. I decided that when I moved away from home, a camper would be what I would live in. Now I’ve finally made that dream a reality.
Most of my initial conceptions have proven to be a bit inaccurate, although I have also exceeded my expectations in some other ways. My original plan was to retire if necessary, purchase a huge RV with the money from selling my house, run everything from 12v power charged by the sun, stay in free campgrounds or maybe spend $1,000 for a 6 month season. I would create the most eco-friendly, inexpensive, minimalist life, that would permit me the ultimate freedom to travel and see the world in style.
Well now this missed me a little bit. The reality is that it can be pretty expensive to live this life. The gas alone can run about $20 per every 100 miles. The cheap campsites range from $500 – $1,2000/month. Plus the maintenance on the vehicles is basically doubled.
The trailer that I bought was $15k and then the truck that I chose to pull it was about $40k. The decision on what type of RV to get is a big one. There are 5th wheel coaches, all in one motor homes, and tow behind travel trailers. I chose to go with the truck/trailer so that I could drop the trailer in a place to create a home base, while using the truck to mozy around town like a normal person. I purchased the trailer before I got the truck. I had it delivered, and spent a year with it parked in my backyard in NY. During this time, I made it my home and moved stuff in little by little.
I emptied out the house, and gave away almost everything I owned. I then realized that I was still somewhat of a hoarder and needed someplace to keep the remainder of stuff that I didn’t want to haul around the country. So, I ended up getting a 14′ cargo trailer to use as my semi-mobile storage unit. This was about $4,000. This part was optional, and not in my original plan. It made it much easier to finish cleaning out the house for sale though. I plan to purchase a vacant plot of land, where I can leave the cargo trailer, and use the land as needed for a home
away from home.
There are options for staying free at various public lands, but you will need to fill the water tanks, pay for propane to run the fridge and heat, and dump the wastewater every few days. This is still my favorite option though since it’s much more relaxed. You don’t need reservations, or have to pay in advance for the length of time that you think you’ll want. You also have your choice of sites. I bought a generator, so I never worry about running out of power. I also plan to upgrade the battery and solar system soon, since it’s currently not capable of powering everything that I’ve connected to my grid. Being single, the water tanks will last about 4-5 days including regular showers.
While your results may vary, I was fortunate to step into a job that would permit me to work from anywhere, and pay the bills. The job also took care of one of my biggest hurdles, which was unlimited internet access. I researched mobile internet for many months, and came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as unlimited. ISP‘s are one of the biggest monopolies in the country, and are diligently working to make you pay per byte. This is also known as censorship.
To be continued…