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Old 09-05-2016, 03:34 PM   #21
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We are getting ready to "full time" for awhile. Great posts. We have spent up to 7 months in the trailer 29' without too much struggle. We have done it with lots of travel and with staying put at a "resort". Loved both ways. Just really ready to let go of owning a big house and all the expense, maintenance. Tried renting for awhile and that was good but lots of work. I'm sure we'll end up owning a small place with some land somewhere at some point but meanwhile, why drag the anchor (house) with us? The kids are screaming, but where will we have Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, etc. etc. Exactly! We'll come to your house and boondock somewhere nearby!
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:14 PM   #22
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Why not start small?

Rather than jumping into Full-Time RV living, get a modest trailer than is easy to pull and start taking trips to places you find interesting. Keep careful notes about the experience, good, bad and otherwise. VERY few people "get it right", right off the mark. Many people go through two or three RVs before they really know what they need and what works best for them.

I started in 2010 by ordering a new, 2010, 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe fiberglass travel trailer. I was able to tow it easily with the 2004 Toyota Sienna minivan I then owned. After the first trip, I knew I liked RV travel. From 2011 ~ 2014, I did numerous RV treks, the longest at five+ months in 2013. Also from 2011, I learned as much as I could and, started researching and looking for the RV I'd "graduate" to in May 2014 (a 2015 Dynamax DX3-37RB which is a 39'3", Class 7 HDT based, Super-C diesel puller).

By starting "small" you risk far less money, especially if a vehicle you currently own is suitable for use as a tow vehicle. You'll know pretty quickly if the RV lifestyle agrees or, rubs you the wrong way.

One final recommendation. Find and attend an RV Boot Camp! The Escapees RV Club run an EXCELLENT RVBC, often over a weekend. Other groups offer boot camps too. At an RVBC, you (and about 200 other "newbies") will get intensive training in all the systems found on modern RVs. Mistakes made with RVs are often expensive. Boot Camp graduates are 1: smarter, better-informed RV buyers and 2: safer RVers. At RVBC, you'll get to meet LOTS of folks new to RVing and, get to see a wide variety of RVs.

I hope this helps. Come on in, the lifestyle is wonderful!
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:26 PM   #23
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I already have a rig.

It suits me…A 2500 Van and a 20' Argosy. I can park the trailer to explore, or if I will be traveling on a less than good road. I don't want to start all over working out the bugs, and not going to throw away $15K driving a new one off the lot.

All of my RV camping is been at Festivals and Camping Parties where I have been surround by 50 to 100 or so friends.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:27 PM   #24
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The emotional aspect of things. The loneliness. The dark desolate wide open spaces. The night time. The boredom. Friendships that last a day or two. The lack of people that have known me for thirty years. Not knowing if I am in a safe place for the night. I have been trying to appreciate the beauty of not knowing what's ahead. The mystery of what life has in store for me. It's a bit easier said than done, but it is what it is."

First off, GREAT thread mandolindave - most of the threads here (and rightly so!) are about the HOW but this thread is about the WHY. Secondly, GREAT post, Bold & Adventure - those are some really good observations and honest talk about all the different species that make up Fulltimers. I think there's a subgenre that may have been missed - the Mark Watneys.

I wasn't going to write anything because I thought B&A covered it pretty well but then you wrote the quoted passage...and that is really good deliberation. (I'm assuming you would be fulltiming solo.) My wife recently left me for four weeks and took a Greyhound bus to visit her family back in southern California while I work off some missed days of work. I told her I gave her two weeks tops before she would be asking for the return ticket; she called me after one week to go ahead and book a ticket. She finally settled on being away three weeks and I'm picking her up tomorrow. But the thing I want to say to you is I'm surprised at how listless I've been without her. I like to read, listen to music, and just go walking...but I haven't done any of that. I had planned on working out every day and going for hikes every day but ...nothing. If I were on my own from the start it may be different but probably the greatest joy I have had during our almost two years of fulltiming is sharing my adventure with my wife. I applaud you for voicing a type of vulnerability that a lot of guys don't often speak of and that's loneliness. Not being alone but being lonely. When one chooses to boondock, his or purpose in doing so is usually to get away from the crowds, and we prefer that...but we have each other. I have to say I have been a bit lonely. I've been watching a lot of TV and football is finally back but all that was fine because I knew my wife would be back in days. I'm not sure how I'd go about my business if I were by myself. I like to think I would explore as much as we have done. I like to think I'd be as friendly and open as I like to be with strangers in new towns and new states. But now I'm not so sure; at least your thread makes me think twice. I am lucky that my wife shares my same dream - that is, to be away from the masses, the society that moves in a regular (and sometimes regulated) pattern, to live as you said where the future is not known. But I'm also very much a people person - I like having friends, talking to them, spending time with them, and mostly the act of sharing experiences.

I think as far as being separated from your friends that know you so well, I have to admit that modern social media has helped a lot, at least for me. I stayed away from Facebook for a long time and it was only a few years ago I joined but now it really does serve as a long-distance tie to my old friends. I can still share somewhat their life experiences and I'm MORE than happy to share my recent ones. This forum is a good example of making new friends who share a common bond and sometimes those online avatars turn out to be real people that I've met; in fact, I've managed to meet two of them in just the last few days (spenfolder and SilverEagle6). I think a lot of your interactions depend on the kind of person you are. There is no right way to engage but I can tell you there is no shortage of people you can meet that share a love of the outdoors, the road, and trailers, especially Airstreams.

So what to do? I guess the old method is to list two sets of two columns: pros and cons for living in a house or fulltiming, and then put a value on each check mark. And that still may not solve your dilemma. There was a great book awhile back called The Unbearable Lightness of Being and in it, the narrator laments the fact we live " a world where lives are shaped by irrevocable choices and fortuitous events, and everything occurs but once." One of my very good friends, who happens to be very happy living in his home surrounded by his books, upon hearing my great idea to embark on fulltiming smiled and told me I should do it and not look back...and in the event our attempt failed we could still come back to our old way of life. As B&A noted, it's foolishness to make such a big jump without a fallback plan but it doesn't sound like your decision would be an irrevocable one; that is, you could go back to your old life, albeit after some time and money spent, but as my friend told me, at least you could be satisfied with yourself that you tried.

We have been happy with mixing things up. There are weeks where we are pretty much on our own and then there are parts of the year where we are among other people and new friends while camp hosting or working a temporary job in a newfound town. Your post mentioned aspects of having things planned out and the mystery of not knowing what's in store for you. Fulltiming successfully incorporates both of those aspects. The fact you have wheels and communication (most of the time) allows you to be fluid. I know you originally asked for those that didn't like fulltiming but I couldn't help but thread bomb and put in a vote for making the jump. I wish you the best.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:52 PM   #25
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@BoldAdventure.....Fabulous post! Thanks for sharing your observations. It is so important for people to get real information and you have disseminated some real information indeed!
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:16 PM   #26
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Did not know I was among such literary giants...Bold, terrific, honest, useful info. Westcoastas, very thoughtful, and supportive. Mandolindave, I completely concur with Westcoastas.

Some points from a newbie:

Don't like the term full timers. We sleep in our trailer, and it goes were we go. We are travelers who do it every day since we sold our house in May 2016. Our longest stay was this past stop,in BLM, I could retire there!
Have not met anyone who does this who has not enjoyed it and quit. Our favorite was Jim, host at Horsethief Campground, 21 years, solo. And Wayne, 15 years, solo. And countless more who have been doing it over ten years. Most are couples, all of them energize us.
I have a thread On the road to wherever we end up... We'll stop when we are ready....or when Jeanne says to!
You don't need a special rig, you just need a Desiree to do it and of course the means to get you through. There are lots of folks on here who are happy to share their opinion....good and bad. Seek out those who you have confidence in and establish a relationship with them.....all will be glad to help.
I hope that we can meet as many of these folks who full time and travel as we possible can...a terrific community. Come and join!
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:47 PM   #27
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We live in our airstream. We had been thinking about this off and on since the late 90s, but the technology wasn't quite there to easily work remotely. We bought our airstream and did a 4 month experiment trip, figuring we'd love it or hate it, if we hated it we'd sell the airstream. 3 months after the experiment, we sold our condo, then unfortunately had to stay put for a year for health issues (and stayed in the airstream). That's about over and we're looking forward to being back on the road. On a little "exercise" trip right now, it's really great, but it's life not vacation. I travel, I work, and hopefully have enough time for one or two great things so I can eventually blog about how great the lifestyle is
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:08 PM   #28
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WOW! What an interesting thread started by MandolinDave. Bold Adventure and WestCoastas have written some great, insightful material. It's sharing like this that makes this such a great forum.

I will probably never be a full timer although I do plan on many long trips. I had contemplated living on my boat full time. Then realized that was not going to happen. Nothing particularly decided it. It just came as a realization that it would not be for me. So, now that the AS is bought it has opened up a whole new window on possibilities. I am now thinking seriously of selling me boats. Having done coastal cruising for 40 years it's time for something else. I suppose that it happens like that with RVers too. Nothing is forever. So, that's the way I live.

MandolinDave, thanks for this thread, and your honest assessment of your fears of full timing. It has inspired a lot of introspection.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:33 PM   #29
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I really like this topic. My wife and I are a couple of years away from full timing and my wife is already getting excited. It is a scary thought to change our entire way of life. Not just the location but how you live day to day. We both want to embrace it fully. Selling everything is like Cortez setting fire to his ships. Retreat is easy when you have the option. I'm not saying you can't go back but if it not just sitting there then you will get through the hard adjustments and see it for the adventure it is.
At least thats what I hope. Won't know until we do it.

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Old 09-05-2016, 08:44 PM   #30
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This is great discussion.

As an observer, I have noticed this pattern in many posters in other discussions.

Often it seems that people are ready to be freed from feeling tied down by the physical things in their life. The big family house--once the family has grown up and moved on, the large yard with tireless chores associated with it, the taxes, the remodeling, the decorating to be in style with the neighbors and to maintain that "resale value", the boxes of belongings and loads of furniture from passed away relatives, all the stuff from their kids' childhoods, (and for some, the adult child who won't move along).

But it is not easy to become un-entrenched.

I think for some, the "going full time" is a way to rip that band-aid right off.

I don't think it's always about wanting to be on permanent vacation. It's a focused way to get out from under their current way of living in a deliberate manner. In a way that is viewed as positive and a bit exciting/escapist.

I think it has become an acceptable way to manage this maneuver.

So unless you would be selling a home that you could never afford to buy back if you had regrets (in which case you might consider renting it for a year or two), then try it and see.

But if you do have family and good dear friends where you live now, I do think that eventually that does matter enough to want to spend part of the year where you are, even if it is not in the same residence you are now in.

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Old 09-05-2016, 08:54 PM   #31
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This is the 2nd day that Alta & I have been staying in Jedediah Smith Redwoods Natl & CA Park. Today, we walked through Stout Grove & then drove some 6 miles on a more or less one-lane, dirt road, Howland Hills Road, in Smith Redwoods Park to Crescent City, where we went to the park headquarters, then drove along the shore to Point St. George (with the St George Lighthouse 6 miles offshore), then drove to Walmart for supplies, then drove to Pelican Bay State Prison (CA's max prison), where we had a long talk with the guard at the gatehouse, then back to the park --- a more or less typical AS (ie, non-travelling, high mileage) day.

We drove down here from the Charleston/Cape Arago area of Coos Bay, OR, where we attended a 4-day rally sponsored by the AS OR unit --- great people & great time. Before that, we spent 2 days in an OR state park in Newport. Before that, we spent another 4 days in Nehalem Bay State Park, north of Tillamook, at another rally sponsored by the AS OR unit --- different but equally great people & great time. We drove there from our home in Woodinville, WA, half an hour NE of Seattle (north of Bellevue, east of Lake Washington).

Tomorrow, we leave for Eureka & more redwoods, probably for another week or so. Then we'll likely head East to Redding, get on I-5 North, & make the 600 miles back to Seattle in a long day.

This trip for us will last around 3 weeks & probably be good for a shy 2K miles.

Before leaving for this trip, we spent around a month at home, sorting things out from our "AS maiden voyage" --- 9K miles over 6 weeks --- from Seattle to the WV AS rally, then up to the upper peninsula of Michigan, then to the Black Hills, then to Kalispell, MT, where we attended the annual NW Region AS rally, at the foot of Glacier Park. (Also Hershey Chocolate Park (whose RV park costs $89/night --- egads!!!), the AS factory (in the middle of nowhere --- not even a restaurant available --- where do the AS workers go when they want to go out to eat?), the NFL Hall of Fame, the Auburn/Cord/Duesenberg Museum (WOW!!!), the H-D Museum, the Packers Hall of Fame, Escanaba (a year early), Mackinaw City, etc.)

Now some reflections from the above experiences:

1. Both Alta & I were glad we spent the 9K miles & 6 weeks --- no regrets.

2. Both of us were glad to get back home, perhaps I more than Alta. For me, 6 weeks was enough --- I got restless. Not that I didn't like what I was doing or who I was with or had anything really negative about the trip. It's just that for the great majority of my life, I have defined myself as having some purpose that's meaningful to me, some project that I'm working on, some problem that I'm trying to solve, some issue that I'm trying to understand, etc. Going on vacation for me is just that, a vacation from my purpose. Vacations for me are fun & relaxing & enjoyable & meaningful, but I don't define myself by my vacations. I define myself by what's important to me, in a phrase, solving (or at least working on) problems that are personally meaningful for me --- and that's not my experience with going Airstreaming &, as much as I do enjoy it, I don't look to Airsteaming as providing a personal purpose for me.

Consequently, what I see as my & our AS future is taking occasional long, perhaps 1-2-possibly 3-month trips interspersed with more frequent several week trips, such as we are now enjoying on the OR & northern CA coast.

3. Another thing that both Alta & I discovered after having done our 9K miles is that, somewhat to the surprise of each of us, neither one of us found anyplace that we had been on our trip that called to either of us as a better place to live than the coastal NW & particularly Seattle. What I can say for myself is that I like temperate weather. I melt at any temperature over 80 to 85, I freeze at any temperature under 30 to 35, and I don't like either high humidity or flying bugs (eg, mosquitoes). Seattle has a remarkably narrow annual temperature range from around 30 to 80, little humidity (other than wintertime drizzle), & a wonderful absence of flying bugs. That works for me. I think I'll keep calling the coastal NW & particularly Seattle home for the foreseeable future. And I'll leave the full-timing to others --- with my sincere blessings. If it works for you, go for it.

As an aside, I will admit that Seattle is not perfect. Although it has the reputation for having lots of rain, that's really false. Seattle gets less rain than most places above the southern US. What it does get is lots of drizzle --- not heavy downpours --- just lots of wet foggy dew: drizzle. So from around November through March or so, Seattle is overcast, damp, and generally around 35-45. Lot of people go to Hawaii, southern CA, or AZ for a spell in the winter --- to find some sun & get away from the overcast skies. A likely Airstream trip.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:54 PM   #32
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Loved reading this thread and following. DH retired and I am retiring in a few months. Trying to decide what to do now and where the road will take us. Loving the thoughtful comments. Thanks to all for sharing.
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:06 PM   #33
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Following thread.

Cannonball, Deep in the Heart of Texas!

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Old 09-05-2016, 10:30 PM   #34
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Dave - Thanks for this thread.

I am older (53 - yeah, I know not that old) but I have two young children (8 and 12). In a lot of ways we believe that children need a "home base". I work for Gibson Guitar running an online community, and although I am technically a "remote employee", I do report into an office every day. So, when we can, we like to get away. As long as I have a great cell signal to tether to, I am able to do my job.

We talk often about full timing. We home school our kids, so other than the roots we've grown, we do have the ability.

What we've considered is finding a happy middle ground. This might work for you.
Eventually, we believe that we'll build a smaller home (around 1000 feet) with a full garage door to pull the airsteam into the home itself. We'll use it as a guest room/quarters. We envision something in the mountains where we have an all glass front and in the rear, I believe we'll use all glass garage doors on each end of the house ... where we can pull the airstream in as part of the home's interior. This will allow us to build a smaller home to keep the things that have been handed down and allow us that "home base" but to also integrate the airstream as part of the home. This way we can use it, maintain it, it won't be sitting in the elements, and when we want to go, we open a garage door, hitch up and go. This would allow you a more spartan home so your taxes might be lower which would allow you a place to call "home" and then your airstream (argosy) becomes your home away from home.

Call it a tiny house meets airstream.

Anyone else ever had similar thoughts?
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:28 PM   #35
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BoldAdventure, I know a pair of the Homeschoolers you wrote of. He's a part time flight instructor (translation: unemployed pilot always looking to pick up a flight for someone) and she dabbles in arts/crafts shows and teaches the kids when she wants to, sending them to the local public school when she tires of it. They park in whatever RV park that's in the school district they want the kids to attend and the kids ride the schoolbus to/from class. Their 5th wheel is registered in her "business name" for the write-offs, and they pay few/no taxes. I have no idea how the kids will socialize when grown up.

I have a couple questions about "long-timing". What about snail-mail reception, and what about medical needs, i.e., regular prescription-renewals, kid's pediatric and dental needs? How do the women meet those typical womanly needs of community-participation and community-citizenship-participation of which they are so fond?
How about keeping professional licensing renewals(if any)?

Having spent a lifetime gathering all my toys together at a country-home, I'm trying to figure out how the place would fare unoccupied. (Not good, I suspect), but making the place useable for another occupant or renter... I can't imagine how that would work out without emptying the place into storage for their stuff.
I wonder if a nice foreign couple might like to live in the central Tx "hill country" for a year.... Hmmmn....probably more likely they'd like to borrow the TV and AS and ..."See the USA....(in your Chevrolet...)".. anyone remember that 1950's television show with Diana Shore? LOL

Really enjoying the posts, especially those of BoldAdventure, mandolindave, PiggyBank... Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:07 AM   #36
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My parents were full-time Airstreamers for more than five years during their retirement. Sold the house, gave all the stuff they didn't want anymore to my brother and me, and took off in their Airstream. As a joke, I liked to tell friends they were "professionally homeless." They started with what I believe was a 31 or 34' trailer and later moved to a Land Yacht motor home (the one with a swept-back windshield, not the silver one).

They stayed connected with people via WBCCI, Mom's ham radio, and Thousand Trails where they had a premium national membership. For them, WBCCI was about rallies, caravans, and other various Airstream gatherings where they met and hung out with like-minded retirees. They didn't really do any BLM camping, depending on TT for cheap camping when they wanted it. Otherwise, it was campgrounds of varying types, everything from RV Parks to National Parks/ Forests / State Parks / County Parks, etc. They moved around on a regular basis, the goal being to see and enjoy as much as possible. They never settled down for the season in any one location, preferring to wander. Woodalls guide and a big Rand McNally atlas were two primary tools of their trade. They loved it. I'm sure there were days that were less than perfect, but the others were so good they didn't mind the occasional downer.

Even after they decided to get a house in the Phoenix area, they kept right on using their Airstream for as much as 6-8 months of the year. Later, they downsized to a B+ motor home and camped fewer months, but they loved that too and spent as much time on the road as they could during those months when it is so hot that nobody sane stays in Phoenix if they have another option.
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Old 09-06-2016, 04:41 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
Authors note; I have a tendency to write the way I talk in expositional conversation. Sorry if it's hard to follow.

We've been full-time for about a year and a half. I don't think anyone who lives in an RV park all year is really "full-time". You're just living in a van in an trailer park.

That term is applied to those who travel full-time and live in their RV/Trailer "full-time".

You're right, there are a lot of people who have romanticized this lifestyle to some pie in the sky ideal. Particularly those in my generation. It's actually becoming more and more popular. I know so many people who have just gone, or are going full-time. I run a group - that is for full time travelers, and we get new folks all the time asking questions.

I generally try to tell people to be realistic about how they see themselves living.

For us, we had a very real idea about how we wanted to live. And what that would look like, and set about doing it.

Can this lifestyle be cheaper? Yes, significantly. Can it also be very expensive? Yes, significantly. I'd say it can be even more costly if you're unrealistic and stupid.

I don't say that to be mean, but let me give you an example of stupid I read about earlier this year.

A woman and her husband, with 4 children who are very low income, get the wild idea that this lifestyle will be more affordable for them and they'll live this amazing life on the road. They buy a 1982 school bus, with no mechanical knowledge. And proceed to drive said bus across the country.

Two weeks in, they blow out 4 tires, are told all need to be replaced. So now they have spent their entire emergency savings of about $2500.

The next thing that happens is the engine blows up. Yup, now they are stranded in Colorado. And begging for help. Mind you, NO INCOME. NO SAVINGS.

This was posted on another forum, and people, trying to be nice, wanted to help them. But all I could think, being a parent myself, is HOW STUPID CAN YOU BE TO DO THAT. I have no money, so I should buy an old bus I know nothing about, and attempt to drive it across country, with no money?? WTH people. NO, just no.

There are several types of people I've found on the road. They sort of fit into these groupings.

Retirees - broad group, with various budgets and styles, most are on fixed income. Friendly bunch sometimes. Older generation. Most have all their stuff together. Nothing negative to say.

Becuase we can - I fall into this group, and do a lot of my friends. We have careers, and we all make good money. We like this lifestyle, and the life it affords. We aren't rosey eyed about it. Most of us are 30 ~ late 40's. We just figured we could do like our grandparents without waiting to retire.

** There is a subgroup of "Becuase we can" that I would accuse of being posers. I have met a few, and they put A LOT of work into their online presence. These people really play up the: Our lifestyle is so awesome and you should be jealous. They post pictures of them hiking or biking at noon on a Tuesday with quotes about how it must suck to be in a cubical and living in a sticks and bricks house. But the truth is, it's not as awesome as their social media presence would suggest. They will never share bad experiences or anything real about their lives. Everyone has a bad day, accept these folks. They are easy to spot, because they are always doing something awesome, and have a new video about it. Their lives are awesome, and everyone should want to do this. Also, here is a qoute about travel. Or not all who wander are lost.

Hippes/Bums - I've meet a bunch of these too. They're mostly RVers and van folk. They have non-traditional income sources (or none) but somehow make ends meet. These are the ones who don't want to work, but will to put gas in the tank and eat. But they'll try to bum first. They're against the modern system. They post fancy photos of them living an amazing life in their Vanagon on the beach on Instagram and are the most poetic group about the lifestyle. While being bums who are against the system, these hipsters will sport iPhones, MacBooks and be incredibly trendy in their choice of clothing. They've got the most instagram photos, and everyone thinks their lifestyle is awesome. Until you realize they probably have $20 in their pocket.

Hybrid Becuase we can/Hippes - there is this hybrid group too, they have jobs, but they choose to boondock and live this way, because it's cheaper and enjoyable. They almost always do free. They can go for a campground now and then. But they're more likely to have an older setup they fixed up. They're budget conscious.

RV Park living crazy homeschooler who thinks it's cheaper - Often times they have gaint 5th wheels. They don't move as much. Sometimes, only month to month or even less. They will go where the homeschool convention is. Boondocking isn't for them. Usually low income. Although I met one who was a forex trader once. These people usually had bad credit or some sort of problem that lead them to the belief this lifestyle would be cheaper. However, they aren't onboard with boondocking and moving as much, or can't afford it. So living in an RV park for $400 a month is cheaper.

Delusional Wanna B's who fail - Sadly, I have watched a bunch of these people lately self-implode. And I'm even watching some set themselves up for failure. They make all kinds of stupid decisions because they really want to chase this lifestyle. They have unrealistic ideas about what to expect. They come in various budgets and backgrounds. I've watched one couple with more money than brains, do this for 4 months, only to quit, because "it was so difficult and we all made it seem so easy and wonderful." Another couple with money problems, financed a new Ram 2500 and new trailer. Now all they do is complain about how expensive it is. They've had 3 blow-outs, and tons of problems with their 5th wheel. And are talking about quitting because this is so rough and expensive.

Poor People - These are the ones living in a Walmart parking lot full time. These people, generally are 100% poor, with no income, or government assistance. You'll feel bad for these folks, especially when they have kids. They are often the ones that will trash boondocking sites the most, and will ruin boondocking for others. It's sad, but true. Cities put up the "no overnight camping" signs because of these people. Most are in vans or some sort of very old RV.

This all sounds incredibly harsh and judgemental, but it's kind of true.

Stuff does and will happen on the road. You need a budget. You need a real idea of how you will live, day to day, week to week, month to month. You need real expectations. And you need to be honest about your personality vs who you imagine yourself to be.

That last bit, is the hardest. It's easy to look at instagram, see these blogs and videos and think, man I want to do that and be just like that. And maybe be unaware of the reality of it. Unaware of what it's like living on the road and the things you have to deal with.

I really saw myself as an adventurer. I was when I was younger. Hiking, kayaking, biking, mountain climbing. And I thought we'd be getting out there a lot more than we do. The truth is, with two young kids, we can't go on long hikes. We can't go white water rafting. I can't go down the super steep sketchy climb to get the perfect shot. We spend more time just hanging around camp. It's a reality that has developed. It's opposite of how I imagined things. But it's also just us. And we are happy. We boondock a lot. We spend time with friends. It's not always awesome 100% of the time every day. Most days, we just live a normal, boring life. Except that we're in a forest or national park in an Airstream.

Judge me by this post how you will, I just figured I'd give you some straight talk since you asked for it.

Oh, and is it cheaper? I think that depends on you. But we spend about $3000~$2800 a month. That's only 25% of our monthly income.

But blowing out all 4 tires won't send us into a panic. It's in the bank. And in all honesty, I think those of low income shouldn't consider full-timing if they can't handle a budget and be realistic about the problems you could encounter on the road. This means, have a REAL emergency fund. Most retirees already have this figured out. So ignore it. But if you are considering full-timing because you're already poor and you think it will fix your life, chances are it won't.

Don't drive an old bus across the country with no money on a whim.
Great post, thanks for the insight!
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:21 AM   #38
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This is the most thought provoking thread we have seen on the Forum. Predict it will be one of those that live on in the manner of the "What have you bought for your Airstream today?" thread. When I brought DW her morning coffee (can you say "spoiled"?) this morning, we sat with our Mac's and read the overnight posts to this thread.

The subject of Fulltiming resonates with so many of us; many are at or nearing retirement, and once you own or otherwise experience an AS, how can you not think of what it would be like to leave it all behind and head for the open road?

As for us, I retired last Feb; DW retiring Aug 2016. Gives us time to become educated on our new AS and TV. It has also been a period to meet other AS'rs at rallies and via the Forum. We joined the Razorback Unit here in AR, we have attended a local rally (have two more in AR over the next several weeks). First thing after picking up our AS last Jan was to drive directly to Canopener in FL; in April we attended Alumalina in SC. Registered for Alumapalooza, but had to cancel due to a premie grandson (named for Yours Truly!). What we have learned from this is a) we love being in our AS, b) we really like the people we encounter at AS rallies, c) we are not so fond of several types noted by BA above, d) we have quickly become ASS ("Airstream Snobs"), e) we, or more accurately I have a huge experience and knowledge deficiency (checklists really are important), and f) we will never be without a home base of some sort.

We do have wanderlust. Married 41 years; blessed with three great children all in good marriages and good jobs; blessed with 13 grandchildren, none of whom live near us (424 mi is the closest). We travel to see kids/grandkids or they travel to see us a lot. It is a rare month that we are not together with some of them. On top of that busy travel schedule we have consistently managed to travel. Family Beach Week, three Family Cruises, Family Week at our house (happening as I write this), plus a few getaways with DW each year.

Along the way of our life together we have had a MH (diesel pusher), airplanes and various boats, finally an ocean sailor we kept in Galveston Bay. At several points along the way we considered chucking it all and living on the road or water full time. Kids education and sports and our own careers, plus the strong pull of my piano kept that at bay. What it did not keep at bay was travel; we did that a lot and our kids seem to follow suit.

In retirement we are looking for a mix of home base (we are now members of North Texas Airstream Community and will be building a second home for the AS there) and small enough home base upkeep/security concerns to allow us to attend rallies, caravans (very excited about that; have signed on for a few big ones in the next three years) and cruises (we are fairly active cruisers, just returned from one with a couple of granddaughters and next up is a transatlantic from Barcelona).

We all worry about healthcare; at home in Little Rock we have great healthcare. I am fortunate to serve on the board of a hospital system; that is more than a little work, but we do get rather instant medical attention as needed. That is awesome when we are in AR, but healthcare on the road is a different matter. DW went to an urgent care place in Houston for an earache; the bill was $3,000. Yep, you read that correctly. In and out in less than an hour for the bargain price of three grand. Criminals. Drug costs are completely out of control as well. We are healthy and active people; we walk, ride bikes and have been blessed with good genes (no substitute for genes!). Still, the potential for excessive expenditures is frightening.

Okay, I am rambling.

Let me close by thanking those who have contributed to this thread and those who will contribute over the next days and months (I still think this one will be years long). You have provoked serious thought and great interest.
Boogieshoes, DH of JudyJudy; AS "Rose"
WBAC 5932Arkansas Razorbacks Unit
2016 F250 KR 6.7 4x4 CC "Tex"
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Old 09-06-2016, 06:40 AM   #39
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To Djarrett

Yes, getting a small house, to park my rig next to is/was my plan. Giving me a legal place with sewer, water, and electricity, to park my trailer

It's a long involved story, but for financial and emotional reasons, as well as some lifestyle issues, I will be selling both of my houses. Location is also a reason for selling them.

I have been struggling for years trying to get my houses back in shape, another long story, with frequent set backs.

Financial, and Retirement Consultants are advising folks to rent when they retire. They also advise against getting an RV, but I pulled that trigger a long long time ago.

Family and friends also plan to rent, when they retire. Right now, I feel like I never want to be trying to sell a house again. Renting would afford us the ability to change our minds if we were unhappy with a location.

I am tempted to cut off my tongue as I say this but….I do like working on my houses. ( upgrades more so than repairs). I do enjoy having a place that is dolled up to suit my tastes. (Yeah…the whole cake and eat it too, thing )

Yet another option is to rent a room/parking space from a friend. I could be a border/caretaker/house sitter/dog sitter. Hopefully giving me the opportunity to travel.

I am going to full-time for a few days, or a few years. I don't want to live in a campground, yet I don't want to be a slave to land and a house either.

I am usually a keep my chin up kind of guy, but I am still nursing a broken heart from loosing my dog. She was 17 1/2 almost blind, almost deaf, and the best friend I ever had.

The thing is….Life, women, and the economy have made a lot of decisions for me. Maybe I am just wanting to regain some control over my life. On the bright side I will have a new found freedom.
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:03 AM   #40
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To Boogieshoes, DH of Judy Judy, and Judy ( his wife )

You brought up another aspect of fulltiming ….FAMILY !!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm up north, so is the family. Fulltimers tend to need to go south in the winter. BUT…I would want to spend the holidays with the family, White Christmas, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and the whole nine yards.

Not a big problem, but something that has to be a part of planning
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