Autism & RV Life – My Autistic Experience Living in a Small Space

Hello, internet humans, NeuroRebel here, and you may know, or have noticed, that I live in an RV and this week I want to talk about why this has been great for me as an Autistic or Neurodivergent human being. So if you’re at all interested in a little bit about my RV life, stay tuned.


Hello, internet humans, NeuroRebel here, and you may know, or have noticed, that I live in an RV and this week I want to talk about why this has been great for me as an Autistic or Neurodivergent human being. So if you’re at all interested in a little bit about my RV life, stay tuned.

[00:01:15] All right, everyone.  This week I’m going to share just a few of my favorite things about living in a smaller space as an Autistic or Neurodivergent person.

[00:01:27] I personally lived in RV, a small space with wheels, but I realized some other Autistic and Neurodivergent people may not drive and so living small might mean living in a tiny home or a stationary set up somewhere in one place and so that experience might be a little bit different, but I believe would share a lot of the same benefits.

[00:01:49] My number one, favorite favorite thing about living in the RV? The small space on wheels is we have a roaming sensory bubble. I have all of my sensory comforts, my temperature how I like it, my sensory things, my weighted blankets, my lighting how I need it, that doesn’t bother my eyes, my sensory safe space on wheels everywhere I go. If I need to go retreat into it, I can. So this is for me as an Autistic person, my favorite thing about having the roaming sensory bubble RV style, tiny home.

[00:02:38] Another fit for me has been the increased flexibility and freedom while traveling and there hasn’t been so much traveling recently,  with everything going on in the world with COVID-19 but when I was traveling before – hopping on planes and traveling around the country, that way I would need a lot of rest and recovery time and I found myself in hotel rooms, trying to decompress in a space that felt uncomfortable and very foreign to me. And often I wasn’t really able to relax because I felt so out of my element.

[00:03:15] I couldn’t control the temperature. I didn’t have the right blankets. I didn’t have the right lighting. I didn’t have the right sensory space when I was traveling before and now I have more security and routine, even when I’m traveling and I’m experiencing new things, there was always that routine of, but I’m in my house –  I’m just going out and I go back home and it makes it feel a bit more routine.

[00:03:41] So that’s just something else about the traveling aspect with that sensory bubble. It just is also a very  secure home base – mothership. The mothership on the road.

[00:03:52] So another thing that’s been really great is that I have my kitchen and my refrigerator and my freezer with me at all times. Some people might say, I am a bit of a picky eater.

[00:04:07] We’re not going to debate that today and talk about why some Autistic people are very selective with what they eat, because there can be many reasons. And there are many reasons some of them include  indigestion, which is something nobody likes to have. But I have all of my foods that I eat regularly on hand and ready to go.

[00:04:31] I don’t have to deal with the added stress of wondering, am I going to be able to find something that I can tolerate to eat that won’t bother my stomach or because I’m also a vegetarian doesn’t have an animal in it – because animals are my friends.

[00:04:49] Something else that is really, really,really awesome about living in a small space, and this is any small space, whether it moves or not, is that there is a lot less to keep up with in this small space and people are always like, “Oh, I have too many things I could never live small” –  we had a lot of things before we condensed and moved into this space and now that we’ve lived here for a while, we’re realizing we need less and less than we thought we needed and as we get rid of things, life seems to get a lot less complicated.

[00:05:32] When I talk about less to keep up with, when we lived in a larger space, the house was a big, big chore, a large space, lots of floors and things to clean and it was a lot to keep up with. And it’s not easy sometimes for Autistic or Neurodivergent people – if we struggle with executive functioning or maybe we go through a period of burnout, where self care and health shores just become overwhelming and impossible for some of us at times, and they just don’t get done.

[00:06:08] Really great thing about a small space is it is a very small space. If we jump on it and clean it together we could probably get the whole thing done in a half hour. Even on my own detailed, deep cleaning of it. I would say I could get done in about an hour, if I really put on some music and push to it.

[00:06:31] That is not the case when you live in a house. I think it was like either the upstairs was clean or the downstairs was clean. Never both. It was just too much to keep up with. So I am really enjoying less to deal with in the small space.

[00:06:53] Another really good benefit of living in a small space, saving the best for last, is a lower cost of living.

[00:07:06] We realized, when you rent, the rent goes up every year, just always goes up. It’s going to always get more expensive.

[00:07:16] We thought, Oh, get a home, but then the property taxes go up every year and that gets more and more expensive and not looking for something that was going to continue to escalate year after year, we decided to flip all of that and move into an RV.

[00:07:36] I am so grateful. We did this a few years back because it has allowed me not to stress this year, when I was let go from my job due to COVID-19.

[00:07:50] If I had a mortgage hanging over my head, I would be very stressed out right now, but because our living expenses are very low, and we’re working really hard, not to live beyond our means and to live simply, I have so much less stress in my life right now, and it is the first time I’ve ever been let go from a job and felt excitement, instead of panic and sheer terror.

[00:08:25] I’m going to throw another one in there. This one is small, but important to me.

[00:08:30] I really, really hate public bathrooms and it is really nice to have a bathroom on wheels.

[00:08:39] I have my own bathroom with me when we’re out in the road. When we go places, I don’t have to go to a bathroom in a gas station and if you’ve ever been in a Backwoods gas station, You know, how much of a relief this can be.

[00:08:58] Thank you so much for hanging out with me this week and for listening to just a few of the things I personally love about living in my RV slash tiny space as an Autistic Neurodivergent human being.

[00:09:11] If you found this video helpful, or if you have suggestion for a future video topic, please let me know.

[00:09:18] I really am always looking to talk about things that you find interesting. So your suggestions and comments are very important to me.

[00:09:28] I’d also really liked to know if there are any other Autistic or Neurodivergent RV-ers out there who are living in an RV full-time or living in a tiny home full-time.

[00:09:37] If that’s you, because I’ve met a few of you. I know there are a few of you out there,  in, in the NeuroRebel sphere. Let me know, drop a comment, drop a comment.

[00:09:45] I want to know if they’re more, there’s gotta be more out there than I’ve heard of and I think it’s cool if we kind of share with each other.

[00:09:52] This is, this is a really been a transformative experience in my life and I can’t imagine myself living in a normal house ever again. If I really think about it, I’m like, eh, that’s a big, no, thanks.

[00:10:06] A very huge and special thank you to the NeuroRebel, Patreon supporters and Facebook subscribers for helping me to make this content possible paying for my transcriptioning software and other things that make this blog the high quality has become over the past four and a half years. I am so grateful for each and every one of you.

[00:10:28] Thank you all. I will talk to you again next week. See you later. .


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6 thoughts on “Autism & RV Life – My Autistic Experience Living in a Small Space

  1. What a spot on blog! I have lived in a tiny house on wheels for two years now in the US and for the 11 years before that, I lived in small and unconventional spaces in Asia. I could NEVER live in a typical house again. It makes my skin crawl to think about it!

  2. Don’t try being ASD, ADHD, uber sensitive & living out of a compact sedan for a year lol. Street lights are awful at night. The whole thing was a sensorial nightmare. Having no control over the temperature, humidity, noise & light levels was torture. I tend to work from home a lot with meetings all over the metro. I was thinking about getting a van to have an office on wheels. The space could be respite with a nap or decompression break, too.

  3. As a child, teenager and adult with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD)—a condition with which I greatly struggled yet of which I was not even aware until I was a half-century old—I learned this for myself from my own substance abuse experience. The self-medicating method I utilized during most of my pre-teen years, however, was eating.

    Perhaps not surprisingly, I (also dealing with the additional curse of notable ACE trauma and high sensitivity) strongly feel that not only should all school teachers have received ASD training, but that there should further be an inclusion in standard high school curriculum of a child development science course which in part would also teach students about the often debilitating condition.

    It would explain to students how, among other aspects of the condition, people with ASD (including those with higher functioning autism) are often deemed willfully ‘difficult’ and socially incongruent, when in fact such behavior is really not a choice.

  4. I am wondering about emptying and filling your tanks. Do you spend a lot of time in campgrounds, or are you constantly moving from one place to another?

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