Hi! We’re Matt and Kate! A young couple who decided to buck the typical American dream and create their own. At the ripe ol’ age of 26 and 30 we sold almost everything we owned and became full-time RVers. Our very first blog post offers some insight into why we chose to head, Read More
Christmas 2014. How in the world is it the end of the year already? With visits to friends and family, travel from Little Rock to Dallas and now to San Antonio, November and December have FLOWN by! We have lots of catching up to do on this ol’ blog, but I thought it would be fun to fast forward to where we are now and share the holiday decorations we put up around the RV.
Our first full-time Christmas has been especially memorable because it’s allowed us to be both in our home and also around family! The ability to pick up and move to various parts of the country has been absolutely amazing. We didn’t decorate our house for Christmas last year because we weren’t home for the holidays, so I had an extra fun time thinking of ways to add holiday cheer this year. We even have a real tree – my first real tree in life I can remember!
Since our space it pretty small, but open, it was easy to add holiday touches all around; they even made it into the kitchen!
When we arrived at my parents house, where we’re staying for the next few weeks, Matt surprised me and set up all of the lights outside. We purchased the big colorful globes to use year round, but it’s so exciting to have them up for Christmas.
We have so much to be thankful for this year. 2014 has been a wild ride, and we couldn’t be happier with where life has brought us. Thanks to each and every one of you who are following along on this little journey of ours. We appreciate your encouragement and support and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
Anyone who has spent a short amount of time in an RV can probably attest to these revelations I’ve made in the last couple of months, but I thought it would be fun to break some of the typical stigmas surrounding RV life.
You can actually have glassware.
This has probably been the biggest surprise to me so far during our time on the road. When downsizing, I ditched most of our glassware. I only kept a handful of breakable items I assumed we’d be replacing with plastic, which caused me not to be overly cautious when storing them. The photo above is how our glasses hang out in the cup drawer, with no special padding or dividers. This cavalier attitude has led to the discovery that these items aren’t as fragile as I once thought. So far in our 1300 miles, we haven’t run into one problem. In fact, the only broken glass we’ve had was due to my clumsiness when I knocked my favorite mug on the floor.
You can have decorations/plants.
When we first started on our full-time journey, I knew this wouldn’t be something I’d compromise on. Our home on wheels would have plants, no matter what. It’s been surprisingly easy to work them around traveling. When it’s time to pack up, I just put them someplace safe. This could be on the bed, in the sink, etc. Once we arrive where we’re going, I simply put them back in their spots. The various decor that sits around on surfaces also follows a similar routine. I have a few soft bins where everything goes during travel. If you don’t intend on moving things, Museum Putty works really well to keep items in place!
You can make wonderful meals in your RV kitchen.
I am continuously surprised when I hear people say they’ve never used their oven, even in years of traveling in their RV. I’m happy to report that once I got over my nervousness of using propane for the first time, I’ve continued to use “the little kitchen that could” even more than my previous giant kitchen! We cook 2-3 meals a day on our little stove. I am so excited to start sharing RV recipes and tips for cooking in smaller spaces in the near future.
Going to the bathroom isn’t weird.
You flush with your foot? Before living in our fifth wheel, I had the funny thought that we would probably do most of our business at the public campground toilets. WRONG. Surprisingly, we go to the bathroom the same way we did in our old home. (Aren’t you thankful for that visual?) The fact that you keep all of your waste in a small tank beneath you isn’t really that weird either. We don’t even have to buy special toilet paper; we use Seventh Generation, which you can pick up at most big box stores!
Your RV doesn’t have to look like an RV!
While this isn’t news to us, I’ve found it’s not the norm with many RVers. I knew from the beginning, when we remodeled our fifth wheel, I wanted it to feel like home. For us that meant painting over every single surface and putting in furnishings found in a traditional house. Don’t let your space on wheels intimidate you! Be bold and put your mark on it! Anytime someone tells us our fifth wheel doesn’t look like an RV, we take it as a huge compliment.
And most of all, the biggest surprise about RV living is how much it has taught me. I’ve learned so much about myself. It’s changed my habits, changed my way of thinking, and changed how I view life in general. I’m looking forward to writing an in-depth post on the positive, life-changing effects full-time RV living has had on me.
Fellow RVers, what has surprised you? If you’ve never RVed, do you have any assumptions or burning questions about life on wheels?
It’s already been a little over a week since we left Birmingham. Even though we spent more than a month in “The Heart of Dixie” it went by SO fast. It’s been so fun getting settled into a new routine. Being a neat and tidy freak has never been a strong suit of mine, but this tiny-house living has really started to whip me into shape. I actually look forward to organizing things because Lucille can go from organized to chaos pretty darn quickly.
One of our first big projects was replacing the end of the sewer pipe that got ripped off during our trek from Texas to Alabama. Matt and our friend Rich (who was also in town for Barber Vintage festival and camped next to us for a few days) got it all fixed up thanks to the awesome guys at Shafer’s RV, which was conveniently right down the street from our campground!
After our first few days in Cropwell, AL, we packed up camp on Thursday and headed over to Barber Vintage Festival! We had such a fun time camping on the grounds of our favorite place and even had the opportunity to host our first get together! Matt used our projector, and we were able to watch the race footage he shot earlier in the day, while eating delicious grilled brats.
It was three crazy days of non-stop fun. We got to see our peeps from Dallas and friends from all over the U.S. If you’ve never been to Barber Motorsports Park, and you’re a motorcycle fan, we highly recommend making a stop if you’re ever passing through, especially in October for the Vintage Festival!
The following Monday it was time to pack up again and head back to the river. We hated to leave because by then we pretty much had the campground to ourselves, since everyone else left Sunday afternoon.
Once we made it back to our awesome spot at General Lee Campground and Marina, we were faced with a crazy impending storm that wreaked havoc along a good part of its huge path across the U.S. Since it was the first time to encounter severe weather in a home that can be picked up and thrown easily (and we were parked only a few feet from the edge of the water), we played it safe and went to bunker down with our friends, who lived about 30 minutes away.
Being in Alabama for our first stop was such a fun experience because we had some really dear friends who lived close by. We had the best time acting like locals and hanging out with people we loved when we all had free time.
The following week, my parents came from Texas to come hang out with me and the pups, while Matt headed off to Colorado for a work trip. I greatly enjoyed having them and hosting our first overnight guests!
I really wanted to make a trip with them to Louie’s Pickles, but the timing didn’t work out. I ended up going with my friend the following week, and it was absolutely incredible. (Little fun fact about me…I LOVE PICKLES and olives, so when I heard there was a place that specialized in the pickle art, I just had to go.)
Pickle lovers can visit Louie’s in the small town of Odenville, AL. This photo shows about half of the pickley selection they had available that day. It’s so popular, they often sell out of some of their speciality items, so get there early!
A few days later we celebrated Matt’s 31st birthday with him feverishly trying to finish my race bike for my very first track day. I also got to use my KitchenAid for the first time in the RV and made some killer cookies! Part of our travels next year will be following the AHRMA race circuit as I try my hand at vintage motorcycle racing and we’re so stoked! I had the best time testing the race waters, even though it was FREEZING cold!
When we weren’t busy working, hanging out, or doing chores around the house, we spent time enjoying our beautiful serene surroundings. The view out our windows was absolutely incredible and never got old.
The weather was really nice while we were there and perfect for evening fires. In my opinion, life doesn’t get much better than when it’s accompanied by a full moon and a toasty fire.
I cannot wait to do a review of General Lee Campground and Marina. It was such a beautiful, quiet place. The first week of November wrapped up our month-long Alabama party. While it was sad to say goodbye, we’ve found goodbyes are a little easier now since we can just come back and stay again whenever we’d like. The day before we left, we managed to get the entire basement organized and did a deep cleaning on the house. We evenfinally got Lucille weighed on our way out of town!
It was something we hadn’t taken the time to do since completing our renovation, and we are happy to report we’re right in line with where we should be. Hooray!
Our trip to Arkansas was delightfully uneventful, and we are LOVING Little Rock so far, as I’m sure anyone on Facebook or Instagram can tell. 😉
We hope you enjoy this short little video recap of our time in Alabama!