Bus Life vs RV Life

I didn’t realize how different they were. Jaime says he thought I knew considering we talked about it till we were blue in the face. But a fun fact about me is that I have to experience something to truly understand it.

So what do I mean by they are different? They are both rolling homes that you take wherever your heart desires. They also both have issues from time to time. To sum it up, I think the best way to describe the difference is that when you live in a bus, you are constantly being judged. Sometimes good and sometimes bad. But it seems to be an everyday experience, judgment. And the judgment seems to be on the far end of the spectrum, not in the middle. People either get very excited, ask for a tour and don’t stop smiling the whole visit. Or the exact opposite, their facial expression turns a bit ugly, their voice cracks because they are uncomfortable and they want to escape the confrontation quickly.

So let me give some examples. When we pull up to a camping spot, whether that be in a campground or BLM land, heads will turn. Automatic, I can’t remember a time that did not happen. One time, Jaime had barely turned the engine off and a lady came up and was so excited and inspired and we talked for 20 minutes and had a great time! It was so fun and we were sad to hear her family was leaving that day and we could not spend more time together.

A few months down the road, we call a campground to see if they have availability and they say absolutely no need to reserve just show up. Perfect. We hit the road and upon arrival are confronted and told we are not allowed inside and they have a strict 10 year old rule (but let’s be honest, its the bus and we all know it). She relents and says we can sleep but need to be out before her boss arrives the next morning. Thanks, I’m sure I will get a great nights sleep now :/

The next week we show up to a casino that has good reviews on iOverlander and park, get set up and are looking to check in with security. Security ends up coming to us and with a put off demeanor requests proof of registration in order to stay. He accepts the documents and once our stay is up we try for a nearby campground looking forward to a long shower and easy dishes, only to abruptly be told on the phone “bus conversions are not allowed” and get hung up on. Oh well, longer drive to some BLM land and continue to save water as always!

Those are just a few examples of our personal experiences, but 9 months into bus life and I have determined that our experience on the road is different than if we were in a typical manufactured rig. We met some bus friends last fall and have stayed in touch since then. We recently heard they put the bus in storage and switched to a toy hauler, that way they can join thousand trails and be more involved with the full time community and other families. (Never heard of thousand trails? It is basically a membership to go to specific campgrounds and is very popular with fulltime families, aka LOTS of friends for your kids to play with and be around all the time. The problem? they are a very strict NO to bus conversions).

I could go on and on with other friends we have met and their experiences, but I think you get the point. Are we complaining about the judgment? No, we are simply saying that it exists and it does have an impact on our daily choices, where we go, how we get there, and where we avoid. Is it unfortunate? Absolutely. Especially considering the majority of buses we have met are better built than your typical manufactured rig. We simply wanted to put this out there for others who are considering bus life. I think it is important to put this out there. The bus community is the most amazing we have ever been a part of. It is a close knit group and when you see another bus in the wild it is almost an automatic friendship! Would we chose a bus again? Yes, we would. It has taught us so much and the experience of building your own home is irreplaceable!

But if you are considering bus life, you need to be aware that it can be a different experience than RV life. Not everyday will be different, but some days will. Just contnue on down the road with a smile on your face and enjoy the ever changing scenery 🙂

Have any questions? Reach out! We are always here to chat 🙂

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