House Sitting or Living in a Caravan

# 5 things we haven’t missed about being in a house. (and a couple that we admit we have…)

Since living on the road full time, Caravanning Australia we’ve been lucky enough to discover the many benefits of occasionally House Sitting.

We joined Aussie House Sitters through their website and have now enjoyed a few breaks from living in a caravan.

While this has been awesome in helping us afford to travel around Australia by caravan, its brought home the differences between living in a house and living in a caravan. Here are some of the things we have discovered that we haven’t missed from being back in a ‘normal’ home.

1. A large expanse of floor to clean.

Dogs and cats in the houseOwning a dog means dirty floors. If you’re considering getting a pet, just know you’re going to end up with dirty floors. That’s just how it is, unless you want to be like my crazy friend Michelle, who has this uncontrollable need to clean them EVERY DAY! (Ok, so she does have 2 dogs and 2 kids, and a man-child, but still… EVERY DAY?!)

So, in saying that, we have not missed having a large open plan house, with lots of tiles and room after room of carpet that takes forever to vacuum and mop and then looks no different after 5 minutes anyway.

In the van, you shake out a couple of mats, sweep for like 5 seconds, sweep the dust straight out the door onto the ground, and you are DONE! Too Easy.

2. A lounge room.

It’s like there’s a black hole in lounge rooms and they suck you in with their gravitational pull, and once you cave into the forces, all other productivity ceases. We are exceptionally weak against the forces of a good couch, a remote control, and that big black thing on the wall called “Television”.Camp fire infront of the caravan

Anyone who knows me knows this to be true, and will probably be very surprised to hear us say that we haven’t missed it. (I can practically hear the thuds of them falling off their chairs!)

In the van though, we hardly even get ours out of its box, and often spend our evenings outside, around a fire. Crispy even lets me read to him! I guess it’s not that we haven’t missed it, but we’re a bit like an alcoholic. It’s just easier to stay sober if you don’t even go into a bar.

3. Having a yard.

No front or back yard to landscape when you are caravanning

Sorry Gran, but gardeners, we are not.

It took us over 3 years to complete the very basic landscaping at our house and we were only on a 400sq/m block! Lawnmowing, weeding etc, are all thankless tasks that only need doing again straight away. That sends us crazy! Oh, and don’t forget picking up the dog poo. Not our favourite way to spend a weekend, that’s for sure.

The only yard work I need is making sure there’s no bindis on the awning mat and getting firewood. And Dog, go, be free, poo in the wild like nature intended

*disclaimer: I do pick up poo around campsites, I’m not that feral.

4. Bin Day.

Ah, nothing quite like the panic of waking up to the noise of the garbage truck coming up the street before sunrise when you know the bin is chockers and you forgot to put it out the night before. And we’ve all done the mid-life, suburban version of the walk of shame – darting out in your jocks or nightie to try and get that bin out before the truck comes back around, hoping you don’t get busted by a neighbour.

There is nothing you can do to disguise the noise of a wheelie bin at 6am being charged down the drive and over the road to catch them on the way back.

5. Having to have a job, to afford the place.

Crispy at work in the mine while travelling around Australia
We’ve been very lucky for the last 4 weeks to have house-sat, which means we got to live in a lovely 4 bedroom house, for FREE!

So we don’t want to seem ungrateful, as that’s actually saved us about $800 for the month but it has reminded me of all the expenses that go with a house.

Half the reason people have jobs, is to afford their mortgage. It’s all part of that eat, sleep, work, repeat cycle we have decided to opt out of.

Not that we don’t have bills and accommodation costs on the road, it’s just that being back in a house, we could feel that suck of that ‘normal’ way creeping back over us. Time to hitch up and move!

OK, so what is there about being in a house that I have missed?

A washing machine.Washing clothes in a bucket

I know you can get them for the van, but we just cannot work out how to fit one in!

But I have missed being able to just pop the washing in the machine, come back later, and it’s all done. And properly clean! Also, having to run all over town like a beggar, trying to get a handful of gold coins for laundromat machines is really annoying. ‘Spare a gold coin for me please, Gov’ner?’ Gosh, people in shops can be rude about this! It’s not made of real gold people! Oh no, you’ll have to use 50 cent pieces instead!

OK, so I’ll admit I actually quite like doing the bucket hand washing. I even bought a bamboo washing board. Other than having to wait until the water isn’t frozen to dive your hands into, I actually find it quite relaxing to do, practice a bit of mindfulness. And it is fulfilling to know it was free and used less water and power. If only the clothes came out as clean as the machine, it’d be all worth it. They’re not bad… The colour of the dirty wash water let’s you know it’s doing the trick, but it’s not quite the same as a machine wash.

Anyway, I can live without one…

And secondly, long showers!

Having a shower in our van is fantastic. And we carry 270 litres of water, so we can last a while, but water saving is everything on the road. So short showers are crucial. I’ve got it down to about 7 litres.

Tap on, wet hair, tap off. Lather hair, lather body, tap on, rinse hair. Tap off. Condition hair, wash face, tap on. Rinse hair, face, body, tap off.

Even in caravan parks, often your shower time is limited by how much hot water you’re lucky to get by the time you get there.

So to get into a shower, with mains water pressure, constant hot water, and no concern about where your grey water is running or the noise your pump is making is pure luxury. I can use all the products! What a treat!

Funny though, how it suddenly makes you really aware of exactly how much water is going down the drain while you stand there half asleep and ponder all the important things in life.

Often, so much of this country is in severe drought too, so there’s that.

We really can probably live without those too.

Anyway, thanks for the lend of your house, but we’re happy to be back in the van…

Stay tuned for more about our experiences House Sitting through Aussie House Sitters.

What do you think YOU would miss about living in a house?  Leave a comment below and tell us your experience!

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Things we haven't missed from living in a house

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1 reply
  1. Britt
    Britt says:

    Great article! Really enjoyed that and makes me so aware of how life is for you full time on the road. Surprised to hear u don’t often watch tv now. I missed the simple pleasure of ample water in tap, and we didn’t even have a shower on the road. At home, am so grateful for being able to just turn it on and out she comes, fresh, clean, plentiful – cold AND hot!! How lucky are we in Australia?! xo


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