One thing we've learned in 2 1/2 years of living in a motorhome is that we're quite a bit different than most RV'ers.
Consider that we knew nothing about RV's when we first got into this. But we knew how we wanted to live. Neither one of us were ever attracted to "RV parks" in that sense...however we used to do a lot of tent camping with the kids and we have always liked the state and provincial parks. In getting a motorhome, we knew that we wanted to travel with it...not just stay parked in one spot for months at a time. The idea was to hit the road...a few days here, and a few days there, and see the continent. In order to do this, we decided to do things a little different.
For people who don't know much about RV's, they have their own water supply for when you're on the road. Usually between 30-60 gallons. Sherman's fresh water tank holds 38 gallons (144 litres). We don't use this for drinking, preferring to buy spring water in the U.S or Canada, and purified water while in Mexico. So this water supply has to last for dishes, washing up, flushing the toilet, and showers. Because that's not a lot of water, you have to conserve, which is a good topic for another day. We can make that 38 gallons of water last for over a week with the two of us. Most RV'ers go to an RV park, and hook up to the water supply so that they have that seemingly never ending supply of water, the same way they do at home. Do you think you could live with 5 gallons per day per couple? For perspective, most people use well over that for one shower! Most household toilets use 2 gallons per flush!
Most RV's have a 6 gallon hot water tank that is heated with propane. There was a recent survey on an RV forum that I follow, and at least 95% of the responses said that a hot water heater was a clear necessity, and quite a few of them said that it was the first thing they turned on when they get parked up. For us, we heat water on the stove when we need it for washing up dishes or bodies. The only time we fire up the hot water heater is to have a shower every few days (I know, you're horrified that we don't shower daily!), and then we make sure we're each going to have a shower. Then we turn it off until the next time. It's a much more efficient use of propane. We are clearly different from most RV'ers in this department.
Most RV's have one or sometimes two batteries for use with lights and to run the electronics for the fridge, hot water, and furnace. Most people only use that 12v electricity for temporary periods when the RV isn't pugged into 120V electric. But because we like to park in the middle of nowhere on a beach in Mexico, we are now fully self sufficient with enough batteries and solar panels that we don't need to be plugged in at any time. The only reason we would plug in is to use electric heat, microwave, or TV, and we don't need any of those things to be happy in our motorhome. Most RV'ers couldn't do without their microwave, so we are clearly different than most.
We don't put toilet paper in the toilet. Let me give you some background on that. The RV holding tank is just that...a holding tank. Most RV'ers spend a small fortune on "RV toilet paper" and holding tank chemicals. The story is that RV specific toilet paper breaks down easier in the holding tank, and that reduces any chance of things clogging up in there. And many then add chemicals to assist in the break down process. Then they add chemicals to try and make the holding tank smell pretty. We use whatever toilet paper we want, and we put it in a little covered waste basket beside the toilet. This is the way most toilets outside of the resort areas in Mexico operate. Most RV'ers are disgusted by this. But no, it doesn't smell. No, not even after a few days. We are waaay different than most. We don't spend any money on these unnecessary items.
There's a lot of other things too. We use our oven a lot. We don't frequent restaurants, preferring our own cooking. We have a cell phone, but it's rarely turned on. We don't stay at campgrounds, preferring couchsurfing and friends driveways.
We like being a little different!
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