Transformed Ostrich

When you just wish you could pull your OWN head out of the sand…

Mobile office, RV style

October 3rd, 2013

There are more and more people moving to self employed, working from home, laptop millionaire, -type lifestyle, and everybody has a slightly different way to express themselves through work and their work environment.  Each style usually has people that rally for its worthiness, and tote it as the only way to go.  They range from:

  • Must have a separate room in the house, and must get dressed in a suit at 9am every day
  • Must have an office away from the home, even a really cheap one, but must be separate
  • Work in the kitchen on a laptop in your underwear, do the dishes and cleaning at the same time
  • Work on the coach with a bunch of friends and have a projector hooked up to the internet for YouTube and streaming music
  • Get a standing workstation and walk away every 20mins, frequent stretch breaks
  • Travel around the world and do a couple hours of work on a laptop in a café at a time
  • Float between coffee shops and quiet home office to mix up the atmosphere
  • Shared office space, co-working areas, or time-share offices with a shared receptionist
  • Mix ‘em all up: Do a couple hours before sunrise in boxers, go for a jog or get the kids off to school, get dressed like a boss and do some more work (possibly on a different business), stop work early and enjoy the outdoors, possibly put in another planning session later in the day

I’ve tried them all, and they all have their merits, each appeal to different people, in different circumstances.  I say try ‘em all for a good couple weeks each, see how you perform with each method, and adjust for results.  Nobody cares what how you do things, it all comes down to what makes you most productive, and eager to pound out another successful day at the office and bring home the dough!

However, this week I tried something different: I “checked in” to an RV for 5 days, in a different city.  Now this is the kind of mobile office I can get used to!  Vancouver is a fantastic city, no matter what you’re looking for.  And although it covers a very large physical area, and traffic can be a nightmare at times; driving a house around, with all your amenities and electronics in tow, can really make it work!

Quick plug for Ambassador RV in Delta.  During the fall season, when most RV rental companies in the area have winterized their units, making the “comforts of home” unusable, these guys have fully working Winnebago’s up to 30ft ready to drive off the lot.  The front desk people were very helpful, and accommodating to a first time RV user, and did a full introduction and walk-through with me to show me how everything worked.  I arrived bewildered, and left confident.  Highly recommended.

Usually RV’s and motorhomes are thought of as something to take the family touring over great distances, but I’ve never thought of them as full on mobile offices before.  This 2012 29ft Winnebago has a generator, furnace, air conditioning, propane stove, fridge, freezer, microwave, 2 queen beds and 1 double convertible bed, dining room slider, permanent table, shower, 110V outlets everywhere (for you mobile office keeners), double sink, and cupboard space up the wazoo.  The appliances, furnace, lights all switch from built-in battery power – which charges when the engine or generator are running – to 110V external power, to direct generator power which can be turned on with the flick of a switch.  The stove and oven are straight propane, as expected.

A quick online search for RV parking areas in Vancouver returned very few places to park this beast, and even fewer that were free.  Luckily there was one forum with a quick post indicating Queen Elizabeth Park was a free spot, also with good public transit nearby, so I hit the grocery and libations store the went right into rush hour traffic at 5pm to get there.  Turned out to be the best trip through rush hour that I’ve ever driven! Big, comfy, soft leather seats with a decent stereo and I was just cruising along.  Only difference this time; I was the big motorhome that everyone else was trying to avoid getting stuck behind!

Hopefully this gives you some more ideas for a mobile office.  But stay tuned to hear the rest of the trip, and just how it fits in with an INTJ work/live/play style.

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