10 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Fulltime RVing…
Pre-Post Note/ Nov 2017. Although this post was written in 2011 it’s still my most popular post ever (!!), so I’m refreshing it as part of our 8th year on the road. See my updates in italics below the original text on each topic.
One of the beautiful things about aging is you carry along the wisdom of years of experience (that, and your wine gets better of course). By many standards you could easily call me but a pup in the great dog-park of life, but as our multi-year journey in RVing progresses I have managed to glean a few gems of sageness which I can happily pass along. In that spirit, here are 10 things I wish I’d known before we went full-timing:
1/ Bigger is Not Always Better
I always imagined that you should try to buy the biggest RV you could afford. After all, who doesn’t want lots of space? Our travels over the past years, and perhaps more specifically the kind of travel we like to do (camping in public campgrounds, forests, state parks, off-the-beaten-track spots) has taught me that bigger is not always better. Our “beastly” size is super-comfortable but requires me to do quite a bit of detailed planning to make sure we can fit into the kinds of spots we like to visit. In retrospect, I would have wished for a smaller RV. For those camping mostly in private parks this is not a consideration, but for our kinda camping it sure would be nice with a few less feet.
2017 Update – TOTALLY still agree with this. Although we’ve gotten used to our “beastly” size I still wish we were a tad smaller and we (still) dream about downsizing. 95% of our camping is on public land and if we were smaller and more nimble we’d have many more options open to us, especially for boondocking. 35-feet would be nice, 30-feet would be even sweeter, but hey we make do. Maybe one day….
2/ Hard-Mounted Satellite Dishes are Mostly Useless
When we first got the RV the thought of a hard-mounted, fully-automatic Satellite TV dish on our roof seemed just the ticket. Push a button and off you go….fabulous! However camping as we do in lots of spots with trees and obstacles we have line-of-sight perhaps only ~50% of the time making our dish mostly useless. In retrospect a movable dish would totally be the way to go.
2017 Update – YES. In fact we even disconnected Direct TV in 2014 and moved towards other electronic means of entertainment (Netflix, Redbox etc.), but for those of you wanting satellite I would definitely still recommend getting a movable dish.
3/ Most Camping Clubs Are Not Worth It
When we first started RVing we signed up to just about every camping club out there, Sam’s Club, Escapees, Club USA etc. In retrospect (again because of where/how we like to camp) these were not worth it. The only camping club I currently consider is Passport America, mostly for short stops and I do like the Escapees Days End list, but even these have mostly been replaced by overnight “freebies” when we need them. The rest of the time we’re out in nature/boonies where club memberships do not go. For some people clubs are great and they can certainly be cost saving if you make use of them, but for us they’ve simply not made the cut.
2017 Update – YES. We still feel the same way. Clubs are only useful IF you make use of them. There are RV folks who love their club memberships (e.g. Thousand Trails members who do nothing but stay at Thousand Trails), but for our type of camping (mostly public land, lots of State Parks etc) they simply haven’t made sense. The only membership clubs we currently have are Harvest Hosts, Escapees & Passport America. I always recommend that newbies wait on joining any camping clubs until they’ve spent some time on the road and figured out how they like to travel. Read more about my take on Camping Clubs HERE.
4/ Beware Heavy Slides
I love the slides in our motorhome because of the massive amount of space they give internally, but it seems some manufacturers go overboard. Our “beast” has a massive front drivers-side slide with refrigerator in the slide, something I now understand is an engineering no-no. The weight of the slide has been the cause of the only real issues on our home in 2 years. I love slides and will always want them, but in retrospect I would never buy another home with a fridge in a slide-out.
2017 Update – YES. Our big slide issue is still the only major issue we’ve had (touch wood) in the RV since we started fulltiming.
5/ Finding Great Public Campgrounds Can Be Easy
The first year of RVing I struggled to find the kinds of campgrounds (natural, green, spacious) that we like to visit. It was a constant battle of going to one website, through a ton of clicks, then another website, then to a map, then to another spot and back again to try and figure out which one matched our route. Early this year I discovered uscampgrounds.info and my planning life changed. If you like public camping there’s simply no better resource out there and I use it as the base for all our travel planning now.
2017 Update – YES. Public Land is still our #1 camping choice. There are now many more options for finding these kinds of sites including ultimatecampgrounds.com (which has overtaken uscampgrounds IMHO), Benchmark Maps (which are excellent paper maps for public lands), AllStays (which also offers an app) and other resources. If you want to see how I plan our current travels, check out the 3-part series I wrote starting HERE.
6/ You Don’t Have to Sign Any Internet Contracts
When we initially looked at internet solutions we knew we wanted a Verizon-based system since it was simply the best coverage out there (and our experience has proved that true). We ended up w/ a 2-year 5GB/mo contract which is a little tight for our needs. What we didn’t know was that you can get a Verizon-based coverage using no-contract resale partners such as Millenicom. It’s the same coverage, but simply without the contract! You can boost it just like any system out there too. Millenicom resells both Verizon and Sprint and they won’t/can’t tell you (directly) who they’re using, but you can easily narrow it down via the device (the Verizon-based contract is currently offered on the 20GB/mo deal using the Novatel U760 Device). For more info check the forums.
2017 Update – TOTALLY. I still recommend a contract-free approach whenever possible. This gives you the flexibility to sign-up to the best plans (and offers) whenever they became available which has improved our own set-up and saved us many $$ over the years. The whole Mobile Internet landscape has changed dramatically since 2011 (e.g. Millenicom is now caput and gone), but there are still many contract-free options for mobile travelers. You can read about our current internet, phone & boosting set-up HERE.
7/ Take Your Time On the Road
When we first started on the road we rushed like crazed animals on stampede to see as much and as far an area as we could possibly see within the timeframe given. It took several months before we realized none of this was necessary. In fact taking more time to enjoy our surroundings not only saved us money, but we’ve met more people, seen more local gems, created a sense of community and felt more in-tune with the journey. Our 2-month trip through New Mexico earlier this year was a great example of how this attitude has really made sense for us. We are progressing more and more into “sitters” (RVers that spend several weeks in one spot) rather than “movers”. It may not be for everyone, but I sure recommend giving it a try.
2017 Udpate – TOTALLY. Since that original “crazy” year on the road we’ve enjoyed a much more relaxed pace of travel (you can see all our travel maps HERE -> we average just over ~5,000 miles/year) and it’s made everything SO much better. For us this is a lifestyle, not a vacation and taking the time to enjoy each spot has made it a deeper, richer (and more enjoyable) experience for both of us.
8/ You Really Don’t Need Much Stuff
I spent months trying to figure out what to take on the road before we started out. I already knew (instinctively) that we wouldn’t need much, but I wanted to try to cover all the bases. The truth is that we needed even less than that. I took ~10% of my then-wardrobe with me, and I currently use about 10% of that. We brought along tents and other equipment we never use. We ALSO ended up buying a bunch of nifty (so we thought) “RV stuff” before we’d really spent any time in the rig on the road, another thing I’d now consider a no-no. In retrospect spending some time on the road before loading up would have made alot more sense. We’re planning a major cleaning-out when we get back to our storage in San Diego this winter and will end up much lighter for it (no doubt). If we keep this up the storage might end up going too…
2017 Update – YES. The more time we spend on the road the less we find we need. We end up donating half our clothes to charity almost every year and our outdoor stuff has been cut down to a select set of “glamping” basics. Plus we FINALLY got rid of our big storage unit (whoo hooo!). Paying $$$ for storage all those years was one of our biggest regrets and something we (in retrospect) would not recommend if you can avoid it. It took 7 years for us to tackle ours, but we finally got it done! You can read about my take on storage HERE and how we got rid of ours HERE, HERE and HERE.
9/ Follow the Weather
This kinda makes obvious senses, but when we first started out we really didn’t pay too much attention to weather. In our first year we ended up travelling through the Mid-West in very hot and buggy conditions, not ideal for a natural-born bug magnet (such as myself) in a metal home. Since then we’ve paid closer attention and the beauty of being mobile is that you can do exactly that. I launched my flip-flop barometer early this year and we managed (mostly) to stay right on it. We’re wintering in the SW this year and will be back to cool and gorgeous coast & mountains by next summer. Most definitely the flip-flop way to go!
2017 Update – YES. We’ve become better & better at following the weather and it’s a key part of our yearly travel planning process. The past few years we’ve spent winters in the beautiful SW desert and summers on the gorgeous PNW coast. Perfection!
10/ RVing Costs Are Manageable
We agonized over the cost of full-time RVing for a long time before we jumped in. The truth is costs are flexible and totally manageable and our experience has certainly proved that to be so. There are great options for saving money both on camping, gas, health insurance, taxes, car/RV registration and other areas. You can take your time and boondock, workamp along the way or run around and stay in pricey resorts. All can be great experiences, but the real beauty is that the choice is there.
2017 Update – TOTALLY. In 8 years on the road our expenses have actually been flat to slightly down every year despite increasing health care costs. We keep camping expenses low by volunteering in summer and boondocking (= free camping) in winter, and we manage gas costs by how we travel. The point is there is lots of flexibility on the financial side, and my viewpoint on this hasn’t changed. Earlier this year I finally updated our cost posts, so you can now read a detailed account of our RV costs (including tips for budgeting & saving) for the past 7 years HERE and HERE.
Well that wraps up my list…got any good ones of your own?
2017 Update – Knowing what you know now, are there any additional things you wish you’d known??? Apart from the storage unit that I wish we’d never gotten (item #8) nothing at all. Our top 10 is still the exact same today as it was in 2011.SPONSORED LINK:
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Stephen Milano says
another outstanding post–and very timely for me-have finally reached a decision re hitting the road after following your blog and so many others–a great source of inspiration and information. have been doing lots of research on the forums and just signed up for the Escapees Boot Camp as a walk-in. will finalize my thinking re rig size and other items soon and this input is great!! hope to hit the road by the end of the year as the “downsizing” is already completed and most is in storage–need to “just do it”!! thanks again for all the info–really enjoy your posts–you guys have been a big inspiration
CONGRATS on the up-coming fulltming! As you can tell it’s a pretty addictive lifestyle 🙂 Enjoy every minute of it!
Pam and Bob says
My name is Pam and we are planning on full-timing in 6 months to a year.
We were just wondering what your thoughts on where to register vehicles were. We have a pickup truck, a 30 ft trailer, a four wheeler, and a small boat with a motor. We have been camping for approximately 15-20 years throughout New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, and Ontario.
Also do you know of any restrictions for the items listed above in any states.
We enjoyed your blog and it answered alot of the questions we had. Look forward to more advice.
Thank you so much,
Pam and Bob
Some states have requirements for residency to register vehicles.
However, there are a couple of states, that just want your money and make it easy to register it and have an out of state address. I think? Alabama is one and Arizona may also be an option.
If you are a workamper you should be able to check with other workampers on their website and get the most current advice.
If you are not a workamper, become one. The site is priceless for theses types of things.
I believe one of the easiest States is SD. It is where I am registered.
No State tax
Never need to take car or RV to SD
spend one night and 15 min in DMV to get license
low cost to resister vehicle and RV
LLC is quite low cost and easy as well
These are all true, but there’s one big “gotcha” if you’re pre-Medicare age and that’s health insurance. No good nationwide options on the ACA Exchange in SD unfortunately. That’s partly why we’re considering a change. Here’s my post on that for reference:
For Medicare age RVers there are no issues, and I still think it’s a great place to establish domicile.
I have never gone camping but thinking about selling my large home for the road. What is workamper? How safe is it for a single woman traveling this way? Are some states better than another to stay at camp sites and does everyone watch out for each other?
My wife and I are also kicking around the idea of becoming full time r.v.ers maybe this year. I have been doing some homework for health insurance, seems to me one of the better ones is First Health. The initial start is a little expensive around 600.00 dollars to start for myself then drops after that but it seems to be a good plan and it is not an HMO plan it is a PPO plan. Seems to be the best one.
For vehicle registration it very much depends on where you plan on establishing domicile during your fulltime RV travels. Typically you get a drivers license and register your RV in the state that you establish domicile. Most fulltime RVers chose either SD, TX or FL as their domicile states since they are income-tax-free states and are very “RV friendly”. If you plan on keeping a house or address in your home state however, then that may change how/where you can establish domicile. I’m not familiar with the rules in any of the states you mentioned so I don’t know the requirements for domicile in those states.
You can read more about domicile here:
Home is Where you Park it…or is it?
Robert Washburn says
Hello I am considering hitting the road now that we are bill-less. Tell me how do you have a permanent address? For your drivers licenses, tabs and things like that. I ask this because I will be traveling with my special needs child and I will need monthly supplies wherever we are at. I have gotten most everything on line now but supplies are are different matter. Do you think I will be restricted in our travels? If we get to travel at all? I am also getting a 40′ because I can’t do it in anything smaller, not that I have a lot of stuff but because of what I need. I have lived in a 37′ fifth wheel when we were younger and we both loved it, had it for 4 years of living. I am going motor home this time around. I have done a lot of research on it and although there aren’t very many parks that can handle 40′, more and more are popping up. I found your postings just today and sucked up most everything. Your blogs also confirmed my research and also made me aware of things that I did not know. Even if I can’t travel because of this, I will still be buying a motor home for us to live in. Please be blunt if you choose to respond on whether you think I should or not do the travel part. Thank you.
Yes, we do have a permanent address. We use a mail forwarding company in SD that acts as our address of record for drivers license, voting, taxes etc. We can also get stuff mailed there (and forwarded to us), but meds may be different and certain meds (e.g narcotics) may be controlled. I know many RV folks who get their meds through nationwide pharmacies (e.g. CVS) and just get the prescription transferred to the local shop to pick up as needed. I also know RV folks who get their docs to write 6-mo (or longer) prescriptions which allows them to travel further before needing new prescriptions. Since we take no meds ourselves, I don’t know much more about this so you’ll have to research more. But I have heard from folks who make it work.
Regarding rig size, if you stay primarily at private parks you’ll have no trouble at all with a 40-footer. Just about ANY private park will take that size, It’s only if you want to stay on public land and in more off-beat places. We make do with our rig, but we are a tad more limited in site and campground choice. Still, it’s not a game-stopper. You can find spots even if off-beat places iv you do your research.
Good luck with everything!
Has anyone out there heard of a cedar creek fiver??what are your opinions??
Hi I was reading the comments and noticed you decided to hit the road. It was a few years ago I know but wondering how it went? I’m a single woman and will be traveling alone. I’m scared but what scares me more is not following my dream of seeing the world. I mean I don’t know what will happen and it does concern me. If I’m traveling and get sick where do I go if my medical Insurance is in la county. I have so much to learn.
Hi, I also am single thinking to do the same thing. Watching to see if anyone responds to us single ladies posts.
I am concerned about safety as well and if I have a vehicle breakdown what are best options.
Single ladies entering full-time RV-ing:
depending on where you are planning for your overnights, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. If you are worried and aren’t allergic, my best solution would be to get at least a medium sized dog. The barking is usually enough to deter anyone with nefarious plans, especially if they have been staking you out and have seen this is not a chihuahua, though even those are good for the noise. Anyway, most RVers are pretty good people and tend to look out for each other. Lock your RV door(s) at night, be aware of your surroundings and the people in it and you should be just fine. Also, dont promote that you are traveling alone as a woman. No sense painting a target for those with deceitful plans. I’ve never had any problems but, then again, I have three large dogs traveling with me. 😉 Good luck!! Now, start living your dream!!
I totally agree with your list.
A non resident has to leave the country after his staying permit expires which is usually after 6 months (Max) so we cannot do it full time but I consider ourselves as “Summer full timers” that have 2 residents:one at our home in Israel and the second on wheels in North America-this is for as the optimum and we are enjoying it for the last 10 years.
I think you guys have a great set-up. Summer-timing can be a great idea for folks who enjoy having a home-base.
Donna Stephenson Seymour says
These are all very good suggestions. We have RVed for about 7 years now and plan on full timing in 5 years and agree with your conclusions. We have not encountered issues with our slides and hope we never do.
You guys are pros!! Enjoy the upcoming fulltiming!
Great list. Especially the size of the rig and taking your time. Our first year out we tore around the country. Now we’ve learned to slow down and enjoy the journey.
So with you on that one! Nina
The Good Luck Duck says
This is a good list – thanks!
If we ever “upgrade,” we will definitely downsize.
Maybe in two years we’ll do a Top 10 list, too!
Looking forward to the list! We expect much of you ducks 🙂
Sue Bank says
Wow, this is exactly the list I was looking for, and I didn’t even know it!
You’ve answered so many of our questions, and confirmed many of our suspicions. Thanks! We’re heading out on a years “excellent adventure” in April.
I hope you’ll keep a blog Sue! I’ll follow along. 🙂
So happy the list was timely! ENJOY your upcoming “year adventure”. DO lemme know if you decide to do a blog!
I agree with you totally on the size issue, especially now that manufactures are making more diesel pushers in 36 ft and 38 ft.
You’re so very right. Many of the new 36-foot floor-plans are excellent, and those few feet less make a big difference in “fitting” into tight spots.
David BanVeckle (Hawaii) says
My wife, dog and I are newbies who plan on selling everything and doing this for a year to figure out where we will live next (and last)on the mainland. We will be going both to camp sites as well as around some towns (not really cities, though). We have never RV’d before. What would be the right length/size RV for our situation? I see you are talking about 36 foot. Any recommendations on manufacturers and models? I think we might buy a year old one since we are only going to use for a year and then sell it. Don’t want to take too much of a hit on depreciation. Also, do you tow a small car for local transportation? Great website!
Hi! My husband, dog, and I are in the same boat (so to speak). We are thinking of selling everything and hitting the road with an RV. Did you get any additional information/answers to your questions? Thanks! Elizabeth
I personally like Allegro/Tiffin & Monaco. I haven’t recently looked at the models on the market, so I’d have to go back and research. For up-to-date info I’d recommend jumping on the RV forums (rv.net, iRV2.com) and asking around. You’ll get many more replies there.
I do agree that buying a year old or so is a good option. Takes alot of the initial depreciation loss out of the equation. That’s what we did with our rig.
Also, RVs are generally not made well. Even the expensive ones often have warranty claims. When you buy one that’s a year or two old, not only do you benefit from the deprication but also presumably the former owner has gotten all the bugs fixed so you don’t waste time doing that yourself.
Hey,we live in Kailua and have the exact same plan
We are looking at a lightweight trailer, maybe an r-pod…we should talk
Heather Newmman says
This is what my husband and I are doing in 4 years, after our youngest child graduates. We want to travel the country to see where we want to live next. Leaning toward North Carolina……We also got good advice from a friend, live in a place during your worst season (for me it’s winter) to see how it is. Thanks, Heather
Hi Nina, I love this post!
I agree with your list. Howard and I are part-timers, in the RV during the winter months and home in Colorado during the summer months. We start off at the end of October and we ALWAYS seem to take too much “stuff” and way too many clothes. Last year I took more winter clothes than summer and did not really need them at all. We purchased our coach in 2006 and have been out on-the-road every winter since. You would think I could gage what clothes I will need by now, but for some reason this task eludes me!
We use Verizon for voice and some data, DirecTV with the dome on the roof of the RV and DirecWay for most of our internet connections. Since we use DirecWay we have to carry the dish everywhere and spend time setting it up, of course we can place it anywhere within reach of the RV, which is beneficial. It is however big and it takes up a lot of room. We haven’t gotten rid of it, because we like having it at home and it has been very reliable! We are debating changing to another service, but we have not made up our minds what the replacement would be.
Our favorite type of camping is in county and state parks enjoying nature. Our 40ft – one-slide- home does pretty well in these environments. However, we are not as adventuresome as you guys! Wishing to make it so!!!
A few of thoughts on part-time (or full-timing) RV living:
~avoid some stress and hassle -never consider yourselves on vacation, you are just living differently
~routinely investigate and schedule things to do
~bring your hobbies and continue enjoying them if at all possible
~don’t forget to challenge your mind, enrich your soul and exercise
~as you have stated – don’t rush to get to different places
~thoroughly enjoy where you are
~take a few risks – adventure waits
~if you don’t like a place you can always just leave (we spent the entire month of February one year in cold and rainy conditions and why we did not just leave is beyond me) now we would for sure hid the road
~socialize and enjoy other RV’ers
~remember – alone time is okay and needed
I saw a bumper sticker today that stated: “wag more and bark less”.
So wag more, enjoy your life and each other.
Some FABULOUS tips Sheila! Thanks so much for sharing them all!
Especially love the “wag more and bark less”…one that speaks to me 🙂
Scot And Sandi A says
Found your blog and read through mean replies. very very helpful. My wife and I are 55 and getting ready to dive into the full time RV thing. We are having a hard time making our decision based on the future of fixed income. we live on a lake in Minnesota. it is very quite and offers boating and fishing with a wooded camping feel. we’re crazy to do this right!
here is my question. When purchasing an rv, at what length of a loan should we be looking at? the longer the lone the higher the interest rate and the longer to pay down. which also brings up the question of, how long should i expect to keep a motor home before I start to have many repairs? How long do most rv’s keep their rv before they trade in for a new model? I dont want to be upside down when the time comes to trade.
Honestly if you’re looking at a loan to buy a new RV, I would recommend scrapping that idea and looking at paying cash for a used, quality RV. RV’s depreciate like crazy, and new RV’s are mucho $$. There are tons of quality used rigs out there where you can get A LOT more for your money and still leave cash to spare for repairs and travel. Plus with a used rig most of the depreciation will be already accounted for, and you’ll get more back of your original $$ when you sell too.
These are all known and unknown questions. I know that sounds corny but it is true.
Your loan is simply based on what you can afford, something you know.
If you can afford to pay it all up front, you would be wise to and you may also have to choose a less expensive RV.
Remember, the first RV you purchase is hardly ever the last one you will own, so don’t believe it’s a once in your life decision.
The unknown is simply what can you accept because living in an RV is the same as in a boat,
I’ve done both and both are a world of fun.
I prefer a large boat on the water and a smaller RV to travel in such as a class C or even a large class B or B+ I think they are called now.
Repairs are an unknown, but if it is checked out by a pro before purchase and you get done those thing that might be pointed out by this professional before hitting the road, you’ll be is as good of a position as a person buying a new rig.
Your eyes tell you everything. Look in every corner and crack ad crevice and look for spots, tears, repairs.
Get a small snake camera (you can rent one or if you know of a plumber in your area they may have one you can borrow) to look in, under, around, behind everything including the holding tanks.
Biggest problems you’ll have are appliances but they are also the least problematic if you take care of them.
Most common problem are annoyances.
Loose hinges, door knobs loose, outdoor storage bin locks fail or you lose the key, checking tire pressure easily and being able to fill the tires properly and safely, tires themselves are very expensive but should be verified up front and if older than 3 years (there is a date on the tire) or worn over30%, have them replaced before buying.
You are on a lake?
Have you ever thought of a sailboat? One without the rigging. One with an inboard diesel engine to troll around the lake and enjoy the sunset/sunrise?
Then when you are ready jump into the smaller RV and go traveling for a week/month/?
It’s all fun.
Hope you enjoy.
Scot And Sandi A says
Thank you for the reply,
We have only vacationed in a rv once, when our children where young. we traveled for two weeks in a class C. we loved it. Now that our children have their own lives we are thinking about the big step.
I think we will take your advise and rent a class A for two weeks.
Thank you, Scot A
We also use uscampgrounds.info. Great resource. Full-timing is certainly not for everyone. It requires some risk taking, overcoming fears of the unknown, saying good-bye to family and friends, and doing some things that may not seem wise. In the beginning, Paul admits, that one of his biggest full-timing faults is, he has difficulty “rolling-with-the-punches.” I find that the most challenging thing is not looking back so much. I love to reminisce and this leads me to get a bit melancholy. We have enjoyed worshipping with many different denomination and at nondenominational churches. We have made so many new friends that we stopped counting. This is one of the biggest advantages to our lifestyle. Thanks, Nina, for the great blog and giving Paul and I a few minutes of reflecting on our past year.
It’s amazing how many people you meet on the road. RVing brings you into a community that’s unique and special, but so very rewarding!
We have been camping for all our married life from tent to now a Class A. We have been taking 5 months in the winter for FL for the past 4 years and will be going full time this next year. My husband loves to meet new people and learn about different adventures and we always feel a little let down when we all move on, like leaving a new friend. We noticed a lot of full timers had RV business cards. So we decided to get them and a binder to keep them in. Then when we are traveling we just send out an email to see if any of our new friends are near and want to meet up and visit again, or to pass on any good or bad info about camp areas. Can’t wait to go full time! Everyone enjoy!
It’s a good tip. We used to have business cards and still exchange them on occasion, but I have to admit we’ve gone mostly online now. I connect with lots of folks through either Facebook or Instagram, and of course there’s also RVillage where you can check in and see where various folks and groups are on a map. Lots of good ways to stay connected.
Randy Williams says
From someone on the sideline it all seems very well thought out information, thanks again for taking the time.
Great blog! lots of ideas for “newbies” — we have been fulltimers for almost one-year now and are in agreement with many of the items on your list (size and taking your time especially!) We have also been fortunate to meet helpful people on our travels and certainly fellow bloggers encourage and guide us! Keep up the great posts and we hope to get to meet you in person soon!! Martha
Cherie @Technomadia says
Awesome post, and we thoroughly concur on all points after our 5+ years on the road! (Of course, we’re coming from the other end of the scale, starting off in a 16′ trailer and now in a 35′ vintage bus 😉 ).
Everytime I read on your posts or comments on our blog, it reminds me how much I look forward to our paths crossing in our respective journeys.
For folks with smartphones, the uscampgrounds.info is also available as a mobile app called ‘CampWhere’. It’s incredibly well designed, and we use it regularly to find public camping options. Great resource, for sure!
Definitely look forward to meeting you guys too! Your blog was one of the very first inspirations for our current lifestyle.
Cheers also for the tip on the app!
Terry & Linda says
#1- Agreed. We would like to have a smaller (21-30 ft) rv to supplement our current unit.
#2- We carry a portable dish and use it about 35% of the time.
#3- Passport America easily pays for itself.
#4- Completely agree. Not sold on those full wall slides either.
#5- Good to know, thanks.
#6- Really good to know!
#7- Slowing down really gives us the chance to become part of the area and know the people.
#8- Still working on this one.
#10- Plus you have to prepare for unexpected expenses. Like bumping your head.
Good one on #10! I’m making that our 10+ list 🙂
Jim Shireman says
Terry, your response #4 is similar to my own feelings. Not only of the weight created by such a huge slide but the expense to repair such a huge monstrosity. And the huge inconvenience when it does not work properly.
Thanks for the great post. If you were to pick an RV today, what model and floor plan would you pick? I love the idea of the shorter Newmars but we don’t have dealer in the area where I can see them.
I’d be looking at some of the new 36-38-foot options. There’s a lot of great ones out there now. Nina
Last year I purchased the 2013 Newmar Bay Star, a 30 ft. It’s designed specifically for fulltiming, with huge basements that extend the entire coach and the desk/buffet option. I’m coming up from a 24 ft Dynamax that allowed me to stay anywhere. The Newmar is very tall so I’m worried that overhead space will be an issue in park camping. I’m a tree gal so height should also be considered if you love forests.
Yup, it’s a good point. When you go bigger everything changes including swing space (how much space you need to turn into a site), height, length etc. Tree’d parks are the most difficult and big rigs have to watch all 8 corners of the rig.
We learned this lesson the hard way winding through a tightly tree’d campground in FL in our first year on the road. We didn’t watch the back end of the rig as we turned through a narrow curve. The front made it through fine, but our back end swung out just slightly and the palm tree sheared off the entire slide topper cover on that side. Oops! We’ve never (cross fingers and paws) made that mistake since, but heavily tree’d parks are always difficult for us, and the bigger your rig the more this is true.
Debby & Bill Kasson says
As always, I love reading your blog and if I can gain one new piece of information then I am a happy “camper”! You’ve confirmed a lot of what we have discovered in our year+ on the road. We live in a 35′, 2 slide motorhome that is the perfect fit for us & we have not had a problem yet finding a site. We were turned on to Millenicom at the start of our journey by the Technomads and not only do they offer a great product, their customer service is awesome. Our rig came with a roof-top satelite dish but as we are not avid TV watchers we decided to try the life without hooking it up & have just enjoyed TV when we were at a park with cable or just watching the local stations with our antenna when it is available. We also joined all the clubs our first year and are now down to PA & Escapees.
I really want to slow down our travels and experience a little bit more of nature in our travels. The Technomads turned me on to the overnightrvparking.com site, which I love and now I am excited to try the uscampgrounds.info site you recommended. I also LOVE your flip-flop rule as we definitely try to follow the sunshine.
Thanks again for being an inspiration to so many of us!
I think your size RV is almost perfect! It’s probably the size we’d look at were we to do it over. Good to know you guys enjoy Millenicom. That pretty much matches just about every experience I’ve heard on them. We’re switching as soon as our contract w/ Verizon is up.
Which make/model motorhome do you have? We have spent the last few months reading about and looking at motorhomes (soooo many choices!) we were thinking 35 to 36ft would be about right for us. We are planning for a (hopefully not too distant) future of fulltiming, and would like to be able to go to a lot of state parks.
We have a Holiday Rambler 40 PDQ which is really almost 42-feet long. If we were to do it over I think we’d look in the 35-foot range or there abouts. Some of the older high-end coaches (e,g. Foretravel) in this size range are excellent.
This is a great post.
While we have only been out 4 months the size issue is true. Ours is the reverse of your issue. Ours is 33 ft. How long is your motorhome?
Our 33footer size is perfect for almost anywhere, but greats issues inside and for under storage. When we get our next one we are thinking about a 36 to 38ft. We have less than 1 foot of Counter space in Kitchen.
Will ditch the tow dolly pronto, it is a pain. Even though we the motorhome is 33 ft. with car and dolly we are 58ft. Nightmare for getting in tight places, even gas stations are difficult.
Great set of things to consider before heading out.
We’re 40-foot “officially”, but actually ~41.6-foot if you measure end-to-end. It’s just a tad too big. I think around 35-38 is a good range.
Totally agree w/ you on the dolly. We decided to go flat-tow from the start and are very happy w/ that decision. It’s so much less hassle and space-saving too.
How do you add the Reply button?
I am currently on Blogger , I notice you are on WordPress.
Is there a specific widget,gadget or plugin, or whatever its called??
It really is nice to be able to reply to a comment instead of just making another comment about a comment.
Ummmm…I have to admit WordPress does that one automatically so I don’t have much help to give you on that one. Sorry 🙁
I do like the WordPress comments format.
Linda Sand says
Our not quite 35′ motorhome has been the perfect size for getting into places bigger RVs won’t fit. Our frig is on a full-wall slide but it has never been a problem in the year and a half we’ve lived in this rig. But, we are now preparing to leave the road so our 2010 Winneago 34Y will be for sale this fall. It will be a great opportunity for someone looking for a big little motorhome. If interested, watch our blog for details to come soon.
Ahhhh…sorry to hear you guys are getting off the road. I’ll definitely keep a watch on your blog for more info.
Excellent thoughts and we agree on all of them, especially the part about bigger is not always better. Although there are times when our 24′ 5er seems small, almost all of the time we’re in there we feel that the space is just right for our lifestyle.
As for the roof-mounted dish…don’t give up, usually it’s just a matter of repositioning your rig by only a few feet. At least that’s our experience with our Motosat.
I have to admit the satellite dish does frustrate me. We’re (yet again) in a site w/ no contact today and I’m not sure I could reposition to make it work.
Then again, I’m not the most patient type 🙂
I do love the size of your home!
jil mohr says
nice list (research is the key here I think as you have found out)…although I would never give up my escapee membership as I joined to be part of their community…it so much more then a campground membership….I will be curious to see what your list next year will be like…mine is ever changing as I am sure yours will too….
Escapees does have a wonderful community. Totally agree on that one.
And you’re right on the list too. RVing is a constantly-learning thing, just like everything in life. No doubt my list will evolve and change!
Love this post. We will be back home in San Diego this Winter too (in our 24′ RV –which I think is the PERFECT size! 🙂 ) We should make it a point to meet up there since we haven’t had the chance yet being “sitters” or “movers”.
Oh yes…let’s DEFINITELY meet up in San Diego. We’ll probably be there starting around beginning Dec. Gonna book in the next week or so.
Jerry and Suzy says
Sure agree with 9 of your 10, and for your style, even that one (about most camping clubs) is true. We also were in vacatioh mode and just about burned ourselves out at first. Anxious now to try out uscampgrounds.info!
You guys have a pretty good flow going now!
We’ve been thinking some of the same things and although I can’t argue with number 1 I suspect that there are a lot of advantages to a larger rig that will be missed once you have lived in something smaller for a while.
We’ve never actually bothered with our satellite dish but I wonder if you have the same problems with your solar panels as well. Thinking that if we end up adding some solar to our set up will just go with free standing panels and move them around much like Imperfect Destiny does with their set up.
The Solar question is a great one. We haven’t had nearly the problems w/ getting adequate solar coverage w/ the fixed roof-panels as we’ve had w/ the fixed satellite dish. For our satellite we have to have direct line-of-sight and a few trees (or even branches!) will easily throw it off. For the solar, although it’s best (of course) to have full sun, we’ll often be fine as long as we can get an adequate amount of sun for at least a few hours. We dry-camped in pretty heavy forest both in NM & CO where we got part-sun and it was enough to recharge us daily. I’ve been very happy w/ the set-up.
I do get the idea of movable panels tho’…it does provide more options.
We are doing our research now & are pretty sure we will be rv-ING full time soon! I’m loving your list & replies. I started feeling more confident & excited as I read this thread. Now, my question is do you have an update to your list? ?? It’s April 2014 & I’m reading from 2011 Lol. Thank you so much!
It’s a good question Bretmar and surprisingly my Top 10 are pretty much the same, even 3 years later. Perhaps the biggest thing we’ve learned in the last 3 years is better tank management allowing us to boondock more (plus we’ve gotten much better at finding boondocking locations), but that really just fits into the flexible budget catagory.
Also having spent lots more time in very windy areas (where we often have to pullin the slides to protect the toppers) I’d recommend buying an RV where everything is functionally usable with the slides in. That’ll help when you’re overnighting somewhere, or just want to stop for lunch say too. Ours is totally functionally usable (which is great!), but it’s total luck coz we didn’t actually think about this when we bought the rig.
Otherwise there’s nothing I would change or alter in this list. The lessons are all super-valid even today.
I’m a little late to be answering this, but you are so right about the floor plan needing to be functional with the slides in. We were careful about that when we bought our 5er, because we had lived in a short Class C for a year and knew what we wanted. Some of the floor plans look great with the slides out, but then you can’t get to the fridge or bathroom with the slides in, especially the kitchen island set-ups. Our fifth wheel may be a little cramped with the slides retracted, but it is completely usable.
Mary, great point about being able to use your unit with slides in. What size and brand of 5er do you have? We are looking for one now, about 30-34, hope it will be our preferred size.
This is in answer to Liz about our 5er. We have a 30’11” Crossroads Patriot, a 2011 model. The model number is 28 something or other. You can’t use the model number as the length, by the way. You usually have at least 2 more feet of trailer. We bought our 5er fully expecting to retire early and get back on the road. We were full time for a while because of my husband’s job. Since then we have become guardians of our now 16 year old granddaughter, and have a few more years left at home. I think I would reconsider to about a 30′ length Class A now that you can get shorter diesel pushers. I miss having enough room for family in the vehicle, being able to get to the bathroom without pulling over, and being able to get to the “bedroom” without getting out of the vehicle. There are lots of RV sites with info about choosing a trailer or a Class A or C. Just depends on what your preferences and needs are at your point in life. I think we will be happier with our trailer when we are living in it, doing campground hosting and/or whatever life hands us. Right now, we actually removed all the living/kitchen area furniture except the table and chairs. Our youngest son and his wife and daughter, and our 16 yr. old, all set up cots in that area and are able to join us to camp without packing all their gear. We enjoy being outside when we are camping, so this set up has been lots of fun, and we have camped in our local mountains in all kinds of weather. If you look at Nina’s Eagle Nest State Park photo in the blog, we were in that exact spot 10 days ago, but we have also camped in Santa Fe National Forest while it was snowing. Lots of variety here in New Mexico! Had to get in a plug for my home state! My advice, if you haven’t had a lot of experience with different RVs, is to get a used rig and get some experience, and don’t spend major money at first. There will always be things you like and don’t like, though, no matter what you choose!
Becky Schade says
As someone who is getting ready to go RVing full-time, thanks for these Nina, and all the other tips you two have posted about solar and expenses on the road and the like 🙂
Number six was especially helpful. Here I’d been thinking I was going to have to sacrifice internet time and watch my usage like a hawk to stay under Verizon’s 5GB/mo cap. With Millenicom’s 20GB/mo plan that shouldn’t be a problem, and I’m willing to pay more for the device up front to escape having a two year plan. What a life saver. 🙂
So happy it’s helpful. I do think the Millenicom deal is one of the best out there.
Good luck on the upcoming full-timing!
Hi Nina, appreciate ur list of 10 things . . . We have gone on the road for a straight 3 months then again for 4 months. We have several memberships and we love camping with the conveniences of home so the memberships we have are absolutely wonderful money savers galor. Our main issue has been rushing to get from one state to another so ur comment to slow down and get aquatinted and feel more at home sounds excellent. I was wondering if you have any idea the cost of the 20GB/ monthly cost. We have Verizon and the 5GB is not ever enough for us. My husband both have IPads so we need more GBs and the 20GB with Millenicom is something I too would like to check into after my contract is over. Totally agree with your list.
Thank You so much!
The price for Millenicom just raised to $89.99/mo for 20GB (previously it was $69.99). It’s still the best deal out there for the amount if data you get on Verizon. It’s what we use and we’re very happy with it.
TRISH BIJOU says
Hi Dian, did you used to work in Denver? I knew a dian there that i worked with, and she went full time. This is a dream that i want to make into reality for myself. i am deciding right now on what would be the perfect size rig for me as i will be a woman “rving” by myself. i don’t want something “too big” nor “too small” I’m thinking maybe a 30 ft class A?? how do you handle your laundry situation? I sure hope this is you.
Technosyncratic Travel Blog says
Awesome list, and we pretty much discovered each of these too! Well, we actually never realized how easy it is to find great campgrounds, so that one’s off our list (wish we had known about that website!). And even though our fridge was in our slide, we didn’t have any problems with it (but maybe that’s because we sold it before the issues could emerge?). But other than those, I feel ya. 🙂
Thanks guys! Enjoying your blogs from the good ‘ol UK!
I love the articles that come from first hand experience. I bookmarked several sites you mentioned and really enjoyed the knowledge you’ve added to my Rving experience ahead of me and My wife. Thanks again..
Glad you’re enjoying the blog!
Denise Murrin says
Not all RV Manufacturers are created equal. I joined the RV Consumer Group http://rv.org/ Well worth the investment prior to making such a large purchase.
Good suggestion Denise! Thanks for the link. Nina
Robert Nuttmann says
There is an excellent ipad ap that we found while using the internet public campground web site you use. It is called campmore. Cost is under 5 bucks. It is the same info as the web site, but the ipad ap is really really easy to use. Easier than the web site.
Satellite internet. When we bought our coach used it had a Motosat internet satellite on it. We activated it and use it a lot. It has worked flawlessly except for when Hughes changed frequencies and that was a big dust up and PIA to get working right again. There was no equipment failure just software junk from Hughes. I bring this up as you mentioned sat internet in your “10 things”. The thing that is really really great about the sat internet is that you can be boondocked in the middle of no where and it works if you have clear vision to the satellite. For the most part it is not as fast as Verizon 3G with a good signal. But it is pretty fast. Now that there is a second big player just launched a bird (a San Diego company BTW) Hughes will have some competition and I would guess everyone will get faster. You can buy motosat dishes used.
Thanks for the tips & thoughts. We’ve had very good coverage with Verizon since we started using them (only a handful of campgrounds where we couldn’t get signal) so for the time being we’re happy w/ their service. I think if we travelled regularly to sites without Verizon coverage we might opt for a movable satellite dish, but so far it’s not made the list.
Denise Murrin says
6/ You Don’t Have to Sign Any Internet Contracts
Have you guys actually used Millenicom yet or are you still stuck in the 2 year contract with Verizon? I currently have the USB 760 stick I purchased and I buy data from Verizon for $80 for 5GB which is very tight for my needs.
When my 5GB runs out next I was going to give Millenicom a try but wanted to make sure I get the same great coverage and speed.
We have not used it (yet!) since we’re still waiting for our Verizon contract to end, but I’ve talked w/ many who have and who have and are happy w/ it. The nice thing is you have the option to cancel month-to-month if you’re unhappy.
Two important points when you go w/ Millenicon -> make sure you sign-up for the deal that runs on the Verizon network (not the other networks) AND I would *not* go for the 4G deal (yet). Technomadia have been checking it out and don’t think it’s ready yet. Check out their post here:
Julee Meltzer says
Hi-I just shared this on our full-time RV group and LOTS of people really liked it!
Thanks Julee! Really happy folks like the post 🙂
Janice Williford Evans says
great information. . .just discovered your blog from a great post on FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/fulltimervers/266660516752346/?ref=notif¬if_t=group_activity
Would love to also share a link to your post on my blog for fulltimers – http://readytogofulltimerving.com
Look forward to reading more of your articles. . .
Lovely to “meet” you on the blog! And do feel free to share a link to the post.
Terry & Belinda + Dayton the wonder dog says
We’re enjoying the “Tutoring” you are providing. We bought our first MH in 1996 and Boondocked almost everywhere we camped due to our hobby. Through the years sorta got out of the habit and we really miss it a lot! We’re pulling the trigger and will be fulltime by January with the stix and brix for sale. Four years in the planning and looking forward to this. Thanks again for your insight in this much needed lifestyle(us). 336Muffin
As my husband prepare to hit the road (selling our home in Oregon, trading in our truck and buying a fifth wheel) your blog is invaluable. ( BTW I am in week 4 of the no-poo and love it!!)
We are avid birders and love the solitude of nature. We imagine we will be staying and volunteering in wildlife refuges, state parks and boondocking for the most part. We are looking at the Northwoods Arctic Fox 32-5M (34’11’).( We love our daily yoga practice and need a floor plan that fits 2 yoga mats) We are heading to the Northwoods dealer in Oregon in the beginning of april to see about trading our truck in for a diesel long bed and buying the fifth wheel. Northwoods just came out with a new fifth wheel floor plan that rocks(35-5z) but it is 38’11”. In regards to bigger is not better do you have any guidance here to help our decision making process? I know this is a very personal decision. ANY input will be helpful. It is just the two of us and our binoculars, camera, bird books, and laptop computers for the most part. This is such a huge decision and we will be living with it for a long time.
Thanks for being a sounding board:)
I guess my best recommendation would be to look at back clearance. What we’ve found boondocking with friends is that some of the longer 5th wheels have a lot of back overhang (behind the rear wheel) and/or low clearance at the back. We went to some BLM land with buddies last year that had a 38 foot 5th wheel and they were scraping the back end over all the bumps while our 42-foot MH cleared them all with no issue. It’s not a critical thing, but I think if you really feel like you’ll be doing a lot of boondocking, then it makes a difference.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a bigger, heavier 5th wheel may require a bigger, heftier truck. Totally depends on the model and weight, but it could bump you up on $$ for the tow. A bigger truck can be more hassle for sightseeing too.
I’m not familiar with the particular model you’re looking at, but those are 2 things I’d recommend looking at to help make the choice. Sometimes the layout and size trump any inconveniences so you never know 🙂
Good luck with all your plans!
I been reading your blog and these are good tips! My wife wanted a Roadtek and I wanted a 34 to 36 DP. We got a 38 footer. I am Baddad53 on IRV2 and just saw your link to the blog today. Enjoyed the reading.
mayy skoodan says
My wife and I are going full time rving. I absolutely love what you guys have to say. We live over here on the west coast . We a younger couple and hard to find real support but thia has been so helpful !
Rene Kremer says
Great post! My wife and I are in the process of getting on the road. We have two boys Cole is 7 and Zachary will be 4 in November. I am 34 and my wife is 33. We also have a 5 yr old golden retriever/ horse( he’s 90 lbs). Our family has so far been supportive but have raised a lot of questions as well. One that comes up a lot and we are also concerned about is safety and security. have you found unsafe places to camp that you would never go back to. have you ever been injured and had to try and find a doctor or hospital you could be hours away from?
Our situation is fairly unique (I think) because I work away from my family for 2 weeks and then i’m back with them for two weeks. I work in northern Alberta ( we are Canadian) and for the 6 really cold month of winter we could be anywhere in the US or Canada. For the 6 not so cold months she wants to set up camp in northern Alberta. near where I work. Our family is very concerned for the safety of my wife and kids while I am gone away at work for two weeks. do you have any advice on this or know any other fulltime families that have a similar situation?
We are thinking of buying a 40 ft. extended stay model by Jayco(40bhs I think the model is). it has a full size refridgerator and range which we thought would be better suited for keeping my two boys fed. But like you said bigger not always better. My wife and I have been camping all our lives. and are in our second RV since we have been Married(10 years). We currently have a 2007 Springdale 27′ with one slide.
Lovely to “meet” you on the blog! You know regarding safety the *only* time I’ve ever felt even close to unsafe is in the center of big cities. We had one incident (in San Antonio) a few years back that sent us running, but other than that I’ve never felt unsafe. Whenever we’re in smaller cities or the boonies I’ve always felt perfectly fine. So, I guess I’d recommend getting out of the bigger spots and into some more rural areas…more space for the boys too?
We’ve met quite a few fulltime families on the road. I’d recommend getting in touch with these guys:
They’ve been on the road a while w/ their 2 kids and have both workamped & home-schooled during that time. Really nice family and I have no doubt they can put you in touch w/ others on the road. They just ordered a new rig too. I also like the NuRver group on Facebook…lots of young folks on there and several families too. Also recommend this resource Fulltime Families -> all about folks who live fulltime w/ their families on the road.
Good luck w/ all your travels! Maybe we’ll meet you on the road?
Thanks for the reply. Can’t wait to get out there and start living. Great advice. i will definitely be contacting the folks you left links to. Question: do you two caravan with other folks sometimes or always on your own? I thought it would be a lot of fun to to caravan along with some of the great people out there, does that happen or do people just move on and say so long.
Sent from Samsung Galaxy NoteWheeling It wrote:
We’ve definitely caravanned. Most of our caravans have been impromptu gatherings…just folks we met on the road and decided to travel along with for a while. It’s a ton of fun as long as you stay loose and not get too rigid about how much time you spend together. All our experiences doing this have been fabulous!
matt skoodan says
Hey guys! I love your posts. Me, my wife and our goldendoodle are hitting the road in a few months to live the simple life in our 20ft rv! Your info is priceless and could only cone with experience. We appreciate you saying it with us all! We are 26 years old and have been looking for other aged rvers, any tips ?
Cameo Franz says
Enjoy your thoughts and insight. BUT…..(yes, I’m a BUT gal), you obviously have plenty of finances w/cushion should you have unexpected expenses on the road. It is not so “go for it” when one is a BABYBOOMER, widowed Gal, whose main income is Social Security ($1500). It gets tricky. I’ve lived from Tokyo to Stockholm and all over the USA. Full timed a while crossing the country 12 times. Currently stuck in South Texas and loathe it. (formerly resided in Las Vegas, Beverly Hills, Miami, Honolulu, Tokyo and Palm Springs – the total opposite of anything in Texas. It’s a long sstory.) So, tell me where should I begin? I’m thinking New Mexico or north Arizona. Avoid DRUG TRAFFIC is an obvious concern; yet, too isolated places are risky ALONE for a petite gal. Not interested in mid-west/east coast: been there done that. Need SUN. That limits much of the US. Any advice or introspection welcome. Guess it’s a future choice of in the “rocking chair or on the road”.
Well if you’re interested in fulltime RVing I’d probably recommend a smaller trailer or Class C, and then I’d focus on the SW. New Mexico offers lots of great State Parks and has their yearly camping pass which is an amazing deal -> $225 for one year of dry camping! It’s a great state for spring through fall, but gets too cold in winter. For winter I would head over to Southern Arizona where you can free camp on public land. There are quite a few single ladies I know that do this, and it can be done on limited income.
Have a look at these blogs:
She travels in a trailer and also has detailed financial pages
She travels in a Class C
I wish you good luck with whatever road you decide to follow!
Cameo Franz says
Thx for the advice. I have a 2012, 32′ A Class I’m liviing in on the Tx gulf. State parks n public land VERY dangerous in states near Mexican border for anyone but especially a woman aone. Money avails safe, upscale resort parks. I’m staying iin park here for now. Thx again n BE GRATFUL!
We are new to your blog and new to the world of RVing. We are in the process of selling the house and plan to become fulltimers within the next 3-6 months. Our big issue right now is with size. We like our creature comforts, but we also want to use state and national parks and forests as much as possible. In your comments you suggested that the next time you might stay in the 36-38 foot range. We are thinking 40. I recently read something that indicated that anything over 35 would rule out 85% of state and national parks. If that is true, how much worse does that number get if you are in a 40 footer vs something in the 36-38 range? And, if the percent available is pretty much the same between 36 and 40, why not go 40?
On a related note, I saw several references to Boondocked. In the RV world, what is Boondocked camping.
Many thanks for any insight you can provide.
It’s hard to make a “firm” assessment on the size issue. A lot of times it depends on where you camp. For example State Parks in CA are notoriously old/small and being 40-foot or larger rules out almost 85% of them. Same thing in the National Forest campsites in the CO mountains (we’ve camped there, but it’s often a struggle to find sites that fit us). On the other hand State Parks in CO are usually quite spacious as are State Parks in OR (we’ve been able to take our 40-footer just about everywhere in OR) and throughout the Mid-West. Also if you like boondocking smaller is always better. So, just depends.
My best advice is log onto uscampgrounds.info and click around on some of the states you’d like to visit. There’s size-info there and you’ll very quickly get a feel for where you can go.
We have a 28 ft travel trailer with slides and I’m so ready to move into it and became a full timer. Can it be done in a travel trailer?
I don’t see why not. We’ve met people who fulltime in all kinds of rigs from pop-ups to truck campers, vans and big class A’s. If your trailer enables you to start the life you’re looking for, I say go for it! You can always upgrade or change your mind down the line.
Roman & Kathy says
Hi Nina and Paul, Fantastic job on your blog; has answered so many questions for us. Kathy and I tend to plan well in advance for such ventures as full time RV’ers.. Being in the starting planning changes, one topic that seems to come up quite a bit is RV length with regards to parks that RV length “issues”. We are looking at the next year or two to sell the “bricks, sticks and mortar”. One question maybe you can answer from your travel experience is the 40′ length issues at some parks with regards to a motor home, how does that compare to, for example a 38 ft. 5th wheel and along with 18′ length of a double cab truck needed to pull it? Does the combined length of the 5th wheel and truck come into play in some or most places, i.e. setting the 5th wheel and where does one typically park the truck, in line, along side? Guess that does not matter when boon-docking. Would appreciate your feedback … regards…. Roman
In my experience a 38 foot 5th wheel takes up as much, if not more space than a 40 foot motorhome, specifically because of the big truck. I can squeeze our little toad in just about anywhere (often we just park it across the front of the MH), but with a big truck you may have to find a separate parking spot, depending on the campground. Many campgrounds will offer that, but it just depends.
Also be careful of back overhang on the larger 5th wheels. We caravanned with a couple who had a large 5th wheel last year and they had so much low overhang on the back of their rig that it kept bottoming out on bumpy roads. We actually had to be careful choosing our boondocking spot because their clearance was so much poorer than ours.
I think 5th wheels can be a fabulous choice, but just watch for size and overhang, especially if you are planning on rustic camping.
Roman & Kathy says
Hi Nina, thanks so much for the prompt reply. Follow up question to your comment “couple who had a large 5th wheel last year and they had so much low overhang on the back of their rig that it kept bottoming out on bumpy roads” Are you referring to the distance of the furthest rear axle to the back end of the 5th wheel or simply the ground clearance at the back end of the 5th wheel? I can see it being a problem the greater the distance between the rear axle to the end of the trailer on any bumpy road as being a problem, and I have seen some motorhomes that would have the same issue.
BTW, we live in Mesa, AZ, not too far, 5 miles or so, from Usuarry Pass. Currently 82F here, expected to be 101F today. regards….Roman & Kathy
Nina and Paul, I just found your blog today on Pinterest, and it is filled with very good information. I will be more or less full-timing it with a friend who currently lives in Okinawa, Japan. He has been living in Japan for 23+ years and plans on moving back to the states permanently. Whenever that happens he has asked me to come along on his life long dream of traveling to all the National Parks/Monuments etc. We don’t plan on moving much more than 100 miles or so per day and may stay in a place for a while if we like it and there is lots to see and experience in the area. I plan to keep watching your blog as it really speaks to what we want to do.
As for a choice of what type of RV… we’re looking at a diesel-pusher… would love to find one in the 32-34 ft range. Loved your advice about the internet service Millenicom . I’d read about them from another source just yesterday and feel much better about them now that I’ve heard from a 2nd unsolicited source. I didn’t know that they don’t require a contract…that is so much better… I used to drive a truck for a living and have been to almost all the lower 48 states (just missing North Dakota…) I used Verizon while I was on the road and cannot ever remember not being able to get a signal for my phone or my internet connection. Of course, I was mainly on major highways or secondary roads so that sort of explains that… Sorry I’ve gone on and on… just wanted to introduce myself and hope to see you one day once we ever get on the road… Beverly/Wayne
Welcome to the blog…and wish you all the best in your new fulltiming plans!!
I just found your blog on Pinterest, and learned some important tips. My retirement fantasy is to RV full-time and follow the warm weather through Canada and the US for a few years. I’ve just bought a 5th wheel that will be staying put in a nearby RV park for three or four years until I can afford a tow vehicle, but I’m very excited to experience RV life. Since I’m in Canada, that won’t be until next Spring, but is something to keep me busy planning for during the winter.
Well here’s hoping your fulltime dreams come true!! Good luck w/ all your planning and travels!
My husband and I are planning on going on the road f/t the first of the year. 3 questions: what is the easiest way to have our mail catch up to us? Also, how do we register to vote in the presidential elections? And finally, how do we update our drivers licenses for a “current” address? Thanks, I love your blogs.
We use a mail forwarding service (Alternative Resources in South Dakota) to manage our mail. They keep our mail at their office until we ask them to send it to us. Most RV parks will accept mail or you can send mail as “general delivery” to a local post office and pick-up it later. The address we have in SD also serves as our address on record for the purposes of taxes, voting, car/RV registration, insurance and drivers license. When we established domicile with them we had to make sure we got to South Dakota within a certain time-frame to get our drivers licence (can only be done on-site). You can read more about establishing domicile here:
Home is Where you Park it…or is it?
What issues did you have with the fridge in the slide? Too much weight going down the road or when you parked?
The fridge is really too heavy for the slide and caused it to dip and “catch” on the outer frame of the RV. You can read more about the problem here:
RV Slide Woes & A Total Change in Plans
Fixing this issue required many weeks and a 1,000 mile drive to Oregon (back to the manufacturing location). We’ve been OK since, but I always worry about the big slide everytime we bring it in.
My family and I have been full time rving for almost two years now and I always enjoy a stop by your site. Thanks for continuing to provide!
Long Long Way to Tipperary
Hi Nina and Paul.
So if you had to do it over again would you still go with a diesel pusher? Anything that you would want in a different floor plan that you don’t have now?
We love the power of our Diesel engine. It can go anywhere and drive any mountain. So, that portion I would probably try and keep. But size-wise I wish we’d gone a tad smaller…closer to 30 or even 35 feet. It can be tough finding accessible sites with “the beast”, and a smaller size would sure make that easier. We love our slides and would definitely buy with slides again (it makes the interior so much roomier) and our layout is good, plus I can’t deny the tanks in this rig are nice and big. There’s just the size thing 🙂
I feel so fortunate I stumbled on to your blog. I’ve learned a lot already. My husband and I are newbies and when I mean new… we don’t even have our very little 14′ hybrid trailer. It is being built in Tucson as I type. It will be ready in late february. We will pick it up the 1st week in March and will bomb around New Mexico all of that month and most of April before we start heading back to Duluth, MN at the end of May. I want to leave tomorrow as it was -24º last night.
It will be an interesting learning curve to be sure. Because neither of us have ever done this. Ideally I want to boondock a lot. We have a swiss shepherd who is traveling with us and I like the idea of giving him more space. However, since we know nothing I am wondering if we should invest in the New Mexico State Park Pass and use the hookups until we know our trailer. Maybe start boondocking in Utah and on our way home. Any sage advice for us? I have a million more questions I am sure. Reading these blogs are priceless. Thanx
Well congrats on the upcoming adventures! For an easy “entry” into RVing I would most definitely recommend the New Mexico State Camping Pass. Not only are all the New Mexico parks quite lovely, they’re spacious with lots of trails (very dog friendly) and you’ll get to travel around and see a lot of variety at very low cost. Plus you can test out your rig and dry camping skills. I think it’s an excellent idea! Good luck and good travels!
Sue Puetz says
Your’s is a timely post for us. We are negotiating an RV purchase as we speak. We’re soon to be full-timers pending sale of land, sailboat and home. Happy trails.
Glen Ayres says
Getting house ready for sale. Picking up tt end of April
We are just in the planning stages, our house is for sale, I’m dividing things up between our children and selling or storing the rest. We’ve found the 5th wheel we want and the house is for sale, really looking forward to this new adventure. We’ve had a 5th wheel before but only for occasional trips. All your information is so helpful, will be back often to see what else is new. From cold, snowy Canada
Congrats on your exciting upcoming adventure! Hope your journey is everything you expect it to be.
Jackie Schulz says
My husband and I are considering fulltime rving. I have been reading different blogs and how to start and all. I am wondering on jobs. Unfortunatly we are not independently wealth and still have not won the lottery. Our thought is to travel to area work for month or two and then move on. Do you have any suggestions on jobs or really good website for that info. We are at a point in out lives we just want to go and see the world why wait until its to late. We are young and ready to go just have to take that leap.
Sure! There are lots of online jobs you can do depending on your skills -> computer programming, art (selling on Etsy), writing, teaching, CPA work, medical billing etc.
If you’re looking for physical jobs some Workamping positions do offer pay (check out Workampers.com), plus there are seasonal jobs such as Amazon and See’s Candy (both hire seasonally for Christmas), gate keeping (in Texas for oil companies), and the Dakota Beet Harvest (in late fall). We also know folks who work at fairs or sell their wares at markets.
Those are just a few ideas! I suggest checking out workamper.com to start with.
Ronald & Laura Garton says
Love the list.
We are new to full time RV living and are looking forward to what ever yonder brings us and seeing all that our beautiful country has to offer.
My question is my wife is looking in to time shares that as I’ve found are very expensive and only offer a few weeks a yr any ideas on alternatives to these over priced resorts we both love the outdoors and camping this is what we have to work with we have a 41+ ft fifth wheel that is fully self contained
Well we rarely stay at ANY private parks so I really can’t comment much on resort-type camping. To save money and enjoy the outdoors we primarily camp on public land (state parks, national forest, BLM etc.). We are 40-foot (41.6′ measured).
If you require resorts you may want to look at something like Thousand Trails membership. Not my thing so can’t really comment further, but there are lots of memberships floating around for resale. If you post on one of the RV forums I’m sure you’ll get good feedback on the pros and cons.
Great site and information, thank you, I’ve learned a lot. We just bought a 34ft MH, so I am glad to hear your size comments. We will start our adventure soon.
When dry camping how do you manage clean black and gray tanks?
I have a bunch of posts on how to manage tanks while in the boonies. This is probably the best one:
Going “Water-Green” = Conserving Water on the Road
Here’s another one you may like too:
Back To Boondocking Basics – 8 Steps To Get You Into The Wild
Thanks. .we are just beginning to look into this
This is a wonderful blog! We are getting ready to start our RV adventure as newbies, in our 34 footer! We are avid motorcycle enthusiasts and will be planning our trips based on where the best motorcycle roads are in the US. Regarding the comments about size considerations, we will pulling a 10 foot trailer with the motorcycle. Will that have to factor into size considerations for sites, or can we just get creative with how we park the trailer? Any feedback is greatly appreciated!
It kinda depends. Most places you can be somewhat creative on how you park, but you do want to factor some space for your extra stuff. I would start by booking larger sizes until it get a feel for how you can arrange everything on-site. We’ve been able to park in most 40-foot sites with our little toad squeezed sideways in the front. We’ve even made it into smaller sites as long as access was good and the site provided some overhang. Then again, there are some 40-foot sites that won’t fit us at all because trees are in the way, or roads turns are tight etc.
So, just depends on the site and the park. Older parks often have smaller sites and tighter access than newer parks. Forest service campgrounds are typically tighter than desert campgrounds. I use rvparkreviews.com to help gauge these things, and combine it with satellite pics (Google Earth) and campsitephoto.com where it’s available. Between the three I can usually make a good guess if we can fit. It’s a process!
Marty Leake says
After three to four months of researching the idea of becoming a full time RV’er beginning the spring of 2015, this top ten list has provided me the last bit of information needed. to possibly move the date to the fall of 2014. Thanks you for the list and I hope to one day cross paths take care and keep on RV’ing.
Enjoyed your post and found it very enlightening. My husband and I are currently planning to “sell the farm” and go on the road year round. We will be purchasing a travel trailer and have a vehicle capable of a large tow load. My question, What make/model/size of travel trailer would you recommend? Your advise is greatly appreciated.
Sorry, don’t know much about travel trailers so don’t really have any recommendations. I’d suggest posting this on one of the RV forums (e.g. http://www.irv2.com/forums/). You’ll get lots of good feedback there. Good luck with all your plans!
Thanks for the lead.
I’m just starting to investigate FT RVing. My husband is joining a traveling nurse program and we are currently planning on purchasing a used RV to start with but we’d really like to live in one for a month before purchasing. Any thoughts?
I think living in an RV before you try to get fully into it isn’t a bad idea at all. Rental RV’s are a great way to do this. Just try it out for a while, travel around to get a feel of living in the thing in different areas and see how you feel. We’ve met many traveling nurses who fulltime and enjoy the comfort of having their own bed/home wherever they go. Good luck with everything!
Dewey & Stacy says
I am still trying to find out things about RVing. I had a question about RV height. We are looking to purchase a 5th wheel with a height of 13′ 4″ I am concerned that we will have trouble traveling and it is also long at 39′ 10″ without the the tow vehicle. Do people have trouble with this traveling the country?
That’s a big beast! The main issue you’ll run into with that size is getting into older parks especially public campgrounds, depending on state. Roads will be fine…you just need to be aware of tunnels. Most private parks will be fine.
Dewey & Stacy says
Thanks for the info we have so many questions to answer before we buy one. This helps us in narrowing down the one will buy. We so nervous and excited at the same time. Do you know of any links on how you visit doctors and get medicine while on the road. We’re going to be traveling as a family with kids and I don’t see to much info on this.
Dewey & Stacy
I have some info in my “Health” section on how we do it. See here:
Many folks end up picking a doctor in a convenient location and come back for visits every year. We do it a little differently (see the link above). Hope that helps!
Shawn Cookson says
Great article which has helped a lot with my pre-plunge “anxiety”. My dog and I are hitting the road full-time in less than a month. Hope to cross paths someday…Cheers!
Very exciting! Good luck with everything. As you can tell we love the lifestyle!
I just ran across this today. My husband and I are trying to gather info so we can set out on a full time RVing adventure. I have found this info very helpful since we have not fully committed yet by actually purchasing our RV. (He’s retired and I’m not quite yet!) My question is, what do you do about having a permanent residence for times when that is needed? (Like when it’s time to renew your driver’s license.) We plan on selling our home and this was one of the many questions that came up. Any info would be helpful in making a more informed decision. Thanks.
For residence what you do is establish domicile in a specific state. There are mail forwarders in FL, TX, SD and other areas which cater to fulltime RVers for exactly this purpose. The address you set-up serves as your address of record for voting, mail, drivers licence, health insurance etc.
I recommend reading these posts:
And this one from our buddies Technomadia:
I sell RV’s, and love it. The people I sell to are excited and eager to get on the road, love my customers. Anyhow, some things I would mention tell your RV sales person about yourself and your plans, most of us in the RV industry have experience and can help with idea’s and help find you the right coach with items or without items you may not even know you will need or that will greatly enhance your time. Also most RV sales people have resources, and it’s not a used car salesman tactic (well not where I work) we want to help and for you to refer us and come back. I full timed for 4yrs, with 3 kids a dog and a cat as a single mom. Let me say we did have our struggles, but I LOVED it. Now I get to help others too. So my suggestion is let your RV sales person help and ask them questions, they generally have a wealth of information.
It’s nice to hear from someone who’s selling in the industry and also has experience fulltiming. I’m sure your customers appreciate your experience.
Thanks so much for all the good info. We are considering trading our house in Green Valley, AZ for a motorhome and travel where Gary speaks, as he is a speaker. We are retired. I will
definately follow your blog.
Pat H. says
What did you guys do for insurance on your storage unit? You don’t own or rent a house so you can’t cover it with homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. Wondering who you found to insure your “stuff”.
We have insurance provided by the storage facility (Public Storage). We pay an extra few $$ a month for that particular adder, but it’s included in our monthly price.
Thanks Nina for the great advice — and thanks to all the posters…so much useful info here!
Kid’s grown, house sold, living in temporary housing — my husband and I are getting ready to go full time; a dream of ours since we were married nearly 37 years ago. Like others, we’re excited and apprehensive at the same time. The full time RVing community looks like such a great community to be joining. Can’t wait!
We’ll be taking our 10 year old grandson and my widowed sister and young daughter on lots of trips so we definitely need a 6 sleeper. We’re looking for a used rig but we’re finding the majority sleep 4, especially if they have a dinette table and chairs, as opposed to a sleeper booth.
I’m wondering if this is a simple fix by adding an after-market sleeper booth (which I would like to have anyway – could be a nice place for the kids to sit to draw, play games, etc, while we’re on the road). Where would we look for such a thing? Is it possible to make a 4-seater legal to seat six (w/seat belts)?
Since we’d like to camp in public parks and boondock, we’re taking your advice by reducing our desirable size from 40 foot to 32-38 foot – hoping to find something closer to 36 feet to perhaps have the best of both worlds. But I’m wondering how a tow vehicle impacts overall size?
After checking out other blogs that said towing is cumbersome, we were thinking of foregoing a tow vehicle and renting a car when we need to get around. My concern is this might be problematic if we’re boondocking or camping somewhere remote. We considered trading our current SUV in for a mid-size four-down tow-able SUV (like a Honda CRV) then we’d only have to own one vehicle. But if this size is too cumbersome to tow we could get a compact car for towing and store our SUV on some property we own. (We need access to an SUV when we’re visiting back in the mountains of our home state of CO.)
Would love to know what kind of vehicle your little Toad is, and your thoughts on making your way over bumps and holes when dry camping with a tow vehicle? Would an SUV make it easier – or is smaller better? Do you ever wish you didn’t have a tow vehicle, or do you find it indispensable?
Thanks again for your advice! 🙂
BTW – if any of your followers know of someone selling their rig, we’re in the market for a 2004 up diesel pusher, 32-38 foot, lots of basement storage and must have a WD hook up (and either sleep six or be convertible to this?). Thanks folks!
Hi Leslie, I am not a full-timer, yet, but I have something to add on your comments on type of RV. I have a towable, a trailer. It is not hard to tow and, I might add that if you go with a motorhome and toad, you are in fact, still towing only without the ability to back up – it just seems different. The challenge is backing of course. I have friends that started out with a trailer and went to a motorhome after being misled on an underpowered tow vehicle and wrecking their trailer.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time skimming through forums and have found some overall themes on types of rigs. My only concern with my current is size. When I purchased it with the purpose of a few months at a time it was perfect but full-time is another matter. Most blogs on the subject say- stay small as possible but then focus on Class A or 5th Wheels- not so small. Other concerns are roof construction, slide out reliability, moving versus squatting, etc. I am single so that cuts down on size requirements but again, how much space is too little? Doing research on parks in my state (FL) most public parks become site limited past 36 feet with the most sites rated for 20-35 foot rigs- easier to get and make reservations.
Thanks Rodney for your thoughts! Good info to know.
For the extra sleeper idea, I honestly can’t see why you couldn’t after-market modify your rig. I’ve seen lots of folks modify to their needs, so as long as the space is there I would think it possible.
Regarding towing, I HIGHLY recommend a tow-vehicle if you fulltime. It gives you SO much flexibility in terms of getting around once you’re at a site. Plus there are many sightseeing spots you simply can’t take your big rig. I’ve known folks who do the rental thing and it gets old real fast. Even shopping is easier with a tow!
Generally if you get a small tow you don’t need much extra space to store it. We have a Honda CRV and we’ll often park our car crossways in front of our RV. We don’t “add” to our site size for the CRV. We usually just book for our rig and find somewhere to squeeze in the toad once we get there. Haven’t had a problem so far.
I DO recommend towing 4-down. Much less hassle. The Honda is made for 4-down towing (you just need to run through the gears), but other cars can also do it (or they can do it with modification). You do need to make sure that when you buy your rig you have the extra weight capacity to tow.
I actually have a full 2-part series on tow vehicles here:
All About Dinghy Towing Part I – Toads
All About Dinghy Towing Part II – Tow Equipment & Supplemental Brakes
Thanks Nina for the additional info. I think this has settled our tow vehicle vs rental debate. 🙂
Can you please tell us where you think the best place might be to look for help with modification to the interior of a motorhome? Is this something a place like Camping World would handle or are there individuals who do this type of work who might be more cost effective?
Any good RV repair/modification center should be able to handle this. I’m not a huge fan of Camping World, but I’d recommend looking at other good repair shops in the area. Try to find someone who sells the tow system & ask around on the RV forums for your particular area.
We got ours done in San Diego with County RV.
robin williams says
I am presently renovating my 1999 fleetwood bounder 36s that I bought almost 2 years ago. Being a single guy, i am turning it into a man cave. I hope to be done in the next 2 months and then I am going to give full time RV a shot.
Robin – What a great idea. I kind of like the idea of renovating an older model so perhaps we could put in some healthier more natural and greener finishes. As a nutritionist I’m a bit bothered by all the laminates and the accompanying chemicals including formaldehyde.
May I ask what you’re renovating and the investment required?
Thanks for the blog. My wife and I are considering a year on the road and this has been very helpful. We are young empty nesters.
Frederick Church says
What a great post, have just found your blog, really great.
I have just completed my first year in my 7m (23 ft) converted Hino Raimbow bus.
I totally agree with the speed and what not to take.
Sweet rig you have (super cute too)! Nice to have you following along. By the way we road tripped in NZ some years ago (mix of car camping and backpacking). We’d love to go back one day. Such an amazing country!
Great site! Keep the great content and keep spreading the word to get more people RVing!
Jim Shireman says
Like many others who have responded.. Thanks for posting your Top 10. The wife and I are in the planning stage for full time RV’ing and you have answered many of the things we were questioning and listing other web sources of information is extremely helpful. We hope to be full timers in a year or so. One question you did not address in this blog was the question “Gas or Diesel?”. I realize it “depends on where you are going” but, in your opinion what has been your experience? We are leaning strongly to diesel because we do plan to go west of the Mississippi.
Diesel versus Gas is one of those age-old questions with lots of folks on both sides of the equation. Honestly I think you’ll be fine with either as long as you stay within the weight limits that the engine can handle.
That said, we LOVE our diesel. Our engine is a power-house and we rock massive (and hilly) drives with almost no effort whatsoever. Plus, we know our diesel will last forever (at ~26,000 miles we’re barely broken in!).
I would get whatever you find that’s within your budget (diesel’s do tend to be more expensive) and suits you best. I’ve seen people fulltime in both types with no issues whatsoever.
Rose Cowan says
I love your story and all of the wonderful information I have been able to glean from your site! Thank you for it.
My husband and I are currently living in Panama but have sold our home and will be moving back to travel the U.S. full-time in a motorhome early next year. More than one time you have said you wish you had gone with a smaller coach. We will want to boondock, camp in (or somewhere close to)all of the national parks, and in BLM land on occasion, etc.. But we are not opposed to staying in RV parks when needed. My question to you is: Do you think we can do that kind of traveling in a 43′ motorhome? We have done tons of research on the manufacturer and make we want to buy. Their 38′ and 40′ models just don’t have a layout that I think will work for us, especially since the 43′ seems to have everything we want in the right place.
If you think we are crazy, please say so!
Honestly our feeling is the larger you go, the more limited you will be in finding spots to stay, especially in the more remote areas and older, public parks. We’ve found our 40-footer to be limiting in this respect and often wish we’d gone smaller.
So, you’ve got to weigh your priorities on what is more important to you. Is the space/layout key to your happiness on the road? Then, absolutely go for the bigger rig and make it work! Is camping in remote areas & boondocking your top priority? Then, you’ve got to look smaller. The answer is highly individual. No wrong answer at all…just the best answer for YOU!
Rose Cowan says
Thanks Nina for responding and your input. We are evaluating our priorities. Our initial goal is to “see the U.S.” so we may postpone the majority of our boondocking, etc. until we reach our “too frazzled” limit like you and Paul did.
Am an avid fan and will be following you where ever you go.
My wife found your site last night and we love it. Next year around June we are looking to go full time RVing. We have a 2013 Tundra with a 4.0 v6 to pull at the most a 22ft. trailer. We’ll probably look to install a larger radiator and tranny cooler first and will be going with the anti sway bars setup. We lived in a 34ft. motorhome for a year in Sacramento in a trailer park in 2007 with 2 dogs and a cat who adopted us (he was left behind from one who moved out, we still have him along with another and a golden retriever). We plan to stay with the truck and smaller trailer for a year or so to see how it goes. We’ll do some boondocking, and mostly look to stay someplace for a month at a time, and work camping.
julee meltzer says
I am the author of two RV books, one of which is published by Woodalls and hundreds of RV articles. My husband and I have been fulltiming for ten years. I have to say that this is the best article that I have EVER read on full-timing. We have come to the same conclusions that you have…even after 10 years. Great job!
julee meltzer says
I am the author of two RV books, one of which is published by Woodalls and hundreds of RV articles. My husband and I have been fulltiming for ten years. I have to say that this is the best article that I have EVER read on full-timing. We have come to the same conclusions that you have…even after 10 years. Great job! I will be sharing with my group of 5000+ Rvers.
Great stuff, We start our first trip tomorrow, Macon Ga to Va Beach via outter banks
Al Christensen says
I’ve spent a year so far living and traveling in a self-converted cargo van. I’ve been through four major purges of stuff. Just yesterday I combined the contents of two partially empty containers. Now I have a container to divest myself of. The thing is, I don’t feel like a radical minimalist. It’s just that I’m finding out I don’t need a lot of stuff I thought I would, and holding onto it just got in the way. The less I have, the more I can see and evaluate what’s left. If I can’t tell you exactly what’s in a box or cupboard, if I’ve forgotten some things I have, then they’re probably not necessary. If I don’t know I have it, it’s the same as if I didn’t have it. It’s rarely a case of, “Oh! I’ve been looking for that.” More often it’s, “Why was that once important to take with me?” So I like your advice to start out with nothing and then add only what you need. I know it’s not practical to always be acquiring things piece by piece, but it’s a good way to keep from being overburdened.
You’re so right on. Like you, we’ve purged every year since we started RVing. We started out with lots of stuff we thought was “essential” only to realize we never use it. Plus we made the mistake of buying a bunch of “RV stuff” before we even moved in. These days I advise newbies to bring stuff they definitely know they use on a regular basis (hiking clothes, kitchen items) plus a few basic tools (multi-screwdriver, duct tape etc.) and safety items (e.g. Fire extinguisher, surge protector) and then go from there. It’s amazing to find out, once you get into the lifestyle, how little you actually need.
My first rv, an older 28′ class A motorhome, was a gift from family member, and we used it part-time, mostly in Arizona, since we lived at Lake Tahoe, with long, snowy winters. My second rv, a 32′ diesel, with double panes windows, but no slide-outs, no basement, and no levelors. A great rv, but our 33 ft, 2014 motorhome with 2 slide outs, automatic levelors, ample basement storage, and nice size refrigerator is great for us as we are still part-timers. I do miss the diesel (so much quieter), the double-paned windows, and our small truck which we towed, carrying our bicycles. I preferred the view from the first 2 motor homes as the built-in dinette with large window was across from soda bed, which also had a large window. We now have no view on passenger side except for small kitchen window. My second rv also had a better arrangement for queen bed, which faced forward, enabling view out front dashboard window, with two regular size windows on sides of bed. If you like to camp in gorgeous nature, as we do, views are important. When we did extended stays, we alternated camping in “nature areas” with minimum or no hookups for a week or more, then moving to private campgrounds with laundromats, and some food services for a few days. We especially enjoy the national and state parks. I enjoy the motorhome over a 5th wheel or trailer as we do not have to get out in the rain when we arrive at a campground, and, as we did one night, when we didn’t feel safe, just started the engine and left. I would enjoy trying full-time Rv living, and realize there will be days that will range from glorious to trying.
I can’t tell you enough how I enjoy your informative blog. Thank you!
Camped for 25+ years looking forward to full timing it next year.
Dewey & Stacy says
We our looking to buy a RV but can not find a bank to finance for fulltime rving. Do you know of any? or does everyone just not tell the banks.
Dewey & Stacy
I have not personally tried this, but you could give Essex Credit a call. Or Good Sams. Both advertise in the big RV magazines.
Dewey & Stacy says
Ok thank you. We will look into those banks.
Matt& Ida Thresher says
We’ve down sized, got the house on the market, and will be using the Clearwater Fl. area as our enitial home base. We’ve realy injoyed your blog. Your tips have been benificial, and your weekly blog updates are great. We hope to come across the two of you some day, perhaps some fall while traveling back from visiting with our friends and family near Placerville Ca. where we plan on ending our summer runs, before heading east to fl. for winter. PS: Your light house blogs brought home some warm memories of my home town in Fond du Lac wis. We have one in our town park. A raminent of days gone by. Also here is a web conection to some I’ve recently come across. Thanks, Matt & Ida
Outstanding! Good travels to you and may the RV bring you many years of fond adventures! Very happy my blog has provided some inspiration to you.
Sara & Tsvika says
We were so thrilled to read your article. We are planning to become a full time RVs in the USA next year(We’ll arrive from Israel). It is just the kind of information we need and search now in this stage of preparations. It helped us a great deal and we’ll sure be visiting your blog again 🙂
Sara & Tsvika
Just a word of advice from a nurse …..make sure you have a plan for health eventuality. You want to ensure that if your health fails you have a home where you are comfortable near health services and friends and family for support.
I am very seriously considering RVing F.T. at least for a while anyway. If I visit a place that I love I will consider finding employment & possibly moving there permanently.
Love this blog. In 105 days we try our first long term (4 months) full time RV trip. We had a motor home that we loved but did not like the vehicle towing and must have a car to get around once we hooked up. The motor home was fantastic for storage and ease of leveling and hookups but very expensive compared to a travel trailer and tow vehicle (for us half the price). Due to our business we had to sell back in 2006. We just bought a 27′ travel trailer and I do have concerns that it is a few feet too small. I wish I had seen this blog before. However we will make it work for our first trip and excited to be working in a national park for our 4 month trip! Safe travels everyone!
Greetings. Nice post and food for thought. on size, you post that 35′ would be perfect for the two of you. What if you were traveling alone. Would 35′ be just right or more toward 30′? Just curious as I am considering 3-5 month living periods from my home as a single. Ironically some have shared that a small Class C or A would be great, like 24-26′ but as I looked at them there was little storage. The trailers of the same size had more storage. I just am not sure about the amount of storage needed yet. They all seem to have the basics but…
If it were me solo I’d lean towards a 30-footer or smaller, likely a Class C or a trailer just because it’s sooooo much easier to maneuver around (think backing into sites, driving around campgrounds with large trees, going boondocking, getting into tight spots etc.).
With the bigger rigs I always feel it’s harder to back-in and maneuver in tight spaces (always better with a spotter since there are so many blind spots in a big rig), whereas the smaller rigs drive more like a car and can more easily be parked without help in just about any space. Also the smaller rigs use smaller (= much cheaper) tire sizes, can get serviced at a regular oil change place (instead of a specialty truck spot), and are easier/cheaper to maintain. All stuff I’d prefer as a solo traveler.
That said its certainly possible to go solo in a bigger rig. I’ve seen solo travelers (both men and women) in rigs up to 40-foot in size. Its just a question of how comfortable you are driving/parking it and how mobile you want to be. Anything is possible!
My advice is to go test drive some rigs and practice getting into back-in sites and driving around a treed area to see how it feels. You may feel fine, or you may not. Also once you get on the road you may be surprised at how little “stuff” you really need.
Lawrence Montoya says
Hello, thanks for the information. We will be pulling our travel trailer long distance for the first time. From Albuquerque to Daytona Fl. We are very excited but nervous as well. Could you share your list or thoughts about items you wish you had not drug along that you did not need? Any other experience or advice would be great. Thank you.
Ahhh, the things we bought along and didn’t use. I have more than I can count, but here’s a few:
1/ clothing – we bought waaaaaay too much. Every single year we’ve been on the road we’ve cut back. I’ve found I don’t need more than a few good camping outfits (layers are your friend) and one “going out” outfit. Our closets are half empty.
2/ grill – the first grill we bought was way too big. Our current grill is a smaller one and works great.
3/ decorations – we bought a bunch of RV type decorations (e.g. Hanging lamps for our awning) that we never used and ended up giving away. My advice is don’t buy too many decorations until you get on the road, since you’ll quickly figure out what you use and what you don’t. Some camping chairs and a small collapsible side-table will get you started on your outdoor gear. Add on from there as you go.
4/ wet suits and beach/surf gear – for some reason we had it in our heads we’d use these a lot. Instead they took up a bunch of space and we rarely (a few times per year?) used them. We decided it makes more sense to rent these as needed. We feel the same about kayaks and paddle-boards. You may end up differently, but my advice is leave these at home when you start out until you have some experience with where you travel and what you like to do. You can always rent and if you really miss them you can brings them along on the next trip.
Those are the biggies. I’m sure there are more, but these are the first that come to mind. Good travels to you!
Looking at 3/4 time RV-ing to start with. Still have a home place to go to with the plan of selling down the road if we like full timing. Presently have a Lance camper in the bed of my truck. have had it for 21 years and has worked great. Would like to go bigger (35′ range) Also would like to tow a small Jeep. any thought on towing and hanging on to a home base for awhile. My wife and I retired in April and took a 2 month trip in the Lance. Had a Great time and we didn’t kill each other. How nice is that. We did put on a lot of miles and next time would spend more time in one spot. We did put on over 450 miles on the ATV during that time and got to see a lot. Thanks.
Towing a jeep is a great idea, especially if you like to go off-roading. We tie a CRV which works well for us, but I have plenty of buddies that tow jeeps. I’ve written a 2-part series on towing here:
And as for keeping a home base? Nothing wrong with that at all. For many people part-time RVing is the perfect mix. They get yo explore part of the year, and come home to “nest” the rest if the year. It’s a totally individual thing. So, if that works well for you and you can afford it financially, then absolutely keep that home base.
Steve Prentice says
Nina – We are devoted readers of your blog. We ourselves are just getting ready to hit the road this spring, and as basic as this question may be, we would like to know what type of dishes you recommend. Do you travel with regular flatware or something more light and durable? We are hoping to find something that does not contain BPA. Just wondering if you could recommend a brand and/or source.
Best, Steve and Liz, Toronto, Canada
We’ve always travelled with regular ceramic dishes and flatware. We just enjoy the feel of eating on the “real” stuff. I put “grip it” type dish separators between each plate and we’ve never had a problem with rattling or breakage in 5 years on the road. Many RV folks love Corelle, or melamine type dishware coz it’s really light, but we’ve never been able to switch away from the classic stuff.
We also use real glassware for our wine, cocktail and drinking glasses and just keep the glasses in a cardboard wine-bottle box with foam liner when we travel. Never any problems there either.
Debbie Steinhauer says
I’m widowed a while now and planning on moving from south to northwest. I plan to purchase a good size camper. The two main reasons 1)I will be hooked up at my son’s property and my home is becoming nightmares ‘re:repairs and general up keep. I’m 64 and should I find a special someone, my son & wife wish to purchase my rig. Thanks to all for the tips and welcome any advice. Have you or know someone who has done this? It’s me and pup, any suggestions on camper must haves, things to look for and size etc?
I know lots of solo ladies around your age on the road. Most of them chose smaller rigs (Class C or small trailers), but I do know one lady (Denise) who drives around in a 40-foot class A. Have a look at this post:
I’m sure any of the ladies in that post would be fine with you contacting them on their blogs and asking more questions.
Lisa Herring says
Thank you for the list! I’m trying to get as much useful information as possible right now.
My husband is possibly getting us transferred to Winnipeg, MB, Canada in the next couple months. Being that he’s never set foot in Canada and I am a sand person – not a snow person, we thought we would sell our house in Indiana, buy a fifth wheel and find a year-round place or campground to park, near his work. I said if it doesn’t work out, we’ll pack up and head straight for Florida (or someplace warm at least).
I wondered about the weight in the slide-outs; especially since we are looking at units that come with a residential refrigerator. So as to save money and the cost of living being so much more in Canada, I’m going to have to learn to cook and find space to store things.
We just started looking at fifth wheels and have been narrowing our search. What is on the radar right now is Open Range 3X because of the insulation and dual pane windows. Any info and suggestions are HUGELY appreciated!
It will be my husband 38, myself 33 and our Labrador and German Shepherd living in this full-time. We are young enough to make a bunch of mistakes but mature enough to know we need all the advice we can get!
So I admit I’m not much of an expert on 5th wheels. For full timing it definitely helps to have a rig with extra insulation and dual-pane windows. And of course you know how we feel about having a fridge in the slide out (still our only major problem in this rig).
I recommend thinking about size, especially if you plan to camp in older state parks, national parks and national forest. A smaller rig may also allow you to choose a more nimble truck.
But beyond that I’m not overly familiar with 5th wheels. I suggest posting on one of the big RV forums (RV.net or iRV2.com). Lots of knowledgeable people to help you out there. Good luck with everything!
Edward Conley says
Hi, I’m enjoying the posts I’m seeing here.
I can see there are a lot of things to consider when buying ad living in a RV.
I am basically retired and do have a guaranteed income so at least I don’t have to be all that concerned about earning any money.
Currently I Live in Colorado but have family in Tucson and am seriously considering buying a RV so I can spend winters where it is warmer. I have a 2011 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab truck that I would likely tow and from what I am reading elsewhere I think I must use a flat dolly. I’m just wondering what you would recommend in a used RV.
I am inclined to think something in the 30-35 ft. range would work just fine for me for now.I would likely stay put in one spot on either end for at least 4 months at a time. I may occasionally head north to northern Washington State but really don’t have plans on extensive wandering at the time.
Thanks for any thoughts or recommendations.
Sorry for the late reply. Somehow this comment hid from me. I like the older Diesel’s, but whatever you buy make sure the carrying capacity can handle the truck. You may also be able to flat-tow the truck if you modify the transmission.
Good luck with all your plans!
Ralph & Ginny says
Hi Guys, we enjoy your blog. We are planning on full timing it next year. We are working hard on our house so we can sell it. We retired from our sign business (The Sign Mobil) in 96 and went cruising on our (37′ Sea Runner Trimaran) for 10 years. Since then we have lived on6 acres near Ava, Mo. We’re tired of the winters, tornados and lawn mowing. We’re planning on buying a 35′ motorhome and hitting the road. Your blog is a godsend with tons of good info. We will be using Mail Call in Shelter Island for our address. I did the sand blasted sign for mail call in 1986. Have you used them? We may have met each other in San Diego. I am a grad of Point Loma High went to San Diego State. I knew a Liberto when I was in school. Any Connection to your name?
Glad you’ve “found” us and gotten some useful info from the blog. No connection with Liberto (libertatemamo is just a screen name I use from the Latin “liberty lover”), and no I’m not familiar with Mail Call either.
If you’re full timing and not keeping domicile in MO you might want to think about switching to one of the RV friendly non-tax state such as FL, TX or SD. Lots of mail forwarders in those states who are very familiar with the needs of fulltime RVers. Either way I wish you the best of luck with the transition!
Michael Berg says
When out camping try SAToolz for your iPhone, it let’s you see if any obstacles like trees are in the way before you try setting up your Dish. It’s available for Dish Network, DirecTV, Exceed and HughesNet. Search the app store for SAToolz.
cheryl golden says
I love this list! We have been full timing for close to 3 yrs now. Truth is, we don’t know where we want to live! So this lifestyle suites us fine.
We seeing through Maryland to see the family and friends and back on the road again.
A couple things we plan for are rv maintenance costs. Tires, batteries, etc.
And 2, mail. We use our daughters address and have her forward our mail to where ever we will be for enough time to receive it. And use online banking for most bill paying.
This has been a wonderful site to discover! We have been considering full-time RV life once we leave Australia next year and return to Europe. Do you know of any RV forums for Europe? So much of what you have written is applicable to ANY country or continent, so thanks for taking the time to share your own hard-earned knowledge.
I’ve not looked too deeply into European forums, but I was looking at UK a while back and found a rather active-looking forum here:
And a few more links here:
One day we may well go & caravan in Europe ourselves. We’ve certainly talked about it! If you find any other good EU resources please let me know.
Brian Schermerhorn says
Love your article.
When you say that your RV is “too big” for the kinds of camping you like to do (public parks, etc) what would be the perfect size you think?
So far our favorite size for the layouts we see is a 30′ Fifth wheel. We hopefully will do a lot of boondocking and staying in public camps. Tips in any way? =)
We would love a 30’ish Class A. That would give us a lot more maneuverability, especially in forested sites.
Brian Schermerhorn says
Ah cool! What’s the difference in maneuverability you think between a Class A 30′ and a Fifth Wheel 30′ plus truck hauling it?
For the same length I do feel a Class A is more maneuverable than a 5th wheel, but it also depends a bit on the particular model. If you’re serious about boondocking look at clearance & back overhang on your rig. Both can make a huge difference as to how far you can go into the boonies. I think 25-30 is a good size for 5th wheels (decent compromise between living space & maneuverability).
De ricci says
Enjoy your web site. Looked through most of the posts but did not find any regarding the address on drivers license?! We tried to get the change just using the insurance card but DMV still wants a utility bill with new address…we don’t have a utility bills.????
Every thing else has worked out fine.
Yes, we are new to RVing full time, but not to camping, we have camp in a tent to a diesel pusher for the past 44 years. We purchased a Landmark 365 42 ft fifth wheel and have a F350 4×4 dually, and I have a CRV Honda. My husband is a transpo drive for a RV dealer during the winter and is comfortable hauling the mighty beast. I drive my car to where ever our destination for the summer will be, be it 1000 miles or 500, I don’t mind driving.
I so enjoy living full time in the RV, but we have decided to work camp for the summer as well and I have new resume’s written up. Just one question, do you fill in the hours you want and the pay requested or leave it blank as we would like to do as we are flexible.
See my other response regarding the address. What state are you applying in? If you’re fulltime RVers with no fixed links I would suggest establishing domicile in one of the “RV friendly” states, specifically FL, SD or TX. Some other states can be difficult with their requirements and are not as easy to establish domicile.
De ricci says
We have just become full-time RVers after 44 years of camping in a tent up to a diesel pusher.We now live in a Landmark 365 42′ fifth wheel, tow vehicle is a F350 4×4 dually, and I drive a CRV Honda. My husband is a transpo driver for a RV dealer during the winter so he is comfortable hauling the beast. Yes, I take my CRV and follow, I don’t mind the drive be it 100 or 1000 mi.
1. All has worked out fine except we cannot get our new legal mail address on our drivers license, required is utility bills and or ins card. Don’t have a utility bill.????
2. We have decided to work camp for the summer months, I have new resume’s, but do we fill out the hours and pay, or as we would like to do, leave it ‘open’ as we are flexible?
For your address you should be able to use cellphone bill and insurance bill, at least in the states that regularly deal with RVers (e.g. FL, SD, TX). Other states may have stricter requirements.
As for workamping. We’ve only ever taken volunteer jobs at State Parks, so I can’t really help on the question. I suggest posting on the RV forums or on Facebook workamping groups.
A great post! So happy to hear that bigger isn’t always better! We are about to start across country in our 26′ airstream, and a lot of people were trying to convince us to go bigger. But we figured the smaller living space would force us to get out and explore as much as possible!
Oh definitely! Your 26-footer is going to be perfect, especially if you love the bigger nature spots. Good travels to you!
I loooove your blog
Sooo many useful things, thank you for all your hard work. Very, very appreciated.
I’m new to the scene, reading several full timer blogs and wishing to be on the road more.
I’m curious, are you from Denmark as in you were raised there? Just something I saw you wrote and had me wondering.
Thank you again for a complete and detailed blog, lots of time and work must go into it.
I was born in Denmark, but raised in Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore). As kids we went back every summer and I still speak/write the language, but I haven’t lived there full-time since I was 4 years old.
Len Kaiser says
Hello, Enjoyed the reading of this post. My sister and I are looking at going full time into an RV and we have never lived in one before. I’ve driven one before but it died before we go out of the state we were in. We are looking to buy something that is in better shape and I’ve pretty much landed on a camper with the Bunkhouse in it to give us two bedrooms. We plan on selling the extra stuff (Furniture and things we do not need) before hitting the road and really just looking for a place to call home permanently. I have a couple of questions for you…
1. About the internet how exactly does that work? We do not plan on having a “home base” so to speak so we would be on the road 100% of the time living in various places. I have to have decent internet for my work so that we could continue to live the way we want. How hard is it to get internet if say you are living off the grid in the woods somewhere? This is an absolute must for us.
2. How much does it cost a month to live full time in an RV? I’m really just asking for a ball park figure here as I realize that it will differ depending upon where you are and the size of the RV if you are staying at an RV park.
For internet most RVers sign up for a cellphone data plan with either Verizon or ATT and use a MiFi to distribute it to all their devices. You’ll likely have to adjust your data usage quite a bit since cellphone plans are much more limited than what you’re used to at home. Also, you’ll want to consider buying a booster to help boost the signal in more marginal spots. My best advice is actually to buy this book written by fellow RVers and techno-mads who’ve dedicated 226 pages to this exact question:
Mobile Internet Handbook
As for costs it’s a very variable question, but I would say most RVers are in the $2500-$3500/mo range with a few RVers who do it much cheaper (around $1,000-$1,500/mo) and some who use alot more ($5,000/mo). Your biggest variable budget item will be gas & RV park costs, both of which can be managed by how far you drive and where you stay (or if you volunteer, workamp etc.).
Len Kaiser says
Thanks for your reply. We would probably not have that much expense as we plan on living off the grid almost 100% of the time with the exception of say a few days out of the month. We also do not plan on driving really long distances like from one end of the US to the other (I.E. Florida to Washington lol). We plan on doing it slowly and staying in each place for a month or two before leaving that city. My sister is on disability so we have a fixed income and I do not make tons of money myself. We have been homeless together before so we have ways of doing things that probably a lot of people would not do or be able to do.
Henry Metevia says
Love your list . Been full timers for about three years now . Both ended up on disability , sold or gave away all . No turning back , no regrets enjoying what we are doing , in are own time . Still got to get a better handle on the weather thing . Been great
Mark Schneider says
We love reading your post. We are looking to go full time RV in 2 years you’ve answered many of our questions. Our big thing now is getting rid of everything in the house before we sell it. Does anyone have any suggestion on that?
We did LOTS of stuff on Craig’s List and Freecycle.com. For clothes we gave most away, for furniture a lot of our friends got it. But as far as selling Craig’s List was awesome. I also know people that do garage sales and estate sales.
We didn’t get rid of it all and ended up with a small storage, something we’ve regretted ever since.
Dan, wish I knew about the internet one. We just locked ourselves into a two year contract with AT&T and used 1GB of our 5GB data in three days. YIKES. NO more streaming Pandora for us. Will definitely have to by tapping into some of the free WiFi at parks we stay at and working from coffee shops in town.
Loved this list, and plan on linking to it from our Twitter account. We just started living in our RV full time about a month ago!
Congrats on starting the fulltime dream Caleb!
The internet definitely goes fast on cell data, especially with video (the #1 culprit). Hopefully ATT will do a promotion at some point (which they regularly do) and you can up your plan to more data for a reasonable price. I do know folks who make do with library and coffee shop WiFi. It’s more hassle, but it can be done.
Greetings from an RV somewhere in the desert southwest:
If you are still out there RVing I would love to see you update this article.
Take care, God bless and……have a nice day.
Just (finally) refreshed the article today. Our top 10 is actually exactly the same today even though many of the details have changed. Enjoy!
Love, Love your posts! We have listed our home for sale and are searching for our RV. We are excited with caution. We have children across the USA and found there is no reason to stay put any longer. Because of your posts we have a lot of reading to do. It has taken several weeks to find your blog and thankfully we did. My parents lived in RV’s after retirement until they had to come home for their final journey. So, I remember well their travels. Need more information on the address matters. We were going to have our mail forwarded to us as we will be slow moving from place to place. Thank you for all the information.
Most fulltime RVers sign up with a mail forwarding service and use that as their main address (and also often as their official domicile address for taxes, health insurance etc.). We have our service in SD (with DakotaPost), but there are many other good services out there (e.g. Escapees in TX, St.Brendans Isle in FL). Basically all our stuff gets sent to the mail forwarder where it’s collected and held. Whenever we want the mail we just ask for it to be forwarded from there to wherever we are. If we’re in a place that doesn’t accept mail, we’ll get it sent to the nearest Post Office as General Delivery and go pick it up there. We typically get our mail ~once per month.
Another service that many mail forwarders offer is electronic mail scanning, so you don’t even have to wait to see what is in your mailbox anymore. You can just go online and look at the scanned envelopes and then either ask the mail forwarder to open them and scan the contents or get them to send the contents to you via snail-mail.
I highly recommend signing w/ a mail forwarder once you go on the road.
Any resources on Senior Women RV’ing that do not have a gentleman to assist?
i.e., maintenance list for the RV. I presently drive a 34 foot older bounder and am looking to upgrade.
I was so impressed with the 43 Foot Diplomat, I recently saw here, as
I am going to be upgrading and soon so rethinking the size. There is a huge RV place in Texas he also referred me to, but then what about warranty’s etc.
1. Tow Vehicles Recommended. Now have a 2006 Honda CRV. with this Bounder. Will I be able to transfer this set up to the newer motorhome or will I have to buy another one. I spent 1600 on this one in AZ and used it once.
2. Need internet recommend as right now I am using my Smart Phone as a mobile hot spot and almost up to 10 GB, on a military base so internet is really in and out on their wireless.
3. Any special resources for senior women on the road.
4. Be advised one has to notarize the mail forwarding documents.
1. You should be able to transfer that tow to the new rig. CR-V’s are great tow vehicles and can be towed 4-down without a problem. Just install a bar on the new rig and you’ll be able to tow.
2. For internet it really depends how much you need and where you usually travel. With most carriers you can up your cellphone plan to a larger size which may be all you need. We have a mix of ATT & Verizon which covers us just about anywhere. You can see our internet set-up HERE.
3. I don’t know of any specific resources for senior women, but I know of many resources for solo women. For example there are solo threads on just about every RV forum (e.g. iRV2, RV Dreams) and there are solo travel clubs (WINS, LonerOnWheels). Have a look at some of the links I’ve listed in THIS POST on Solo RVing.
4. Yes. When we set-up our mail forwarder we got the initial docs notarized at our bank for free. Once the mail forwarder was established we’ve not had to notarize anymore docs.
Rob P says
I remember reading this a few years back when purchasing our first second hand motorhome and finding it most helpful. I was wondering if you still felt the same so thanks for your updates! Based on our experience at this pointI would make a minor qualification to #4 regarding heavy items on the slide out. And this probably varies between makes, models, and slide mechanics. I would avoid a design with heavy items on a “ramp” slide, but don’t feel it really makes any difference on slides that stay level and travel in and out on strong rollers. The ramp slide has to go uphill when retracting and that causes a lot of strain on the motor and rails, the others though slide easily even with a heavy load. Our large passenger side slide has the entire galley, a 20 cu ft fridge and a pantry filed with a lot of bottles and cans. Large rollers and a tile floor allow it to move easily and without strain.
I also feel a full wall slide is asking for trouble and it potentially creates issues with roof integrity too.
Regarding #6 as of today Verizon is technically eliminating contracts but still retains a way to lock you in.
Cheers for sharing. I would have to agree the ramp slides are the worst (and our big heavy slide is exactly that kind). Good to know your non-ramp type has not caused you any problems.
if more people could read this and become convinced the statements were absolutes, not just someones suggestions, there would be much more happiness in the RV world.
it’s an easy way of life.
I own a small condo but travel or traveled most of the time in the SW USA and kept a log of costs for 6 years. I never went without anything and it only cost me $1100 per month average for the 6 years. it’s totally affordable and i even threw in some games of golf and some gambling nights in NM.
I fish and hunt a lot and enjoy the wild game and fish I catch.
I work camp when I feel like it.
Boon-dock all the time.
Travel at night mostly.
And above all, I enjoy my life an as old fart.
We too fish and hunt and eat everything we harvest. Although we have enjoyed the trips we have taken in our motorhome, my husband is reluctant to travel for more than 2 or 3 months at a time. He does not want to miss out on Spring and Fall turkey season and Fall deer season. How do you afford to hunt and fish outside of your home state? Non-resident hunting and fishing licenses are very expensive in many states.
I’m no hunter or fisher woman, but I’ve seen this discussed on RV threads quite a bit. License fees vary dramatically between states, so some can be very reasonable value depending on where you go. Also most states offer short-term fishing licenses that are not too expensive (most are less than a regular round of golf or a nice dinner out). Many fulltimers who love to fish either do the short-term licenses or stay for larger chunks of time in states where it is not overly expensive. I recommend searching the forum threads on iRV2 and RV.net for more info on this.
Loved reading your blog! We are thinking of full time RVing and we also have 12 paws.
We are looking at 35′ Fleetwood
One more question I have is, what do you do about a mailing address?
Any other pointers would be greatly appreciated!
We use a mail forwarding service. They collect our mail for us and just forward it to us whenever we want it. Many of these services offer mail scanning too. We use DakotaPost in SD, but there is also Escapees (in SD, FL, TX), St.Brendans Isle in FL, MyRVMail in FL, MyDakotaAddress in FL and many others.
The mail service address is also our legal domicile address for health insurance, car/RV insurance, banking, taxes etc..
I couldn’t agree more with paying for storage. Several years ago I started downsizing. Not wanting to permanently get rid of ‘all my stuff’, I rented a storage bay. After three years of paying for storage it one day hit me that everything that I was keeping, I could have bought brand new with the amount of money I had dished out for storage!!!!
The following week I liquidated everything either selling it or giving it away.
Unless it is something you want to keep in the family (in which case, give it to someone to store it for you), I do not see a need for storage!
Yeah, that storage has been a BANE for us. Every month I see that bill and cringe, and every year I cringe even more when they up the costs 10% or more (which they do every single year). I think this year will finally be the year we tackle it and get rid of it (fingers and paws crossed).
This information is hugely helpful! I found the health insurance info particularly so. We live in NY and it is the same problem with health insurance for individuals — no out of network, no out of state except “emergency”.. Love your insights to RV’ing and travelling.
Health insurance is definitely a tricky problem, especially for pre-Medicare folks like us. This coming year will present more challenges as it seems insurance companies are continuing to limit their coverage range (e.g. BCBS is dropping nationwide PPO plans in several states for individual plans). I’ll keep reporting on the blog as/when changes happen. It’s just one of the things we must tackle as nomads.
Thank you for this post. I am ready to pack up and travel from state park to state park. But what about jobs? Any ideas of what kind of work I can do? I want to hike and kayak all day and work at night. Am I trying to live a fantasy LOL
Well there’s no end of online stuff you can do such as website development, coding, trading, writing, jewelry making, hobby-crafting (and selling on Etsy) etc. You may even be able to find jobs that cater to your kayaking/hiking lusts such as mountain guiding, Kayaking jobs etc. Or, do seasonal jobs such as Amazon Camperforce, Ski Instructor etc. where you make all your money over a few months and spend the rest of the year playing. In the end it all depends on how physically active you are, what your skills are and where you can best apply them. The sky is the limit!
Paul and I do a combo of investing (Paul) and writing (me).
We are planning on full time rving in about 6-7 months. Was wondering if a crockpot is useful in this situation?
Thanks in advance!
If you use it now, you’ll use it in the RV. If you don’t use it now…well, then you probably won’t RVing either. We home-cook a lot and for kitchen items we use pretty much everything we did in our main house. So, it just depends on your cooking style.
If you’re interested in our “top-rated RV kitchen items” check out this post:
Our 5 Favorite Kitchen Items For RV Cooking
A crock pot is a great addition to the RV. I however also carried a pressure cooker, electric-plug in, and it was even better and quicker. Pull in, hook up, turn in on with some great beef and veggies, take a shower, grab a beer and it ready! bam!
We love our pressure cooker, but have a “traditional” one that we use on the propane stove. It’s easier for boondocking (which we do like to do) and super fast. We make stews, soups and pulled pork in it.
I just found your website and am going to read all of it. I am so excited to say that we are starting to plan a full time RV trip in about 4 years. This is the start of our plan. research Research Research and by the time my daughter is about o go into high school we will hit the road. Homeschooling across america. I just wanted to take the time to say thank you for blogging. I am also researching blogging as a family, (from my point of view, from my husbands point of view and from a hormonal teenage 14 year olds point of view should be interesting) Reading your blog gives me hope to having our dream becoming a reality. And let the research begin I hope to one day meet you on the road 🙂
Welcome to the blog! We know lots of fulltime families out there on the road, home-schooling and seeing the country. If you haven’t connected already I highly recommend Ditching Surburbia, and Fulltime Families. Both resources are focused on fulltime RV families on the road, and have LOTS of info for you. Ditching Surburbia, in particular has traveled fulltime with their teenage son & daughter for years. I met them a few years ago…lovely family!
thanks for the info!
selling everything i own right now, and been shopping for a small motor home
i made the executive decision the other night
info like this is invaluable!!
thank you so much for taking the time to help us noobs!!!
Robert Washburn says
Yes that was as I feared. I was hoping you would have some suggestion that you or one of your readers may have had to use, Blue Cross Blue Shield will not forward prescriptions of this kind. My only hope would be the Dr. ordering 3-6 months worth, then the insurance company has to approve it also, I know that’s sounds weird, but I have dealt with them before for just a half of month worth of supplies to have on hand in the winter time for UPS downtime because of weather conditions. They refused. I will read your your blog in it’s entirety and glean some very useful incites and websites for use later, at least I hope to use anyway. May be trapped into taking small trips then back home. Thank you so much for your quick response.
Hey I love your blog, I have just started one myself and will be documenting every step from cleaning out my house to buying our “New To Us” RV. You have been very inspirational to us and we will continue to follow along on your journey and hope you will come along on ours.
Congrats on the new blog and new lifestyle! I wish you all the best!
I plan on retiring Nov 2016 and want to RV for a couple of years before settling down in one place. I’ve been researching the fulltime RVing and my head is spinning with all the info out there. I just want you to know that your site is actually the first one to give direct answers to all the questions I have like taxes, health ins. Car/RV registrations. I’ll be stopping by quite frequently…..
Welcome to the blog, and glad you’re finding it helpful! Good luck with all your plans!
I was wondering what your thoughts are on a woman (myself) doing this alone? In two years my teenage son will be 18 and my plan is to sell the one bedroom condo we live in and hit the road. You are actually the first site/blog I read when I googled how to rv? I am a very adventurous person and have always wanted to travel. I desperately need so peace and relaxation in my life and love nature. I will continue to research and read your blogs to get as much info as possible. I haven’t even checked pricing yet but I was think buying an rv and living in it and traveling full time makes a lot more sense then putting my money right back in a condo. I want to feel free and I always feel that way when I get out of town. Any advice or direction as to where I should start would be very much appreciated.
I think it’s a wonderful adventure! We know (and have met) many solo women who fulltime RV and they love it. I suggest checking out this post I wrote on solo travel, and linking up to some of the blogs on there:
Many of the women in that post never RV’d before deciding to set out on their own. Hopefully their stories will get you started and give you some inspiration for your own journey.
wow this info is great — but what does it cost per year .. on the average .. for a single man to live quietly on the road as you described ? nothing crazy .. a simple life of as mentioned ” not on vacation !” staying in places for a while etc ..
Thanks for all the valuable info .. hope to get started very soon
Totally depends on HOW you travel. I have male buddies who travel in vans that live this lifestyle for around $12,000 per year (look up ToSimplify, CheapRVLiving and Van-Tramp in my blog links), and I have friends who use much, much more. I would say you can do it on anything from $1,000/mo to $5,000/mo depending on how far you travel, where you stay, how frugal you are etc.
Lots of comments regarding what it costs. Saw one that said $1000 to $5000.
$1000 is easy to do. $5000 would be impossible to understand unless one has bought a half million dollar rig, and pays to stay in the most expensive parks in the nation. This of course would not be real RV-ing.
You can do it for nearly $0 dollars if you spend a little time hooking up with Workamper at Workamper.com (i believe this is their website).
I used to be with them and could find dozens of great places that would allow you to work for 2 days a week and get to stay for 7 days at no cost. You can also work extra days and earn $8 to $10 per hour. Lots of places will hire you for the season, 3 to 5 months and pay you full time for a 40 hour week of easy work, you get to stay in the park free of charge, and if you fulfill your commitment you get your gas paid to and from the park. Now you have the rest of the year to relax.
Being a single person it’s easier to get around and do things and especially afford this lifestyle.
One of our biggest worries is noise we may encounter from other campers. How has your experience been with that? Have you found most locations to be quiet? We are worried about having to listen to other people’s music, outdoor tv’s barking dogs, people being noisy outside next to you,etc. Would really love to know how that has been for you over the years?????
Great post thank you. I have 7 years to go for retirement and I’m already ‘shopping’ for the perfect RV. What would your thoughts be on a Super C as far as size and set up goes. The Dynamax, Nexus, and Renegades all have my attention right now.
We are just putting our house on the market. timing is not perfect but at least we have made the decision. We are really looking forward to hearing more helpful information. The storage thing is a little difficult we have been married 50 years and we know that we will not be able to do this forever. We also know that we have a life style to come back to. So it has been a challenge. Happy trails
Storage is a tough one. We initially did storage because we weren’t sure we’d be on the road that long. If we’d only RV’d a year that would probably have worked out fine. Of course 6 years later we’re still here and still paying for storage (it’s so darn hard to get rid of once you do it). No right answer for this one, but I think the less “stuff” you keep, the freer you’ll feel in the road. Best of luck with everything!
I have been thinking of closing up my home and going on the road. I am a military widow, no children, 4 dogs and was either looking at a class c or b. However, I do have a trailer tow package on my 2015 Explorer. How do I know the best option for me? I am a little overweight and sometimes I can not lift or set up things with the limited strength in my hands. However, I do really want to try this out. What would you suggest? I live outside of Dallas, Texas and there are a lot of RV Centers. Would it be best to go talk to a “salesperson” but I am concerned they will not take my issues into consideration and only try to “sell” me.
I just discovered your site and it’s awesome! In 5 years I plan on doing what you are doing…..and in the few minutes I’ve spent on your site so far, I’ve discovered I can learn a lot from you. I also like that you focus on staying in/on public lands, etc, versus the “RV PARK”. That is one thing I’ve been hesitating about – finding those more natural places to be, versus in the RV Park…. I don’t want to be in the RV park type thing — at least not the ones that would feel like I’m in just another suburban neighborhood.
OH – I do have a suggestion — I noticed on your map that you have not been to the mid Atlantic (or the Northeast) – you know, Virginia and Maryland have some beautiful spots! 🙂 So – come out my way!
Great read and well done! Being a 60 + newbie my wife and I had some angst about our new full-time journey but after reading your real-life experience we both will be resting a lot easier tonight in our 5th Wheel. Most all you Top 10 were planned out and made ready. We are prisoners to our storage costs but feel ok with that due to our 3, maybe 4, year plan. We will be down sizing at a minimum with cost but feel the short run and future needs make it ok. Again, great job, thanks for sharing, I got you booked marked. Do you have. Facebook page? Lionel
Good list been full timing 5 years now. Disagree with #2 we bought a traveler dish best thing we ever did. Very few times we haven’t been able to use it. Push a button get Sat. Second was a residential frig man this thing is great. Runs on inverter batteries low auto start generator charges them. Life is good. We wander but aren’t lost.
You must spend more time in open or private sites than we do. We spend most of our summers in forested public parks and we were almost never able to get a satellite lock on that roof dish. We honestly couldn’t use it more than half the year. Last year we completely ditched the roof-dish (in fact we ditched Direct TV altogether) and it’s been a great decision for us.
The residential fridge is a nice upgrade that I know many RVers do. Since we boondock a lot, and prefer to run our rig off solar when we do, it’s not been an upgrade we’ve been keen to do. One day we’ll probably upgrade, but then we’ll need several more panels and quite a bit more battery power too.
We spend most of our time in state parks. Had very few problems with the sat dish on top. We always look around for a good site and use a compass to scout it out.
John Warren Simpson says
Like your perspective and range of experience. Am planning to be full-time in about a year and a half. Seriously think a travel trailer suits my needs. Have to research this one thoroughly. So much to consider in making the right decision. I will bookmark you and keep checking in.
ted hutchison says
Just as a reminder to anyone considering or who owns any RV with slide out partitions, You should always keep the tracks lubricated and run them in and out at least once a month to spread the lubrication. Proper maintenance goes a long way in worry free use, especially when you are living in it full time. I even live in mine all year round in northern latitudes and lived in Alaska for ten years in an rv with “tip outs”. You can “skirt” even a non winter RV and heat the under side to keep your tanks from freezing. Old flexable/cloth backed, highway advertizing signs do a good job when purchased. painted and fitted to your rig. They have great insulation value too. I would happily explain any winterization process that any one would like to know about. This blog is a great place for information for anyone considering living full time in an rv. There is a lot of good usefull information contained within.
Wonderful, wonderful, website, and it’s free (I am getting a pedalist-maybe I can talk the owner into helping sponsor this site, it’s a great vehicle for local transport when you don’t want/need to haul a car, ) as my philosophy is internet website should be free (I DO click on all the ads of free websites though!), my question though, is there any website that can help you find someone to travel with in an RV? Roaming Times USED to have one, but now they have redone their site, it disappeared (don’t they know from Craigslist and Plenty of Fish, that a very basic site works as long as you give people what they want you’ll be popular-sigh). I’ve tried the usual, Travel Buddies, Travel Companion Exchange-but they are not geared to people in RVS, and the travel clubs that you mentioned above seem geared just for people who have their RV and want to travel alone, tried posting in Thorntree, Fodors and Frommers forums, but those aren’t geared to finding travel companions (I want to buy a camper trailer and share it with someone who has a car that way the partnership is equal), and even CL. Maybe that’s impossible task and if I knew how, I would set up a website!!
Doug Tally says
Can you recommend a “course” to learn about RVing fulltime? My interest is public land use but not so much for wife being ‘affraid’… even though I’m trained in self defense and former Detroit copper with concealed carry. Any suggestions to calm her concerns for safety? Can you winterize an RV winter/snow trekking?
SURE! There are lots of great learning courses out there.
RV Dreams are the very first people that come to mind for me. They have a very comprehensive website and also offer rallies to learn about both fulltime RVing & boondocking. In fact their next boondocking rally is happening in March in FL:
I think attending a rally with your wife might be a great way to learn more about the lifestyle and talk to people who’ve been doing it for years.
Other groups such as FMCA and Escapees also offer learning rallies (Escapees “bootcamp” comes to mind -> https://www.escapees.com/knowledge/boot-camp).
As for winterizing. I’m not sure I completely understand the question. If you’re asking if you can RV in the snow/winter it’s certainly possible. Most RV’s don’t really have the proper insulation so you’ve got to prepare for the weather by using skirting, covering windows, using heat-tape on your pipes etc. I prefer to RV where the weather is mild, but if you’re dead-set on winter stuff I’d recommend asking questions on the RV forums. In general, the forums are a great place to learn about new things and “meet” other RVers. I have a post about forums here:
Lastly with regards to safety, I think attending some rallies, talking with other RVers and going on the forums might help. Also, when you first start boondocking I might recommend joining a group or camping in places where there are other RVers. There are many boondocking groups out there (again, Escapees comes to mind) and going for the first time with others may help allay your worries. The boondocking community is quite close-knit and you’ll quickly make friends. We’ve never felt unsafe on public land, but then again I’ve been hiking/exploring since I was a teenager. Sometimes it just takes time.
Hope that helps!
After my first summer of camping I bought a weather radio and I make sure I have extra batteries along. It keeps us qSky Alert.
Thank’s for the info.
I have a question to ask. Try not to laugh too hard at my extreme paranoia lol. First you should know it is our sincere goal someday to rv full time. We loove to travel and we are both photographer hobbyists. However. I have zero experience visiting or ever even being in a desert and I am extremely frightened and paranoid of snakes, scorpions and mostly–spiders. How often have you run into these creatures boondocking in the west/in the desert? And no, this issue won’t derail our plans or anything, but just wondering what I am in for! Thanks for putting up with my silly question!
FYI SD domicile folks – This could stop your ability to vote in upcoming elections:
Cheers for the lead. This was also picked up by Escapees Advocacy group and looks like the issue is (for the moment) tabled. Here is the latest message I just got today from Escapees:
“South Dakota Senate Bill #164, entitled, “An Act to revise certain residency requirements for voter registration,” has been tabled by the State Senate Affairs Committee. During the Committee meeting, Senator Tieszen stated, “I believe there is a legal solution to this.” He continued, “I believe it’s legal and constitutional to put reasonable residency requirements on voting in South Dakota.” He is looking for a solution that “does, in fact, disenfranchise those folks that have no connection to South Dakota other than the fact that they rent a P.O. box here for financial gain.” He continued by stating, “I’m going to continue to try to work for that solution.” Tieszen stated, “Senate Bill 164, I’ve concluded, is not the solution.” He concluded by asking that Senate Bill 164 be tabled. After the vote was taken, Senate Bill 164 was tabled by an 8 to 1 vote.
In conclusion, Senate Bill 164 is a non-issue at this time. But, in the future, a voting restriction may be re-introduced. Escapees will continue to monitor this issue for future action.”
Zhol Lark says
Great read and well done! Being a 60 + newbie my wife and I had some angst about our new full-time journey but after reading your real-life experience we both will be resting a lot easier tonight in our 5th Wheel.
Well I’m happy I could help alleviate some of that angst. You’ll be in great company out here -> lots of folks all doing this same RV thing, and I’d care to venture almost every one of them had some level of anxiety about it before they started. Just be open to the experience, and see where it takes you. Even if you end up not liking it, it’ll give you new and amazing experiences. Plus you will never have the regret of saying “I only wish I had tried it”.
Greg Pomarico says
I am preparing to become a fulltimer. I am in the process of purchasing a travel trailer to tow behind my truck. It will be myself and 2 english bulldogs hitting the road in the next couple months. I am enjoying reading all the posts and learning a lot. Like you, I will put a few things in storage but I have already told myself 1 year max. I’ll admit, it’s exciting and scary at the same time but if I don’t try I will never know.
Well congrats on the upcoming adventure. We started out with a “1-year plan” much like you and 7 years later we’re still at it. Good travels to you!
Carol Lopez says
I know you’ve talked with lots of full time RV’ers , and wonder how people not yet retired, commonly make a living on the road??
It is my dream but I still need income 🙂
Thank you! Carol
MOST of the younger folks we meet on the road are pre-retiree and work full-time (or part-time) to support their travels. We’ve seen folks do all kinds of jobs from workamping to web developing, editing, art, writing, investing, coding etc. As long as your job is mobile you can take it on the road.
Conrad Berg says
I may be relocating from Idaho to Concordville, Pennsylvania for a job. My concerns are that the cost of living may be more than I can handle financially, but I could live in a travel trailer easily. What advise can you offer a person who has not even gone camping much less RVing. I’m sure there is much to know about the area and does it accommodate this style of living?
Patricia Therous (Pat) says
I Have just spent almost 2hrs reading your posts, thank you thank you and to all who replied. I am in the process of getting rid of stuff, my target date is end of July or first of Aug to take off after selling my house and car. Planning of buying a Class C 20′ to 30′ gently used. I am 81 and ready to go. I have two pages of notes from this blog so far. Thanks again Pat
I love this post, so many useful tips and even more in the comments! You people are priceless!
We are a very young family, basically just at the point of settling down. We met travelling in South America, made a baby and that’s where it all began 🙂 the more we’re figuring out details about settling down, the more we really don’t want that lifestyle. So we might as well just keep travelling, and seeing your stories is so supporting because it seems possible and safe and feasible an fun and fine…
My million dollar question:
What do you do for a living to support RV lifestyle??
Welcome to the blog! Sounds like you’ve got the travel bug just like us 🙂
As for income, I’ve got the blog and a few travel writing things I do which makes a bit of income (admittedly not much). Hubby does investing (which makes the majority of our income). So, that’s how we fund it.
We have many friends who run all kinds of businesses on the road including online stores (e.g. Etsy), coding, online support, online businesses, editing, manual labor (e.g. RV support/installations) etc. Lots of possibilities out there as long as you can do it while traveling.
Keri Lyn says
My husband and I have decided to sell our home and look for a place that is more “us” while he has to travel for work. We currently have 3 children and two dogs and have looked extensively at RV’s before deciding on a 5th wheel sprinter with a bunkhouse. I know the journey will be something to learn and get used to but we decided that if he has to travel with his work then we want to travel with him. Going from a 2k+ sq ft home to even a large 5th wheel is a very very hard thing for myself and my teenage girls, but when we look at the larger scale and we will finally have to travel it gets so much easier. More time with dad and going places we couldn’t before because our house ties us down with mortgage and bills. My 3 yr old son is just happy to have his dad around more often. I have been looking for all the advice I can on the net and this has been useful for the start up, less is better for us because along the way you may acquire more. I make jewelry one of my daughters is an artist and my other daughter is into design so we have sat down to make sure we have gotten our priorities right. For me living in the RV until we are able to find our place is a way to learn to let go and focus on what matters. I spend little time with my kids doing the stuff we want to do and more time cleaning and organizing and running errands to keep all that up. And when my husband gets to be home we end up spending more money just to get out and spend time together with the kids. So for anyone out there who is also considering this way of life, I say find out what it means to you. Take good advice from blogs like this and enjoy! Thank you for the great advice blog and to those who commented more great advice!
Your generosity in sharing your wonderful adventures and knowledge has made for great daydreams and “wishing to make to so.” Timing is everything in life and waiting too long can be a big mistake. Thanks for pushing me closer to making a decision.
Jen Heymann says
A very important #11 is having an RV insurance policy specifically designed for full-timers – equivalent to homeowner’s insurance. A windstorm uprooted our carport and threw it into our neighbor’s trailer at the campground and caused some damage. After calling State Farm, we learned that our RV policy was good for nothing, and by no means adequate for a full-timer. A standard RV/auto insurance policy doesn’t cover any liabilities and also won’t cover the loss of any personal valuables (jewelry, guns, clothing, etc)
I’ve just found you, and I’m soaking in all this information. Thank you. Do have advice for a single woman in her 60’s thinking about full timing for a while? I’m retiring and don’t know yet where I want to live. So considering traveling around for a while to find the right place. No experience yet with driving or living in an rv… Yikes! Help? 🙂 Thanks!
You’ll be in GREAT company! For solo ladies I recommend getting a smaller rig, either a Class C or a small trailer. They are easy to handle and you’ll have no problem learning how to drive them. Also, check out the blogs of some of the inspiring solo ladies in this post: RVing & Travelling As a Single Lady
I think you’ll find lots of good info in those blogs. Lots of ladies have done exactly what you’ve done.
Thanks so much for responding, and for the link. I have a lot of research to do. But your words are encouraging!
Lisa Grace says
I was enlightened by the Tiny House movement. After researching into buying a tiny house and furnishing it, the cost was more than my regular sized 2 bedroom home. I then started looking at used RV’s, mainly 5th wheel Trailers and travel trailers. I found a decent used 5th Wheel with good bones, and bought it when my house sold. Prior to that, I spent 9 months selling off everything I owned and thought I needed. Everyone thought I was nuts. The kids where grown, the husband passed away, and it was just me and the cat. The banker suggested, I replace AC unit with a Heat and Air unit, battery, fridge…anything that was too old. My investment was $3900 for a 1996 Dutchman Aristocrat 27 ft. Back then they made them solid with good wood not chip board. Heat and Air Unit $850, Fridge (electric only) $150. I did quite a bit of water line insulation, because these units were not meant to live in cold weather.
Now I live in a resort $450 a month, includes electric, water, sewer, cable and WiFi, and trash near a lake. I don’t have to mow the lawn, I have a pool and a recreation room. I never thought life could be so great living in an RV, but I just love it. So much easier and cheaper to maintain than the house was. I didn’t buy the truck to move it, I just hired a mover and had it taken where I chose to live.
Jason Wyatt says
Totally get it about the smaller rigs! I just took out the eave of the guard shack with my ladder a couple weeks ago! My ladder is on the rear drivers corner of my 42ft 5er and we were leaving a campground that was OBVIOUSLY not built for such a rig.
We are woodsy, nature-loving people, and we miss being able to go to those type of campgrounds, but it sure is nice to have the room in the rig to run my business!
I am definitely going to switch to contract free wireless internet… Verizon charges an arm and leg on their contracts.
Very simple, very safe. There is a website workamper.com where you can sign up and there are tons of listings wanting RV-ers to come and work a full season, a month, a year, whatever you can offer.
There are some absolutely beautiful Federal/State Corps of Engineering and all sorts of lodges that need help.
I usually signed up the the minimum, which was work 2 full days a week, 16 hours, and get the whole week stay for free in a really nice rv space. Then if they needed more help they would usually barter for free breakfast/lunch/dinner if there were a cafe, simply pay you 8 to 10 per hour, or other ammenities you can use.
Some like the national parks offer you not only all the hook ups which include water/sewer/ele/free fills for your propane, but also pay you for every hour you work, and the national parks like workampers to ‘work’. Not hard or back breaking but they like you to work 4 or 5 days a week. It’s fun though. You can learn to be an interpreter and give trail walks with the public and explain the park and it’s historical significance, or if they have horses and you have experience with them they may put you in the equine area and you groom or saddle up horses or even end up leading or trailing the horse ride.
It’s fun, but it’s not go camping and sleep all day. Although some rv parks need a person available an nights to welcome guests coming in at night. This is the easiest gig if you don’t mind getting up in the middle of the night to be ‘nice’ to people coming in off the road.
You’ll like it if you are independent, a self starter, enjoy the RV life or camping life and don’t have to run back to town on a minutes notice to take care of family stuff every week or two.
Thank you so much for this post….the best one I’ve seen for those of us who are doing this but haven’t even purchased the rig yet… We are retiring within the next couple of years and this blog will certainly be a go to!! Thank you again – we are so excited!
Hi Paul and Nina!
Fantastic blog…so happy to have found it!!
My husband and I are pushing 50…just sold our restaurant in Seattle and decided to rent the house, buy an RV and get off the grid for a year, and your blog and others has been so inspiring!!
Found a great 31 ft. 2000 Winnebago Itasca in great condition, so was glad to hear your ‘ideal size’ perspective. Seems huge to us, as we are upgrading from UW busses 🙂
A question I/we have is…. although we are not interested in having full time tv while boondocking, what other options are folks using out there to say maybe be able to use a laptop to stream shows occasionally?
We know about Slingbox…anyone else have any great new thing we don’t yet know about?
Thanks to everyone for any and all input!!
Steve and Yvonne
Wow, you are SOOO patient, answering all the repetitive questions (that you have already answered) like it’s the first time!! I’ve been reading for hours. We have a 24 ft diesel class c and we love it, we usually only stay out about 4 nights at a time. We like to stay off grid but are not as careful with water and the tanks as we could be. Plus, we have J.O.B.S.
We will be retiring in about 18 mos and my husband has decided he wants us to go full time! Yikes I don’t know what I’ll do all day. We bike, kayak and hike but every day? Will it still be as fun when you can do it all you want? Mainly, I think I’m apprehensive about retiring, I’ve been a nurse 40 years this month and love it, I’ve worked some job or another since I was 16.
Part of me wants a garden and some chickens and part of me wants to travel a lot more overseas. We recently met a couple that have rented RVs in Scotland, Australia and the Netherlands, Japan and I can’t remember where else. They said RV travel is becoming much more popular in other countries.
Adventures ahead! I have subscribed and will keep reading!
By accident I found your site and this is one accident I’m glad I had! In recent months my life has taken a dramatic change and I’m considering RVng as a full time hobby. As I read (and enjoyed) your blog I found lots of good information about so many different aspects of RV life, so thank you both for that.
At this time I have only just begun to research what type of motor home I want but leaning towards same type that you have, only on a smaller scale.
I have a few full time RV friends who have offered good advice too.
I’m looking forward to reading about your future adventures, thank you again.
Welcome to the blog, and I wish you the best of luck with all your plans!
Great article, I’m hoping to travel in an RV full-time eventually. In the mean time, I’m still working to support my family and plan for the future. I sell land throughout the western U.S. (those great winter states you mentioned) if anybody wants to own a few acres to park their RV part or full time. See my website, http://www.landparker.com for more details. Thanks!
Cheesehead Lynn says
I have referenced this list multiple times as we have narrowed down our RV options, thanks for posting and updating it.
My husband and I have decided on a Newmar class A but we are at an impasse on the size issue.
Here is my question to you – you mention that you would prefer a 35 or even 30 footer in place of your 41 foot plus Holiday Rambler PDQ. What would you specifically be willing to give up from your current rig to get down to the 35 foot mark? Have you seen a 35 or shorter rig you would be happy to FT in? What would you you absolutely never give up? I am trying to figure out what a 35 footer would need to have to make full timing work
Thanks, Nina, for sharing your thoughts.
Your biggest give up is the basement storage imho.
your biggest benefit is you now can maneuver much more easily.
Inside you may lose the washer/dryer but can buy one that is a roll around and put it in a safe place to travel.
you can’t do without some sort of washer/dryer imho.
They are not as efficient as home models but I had a separate spin dry unit that took so much water out of my washed clothes that they barely felt damp. it save much time and money.
was only 12 inches or so in diameter and maybe 20 inches tall.
here is the link:
Other than that it’s learning how to pack right. You really live a different lifestyle on the road.
It’s casual/casual/casual unless you have made a mistake and believe black tie goes with life on the road.
David Ruben says
Good Morning to all. I have read and skimmed my way through the initial posting and the comments. So here is my 2 cents. I have been full time RV’ing since August 2015. Sold my home in NY State because it was too expensive to run on my retirement and Social Security. I made the same mistake & stored a fair amount of belongings & furniture. That will go this summer. I still own property in NYS and barns, but that will be another year. I started out with a 37′ 5th wheel, drove to Florida and spend 6 months & 1 day at a campground on the Space Coast. Thoroughly enjoyed the time there and will be going back this November. (November 1 through May 1). I bought a new 5th Wheel in Florida and am enjoying it much more that my last one. You mentioned size, but I generally don’t have an issue. I have not tried dry camping yet and I have not done that in an RV before, The new 5th wheel is 42′ in length plus a spare tire and bike rake. I drive a 3500 Silverado diesel dually and I am very comfortable in all situations, including in town if I am going to a campground there or just following a detour, which I ran into in Nebraska. This past spring after leaving Florida, I traveled westward to Colorado to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. I was still in the mode of “make as many miles as possible in a day”, but I am now realizing that I really don’t need to do that, I’m retired. On previous trips out to South Dakota & Wyoming, I saw Badlands National Park, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore and stayed in Cody, WY before moving on to Yellowstone & the Grand Tetons. Therefore after visiting with some friends in Wyoming, I headed back east. Now I wish that I had stopped along the way, even though I had seen those sights. I missed the Badlands and the Wild Horse Reserve south of Rapid City and the area around Rapid City. Another good reason to settle down and enjoy the sights. I am back in Upstate NY for the summer and will be heading back to Florida around the end of September. I am also considering a resident state in either South Dakota or Florida. Medicare supplemental plans will make that decision for me. Right now I have a great plan from Excellus BC/BS in NY and that will be what I will want from either of those states. I’m thinking about alternate routes other that I-81 & I-95 heading south. I am a single guy not by choice, so I have to do all of the things to keep the adventure going. I purchased a Magellan RV GPS and I feel very comfortable with it. The next 2 years will hopefully see me travel to Montana for the Glacier National Park and then south through Utah for all of the parks and the natural beauty. In 2018, I am planning to drive up to Alaska. That plan is in it’s infancy right now. Just gathering data and trying to throw out bad info and keeping what sounds reasonable. I’ve also donated at least 50% of my clothes because I don’t wear them. Takes up space and a lot of weight. I’m always looking to reduce weight. I hope that this gives someone else some ideas about life on the road.
I disagree that RV’s are generally poorly made. They are like any other American made product, not the best.
However an owners affect on an RV is even more important.
Keeping things tight, working, flushed, cleaned, caulked, serviced and more important than most of these things is using the darn thing.
Most RV owners should be renting. They get a hair in their back side and buy an RV and for a year they are gung-ho then other things get in the way.
They ignore it, mice take over, lady bugs move in, a leak in the roof is not noticed because it is not used and now covered with an RV Cover.
So yes America does not make the best RV’s in the world but people don’t take care of the very well either.
This post is a gold mine. The internet advice alone prob just saved me so much money. Thanks for posting.
Maybe I’m missing something. How do you get Netflix if you got rid of satellite? Do you have wifi speeds capable of streaming while boondocking?
Yes, that’s exactly how do it. We use a MiFi (runs on Verizon network) that we use for all our internet needs.
If you don’t mind me asking, how much data do you use per month when streaming Netflix over mifi? What kind of download speed are you getting and do you truly have connectivity in the boonies?
You can set the Netflix download quality. We have it set to “lowest” quality which used 0.3 GB per hour. So, it just depends how much we stream that month. And yes, we do get connectivity most places we go, even the boonies. There’s occasional spots we don’t have it, but we usually make it a priority to stay where we do. We both need it for work, so it’s a pretty important part of our daily lives. We have both ATT & Verizon PLUS we have boosters so we can pull in signals from fairly far away.
i’m an old, disabled, grandfather. i rv-boat-travel-hunt-fish-golf very little, and am headed out for a year or so with a tt just to get away from the city life again. just love rv-ing and have done so for 30 years.
i am hopeful to do some out of the way places now. close to cities but in the ‘nowhere’ zone.
i’m armed, have been for 17 years, and feel safe being out in the wilderness.
a tip for those that may come upon a bear or timber wolf or large cat; carry a boat horn with you. you can get them at any boating outlet or cabellas or dicks. it’s pressurized and is very very loud. i put a lanyard on it and carry it around my neck. if a creature that can do me harm is within sight, I give it a blast or two and they hi-tail it out of there. it would be helpful in finding me as well if i were injured or lost.
back to my topic.
i can’t pay a lot for this type of service and do hope to stay close to places that i can get connected.
if i have a phone connection, i can do all i need if i stay busy mentally and have a few flash drives of movies i can watch. my oldest son mails them to me from time to time and i return the ones i have seen to him.
anyway, for simple email/basic searches and to buy something online what do you think i’d need in terms of gig’s? i hate to text with a phone but have a smart phone now so I can but i’d rather talk.
get too many emails to have them sent to my phone so i need a once a day or twice a day at worst connection for email.
If all you need is a little connectivity on your phone I’d suggest looking at one of the ATT-based Straight Talk plans at Walmart. If your phone accepts it you can buy a SIM at Walmart and then you just pay flat $45 per month for “unlimited” talk/text/data. I put the unlimited in quotations because the fine print says that you get unlimited talk/text but only 5GB of full-speed data (after that you’re throttled pretty heavily). That might be enough for you though? The nice thing about Walmart is that it’s non-contract plan so you can try it for a month and if it doesn’t work out you can just ditch it and do something else. ATT doesn’t get you as wide coverage as Verizon, but it’s pretty darn good. We have it on our phones right now.
We personally used Straight Talk on our phones for 3 years and found it perfectly fine for limited use.
Wow! After googling “what to put in your RV for full time living” I ended up here. I’m glad I did.
We just put our 2000 sqft home on the market in San Diego to live full time in a 5th wheel!
We are a military family in our early 30s with 2 young kids and a Great Dane. I guess we’re not the norm for RV living and could be considered a little crazy. Haha
Wish us luck and thanks for the tips!
WELCOME to the blog and the world of RVing. You’ll find lots more crazy buddies out here (lots of families too BTW), so I think you’ll feel right at home in no time 🙂 Thanks for traveling along and best of luck w/ your plans
I’m a Canadian single 62 year old been Fulltiming since ’99. You can never get too much info so ty. If more people could understand how cheap fulltiming can be there certianly would be more doing it.
It’s a life style NOT a holiday and is limited only by your income. As a modest poker player I live for free on the road. It don’t get any better than this. RVer’s are in general great folks and always willing to help.
Safe trips and smell the coffee.
DaVID HARRINGTON says
hi we are David & Kathy Harrington I plan to sell our home this spring and buy motorhome or 5th wheel but leaning on motorhome 40 ft. any thoughts on this would be helpful our granddaughter lives with us so we can’t hit the road until she is 18 yrs. old and gone I hope but still plan to sell& buy this spring and live in it until then so I will continue to gather as much info I can from you guys as yawl willing to share thanks GOD BLESS all of you marry Christmas & Happy New Year may all your travels be BLESS
The choice between a motorhome and a 5th wheel is very personal. Both have advantages and disadvantages. For example a motorhome is easier to set-up and take-down (very easy for either partner to do alone), but a 5th wheel is cheaper on maintenance (only one engine to take care of). I’ve written a bit more about the pros/cons in other comments (above). Good luck and best of travels to you!
Maggie & Clayton says
Hi Folks! We have been camping for 47 years and I am now looking at blogs of people full timing. You have a wonderful site here and I am enjoying it very much. Thank you for all the information you have given us . We have poked along on our trips for the last 8 years. Husband retired and I had summers off. Retired now. Met many wonderful people. We will be looking forward to reading your blog for a long time to come! This year we hope to poke along the Oregon Trail! Happy Trails to you and yours!
I cannot agree enough.
Most people get into full time rv’ing with the wrong ideas.
It’s not so that you drive around in a big $500k rig.
It’s to go and find those special places and spend some time with someone you care about or to find new friends.
It’s really inexpensive.
When I travel I have a crock pot going 24/7 and other than some eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, I live on a wonderful yet ever changing crock pot. Every veggie you can imagine plus beef/pork/chicken/turkey/fish.
It’s an endless journey of great meals and fine wine.
If you have an ego you’ll never make it.
The ego has to be divorced and the person allowed to step forward and enjoy life.
Life, that ever shrinking component we each have yet have no idea when it might end.
If you can, go and enjoy the road, live-laugh-love-hike-cook-campfire-meet new people and see what you have been missing.
Nicely said and totally agree.
DaVID HARRINGTON says
THANKS RICK I’m 64 yrs. old disable on fix income
Wow…can’t wait to spend more time on your blog. Thanks for all the sharing of hints and tricks.
How do you manage your mail? Do you have a permanent address somewhere? I’m wondering how I am going to respond to timely letters – like from the IRS and such. Also, have you been called for Jury Duty while away? How did that work? Feel free to direct me to a post if you’ve already answered some of these questions!
And so grateful for all the pet advice. We have a great pup, too!
Susan Elliott (Wild River Life)
We use a mail forwarder in South Dakota. It’s our address of record for car/RV registration, health insurance and taxes. They also scan our mail so we can see what comes in online as soon as it arrives. The company we use is DakotaPost, but there are many similar companies in FL and TX too.
And yes we’ve been called for Jury Duty. The place where we have our address in SD are very familiar with RVers so all we had to do was write “fulltime RVer” on our notice and we were excused.
Bill Hirdman says
You’ve listed some great stuff here. For sure helpful to all of us in one way or another. Myself, I live on a limited income. (very limited) I might add.. SSDI. But life is what you make of it. Currently in a 32′ which is perfect for me. You talked about the size of your “monster’, Room is nice but once parked I usually have the entire park or forest to wander around. Beach chairs and out door kitchen is where it’s at for me. AH, The dreadful storage unit… GET RID OF IT!!!! your right, if it’s in there you probably don’t need it. Thankfully I have a buddie that owns a ranch, He has allowed me a SMALL area for stuff I will never get rid of. You know, stuff that’s been in the family type stuff.
I love the links you’ve shared and your info!
Wishing ALL safe travels!
Nina and Paul,
I’m soon to retire from the Air Force and I’m debating my future. I’m curious if my retirement pay would be enough to full-time on. I’d like to message you guys concerning the cost of full-timing if you’re open to that.
I just wrote 2 very detailed posts on the cost of fulltime RVing last month. I think this may answer your questions:
General Budgeting: https://www.wheelingit.us/2017/02/09/the-costs-of-fulltime-rving-part-i-budgeting-planning-your-spend/
Detailed Spending: https://www.wheelingit.us/2017/02/16/the-costs-of-fulltime-rving-part-ii-specifics-links/
It’s definitely possible on a fixed income, especially if you workampers/volunteer and watch your camping spend.
I’m 25 years old and have a 3-year-old son. My husband and I will be debt free within a year and have fallen in love with the idea of becoming full-time travelers and world schooling our child. My biggest question is, how do you plan out the cost of living? I work virtually so we’d have 1 full-time income and my husband is investigating ways to make money on the road. We don’t want wait until retirement to travel and we want our son to experience the world (or at least our continent)! Any help is greatly appreciated!
I just completed a very detailed 2-part post on RV costs last month. I think this may help you with what you need to know. Check out these links:
Budgeting and Planning Your Spend:
Tanya Morris says
Great information! This is one worth saving. Thanks for taking the time to produce AND update.
I came into life unexpectedly during my parent’s plans to fulltime in their 40’s. They elected to proceed with their aspirations with the condition of how I would adapt. In 1978, everything was sold and we left Missouri to “go west young man”. Over the next 10 years, we vastly traveled while Dad built banks. Every weekend was an adventure scoping out the gems the area(s) had to offer. Mom enrolled me in school at each location providing me social skills I would’ve not learned if home schooled. Almost in high school, they decided to retire and stabilize my education. Wow! What a culture shock! My most impressional years were spent in a 40′ fifth wheel, and then it all stopped.
Through my adult years I’ve camped as much as I could in tents and had an RV for a while.
Now, Dad’s been gone 14 years and my elderly mother’s time is limited (who I take care of). I’ve shared with her my aspirations of returning to fulltime RVing. She’s elated about my desires to return to my roots after she passes. She feels like she’s “passing the baton” with me now that I’m in my mid 40’s.
Of course times have changed and so have the details of survival in the world of RVing. Your words of wisdom have given me much to consider. Again, thank you for sharing your knowledge.
Tammy Davis says
I am currently 57 and my husband is 62, we are planning to work 5 more years then sell the house along with most of our belongings and hit the road in our 30 foot Windjammer travel trailer. I am excited, but terrified and a little overwhelmed by insurance, mail, making reservations, internet, weather, how to pack, etc. Over 40 years of accumulating things (stuff) – I’m not even sure what to put into storage. We want to be debt free and explore our beautiful country and do alot of fishing. Your information and everyone else’s feedback has been so helpful.
Tanya Morris says
Regarding storage, I found it to be a total loss. By time I paid the monthly rent while I full-timed almost 2 years, I could’ve replaced the furniture and tools with the latest styles for less money when I returned. If you have items that can’t be replaced, put a value on them and assess. If those items are that meaningful, you’ll probably want them with you.
Bottom line, sell your “standard” stuff, save the money for when you come off the road and enjoy another new adventure.
I’m totally with you. If you avoid storage it is SO worth it. We certainly wish we hadn’t paid it for the first 5 years or so.
Victoria L Klahn says
What great and inspirational info! We are planning to hit it full time June 1!
Shawn Miller says
Thanks for the great information! If you had a 30 or 35 foot RV, would you still want a toad?
Yes I would. Still the easiest way to sightsee and a toad can get many places an RV (even a smaller 30-ft one) can’t.
Craig and missy. says
Hi there. Me and little lady ( wife ) have been R Ving for a year now. We have a Thorn 30 foot no slid outs traveled over 10,000 miles 34 trips still work part time. We love it.
Three or four days in the mountains three and four days at the beach. And we like the beach in the winter as well. But anyway enjoying reading all the ups and downs thank all of you so much. We will be going fulltime soon.
Amnon Feiner says
I love your blog, been following for a while. As I approach early retirement (I hope @ 62), I am curious to know, In all, what would you average your annual RVing costs? I know it varies, so just an estimate. Fuel, food maint etc.
I’ve actually got 2 detailed posts on exactly this topic. You’ll find all the answers you need here:
The Costs Of Fulltime RVing (Part I) – Budgeting & Planning Your Spend
The Costs Of Fulltime RVing (Part II) – Specifics & Links
Bonita M Holbrook says
It’s taken me 12 years to get my wonderful, conservative husband to buy a travel trailer… I have been itching to go since 2005. Hope to get him hooked and let go of all the stuff. Wish us luck. Bought a trailer yesterday. yooo whooo…..
Whooooo hoooooo!! SO EXCITED for you!!
Bill Hirdman says
Well yesterday was another milestone for me, Another year in the RV.. To this day my biggest regret is never buying a leveling system. Still doing it the old fashion way, Chocks and blocks. I might say I am quite fast and good at it now but boy what I would give to hit a small lotto just to buy into a leveling system.
My travels don’t take me to the great places you blog about but I do get to see my kids and grandkids!
Safe travels to all and good luck over seas!
Yes, being bigger does not mean it is better, just like being more expensive does not mean the product is better. Happy RVing.
In a few years my husband and I will be full timers. My husband will be working shutdowns as a welder, so it will be a few more years before we are traveling for enjoyment. We have had this plan for a long time, we said when the kids finished high school we would boom out together. I’m looking forward to our next journey together. I’ve found all the comments here very informative and helpful. Thank you for 10 wonderful tips.
Excellent! Glad the post (and comments) were helpful and I wish you the best of luck in your fulltime plans!
Bob Martel says
Nice to know the list still has integrity! We’ve always got room to learn, but at least we started out in a 28 foot Airstream so I can check-off lesson #1. 😉
I’m getting ready to sell my house, buy and RV, and hit the road. It’s something I’ve thought about for a long time and I’ve decided it’s time to pull the trigger. But the thought is intimidating since I’ve never owned an RV and don’t know anyone who has. I don’t want to make a mistake by buying a lemon or a rig that doesn’t suit me.
Can anyone suggest the pros / cons of different choices? To get started, all-in I’m thinking of a budget of maybe $100k. Some of the questions I have:
* What kind of rig do y’all prefer and why? Type A/B/C? 5th wheeler?
* Where to buy it – I’m leaning toward used. Dealer? Private? Consignment (pplmotorhomes.com)?
* Tow a car or 5th-wheel so I can get around w/o going everywhere with a big rig?
* Security – If I park a rig and then explore areas with a car/pickup, how much do I have to worry about someone breaking into a rig?
* Learning how to drive safely / maintain the rig? Is there training?
* What else should a newbie know about before beginning this process?
Any help would be appreciated, including active forums with people who will offer helpful advice.
It was kind of fun (for us too) to see that our early impressions of lessons learned have held true. Things have changed…we have a totally different internet setup, we don’t have satellite TV anymore…but the lessons learned are still the same. I wonder how we’ll feel 10 years from now? It’ll be interesting.
P.S. Those airstreams are perfect, both in size and coolness factor.
Agustin Diaz says
Great info, We have been agonizing over what size rig to go with for over a year now. We have bounced back and forth between a 40′ Legacy and a 5th wheel but now after reading so many blogs as well as yours, to more than likely go with a Class C Itasca Navion which is 25’8″ and is built on the Sprinter chassis. Your blog really used us over the edge with your hindsight on smaller size. I always thought that a bigger rig would be better but now I am comfortable making that leap with a smaller rig. Thanks for the great info and Go Gators!!! Class of 85′
My best friend and I just returned from a week away in her 24′ Winnebago. For two ‘very youthful’ middle-aged ladies on the road we couldn’t have had a better time! For the most part we played it by ear; she picked me up at the Atlanta Airport, we pointed the rig toward Savannah, Georgia (great state for RV travel and campsites) and kept going. Spent a few days in Savannah, headed over to Flagler Beach then up to St. Augustine. By far our favorite site of the entire trip was the last one in the Outer Banks. For whatever reason I wanted to go to Rodanthe so we found a very modest small campground for about $30/night right on the Sound side of Hatteras Island. WOW! The sunsets were breathtaking. Mike, the owner of the campground was amazing. Upon our return to PA I went over to the local RV dealer and picked out a 32′ SouthWind. Fell in love with it! Now I just have to figure out how to make money while on the road. Ironically, my primary business isn’t so transportable. Funny, my current business is processing homes, downsizing, relocation, re-directing unwanted personal property through auction and donation to charity, speaking, writing and consulting. It’s always tougher when it’s your stuff. I agree with not storing things – you’re not likely to need them again. I’m giving myself 2 years to clear all of my debt and transfer my income-generating efforts to fit a new, less complicated lifestyle.
Thanks for your great blog. Love it!
Agustin Diaz says
We decided to go with the Thor ACE 29 footer. It has full body paint and best of all only 9800 miles on a slightly used coach. Thanks for your post.
Sounds like you’ve got the “RV bug” and the right plan to make it happen! Wish you ALL the best of luck in your journey & hope to see you down the road.