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Old 12-27-2009, 08:46 PM   #1
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Dropping out for a year: family of four (two toddlers)

I'm a stay at home Dad and my wife is an over worked project manager. She approached me about ditching the 9-5, make that 9-7, and buying an airstream and hopping around to family and friends around the US for a year (roughly). Right now we've got two Subaru's, one newer legacy and one older outback wagon. So it seems likely we would probably need some sort of SUV/Van - although an SUV or P/U would match our lifestyle better (mtns & snow). We have never RV'd, but we love the outdoors and thought doing it now would be easier while the kids were young and not in school.

Any thoughts, experiences, blogs, contacts, etc?

We'd buy newer used stuff - never really bought into the buying new thing.

can't wait for some feedback - I think it would be awesome, albeit a wee bit challenging with the toddlers.

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Old 12-27-2009, 08:50 PM   #2
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If you can afford it, do it. I would suggest waiting until the kids are old enough to get more out of it. But by all means do it. I think it was Mark Twain who said that 20 years from now it will be the things you didnt do that you will regret.


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Old 12-27-2009, 09:14 PM   #3
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Do it while you can!

For your tow vehicle I'd recommend a full size van. They are roomy, lots of room for people and stuff, can pull a good sized Airstream, and can be found cheaper than SUVs. But you're right, they are useless in the snow, so maybe a 4 door pickup or something along those lines.

My husband and I want to do that so bad! But the longer you wait, the harder it gets.

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Old 12-27-2009, 11:44 PM   #4
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I`ve been contemplating doing the same, but only for about six months. We also have toddler and I`d like to get out of the rat race before going back to school. I`ve always wanted to visit the national parks in the west.
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Old 12-28-2009, 03:25 AM   #5
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I would wait until the toddlers are older. Or do a trip now and do another one in a few years when they are older.

You can get decent deals on gently used Suburbans, quad cab full sized pickups and the like. My personal preference would be a pickup with a cap followed by the Suburban type vehicle then the van.

Good Luck and enjoy the trip!

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Old 12-28-2009, 07:46 AM   #6
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I don't know how well waiting for the toddlers to grow would work out, since at least around here, they start public school at age five at the latest.

Ask yourself who you are doing the trip for, them, or yourselves? Then act based on that.
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:24 AM   #7
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If you are thinking about doing it and can make it happen, especially financially, go for it. I doubt you will ever regret it. Once you get seriously locked into jobs and kids in all kinds of school and other events, you will almost have to wait until retirement. Go now! If it was me I would try to get a full size van for the travel room inside. I know they are not that great in snow but they are great to travel in, carry lots of people and stuff, and you could plan your trips to be in the warmer, non snowy, areas during winter.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:33 AM   #8
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You don't have to get locked into school schedules. Homeschooling is an option more and more people are taking advantage of. It's not for everyone, but is much more doable than many people think. There are many blogs out there on the net of families fulltiming and homeschooling. Don't think that you have to back home in time for school. School can go with you.
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Old 12-28-2009, 09:43 AM   #9
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I say if you can go now, then go now! As far as blogs I'm sure there are a few on here. Try a search with words like kids and full timing. There's a whole section of threads on full timing. I wish you the best -- keep us posted!

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Old 12-28-2009, 09:43 AM   #10
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Check this one out: Tour of America » About

Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:30 AM   #11
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Here's another blog - we met this family when we were in Grand Teton in June. They were travelling for several months in a 66 Overlander. Like the OP in this thread, they didn't have a tow vehicle, so they bought a Sequoia with 100k+ on the clock that worked like a charm. They were having a great time.

Frankly, if anyone has the opportunity to travel for a long trip, they should take it. We were lucky to wrest away 5 weeks this summer for a trip, and wish we could do it again soon.

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Old 12-28-2009, 11:37 AM   #12
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Oh yeah... great plan.

Ha Ha Ha!

No... seriously... go for it. You'll never regret it.

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Old 12-28-2009, 11:56 AM   #13
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Well, first of all, welcome to the Forums!!!

You will find TONS of information on here. Do read the blogs mentioned, but then spend some time in for example, the Full Timing forum here ... just read everything that you can, and start a list of questions that are important to YOU.

Just remember that you will have to "downsize" quite a bit ... you can't take it ALL with you, but you can take everything you need to live quite comfortably on the road. One tip I have is that when you are looking at coaches, actually lie down on the bed, sit on the toilet, sit at the table, etc. and see how comfortable you are. Not all rigs fit all people. And spend some time imagining being "stuck inside" for a couple of days of rain. Will the stereo and/or television and/or some games keep you and the kids occupied for that long? If not, then what?

Then, DO go to a Forum rally or two - where everyone will invite you to tour their rigs and will answer all your questions ... including questions you didn't even think to ask! You will not be a stranger for more than five mintues if you show up at meal time, introduce yourselves as newbies and start asking questions. You will get more REAL information in a day or two at a couple of rallies than you will from weeks talking to RV salesmen. And you don't need an RV to attend a rally: just show up and start asking around. You will be "adopted" in minutes!


p.s. and DO stay for a meal, especially dinner, where there's usually a potluck: a) there's ALWAYS enough food for a few more, and b) you'll get a quick understanding of what sort of on-the-road cooking is feasible!

p.p.s. if you can afford it, you're gonna' LOVE this! Once the initial capital outlay is out of the way, in some ways it's less expensive than being at home, but there are still food bills, fuel costs, campground fees most places, etc. But it is so liberating to be where you want to be, when you want to be there.
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Old 12-28-2009, 12:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Gen Disarray View Post
I think it was Mark Twain who said that 20 years from now it will be the things you didnt do that you will regret.
"20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~ Mark Twain.

I think he's on to something.


"20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

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