Marking Places Off the List

Full-time RVers have all kinds of lists — take-down, set-up, favorite routes and restaurants, where to stay or avoid — and we’re no different. Lately we’ve started a new one.

When we started full-time RVing, we talked about how our travels would help us narrow down the places where we could eventually settle when the time came to “come off the road,” as we full-timers call it.

In various towns and states we scope out the real estate ads and brochures, and have even called a few real estate agents to see some houses. We walk through houses that — even with only a couple of bedrooms — seem huge compared to our cozy home on wheels. Even “tiny” kitchens don’t seem very small to us anymore. We’ve looked at houses with walk-in showers big enough to fit our entire RV bedroom inside.

Then we walk the property to see how close the neighbors are, whether there’s road noise (we’ve had enough of that boondocking in rest areas, thank you very much) or train tracks (had our fill of those, too, at RV parks).

How much lawn care will be needed? Any space for the RV? Would we be allowed to park it in the driveway, side yard, backyard? Do the neighbors have barking dogs? Air traffic?

And if, by chance, the house seems to pass all those requirements, the next list seems to doom the place.

If we’re on the coast, we think about tsunamis. Earthquakes. Inland, wildfires. Hurricanes. Tornadoes. Flash floods. Drought. Pesticides and insecticides blowing in high winds.

Or… it’s too hot in the summer. Too cold and snowy in the winter (not to mention the occasional blizzard, ice storm, or other freezing disaster).

So we get back into our RV, our cozy home we can take anywhere we want. And we decide we’re just not ready yet to stop anywhere for any length of time.

We are true wanderers. Nomads. Seekers of Eden. And so far, we just haven’t found anyplace better than our home on wheels.

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Advantages of a Full-Time Lifestyle

After my last few posts about some of the challenges full-time RVers face, you might think I’m burned out, that I’ve gone negative on the whole experience.

Not true. I’m just trying to be realistic.

Those “Go RVing” ads showing happy families on a riverbank with a cozy campfire, their RV sitting lit up in an otherwise dark woods, are mostly lies. Continue reading

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The Washing Machine Adventure, Continued…

In our last installment of the Great Washing Machine Adventure (see previous post), I described the challenges we ran into while trying to find a replacement for a washing machine for our fifth wheel. After a week or more of research, shopping, and a lot of phone calls to line up someone to install the washer, we thought we were set.

Remember, all of this is to remind everyone thinking of trading a sticks-and-bricks house for an RV that THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. “If you ain’t fixin, you ain’t RVin,” goes the saying, but a lot of people, hearing it, say, “Well, if you have a sticks-and-bricks house, you’d be fixing things all the time, too.”

But it’s not the same thing. Take getting a new washing machine. If you have a sticks-and-bricks house, you can walk into an appliance store, pick out one you want, have it delivered and installed.

Picking out an appliance for an RV and getting it delivered and installed is another matter entirely. Continue reading

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Not Your Average Home

When we talk to people who are thinking of taking on the full-time RV lifestyle, we tell them the one thing we weren’t expecting: that Bob wasn’t really retiring but was going from one job to another.

“If you ain’t fixin, you ain’t RVin,” wasn’t a motto we’d heard before we were in full-timing up to our broken Fantastic Fan and furnace, leaky shower and sink…. and those were the days *before* the quality of RVs generally took a tailspin.

“Well, if you had a sticks-and-bricks house, you’d still have to fix the furnace, patch leaks, make repairs,” we were told.

And of course that’s true.

But anyone who thinks getting something repaired in an RV is the same thing as getting something repaired in a sticks-and-bricks (SAB) house hasn’t been RVing for very long. Continue reading

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Announcing… the 2018 BEST EATS Awards!

Best Breakfast Burrito
California Burrito at Penfold’s in Temecula, CA

Best Mexican Food Breakfast
Asada Omelet at Main Stop Restaurant in Kittitas, WA

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HappyNewYear

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Shhh… Things About Full-Time RVing Nobody Talks About

There’s a down side to full-time RVing most full-timers and those who support the lifestyle don’t want to talk about. It’s human nature to focus on the positive reasons you made a particular decision rather than to admit you might have made a mistake, that you probably could have done a little more research or changed course earlier. We’ll never know how many people who head into full-time RVing throw the engine into reverse, park the rig, and put a For Sale sign on it. When we started out, we were told most full-timers last about three years, but who knows? If there’s real data on it, it’s kept under lock and key somewhere.

 

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Should You… Or Shouldn’t You

Become a full-time RVer, that is.

We meet people all the time — at least once a week — who, when they hear about our lifestyle as full-time RVers, say, “Oh! We plan to do that” or “I’d love to do that” or some variation of those. The desire is there. The dream is alive.

I got to thinking about all of this recently while reading a discussion list thread on an RVers forum. A man and his wife are planning now for their transition into full-time RVing, which they are projecting will happen ten years or so from now. He’s gotten a lot of advice and it’s clear he’s given a lot of thought and put plenty of effort into his plan, but there’s only so much a person can plan for, in any situation, much less full-time RVing.

Continue reading

Posted in On the Road, RV Parks & Lifestyle | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Ten Years and Counting!

By my number (which could be off….!) this is my 384th post on this blog. The first entry was posted before Bob and I even hit the road, shedding our sticks-and-bricks house for our home on wheels back in May of 2009.

Counting on my fingers, that means this is our tenth summer as full-time RVers.

We’ve experienced a lot, including watching the world of RVing change right before our eyes. Continue reading

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