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1) Do you live in a RV for 12 months out of the year?

If you answered YES, continue below. If you answered NO… you must live in a house, apartment or condo for a portion of the year. Sorry, but you aren’t a Full-Time RVer. You are just a Seasonal RVer. But don’t worry, there is hope for you yet! 🙂

2) Do you have a rental storage facility or a place where you keep items too large or numerous to store in your RV?

If you answered NO, continue below. If you answered YES… then you are not yet ready to be a Full-Time RVer. You may think you are a Full-Timer and can tell people you are but deep down, you really aren’t ready to part with the holiday decorations, extra clothes, “cool” 70s furniture or stuff you bought from yard sales the last 30 years…If you sit down and calculate the current resale value of the items you have in storage and your monthly/annual storage bill, you may find yourself making a trip to the local flea market to sell those “costly” treasures. With the storage gone, you’ll have the money to get those wheels moving and be one step closer to being a real Full-Timer.

3) If you made it this far, CONGRATS! You are a Full-Timer! But let’s see how devoted you are to the lifestyle… Do you periodically find yourself wondering which state you are in?

If you answered YES, continue below. If you answered NO, it sounds like you may be a Full-Timer who is stuck in the same area. Don’t forget that RVs come with wheels!

4) Can you remember the last time you visited an airport, bus or train station and/or the last time you slept in a hotel?

If you answered NO, you are a real Full-Time RVer! CONGRATS! If you answered YES… don’t let any other die-hard Full-Timers know or they’ll tease you! 😉

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Somewhere in Oregon... I think... 😉

 

1) Do you live in a RV for 12 months out of the year?

If you answered YES, continue below. If you answered NO… you must live in a house, apartment or condo for a portion of the year. Sorry, but you aren’t a Full-Time RVer. You are just a Seasonal RVer. But don’t worry, there is hope for you yet! 🙂

2) Do you have a rental storage facility or a place where you keep items too large or numerous to store in your RV?

If you answered NO, continue below. If you answered YES… then you are not yet ready to be a Full-Time RVer. You can tell people you are a Full-Timer, but deep down, you really aren’t ready to part with the holiday decorations, extra clothes, “cool” 70s furniture or stuff you bought at yard sales the last 30 years…If you sit down and calculate the current resale value of the items you have in storage and your monthly/annual storage bill, you may find yourself making a trip to the local flea market to sell those “costly” treasures. With the storage gone, you’ll have the money to get those wheels moving and be one step closer to being a real Full-Timer.

3) If you made it this far, CONGRATS! You are a Full-Timer! But let’s see how devoted you are to the lifestyle… Do you periodically find yourself wondering which state you are in?

If you answered YES, continue below. If you answered NO, it sounds like you may be a Full-Timer who is stuck in the same area. Don’t forget that RVs come with wheels!

4) Can you remember the last time you visited an airport (to fly somewhere) or the last time you slept in a hotel?

If you answered NO, you are a real Full-Time RVer! CONGRATS! If you answered YES… don’t let any other Full-Timers know or they’ll tease you! 😉

 If you are a RVer who doesn’t have the storage space or site space for a large flag pole, you may want to consider a garden-size or beaded flag kit.

 I made this beaded flag (left) four years ago and it has been a great  for RV parks where site space is limited. It takes a little patience to make a large flag, but well worth the effort.

Most hardwares, garden centers and hobby shops have a section for garden-size or holiday flags. They require little storage space.

NOTE: If you make a beaded flag, I suggest buying the pony beads in bulk. A great site with beading instructions can be found at Craft Designs 4 You .

Yes, you can bake Christmas cookies in a camper!

Decorating holiday cookies in the RV.

Like most folks, we have been busy this past week working on holiday cookies and candies and doing our holiday shopping.

Since storage space is limited in a RV and you have to make each item count. Often cherished holiday items and decorations have to make way for the essentials. New items (gifts) coming into the RV often mean something else has to go out the door to make more room.

When it comes to decorations, we have learned to adapt to limited storage. One of the first things we did was reduced the size of our artificial Christmas tree. After the holiday we will “bundle” our tree and place it in a storage bag. It easily fits down in one of our holiday storage bins. Ornaments and other decorations that are not breakable or fragile are placed in storage bags. Breakable items are wrapped and placed in a smaller storage container. Everything gets placed in our large Christmas decoration storage bin.

The only thing that we miss around the holidays is having a larger kitchen. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with the lack of refrigerator, freezer and  counter space in a RV.

All our candy and cookie recipes have been cut in half or even thirds. Favorite recipes that cannot be reduced are used as filler items for neighbor’s cookie trays. We also limit what candy and cookies we make, often rotating recipes every year or making them at other holidays throughout the year.

When it is time to make the cookies and candies we clear off the kitchen table and place aluminum foil on it (see photo). This becomes our additional counter space and makes decorating cookies much easier.

We keep one refrigerator bin free to place extra cookies and candies until they are ready to be given away. Candies that do not need to be refrigerated are placed in storage containers and set on the table for easy “snacking” access.

Shopping for holiday gifts is a little different when you are a Full-Timer. Not only do you have to keep in mind what the person would like, but also where will they put it and determine if it will be something worth hauling around the country!  This can really add to the stress of the holidays.

The past two years we have practiced Reverse Giving. We agree on a pre-arranged amount and buy and wrap our own gifts, however we “assign” who they are from. The surprise comes on Christmas day when what you “gave” the others is revealed! It works well for us because we know what we need or would like and if there will be adequate room for it.

Most of our friends realize space is limited in our fifth-wheel and send gift cards or gift certificates. When it comes to the flood of holiday cards, we decorate the area above our long living room slide with them. It allows us to display them without wasting our functional living space.

Holiday storage doesn’t have to be a problem in a RV. You just have to learn to make the most of your limited storage space.

You can't take it all with you!

You cannot take it all!

No matter what anyone tells you, you can’t take it all with you. If we could, you’d see a line of U-Hauls at the cemetery during every funeral service!

If you have a stick-house, it’s no problem, you just keep shoving the stuff in the attic, garage, basement and spare closets. When you run out of room, you buy a bigger house or find a storage unit to rent.

Of course, most people only keep important stuff right? Like my friends who moved into a bigger stick-house 4 years ago… who still haven’t unpacked half of their boxes. I’m sure this stuff they “just had” to keep was very important, so important they have left it packed for their next move to an even bigger house. 😉

Face it, we are a society of pack rats! I have mentioned before that downsizing is not that difficult once you reach that “letting-go plateau”.

One thing Full-Time RVers learn very quickly is that you can’t take it all with you. Most smaller motorhomes and travel trailers have very limited storage space. Larger motorhomes and fifth-wheels usually do have adequate storage, but extra items (such as a washer and dryer) take away from this valuable space.

You can’t live in a RV and own 40 pairs of shoes. Oh you could, but you wouldn’t be taking any food or supplies with you! Full-Time RVers have found the delicate balance of living with the basic needs of life and their personal wants.

We learn to simplify our needs and reduce our wants. You may need a skillet to cook your eggs in the morning, but do you need 6 different sizes? Only if you are a traveling chef! Full-Timers think about items that will be used the most often or items that offer multiple uses. If we don’t use it, we don’t need it!

Reducing your wants is a little more difficult for some folks and RVers are no exception. Temptation is all around us – buy this, buy that. We can’t help ourselves. Fortunately for RVers, “home” keeps us a little more grounded. We can only buy what will fit in our RV!

And we also have to live by the unwritten law of “In-Out-In”. If we want to bring more items in our RV, we must eventually move some out  to allow room for more to come in.

Most campgrounds and RV resorts have yard sale days or trader shelves (usually books, games, puzzles, maps, craft supplies) where we can unload some of the extra stuff we have picked up. Many of the Full-Timers I know donate their items to local charity thrift shops or use services such as Freecycle, BookCrossing and BookMooch.

After you simplify your life it just makes sense – this is how life should be. I think back at the days we when had all this stuff (see photo) and shake my head in disbelief. Don’t let material items weigh you down. Lighten your life and allow yourself more time to simply live.

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