I am a very go with the flow type that normally takes things in stride. This has been a trait I am glad to have with what we’ve gone through our first month! With minimal planning in place, we have lucked out and found places last minute in the areas we were at or wanted to go. It took calling and searching campsites for a few hours, but it always worked out. On the other hand, there were a few small bumps along the way, like trailer brakes failing and surgery (ruptured Achilles) that make this a little more interesting. Either bump would not be fun living in an established home, but living on the road adds to the challenge.
When we first started out, the first two weeks were treated more vacation like, which was a good release. This consisted of unbudgeted meals and lots of hiking and exploring. Recently, we have been working to revamp the website and be more conscious of the spending while we get our passive income flow working like it should.
The main takeaways from our first month were…
We overpacked. We brought more clothes, kitchen tools, and bathroom stuff we need or ever will use. This was kind of anticipated and we will be purging more, as soon as we get to a spot we don’t want to spend all of our time exploring! (Alexi taught me about this thing called procrastination, it’s great!)
Expect the unexpected. We purchased a 2016 travel trailer thinking it would not have any issues, being newer. Three weeks in, the trailer brakes decided not to work. We found a shop that took care of us quickly, and found the drums, shoes, and actuators were shot. We weren’t happy about it, but made the most of it and it gave us an excuse to wander the local Cabela’s! Also, having to do the surgery thing our first week in Maine slowed me down a bit.
Take your time. We have moved every 2-4 days. This has made us feel rushed and like we have missed out on the locales we stayed at. We have been winging it on our drives; if we are tired before our goal location, we stop. This has resulted in finding Medoc State Park in NC and Teconic State Park in NY, in which both have been happy accidents! With the surgery, we found a KOA to hunker down for a month of recovery. This is allowing us to explore Maine a little further and recover from the achilles surgery.
Cheap isn’t always better. This mainly pertains to my preparation purchases, such as a bumper mount bike mount purchase that resulted in the spare tire being stored in the front bay, which then resulted in too much tongue weight, and the subsequent purchase of an around the spare bike mount that keeps the spare on the back bumper. I tried to save money initially, but it cost more in the end. I also got a cheap water pressure regulator that resulted in low pressure showers, which has been replaced with an adjustable regulator. Don’t try to buy everything you think you need, ask around and gain experience and get it as you go.
Thankful to have brought: Not knowing where we are going and if we will have power (no hookups are common in state and national parks), we purchased a pair of Honda 2000 generators. At 46 pounds and 56db, they are quiet, light, and in parallel, run the AC. Running only a few hours a day can stretch the small gas tank to about 3 days. They are pricey, but are known for two pull starts and come with great warranty. In the spirit of overpacking, I am glad to have found a Dewalt tool box that holds the drills up top and small tools below. I have taken on a few small projects on the road, and having everything I need in one place has been helpful.
Alexi wrote her take on our first few weeks…here’s my takeaway from our first month. Hope the info is helpful to all of you looking to move onto fulltiming!
Alexi added a new video up on our youtube channel about what it’s been like living in such a tiny space…check it out and subscribe to our channel!