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So you are considering traveling and living in a travel trailer. There is a difference between using your trailer for a short term vacation versus living in it like someone would a residential home. Residential homes have water treatment done by the city.
Maintenance can be taken care of by hired contractors. You can have constant heat and air conditioning without worry. Food and supplies can be delivered to you. Trailer living takes skill and preparation.
Full Time Living In A Trailer
Living in a trailer can be rewarding depending on your goals and your perspective. Some people are more comfortable being in a brick and mortar house vs being in small cooped up living quarters.
This type of lifestyle is for adventurous people, people who love the great outdoors and traveling and not being tied down in one area. Its like modern day nomadic living. Except you’re not orchestrating large groups of cattle to pull your wagon on the Oregon Trail.
What to Expect
RV or travel trailer living in itself is adventure and it can give you satisfcation no other outdoor activity can give. You also get to live with your family and at the same time enjoy the outdoors.
I would say this is one of the more important aspects of living in a travel trailer full time. Reason being is that you will often need supplies. Chances are if you are staying in a trailer park then you would be paying a renters fee, which would include water and sanitation services, an expense to be aware of.
If your goal is to travel the country and to other places abroad then you have to think about gas expenses, potentially installing new tires on both the trailer and the vehicle pulling the trailer, maintenance items for both vehicles.
Then you have insurance needs for your vehicles, food for your belly, and medical supplies. You will also need stable income to afford these expenses. If you’re not retired or have some way of generating some money then your best bet is to establish that before heading out.
Mishaps are bound to happen. Pipes will break, tires will blow, tow vehicle needs an oil change. You’re going to want to have some skill in being able to remedy mishaps and do some basic maintenance to keep your vehicle and trailer operating.
Since you will be living full time in the trailer then you should consider keeping a few containers of oil, some filters, tools to help you complete maintenance tasks, etc. For your trailer you’ll want extra working parts, like water lines, maybe an extra propane tank for your kitchen needs.
You don’t have to overload on items, but have something on deck to help make traveling easier. Eventually you will get to a place where you can restock on items and have a proper vehicle check. Being prepared is key as it isn’t easy to have a mechanic or technician come to your location and fix whatever problem you have going on like you would at a residential home.
Relatively Small Space
If you are use to big space, being able to move through your house without bumping your hip or stubbing your toe frequently, then a travel trailer can be a challenge for you. Having a family of more than three could make it even more challenging.
Although there are trailers that accommodate up to five or more people, there are still some challenges to deal with when there are multiple people in a small space. Ideally, living full time in a trailer would be great for couples who have retired and looking for adventure or those people who have left society to do their own thing.
Its just you and the open road, its just you and nature, its just you and the elements. There is no nine to five job, no monthly utility bills or fat mortgages. If its been your case, no dangers of the neighborhood you live in, just the dangers you put yourself in or fail to prepare for. Its your freedom of life, liberty and your pursuit of happiness!
Travel Trailer living is awesome, the views, the people you’ll meet and the experiences you’ll encounter are fulfilling and beautiful. You will see things that you won’t ordinarily see living in a residential home. If you’re up to it, Its the thrill of a lifetime!
Organizing your Travel Trailer
While full time living in a trailer is fun and relaxing, you still want to prepare yourself and your trailer to keep it that way. Tips for organizing your trailer are as follows:
Having your maintenance tools and supplies stored in your tow vehicle will provide more storage space in your trailer for food, snacks and drinks. Cleaning supplies should also be stored in your tow vehicle to eliminate possible hazards.
Keep your buildup of dishes and piled up clothes to a minimum. If at all possible keep these things clear completely. You will learn that piled up clothes that have been used creates moisture and warm places for small bugs and mold. Keeping your dishes clean keeps the smell of food away from prowling animals and keeps them from snooping around on your trailer steps.
Achieving these two goals more importantly eliminates safety hazards.Minimalize the amount of open packages of food. This also will keep animals from snooping. Most of your food items will either be frozen or canned goods, but you should buy Tupperware or some form of plastic containers to store your food in and keep them high in your cabinets if possible.
As you know, trailers are relatively small, so any electrical equipment you may have should be used and stored away from your water source (i.e. your kitchen sink. Freak accidents do happen, and you don’t want any fires. With that in mind, keeping a fire extinguisher, A B and C type, in your trailer is a choice well made.
Just a few ideas for organizing your trailer, but as you go along you will figure out what works for you.
Reasons For The Seasons
When traveling you will encounter all extremes of all the four seasons. Torrential rainstorms, freezing winters, super strong winds, and hellish summers.
Assuming that you have watched T.V. before and you have some idea of how severe the elements can get, you would be wise to prepare yourself accordingly. Especially if you are not planning on staying in one spot.
Hear are some weather ideas for the varying seasons:
This time of year can be very harsh and quite frankly dangerous if not properly prepared for. You need to prepare yourself and your trailer for winter.
Winterize your plumbing system by insulating pipes and pouring antifreeze into your toilet and flushing it and into your grey water and black water tanks to prevent them from freezing.
While it seems ok because the tank is large enough, but remove water from your fresh water tank and disconnect the water line attached to the water pump. Make sure pump is clear of any water to prevent damage.Keep supplies of water bottles for all your water needs.
Heat water on your stove if you need warm water for dishes and bathing yourself. Place skirts on your trailer to prevent the underside from taking on too much cold wind and possible damage from icing.
Have insulated sleeping bags for extra warmth when sleeping. Insulate your windows as heat is famous for escaping this way. Have some designated thick cloth to cover the windows and duct tape to hold them up over the windows.
Vent covers for your trailer vents will allow moisture in the air to escape while keeping heat inside. Place a rug in the most utilized areas as it can serve as insulation from the bottom up.
Heat and moisture will create mold in your living space. Use a dehumidifier to eliminate the possibility.Mini space heaters will keep you warm. You need two, place at each end of the trailer.
It can get hot in some places and you may not always have ice.
Open windows, Wear as less clothes as possible. If you are at a park amongst other trailer dwellers then you might not want to be completely free with yourself.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. If you are a constant traveling type of person then try your best to park in a shaded area to prevent the sun from turning your trailer into Betty Crocker’s oven.Stay still. Its no reason to move around a lot.
You would just use more energy than necessary and making yourself even more hot.Assuming that you travel and aren’t staying at a park, then park near large bodies of water if possible. Like a river or a lake or as close as possible to the water on a beach. The air is cooler in these areas.
Keep in mind if your near salt water the air will be dry, so hydrate!If you can avoid it, do not drive around as you will create problems for your tires like air loss or blown tires. Consider driving close to night time if you must drive.
Although its more dangerous at night, its still cooler. Dehumidifiers will keep the air dry rather than moist. Moist air suffocates your skin pores making you feel very uncomfortable and irritated.
Like previously stated, for your benefit and the benefit of others, stay in the shade! It will help your fridge stay cool also since it doesn’t operate like residential refrigerators do. Cold winters and hot summers are probably the most extreme conditions you will experience, but don’t slack on rainstorms and strong winds.
Stay away from trees during these types of conditions. Stay on solid ground during hard rains. Or if you cant do so then carry boards with you to place under all wheels of your vehicles. Like always, proper preparation is key. Think strategically and exhaust all possibilities before heading out. It will assure that you can live in your travel trailer all year round.
Quick Tips to RV in a travel trailer
- Consider having a rather large tow vehicle, something that will allow a great deal of storage space.
- Pick up trucks with bed covers are good ones. you can store extra propane tanks and extra 5 gallon water jugs. It will hold all of your maintenance supplies and extra plumbing items.
- A van would also be a great tow vehicle as you can remove the seats from the back of the van and place necessities in it. If you can get like a 15 passenger van or a regular soccer mom van will do you would be set for optimal utilization. Other considerations:
- To reserve power, unhook and unplug things that you absolutely wont need in specific conditions. Invest in some solar items like solar A/Cs or solar powered heaters. If you have the money to do so, have a solar panel installed on your trailer roof. It will charge all day and you will have power all night. There are experts that can help you out with that.
- Water is essential, make sure to keep plenty of water around Proper winterizing of the trailer and its systems to prevent damage.
- If you want fresh food, only buy enough to provide nourishment for the duration of your stay in the given location. If necessary, freeze left overs.
- Protect your trailer, its your only livable space out there. Take every step necessary to protect it, from proper insulation, to maintenance needs. Even protect your trailer from predators, who ever and whatever they may be and however you see fit, within the parameters of law and code of conduct of course.
All in all, it cant be stressed enough how important preparation is. Protect yourself and your assets by conducting proper preparation. It will save the life of your vehicles and more importantly it will save your life and the life of anyone with you. Research and Conquer, and as always, Ride Smooth.