A friend wrote a really honest review of his location independent lifestyle. They’re RVing through Europe (called Caravan-ing in Europe) and Ryel's post had been rolling around in my head.
So here goes:
It happened again.
We broke down.
Or more specifically Gracie broke down.
And people are starting to think that everything we write about here is a break down.
Perhaps we should rename this blog to "fixing our home along the way".
Here we are stuck in our second campground in East Texas in as many days.
I am getting discouraged I just don't know what's going on.
I mean I know that we have either a bad thermostat, bad water pump, or a blockage in the radiator system.
What I don’t understand is why things keep going wrong.
We have this pretty sweet lifestyle it's flexible and it can be a lot of fun but there are a lot of negatives with it.
For most people in our situation those negatives are things like loneliness or having to explain who you are and how you operate every day to someone new.
For me, for now, those things don’t bother me.
However, for me, for today, two different things are bothering me. To the point that I can say right now, I'm not liking this lifestyle.
But let me explain.
One of the things that really enticed me to the location independent lifestyle two years ago was having no lawn to mow and having no maintenance. Not having to always work on things and fix things. And not having things always breaking down. At that time that’s what attracted me to the location independent lifestyle. I was thinking mostly about the flying and staying in short-term rentals lifestyle I hadn't really thought through all aspects of the RV lifestyle.
Fast forward a year and a half... We buy an RV sight unseen drive it home from California with only a minor mechanical problem (the clutch fan went out and we overheated) Five months later as we're out on the road we had to replace the transmission and now we're stuck with an overheating engine. (again)
It could be the fault of the new transmission, perhaps them moving stuff all around caused a blockage in the radiator, or the clutch fan to stop working or the water pump or thermostat to go out.
Or it could be cause by an old engine (think of a 17 year old car, like a 98 pontiac grand prix… you don’t see many of this around anymore because they’re old and busted.
All I know is that ever since I had to pay the bill for the transmission and brakes I've been struggling.
- Struggling with the lack of money
- Struggling with the costs of all of this
- Struggling with the fact that I'm not mechanically inclined.
I understand the basics of how an engine works of how a transmission works of how radiators work in the electronics of the vehicle.
But every time something goes wrong I might have an idea of something to try, yet I have limited tools, limited time and no experience. For example, I can’t even find the thermostat on our engine.
So I know there's going to be another bill coming at us.
I'd love to be more mechanical, more able to fix things when they're broken. To figure stuff out and to live cheaper because we could do our own repair work.
But I can’t.
And here we are... with
- An overheating motorhome
- A minivan whose door won't open and bumper won't stay on. (More on that door situation later after we figure it out with the insurance company.)
- An awning that won't retract any more. I have to manually push it closed. The springs are broken inside which is another $500 repair.
What's going on?
Our finances aren't that great. We are not debt free. Most of the debt is because the business took such a hit last year. We're still trying to recover from that. Connex is finally making money again. We've got a good base of clients but we're still only at 50% of what we need to be to recover.
And there's more expenses coming in.
I feel like a failure to bring in money, I feel like a failure to repair our own house.
So I'm depressed right now.
I'm sad and that finances aren't coming in.
Sad that bills keep piling up.
Sad that the motorhome keeps breaking down.
We are on the adventure of a lifetime. It is an adventure for our lifetime.
Yet it’s not all peaches and warm fuzzies.
There’s some difficult stuff out here.
So what does the future hold?
I don't know.
But I do know I love my wife, my kids, and this adventure called life, even if I cannot seem to get ahead.
I was recently asked what I want my kids to remember me by, and my answer was that I'm an overcomer. So my hope is to overcome this too.
So would you want to RV fulltime after reading the negative of our life?