Is full-time RV living for you?
Monday, September 28, 2015
Full-time RV living is a dream for many and a mystery for some. People wonder if full-time life on the road, in an RV, is for them. Others see the lifestyle being lived by others and decide to start searching out a possible full-time RV living home without really considering what it may be like.
My wife, Pam, and I recently attended America's Largest RV Show, which took place Sept. 16-20 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. While there, we had the opportunity to meet many people who were there looking for their first RV and wanting to retire soon so they could begin their full-time RV lifestyle.
There were others there who have RVs but wanted to upgrade for the same reason. They wanted to embrace this style of living but really didn't know what to expect. They had lots of questions for us as we had chances to visit with them while manning a vendor booth.
Let me step back a little and review how Pam and I began our journey. We started RVing back in 2002. For five years, we rented everything we could. We tried Class A RVs that had both gas and diesel engines. We rented Class C gas engine RVs, and we spoke to others about their experiences with fifth-wheel RVs while we were staying at RV parks.
In those five years on the road, we put on 35,000 miles and took trips that lasted anywhere from two and a half to five weeks. At that time, we lived in the mountains of Colorado and loved it. When we went away on vacations, we always enjoyed coming back home because we felt we lived in paradise.
But, along came RV travel. Once we started to enjoy being out on the road in a home on wheels, our 3,800-square-foot home in ski country USA did not seem so desirable anymore. Neither did the amount of work it took as far as upkeep.
After we returned home from our first trip out in the RV in 2002, I said to Pam, let's sell the house and get an RV and live in it full time. She was not in such a hurry to do that given we had just spent nine months building our dream home ourselves after years of planning it.
Leaving our dream home was a tough decision.
You see, our dream even before marriage was to live on the road. We had no idea at that time how we would accomplish that goal. We are both nomadic, and the lifestyle appeared it would suit us perfectly.
So we kept on renting RVs until 2008 before finally deciding to make a change. Late that year, we finally decided to purchase our full-time RV.
Now, when we went out on these trips in rented RVs, we brought along the things we like to do with us. We are outdoor folks, so biking and hiking were something we liked to do at home. We found we could easily enjoy these activities while traveling in the RV. It was easy to put a bike rack on the back and take our bikes along.
Since we love being outdoors, the RV lifestyle fit us perfectly. After all, you don't want to spend all your time in your RV. The RV should be a way for you to take activities you enjoy doing at home and expand upon that. You want to be able to enjoy those things while adding the additional benefit of being on the road in an RV.
When considering full-time RV living, be sure you are able to bring those things you have enjoyed doing in the past into your new lifestyle. You want to be able to take those things and perhaps enjoy them in a different way while being able to travel where you want in your RV.
To some, this may seem obvious. To others, it may seem mundane. But I mention this here because we have seen many of our RVing friends wind up leaving the full-time lifestyle because they were too unhappy. They felt like they had left too many things behind — the grandchildren, the tool shop, the craft room, other family members, more living and storage space, etc.
When considering full-time RV living, you have to be able to enjoy the things you did in the past while living in your RV. Or, you have to find new things to replace those old things before you make that leap and sell everything. Either way, be sure to spend time thinking about these things before jumping in and possibly making a big mistake!
Pam and I considered it carefully before we did sell all our "stuff" and hit the road. Fortunately, we had many miles of experience in RVs, and we had found we could do many things we enjoyed in new and better ways. We were able to go from a large home down to only hundreds of square feet with ease.
We hope those of you considering joining us on the road have been helped by maybe just a few things we have shared here. Making a big lifestyle change is something to not take lightly, and we want to help you do just that with eyes wide open.
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