Friday, September 25, 2009

Preparing to fly south this winter

I'm planning to hit the road to work and live full-time in my RV this winter. If all goes well, Millie and I should be headed south by early November in hopes of 5 months of warm snow-free living! Since most of my client projects are in southern states, I had planned to be down there for a number of weeks anyway, so might as well bring the RV rather than fly and live out of hotel rooms!

Last year, I did a 6-week and a couple of 3-week roadtrips with the T@B to get my feet wet with the concept of living and working nomadically. I love my cute little T@B dearly, but those trips made me realize that it wasn't the best solution for extended living/working.

While the T@B was small and could fit into any campsite, it lacked full-fledged "self-contained" capabilities of bigger RVs (i.e. no bathroom, small tanks, limited storage space, no generator, etc). And while it was certainly faster and easier than a pop-up or tent, there was still about 30 minutes of setup/tear-down and hitching time required for me to move from campsite to campsite. So, that really forced me to stay mostly at "full-service" RV parks when I was working (as I needed good cell/wifi coverage at the campsite, and also needed water/electric hookups, and access to decent bath/shower facilities).

Now that I have the View, I'm really looking forward to the new flexibility it will offer for this upcoming season-- being able to literally camp from anywhere and still have my own clean bathroom, electric, and decent tank & storage capacities to boot!

But even more exciting will be the mobility options-- that pretty, quiet campsite that doesn't have a good cell signal for working during the daytime? No problem! Just hop in the driver's seat, start 'er up and drive into town or back to the interstate to find better signal coverage, and work from there for the day. When the tanks need to be emptied/refilled, or laundry needs to be done, or I just don't feel like moving the RV that particular day, I can always stay at an RV park, but it will be nice to not have to stay at one every single night anymore.

So, while I now won't have to plan my itinerary so carefully to find good sites to work and camp from, getting ready to embark on my longest stretch of RV living/working is posing a set of new challenges and preparations to plan out--- how to figure out those "longer-term essentials" to bring with me. My home office has a comfy chair, big monitor, big printers, scanners, and lots of storage space for paper files and reference materials. I certainly can't fit that all into my 24' mini motorhome, but being gone so long, I will need much of it.

So, the past few weeks I've been trying to find "downsized and mobilized" solutions to replace everything I currently use from home. I thought it might be useful to share some of the solutions I've discovered if there are any other roaming technology professionals working & living from the road out there who might find this information useful. I'll be detailing these solutions in my next few posts.

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