QUESTION & ANSWER PERIOD
I’m going to do a Q & A on YouTube as soon as I buy my van and I can go somewhere which actually supports WiFi, but I thought I would answer some of the questions here for those of you (shame on you) who do not watch my YouTube channel.
Get comfy and let’s do this thing.
Bill, It’s been ten months. Are you tired of living in a bus yet?
I absolutely love living in a bus. I miss nothing about living in a house. Even stationary, like I am right now, I love the cozy feeling inside. Are there issues? Are there adjustments? Of course, affirmative to both, but the overwhelming reaction to this question is a positive one. As I sit here, pondering the future and life in general, I am making plans to remodel the bus, move it beyond functional into the next level . . . warm and fuzzy!
Right now, in my current state of mind, the only way I would stop living in Puddle Walker is if a phenomenal deal came into my realm of consciousness, a deal for a tiny home within my price range. That would make me stop and reconsider my living arrangement. But until then, this is it and I’m quite please with IT, it being Puddle Walker.
What’s the hardest thing about living in a bus?
For me, it’s the constant cleaning. I literally have to clean the inside of the bus about three times each day. Now, mind you, the bus is only 18-feet long, so we’re not talking a major cleaning effort, but still, it grows tiresome, and it is much worse now that winter is upon us. In fact, that would be Answer 1A to this question: when it is raining a lot, one does get cabin fever pretty quickly in a bus. The only solution is to get out in the weather, or start talking to the walls . . . I’ve chosen getting outside so far.
A close second and, depending upon how I’m feeling, this may well be the hardest thing . . . no regular shower. I love taking a daily shower. Actually, it’s beyond love. I crave a daily shower. Sponge baths are for people in hospitals, and you can quote me on that.
I really need to find a workable solution for this dilemma and then Bill will be a happy boy.
How long do you plan on living this lifestyle?
This may sound like a cop-out, but I assure you, it’s my honest answer: I don’t make long-range plans. I have no idea what my mindset is going to be six months from now, or one year from now. I love what I’m doing right now, but that could change with the seasons. You know the old joke “do you want to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.” That’s kind of my mantra on living. One day at a time.
How’s Maggie adjusting?
Maggie adores traveling and, really, Maggie is perfectly happy as long as she is with me or Bev. She is loyal to a fault, has no problem with traveling in any vehicle, and if I left tomorrow for a five-year journey, she would be perfectly fine with my decision. This dog is a trooper!
Maggie does best with routine, so no matter where we are, I try to set up a routine for her daily i.e. eat the same time morning and night, walk at about the same time, that sort of thing. Give her routine, her human by her side, and an endless supply of dog treats, and this dog will go anywhere, anytime.
How expensive is it to live on the road?
This is really an impossible question to answer. I’m going to tell you why, give you an idea of what it costs me, and you can draw your own conclusions.
Everyone’s approach to living on the road is different. If I were to travel on a daily basis to a different RV park, it would not take me long to go broke. Figure a decent RV park will run around $75 per night with hookups, figure the gas to drive to a new location daily, I can easily see spending $100 per day, and that’s being careful with money, which computes to roughly $36,000 per year. I’m not made of that kind of money; this boy is not rich and never will be, so I take a little bit of a creative approach.
In decent weather I can go three days without power, which means no RV park for three days. There are so many variables, I really don’t know what to tell you at this point. When I was resupplying Bev along the Pacific Crest Trail, I was doing so on about $1500 per month, all expenses included. Compare that to renting a one-bedroom apartment, it’s kind of in the same ballpark. However, there are a lot of people not comfortable with pulling into vacant lot, in a strange area, and hoping for the best. I find rest areas to be my best friend on the road. I can play the rest area game with the best travelers alive, and rest areas don’t cost a penny to spend the night.
Anyway, lots of variables to consider, so take my $1500 per month and consider that my average figure while on the road.
Now, if you ask me what it costs to live at a home base, like I’m doing right now in Olympia, the answer is $0. I do not pay for rent, I do not pay for utilities, and being parked I do not pay for gas. I am literally, as of this moment, living on about $600 per month and almost all of that is food expense.
What do you do about mail and medical and all the mundane trivia of daily living?
The answer to this question is not complicated at all, but it is something that every nomad must take care of. You need a “permanent” address so you can have important papers mailed to you somewhere. For me, that permanent address changes depending upon my whims. At one time it was my son’s house, then my friend Jim’s house, and now it is the place I am currently staying.
As long as the major players in your life have an address on file, they are happy.
My medical plan is through Kaiser Permanente, so if I had problems on the road, it’s not hard to find them nearby, and whenever I’m home I set up a wellness visit and make sure the one med I take is refilled.
And really, that’s all there is to it. Other things like taking a shower can be worked out. You can buy a Planet Fitness membership for $25 per month and use their showers at any of their locations. Community centers have showers, as do truck stops, as do many state parks.
The all-encompassing answer to this question is the fact that many have come before me, and they have already worked these things out, so it really is pretty simple to take care of the daily necessities.
And that is all for now. If you have a question about my lifestyle, feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer as quickly as possible.\