Non-campers can still ask the best questions and are always very concerned.
- What – you live in the trailer?
No, I live in the RV.
- All the year long?
Yes of course
- Isn’t that cold in winter?
No, I have a heater that makes you nice and warm
- And where do you shower?
In the RV, this has a bathroom with a shower and toilet
- And then you live with the caravan on the campsite?
It’s an RV, and with it, you can stay overnight anywhere that isn’t forbidden. Today I prefer to be alone in the middle of nature.
- Isn’t it dangerous when you’re standing there all alone?
Standing alone is much less dangerous than with many others in a large square
- How do you finance yourself? (By the way, also a very popular question from some blog readers)
I have an online shop and work via the Internet
- Is there enough money to live on?
It was enough for the last 8 years.
- How long do you want to keep doing this?
It’s a journey with no destination and no definite end – as long as I enjoy it, I’ll keep going
- Two people in such a small space – is that okay?
Yes, it works surprisingly well. We do things together and every now and then we do it on our own. So everyone has their own time.
- Isn’t such a RV too cramped in the long run?
I have a bathroom, a kitchen, a bedroom, a living room and a conservatory. I can only stay in one place at a time. There would be even less space to live in. Just all that stuff you think you need makes such a big car necessary.
- Why do you so rarely drive onto pitches?
A parking space is great for supply and disposal. In order to be able to write articles like this in peace, I like to look out the window at nature. When I step out the door, I want to be outside and not have to walk across a parking space or down a street from a place to be able to be in the “green”. I want to be in the middle.
- Is life in an RV cheaper?
So far I can’t really confirm that. The repair costs replace the rent. In my case, the cost of maintaining the RV and getting the RV as self-sufficient as I wanted to contact with Airstream dealer Mississippi was significantly higher than the cost of renting it for the same amount of time.
My life in the motorhome – ups and downs
8 years is a long time, there are ups and downs. The lows in the first year still related to the fact that the parking spaces around the workplace were slowly becoming boring. I also didn’t want to stay in one place for too long and more and more often during the week just stopped in front of the company in the industrial area. Not a nice place to live and very far away from the dream of unlimited freedom that you imagine when you think of mobile living. If I hadn’t changed this situation back then, I certainly wouldn’t be living in an RV today.
A clear highlight was the accidental eBay find of my current cabin. With the purchase of this RV, I also officially decided to continue living in the RV. In the fall of 2009, the question of how the overwintering should take place was still in the air. But the possibility of living with the parents instead of in the RV was not really considered by many of us as an alternative.
My biggest low was in 2014 when Meli chose a different path in life for various reasons. And now after 3 years, I can say that this (de)decision has led me to the highest high. I’m sitting here in Portugal and I’m looking forward to the coming summer. Something like this would have been unthinkable 3 years ago.
After every low, life goes on again and so the year 2016 developed into the highest high so far when I got to know Tanja in Portugal and we have been travelling through Europe together since March 2016.
Have I really not spent a night in a normal bed?
In the past 8 years, I had taken about four weeks of vacation from life in the RV. Once it was a trip to Riesa by car, and there I actually slept 2 nights in a hotel. Even when the old Iveco was exchanged for today’s Vario and my RV was in the workshop for 3-4 weeks, I slept on a sofa in the hallway with Meli’s mother. I still remember that it was quite unusual to have a rigid bed that doesn’t move when you turn over. An RV always springs a little and rocks when you move in it.
How much does life in an RV cost?
I’ll put it this way, I don’t know exactly and even if I did, my numbers wouldn’t help you. Everyone has different lifestyle habits and security needs, which directly affects monthly costs. But you’re curious, so I’m still announcing a few numbers from times when I actually wrote them down.
- Cost of living
This includes groceries and everything you need for your daily needs. Also dog food.
Depending on the country 180-220€
- Insurance and taxes
It is already difficult to find a generally valid value. For a 7.5 ton camper, I pay Euro 3, a whopping €540 tax and €700 insurance including fully comprehensive insurance with €1000 SB. Insured at a fixed value according to an appraisal.
Everyone has to determine their own personal pension scheme and other insurances. It doesn’t matter whether you live in a house or in an RV.
expenses for clothes, shoes, computers, RV technology and also vehicle repairs are incurred again and again and vary significantly depending on the desired standard of living and vehicle type. I don’t spend a lot on clothes as I wear the same thing almost every day.
- RV Savings Plan
You should set aside an amount of X every month if you do not want life in the RV to be a temporary project. Because at some point every Rollheim has reached a point where it is no longer worth repairing. 400 € a month is a nice amount to find something useful again after 10 years.
- Eating out in luxury
and staying on pitches can have a significant impact on monthly costs. Even a parking space, which only costs €6, costs €180 per month. I can go shopping for 2 people for a whole month. If campsites are preferred, the costs increase significantly.
- Supply: diesel, water, gas & electricity
The rule here is that if you drive a lot, you pay a lot. With fuel consumption of 16-18 litres/100km, the monthly diesel costs can eat up a large part of the monthly budget. I’ve had an average of 15-20,000km over the years.
I used to have gas costs of €450 a year since the wood stove these costs have dropped to €40/year, but I buy firewood for €100 a year.
Water also costs money, depending on where you can get it. In the Algarve, I can supply & dispose of pitches for €2. That’s €4 a month.
What many forget are the electricity costs. Lead batteries cost me around €28 a month (550Ah AGM for 3 years). With lithium batteries, the electricity costs €23.30, if I calculate with a cautious 10-year shelf life. Then I could buy a new set in 10 years at today’s prices.
Motorhome drivers always like to calculate. It is best to calculate until the numbers are nice. But nothing really counts here. An RV sale, especially if it is bought new, has an insane loss in value and actually makes any further profitability calculation pointless. Whether a solar system on the RV is worthwhile or whether a generator should be used – all somehow pointless if you throw the total costs into one pot and then draw a line under it. I’m still lucky, I was able to get hold of a cheap and still – as it turned out later – very high-quality roll home. My lifestyle costs sum X. As long as I can afford this sum, the world is fine for me.
To live on the street
Sometimes it’s the most normal things that cause problems for us nomads on the street. For example, if you just want to go to a workshop. “No problem, park your vehicle out there and we’ll call you when we’re done”… Uh nope. I’ll wait here and I’ll stick with it, where else should I go?
When it was time to change the clutch on the Vario, it was only on the third try that I found a workshop that agreed that I could stay in the RV during assembly and that the work could be completed in one day. That’s why I do most of the work myself, so I’m more flexible.
Conversions in the RV are always a bit more complex when the residential operation is ongoing. I can’t buy any material in a hardware store and then calmly convert my RV at home. I have to drive the RV to the DIY store parking lot, buy the material and ideally install it on the spot. If something doesn’t fit or is missing, I can get the right parts from the hardware store. It was the same with the conversion of the door to the driver’s cab.
The notoriety thing
You live on the streets and you’re transparent, especially when you’ve also had the idea of blogging for years. Eventually, there will be a certain level of awareness and I always have to expect visitors. Especially when I’m standing in the same place with other RVs, it may well be that I can’t think of an urgent afternoon nap because it was way too late the night before. Because just as I fall asleep, someone comes by and the dogs sound the alarm. I understand that and I don’t want to blame anyone for that. It’s just like that, if I want peace and quiet, I have to stand alone, I’ve also learned that in the meantime.
Standing alone and preferably being free became more and more of an issue, especially in the last year, when my work shifted more to the computer. I have to concentrate here and don’t want to be distracted. It has a number of advantages, as I no longer have appointments and can work and live more flexibly and independently of location.