Life in the slow lane sums up a fair bit of trailer life. In the literal sense you tend to drive in the slow lane on the highway, for the sake of safety and often required by law. Beyond that you are out traveling to see things and be places, so taking your time and smelling the roses, even while driving, is kind of the whole point. As such you tend to take it easy and set a slow pace.
Inside the trailer, many of life’s many activities just take longer than they do in a full sized house. This is due to limitations in open space and the needs of travel. Most of the interior space is storage or spots for human bodies to occupy such as seats, beds, or walkways. There are especially few open surfaces on which you can set things down for easy access. The storage spaces are generally secure because when the trailer is in motion things will otherwise bounce around. Thus most goods are stored in a container which in turn is inside a cabinet. This means when you want something you need to open a cabinet, open a container, get the thing, put the container back in the cabinet. Because open space is limited you can’t have a lot of things out and avialable. This means to change tasks you typically must put things away again: open the cabinet open the container put the thing inside put the container back in the cabinet. All in all a lot of time is spent getting things out and putting them away.
Of all life activities personal hygiene seems to be one of the most time consuming. I used to shave and brush my teeth while taking a shower and I could get all that done very fast. Now the usual morning rituals are much more involved and each needs to be done separately and keeping in mind the needs of conserving both the water I use and what goes down the drain.
Life in a trailer also has less “modern conveniences” especially noteworthy being no dishwasher. You must not only wash dishes by hand, but you have to do it all the time as there is no where they can be stored out of the way. Economies of scale are also out the window due to space so you do many small things each day rather than storing up work of a given kind and doing it all at once. Storage being limited also means you tend to go out shopping more often for basic supplies you otherwise would stock up on.
The utilities on a trailer are more hands on than in a home. You need to empty the waste water tanks periodically, fill propane tanks, fill gas tanks, fill fresh water tanks, maintain the batteries and so on. Houses certainly have some of their own maintenance challenges but they are generally once or twice a year as where trailer utilities tend to come up once or twice every week.
There are some time saving aspects. Because the trailer is small, there isn’t a lot of walking around, everything is close at hand. Cleaning, while a daily requirement is pretty quick. There isn’t a lot to dust in a trailer and cleaning all the floors takes a few minutes rather than hours. Because you own less stuff, less time is spent maintaining it, and finding things tends to be pretty easy since there are a limited number of places they could be provided you maintain good organization. A place for everything and everything in its place is pretty essential to trailer life.
On occasion the extra time and attention to daily activities is a downside. I like to spend as much of my time as possible on my passions or on relaxing. That said I would say overall the time and attention to detail required in trailer life is good for me. I must be more mindful and deliberate in each thing I do, traits that are helpful in professional life and even in relationships. One of my keen interests in this Adventure is to see over time how I change in response to life on the road. This new way of doing day to day activities may well be the first.
I’d love to hear if others have worked to try and make day to day activities more efficient, or embraced life in the slow lane and try to reap its benefits.