Last week I joined a new Facebook group, RV to Freedom-Learning to Live in an RV. The enthusiasm of this group of old, new and potential fulltime RVers bought back many memories of our twenty-two plus years on the road. When several asked if I have a blog I went back through my posts and see just how much I’ve written about our beginnings….I found pretty much nothing! I’ll fix that! Of course, I didn’t have a Blog until 2003. WHY? Blogging did not exist in 1992! (Lots of full-timing amenities didn’t exist in 1992; I’ll tell you about those in a coming post.)
Although we officially started full-timing on November 2, 1994, our experience actually began in 1992. Unbeknown to the other, each of us had been thinking about how fun it would be to buy another RV and travel the country for awhile. We finally had a coming together moment: “You’ve been thinking of traveling again? So have I!”
The very next day we started researching what we would feel comfortable in for both living and traveling. We had sold our Itasca Class A two years earlier and previously owned Class C motorhomes so we were familiar with the features of the motorhome type of RV.
Initially we had a pull-trailer in mind but a RV salesman suggested we consider a fifth wheel. The main point he made was that a fifth wheel has more stability while towing since it sits in the bed of the truck rather than on a ball hitch. We have chosen to stick with fifth wheels--in fact we are now in #8 since we started full-timing.
As fate would have it, just a few weeks later, an acquaintance mentioned that she wanted to sell her older fifth wheel and wanted someone to take over the balance of payments. It had a dated interior but we saw the potential and a week later it was parked in our driveway where we re-carpeted it. Later that month we were moved in and parked in a nearby RV park.
As you may notice in the photo below we didn’t have a tow vehicle. (seeing the Corvette beside our 5th wheel someone in the RV park asked how we travel. Very seriously Gary told them that we just remove the T-tops, drop the fifth wheel hitch in and away we go!)
We tore out the booth dining table and replaced it with a table and chairs, (we were ahead of the times-now it seems that booths are pretty rare) sent the jackknife sofa out to be re-upholstered, I made curtains, we bought new mini-blinds and added a recliner. A 12” TV sat on the little countertop. I fashioned the side table from a basket topped with a piece of glass. (if this looks a bit dated, remember that this was 1992!)
In the bedroom we replaced the bed, mini-blinds and linens, painted the walls ice blue and I sewed gathered valances and a Warm Window shade over the window at the head of the bed.
Our goal was to embark on our new lifestyle debt-free (not sure if the term full-time RVers existed at the time, but we were not aware of it. We just planned to travel) so we continued working for about a year, me as Administrative Manager for United Way and Gary in mortgage banking.
We were ready to hit the road! OH NO WE WEREN’T! After completing all of the remodeling and financial planning we still didn’t have a truck. We were having a hard time giving up our Corvette so decided to go on a road trip to Washington to visit Don and Lee. While we were there Gary and Don found our first truck:
We were set to go on the road! And so we did, November 2, 1994.
Every year on November 2 we have a “meeting” to take a vote on whether we should continue with the fulltime RVing lifestyle and every year (approximately 22 times) the “vote” has been yes.