Learning how to live frugally while living Full Time in a motorhome for us was achieved by the process of elimination. We began by establishing a mind set years ago of, if we can't take it with us in a motorhome we don't take it at all. We don't buy it, we don't accept gifts...for example, if your mother wants to bless you with an entire 80 piece set of your grandmother's favorite good china from Italy...ask her to give it to your sister or save it for your daughter, but this is one of those things that believe it or not, you can't take in a motorhome. We have been planning to full time for quite some time so while camping when the kids were young we would take walks around the campground and seek out other campers with motorhomes. We would pick their brains about maintenance issues, what state to make home base, receiving mail, paying bills, communicating with family... We learned so much from simply asking questions of other RV'rs and reading everything we could get our hands on about the adventure of the Full Time lifestyle.
The biggest decision in living skinny was the choice to not have a stick home. We sold our home and bought our motorhome on ebay. We have a 38 foot Mountain High Coachworks Pinnacle with two slides. There isn't a 'new' coach out there that we've seen that we love as much as the one we have. We bought it for a skinny price and have no monthly loan payments. We sold, consigned or gave away everything that wasn't imperative for life on the road and proceeded to fill every nook and cranny of our new rolling home with all our earthly possessions. We have re-evaluated our needs and wants several times since we've been on the road. One thing we do to downsize further from time to time is to go through our clothes and if we haven't worn it in the past year we probably won't wear it the next, so out it goes either to our favorite consignment shop back home in Pennsylvania or donate it to a local Goodwill or Salvation Army Store. Keeping with that same school of thought, my husband will weed out any tools or camping supplies in the storage compartments under the motorhome. You will soon discover that the things that you thought you couldn't live without are the very things you wonder why they ever made the last cut before pushing off on your new adventure of this life on wheels.
It's important to live skinny but not necessary to sacrifice the things you love in order to make ends meet. Early on we knew that one day we would be living Full Time in our motorhome so we prepared for that by purchasing memberships to a home park and some discount camping clubs that defray some of the cost of living in campgrounds and RV Parks. Initially there was some outlay of money involved but in retrospect we're glad we made those purchases because today we can live for an entire year on what it cost us for one month rent in the house we were living in before we began life in our rolling home. Living rent free for eleven months...now that is living skinny on the road.