I realized just today that a certain milestone had passed us by and we didn’t even realize it at the time. On August 1 we passed the 2-year Anniversary of being fulltime RVer’s. We have come to just take our lifestyle in stride so it didn’t register in our minds.
Yes, we began our fulltime journey on August 1, 2008. Some bloggers have marked their own anniversary dates with posts on what they have learned in their first year or two as fulltime RVer’s. I think I’ll take a different route here and write about what this lifestyle means to us. I’ll throw in a few pics that I’ve taken in 2010 during our recent travels.
We saw this bird “condo” in West Virginia:This is our second stint as full timer's. From September of 1993 to June of 1995, we lived fulltime in our 37J Fleetwood Pace Arrow. Narrow body MH with no slides and we loved it! We gave up the FT living (long story) but always knew we would return to live our passion again someday.
Being a FT RVer by simple definition to us means freedom. Not freedom from everything in life, just the freedom to choose where we want to be and how long we want to be there. We don’t have a boatload of money stashed under the mattress (darn it) so the freedom must come with the realization that we need to spend our money mindfully. We cannot afford to go to high-end RV Resorts every day of the year. We have campground membership programs that help us manage our rent budget. It is working out well for us, which gives us some freedom to travel a good bit of the time. Since we spent a great amount of money on two Disney World vacations for the whole family, we will now lay low on the extensive traveling until we feel flush enough to travel across country again. There are still many areas here in the West we have yet to discover.
We like being able to visit our distant relatives when possible. Except for our recent quick trip to Idaho, we always take our home on wheels with us. We would rather stay in our own home and be on our own schedule. No packing and we can sleep in our own bed every night.
We also enjoy getting away from the same old environment that we would have with a traditional stick-n-bricks home. If we choose to go to one particular town and we don’t like it, we can easily move on to another town or another state entirely. If we have lousy neighbors, we can drive away to another RV park. As FT RVer’s there is the benefit in being able to have a new backyard every week if we want to.
Suspension bridge at the Royal Gorge in Colorado.
Our life as FTer’s is also one of simplicity. We can lead the simple life if we want to. The phone doesn’t ring all day, nobody is knocking on the door, and our schedule is one entirely of our own choosing. We can be alone in a town where nobody knows us. It is simple also, in that we have rid ourselves of a lot of “stuff” that we used to have cluttering up our old s-n-b home. With the exception of some books and a few photo albums, everything we own is in our motorhome.
Sometimes we enjoy solitude, and this fulltime lifestyle can give that to us when we feel the need for it. We like to meet new friends and reconnect with old friends, but sometimes it is just nice to get off by yourself to a town and an RV park where nobody knows your name! You can have the best of both worlds if you look for it.
A river running behind some homes in Crested Butte, Colorado.
Family is great! We enjoy spending some time with our family here in Tumwater. However, we also enjoy getting away from our family here in Tumwater several times a year! Don’t get me wrong, we love them dearly, but more and more we are feeling like we just don’t belong anymore. Our granddaughters need us a little more now than they will in just a couple of years down the road. So, we are spending the summer with them. The feeling of being taken for granted has grown stronger and stronger in us over the past year.
At this point, I don’t think I can say that we have really learned anything new the past 2 years. Nothing about a fulltime lifestyle came as a surprise or disappointment to us. Since we had been part-time RVer’s since 1988, joining the ranks of the full timer's did not provoke any culture shock.
U.S. Hwy 50/I-70 through Utah.
Besides everything else I’ve mentioned, it is nice to have time for just the 2 of us. No family commitments or obligations. It brings another sense of freedom into the picture. As you begin to enter those “golden years” you do wonder how many more years you will be able to roam the country in a motorhome? Five years, ten years, fifteen years? Nobody knows.
Any regrets about selling our house and getting rid of everything that wouldn’t fit into the RV? None at all. Do we feel sad about leaving our hometown area for at least 6 to 7 months of the year to live in other places? No we do not. In fact, in a year or two those 6 to 7 months could very likely stretch to 8 or 9 months of being away from Tumwater.
A beach cottage in the town of Seaside, Oregon.
What are our future plans? Plans for way off in the future I’m speaking about. Our hope is to be able to live out this fulltime RV dream for many, many years and do it in good health. When the time comes to sell off the motorhome and move into a fixed dwelling it will be into a very small apartment. We’ve already decided that we do not want to own another sticks-n-bricks home ever again. If our RV years must end sooner than we hope, we will still find a very small apartment to rent. I would say then, if we have learned anything in 2 years, it is that we love living in the small spaces of our motorhome. We always figured we would, but now we know for sure, it is the right lifestyle for us.
There are many different paths to take as fulltime RVer’s and we have chosen the path that suits us best. So far, so good.