Sorry, I didn’t realize there’d be so many responses. First post went online at like 1AM, and waited until I got up to finish the second, without looking. So let me first address the questions, and then move on to other aspects of living the minimalist lifestyle we currently have.
Mountainbiker, we’ve been doing this for 3 months so far, 2 of them at campgrounds. While that’s NOT really “roughing it,” due to having power/water/sewer, the one month on the road so far has been my baseline on things like fuel mileage, water consumption, power storage, etc. Not a very good data set, I admit, just trying to put out the current data for others to think about. With regard to being stationary or on the move, I bought the RV with the idea that we’d be on the move a LOT. That’s just not realistic, because you still need to be somewhat close to your storage/supplies. We simply can’t carry all the coats and other creature-comforts like ventilation fans in the summer, heaters in the winter (Walmart sells fans and heaters that work VERY well, but are electrically very efficient, stretching out battery capabilities). There has been one… negative… experience being on the move, and hopefully I’ll get to it later.
Selco, the tough period was actually a couple of weeks ago. Frayed tempers, poor communication with my wife (originally from Rostov-On-Don, Russia), and she was on the ragged edge. Wanted to move back to Russia with the kids, get a divorce… and then the Ruble collapsed. Gave her plenty to think about, where we were able to work things out. The price for being cooped up in a little box. I used to be in the navy, working on submarines, so the small spaces don’t bother me. But they surely do for everyone else.
As to plans, the RV was the obvious solution for the short-term fallback position. My work is rather specialized, but requires me to be close to big cities (a mistake I learned too late). None of the companies I have been talking to for work are even in California, so I can’t lock my family and I into a lease of 6 months or a year…. If I got a new job next week, we’d be screwed. So this option allows us to have a decent lifestyle, the ability to play “vacation” with out little ones, and be ready to go for the next job. A new aspect in the mix, is that I’ve been talking to some companies who have been building in sparsely populated areas- Wyoming, parts of Texas, Virginia, etc., so I’ve been pushing hard for those locations. Would love to be out in country, while still making a decent salary.
The idea that we were brave or courageous to take this step, misses the point. We were in trouble. We took stock of what we had in cash, the on-paper value we had in our house, and analyzed current cash flows. We took a conservative approach, designed to hold out as long as possible with the remaining money available. It took a few days of phone calls to the local branch manager from Chase bank, to get the funds together so that I could cash it all out, but that’s exactly what I did… Though I felt a little ridiculous walking out of the bank with a bag full of money, like a character in a comedy.