We got an RV. A 5th-wheel Bighorn to be exact. At the time, we were visiting Brad's grandmother and great aunt in NC for July 4th weekend, and we were not specifically RV shopping. Call it a fortuituous opportunity, if you will.
A little background story.....y'all know we're working towards our dream of building a log cabin, and to make that move from VA to NC. The log cabin is going much slower than originally anticipated. Think snail slow. Think glacial slow. The lack of the proper bank financing (and this dang, housing market equals poor appraisal), means we have to do this build piecemeal, instead of all at once, and thankfully, we have a log cabin distributor and contractor who are willing to work with us that way. So far, we have the land surveyed for specific house placement, the water and septic permits pulled, and the health dept is getting ready to do soil testing to identify the best septic system to use and location. so, it's slow, but at least we're making forward progress.
|The log cabin will go right in there...somewhere, someday.|
But let's get back to this behemoth....
|Can you see hubby on the roof?|
Since the log cabin build is going slower than originally planned, we needed to come up with an alternative living space for our eventual move to NC. We were reluctant to go the apartment/house rental route, because that is money that goes out the door, that you don't recoup (although the convenience of rental can be a great thing). Brad and I discussed the possibility of getting an RV, but I was just not too keen on the idea. Squeezing a family of four into a large sardine can for an unspecified amount of time?? No, thanks. I could see myself crawling up the wall in no time, from lack of breathing room, and would sooner poke my eye out with a dull spoon. Don't even get me started on the logistics of downsizing a house to handful of totes (hello, storage costs!). But, there was unyielding logic staring me right in the face....could we afford to pay the mortgage for our current house (in the very likely event we couldn't sell it right away, for the amount we needed) AND rent on another place? Yeah, that was a big, fat "No". So, I started grudgingly leaning towards the RV idea, and lo and behold, I come back from a short shopping trip into town with my mother and the kids, and Brad comes up and excitedly says, "I saw an RV for sale on the side of the road!". He had sunshine, rainbows and sparkles coming out of his eyes, such was his enthusiasm, whereas I, on the other hand, met that enthusiasm with an equal amount of good old-fashioned New England stink eye of skepticism.
You see, I wasn't quite onboard with the RV thing yet. I was warming up to it, but not there yet. So we all went to see this RV on our way to a restaurant for supper. It had a couple of aesthetic issues (ripped kitchen flooring, etc..), but otherwise seemed to be in good, musty shape. I believe my predominant thought was that the decor was very,very tan, and "where are the kids going to sleep?". So Brad, Gram and Aunt Nita were all "so, what do you think?", my mom's face said "you're nuts", and the kids had not seen it yet, so did not offer an grave, well-thought out opinion. We continued to the restaurant, and discussed it all through supper (blah, blah, blah, blue book value vs cost, blah, blah, blah, use for vacation or sell after we're done, blah, blah, blah...). Long story, short....we went back to the guy after supper and said "we'll take it!". Yeah, we're
crazy spontaneous like that. It was done with a lot of prayer, leap of faith, and finger crossing on my part. Once it was officially bought, the seller was gracious enough to use his 5th-wheel pickup to haul it to the location and help Brad set it up.
|Green Acres is the place to be, RV living is the life for me!|
Brad has since spent countless hours preparing the land around the RV, checking the "guts" and mechanics, building stairs and a deck, assembling the kids' bunk beds, and perusing the RV manual for pleasure. We have stayed in it, as a family of four, a couple of times during our monthly visits to NC. During those two visits, I spent my own multiple hours cleaning the inside from top to bottom. Met multiple dead bugs (and a couple of live ones), and found some odds and ends lost in the nooks and crannies from the previous owner. I didn't find any treasure, unfortunately. (**wink**) Aside from the cleanliness factor, it did help tremendously with getting me to learn every inch of the space, and attempt to visualize where to put things, whenever the move happens.
When you walk in the front door, the kitchen is immediately in front of you. It's got an oven, a microwave, a fridge/freezer, sink, and some decent cabinet space. Alas, no dishwasher, which means it's back to one of my least favorite chores...dishwashing. (booo) On the left side of the RV is the living room, dining table, a desk, and an electric fireplace below the TV. On the ride side of the RV, up the stairs, is our bedroom, bathroom, and a closet where the washer/dryer resides.
|Living room with bunk beds|
|our bedroom/laundry room/closet|
|our bedroom/bathroom (from laundry room/closet)|
I have a list of pros and cons about this RV living running through my head, which I may share with you someday, once I've actually lived in it. The biggest "con" would be that privacy will die a swift death. Not that we adults have much privacy now, with a toddler and preschooler running around, interrupting your shower and potty time, but it's about to get even more non-existent, once we live in that RV. The biggest "pro" depends on your frame of mind, but practically-speaking, paying the monthly payment on this RV is far cheaper than paying the monthly rent for an apartment or house. Can I get an "Amen!"? Anyhoo, I'm simplifying and making light of things, but a lot of thought has gone into our decision, and we're doing what we think is best for our family. I will say that the kids spend more time in the fresh air in NC, than they do here in VA. The flora and fauna that surround us provide an excellent source of education and wonder for the kids (and worries for mama...snakes! spiders! ticks!). There will be more stories on our actual experiences in the RV life, in the future, but for now I just wanted to introduce you to the latest storyline of Felt Family adventure.
|fun with Grammy in the living room|
|Behold! Hubby has built this using new and reclaimed wood! (man grunt)|
|Serenity's bunk has Minions and Strider's bunk has Cars.|
|Happy kid in her "big girl" top bunk|
|brushing her teeth in our bedroom/bathroom|
|There's a pocket door that still has a giant gap at the top step. |
So yeah, the kids can crawl under our bedroom door anytime.
The logistics of downsizing into an RV, still makes me want to hyperventilate, but it is comforting to know that we have one aspect of our NC goal squared away. Everyone asks us, "when are you moving?". Well, that's the million dollar question, isn't it? I'm a planner by nature, so it kills me to not have a specific timeframe. Both Brad and I have applied to jobs in NC, but nothing has solidly materialized just yet. We certainly won't plan a move unless one, or both of us, have a decent job lined up. So in the meantime, we prep and plan as best as we can, and we'll figure it out as we go. Everything happens for a reason, and all we can do is the best we can with what we have, and the rest is up to the Big Man Upstairs. (**smile**)