Originally Posted by happyfeet
Hi, newbies here, husband and I started out tent camping, then Hurricane Katrina came and forced us to live in a FEMA trailer for a year on a campground. It only took 1 month to fall in love with the RVing lifestyle. I know a lot of you are probally saying being in a FEMA trailer isn't the same as a RV. What I fell in love with was the atmosphere in and around the campground. It seem to bring back those good time days where our children would go outside to play, instead of playing video games on the computor. It also brought back a sense of community. For the first time in I say 15 - 20 years, I really know who my neighbors are, not just their first name. I know where they are from, what career they have or had, who there children and grandchildren are and so on. Almost every evening we would gather at one or anothers campsite and talk for hours sharing a pot luck meal. When our stay was over, I talked my husband into buying our own RV and asked if we could continue to live the RV Lifestyle. We did buy a samll Dutchman Lite Travel Trailer and we spend about six months out of the year traveling from park to park. We have a homestead in Austin Texas, eventually, we will become fulltime Rv'ers.
So, good things do come out of bad situations!
Ah! Katrina! I don't often find fellow survivors turned Rvers. I know what you have been through, because I have been through it too. I am very glad you posted here, because, you are the first person I have meet on here, that would be able to understand what I went through as well. I tell people about the flood and being homeless and and all, but not having survived Katrina, they have no idea how hard it was to go through the years following her.
I lived in a house for 27 years. Than Hurricane Katrina came dashing through and took the house with her. She hit so hard in the South that those of us who were hit in New England got completly ignored in the aftermath - in other words, no FEMA or Red Cross to help us - they were all volunteering down South. Unfortunatly an ice storm followed Katrina's tale and Maine got hit my a -48F blizzard in October, the sub-zero temps froze the hurrican water and did more damage than the hurricane itself had done. Here I am the next morning after the blizzard - me, 1 dog, and 9 cats, living under a 8x6 tarp buried under 3 feet of snow, with -48F temps. It was the coldest winter in Maine history since 1817.
I lived under a 8x6 tarp/tent-thing for the next 3 years, lived in a car for the following 3 years, and finally after 6 years of homelessness had saved up enough money for a motorhome.
Most people on here (iRV2) spend weeks, months, years even talking about plans to sell their house and fulltime. Me? I never planned on not living in a house, and even after Katrina took the house I planned on going back into a house again. I had no idea how much I would change in such a short time!
I didn't have to worry about selling everything or finding a place to store stuff, because a hurricane took care of all that for me. In 2006 it came through, leveled the house, trashed everything inside, and left me with absolutly nothing.
Originally I had planned to go back to living in a house, but 6 years without a house, I kind of can't see myself ever going back to a house now. I'll explain. See there was a short while, where I moved out of the tent and into an apartment. I moved in, thinking "At last, I'm back in a house!" Only, it wasn't that great. I couldn't sleep - I had gotten used to sleeping on the beach in a tent, listening to the waves and gulls. I got used to falling asleep as soon as it got dark and getting up at 4AM with the sun. I got used to cooking over an open fire. I got used to sleeping in a sleeping bag. I could not readjust to beds, stoves, or having a roof over my head and walls all around me. I found myself getting all clastrophobic over the idea of roof and walls! I felt like a wild animal trapped in a cage and all I wanted to do was escape and get back outside to my tent! It freaked me out, because here I was, I had spent 3 years doing nothing but "wanting" to get back in a house and when I finally got back in one I couldn't stand it because I missed the close connection I had developed with living outdoors with nature.
So I moved out of the apartment and into my car while I tried to figure what the heck I was going to do next. I knew I could not continue living in a tent full time because, well after 3 blizzards in a tent, if I had learned one thing it was that Maine is damn cold in the winter and I at least needed a way to get out of the rain and wind.
It was shortly after that I was visiting my dad and he watched me to watch this "wicked funny dvd" he had found. It was "RV" staring Robin Williams. I watched it and it was like a light went off in my head, I was all "OMG that's it! That the answer! I'm buying a motorhome! I can have the best of both worlds, my close connection with nature, sleeping in a tent, cooking outside, and still have a place to get out of the snow and rain!
So I spent the next 3 years living in my car while searching high and low for "the perfect" (for me) motorhome. I found her 2 years in when I found a 1975 Dodge Class C, unfortunatly the owner disagreed with me and insisted she was his pride and joy and he would never sell her. So I spent another year searching and trying out motorhomes, but couldn't find one, because in the back of my head I had this old Dodge stuck in my brain. Than after last week I was doing my usual Craisglist search, and there she was: the 1975 Dodge he "would never sell". Knowing where it was, I immediatly drove all the way to his house and bought it on the spot, without seeing the inside, test driving her, or even knowing wether or not I could drive her home or would she need to be towed! LOL!
Now I have my MH and am glad I choice this life. Funny looking back though, because I was perfectly happy living in a house all those years and the thought of living in a tent, car, or rv never would have occurred to me. When the flood first happened I thought it was a bad thing, but looking back today, I'm glad it happened because it opened up a whole new lifestyle for me that I never would have considered otherwise.