When you read about boondocking you’ll frequently hear how wonderful life is living free on the road. Well, I am here to tell you not every day is peaches-n-cream. There are plenty of obstacles you’ll face and many changes you will make. This post is about a few of those challenges we have faced along our 2600 mile journey.
Over the course of two months on the road I’ve watched many You Tube videos, read many posts and blogs concerning the RV lifestyle. The majority of information that I have found lead me to believe that the RV life is an all carefree style with limited stress. I’m here to tell you life in general is stressful. It doesn’t matter if you live in a house or on the road, problems will arise and have to be dealt with.
The first big issue we faced while being on the road was high-speed internet access.
Now if you are working from your laptop as your main source of income you will be hard pressed to find a steady fast connection. Yes, you can give it your best shot at the local McDonald’s or Starbucks, but driving your rig to find these locations will get tire-some. Depending how big your rig is you may not be able to find parking close enough to connect for long. There also will be days when you wont be able to connect at all. We use Verizon with a Jetpack and still have trouble with a steady signal. Verizon has dead spots too. This is just food for thought for those planning on an on-line income. You may want to rethink your plan.
Power usage is another biggie to think about. Are you the kind of person who can’t live without your t.v. shows or video games? I can tell you even if you have batteries and solar panels the power generated will be limited. The power that has been stored would be better used to power a refrigerator, an air conditioner, fans or keeping your cell phone charged. There will be a lot of quite time. Can you handle the quite? “Silence is golden” as the saying goes only to those who enjoy it.
Weather conditions are a must to keep track of, rain storms, high winds and hot temperatures. These conditions can all be a day breaker for the boondocker. Keep a daily check on your local weather channel to make sure you are not in arms way. Hot temperatures are the most of my worries living in a RV. See this post on how we deal with the heat. Spending for a full hookup campsite for power can take a toll on your finances if you are on a limited income.
Lastly, get use to limiting your bathing time. There will be days when you will not bathe. I know you have probably heard of full-timers that purchase time at a gym to use their showers facilities. Once again, driving around in a big RV in a heavily populated area to find your shower access will get old. It’s also expensive, remember you have to pay per person. You would be better off locating a truck stop and share the shower stall if you’re traveling as a couple. We’ve used a bucket with water or baby wipes to wash down if a shower wasn’t available. Change your clothes regularly and don’t forget the deodorant. This will stretch the bathing considerably.
These four issues are not often discussed or are sugar-coated in the camping, boondocking world. They are real concerns that will put a crimp in your adventures if you’re not prepared to deal with them. Think it through, be realistic, prepare and enjoy the ride.