Five Things to Consider If You Are Planning to Live In a Camper

Camper life isn’t easy.

This week is our last week living the camper life. Next week we will be moving into our new apartment in North Carolina and we cannot be more excited about it. We have been living in 290 square feet of camper space since November, and it has been an experience. The camper life looks all fun and exciting in the pictures, but there are some challenges and sacrifices that you will have to face. Therefore, I wanted to go over five things you should consider if you are thinking about living in a camper

  1. Prepare for Winter:

Living in the camper during the winter was very challenging. We did not close off underneath the camper because of our limited time here on the campground. Every day, we were always working on the camper to keep it going whether it was getting the heat to work or thawing water lines (we even had heat tape on the water lines, but it did not help). We did bring down our space heater to cut down on the propane use and keep the chill out. 

If you are planning to live in it longer than us, consider getting some underpinning to put on the bottom of the camper. It will keep the cold air from flowing underneath and hold in more heat for your camper. Again, we did not do this because we had just less than a month before we moved out of it. If you want to further research how people live in campers in harsh winters, I recommend looking up some videos on YouTube and take note of what people have done. 

2. Limited Hookups:

Depending on where you are going, there are possibilities that you will have limited hookups. We only have water and electricity hooked up to our camper. Not having a sewage tank presented us some challenges. Any long showers and major potty breaks had to take place in the campground bath house. It wasn’t so bad in the beginning, but I can now understand how my ancestors felt if they needed to cross the road to use the outhouse on a cold winter’s night.

Portable holding tank we use for our camper.

If you do not have access to a public bath house, you can purchase a portable sewage holding tank for your camper. We ended up getting a 32 gallon holding tank that we can pull to the campsite’s holding tank and empty it out. Keep in mind though, if two people take a shower and use the bathroom, you will have to empty it almost every day.

3. Living Space For Your Pet:

We are currently living in 290 square feet of space…with a 8 month old black lab. Our living space gets cramped very quickly when two adults and a pup are moving around in it. We have made a tiny space beside the bed for him to sleep in the same room with us. He is very grateful we have done this for him. As far as moving and playing in the camper, it is very difficult for him to do so.

If you’re planning on living on a campground like us, check the campground rules about pets. Our campground enforces pets to be on leashes at all times. We will take walks around the campground site or go to the nearest hiking trail so he can get some exercise. If you have room, I would recommend getting a dog runner so he can roam within our lot.

4. Propane is not Cheap:

If you use a space heater in your camper, please follow all the safety guidelines.

When we moved to Virginia, we had one 100 lb. and two 15 lb. propane tanks that we can run for cooking and heat. We are now running on the 15 lb. propane tanks at the moment because we are out in our 100 lb. tank.  We were lucky to find a Home Depot to exchange our empty 15 lb. tanks last week for $20 a tank. Because we were moving next week, we didn’t even bother looking to buy another 100 lb. tank. 

As I said earlier, we did bring down our space heater to take the chill out of the air. I recommend keeping your space heater away from furniture and objects and set the thermostat no higher than 73 degrees. Also to reduce the chances of having a fire, DO NOT leave your heater unattended.  However, depending on the amount of wattage the electrical plug in can hold to supply electricity to the camper, you can trip the breaker if you have a lot of things running at once.

5. Downsizing Your Belongings:

Our “closet.”

Personally, this one was very challenging for me because I have a lot of clothes and shoes. Before our big move, I had to go through my closet and think about what I could wear until we moved into our apartment. I thought about what pieces I need to accommodate this crazy southern weather. As a result, I packed the clothes that I knew I would wear on a regular basis. If I knew I would only wear an article of clothing one time, then it was going to stay back in my closet in West Virginia 

Josh and I used the available storage space in the camper. We also bought a shower curtain rod from Walmart to hang up in the back of the camper. This would alleviate any of the storage spaces we may need for other items. Downsizing has its perks because it has cut down on the amount of clothes shopping I would do and added more money in my pockets.

I am going to be honest with you, living in a camper is not for everyone. There’s a bit of upkeep you will have to do on your camper in order to make it livable. You will have to be creative in storing items, and be mindful of items you buy. Would I live in a camper again? Of course. It has been a learning experience for sure.  It has also made me appreciate the finer things in life such as a full functioning bathroom, bigger square footage, and a yard. 

I hope these things will help you think about what you are getting yourself into if you have never lived in a camper for more than a week or ever before. If you have lived in a camper, what are some challenges you’ve faced while living in it? Let me know in the comments!

Stay adventurous!


One thought on “Five Things to Consider If You Are Planning to Live In a Camper

  1. Pingback: Post Camper Life- 4 Things I Appreciate Now Than I Did Before | Arrows x Adventures

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