Tiny House Living and an RV Nightmare


Key Thoughts:

  • Following your instincts may be better than taking other people’s advice
  • If something does not work out for you, don’t be afraid to admit it’s not working and design a new plan
  • Remember the importance of your highest values and make decisions that will align with them

The Story 

Swan Diving into God

When I decided to sell my home in California I did not have a concrete plan. I called this new phase: swan diving into God. My original idea was to buy a used truck with a camper shell, check out a list of “possibilities” and let the spirit move me. 

I was planning to travel with my two dogs (Yoko and Yoshi) and budgeted $30,000. Friends of mine encouraged me to “think bigger” and consider an option that would be more convenient for me and less hassle than lifting the dogs into the camper. They suggested an RV, an idea completely outside my comfort zone, and something that did not feel in alignment with my values of sustainability and prudent use of resources.

People Pleasing

I have worked long and hard to curb my people pleasing tendencies. But they surface often, especially when people I love have strong opinions, even when they differ from my own intuitive senses. I wanted to “appear” to be receptive to their idea so I asked a friend to go with me to research the possibility of a used RV instead of a truck/camper. She was thrilled. 

Feeling a flow and being enthusiastic

On my first visit to the largest RV dealer in Southern California I was probably looking for the evidence to prove that idea was outside my budget parameters and not right for me. The used RVs were twice my budget and none of them floated my boat. When I told the saleswoman that I did not think there were a good financial investment, she responded “If you are looking at a good investment, I should take you to the new RV side of the lot.  Even my RV promoting friend thought that was a highly unlikely path to follow. 

Lo and behold, she showed me a small RV that I instantly fell in love with. It was light and bright and seemed like a perfect tiny home. Although the price was twice my budget, I started seriously considering the purchase. The next day I went back to test drive the Forest River Forester.  It was super easy to drive and the 25’ length felt quite manageable. The sales person convinced me that if I did not like it I would be able to sell it and get my money back. My friend and I did some price comparison shopping and concluded that this was indeed and good deal. I felt blessed and things seemed to be falling into place quite effortlessly.  I felt “in the flow.”

Unexpected Challenges

I won’t elaborate on all the things that turned out to be challenging, like the time an alarm sounded in the middle of the night and the manual said the RV was about to blow up and to evacuate immediately. As Yoshi, Yoko and I stood outside waiting for the explosion, I realized I had no idea how far away we would have to be not to die. Yes, I actually considered we would die. At least we would all die together.


But the point of this story is to clarify how I decided that owning an RV was not in alignment with my values. Since I have been a sales and service professional most of my adult life, I trusted my instincts that Cher was a thoughtful and caring woman who truly believed the RV she was suggesting was a good buy and a great value.  However, the RV industry’s lack of service, their lack of integrity, and they lack of care about all the above, was the deal breaker for me.  No one would buy a $60,000 car and allow a dealer to take (3) months to service it. Somehow the RV industry has wrote a new set of rules and I found that unacceptable. 


I am grateful that my dogs and and I travelled together well in the RV. I enjoyed cooking in my small but well equipped kitchen. The bed was very comfortable, and I got a taste of tiny house living. I am extremely grateful for the many people who came to my rescue when I had no idea how to fix issues that would arise on a continual basis. Being an “older woman” traveling alone seemed to spark an interest in others to be helpful!   


When I found a new town to call home, and purchased a new home, I decided to sell the RV to recoup some of my invested resources. I managed to sell my RV in a few weeks to a man who knew all the pitfalls of RV ownership. He was thrilled to downsize from his larger RV to my smaller RV. I was relieved to watch it roll out my driveway with the added benefit of knowing he was a “happy camper.”