We have both moved a lot throughout our lives. Sean’s father was in the military and he was raised in England, Spain, Alaska, Montana, and Florida to name a few. I (Julie) moved so often as a child, that I attended 10 different schools (K-12). In addition, we both served 20 years in the military. During this time, we moved on average every 3 years. Between us, we’ve lived in 12 states and 3 countries. We have also traveled extensively on vacations because we love experiencing new places.
In 2014, we found ourselves at a crossroad. Our youngest son had just moved away from home and we became empty nesters. At the same time, we were preparing to transition from the military. Our 3 sons lived in different states, and we weren’t sure where we wanted to settle down. Since we didn’t grow up in one place, there was no specific location either one of us considered “home.” Although we had never owned an RV before, we had been eyeing them with envy for years and thought it would be a great way to travel around the country and enjoy all it had to offer.
Picking The Right RV For Our Adventures
Once we decided we wanted to Full Time, we went with a 44′ Heartland Cyclone Toy Hauler Fifth Wheel pulled by a Chevy 3500 HD Dually. We chose the toy hauler because we have a son in college and the garage can be made into a second bedroom when he is with us. It even has a door for privacy, a television, and its own full bathroom with a shower. A toy hauler for us was a no-brainer.
What We Do On The Road
Prior to beginning our full-time travel, we both served 20 years in the military. Once we began our travels, Sean who is a Doctor of Health, Science, was working remotely in medical research. I (Julie), an MBA, am also working remotely as a Proposal Manager. In the last year, we have reduced our hours to allow us to become entrepreneurs. Sean still consults part-time and we work together to manage Chickery’s Travels which consists of a blog, a podcast, and a YouTube Channel. We’ve also written 2 books and speak at RV shows!
Budgeting Our Way To Great RVing Experiences
One of the main focus areas on our blog Chickery’s Travels is personal finance while traveling full-time. We’ve written a book, Full-Time RV Finance, and speak on the topic at RV shows. We have several articles on our website on the subject. One thing we like to tell people is that you can travel on almost any budget if you prepare in advance and establish your priorities. For example, we enjoy full hook-up campgrounds and are willing to budget a bit more for them. However, we offset that cost by staying a little longer and getting a monthly rate. Slower travel also allows us to save on fuel costs. We establish a budget in advance and track every expense. This keeps us on track and ensures we don’t overspend.
Maintaining Our RV
Our main advice that we’d give anyone with an RV is to learn how to do as much of your maintenance as possible. There are a few reasons for this. First, it will save money. Even if you have an extended warranty, it often does not cover preventive maintenance. Next, putting your home in the shop can be awfully inconvenient. Finally, knowing how to perform basic maintenance services will make you more independent.
Enjoying Life, One Road At A Time
We’re not sure how long we will travel full-time in our RV. We don’t have an “end” date but do believe in contingency plans. We actively invest in savings to allow us to exit smoothly when the time comes. Right now, we’re taking our time and enjoying this lifestyle and all that comes with it.