Thinking of full-timing? Some basic advice

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By Russ and Tiña De Maris
Thinking about becoming a full-time RVer? There are plenty of things to be considered. It can seem overwhelming. Where do you start? Here are some things seasoned full-timers recommend you chew on when making that important decision.

Thinking of full-timing? Some basic adviceOn “stuff” You can’t take it all with you. It comes down to a decision as to what’s essential for your new lifestyle, and that which isn’t. What do you do with the things you can’t take on the road?

Some RVers choose to rent a storage unit and pay to store their precious things. Beware: Storage often leads to deterioration because there’s no real good way to maintain a safe environment in a storage unit. Other full-timers have reported that after a year, two, or more, the stuff they squirreled away just didn’t have the same meaning to them, and they’d essentially wasted their money storing it.

Others have given heirlooms they just couldn’t see selling off to family and friends. Just be prepared that you may not see those heirlooms again. In our own experience, “precious” furniture just didn’t have the same value to some in our family and those things were soon gone.


Keep a “touch down” spot? Some who begin the full-time lifestyle either know they won’t full-time forever, or just aren’t sure. One couple sold off their home but obtained a piece of land for “just in case.” Keeping a house can be very tough — it puts you in the position of being an absent landlord. Being a landlord that’s close to the property is hard enough, but being a landlord who could be thousands of miles away is that much harder.

On the other hand, here are some “what-ifs” that could cause you to hang onto the old homestead, at least for a while, when first getting on the road full-time:

Suppose you find that living in the confined space of an RV just doesn’t “work” for you? Or that a medical problem crops up that severely limits — or eliminates — your ability to travel?

And since many of us “aren’t getting any younger,” what arrangements should you make for the time you may have to “hang up the keys”?

Good qualities for full-timers: A good sense of humor is essential — not only for getting along with your traveling partner, if you have one, but for dealing with those little situations that just seem to come up on the road. If you enjoy meeting new folks, it’ll keep you in good stead because your travels will take you into contact with plenty of them. Having a sense of adventure and a desire to learn new things will broaden your horizons and keep you feeling young. And even with modern GPS systems, it’s always a good thing to be able to read a map!

If you’re married, ask: “Do BOTH of you want to hit the road?” If one is half-hearted about the idea, you’re best to try some extended “vacation”-type traveling first. You’ll learn in a hurry if the full-time lifestyle is really right for both — and it has to be, because if half the party ain’t happy on the road, then nobody’s gonna be happy.

##RVT799

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Tommy Molnar

Once both my wife and I were retired (I beat her by about a year), we immediately started spending more time in our travel trailer. Weeks and weeks. No longer on vacation (as grumpyoldtimer mentions), we were on a ‘trip’. I keep my speed down around 57 mph. This gives anyone who wants to go faster a much easier time to get around us, and it brought my mpg up to 10-12. Both our moms are still alive (87 and 97) so getting too far away is pretty much out of the question. Someday when they are gone I see… Read more »

Common Sense GMA (Twitter)

Please don’t confuse Full time traveling with living Full time in an RV Park. They are two different set of experiences. Stationery RV is just like living in a mobile home park – no fuel to buy, no RV park to reserve, no highways to drive. The reason RV’s were originally built was to travel far and wide so when you say you are going Full Timing, do you realize what exactly what that means. Stationery or Traveling.

Sam Lunt

I’m not sure why people feel they need to get rid of everything in order to full time RV. But if you have a hard time getting rid of things such as heirlooms, but still need to get rid of them, I would suggest taking pictures of everything. It makes it a little easier. You will still have the memories every time you see the pictures and they don’t take up any room.

Robbie

Deciding what to keep and what to dispose of was our hardest task after deciding to go full time. We’ve been full timing almost 12 years. We disposed of almost everything from the sale of the house except family pictures, grandma’s silverware, and a few things we thought we couldn’t or didn’t want to replace. We paid for storage….big mistake. Tools were a problem because I had no idea what would be needed in our new lifestyle. I ended up selling them all except for a few “must haves”, but gave myself permission to buy any tool I actually needed.… Read more »

Grumpyoldtimer

Once on the road, slow down both in your mph and days at one place. When one is on “vacation” there is the urge to pack in as much as possible. When fulltiming, one is “@home”. So, relax and stay at each stop for a while. Sit and read, take walks, do what you would when at the old sticks and bricks (at least the fun parts).
Relax, it’s not a race. You are home wherever you are. Enjoy it. Slow down!!!
That was our major discovery after going fulltime.

Chuck Woodbury

Grumpy Old Timer,

Great advice! Thanks!

Mike & Louise Bacque

Agree 150%! Our first summer of full-time RV life we went up to Yukon and Alaska and were back in 6 weeks, way too fast. We had read lots of comments from full-time travellers about slowing down but it takes awhile to “get in the groove” of our new chosen lifestyle.