From RV Life to Moving to Oahu

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Hi! Tina here. Whenever we talk about our moving to Oahu on our YouTube channel, we don’t really go into detail about moving from our RV. We left our apartment of 10 years and bought a 26-foot class C RV.

The reason we bought an RV was to save money on rent. At the time, we wanted (and needed) to move out of our apartment. Little did we know that rents went up significantly.

We shopped around for a new one-bedroom apartment only to find that the average cost of rent was around $2,000 a month! One apartment complex that was down the street was charging $2,400 a month for a tiny one-bedroom.

Our income at the time was not enough to meet the requirements of earning 3 times the yearly rent. I brought up the idea of living in an RV. We had talked about it in the past and it was something Connie always had an interest in doing.

We had a goal to save money and eventually buy a home. Well, RV life wasn’t a good fit for me. There were a lot of things I didn’t realize would affect me until we actually moved into it.

Things I Didn’t Like About RV Living

Connie took to RV life easier and could have lived in the RV for a long time. I, on the other hand, quickly grew to dislike almost everything about it. There isn’t really much that I liked about the RV besides that it was cheaper than paying rent.

Worrying About Where to Park

Initially, one of the larger concerns was where we would park the RV to sleep each night. We couldn’t pay for a long-term RV park as that cost nearly if not more than the monthly rent we were paying at the apartment.

We figured we could park in Walmart parking lots (that allowed it) and be ok. Fortunately, my parents resolved that issue by letting us park in their front yard. They even hooked up the electricity to our RV which was really nice.

The worry of where to park still bothered us. We knew we couldn’t stay parked at my parent’s forever. Many of the RVs in the area are parked in industrial areas. I didn’t like that idea either.

After a while, I began to notice RVs parked almost everywhere we went. For example, some would park in the larger shopping area parking lots during the day. I’m grateful we didn’t have to deal with that issue before we moved out.

The Smaller Space

I knew that moving into an RV not only meant downsizing but also a lot less square footage. It was a reality check once we moved in. A class C RV is much larger than a car or van.

However, it can still feel quite tiny after a while. You simply cannot have much because there isn’t enough storage space. We couldn’t even store much food in the refrigerator and freezer due to a lack of space.

The main closet in the RV stored not only our clothes but our laundry bags for dirty clothes.

Not to mention that we had to make space for our cat’s things like her litter box and a mini scratching post. Add in our daily use items like laptops, bags, jackets, etc., that just hung out on the dining table or wherever we could fit them.

The Tiny RV Shower

I am grateful to be able to shower twice a day. That is something we couldn’t compromise on. Little did I know the hassle it would be to shower in the RV.

We didn’t have any water hookup being parked on my parent’s property. Instead, we had to rely on the freshwater tank in the RV. I believe it held something like 50 gallons of water.

That isn’t much between two people. When it was time to shower, we had to turn the water on to get wet, turn it off, soap up, turn the water on to rinse, and done.

That part wasn’t a big deal. What stressed me out was knowing that we had to go dump and fill the tanks sooner than later depending on our water and toilet usage. More on dumping and filling below (what a hassle!)

Back to showering in the RV; the shower was so small that I would constantly bang my elbows into the shower wall as I washed up.

We were always taking cold showers because we couldn’ t run the water long enough to have a warm shower. The hot water was extremely hot so attempting to adjust it to a good temperature wasted the water in our tank.

Showering became one of my least favorite things to do in the RV.

Dumping and Filling the RV with Water

Our RV had the standard grey water tank, black water tank, and freshwater tank. The grey water was water used for showering, washing dishes, etc.

The black water was water used for flushing the toilet. Each week, we had to drive the RV to a dumping and filling station. RV parks have these but unless you’re a guest in the park, you can’t use them.

Fortunately, there was a place to dump and fill at the harbor which was about a 30-minute drive with traffic. It cost $10 to dump and around $2 in quarters to fill our fresh water tank.

It was always a hassle to complete this process. Sometimes we could go first thing in the morning and other times we had to wait until the evening.

I did not like doing it. It was inconvenient and disgusting at times. For example, we went to dump one week and someone was too cheap to pay the $10 and dumped their waste without hooking up their sewage hoses. You can probably picture what that looked like.

Cooking Was a Hassle

We cooked a lot in our apartment. The only time we dined out was during the weekend. Going from a typical apartment kitchen to a tiny stove powered by propane was challenging.

Since we had to ration our water, we couldn’t cook a whole lot because it would mean washing dishes which would use up more water and lead to us having to go dump and fill sooner.

We probably cooked three times the entire time we lived in the RV. It was a hassle so we ended up eating a whole lot of take-out food which is unhealthy and costly.

It was frustrating and on top of all of the other things I disliked about living in the RV, not eating homecooked meals felt as if we made a big mistake buying the RV.

Getting Gas and Propane

Stopping for gas and propane was not fun either. It was always a challenge trying to maneuver the RV into a space in front of the gas pump. One of us would have to guide the other in order to park close enough to pump the gas.

Propane was another issue. Only certain gas stations had it and it was always a long wait as the gas station attendants were busy with customers. Fortunately, since we were hardly cooking, we didn’t have to fill the propane often.

Temperature Control (There Wasn’t Any)

When the weather was cold, the RV was freezing. If it was a hot day, the RV was really hot. The hot days were the worse and they made me miserable inside the RV.

I bought a portable cooler air conditioner to help keep our cat cool. However, the space was still too large to cool off the entire RV. We would run the air conditioner but couldn’t run it too long as it increased the electric bill quite a bit.

Fortunately, the hot days weren’t that often in the short amount of time we lived in it but it was the final straw for me with wanting to move out of it.


Since we stayed parked in front of my parent’s home, we slowly began to see spiders around the RV. Some were small and there was one time I grabbed my towel after showering only to find a big spider on it as I was about to dry my face.

I’ve watched YouTube videos of other RVers that have dealt with spiders as well as mice infestation. I’m so glad we didn’t have to deal with any rodent issues.

Closing Thoughts

The RV definitely played its role in our decision to move to Oahu. I’ve also learned that I don’t like RV life even if it’s for a few days of fun.

Moving to Oahu was a dream come true for us. Considering our situation at the time when we made the decision, it seemed impossible from the outside looking in.

I now tell people to dream big when it comes to their own desires. If you take action on your goals, magic can happen. We weren’t in the best place financially but because we wrote down our steps and took action, things fell into place.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

About the Author

Hi! I'm Tina, the other half of Overjoyed On Oahu. I do most of the blogging on this website. Thanks for stopping by the blog! Be sure to follow us here and on our YouTube channel.