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The RVing Life: Leave Stress Behind

Enjoying the view of Lake Superior at Grand Marais, Michigan.

Enjoying the view of Lake Superior at Grand Marais, Michigan.

Join Full Time RVers and Leave Stress Behind

Is your life too stressful?

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed by all your stuff and the responsibility that goes with it? Is your body showing symptoms of stress like high blood pressure, headaches, anxiety, and general discontent? Most of us don't need any quizzes to know whether or not our lives are too stressful. We know it!

Our lives are cluttered with possessions we don't care about, and people who are not important to us. We have the Jones to keep up with, boring meetings to attend, too many bills, and too many commitments. Even those who are retired can be caught up in a vicious cycle of having too many demands upon their time.

Leave Stress Behind

RVers have discovered that they can leave much of their stress behind when they hit the road full time. Downsizing to smaller living quarters means getting rid of unnecessary possessions. What a relief! Leave behind the lawn mowing, home maintenance, endless meetings, and demands from the family. It's easier than you think!

Life too Stressful?

RV Living: Coping with Close Quarters

There is definitely a period of adjustment when going from living in a house to living in an RV, there's no doubt about it. Because of the tight quarters, we learned on our first RVing trip that everything must be put in its proper place. We quickly learn to avoid stepping on the cat as we squeeze around each other, and it doesn't take long to realize that each person needs a little space. In our case, my husband watches his Sunday afternoon football games in the bedroom with the door closed while I read. Unless the weather is bad, we set up chairs and a small table outdoors. Even if it's just to have a cup of coffee, it's much more relaxing to have it where we can watch the birds or enjoy the view. We often go for walks near our camp or go exploring in our Jeep into the back country. We've both learned that too much togetherness can make us testy, so we each have interests that we can pursue alone.

Once these details are worked out, we are free to enjoy our new lifestyle to the fullest extent. We each have our own way of coping with the close quarters, but one thing common to all of us is the relief we feel at not being tied down to a house and all the stuff that goes with it.

See Boondocking.

Photographs of Lake Superior, Michigan

Lake Superior AuSable, Michigan.

Lake Superior AuSable, Michigan.

Stephanie at Sand Beach, Lake Superior, Michigan

Stephanie at Sand Beach, Lake Superior, Michigan

Find Peace and Serenity in Nature

It's not difficult to find peaceful, quiet places to park your RV for a few days, a few weeks or a few months. It all depends on what kinds of things you like to do. During our years of RVing, we've discovered serene beauty in diverse settings including mountains, deserts, ocean sides and lake sides. One relaxing trip we took was to Michigan's Upper Peninsula where we had beautiful views, many natural areas to hike and the unusual Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to explore.

Getting Away to Michigan's Upper Peninsula

The serene views to the right are photos taken in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula along Lake Superior between Munising, Michigan and Grand Marais, Michigan. The little village of Grand Marais, Michigan has a lovely city park situated on cliffs overlooking Lake Superior. The beach below, Agate Beach, is a wonderland of pretty stones including agates for the experienced rock hounds. There are many small roads and trails along the lake, but for the best views, go to Munising and take a tour boat to view the rock formations, arches and dunes from the water.

A beautiful and natural area of the country, the Upper Peninsula is a wonderful place to get back to nature. Enjoy walks on the beach, treks through the woods along the cliff's edges and especially the spectacular sunsets on the lake.

Advantages of RV Living

  • Easily Move to a Better Neighborhood

There are definite advantages to living in an RV. When your house has wheels, if you don't like the neighborhood, you can very easily move. Don't like the dogs barking or the neighbors with the big lights shining into your rig? No problem, just unplug the utilities and drive away.

  • Follow Good Weather

Is the weather too hot, too cold, too rainy? Look at the map and the weather report and find a better climate. If this all sounds like it's too easy to be true, it isn't. One of the reasons people love full-time RVing is that they have the option of moving whenever the whim strikes. We follow the sun to Florida or South Texas or Arizona in the winter and follow the cooler weather to the mountains of Wyoming, Colorado or the Northeast in the summer. It's pretty easy to avoid snow or hurricane season when your house has wheels!

  • Stay Flexible

Living on wheels also makes it possible to be totally flexible. Get up in the morning in Ohio and decide that it would be really great to visit Nashville? By mid-morning you can be merrily on your way. It's hard to explain the feeling of freedom you get when you pull up stakes, hook up the toad (tow vehicle, which for us is a Jeep Wrangler) and take off. We have a silly little tradition whenever we do this -- I plug in the iPod and play "On The Road Again" as we head down the road. On the other hand, we've come across out-of-the way, beautiful camping spots where we intended to spend the night and ended up staying 3 weeks. It's great to be free!

Sunsets On Michigan Great Lakes

Sunset on Lake Superior at Grand Marais, Michigan.

Sunset on Lake Superior at Grand Marais, Michigan.

Sunset at Petosky State Park. Lake Michigan.

Sunset at Petosky State Park. Lake Michigan.

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  • Escape the Demands of Owning a House

Being on the road does discourage all those annoying calls you used to get. Your cell phone is turned on, your number is the same, but you won't be getting calls asking you to be historian for your club, or to bring refreshments for the Ladies Guild meeting. If you had a land line before, you will no longer get solicitations from sales people and charities because they can no longer find you. I just love that!

  • Maintain Connections

You don't have to worry about staying in touchwith the important people in your life. Mail and computer services are easily arranged while you're on the road. Maintain the relationships that are important to you and cull out the rest!

On The Road Again - A Favorite RVer's Song

Imagine Yourself Relaxing...

If you are driving, slow down. You don't have to be anywhere in a hurry, let the traffic fly by if they want. If you are parked, lean back and relax.

Imagine that you are now parked on the edge of a beautiful serene lake, maybe Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. You don't have to pay utility bills or worry about heating your big house all winter. You pay your $25 a night for the full hookup campground and everything is taken care of for the next few days or weeks.

You don't have to mow the lawn or trim the trees or feed the roses. You don't have to vacuum 6 rooms or dust all the knickknacks because you don't have room for knickknacks in the RV.

You won't have to iron your clothes or shine your shoes or style your hair. This is the simple life! Easy, wash and wear hair styles, t-shirt and jeans or shorts are all you need. This afternoon you will have to make the serious decision of whether to go for a hike along the lake shore or sit in the shade and read the book you picked up free at the campground book exchange.

Maybe tonight you'll join the neighboring campers for happy hour around a campfire or maybe you'll just watch the sunset with your spouse. Do you feel your blood pressure going down, yet?

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This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2010 Stephanie Henkel


Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on June 03, 2012:

Ely Maverick - RVing and camping does bring us closer to nature, and that in itself reduces stress in our lives. It is a great way of life!

Ely Maverick from The Beautiful Archipelago of the Philippines on June 02, 2012:

Life is great when you're at the RV, right? It makes you closer to nature and to the Creator.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on June 01, 2012:

Mizjo - Taking off on an RVing adventure with a couple of friends sounds wonderful! RVs come in many different sizes, so you'll be able to choose something that you are comfortable driving. Ours is 33' long. I have driven it once or twice, but usually my husband does all the driving. It's not the length that scares me, but the width as its much wider than a car. However, many women drive much larger RVs and seem perfectly comfortable with them. There are also driving courses offered for those who want some professional instruction.

Good luck on your travels!

mizjo from New York City, NY on May 31, 2012:

Oh, so now I know it can be done. This has been my dream for retirement, but life got in the way: namely, two precious new grandsons, and I couldn't go away for so long from them.

In good time though, I shall go RVing with a couple of good retired friends whom I get along with famously. Until we can get ourselves into one of those beautiful vehicles, we take short trips to different parts of the world.

Your RV in your photo looks like a proper juggernaut. Was it hard getting used to driving it? Did the two of you take turns at the wheel?

Well, thanks for sharing your stories. What memories, for sure.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on May 14, 2012:

Theraggededge - People in the US who want to go full-time RVing are also having problems selling their homes -- eventually it happens! One day, when the time is right it will happen for you, I hope! Thanks for stopping in for a visit and to comment!

Bev G from Wales, UK on May 14, 2012:

This is one of our dreams. We were going to import an RV from the US and tour around Europe when our kids were little. It didn't happen as we couldn't sell our house... never mind, maybe one day.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 23, 2012:

Hello Pennylu,

It's so nice to meet a fellow RVer! Although we never took the ferry across Lake Michigan, I think it would be lovely. Thanks so much for stopping in to read and comment! Happy Travels!

Penny Lulich from Indiana on April 23, 2012:

I loved reading this. My husband And I took the plunge into rving, and loved it. We also visited Michigan and the Great Lakes. One of my favorite things to do is cross Lake Michigan on the SS Badger. Your pic of Lke Superior are beautiful. And, you're right that rving is a wonderful stress relieving way to live.

OurnewhomeisanRV from Portland, OR on April 19, 2012:

Thank you Stephanie. We are getting more enthused about this more every day. My oldest son in Colorado suggested it and we didn't give it much thought until we realized 'where' we were going to have to live if we didn't make make this choice.

I've started a blog on here and am hoping to get the word out to other victims of Foreclosure. We won't be doing much travel because Dennis works in Portland, but it is a great way to start over, and if we decide to take a trip, all the better.

Actually, there was a miss type in my post above. We have lived here for 17 years. Dennis was in the National Guard for 22 years, until they decided, wrongfully, that he had diabetes and discharged him. By the time he learned he didn't it was too late, and he had lost 1/3 of his income. Enter:Foreclosure. Now we are beginning to believe it was all for the best.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 19, 2012:

OurnewhomeisanRV - I'm glad that RVing will provide you a solution to your housing predicament, and I do wish you well in your new adventures. A Malamute is a beautiful dog, and will probably give you much pleasure (and exercise) in your travels. Many people travel with dogs, and it seems that dog walking is a great way to meet new people.

Thanks for stopping by to share your story. Enjoy your travels!

OurnewhomeisanRV from Portland, OR on April 19, 2012:

I enjoy your articles, but my son and I are coming from a different place. Our home of 12 years was forclosed. We finally ran out of money fighting the foreclosure and since Rentals have gone out of sight, we took his Settlement and purchased an RV.

Sure beats moving into a stationary residence. Our new home is in our driveway, so we can see what will fit as we go along, and have 3 weeks to finish. Whatever we can't take gets sold or given away.

We do have one major problem. My granddaughter is away at College and we have custody of her 84 pound Malamute.

Oh well, we will get plenty of exercise.

I have a blog on Google that I will be updating daily, if anyone is interested.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on March 17, 2012:

Thundermama - RVing is a wonderful was to spend active retirement years. Thanks for commenting!

Catherine Taylor from Canada on March 17, 2012:

Sounds lovely. A retirement option I hadn't considered. Thanks!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on January 26, 2012:

Anastascia Marie - It is difficult to stay in a harsh winter climate because most RV's are not built to withstand the very cold temperatures for very long. However, there are some motor homes that are built with extra insulation and might be able to be modified to stay warmer.

The main problem is that water pipes and tanks are under the floors where they can freeze more easily. We have stayed in winter temperatures for a couple of weeks at a time, but like most full-time RVers, we prefer to use our ability to move easily to go to more comfortable and sunnier climates. Another problem that you may run into trying to winter camp in the north is that few campgrounds are open. But usually, where there's a will, there's a way...

Thanks so much for visiting my hub. I wish you well in your new adventures!

Anastascia Marie on January 26, 2012:

Thanks so much for all your info regarding this lifestyle, ive always wanted to do this, but would dismiss the idea too soon. Reading your posts have really had an impact on my thinking. My head is spinning with all that needs to be done. I have been planning to sell my home anyway. Gosh, Im really getting excited about this idea. I have a question, is it extremely difficult to stay in a northern climate in a RV. Michigan in the winter for example?

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 13, 2011:

Hi Glenda,

Thanks so much for visiting my hubs! We thought of you often this past summer and wondered how things were going at Huntington Beach - it is a beautiful place! We'll catch up on all your adventures soon! It's so good to hear from you!

Glenda on November 13, 2011:

Stephanie, thanks for sharing your travels and photos. It sounds like you both are enjoying yourselves and seeing so many wonderful things. We just got home from our 3 month work-camp at HBSP and are glad to be home. I wish I could explore things like you but this winter will find me catching up on all YOUR great adventures. I'm right there with you when I read your HUBS. I enjoy them so much so please keep them coming. Continued safe travels and take care my dear friends.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 09, 2011:

Grypin - This is how it starts! :) Dreaming about RVing full time...then following the dream to reality. You'll be welcome in the RVing community! Thanks so much for reading and commenting on my hubs. It's good to know that they are useful and an inspiration for those who are considering the lifestyle!

gryphin423 from Florida on November 09, 2011:

Okay I want to do this now!! My husband and I were just talking about this the other day. We're ready! I need to read all your RV hubs to get all the lingo down ;-) And beautiful pictures!!

femmeflashpoint on September 09, 2011:

Welcome! Happy to do it!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 09, 2011:

Femmeflashpoint - Your stories about the nurse and the software programmer who became full time RVers are fine examples of some of the people from different walks of life who live in RVs. Although retirees make up a great portion of the full timers, there are also so many whose jobs make this a sensible life-style. Thanks so much for sharing your friends' experiences!

femmeflashpoint on September 09, 2011:

Stephanie - you've inspired me into near jealousy, lol! I loved this hub! The pictures are stunning and the information .... if I could make it happen tomorrow, I'd be packing up and moving straight into an RV!

I also liked the links included and plan to use them to do more research!

There is a neo-natal nurse here, single and in her 50s. A few years ago she sold her house and bought an RV. She said it was one of the best decisions she ever made. When she gets tired of one spot, she moves to another, and there are several places locally to park one that still enables her to get to work without much travel time.

I have another good friend who's a microsoft software programmer. He's required to live within an hours drive of a major airport. He too decided an RV was the way to go. He's an independent contractor and much of his work can be done from a workstation in his RV. However, if he has to relocate for a project, his home goes with him. He said it was a choice that made sense and he's loving the results.

Thanks so much for getting the word out on a great alternative for making anywhere home!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on September 01, 2011:

Congratulations, Pamela! What an exciting time this must be for you starting off on your new adventures! I hope you are able to leave all your stresses behind. Have a great time!

Pamela Bunta on September 01, 2011:

Love, love, love this! We are leaving for full time RVing in a few weeks! Just getting loose ends wrapped up.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on June 01, 2011:

Hello JSParker, Thank you for your comments. I do try to proofread before posting, though sometimes errors still slip by me. I had a wonderful high school English teacher who still haunts me with her red ink pen! (See 7 Things I learned in High School.)

We were hooked on RVing after our first trip, too. Before you know it you'll be joining us on the road again! Thanks for your comments!

JSParker from Detroit, Michigan on June 01, 2011:

This is an excellent hub. Interesting topic that you really know about, wonderful photos, and your writing has good flow. Unlike many hubs, I found not a single error or even typo. Thank you for the good work!

We took our very first RV trip in October...a 30-day trek from Los Angeles to Detroit with four people in a 26-footer. What a trip that was! From Yosemite to Yellowstone to the Badlands. The trip of a lifetime. Except, I want to do it again. You make me yearn for the road...again. Best wishes!

thefundu from India on May 04, 2011:

Loved your hub Stephanie. Hope to see myself too exploring the real life without responsibilities. The daily life is just the repeated motions that go boring day by day until. Hope to contact you someday for personal tips too.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on May 04, 2011:

TravelMan, I loved the movie RV, too! It's definitely a stress reliever to get such a good laugh! Thanks for stopping by!

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on May 04, 2011:

I love RVing and the movie, too. Although, it's not so popular here in the Philippines, I hope someday that I could live simply like that. Thanks for sharing, Ms. Steph!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 11, 2011:


There is something cozy and freeing about taking your house on wheels with you, isn't there? RVing is just a great way to get away from it all, and I'm glad my hub brought back happy memories. Thanks for visiting my hub and for your kind comments.

World-Traveler from USA on April 11, 2011:

Brings back the memories. For a time I travelled in an RV. It was a small 13 foot Jewel trailer, a little house on wheels. It is true that stress is left behind when travelling in an RV and there is no time like the present. Thanks for a memorable read and the photos are beautiful!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on April 08, 2011:

MobyWho, It's all a matter of your priorities at the time. Even those who aren't ready to RV full-time can enjoy camping vacations with their families. I'm not sure what you mean by "missing the boat", but however one does it, getting back to nature and escaping one's hectic lifestyle for a while is a good stress reliever. I agree that there is no time like the present to enjoy life!

MobyWho from Burlington VT on April 07, 2011:

@ LifestyleEngineer - No, no, no! Don't wait for the kids to get older. We did that and missed the boat. They grow at different rates and when the youngest is "old enough", the older is tied to his/her friends. There is no time like the present.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on December 22, 2010:

It's amazing how many people do it, LifestyleEngineer. Most of them are retirees, but there are a few families who travel with children and home school. It's not for everyone, but those of us who do it, love it.

LifestyleEngineer from UK on December 22, 2010:

Sounds wonderful. Not something I would do at the moment with two small children, but definitely an interesting option for the future. More people should consider this lifestyle.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 11, 2010:

Thanks, Dallas! RVing is a great way to see the U.S. if you would enjoy exploring places that are off the beaten path. Thanks for your interest.

Dallas W Thompson from Bakersfield, CA on November 11, 2010:

Great hub. My desire is to explore more of the US. I have traveled all over, but not in the US. I am exploring the RV scene. Thanks for your perspective...

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 11, 2010:

MobyWho, how nice to hear from a fellow RVer! Yes, the Outer Banks of NC is one of our favorite places, too! We were camp hosts at Frisco a couple of times. I'll be doing a hub about Outer Banks and North Carolina lighthouses sometime soon. Hope you'll visit!

MobyWho from Burlington VT on November 11, 2010:

Ah, fond memories. Unfortunately, we had to "come ashore" (we were cruisers before the RV) - we got old. But I miss the shoreline campsites...have you done the Outer Banks NC? frisco is a great spot-probably our favorite. My word of advice to anyone doing this: don't put anything in storage - it waits for you!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 11, 2010:

Thanks for checking out my Hub, Shilander. RVing is a great way to see the country in a leisurely way. We're always excited about the next adventure! You're right, keeping the rig in perfect condition is very important to happy traveling.

Bruce Shilander from United States on November 11, 2010:

Stephanie, just read your Hub, very well done! I have done the RV life and offers a lot of time freedom. In my business, I market to RVer's to keep their rigs in excellent condition, saving them time and money.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 09, 2010:

Yes, it is. I'm very excited about it. Thanks for your well wishes!

Money Glitch from Texas on November 09, 2010:

Wow Stephanie, Congrats on being selected as a nominee for this week's HubNuggets Wannabe Contest. If memory serves me right isn't this the 2nd nomination? Good Luck to you! :)

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 07, 2010:

Thanks for visiting my hub, TravelMan. Traveling the U.S. by RV is certainly an experience that we've enjoyed for several years, but I see from reading your hub on The Strangest Places in the U.S. that we've missed a few of the high points...

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on November 07, 2010:

Wow! RVing in USA can be awesome, just like what you and your husband are doing right now, Ma'am Stephanie! The nature plus a stress-free day? Who can complain about the rigors of life in the city?

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 06, 2010:

Hello Prairieprincess and thanks for visiting my hubs! We do love RVing and lived in ours full-time before buying a home base. Now we spend about 8 months a year traveling with our cat. Whether you do it part time or full time, it's a wonderful way to see the country.

Sharilee Swaity from Canada on November 06, 2010:

Wow, sign me up! Living as an RVer sounds like a wonderful lifestyle, and maybe someday you'll see my husband and I pulling up at a rest stop next to you! Great hub ... very entertaining and interesting!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 06, 2010:

Thanks for stopping by Denise! We absolutely loved the UP and intend to go back for further exploration some day. Camping on beautiful Lake Superior was as beautiful as any place we've been.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on November 06, 2010:

Yahoo, I would not have doubted that I'd see you here Stephanie. Congrats! I used to be a 'yooper' and the Pictured Rocks area is one of the most pristine areas. Love the hub, as always and congratulations on your nomination. :) Best to you.

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 06, 2010:

Thank you!

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on November 05, 2010:

Congratulations Stephanie, You deserve the nomination!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on November 05, 2010:

Thanks so much for the Hubnuggets nomination! I'm finding that there is so much to learn, but I am enjoying the process!

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on November 05, 2010:

Slow down...the best advice for all of us to enjoy life. :) Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination!

Check out your nomination and vote:

To the Hubnuggets Learning Center:

Participate in the Hubnuggets Forum Thread:

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on October 27, 2010:

Thanks for looking at my Hub, ReuVera. Maybe someday you will give it a try.

ReuVera from USA on October 27, 2010:

I enjoyed reading this hub. I would definitely choose to live and travel in RV if I had this opportunity.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 26, 2010:

I can also hear that song..."On the Road Again." Wow...I felt myself relaxing just looking at the great photos of water and the sunset while reading your enticing words. For now I will just enjoy traveling with you via your hubs. You already have some great ones!

Stephanie Henkel (author) from USA on October 26, 2010:

Thank again, HappyBoomerNurse! I appreciate your reading my hubs and your kind comments. I feel like I'm getting to know you!

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on October 26, 2010:

Hi Stephanie,

Excellent hub. Lots of great tips and links about the positives and occasional negatives of living the RV life. I could just hear "On The Road Again" playing in my ears as you took off for another great adventure! Kudos! Thanks for sharing and showing that living a simple, back to nature kind of life can be soul rejuvenating, fun, peaceful and healthy.

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