Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
I have recently been self-diagnosed with mild claustrophobia. We retired five years ago and have been downsizing. My husband calls it “cultivating our detachments.” We had a 2,000 sq. ft. house full of stuff five years ago. We moved into a 40 ft. motorhome which I thought downsized us as far as humanly possible. We really didn’t like driving the monster so we downsized further to a 34 ft. fifth-wheel. My husband could not get used to parking a fifth-wheel so we downsized further to a 27 ft. class C motorhome. I was quite happy with the class C, but my husband, the fanatic, started checking out 17 ft. Casita travel trailers. At first he said he was just curious about them, then we ended up taking a factory tour, and now I live in one. I have to admit I love the little thing, but we had to go through a lot of adjustments in coordinating our sleeping, eating and leisure activities. It has forced us to spend more time out-of-doors, shop more sparingly, downsize our stuff to a minimum and conserve our water usage. My problem is he is now online looking at luggage all the time. I’m thinking he might be headed for a suitcase, and I may be in it. Do you think this is just a stage he is going through or should I be worried?
--Mi Casa Es Su Casa, in Casa Grande
Dear Mi Casa:
I only think you should be worried if he actually buys a suitcase. I see this situation all the time. People new to the RV lifestyle often go big. They have been watching big rigs pass them for years and dreaming about that life on the road. They see all their favorite country stars traveling in them and want to live part of that life vicariously. They go to the big RV shows and find more in a big rig than they have at home, right down to Italian marble floors. It works out for a percentage of people, but many find the expense of maintaining a motorhome with a doorbell that plays 37 different songs a bit more than the budget will allow. So the process begins. They start cruising the campgrounds at night looking at all the eye-candy that others have ended up with. Then the elimination process of what would work better for them kicks in. It sometimes, as in your case, takes more than two moves. I will agree that moving from a 2,000 sq. ft. house to a 17 ft. Casita is a major detachment cultivation operation. I think you have been very tolerant of your husband’s obsession with the downsizing process. But he is not the only one having to live with these decisions. You have to be more forceful with your opinions if you do not desire to live in such a small space. Maybe you do not agree with giving up some of the things you enjoy, or conserving to the degree you must with small holding tanks. If not, you should voice your opinion or you may just find yourself in a suitcase and your husband online looking at small day packs.
--Keep Smilin‘, Dr. R.V. Shrink