I like to finish one project before I start another project. Before we can plan the future, we need to put away the past. As Phil and I start the New Year, we pause to look back over our time on the road since we left our “sticks and bricks” house to travel full-time.
Rather than rehash everything that we did (most of that is in our blog), I thought I would ponder the things that we like, don’t like and what we have learned in generalities.
We have learned that we have more maintenance than we expected on our wheeled home, although not as extensive as the house and big yard. We need to keep things up; repair water leaks quickly, do tidy chores and are constantly re-organizing, and we also have the truck maintenance done more often. We learned that our tires didn’t all wear out, but aged out of service and that the gross loaded weight of the rig is of paramount importance.
Although we don’t mow grass or garden, we do pick up our site and nearby areas when we stay for a few days. It just makes it feel more like home and encourages others to do the same and the managements do take notice.
It is less expensive for us to live and travel in the RV than to maintain our lifestyle in our past house, but it is more expensive than we expected. It appears that many the Baby Boomers are hitting the road and the parks are filling faster and the rates are rising. Fuel is a constant flux. We are new to this style of life and have done what most of us do as newbies and that is to travel faster and farther the first year visiting family and friends at somewhat of a frantic pace.
We are slowing down now, staying longer in one place and traveling shorter distances between places. By traveling slower, we have the time to “get lost” which can lead to wonderful adventures!
We take our time exploring a new area and we are enjoying the slower pace immensely. We stay in membership discount RV parks, State and National Parks and save the “resorts” for special occasions or places. We usually stay at least 2-3 nights at each spot when we are destination traveling. We eat at a local favorite cafe and check out the visitor center at each place to see what attractions are available and then we take a morning to just cruise the area and see what we find of interest. We haven’t tried “boon docking” yet, but did purchase a small generator for the option in the New Year.
When we arrive at our destination (visiting family), we have stayed a month at a time in a nearby RV location. Our rig is too large for drive way parking. This gives our hosts and ourselves some privacy for a longer visit. Things are less hectic since we will see them tomorrow or the next day. We use this time to restock, clean and maintain, and rest. We love including the grandchildren in our search for new places to eat, site see or shop. They occasionally get to come home to our place for the night. Sometimes we meet the whole family at a State Park and camp side by side, which is so fun! We hope to do the same with the families whom we left behind this year.
We miss our dear friends. We have met wonderful people but it takes time to develop the deep friendships from home, so we hope to continue to see them from time to time and to stay in touch. We aren’t letting go of them!
We learned that we can get our hair cut, do laundry, see a dentist, get medical care as needed and even go dancing while traveling down the road. With the digital age upon us, we can handle most business and legal issues via internet.
We certainly don’t know it all and have much more to learn. Therefore, we are enrolled in the Escapade Boot Camp Program in Tucson this March. It is a highly recommended 3 day seminar of starting out as full-time RVers. It will cover many aspects of RV Maintenance, Driving, Parking Options and Safety topics. We will be staying for the Escapade Rally the following week. This is our first rally so we will let you know what we think.
Are we sorry that we sold the house and went on the road? It was keep the house and not travel or sell the house (putting funds back for a home later) and travel. We loved the home that we put together over the years. but we had dreams of seeing the USA and couldn’t do both. So for now, we are not regretful. We are comfortable in our RV and don’t mind the coziness. It has been an adventure that brings us closer together as we travel seeing the “America the Beautiful” at our leisure. We giggle a lot now and worry less.
Currently we are Full-Time Traveling RVers, but we realize that we will need to exit the road someday and are looking at options and areas that might suit our needs at that time as we travel. On the high end might be a retirement condo and on the low end might be full-timing our 5er in a residential park. We say that we really don’t want a large “stick and brick” house and yard to take care of and be tied to again. Those decisions are in the future and we don’t worry about it right now. We are learning to relax and enjoy each and every day as we see fit.