10 Things We Learned about Camper Living

Our personalities are similar to those who plan, plan, and plan, then execute. It took us about two years to pick out the camper that we want and about another year to actually purchase it. We didn’t want to be a bad or a sometimes-good decision. We wanted it to fit us as much as we fit in it. Because of that, we planned, planned, and planned, then executed. We got Mr. Bunker and now what?

At first, we wanted to take it everywhere we traveled. On weekends, we usually went to somewhere near our apartment and stayed in a hotel. That was much easier. We just had to pack and arrived at the hotel room. With Mr. Bunker, we had to make an extensive checklist of things to bring, but the boarding was cheaper. Oh all the pros and cons…

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Mr. Bunker parked by our picnic area for the weekend.

After going around some local places, such as Barnwell, Lake Greenwood, and Aiken, (and after counting all the cards on the table with our work and life situation), we decided it might be a good idea to test drive living in Mr. Bunker, our camper trailer. That was a big idea! We couldn’t just give up everything and then live in a 16-ft long trailer, could we? We had no idea so we tried it. For about half a week. Then, for about a week and a half. And we did with with only minor injuries on the other side (Jason bumped his head a couple of times on the overhead compartment).

During the time that we tested living in our camper, we thought it was easy at first, then it was hard. Then, we got used to it and it got easy again. There were some important lessons that we learned.

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The world’s largest sweet tea, it claimed.

I’m going to share those important lessons to you in case you’re thinking about doing the same thing. I also would like to share them with some of our friends and family who might be curious about it.

  1. Communication is key. Being close to each other doesn’t mean being understood by each other. Although this is important in a marriage no matter where you live, it is extremely important when your living space is only about a foot wide. Asking for help is allowed. Yelling, not so much. As I said, this is the key concept for any marriage anyway, and we’re learning.
  2. This style of living isn’t for everyone. That’s a pretty clear point from the beginning. Part of us wanted to see if it was for us. We went through the honeymoon phase of enjoying our giant piece of toy, then reality set in. The sinking feeling of second thoughts only happened for a little while. Then we both asked each other if we were sure. Yes, and we were back to having fun. For us, in our current situation, with the cards that we were dealt, this choice is what we want and we are excited!
  3. Jason is a tall guy. I knew that. He knew that. Mr. Bunker didn’t. So, we had to make adjustments for that. If we have a wish list of our next upgrade, we want Jason to be able to stand up in it. For now, it’ll do.
  4. Our schedule has to be in sync. Just like dancing, baking bread, and tandem sports, the two partners must be in sync with the other one in order for it to succeed and look pretty. I’m not sure about the looking pretty part, but we considered our test drive to be a success.
  5. Most RV people are nice. We haven’t found anyone who were mean to us or affected us in a negative way. All of our neighbors had been so nice and talked to us a lot about our camper and theirs. We were delighted to find people who share our interest in the RVing.
  6. Having a portable home opens up so many possibilities. We can go to anywhere within the continent and still have our home with us. Part of this was the original thought after a “minor” adjustment period due to work. Also, for vacations, we can go to a lot of places without breaking the bank. If we don’t like where we live, we can move without breaking a contract.
  7. Space is sacred. No, not the area between planets and stars. Space as in every inch of our table, bed, wall, etc. We learned to respect each other’s space and also learned to care for each other when asked.
  8. After recycle, reduce, and reuse, we compacted all of the good things that we had and enjoyed them to the max. No more saving the best for last and ended up never using them. We’ve saved the best to use every time and every day. How awesome would it be to use your best, favorite things every single time? I can tell you, it’s pretty awesome.
  9. Life is much simpler. Going back to number 8, if all we have to use is our favorite stuff, it eliminates choices. Every single thing, inches, minutes of our lives means something to us. Cleaning our home takes about 30 minutes or less to leave the rest of the time enjoying other things. “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius
  10. I actually like going outside. Jason loves the outdoors, we knew that. Me? Not so much. Or so we thought. Really, I just don’t like sweating and bugs. Going outside during the summer is a terrible idea. Going outside during the fall or winter time, yes, sign me up please. No bugs and the weather is so cozy.
  11. Bonus: We get to tell people that we paid cash for our first home! No mortgage is nice.

As you can see, some of the stuff listed is also applicable to any marriage as general advice. I’m glad we’re going to learn how to be married and how to live in a camper at the same time. If there’s anything Jason and I always agree on, it’s to be efficient. We are excited to see what life brings us next. People say take life’s lemons and make lemonade. I say take the lemons and plant lemon trees.

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Our view the first time we slept in a car overnight.

Stay tune for our answers to the most commonly asked questions about the thought process of living in a tiny micro home. We’re just as curious and excited as you are about our adventure ahead of us. Nervous? Yes. Worried? Not so much. We knew we chose the right partner to plant lemon trees.

“Whatever is lovely… think about such things.” -Philippians 4:8

Nerd out,
Stephanie

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Bonus picture: one of my favorite wedding pictures.

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