Full-timer explains “Why I miss a home base”

7

By Ingrid Hubbard
LiveLaughRV.net
The life of a nomad can appear glamorous. All you have to do is spend a little time on social media and the stunning images will have you longing to live a life of full-time travel. Yet those beautiful photographs don’t usually tell the whole story. I know I’m guilty of sharing predominantly the upside to RV living. Let’s face it, most people prefer to hear and see the positives of those living the nomadic life and ignore many of the realities.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told we’re living the dream, which always makes me cringe. Ah, photographs, videos, and stories might appear like many nomads are indeed living a dream (and many feel they are), but in reality, there are days it’s far from a dream and more like a nightmare.

Travel fatigue, decision weariness, and sensory overload are real things.

My RVing friend, Laura at Chapter 3 Travels, recently wrote an article about travel burnout and the realities of living in an RV full-time. It’s a great read, and I would encourage any RV newbie or wannabe full-time RVer to read it.

Laura says … Because RVing has gotten so popular, and because a bunch of bloggers are all “blah, blah, blahing” about it online, there are more RVs on the road than ever before. What has not kept up is the supply of campgrounds. Ergo, supply and demand doing their thing means prices are going up and competition for choice sites is tougher than ever. Even worse, back in the olden days, there were plentiful options for boondocking on public lands. Now, many of those places are so overrun with RVers that public lands are actually closing down.

I couldn’t agree with her more.

Yep, traveling in an RV full-time ain’t what it used to be! Long gone are the days of traveling on a whim without reservations. Oh sure, Al and I still wing it when transitioning between locations, but we’re also willing to overnight in parking lots when campgrounds are full (Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Cabela’s, Casinos, Truck Stops, Rest Stops). Those transitional travel nights are the only time we wing it.

RV won’t fit in that tunnel.

Unfortunately, all the planning and scheduling that’s necessary has taken some of the fun out of RVing and that sense of freedom has changed. RVing full-time can be very stressful!

Why we got a year-round RV site
We’re in our seventh year of living the nomadic life … living in an RV full-time. A lot has changed over the years, including us. We’ve changed the way in which we travel. We’ve changed our goals and priorities. We’ve definitely slowed down as our equipment and our bodies have aged. Say it isn’t so! But to be honest, we’ve always traveled at a slower pace than a lot of other full-time RVers. Perhaps that’s why travel burnout has taken a little longer to hit us.

Even at our slow pace, we feel downright tired. Tired of planning. Tired of making never-ending decisions. Tired of researching. Tired of wondering if we’ll break down. And tired of worrying.

Now mind you, we’re not done with RV travel. Nope, not even close! We still love the adventure and socializing with like-minded friends, but we feel even the most adventurous need a break from a steady diet of travel. This is why many full-time RVers, Al and I included, start missing a home base … a place to go back to on our terms and regroup. A place we call ‘home’.

Over the past several years, we’ve actually put contracts in on a few houses but were always relieved when negotiations stalled. We soon realized, we weren’t quite ready for the commitment of a sticks and bricks dwelling and that’s when the thought of an RV lot came to mind. We first heard about RVers owning their own lot several years ago through the Escapees organization.

At the time, we were relatively new to full-time RVing and the thought seemed ridiculous to us. After all, the whole point of RVing is to travel. Why would anyone want to sit in an RV Park for months at a time? Well, after years of living life on the road, we finally get it! And now we’ve decided to rent a year-round RV site.

Continued: Why we chose the Pioneer RV Park in north Phoenix.

Ingrid Hubbard and her husband, Al, are full-time RVers who blog at LiveLaughRV.net. Sign up for their wonderful newsletter.

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Vanessa Simmons
8 months ago

I planned to RV mostly full time with a home base in Pahrump NV on a half acre I bought. But by the time the purchases went through the rules had changed and I was no longer able to live on my property in my RV!! My plans to build a garage and RV pad had to become a house, garage and RV pad. I just moved in but next month will hit the road for two or three weeks. In June I’ll head north for about 4 months. Having a home base is nice.

Keith Krejci
8 months ago

We’re in our 15th year of full timing with no plans to stop. For us, the planning and anticipation of travel is part of the fun in our lifestyle. We stay west of the Mississippi and haven’t had any problems in finding parks (we don’t boondock). We also volunteer as interpretive hosts during the summer, so most of our travel is done during the “shoulder” seasons. After 38 years and 14 moves in our Air Force career, the thought of settling down is foreign to us.

John M
8 months ago

Looking forward to Part 2 – especially since I am already a resident of Pioneer RV Park.

Earl Balentine
8 months ago
Reply to  John M

I live out in east Mesa in my stick built home, but we have stayed at the Pioneer RV Park in north Phoenix. We have a friend that lives there and the best way to visit is to stay a weekend. Great RV park

Bob Godfrey
8 months ago

My sentiments exactly after 10 1/2 years full time on the road I’ve gotten somewhat weary of the decision making and planning so far ahead to make sure we have a warm place for winter so we are searching for alternatives but will continue to RV but maybe not full time.

Dr4Film
8 months ago

I was a Full-Time RVer for over 14 years and absolutely loved the lifestyle. My wife joined me at the 4 year mark after she immigrated to the US from Thailand. After many trips to Alaska to spend summers with my kids and grandkids then back to the lower 48 to travel the states, we finally bought a beach house in Florida back in 2016 where we now spend 6 months during the winter then 6 months during the hot weather on the road up north someplace. Still love the lifestyle and will never stop unless my health requires me to do so. My wife does not drive the coach so it’s all up to me.

Bill T
8 months ago

Thanks for the article Ingrid. My wife and I are “extended RV travelers” and agree that having a “home base” to come back to and regroup, catch up with friends and family and plan for the “next adventure” works really well for us. We downsized to a lovely two bedroom apartment and have no worries about just closing the door behind us when we want to go, as well as having a place to go, when our travel days do come to an end. Thanks again for posting and I will check out your site and newsletter. Cheers.