My house is under 175 square feet. In other words I live in a space smaller than the average master bedroom. My bedroom, bathroom (including RV toilet), kitchen, dinning area, closet, etc, encompass less space than where most Americans spend their slumber time. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Of course my house also is capable of moving at freeway speeds and isn’t tied to a single location. Kinda makes the whole sub-175 square feet thing seem worth while, doesn’t it?
For as long as I can remember I have had a nomadic itch. I have wanted to explore the country – to see what is out there. The thought of living my entire life in one location always was unsettling to me. I don’t fault those that want to plant roots in one location. It just doesn’t float my boat. I want to roam. I NEED to roam.
For the better part of 17 years I tried to convince my wife that we needed to hit the road. Sell everything. Become nomads. The country – the world – would be our living room. I came close (or so I thought) a few times, but never quite was able to convince her. There were many reasons she didn’t buy into my plan – one of which being her upbringing as an Air Force brat. I think the idea of having a stable home somewhere was more appealing to her than calling nowhere home.
Now that I am on my own I have decided to take the bull by the horns and finally realize this many decades long dream of mine. I now call the road my home and have no idea where this journey will take me. While the thought of this is a bit scary, it is mostly invigorating. I am finally doing what I feel I was meant to do. I am roaming. I am exploring. I am learning about this country I call home while I am learning about myself.
My wife and I visited dozens of RV shows, and have been inside of hundreds of rigs over the years. She was very interested in the 40+ foot Class A motorhomes – you know, the condos on wheels. Unfortunately the $300k price tags for these rigs were beyond our budget, though having one of those would be oh so sweet!
When there is just one to consider, and that one happens to be a guy that doesn’t mind the idea of living a minimalistic lifestyle, it is MUCH easier to find a house on wheels that is a bit more in the budget.
An Airstream trailer was what I first had my sights on. When I would tell people of my plans to travel I would say I was going to buy an Airstream and travel the country. Then reality set in. I visited an Airstream dealership and suffered from a severe case of sticker shock. Then I looked at used units and decided I didn’t have the time, energy, money, or location to restore an Airstream that was in my price range. So I looked elsewhere.
I settled on a Lance travel trailer. Lance has a great reputation building truck campers – those boxes that sit in the bed of a pickup truck. They started making trailers somewhere around 6 years ago and have a great reputation for building a quality unit.
Sure, I could purchase something cheaper, much cheaper, but if I was going to live in the trailer full-time, I didn’t want to buy a POS. So Lance it was! And in February of this year I put a deposit down on a new Lance 1995 travel trailer. Yeah, that is right – I did what one isn’t suppose to. I bought a new RV. There is a reason…
Turns out that it is next to impossible to find a used Lance trailer of the model I wanted. And the ones that were advertised were going for an asking price very close to new retail. So I shopped around (go figure!) and found the best price at the closest dealership to where I was staying in Phoenix. They came back with a price of 20% off retail, which I knew, for a Lance, was a great price. So I put a deposit down. On my new home.
I was able to buy one that wasn’t built yet, but had been ordered. This meant two things:
- I was able to get my trailer much quicker than if I placed a new order since this one was already in the queue to be built.
- Since it wasn’t built yet, I was able to add the one option that I wanted and it wasn’t already coming with – a solar panel.
A couple of weeks later, I was stroking out a check and taking delivery of my new home. Um, this was getting kind of real. A long-term dream of mine coming to fruition.
After much more more time than I anticipated, I had outfitted the trailer and its tow vehicle and was ready to hit the road. Off I went, starting the adventure that I had been anticipating for many years. And so the journey started.