Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Surviving in a Small Space

Can we really survive comfortably in less than four-hundred square feet?

That is approximately two-thousand square feet less than we currently live in. I'm sure it can be done because we have many RVing friends that do it.

People have asked if we really think we can live in such a small space and feel comfortable. Our answer is, of course WE CAN. Even though we live in a nice size house, we currently occupy the same rooms at the same time and we don't feel crowded. As I took a minute to re-examine this thought, I suddenly realized that our living room has more total square feet then our entire fifth wheel has! As I looked around the room I realized we don't use half of our living room anyway.

In a stick-n-brick we heat and cool square footage that we really don't even use. For example, we have a nice size bedroom that we don't occupy. In that bedroom there is a large walk-in closet. In that closet we store junk. If we didn't have that closet we'd been force to do away with that junk sooner.

We have a breakfast area that doesn't have a table. We don't need a table because we use the bar to eat our meals. We have a open floor plan and the kitchen and living room are separated by a plate ledge that seats four. We have all our meals at the bar.

We have made every effort to make our fifth wheel as homey and comfortable as possible. We have spent a few bucks and little time redecorating our fifth wheel in order to make it feel more like a home and less like a fifth wheel. Neither of us likes having everything matchy – matchy.

We spent a little money on the furniture but we also made money by selling the furniture we removed.
We replaced the uncomfortable hid-abed love seat with a full size sofa with a reversible chaise.









We replaced the two over sized recliners with a sofa daybed. It is comfortable as a sofa and is makes a great little bed for guest.

We removed the carpet and found linoleum already on the floor. Removing the carpet will help with my allergies. We now have a cow hide throw rug.

We replaced the floor mounted dining table and four heavy chairs with our drop-leaf breakfast table and two chairs. We can pull the table out in the middle of the room instead of being crammed in the corner.

We replaced the desk chair with a portable electric fireplace. The fireplace weights less than the chair. The little fireplace will keep us warm on those cold nights and it is relaxing to look at too.




We also lightened our weight by changing out the furniture. We are estimating that we are now about a hundred and fifty pounds lighter, if not more.

We replaced the dual handle kitchen faucet with a single lever which came with a veggie sprayer.









We also did some cosmetic things as well. We removed the floral border that ran throughout the fifth wheel. We got rid of the floral bedspread and replaced it with a stripped quilt. We also hung small shelves on each side of the bed to act as night stands.









We recovered the window valances and headboard with faux punched leather. We also hung thermal curtains on all the windows. The curtains will help keep in the heat or the cool.








We have lived in a smaller motor home in the past and didn’t have any real problems. So we think we can live in our fifth wheel just fine. I guess time will tell!!!!!! 
Travel Safe Dawn and Denise

26 comments:

  1. YES! You can do it, and enjoy it, too.

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  2. That's exactly what I keep saying to everyone that thinks we're crazy for wanting to live in such a small space.....we have a big house, but we spend all our time in our little family room anyway. It is not going to be a problem!
    Been following your countdown....excited to see you make it happen.
    dirtybettyvintageboutique.blogspot

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  3. Looks great! Like the idea of how you took out the table. It's all about what works best for the two of you.

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  4. Stay safe on your travels. I know you will have a great time adapting, but the end result will be worth it. We are in the process of getting ourselves to the point where we can do much the same thing. It's a freeing experience.

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  5. I agree,we use our 30' 5W with 3 slides 4-5 months every summer and it is our home from home,we love it and miss it more than we miss our brick house when we are on the road.
    I think it is NOT the size of the trailer it is all in our head and our state of mind.

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  6. I love hearing everything you've done to your rig. Nice job!!

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  7. I think you've done a nice job of personalizing the fiver. I think you may find that once you are on the road, the great outdoors will add plenty of extra room!! :)

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  8. Hey Girls, I know you can do it. Although we have a 36' 5'ver, Linda & I have been travelin' in a Lance truck camper for 6 months at a time, for the past 4 years. Yeah it's crowded, but the fact that we can go anywhere in our 4 wheel drive truck with camper is worth it. Campin' at the top of an 11,000 foot mountain, nothing like it. I actually start to get depressed when it's time to make our way home to the stix & brix. Good Luck & safe travels.

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  9. I love what you did with your 5ver... Looks great! I know you can do it and enjoy every minute of it!!!
    Have fun & Travel Safe
    Donna

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  10. Boy, you two are really great at decorating..I know for a fact that you will LOVE that fireplace!! I am very impressed with all the renovations...! Maybe you could do some side jobs of helping other full-timers re-do their rigs...AWESOME JOB!!!

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  11. You did an awesome job redecorating! Love how it turned out. There's no doubt in my mind that you can live in your 5th wheel...especially when it's as gorgeous as yours :)

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  12. After spending four years in our motorhome, we are wondering the opposite. How will use so much space in a house?

    With your changes, it will have the feel of a custom home.

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  13. Like the way you made your 5er your own. And, we too have one of those small electric fireplaces as well. Love it...

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  14. If it is something you want you can do it. Kevin and I had never stayed in a motorhome before and we went straight from a 1800 sq. foot house to a 28' long motorhome with no slides and have never looked back.

    You've done a great job remodelling your 5th wheel. You'll do just fine.

    Kevin and Ruth
    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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  15. I love al the fun things you have done to make it your home. Awesome, :)

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  16. You'll love it! Even though we're at the house, selling everything, we still live in the rig (and it's only a 30foot class C). It's home and we love it

    Kate
    http://cholulared.blogspot.com

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  17. You did one Hell of a job on your new home. We did a lot of switching and replaced a few items too. Helps make it feel like it is yours and gives it the homey feel.

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  18. Great mods on the RV...when you make the RV home, it becomes just the right size.

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  19. great work on the remodel..love the sofa at the back of the fiver with the chaise lounger side!!..where did you purchase it and how did it get in the rig???..does it come apart???

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  20. You have done a great job of decorating the 5er to make it your own. Enjoy!

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  21. Thanks for sharing your improvement ideas. I like 'em, but more importantly, you made it suit your lifestyle. I have no doubt you can live in a small space. I think you already know you can or else you wouldn't have gotten this far in the process! In the almost one year we've been out of our stix n brix, I can honestly say that living in a small space has never once been an issue with us. OK, maybe the size of the closets initially resulted in some frustration, but once we realized we didn't need everything, we were fine.

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  22. Nice renovations. It looks so cozy with your fireplace. We love living in 350 square feet. It is easy and oh so liberating.

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  23. If I had to "live in" my RV 24/7, endure cold winters, weeks of rain etc. etc. then YES I think living in such a small space would be a problem for me.
    However, The plan is be in warm climates 12 months of the year and therefore OUTSIDE most of the time. So my outside space (ie. where I park) is more important.

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  24. Hi Dawn & Denise, thanks for your encouragement as I get closer to leaving on my big motorhome adventure. I'm just a couple weeks from moving into my rig, and the house I've been renting for the last year is nearly bare. I've gotten rid of most of the furniture. I've got my entire eBay business packed into two Rubbermaid totes, and I'm close to having my arts and crafts down to two totes. So it's just me and the cat, a chair and table, and a mattress on the floor left in the house. And I realize how little I really need to live...and that when I move into the moho, it's actually going to be more comfortable than how I'm living right now. So I can hardly wait! I wish the best to you. Your friend, Sun

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  25. I love your changes! I'm going to remember them when I get my RV. I've been hoping I could get a small fireplace to put in my future Class C, maybe I could make room by taking something out. I have no worries, as a solo RVer, that I'll have enough room. I don't use much of my condo, but still had to furnish it, heat/cool it, keep it all clean and neat. I think an RV will be perfect for me! Your rig looks really nice and comfortable, too. :)

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  26. I love the changes you made to your 5er. I had one of those electric stoves in my house, it was an older model purchased about 7 years ago, the controls were located to close to the heating element and melted. I know they have moved the controls on the newer models, just a caution to check yours out.

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