Years ago we discovered the RV lifestyle. It was love at first outing. But being a full-time RVer was nothing more than a pipe dream.The problem was, we had a 6 inch dream and just a 2 inch pipe. So it seemed that full-timing would be something left to the rich and famous with their land yachts and buses as big as, well, a bus. Sure, one day we could probably retire to a bungalow in a small town with a tiny towable. But that’s the most we could hope for. Until…
I don’t remember the exact chain of events that led us to believe we could be part of the well-wheeled society. Like most things, it was an evolution, not a revolution. My wife chatted with a full-timer while shopping. We found a list of cheap/free campgrounds. There was a blog that detailed expenses and another where we found out what ‘workamping’ was. We went to an RV show and discovered a toy hauler fifth wheel that the ramp doubled as a patio (talk about storage possibilities!). Suddenly our pipe dream had found a culvert. We could really do this!
One big factor, we had nothing tying us down. We once had the American Dream of a home being fully paid for in retirement. But that dream burst with the housing bubble. Our dream turned to nightmare, the kind they would never make into a movie because it would be too gruesome. We had to move with the job and we not only lost everything we had in the house, but had to take a steamer trunk of cash to the table. It would take years to recover from that catastrophe and save for another down payment. There was just no way to start a 30 year mortgage with only 8 years till retirement. Our golden years were beginning to look more like lead. The kind of lead that is used to weigh a fishhook and drag it to the bottom of the lake. Our dread of another lifetime of house notes and utilities, turned to joy when we learned we could live as cheaply (or cheaper) in an RV. And, BONUS, get to see the country to boot. Talk about a no-brainer! Even (insert a politician’s name here) could have made this decision.
With a deadline of 4 years, 6 months and 5 days (but who is counting) before retirement, we started researching. We found tons of good resources on the internet – blogs, forums, and such – and are doing more reading than a preteen in a summer reading program at the local library trying to win his own MP3 player. We have to decide what type of RV to get (we have changed our minds 12 times already). And we need to start divesting ourselves of our accumulated wealth (i.e., clean out the garage, attic, guest room, closet). We have to somehow get rid of about 90% of our treasures so we can downsize into an RV that will fit on the road without an oversized banner and escort.
I have confidence that we can do it. And I’m glad we started early.