Wednesday, November 29, 2023


How do full-time RVers keep busy?

By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Some folks, unfamiliar with the RV lifestyle, wonder just what fulltimers do to “keep themselves occupied.” After all, there’s no more lawn to mow, trim to be painted or any of the other things that keep the sticks ‘n bricks folks too busy to enjoy life. For fulltimers, the adventures of the road keep them plenty busy. But lest ye think it’s not enough, here’s a list of things that some RVers do to keep their mental juices flowing.

Be a sport: Make a list and travel to visit all the major league baseball fields, football stadiums, and associated sport Halls of Fame. For golfers, set your course to play all the challenging courses in the country.

Explore history firsthand: Choose an American war and plan visits to battlefields, forts and monuments. Become a fort buff and check out all the sites of “used to be here,” “still here,” and “reconstructed” forts from days past.

Or become a trail master and pick some of the old pioneer trails and follow them from start to finish. Park your rig near a trailhead for one of the nation’s major hiking trails and walk a bit (or a lot), knowing you have a traveling home to come back to. Or pick a favorite historical personage and trace his life course by visiting every place they’ve been or lived.

Get into “training”: With the plethora of renewed historical and scenic railroads around the country, you could stay on track with this pursuit for a long time. From dining trains to mystery trains (and sometimes the twain meets), there’s a railroad for every heart.

It’s the water: We’ve found trailing the Columbia from where it meets up with the Pacific clear back to the headwaters took us through amazing locales. There are plenty of big (and small) rivers to explore. Or visit all the Great Lakes – and don’t forget the great salty one in Utah. Or make canal tracing your thing.

Ghost hunters: We’re not talking spirits, but ghost towns. The West is dotted with old towns that have gone back to the dust, and others that are pretty lively while still maintaining the moniker of “ghost town.”

Go natural: Visit all of the U.S. National Parks and Monuments. There’s a great “passport” book available at nearly all National Park bookstores. As you check into the visitor centers as you make your rounds, you can stamp your passport with a seal from each of them. How about a trip to visit all the country’s famous trees? The largest, oldest, rarest.

We could go on and on. There are so many “projects” fulltimers can pursue. The Internet is a great resource for getting started with your planning process. Follow your mind and heart, and who knows where your fulltiming can take you.


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.



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Paul S Goldberg (@guest_55470)
4 years ago

We will adapt our long haul travel to drive a US Highway. US 20 the longest continuous from Newport OR to Boston Commons and US 1 from Northern Maine to Key West are two of our favorites as are National Parkways – Blue Ridge and Natchez Trace are the two most famous are fun to drive if you have the time and patience, travel slow and stop often. Anther theme we have been working on are State Capitals. We also visit friends we have met RVing or in travel groups we have toured with out of the country.

Donna W. (@guest_55373)
4 years ago

For something to do and keep up our interest in Calif history, we visited all the 21 missions. One of our favorite trips.

TravelingMan (@guest_55310)
4 years ago

One more idea…If you are really that bored…you can always be a camp host, volunteer at a fish hatchery or any other wildlife park. There are work farms that need all kind of help. We know of one that will let you sit in a tractor all day. The GPS will guide the tractor while you watch tv or listen to music on one of your devices. You just make sure it doesn’t run away! They feed you. They give you a free camping site with FHU’s. After so many hours, they pay you as well. How in the world anyone could get bored is beyond us. We have a cruise scheduled for February. There are a lot of last minute deals and since we have nothing but time, we jump on a few of them. Cheap!

Having experienced the corporate world and this world, even f we have to cut back on expenses, this is by far a better life. As the old saying goes, “A bad day of camping is better than a good day of work” ANYTIME!

TravelingMan (@guest_55308)
4 years ago

In reality, you spend a lot of time working on and maintaining these inferior RV’s. Multiple trips to the RV store to buy more inferior parts. We’ve spent a lot of time trying to find salvage and surplus RV parts centers. BTW…you’re TV is not much better…new or not…

But in our spare time (when we don’t – or won’t fix the RV), we travel around site seeing and mingling with the locals. There are lots of free or low cost things to do and see. In the time we have been full-timing, there is NEVER a dull moment. Museums are cheap. Some are free. We still go to the movies. Out for a night of bowling. A lot of times (when the weather is right), we sit out and watch the stars. There is wildlife to watch. We are in Shipshewana, Indiana right now. We are site seeing and getting to understand the Amish/Mennonite way of life. We are touring their facilities. We’ve been to some really good Mennonite restaurants. There are some really nice shops here. You don’t necessarily have to buy anything. But at times, we do. It’s just fun looking around. The nice thing about this lifestyle is that everyday is Saturday for us (except on Sunday when a lot of things are closed). We can get up at 9 and go to bed at midnight if we want. There is generally no plan. We do most everything spur of the moment. Why? Because we can.

You don’t have to be rich to enjoy this lifestyle, but you do have to plan ahead for everything (including breakdowns). We are at an RV center now trying to get $15,000 worth of work completed. It will take at least a week to complete. I have spent 4 days trying to get bids and figuring out how to line up hotels and storage units to move everything out while the work is completed. A sarcastic but true maintenance tip…. Caulk the RV until you can’t see the RV anymore. Regular maintenance is just not enough. I recommend a tarp over the whole unit so no rain can get on it. EVER! A better idea is to keep it in storage and never take it out. One little pin hole in anything will cost you dearly. We took a factory tour of a very high end RV manufacturer yesterday (just another thing you can do for free). I made all kinds of suggestions for improving the weather tightness. It just falls on deaf ears. They are more interested in making after-the-sale money.

And yes, we do a lot of things suggested above. The only regret we have about this lifestyle (besides buying an inferior RV) is not retiring sooner than we did.

Bog Wolf (@guest_55730)
4 years ago
Reply to  TravelingMan

Expand your horizons, try sight seeing.

Egroeg (@guest_55301)
4 years ago

In addition to these wonderful and exciting themes there is also volunteering opportunities along the way. Each town you stop in will have ways for you to “pitch-in” and help out. Larger groups of RV’ers like Care-a-Vaners are out there too.

Thank you Chuck for your hard work and this newsletter,

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