Full-Time RVer Stories

Traveling With The Tompkins: The Freedom To Travel

When we started full-timing we wanted a cheaper RV because we didn’t know if we would like it, and the truck was overkill in case we wanted to upgrade. So we went with a 2013 35’ Forest River Pilot Travel Trailer towed by a 2013 3500 Chevy diesel. When we first picked our travel trailer our first born was only two months old. We thought “she’s so small and doesn’t take up much room!” So we opted for the bigger living room space. Now with 3 kids, we wish we would have gone with a bunkhouse or toy hauler so the kids would have their own space. When people ask us for advice about picking out an RV I always tell them “think what you may need in the future not just what you need today!”

I was a US Marine for 11 years until I was shot in Iraq on April 7, 2007. I was medically retired in 2011 and now we live on my pension. We love exploring new places together and making lasting memories with our kids. We decided we wanted to explore the country I almost died protecting.

Just Go With It

The best advice we have for anyone just starting the RV life has to be to just enjoy the ride! We seriously just wing it and figure it out as we go. It’s worked for us so far! We even lived on a sailboat for over a year without any previous experience. We don’t sweat the small stuff and learn as we go.

Baby’s Boondocking, Budgets, Oh My!

We have 3 kids, Madison (5) Mason (3) and our newest traveler Miles(3 months)

For the most part, we stay at military campgrounds. We do try to boondock several times a month to save money. We also utilize Passport America campgrounds and National Park campgrounds. We try to stay under $25 a day for campgrounds. Right now we are spending a lot on gas since we are trying to get to Alaska by a certain date, so that takes a lot of our budget.

Customizing Our RV

We took out one of our couches to put in bunk beds for the kids. We also took out the kitchen table and put in a kids play table and a rocking chair.

So far the repairs needed for our travel trailer: new roof, new electric jack, new brakes, furnace repairs, awning repairs, lots of re-trimming re-screwing re-wiring and caulking.

Cheers To Five Years

We are celebrating 5 years of travel next month (May)and have no plans to slow down. We are currently Alaska bound! After Alaska, we will have been to all 50 states and we will be ready to do some international travel!

32 Shares

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *