Posted 2013-08-24 12:26 AM (#7756) Subject: One Year On The Road Lessons Learned
Let me start by saying how thankful I am of this forum and community as a few more out there. I spent 2 years learning everything I could about the rv lifestyle before we took it on. Probably one of the biggest lessons learned was the fact of how little we really knew before we started our quest.
So lets start at the beginning.
While living in Michigan I felt that there had to be more to life than the typical work hard, buy house, buy bigger house, retire and die after 3 years of "retirement". So I started looking for something that at the time I had no idea what so ever what is was and by pure luck or fate I came across a blog about a guy who was thinking about full-time rving. As I read I got more and more exited about the possibilities and than I started to get the same questions, nerves that most newbies get, like what will I do for money, insurance school for my kids etc etc etc...
Now I will go over all those doubts but I feel that I should give you some info about us so it might help you relate better if you are in our situation.
Husband 45 Ex-CEO of various Companies
Wife 42 Attorney (Non Practicing)
Grandma 70 (My Mom)
Own Our Home (No Mortgage)
2004 Ford Expedition
2008 Mazda 5
After spending a few months in 2010 researching the lifestyle and of course RV's I felt I had enough info to approach the wife with the idea I thought I had the perfect life for us and she would be totally in love with this new dream.
Boy was I WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Her response to this new "dream" was an absolute NO!!!!! But even though she could had left it at a simple no of course she apparently wanted to make sure so she added the "are you crazy" "are you going through a middle age crisis" "are you dying" and about another 20 some which I could not put here to keep this PG friendly.
So after the 30 minute or so of "what the heck is wrong with you are you stupid" speech I took my tail put it between my legs and went upstairs to my office to start new searches on middle age crisis.
But it turned out I did not seem to be in a middle age crisis it seemed many people in the US where asking the same questions I was it just seemed for reasons beyond my understanding at the time the mainstream media just did not talk about it.
So I went back to doing more research and try to answer all the questions and fears my wife had. And every time I found an answer while we where watching our favorite tv show and after I had made her some popcorn and in between feeding here one kernel at a time while lovingly giving here a foot massage and complementing how hard her work was raising our beautiful daughter I would sneak in a comment about full timing and than move on back to honey pass me the other foot.
Gradually my wife started asking me about things I would find her the answers and would leave it at that I would not talk about actually doing it.
Than something amazing happened we became pregnant and our son was born that same week she said you know what honey would it not be great to get an RV :() I said WHAT!!!!!! HECK YEAH!!!!!!!!!
Of course I had done all my research and new exactly what trailer we needed and we would love (WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but we will get to that later) so we went to a few shows to 5 or 6 dealers and decided to buy it in the worst part of winter to get the best price which we did.
So we bought a Brand New 2012 Prime Time Lacrosse 318BHS Touring Edition with vent covers, satellite for 4 tvs and we paid out the door $23,499.00
The snow melts and we take our first trip to Michigan Adventures I had bought a Coast to Coast Membership and stayed about 45 minutes away in a really cool rv resort for $6 dollars a night we had a blast and we went back home.
Since our daughter was out of school and I had bought season passes for Cedar Fair I said hey how about if we go to Cedar point again we stayed with our membership and paid same rate at Erie Island stayed two weeks we had a total blast it was awesome!
By the time we got home from this trip it had been but a few days and my wife says honey why not go to Kings Island. See how it was the wife things where changing she was the one now saying lets go on the road but of course this was 2 weeks at a time and we would be back to our 3000sq ft home so I did as I was told but could not find a cheap rv resort with our membership but I found that thousand trails had a resort about 15 minutes from the park so I bought a zone pass again we had a blast.
By now we get home and I bring to my wife hey honey why not take an adventure and go on a real long trip for like 6 months we could homeschool etc etc etc and by gosh she said ok.
About month 6 in one morning my wife says hey honey if we got the trailer we think we need we could do this fulltime and not need the house so how about if we sell it! :() SAY WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
To the present we should had left a few weeks ago since we already have the house sold but it seems every time we are about to leave one of the theme parks here in Florida has a new ride or something and we keep staying LMAO!!!!! But we will indeed be leaving in the next few weeks since we need to empty the house before winter so we can close on the sale.
This was the short story, now comes the lessons.
DO NOT BUY A TRAILER UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN IN DIFFERENT TYPES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Do everything possible to rent a Class A, Travel Trailer, Fithwheel and go camping for a few weeks in each and than do not buy new!!!!!!!!!!!!
Buy something old cheap that matches what you think you will want in floor plan now get on the road for months to see how life will be in that floor plan this should be enough time for things to happen where you will start saying I wish we had this and this in this trailer and eventually you will have a real list of needs and wants.
Once you have that list still than do not buy new! I can not stress this enough do not buy new!!!! The depreciation on these things is unreal. Buy used and put the money you would be saving on upgrades you want specific to your needs you will end up with kind of a custom RV and one tenth the price.
This we found huge for us the realities vs the fantasies of what RVing was when I was doing research for fulltiming.
1.There will never be enough counter space the more the better!!!!!!!!!!!!
2.There will never be enough storage space the more the better!!!!!!!!!!!!
3.Height Makes a huge huge difference the higher the ceiling the more it makes you will feel not closed in as such for us a fithwheel is a must.
4.As much as we love each other we do need our own private space once in a while.
5.Two Bathrooms a must! it seems we now are synchronized for doing number one and number 2 LMAO!!!
6.The more slides the better.
so after now having a true list of needs and want we have decided to buy a used Glendale Titanium 36E41TBR and add a 5th slide to the kitchen.
One of the reasons we decided to buy a travel trailer was because we had the Expedition we thought it would be easier to drive around in the expedition than a truck. The realities where the gas we where spending in the Expedition once at the resorts was insane so after our third trip my wife suggested she drive behind us in the Mazda, at first I thought it was stupid but after the first time it was the best decision we have made I calculated we saved our first year on the road doing this over $5000 in gas money and we feel way better in the Mazda.
So now I am trading in the Expedition for a used Ford 450.
Also towing is not about pulling it is about stopping since I learned that the hard way, so the large brakes on a dually make a huge huge difference as I learned in the mountains of West Virginia.
You can never go to big with your tow ;)
Healthcare: This one I will simply point you to what ultimately gave me all the information to make the correct decision. Healthcare is a very personal thing so what might be right for me might not be right for you. Just go to Amazon and buy :The New Health Insurance Solution: How to Get Cheaper, Better Coverage Without a Traditional Employer Plan By:Paul Zane Pilzer
Homeschooling: This one again is very very personal I again will point to what simply gave me all the info and opened my eyes to the reality of the formal school system in the USA. John Taylor Gatto read all his books and watch his The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto this is one of the most impacting interviews I have ever seen you can watch it for free on YouTube.
Money: This one seems to be the biggest worries for most people. This one for us was the easiest after researching for about a year I came to the perfect way for us to create an income source while we where on the road. I started the business two months before we went fulltime I figured if it worked off the road it would be perfect for us on the road and I was right.
It seems that everyday I find people on the road who are struggling many older folks who say that are retired but than I see them dressed in uniform going to work at Disney or Seaworld or see people selling services to RVers like screen fixing or just typical handyman things which is great but just not for us.
After getting asked over and over what I did for a living and how we where retired at 45 I just figured to give them a prepared video on what we do to get monthly income. If you are in need of an income source just send me a Private Message and I will gladly point you in the right direction. Please once you send me a PM be aware it might take me hours to reply as we might be in one of the theme parks or visiting some attraction.
Dealing with family and friends. Again this one is simple. Screw the nay sayers.
Is this a good decision?
For us the best ever made to the point that we will be selling our home in Michigan and establishing residency in Texas for tax reasons. Today I just can not see us with a regular home.
How long will we be doing this? Until we get tired.
Posted 2014-06-06 2:31 PM (#7801 - in reply to #7756) Subject: Re: One Year On The Road Lessons Learned
Vic, Thank you for taking the time to write all this out. My husband and I, along with our 3 kids and dog are about to shove off this was a good read Excited and nervous...but mostly excited. See you on the road!
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