So, while we love our life in our 200sq foot home, there are for sure challenges. But, we feel like the payoff is worth it... although sometimes not. Here are the top 5 biggest headaches we face living in a travel trailer.
1. Moving it.
When you live in a house that is fixed to the ground, the idea of moving it isn't a thing. When your home has wheels however, and the reason your living in your home with wheels is so that you can change the world around it anytime you'd like, it can get annoying. Don't get me wrong, the freedom that comes from our being able to hitch up our house and pull it anywhere we want to live, whenever we want is amazing... the process to do so however is less amazing.
We've actually got this down pretty good, and will get better, but it still a process and it takes time and it's not fun. Here is what has to be done ever time we move our home:
- Clean up the outside area around the trailer. This includes:
- folding up our 16' outdoor matt
- detaching and putting away our outdoor table
- putting all the bikes on the bike rack
- hanging all the outdoor chairs on our chair rack
- putting away the outdoor oven
- pulling and folding up the table cloths on the picnic table
- wrapping up our outdoor, very cool, sting lights
- removing and wrapping up the sewer hose, and water hose
- wrapping up the electrical cable that gives the trailer power
- removing the wheel chocks (the things that keep the trailer from rolling)
- crank up the four stabilizers (the things that keep the trailer stable and wobble free when parked)
- put away all the bricks and supports (we put these under the stabilizers
- dumping all the tanks to make sure we're not pulling a punch of liquid weight
- Clean-up and prep the inside for the motion of travel. This includes:
- Cleaning up the whole trailer
- taking down the loose items, like pictures on our little shelf thing
- taking down our two pictures from the wall
- moving our little shelf on wheels thing into our "bedroom" so it doesn't slide around
- removing the TV from the TV swivel arm (requires removing 4 screws from the back... every time)
- taking down all soups, and anything that can roll or fall over from the kitchen counter
- cleaning more because the kids just made a mess
- taking out the trash
- making sure the kids didn't leave toys out in their room, they did.
- clean up the trailer again because the kids just spilled something
- send the kids outside because they keep making messes, clean up the snack crumbs they left behind everywhere.
- Attach the trailer to the car. This includes:
- attaching the hitch to the car, and adding the pin
- backing the car up to the trailer
- lowering the trailer just above the hitch
- attachkng the stabilizer bars to the hitch on the car (these help keep some of the trailers weight off the back of the car). Insert the bar pins into the hitch on the car.
- attaching the other end of the stabilizer bars to the trailer frame, insert the pins.
- lowering the trailer all the way onto the hitch
- attaching the power and brake cable to the car, as well as the safety chains
- Drive to the new location and do everything again, in reverse.
2. Eating in it.
Over all, I don't feel like we're squished for space believe it or not. For sure, we don't have much room, we're not ignoring that fact, but honestly we don't really feel he small space, most of the time. For me, the only real time that I wish we had more space is when we all try to sit around the dinner table, which we do every night. For one, the table is small. I like a big table to really spread out. Two, because we keep the table pushed up all the way against the wall until we use it for meals, we have to pull the table out and re-set all the chairs as part of our pre-meal chore list. Once we do get the table pulled out, and the chairs re-arranged, it's not easy to get to the chairs. Someone is always sort of stuck in one of the chairs because that one chair is in the corner of the trailer. The nice thing is that whoever sits there sort of gets a free pass to have everyone else grab anything they need that's not already on the table.
3. The couch.
During the renovation process of our trailer, which you can see here, we went back and forth on whether to keep or replace the couch. We decided to keep it (the one that came with the trailer) because it was cheaper then replacing it, less hassle, and it seemed more functional then something we'd buy from a home furniture store. Now, two months later, I wish we had trashed it. Overall, it's too small for our family, although that's more of an issue with us choosing to live in 250sq then with the couch alone.
The other issue though is that, it's just not comfortable. I know this is a first world problem, but in an effort to make our trailer as homey and possible, I've learned that a good comfy couch is pretty essential. I'm actually writing this post from that couch and I must say, I'm thinking about going over to our hard wooden dining chairs for relief. Sure, I'm a big baby, yes I'm writing a blog complaining about a couch that isn't comfy enough while people in other places are sleeping on cardboard, but, well it's our blog so, that's what you get.
4... I honestly can't think of anything else
Overall, there really aren't; a ton of things that are difficult... well actually everything is more difficult to an extent. Simply moving toward the bathroom takes extra thought and timing so avoid a collision with a child or a wife (I only have one of those by the way, but it flowed better to say a wife, so I went with it). Making meals it more difficult, there seems to always be something breaking, broke, or about to be broken. Even walking in the front door require more effort. Really though, most of these things are pretty minor, and you stop seeing them as difficulties and more as the norm as time goes on. I'm sure we'll run into a lot more difficulties as we do along, and we'll be sure to share all the crud with you, but for now, things are pretty good.
If you want to do what we did, check out our entire video library and see first hand how we actually, practically made the jump from suburbia to full-time travel.