my partner and i have lived in a travel trailer for almost seven years. it all started in 2009, when the “great recession” forced us to leave our awesome apartment by the ocean.
i’ve been through the psychological ups and downs of trailer life… from i’m-a-badass-gypsy-warrior-taking-life-by-the-balls phase…. to my-life-is-horrible-and-i’m-a-piece-of-shit phase.
because i’m really good at being super dramatic.
i don’t intend to live in a trailer forever, but there are some pretty cool things about it.
…things i intend to incorporate into my custom-built, completely self-sustaining, colorful and cozy, thoroughly hobbit-like dream home some day. (on luscious parcel in the woods, by a river, with my own dance/music/art studio tucked away down a pebble stone pathway lined with jasmine…harhar….)
here are nine of them:
the sound of rain on the roof.
trailers are not exactly sound proof. or well insulated, for that matter (to any would-be trailer dweller, here’s a tip: wood frames are WAY better than metal frames when it comes to temperature control and all-around coziness. metal frames are lighter for towing, but in terms of quality of living – it’s wood all the way.) one advantage of a trailer’s rinky-dink structure is that you can hear the rain hitting the roof. it’s soft and amazingly comforting, like a yummy massage for your ear holes. i’ve never thought of this before, but it hits me now – it sounds like a gaggle of faeries are up there having a dance party. yeah. and you know exactly when the storm transitions from a light drizzle to a heavy rain, because you can hear the difference.
every time i happen to be in a solid structure during a rain storm i delight in my brief moment of superiority, saying things like; “oh, you can’t even tell it’s raining outside! too bad. it’s such a lovely sound…” anyone who lives in a proper dwelling might frequently walk outside and be shocked by the weather. but not me, i’ve been privy to every minute of it.
very little floor space = very little time spent with the broom, mop, and vacuum.
i’m not a big fan of housecleaning (except for washing dishes. i take massive pleasure in that shit). but on the rare occasion when i decide a sparkling floor would be nice (like when one of my three friends comes to visit), cleaning the floors is a fucking snap.
it’s like owning a house, only cheap.
living in a trailer means taking care of the maintenance and upkeep of your dwelling. but when something breaks (the water heater, for example) you don’t have to take out a mortgage to replace it. in most cases you just order the new something-or-other online for less than the cost of a night out on the town. leaky roof? slap a coat of paint on it and all is well.
When you need to walk around, you go outside.
oh, i remember the wonderful roaming-about i used to do when i lived in a house or apartment. at the slightest whim of boredom with one room, i’d simply wander over to another room and back again. this sort of room-hopping could go on for quite some time. but there is no roaming from one room to another in a trailer, because there’s only one room. (some pretty palatial trailers do exist. mine isn’t one of them).
this may not sound very awesome, but being more or less forced to go outside once in a while is definitely a bonus in my book. i’m usually very happy once i’ve done it.
the tiny bathtub is terrible for an actual bath, but it makes for a perfect foot-soaking tub.
and i love a good foot-soak.
the refrigerator is small, so you can feel like you live in Europe.
one of the things i loved about France was the small refrigerators. they shop for fresh food almost daily, rather than stock-piling groceries to last for weeks at a time. i think it makes for a happier, healthier life style (assuming you can walk or bicycle to the market, rather than schlep all around town in a car… but that’s another topic.)
by living in a trailer i get to look at my tiny fridge and pretend that i’m French.
hoarding is impossible/organization is key.
you can’t keep a lot of excesses crap around when you live in a trailer, because there’s just nowhere to put it. and, if you really want another book, you have to get rid of something. or, you have to get super clever about how to organize your ever expanding collection. (i prefer the latter honestly. i’m an organization freak attack, so trailer life really excites my saturnian ways.)
you use way less water.
there is no water tank on the back of the toilet. water flows when you flush, so you only use the amount required to wash everything down. it’s not exactly glamourous, but it beats the shit (ha) out of using an entire gallon of water to flush down your water. especially if you live in drought country, which i do.
freedom. or the idea of freedom.
unlike a regular house, if you get sick of where you live, you just hitch up your home and find a new location. in my case this would take a LOT of undoing, because i’m so well ensconced, but i could do it nonetheless. and something about that feels brilliant.