How to live the RV Lifestyle in turbulent and unsettled times

June 9, 2012 by Bob Difley · 17 Comments  
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By Bob Difley

Climate-Change3Two Fridays ago the stock market fell to its lowest point this year, then rallied the following Monday to regain the losses, resembling a yo-yo more than a retirement investment stategy. Bank failures and massive debt from Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Italy threaten to send the EU into another recession, endangering the Euro as the common European currency.

American partisan political bickering and head-in-the-sand politicians prevent even the most benign of bills from making their way through Congress, and jobs are hard to come by, wages are down, and the economic growth forecast for the next few years is modest at best.

Add to that the newest finding by an international panel of 22 scientists and researchers from five countries that population growth, carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, decreasing sea life populations, rising shorelines foretelling the engulfment of coastal populations, and a seemingly endless list of the earth’s problems (tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, wildfires) attributable to climate change will require huge expenditures from already cash-strapped and struggling governments to invest in infrastructure,  energy creation, and myriad other measures to solve earth’s crises. Does it leave you wondering what will come along next to threaten our very existence on this fragile planet?

Fortunately, when times are tough–as they are now and will likely continue–we RVers (humbly admitting to be some of the wisest, most innovative, and adaptive of the human species) rank near the top of the list for survival options, at the same time learning how not to diminish the enjoyment of our RV Lifestyle. With our instant ease of mobility and plentiful choice of living options RVers have several ways to beat off the intimidating dragons that raise their fire-breathing heads obstructing our road forward.

Consider a financial crisis, causing a loss of wealth (market crash) or income (job loss, pension cuts). Much of what we think of as essential for the enjoyment of life is actually an embedded habit. If you come from a life where a servant served you eggs Benedict in bed every morning,  you might think that  scrambling up your own couple of eggs with onions, red peppers, and mushrooms a severe setback to your creature comforts.

And if you have always stayed in 4-star RV resorts with wifi, putting green, and cable TV, your idea of a setback might be staying in a boondocking, no hookup campsite, in a national forest where the entertainment consisted of the scenic setting, visiting birds and wildlife, hiking trails, and near silence–except for the afternoon wind rustling the needles of surrounding pine trees.

Switching from eggs Benedict to cooking your own eggs and from RV resorts to boondocking in the forest, in reality, is not so much a downgrade in your lifestyle as a redefining and re-matching of real world situations with optional living possibilities and opportunities–and developing some new habits and acquiring a few new tastes.

In the following weeks of Saturday posts I will look at many of these options and what we RVers can do to ease our way into a turbulent and changing world while still enjoying–and possibly improving on–our wonderful RV Lifestyle.

For more RVing tips take a look at my Healthy RV Lifestyle website, where you will also find my ebooks: BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands (PDF or Kindle), 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang for your RV Lifestyle Buck (PDF or Kindle), and Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts (PDF or Kindle).

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17 Responses to “How to live the RV Lifestyle in turbulent and unsettled times”

  1. hoppe on June 10th, 2012 4:53 pm

    No Doubt a lovely situation in the world these days. One side says they want to help and the other Hollers “That’s Socialism”. I thought Social was a part of Civil—ization? But maybe not?

    Just was on the TV that 27% of Texans have NO health insurance. So the taxpayers foot the bill for them…. Oh yes, Texas is also one of the States sueing the Federal Government over Obama care??????? Texas is 10% worse than the National average for the uninsured.

    Of course SOCIAL Security is acceptable to those same protestors of Socialism. Hmmm.

  2. butterbean carpenter on June 10th, 2012 5:11 pm

    Howdy Bob,
    Hoppe I paid for the SS I draw as an employer, served my time in the US Navy AND live in Texas!!!
    Now , guru Bob, as you say it is only a matter of changing some creature comforts in order to claim a good way to live.. We also, are not KOA, Resort types and can live anywhere we can legally park.. My sister on the other hand HAS to have FHUs and would be lost without TV, internet and cell-phone; her trailer has more of everything than my motorhome; water, holding tanks and they can afford a generator or solar..
    Some will make the change, some won’t, but the forests will still mandate 30′ off the roads!!!
    Keep the solar towards the sun!!!

  3. GlenO on June 10th, 2012 5:12 pm

    I think too many people want a free ride these days. Too many rather have socialization thinking they get taken care of. What happened to the ole days of “No Work, No Eat”? I think we need to take care of those who at times fall on hard times, but there are too many simply waniting to ride the “Assistance” programs. Too many on the Take and Less on the Make! America can not survive at the current rate of Spending & Welfare/Giveaway Programs.

  4. Gary Mellinger on June 10th, 2012 5:20 pm

    Bob. I can’t say that I’m a big fan of your style of writing. Hammer us with negatives, then tell us RV folks how good we have it. Who really cares about this stupid article. It’s just filler that wouldn’t be published in ANY magazine.

  5. Jim Sathe on June 10th, 2012 7:05 pm


    Interesting subject. I look forward to reading more. As a new full timer with boondocking capability, I have also thought along the lines of survival in a less affluent society.

  6. carl stark on June 10th, 2012 7:26 pm

    I was always told to keep politics, capitalism, socialism, out of the RV arena. In my searching for information about Class A RVing, I am not interested in the like. Usually, articles are interesting and informative information. Some comments are another thing. Why not refrain from the “BS” and stick with RVing issues. cs

  7. Chip Deyerle on June 10th, 2012 8:03 pm

    Here we go again, Folks. The RV Lifestyle consists of everyone who has an RV and wants to enjoy the open road under challenging settings or under elegant settings, and somewhere in between. Some of us RVers are volunteers who see the RV Lifestyle as a means to and end – helping people and communities recover from disasters. Some are motivated to make a difference for others and not necessarily self interest. We will soon face a couple of choices: One choice is to meet extremely high carbon emissions controls for our RVs-and the other is the massive budget cuts that may shut down National parks, State parks and impose serious tax inceases that may put many campgrounds out of business.If either happens, our RV Lifestyle will become a thing of the past.

  8. Big Bubba on June 10th, 2012 8:36 pm

    Wow. Somebody by the name of g.m. must have missed their nap today. Bob said:

    “In the following weeks of Saturday posts I will look at many of these options and what we RVers can do to ease our way into a turbulent and changing world while still enjoying–and possibly improving on–our wonderful RV Lifestyle.”

    I enjoy Bob’s writings. And the point of today’s was to recap some real situations facing us today, and set the tone for some future blogs. I don’t see any harm in that at all.

    I must observe and ask why oh why do so many conversations nowadays quickly get cast in terms of black and white, or red and blue? Write away, Bob, I’m looking forward.

    Lynn H in Big Bubba

  9. catchesthewind on June 10th, 2012 8:43 pm

    Damn your good.

  10. Ron Rasmussen on June 11th, 2012 8:40 am

    One thing I have to say about what’s happening in the world is that these things have been foretold in the Bible. No one can predict the end but God has given us what to look for and it follows what is happening in the world today.
    Think about it.
    Read the Bible!

  11. Dan Rambow on June 11th, 2012 10:43 am

    Although my wife and I have lots of camping experience behind each of us going back 50 years, we only started full timing two years ago. Since then we have seen more and done more than in our previous 23 years of marriage. And we are new-comers to this life.

    Just in the past couple of weeks, we have stayed in an urban RV park, casino parking lots, RV dealer parking lot (getting a few things done), a Freightliner parking lot (scheduled maintenance), and now a rural RV park out in the middle of Washington State and the Columbia River. We visited grandkids and friends, and while my wife is retired, I keep working.

    Sounds busy (it was), and we are enjoying the quiet now. But as busy as it was, the last couple of weeks was totally stress free compared to one little activity, we tried to do a few weeks ago. And that was tough, we wanted to open a new bank account.

    We never felt so, well, how do I say it, insulted, and discriminated against. We were dismissed as not worthy because, we didn’t have a physical address. Oh, we could lie about it, just use someone else’s address, we were told.

    It was amazing how easily the younger generation just accepted (read that younger bank employees) the ‘Patriot Act’ at face value, no physical address, no account, after all you might be up to no-good. And in reality, the ‘Patriot Act’ doesn’t even say that.

    After several tries, we finally found an ‘older’ bank manager, who knew that people lived in RV’s and traveled. She satisfied all the requirements establishing our identities, the account was opened, and we will access it over the internet wherever we may go.

    Unfortunately, nature is not the only thing that can affect the RV lifestyle. Like it or not, politics, and attitudes of others affect us all as well.

  12. Fred Brandeberry on June 11th, 2012 10:53 am

    Hi guys & Gals:
    each yearWe ae diversified in our investments.

    We are back to the same level of worth since 2009, and spend down $6000 year.

    Our accounts are back to the same level as we had in 2009.

    Hint; we saved 1- 5 of our income since age eleven.

    Happy camping,
    Fred b.

  13. Rabenfels on June 18th, 2012 9:26 am

    Nothing wrong with Bob’s article – yes, more suitable to the Western parts of the US – comment by a poster already. Not talking politics is OK if you want to put your head in the sand. Any notions or facts that our lives are changing away from what was? Look around you! Reality is now: Once upon a time. Living full time in an RV is great but needs to consider regular monthly payments (i.e. insurance) aside from possible financing (interest) plus the unexpected costs of repair which can be higher then those in/on a stick house. The “juice” to get us where we are going costs substantial amounts as well. And should really something “bad” happen it is nice to have the means of sustainability. Some of us aged RV folks (like I) like to (or must?) have a stick house. The RV is for the other things mentoned: Pleasure, to volunteer or maybe considered the last resort BO Vehicle to get away for a while from where the “heat” may be. No one size fits all. We all enjoy the RV lifestyle for whatever reason we may have and while we can. May we always be healthy, may we always be young at heart and in spirit (no, not booze) ; the roads always be open and the freedom we so much love and take for granted be long lived for generations to come. Vote, consider all aspects and especilly the fact that the are no lies anymore – just someone miss-spoke or did not mean what they said … That is what we call Politics! Vote careful since nothing is ever “for free”! There is a cost to / for everything and especially: Consequences. Hee Haw -Happy Trails!

  14. gary sheldon on June 18th, 2012 2:00 pm

    Good point Ron. Paragraph 3 points out some of the climate change, evil coal, evil oil, evil CO2, evil nuclear energy lies that dictators and control freaks use to instill fear into the uninformed. I am confident that passive solar/ wind power is not sustainable on an industrial basis and imagine the landscape littered w/ panels and windmills and how to store this “energy” for times of no wind or sunshine. Ugly. So while waiting for the next move by God’s hand we must do what is best as stewards of the blessings he has given U.S. These systems are fine off grid but unaffordable for most with a utility bill. While driving through Meeker, Co. (I think this is the correct town) we saw a coal fired elec. plant. Clean beautiful plant w/ what appeared to be only steam from it’s stacks. The town was beautiful as well. No birds littered the ground as is the case w/ windmills (and windturbin outfits have no fines for the carcasses surrounding the cuisanarts as “evil big oil” must pay thousands per dead bird if found in one of their holding ponds). Being a good steward includes removal of dictators and their czars at election time.

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