Hey, readers! Thanks for coming to visit. I hope you enjoy getting to know another family that loves to rv full-time as much as we do. ~Marlie
1. Who we are, and how did we choose to be full-time RVers?
Have you ever thought, I would love to escape the suburbs and do something different? Maybe even fun? Like living on vacation full time. We thought that, too.
My name is Kathy. My husband, Chip, and I have two girls ages 12 and 6. I’m a former public school teacher who just got tired of not being with my own kids, being stuck on a very rigid schedule, and dealing with the ever-changing demands of teaching. So, we decided to change our lifestyle.
During the Great Recession, my husband and I both went through layoffs and job losses, some being a blessing in disguise, and we came out of it with a new lease on life. At one of our lowest points, my husband said he was thinking about doing some writing for a little extra money. I thought he was crazy, but that idea turned into a wonderful thing for our family. Chip now publishes four magazines with a flexible work-from-home schedule, and he is happy – which makes everyone happy! He loves to work at night and on the weekends, so “9 to 5” just isn’t part of our vocabulary, and we love it. It is freeing to be on a different schedule. This flexible schedule made it possible to “vacation” in our RV anytime, so that’s what we did!
2. How has RVing changed the way you think?
I’m sitting outside on my outdoor loveseat with my feet up, a little palm tree waving in the coastal breezes, and I’m watching the activities of our RV park in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Ours is the very first site at the park, giving us a perfect view of the constant action. I wave to the people I know and talk to the new folks just passing through, and I love the people we meet. I’ve learned how different and how alike we all are, and it is really fascinating. The free entertainment outside our windows is one of my favorite parts of RVing.
Being a full-time RVer changed us in ways we never expected. For example, at first, I was nervous about not having a washer/dryer, but now I love it. Here’s why: First, I enjoy talking with the people at the campground’s laundromat, new and regulars alike. Second, those are two fewer appliances I have to maintain! If they break, it’s not on me to fix them. Third, when the laundry room is empty, I can do several loads at once.
But there’s one thing I love about RV living above all else. There’s so much peace in knowing that everything and everyone you love is together in a simple, easy-to-manage package. If there is ever a “threat” to our livelihood or lifestyle – like a hurricane, a job loss, or the occasional bad neighbor – that threat is so much easier to deal with because of the way we live. We can address or eliminate the threat without sacrificing anything we care about.
3. What lessons have you learned?
The simple life is hard to achieve, but it is so much harder to keep.
We live in a consumer society. “Buying stuff” is what Americans are conditioned to do, but you just can’t do that when you live in an RV. The problem is, every time we venture out into the world, we’re guaranteed to find something we want to buy! That’s just how our economy is structured. Being a full-time RVer has drastically changed the way we deal with this, hopefully for the better. When I see something I want, I ask 1) Do I really need it at all? 2) Will it fit in my RV? and 3) Do I really want to pull it down the highway?
A new set of flamingo wine glasses?… Sure, why not (I’m a sucker for anything flamingo).
An InstantPot?… Yep. It replaces several other cooking tools and fits in my cabinet. I love it.
A new toy or video game for the girls?… It takes up little space and provides lots of enjoyment, so it’s in.
Barbie’s four-story Dreamhouse playset?… Not so much.
That gorgeous new set of outdoor furniture at Home Depot?… Nope. Not a chance. I could put it on the pad outside my RV, and I would enjoy the heck out of it, but it sure won’t be coming with us when the next hurricane hits.
4. What are your travel goals?
Driving through the Green River Gorge!
When we first got our fifth wheel, our plans were to bounce between the beach and Disney’s Fort Wilderness campground. We recently upgraded our truck (to a RAM 3500 dually), so our travel goals have expanded. We’re planning annual trips to the Asheville, North Carolina area, and that means taking the RV through the Green River Gorge on Interstate 26 at the NC/SC border. It’s a 7% grade up and down. For native Floridians like us, that might as well be Mount Everest, which is why we wanted our tow vehicle to be overkill.
I’ve come to the realization that I want to take my bed with me. I know it sounds silly, but upgrading to our fifth wheel from a travel trailer has greatly improved our comfort level. So much so, that I can’t stand staying in hotel rooms anymore. I’m just not comfortable. When you have an RV, your bed, pillows, and cozy comforter all come with you, and it completely spoils you. You don’t have that option when you have a house. I can take all my comforts with me, so why not? We can see new things and still sleep in our own bed. It’s pretty sweet, right?!
Kathy and Chip