Choosing the Right Camper to Live In

As we have done our traveling in the last year, we have slowly but surely made some changes. One of those changes that we came to was the decision to buy a trailer and live out of it full time. Our journey to the trailer probably took way longer than necessary because Kelsey was very particular about what she did and did not want our trailer to look like. Phil was more concerned about the inside, which is more important in the end. When we actually looked at all the possible options we each wanted in a trailer we knew we had our work cut out for us.

Here are some things Kelsey wanted/needed in the trailer:

Phil and Kelsey normally blog on their website at minimalistlifemaximumresults.com

Phil and Kelsey normally blog on their website at minimalistlifemaximumresults.com

1. NO STRIPES – Kelsey likes to be unique and she did not want her trailer to look like the other trailers we often see on the road, this means no stripes decorating the sides. If you like the look of the trailer or RV with stripes that’s fine, but you see those trailers everywhere. It is kind of hard to find a trailer or RV without stripes nowadays. We want to be unique and that’s what we were looking for.
2. Solar energy – This wasn’t exactly a deal breaker like some of the other items on this list. It is relatively easy to put solar power into an already existing home, whether it’s a standalone home or a mobile home. It makes it much easier when it is already installed for you. If we were going to pay big money for our new home, we preferred it already done for us.
3. No shower – This was kind of a weird one since most people think of a shower as a necessity. Kelsey did not want to deal with the hassle of the shower and fell in love with the idea of having to join a gym in order to shower. That little incentive to shower can be a huge motivator to go to the gym and get in better shape. This is a tip not just for people on the road but for all you home dwellers out there too! Another benefit of not having a shower is reducing the amount of water used. The average American shower uses 17.2 gallons of water. That can equal out to over 6000 gallons of water used per year, per person. Just on showers!
4. Small in size – We like downsizing and quickly realized we tend to have more space than we could ever need. We also like getting rid of stuff and living as minimalist as we can (hence the title of the blog). By doing this and going as small as we can, we are forcing our hand even more. Sometimes a big (or small) change can do a world of good in your life if you feel stuck.
5. Enough room to change comfortably – We looked into the van life a little bit, but we are still working professionals. That means we have to dress business casual – so looking presentable in a van would be tough. Not impossible but definitely becomes more difficult if you have only a small van’s amount of space.

Phil’s lists of wants:

1. Towable by a small SUV or crossover – Phil has never wanted a truck and has always wanted a vehicle that optimized gas mileage. Anything bigger than an SUV or crossover would really impact this ability to stay eco friendly in the car department.
2. Decent amount of windows to give open and outdoor appearance – The draw of the trailer is that you’re outdoors, you can walk outside at a moments notice. If your trailer is stuffy with no windows, it makes it feel like you live in a small box, not a tiny home.
Camperlife3. Kitchen of some kind – Phil isn’t really big on cooking but we have made healthier food choices in the last 12 months. Cutting out Cheetos, pop tarts, potato chips, chicken, beef, etc has been great for us. By making a big life change for the better, we didn’t want to make a big life change for the worse. Our kitchen is only an induction (energy saving) stove top and a mini fridge, but we are able to use that efficiently to keep up our healthy lifestyle.
4. Toilet – This one is kind of important to Phil as he goes roughly 20 times a day. Technically, he also wanted a shower but after some negotiating the no shower lifestyle ended up winning out. And the toilet in this place is composting! So less water and even better for the environment!

It turns out finding a trailer that meets all of these needs is way more difficult than it sounds. By way of luck (or more just constant searching) Phil came across an all wooden solar paneled travel trailer that actually fit all of our wants. The company is Homegrown Trailers, and they are amazing. Not only did the company already meet the needs we had laid out on paper but when we went to look at the trailer they came up with ideas to customize the trailer even more to fit our needs. It was perfect timing since the company has only been running since early 2016.

We do have to give some honorable mention to Air Stream as that was our top choice until we found out perfect match with Homegrown Trailers.

Suggestions to finding the trailer for you:

philkelseybeds1. Make a list of what you want and categorize by what is and what is not negotiable.
2. Set a budget – Don’t go over your comfortable amount to spend just to find the perfect trailer. If it’s perfect and you still want it, it will always be there later. We ordered ours back in July and are happy to make money and get ready to pick up in December.
3. Do research – And a lot of it!
4. Don’t settle – wait until it is exactly what you want. Kind of going along with the budget point above. If the trailer doesn’t have what you want, it’s not the trailer for you – unless you are very interested in the DIY trailer, which some people are.
5. Make time to call the company and see what other types of options or customizing is available.

Everyone is different and that’s perfectly fine. If you want to live on the open road go check out some awesome vans, trailers, RVs and mobile homes. There is no wrong choice as long as it fits your needs and is what you want! Thanks James for the awesome opportunity to write about our beginning of nomadic, eco-friendly travel trailer PT and thanks to everyone for following along with our journey!

About Phil and Kelsey

Phil and Kelsey Schaub met in physical therapy school, eloped before graduation in 2015, and set off on a adventure to travel the world. They signed up to be travel physical therapists and brought two lovely cats along for the ride. After a year of traveling, they have decided it’s time to become full nomadic hippies and live in an eco-friendly travel trailer. They have purchased the trailer which is being custom built and should be finished later this year! Phil and Kelsey normally blog on their own site minimalistlivingmaximumresults.com - check it out!
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3 Comments

  1. I love that you are going with no shower. We had a shower in the camper we lived in, but one of us (ahem, cough, cough) stepped through the bottom of the tub. We used the gym shower and campground shower most days – like you suggested, we got to the gym more often and the showers were quick and efiicient, all business. The camper shower was pretty cramped when fully functional anyways. I’m so excited to hear more when the camper is finished!

    Thanks again for sharing your experience with us!

  2. I’m a travel PT and I live in a van with my girlfriend and our 3 dogs. I chose to go with a van, as you guys briefly considered, for a few reasons. The main reason is that I can use it as my daily driver. It’s a bit long, but I did use it for home health in Seattle for many months without an issue, though my patients may have thought I was a bit strange. The second benefit that I’ve realized only since moving into it and starting to travel is that I don’t have to pay to park it most of the time. I’m currently parking at the clinic that I’m employed at, and will look for those arrangements in the future. In other cases, I’m able to park on the street fairly stealthily. Our van is setup to be completely off grid, so no need for hookups. This helps to save a lot of money on the road.

    • Thanks for the reply! We actually were looking at your blog just last night and love what you guys are doing! Your van has a lot more space than we would have thought, only 8 less feet than what we have with our pull behind trailer and obviously yours is much easier to move quickly. Thanks for the read and the comment, keep us posted on your journey!

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