Volume 2. Issue 1
Welcome to the Full-time RVer Newsletter, published every other Wednesday by RVtravel.com. Here you’ll find helpful RV-related and full-time RV living tips from the pros, travel advice, and anything else of interest to full-timers or those who aspire to be. Thanks for joining us. We appreciate you. Please tell your friends about us.
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Quote of the day
“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” —Muhammad Ali
From the editor
By Chuck Woodbury
Welcome to issue #1 of the Full-time RVer Newsletter from RVtravel.com. No, it’s not really issue #1 — that was way back in 2005. We published the newsletter until 2012, then, for reasons I cannot recall, we stopped. So we’ll just call this Volume 2, Issue 1.
And I must say, now that we bring it back, that much has changed since that last issue nine years ago.
The RVers have changed, their RVs have changed, and RVing itself has changed.
If you boil down the definition of a full-time RVer, it’s simple: someone who lives in a recreational vehicle 12 months of the year. But that could include a huge variety of people. It could range from the retired couple who live in a half-million-dollar motorcoach in an upscale RV resort to a “houseless” person who lives on the street in a decrepit RV. Most of us are in the middle somewhere.
Today, there’s an army of RVers who travel from job to job in comfortable fifth wheels and motorhomes. They’re wind machine workers, pipeline workers, and traveling nurses. The pandemic has changed the way millions of Americans now work — remotely, not in the office Monday through Friday. I expect that many of these people will buy an RV, hit the road, and work from whatever place fits their fancy. Many Millennials who could never have traveled like this in the past can do so now (and in fact, are doing it!).
And there are the entrepreneurs, who can run their business from anywhere. Why sit in the same place day in and day out, when you can see the country with a small rolling home, equipped with a computer, cell phone and some sort of internet connection?
And what about all those people whose homes have been destroyed in wildfires in recent years? Some will say, “Heck with buying a house and having it burn down again. Let’s buy an RV!” If a fire approaches, they’ll just pack up and hang out where it’s safe. Ditto for people displaced by floods, hurricanes, tornadoes or even earthquakes.
The recent movie “Nomadland” profiled mostly older Americans who live in vans, who work temporary jobs (like in Amazon warehouses), and earn enough to get by. Some are so poor they carry a bucket along as their toilet. Some travel this way by choice, others by necessity. Are these people what you and I would include in the ranks of “full-time RVers”?
In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll try to make sense of what it means to be a full-time RVer. I suspect we will focus mostly on full-time RVers who do it by choice or for work, who are not so poor they poop in buckets. There is so much to love about the full-time RVing lifestyle, and with RVing suddenly being “cool” instead of “Grandma and Grandpa’s Playhouse,” you can bet the ranks of America’s nomads will grow, and quickly.
Did you miss last Sunday’s RV Travel Newsletter?
If so, here is some of what you missed…
• The latest news about RVing for RVers.
• Are “bots” stealing your campsite? (Yes!)
• National Parks want darkness. RV makers want light!
PLUS: Our latest RV Travel Podcast, hosted by Scott Linden
Be cool this summer.
Now use your RV air conditioner when you could never use it before. No kidding!
Some of these articles are from past issues of RVtravel.com and have been updated for this newsletter.
The myth of full-time RV life versus the reality
There is a myth about RV life: sitting by campfires in the sunset daily, happy hour with friends, and constant travel “hither and yon” with no worries except where to stop next. Those thoughts are popular and occasionally they do happen, especially for weekenders and short-term vacation travelers. But the truth may be far from that expectation. Here’s why.
Is a Thousand Trails membership for you?
Two years ago, we asked the readers of RVtravel.com what they thought of Thousand Trails. Did the members of the camping organization think it was the greatest thing ever, or just okay, or did they wish they had never joined. Here’s how they responded (with more than 30 readers leaving comments).
Camp hosts: What’s in it for you?
Many full-time RVers work part- or sometimes full-time as camp hosts, usually during the summer travel season. In exchange for a few hours of work a week, camp hosts receive a free campsite, usually with water, utility and often sewer hookups. Is this something for you? Here are some thoughts.
Downsizing The Family Home: What to Save, What to Let Go
Whether you’re downsizing to go full-time RVing or for other reasons, this best-selling AARP book will guide you through the process, from opening that first closet, to sorting through a lifetime of possessions, to selling your home. The author helps you create a strategy and mindset to accomplish the task quickly and rewardingly, both practically and emotionally. Learn more or order.
Are you a full-time RVer or in the planning stages?
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SAVE!
Harvest Hosts’ NEW member prices are going up to $99/yr. tomorrow, Thursday, April 15. If you buy a membership today, it’s only $67.15 a year after a 15% discount for an entire year of unlimited overnight stays. Use HHFRIENDS15 at checkout for the discounted rate and to lock it in forever, regardless of how much the membership fee increases in the future. Learn more or join.
Selling your RV on consignment? Be careful!
Whether you are moving up to a Class A motorhome from a travel trailer or even downsizing, there are many ways to sell your existing RV. Placing your vehicle on consignment is an option, but did you know that most RV insurance policies exclude coverage for vehicles while they are on a consignment?
Since the RV is on a dealer’s lot during the process, you may assume it’s responsible for insuring it. Actually, it’s not – the responsibility stays with the owner. You may also say to yourself, “Why do I need insurance if I’m not using my RV and it’s just parked at a dealership?” Well, a lot can happen during the sales process. For instance a potential buyer, unfamiliar with driving a larger vehicle, could take it on a test drive and accidentally hit another vehicle. Or a fire on the grounds could spread to your RV, resulting in a total loss. Storms and falling tree limbs may also cause significant damage, not to mention theft and vandalism.
Full-time RVing doesn’t mean major eating change
Despite the fact that a lot of “high-end” motorhome builders have eliminated the “old-fashioned” oven, it seems many full-timers still eat much as they did before they went on the road. Here’s a sampling of some of the “menu items” full-timers take to eating and how they prepare them.
Long-term costs for the full-time RVer
When working out the “hows” and “what ifs” of full-timing, most prospective full-timers focus on costs like fuel, RV park fees, and the how-to of keeping up with medical. One person thinking about the lifestyle had a provocative question: What kind of costs will I have in keeping up the RV? Find out.
Full-timer pleads, “PLEASE don’t buy me anything!”
Full-time RVer Nanci Dixon asks her friends and family to please not buy her anything – her RV has too much “stuff”! See what Nanci suggests you buy your full-time RVing friend or family member instead of gifts.
What advice would give an aspiring full-time RVer?
Here is where you get a chance to tell us something, rather than the other way around. This question is for current full-time RVers. It goes like this: What advice would you give to someone who told you they (or he or she) was planning to buy an RV and live in it full time? Based on your experience, what would you say? We’ll publish as many of your responses as possible in the next issue of this newsletter.
Retired or retiring soon and thinking about full-timing? This book is for you!
A Practical Guide to Full-Time RV Living: Motorhome & RV Retirement Startup by Jack and Shirley Freeman is a wonderful guide to how to get started full-timing after retirement, and how to live an affordable life on the road. They’ve done a wonderful job answering any questions you may have about this next chapter in your life. Check it out here.
By Barbara Mitchell, Aurora, Illinois
This is so quick and easy to make. You can use it as a main dish if you add chicken, or as a side salad to accompany steak, chicken, lamb or pork. Perfect for a side dish at a campground BBQ.
If you want to have a wonderful day, send $10, $50 or $100 to a local food bank. There are millions of our fellow citizens, including little kids, who are going hungry because their parents lost their jobs. You will feel so good if you contribute — helping people less fortunate than you go to bed without the pain of an empty stomach. Here’s where to donate.
RV Daily Tips Staff
Publisher: Chuck Woodbury. Editor: Emily Woodbury. Senior editor: Diane McGovern. Social media and special projects director: Jessica Sarvis. Financial affairs director: Gail Meyring. IT wrangler: Kim Christiansen.
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Everything in this newsletter is true to the best of our knowledge. But we occasionally get something wrong. We’re just human! So don’t go spending $10,000 on something we said was good simply because we said so, or fixing something according to what we suggested (check with your own technician first). Maybe we made a mistake. Tips and/or comments in this newsletter are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of RVtravel.com or this newsletter.
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