Camper Trailer Lessons

Round One

Be A Good Roommate: When you’re living in a camper trailer, you’re going to always be really close to something or someone. It makes life easier if you make a point to tidy up after your activities immediately. I try to think to myself, “I’m not finished eating until everything to do with this meal is washed and put away.” When we come home from anywhere (grocery shopping, visiting a friend, delivering coffee, etc.) neither of us sits down to relax until all of our stuff is put away. I have intention about my personal hygiene so that I’m not stinking out my daughter or husband because the space keeps us all very close. Everything takes a little more effort, but there is so little space that if these things aren’t immediately addressed, there isn’t any opportunity to do something else, the other stuff is in the way.

Communicate All The Time: This is a lesson I’m learning and with which I’m still having trouble. I do recognize that the more we talk to each other, the more together we feel and less frustrated when challenges come up.

Always Be Problem Solving: When you’re living in the camper trailer full time, there is no return home at the end of the week. If something is uncomfortable to use, it’s better to spend time thinking about and improving what is bothering you because it will only get more irritating over time. The solution I personally keep coming back to is, “It needs its own box so I can get it in and out more easily of the storage space.” Just embrace there’s no sense in waiting to fix issues.

Embrace Why You Are Doing It: People move into camper trailers full time for a lot of different reasons. Some of those reasons are joyful, such as loving the freedom to go anywhere they like, any time they like, and always have home with them. Some of those reasons are sad, like our family; our home burned to the ground and we are very poor. Our most cost-effective solution was to buy our camper trailer, used, for cash, and set up on my in-laws’ property. We are being gifted water and electricity. They also aren’t charging us any rent. We also don’t have payments to make on our camper trailer. We would much prefer to be in a regular home, but this is what we can currently afford to do. I do my best to have an embracing point of view so that when something irritating happens (like the grey water tank backing up into the bathtub) I can remind myself that I’m grateful we have our space that is safe during covid, that we own. Embracing The Why really helps ease frustrations about the challenges of living in a camper trailer full time.

Accept The Limitations Of Your Environment: Being able to accept that there comes a point where, your problem solving can only get you so far. No matter how well I organize, I cannot create more physical space in our camper trailer. I can only control how upset I am about having the space I have. By accepting the reality of the space, it still stings when I choose to not to receive a gift of clothing because I don’t have anywhere to put it, but I don’t agonize over it. What it has given me the power to do is to choose my favorites out of what has been available so that, while I only have 5 shirts, they are 5 shirts that I really like.

Be Clear On Your Goals: The biggest example our family has for this is when it comes to meals. Some camper trailers are large enough for a separate kitchen space; for us, the kitchen and living room are the same space. We can choose to either have the stove and kitchen sink available or our TV and DVD player set up. We recently assessed our goals for meals. We had been eating a lot of convenience foods out of the microwave, but we realized that we were gaining weight and feeling generally yucky. My husband is an excellent cook, but without a full kitchen to work with, he was really disheartened to try to get back to cooking the healthy meals we usually enjoy. We came to the conclusion that we would try out a raw food diet with a few things that are pretty healthy and microwave friendly. It’s not as delicious as having him in a full kitchen, but it’s less stressful and healthier than before, so it’s serving us well. We had to really brainstorm to get here though.

Keep Reassessing Your Goals: When we first moved into our camper trailer, the goal was to make it livable for just a few months. We were expecting to be back in a home fairly quickly. The reality that we’ve come to understand is that we are going to be living in our camper trailer for the foreseeable future. Initially I was focused on just throwing the few things we had in the storage without rhyme or reason. Now I’m focused on reorganizing to make everything stored make sense for how we’re living.

Simpler Is Often Better: The fewer physical things involved, the easier it is to use and put away.