Since John and I hit the road over three years ago in our Jazz Fifth-Wheel trailer, we have been acutely aware as is the case with most fulltimers, that you cannot accumulate a lot of stuff. John loves carpentry but of course there was no way we could take along the bulky table saw, the heavy bench press or the cabinet filled with old and new carpentry tools.
But he was able to create tool boxes that contained enough tools to do minor repairs and minor carpentry projects on the road.
John also likes to paint using watercolors. He created a compact traveling kit before we left home which stores neatly beneath the floor of our extended cab portion of tow vehicle. Add reading and movie watching to his most preferred entertainment and his needs are covered in under one-hundred fifty pounds.
My most enjoyable things to do are writing and photography. All I need for both these hobbies are a laptop computer and a camera. These two items are small and compact, light-weight and easy to take traveling.
I’ve recently expanded photography to collage-making. I use one drawer in our trailer to store most of my collage materials which includes an assortment of acrylic inks and paints, small paint brushes and found and purchased things (such as small quantities of tissue and specialty papers, gel mediums, brayers and the like) to use in constructing collages along with my photographs.
One fun thing that I learned to do recently with a collage is to scan it as a jpeg file so that I can size and crop the image in Photoshop. I create a 4 in. x 4 in. reproduction of the collage and glue the image to a 4.25 x 4.25 white tile. I then varnish the image and put felt pads on the underside of the tile. These handmade works of art made perfect gifts and the materials to make them take up less room than would fit in a small shoe box.
Who needs a three bedroom house to have a rich creative life? Some RVs allow plenty space for exercising those creative juices. For an expanded list of RV hobbies go to RV Hobbies/Preparing for Fulltime RVing. What hobbies do you think would make a good fit for an RV lifestyle?
Author Levonne Gaddy’s book “This Restless Life: A dream chased through California parks in an RV” chronicles her relocation adventures from the Southwest to Central Coast California during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. They encounter many twists and turns including a dead body found near their camp hosting camp site, problems finding work and multiple threats of floods. @Levonnegaddy
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I used to be “creative”…. and while I’ve carried around a box of watercolor materials with us for a LONG time, I just haven’t used them… (someday?)… and I read about the quilters, and the knitters (I made our great-granddaughter a (one) sweater)… I read what others do… but somehow, I seem to have put (WAY) on the back burner my artistic talents. Photography comes to mind as my most used “talent”… I love that media…. but still have the itch to create in other ways…. maybe reading these blogs as to how others satisfy that need will help.
I do 3D glass bead work (hummingbirds, yard birds, and snakes), and sculpted wire trees. Both hobbies take up minimal space and keep me out of trouble.
I love photography. In fact I recently took a class at the Blue Ridge, GA Art Center to learn more about photo editing. Great experience.
Cool idea about the photo tile.
My wife is a quilter and crafter. We have modified our motor home to include a 6 foot table where she sews and quilts.
Hi, Levonne. I left a storage shed back in Indiana with all my scrapbooking supplies, stained glass and a ton of other stuff when we started full timing. But I’ve managed to fill lots of spaces in the motorhome with yarn and beading supplies. I also digital scrap and do a lot of photography. I love your collage and tile idea! I also love the title of your new book…I’m a very restless person and always have to have something to keep my hands busy.
Hi Jeannie, I must say that of late I have been tempted by beading. So many beautiful supplies to choose from. Thanks for your comment.
I love photography related classes. Those editing programs are so powerful! Adds a whole new dimension to photography. Thanks for commenting Jerry.
Fantastic Judy! Thanks for dropping by.
Hi Sharon, I’d love to know what you end up doing with your creative energy. Thanks for your comment.
My wife is a Quilter and I flyfish and tie flies. We just finished a seven month road trip where we both realized we had too much “stuff”. Before our next trip we are both going to do some serious reorganizing and down sizing.
However, we have another hobby that is fun, provides exercise, and will fit in your pocket — “Geocaching”. Check it out.
Thank you Bob for your comment. I’ve always wanted to try fly fishing. Maybe one day. I’m going to write about geocaching next month. People who “cach” love it. Take care.
I’ve always been interesting in a variety of arts and crafts and have found room in our motor home for my watercolor painting supplies as well as knitting and crocheting supplies. Like you, I spend a lot of time with photography and writing, so a laptop computer and camera are constant companions. (My articles and photographs on full-time RVing can be viewed at: http://stephaniehenkel.hubpages.com/)
I love to read and find that it’s easy and cheap to exchange books at campgrounds so that I don’t have to carry to many with us. Also love my Kindle and the many free ebooks available!
We’d love to get more into geocaching – will look forward to reading next month’s article.
Hi Stephanie, I look forward to checking out your site. Your life sounds similar to mine! Take care and thanks for dropping by.
My wife and I have been full-timing since June of 2000. We haven’t made it to Minn. or Wisc. on CONUS. We have been to Alaska but not nearly enough and we are waiting for the bridge to be built before we go to HI.
We started serious RVing in 1993 as we could take off for 2 month or more every summer. Just following the road to wherever it lead. In 2000 sold our house, we traded in the little Class-C motor home for a 40′ 5th wheel and an F450 Ford (1 1/2 ton) super duty truck. Lots of places, lots of people. It has been GREAT. Now we go back & forth from the boonies in NW WA and DFW TX. We are in “taking care of parents” mode. When we are in Dallas/Fort Worth we are in the middle of everything which is a nice change but we can’t wait to get back to the NW.
My wife does quilting, reading, walking in safe places. The woods are safer hat the streets these days.
I am a photographer, a computing, designing, hacking (for good purpose only), reading, walking.
We both enjoy riding our 3 wheel recumbent cycles.
My favorite subjects are eagles, scenes, and family & friends.
Hi Dennis. Your lives sound full and rich! Life is good hey? Thanks for sharing about you RV lifestyle.
How about aspiring authors who use an RV for intensive writing workshops or book clubs? Women-only groups of 6 plus moderator… sounds good to me!
Hi Liz. I’d not thought of using an RV for intensive writing workshops. Is this what you do?
Levonne, I am a creative and professional writer so I’ve explored many writing formats and distribution methods – now the RV connection brings it all to a head. Consider this:
– As a contributor to, and a publisher of magazine-style anthologies, I find book clubs are an important outlet.
– RVing adds a new element for authors by combining the “book tour” and the “book club”
– Small groups are intimate and can build initial readership into an eager fan base (like a Ya-Ya sisterhood etc.)
– Intimacy and trust are important in an intensive writing workshop. RVs create a “captive audience.” Women-only provides a “safe” captive audience. Could be men of whatever niche, I’m not being genderist just starting with what I know. Could be co-ed scholarship students on a field trip etc. Could be intern journalists on a high-tech road trip. The possibilities are endless 🙂
Thank you Liz for the information.I love your idea of combining the book club with the book tour in the RV! Excellent!