Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mi RV Casa

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


Jerry X Shea said...

I need to remember that)as he may be heading in a direction, that in time, he does not want to go. We have a 40 for 6 years now. When the time comes, we will "down size" but it sure won't be a 17' anything. When we can no longer drive any size motorhome we will just check in to the "last stop retirement home" - and that is no joke - it is in our plans.

gracer said...

This is what worked for me regarding the shut-in feeling of mild claustrophobia which I believe can be remedied by opposing slides. I toured many RV's on the day I bought my 5ver. Some of them had a sight claustrophobic feeling. Then at last I steped in my future 5ver to be and noticed an immediate spacious feeling due to the opposing slides in the rear. One slide has the sofa and fridge, the other slide the dining table. The sofa allows me to sit on the sofa with my feet up and watch TV, a feature very important to me. Not all RV's have such an arrangement for easy TV watching.
So, as a suggestion to offset any claustrophobia, try and get double (opposing) slides in the rear living area of your next RV.

An RV salesman told me, upon my asking him of his opinion of this particular model, to always choose the most square footage possible in an RV, so that is what confirmed my choice and I bought the 5ver and I am still pleased and glad about my choice, because I haven't felt claustrophobic.
To summarize, my 30 foot 5ver has opposing slides in the rear living area and that's why I chose this particular model because I sensed a feeling of spaciousness that the other models, used and new, didn't have.
Also, and this is a biggie, I am glad I have windows on each side of the sleeping area for cross ventilation. Some of the new models of shorter 5vers that I have recently seen don't have windows on each side of the sleeping area, but cabinets instead on one side, which would be regarded as a design failure for me personally, because I just must have fresh air.
As an aspiring boondocker currently looking for a solar installer, I rarely will use air conditoning, as these aforementioned new 5ver models I suppose are primarily designed for, so I can't imagine not having cross ventilation, especially in the summer. Good luck with the slight claustrophobia and may you attain a feeling of spaceousness in your RV, even if at a modest length of 30 feet.