This week we embarked on our 17th year of full time RVing. We love the lifestyle and have no intention of stopping. The thought of living in a home that we can’t hook up and move causes us to shudder.
Let me share our journey from being campers to the full-time RVing lifestyle.
Neither Gary nor I had camped while growing up so this $25 (very) used WWII army tent was an inexpensive way to get started. It was 10’X10’ and featured an attached awning. The seven poles were wood and did not break down and fold up. And, get this, for several years we carried it along with our camping gear AND three little children in our 1965 Fastback Mustang. When it became so rotted that we could poke a finger through the canvas we left it in a trash container!
We were hooked on camping but had had enough of roughing it!
Next was a small used 12’ pull trailer which we towed with the blue pick-up truck Gary used in his concrete pumping business. Ah, real beds but no indoor bathroom but the five of us had a great time. That’s Gary with the lawn chairs and Kelle sitting on the boulder.
This NEW 21’ Enterprise mini-motorhome (we called them mini-motorhomes back then, now they' are simply a Class C) was a major step for us! Bunk beds for Rusty and Gary, Kelle’s bed was the table which made into a bed, a refrigerator, real bathroom, and even a shower!
By this time we had added a ski boat to our camping “gear” and found that the Enterprise didn’t have enough power to pull the boat so we traded the it for a new 1977 23’ Tioga mini-motorhome. This was also a bunk model so Rusty and Gary had their own little “rooms.” Kelle’s room was the couch which made into a bed.
Note: the Tioga is loaded up onto a “Camp-A-Float”-a takeoff on the houseboat idea . Our own rig out on Lake Mojave---kind of scary at times!
Gary & I got really tired of crawling up into the overhead bed of the Tioga so we took a big step up to a ‘27 Itasca Class A. In 1984 a ‘27 was considered a pretty big RV and it even had a microwave!
The unthinkable happened in 1988. . .we had moved to Monterey the year before and sold the Itasca! For the first time in many years we did not have a RV.
Well, that lasted all of three years. We didn’t know about full time RVing and Gary didn’t know I was thinking about traveling and I didn’t know he was thinking the same thing. FINALLY we had a meeting of the minds: “let’s get another RV and travel.”
We didn’t know how long or even if we would like living in a RV so in 1992 we bought this 1985 Komfort from a friend. As they say in the real estate business its fortunate we saw the “bones” and potential because it was in dire need of some , make that lots of, TLC. It was a love of labor to re-do the interior: upholstery, carpet, new bed, paint, sewing new valances and warm window shades, new flooring, later Gary even repainted the exterior striping. We loved it.
We weren’t quite ready to hit the road so we had it moved to Marina Dunes RV Park in our area (hadn’t bought a truck yet and a Corvette simply is not a suitable tow vehicle although we did tell people that we just removed the T-tops and hooked the 5th wheel pin into the top!)
WE WERE FULL TIME RVERS BUT WE DON’T COUNT THAT 1-1/2 YEARS BECAUSE WE COULDN’T GO ANYWHERE!
We traded the Vette for a brown dually truck in ‘94 (ugliest truck in the world!) and on November 2nd we hit the road. We were officially full time RVers but still didn’t know that there were thousands of people like us out on the road. Then we saw an ad in Trailer Life for Workamper News which is published in Heber Springs, Arkansas where Gary went to high school. We accepted our first hosting position at Lake Pokegama in Minnesota and now called ourselves full timers.
Oh yes , we decided that we did love the lifestyle enough to invest in a 1996 new 36’ Komfort fifth wheel. It had three slide-outs---we now longer could reach the stove, sink and refrigerator from our table!
In 2000 we were hosting at Rancheros de Santa Fe RV park in Santa Fe and took Lee to the Albuquerque to fly to visit her Mom. Gary, Don & I were simply recreational RV “looking” but when I walked into this 1997 Travel Supreme I knew it should be my home! “Start dealing” I whispered to Gary (and he does love to deal.) Soon we have a new home!
We decide to downsize. We can live in a much smaller rig we think so we order a ‘04 much lighter 34’ Hitchhiker IILS. Almost from the day we take delivery we hate it—oh no! We DON’T have enough space and it has a rear kitchen that bounces---broken dishes after any day on rough roads.
This is ridiculous! We can’t keep this up! We’ve got to get out of this Hitchhiker but we really need to make a really good choice and stop this moving! (Plus moving from one RV to the next is really exhausting, we don’t want to do THAT again.)
And here it is, the 2007 Escalade, our 5th rig in 16 years of full time RVing…we FINALLY got it right. . .we just know it this time. . .this is THE perfect home for a very long time. . .and we love it!
And our journey continues.