When Kevin and I first met, we shared our bucket lists. Traveling the world and RVing were among the many things our lists had in common.
Kevin grew up receiving postcards from his grandparents who traveled in their Class C in retirement. He loved hearing of their travels and hoped to one day be able to do the same. I always had a desire to travel. Wanting an RV probably stemmed from watching Road Rules on MTV.
We spent many nights searching for RV’s online for fun, even stopping at dealerships to learn about options and determine the costs involved. Kevin and I wanted to know how much we would need to save so that when we retired, we could buy an RV. Neither of us had a clue about full-time RVing and that we could make this dream come true a lot sooner than we thought.
Last year, I went through a cancer scare. Had the results been positive I would have been looking at a 5-year life expectancy, with treatment. Thankfully, everything came out negative so this nightmare is something of the past. We saw life in a different light. We did not want to see it just pass us by while working long hours to pay the bills we would never get away from. It helped us put the important things into perspective.
We made a plan to be good stewards of our money and become debt free, as well as take the best care possible of our bodies and be as healthy as we can be. We are leaving fear aside and pushing towards meeting all the goals we set for ourselves and never attained. We are also making each day count.
First thing on the list to reach our goals was to become debt free. This is a journey we are still on. We knew we had to sell our 2400 sq ft house and lower our overhead expenses. When we began the search for apartments to rent, we found that the majority of them cost almost as much, if not more than what we pay for our mortgage.
Choosing Our Home On Wheels
After months of Kevin searching online and daydreaming, we finally had a heart to heart on the possibility of taking our lives mobile. We evaluated our options and decided to purchase an RV and go full-time. Together we began to consider the possibilities and outlined our needs in order to make this a reality. Considerations included separate workstations for two since we work from home, multiple slide-outs to allow for more space and ample storage. We decided on a fifth wheel because of the available floor plans and the ability to separate our vehicle from our home as opposed to a motorhome.
Our Lives Before Full-Timing
We worked for Corporate America in telecommuting jobs. Kevin will continue with his job. As of October 2017, I quit my corporate telecommuting job to focus on my health, while getting the RV ready as we are remodeling it and getting the house ready to sell. I now work teaching English as a second language to students in China with VIPKID. And I love it!
Our Escape from Florida
We’ve only had one experience full-timing which was when we escaped Florida because of hurricane Irma. The situation of escaping a hurricane at the same time the entire state was doing the same thing was stressful, add almost running out of diesel and having a huge tire blow out on the way back into the mix. We may sound crazy, but it was such a great experience. We are happy to report that we loved it.
We were able to pack up our home and move it out of harm’s way! I mean, how many people can say that?!
It forced us out of our comfort zone. We learned things we never thought we would. It pushed us outside more. It helped us keep a work-life balance as we wanted to take advantage of the area we were visiting. RVers have the best sense of community. We made so many friends and had so many meaningful conversations with fellow RVers. This was very refreshing as we don’t even know our neighbors in our subdivision, and we’ve lived here for 4 years. We loved every aspect of this lifestyle, even the not so great ones. We cannot wait until we are officially full-timers.
Simple Renovations: Making Our RV Home
While RV renovations aren’t a total necessity, unless there is a risk to you or the RV, we recommend them. RV’s are small and let’s face it, they aren’t like a regular house. Even just a few changes or modifications will make you feel at home. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. Even with just some painting and elbow grease, you will feel like the space is now yours and that is a great feeling.
Budgets and Down Sizing
Downsizing is a big part of full-time RVing. We downsized A LOT! We sold a lot of our belongings, which have helped pay some things off. We now know to live with less and truly don’t miss anything we’ve gotten rid off. We no longer spend money on stuff we don’t need. After all, stuff is just stuff and now we don’t have anywhere to put it.
We also keep track of our budget. There are many apps or websites that can help you do this. You can even use a spreadsheet. We recommend you be strict with tracking your expenses. Is it tedious? Yes. Does it help? YES! That is the game changer. Every month we set out to save even more and we’ve been able to do so without missing out on anything. The most important is being cognizant of your money and where it is going.
Internet and Phone Connection
If you work from home, internet and phone connections are of extreme importance. We never rely on shared wifi as it is not a reliable source of internet. We recommend investing in a Verizon Jetpack. We’ve had ours even before we RV’d as we traveled a lot and would take our work with us. We’ve not had any problems with our Jetpack. We also have a hotspot on our phones as a backup.
If Verizon were to not have a good signal in a specific area, we have an AT&T Mobley. While the Mobley is not available at this time, you can still get a backup from any other cellphone company. The important thing for us is to always have a backup. Shared wifi is our last resort.
If you aren’t sure if an area has wifi, look you your cell provider’s coverage map. These aren’t 100 percent, but they give you a good idea of whether or not you will have service in a particular spot.
Our Plans for the Future
We don’t have an end date. One of the things that we are learning is to live day by day. We do have a desire to buy some land in the future, with full hookups, for the RV and maybe build a small house. We will see when and if that happens. For now, we are just excited to really live life and see all the things life has to offer.