Thursday, January 22, 2015

Living in an RV Park in the Pacific NW - Life in 240 Square Feet

Living the full-time RV Life in the Pacific Northwest

240 Square Feet of  Home Sweet Home

I debated about writing about our new life in an RV Park, but after several months, I decided I couldn't hold back any longer -  I just had to share our adventures and what we've learned.

We sold our 2800 square house and moved temporarily into our 30 foot 5th wheel trailer in an RV Park at an undisclosed location in the Pacific Northwest. Yep, that is two humans and 2 fluffy, hairy, active, neurotic border collies all living together under one rubber-coated roof in 240 square feet. Although thankful that we have that roof over our heads, it has been adjustment to live full-time in a space that is smaller than the master bedroom in our former home.

RV Kitchen

So I guess the first question you may ask is, why?  Trust me, we've been asked.  I'm fairly certain some of our friends and relatives suspect we've lost our minds, if they hadn't already figured that out long ago!

RV Dining Table/Office with His and Hers Computers

Here is why we are now full-time RVers:
  1. We needed to sell our house to use the proceeds to start building our retirement home on our acreage in Pend Oreille County, Washington.  (I'm sure next year there will be numerous blog entries about backwoods life.)  We put our house on the market in the summer because we didn't know how long it would take to sell.  It sold in less than a week and we needed to find a a place to live before the deal closed less than a month later.
  2. Since we didn't want to start building our new home until spring we needed a place to live for six to eight months.  We considered renting a house or apartment.  Not a good idea because  landlords want a one year lease.   Plus we have two dogs which severely limited our options.  Having pets increases the damage deposit and non-refundable cleaning fees.
  3. By mixing together 2 parts frugality, 2 parts optimism, 1 part desperation and half a brain we came up with the idea of simply moving into an RV park with our 2004 Fifth Wheel that we use for camping. 

RV Closet and Dresser for Two - where do I hang a dress?

It all sounded so simple and easy.  We sold a lot of our stuff and put the rest into storage, keeping just the clothes that we regularly wear every week. We looked at several RV Parks and discovered that many were full and had waiting lists.  Others either wouldn't accept more than one dog or dogs over 50 pounds. (Thank God we don't have pitbulls or rottweilers or we probably wouldn't have never found any RV Park to take us.)

RV Bedroom with A Border Collie or Two on the Bed

We finally found a nice RV park that had an opening.  We filled out our application and found out we needed to include our driver's license and social security numbers for a background checks to be done on both of us.  We had no problem with that since we pay our bills and neither of us has so much as a an overdue library book. (ok, they might find court records from a few messy divorces, but nothing criminal or illegal).  It was also reassuring to assume that others living in the park would have been similarly investigated making it unlikely that we'd be living next door to a convicted serial murderer.
RV Bathroom

A week or so after submitting our application, I got a call from the RV Park Manager.  She told me there was one little problem, but it could probably be resolved.  The RV Park doesn't accept long-term guests (anyone staying more than a couple of weeks) with RVs more than 10 years old without special approval.  In 2014 our 2004 5th wheel was, as she put it, "right on the cusp" of being too old. She asked if I would email a recent date-stamped photo so she could see what it looked like.  I assume this was to prove that it wouldn't be an eyesore.  I later learned that denying long-term guest applications of people with an older RV is common practice in RV parks and is called "aging out".

Our 2004 Thor Jazz 5th Wheel - an eyesore?
Thankfully my husband was diligent about keeping our 5th Wheel in excellent condition, so our application was accepted.  Who knew an RV park would be so exclusive?  Just one of many things I've learned.

After we moved in, it was obvious that we have one of the smallest and least luxurious RVs in the park.  We have only one slide-out and most of our neighbors have three on one side and one or two more on the other side for a total of four or five.

RV with 3 slide-outs on One Side
 To say that this is an adventure is an understatement.  Stay tuned for more installments.

Camping World

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