We have been living in our 2016 Fleetwood Bounder 35K for three months. We have been docking in our own driveway while I finish up belt orders for Christmas and close out my business, and while we finish fixing up the house to sell. As soon as the house goes on the market we will relocate to Shannon’s parents’ property to wait out the winter. I realize that our experience so far is entirely one-sided; we are learning how to live in a small space but we haven’t yet learned how to live and travel in a small space.
Because we had done extensive research we knew that even when buying a new RV there would be bugs to work out. Shannon has written about some of the fixes he has made so far. Some of them would be warranty issues but were just easier and less expensive to fix ourselves. And even though we only took it to town three times to empty the tanks before we got smart and purchased a macerator pump, we have already had one broken window, fortunately a small one, that is not covered by warranty. We’re assuming we caught a rock. We are waiting for the replacement window to arrive from Fleetwood. (Happy to report that Fleetwood has been great to work with. Willing to spend the time to answer our questions and we already have a good relationship with a rep there. 5-star customer service.) We know that the added stress of actually traveling will increase the likelihood of stuff breaking, but we’ll deal with that as we go.
So far we love living in the RV. Granted, we both still have outside activities that take us away from home, so we are not yet feeling the full effects of living with another person in a small space. Shannon is still teaching at the college two mornings a week and I still have activities at the church as well as work in my shop. We are also working in different areas of the house, so even if we aren’t having lots of fun, we are still getting alone time and coming together to share our progress at the end of the day.
And the RV itself. Again, I’m reporting on its stationary performance, but I am so impressed with the attention to detail that has been put into the design of our coach. I have been able to bring many things from our past life into the coach to make it feel like home and have also been happily weaving mats to protect surfaces from the cat’s pointy feet. I’m glad we have been able to make this transition in stages instead of just piling in and hitting the road.
So now we are hunkering down for winter. I know that most full-timers go someplace warm for the winter, but Shannon’s family is here, so here is where we will continue to spend the holidays. I have scheduled indoor estate sales for the second and third weekend in November. Several people expressed interest in my leather shop and equipment, and I am waiting on a deposit before I take down the Craiglist Listing. We have bought attractive (not) styrofoam sheeting to make skirting for the RV and have installed small heaters in the bays to keep the tanks from freezing. So far it has been unseasonably warm, but we will be ready when the cold comes.
Things I’ll miss:My comfortable work/painting shirts which I am not allowed to wear in public (my rule).
Things I have to change: I have to stop wiping my hands on my clothes.