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Post Info TOPIC: Words Of Wisdom From The Wisest RVers - Please Share Your Pearls Of Wisdom


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Words Of Wisdom From The Wisest RVers - Please Share Your Pearls Of Wisdom


With experience comes knowledge and over time this leads to wisdom that can be gratefully imparted onto others taking a similar path.    Long time RVers, Full Timers, Extended Timers have learnt so much and made some of the mistakes that they can help others avoid.

Out of curiosity, what are the one or two biggest frustrations you recall facing when you decided to hit the road or become mobile home dwellers?   How did you resolve these "opportunities"?

Any and all aspects regarding the mobile lifestyle you can share whether still travelling or even if you've hung up the keys.   We've all gained some pearl of wisdom over the years of our lives in many aspects thanks to the kindness of those before us sharing.

What would be your pearl of wisdom about FT/Extended RV Living?    For us it really was how little we actually needed to live a fulfilling enjoyable life, and just how capable with guidance and asking questions of others, we are to complete challenges faced that we often in the past wouldn't have contemplated tackling, but sourced a hyper expensive "hopefully" professional.   Don't get me wrong, it's still of course important to know when you truly are outside of your abilities, but we are all a lot more capable than we realize.   Guess for us you could say, with age came the wisdom, coupled by the aching bodies (LOL).



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Breathtaking Alberta. Her Mountains Draw You But Her People Bring You Back


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I have run into two very different types of Fulltime RVers, one group like me that has had many RVs over the years and know a little bit about RVs and how to keep them up and working and the other group of Fulltime RVers that when they purchase a RV and make the move to the fulltime lifestyle, it is their first RV they have ever owned or stayed in before.

The second group is usually really in for a culture shock, a completely different lifestyle and learning to live in a RV, learn the systems and deal with the problems that come with living in a RV Fulltime.

My and my wife have had a number of different Towable RVs all our life, from starting with a used Pop Up Camper when our daughter was little to a large 5th Wheel for Fulltime living and year round travel.

Now I have embarked on a new lifestyle this year, since my wife of almost 40 years passed away earlier this year, I am now a Solo RVer. I never thought about being a Solo RVer, I have had to learn a lot over the 8 months since I lost my wife, it has certainty been an adventure.

As of this month I have been a fulltime RVer for 5 years and still love and enjoy the lifestyle. I hope I can continue to live the dream and see the USA for many more years.

I am not retired yet and have a great job that allows me to travel year round with my employer covering most of my living expenses. For the most part, I do get to set my schedule and destination (eastern US for the most part) but I do move about every 2 weeks year round.

I have learned a lot in my 5 years on the road but my lifestyle choice is not for everybody, that is one of the best things about the Fulltime Life, everybody has different ambitions, goals and lifestyle choices. Some people like Resort type campgrounds with lots of amenities and some like to boondock as far away from civilization as possible and everybody else fits somewhere in between.

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Robert & Sheryl

2014 Redwood 38FL MorRyde IS & MorRyde Pin Box

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I am a planner, always have been, always will be, but this life has taught me to hold those plans very loosely. However, having plans made and being very organized, makes it easy to cancel / change plans with short notice. In case you're wondering what kind of things have caused us to change our plans, and there have been many, here's a small list:
Fridge failure - needed to stay longer to replace the cooling unit
Truck upgrade - changing the travel route, parts delayed, changed plans again, cancelled an art show.
Evacuation due to flooding
Wind - causing changes to travel days
Death in the immediate family, had to cover 1000 miles in 2.5 days

Now for those of you thinking that's not bad for people who have been on the road for 3.5 years, those all happened in our first 8 months!! LOL, if someone had told me that before we embarked on this crazy life, I would have been having second thoughts.

Since then we've had 2 major mechanical failures, truck engine and 6 months later axle replacement on due to the failure of a never lube bearing, both leaving us stuck in the same region for over a month each time. I've recently been laid off from my corporate, work from home job, and it appears I'm going to be rehired, but still waiting for all the final HR approvals, so that threw yet another monkey wrench in all our plans.

If you can't deal with the unexpected and you feel your plans are set in stone, this is not going to be an easy life to manage. Early on the changes in plans caused a bit of angst, at this point, we just laugh, go look at my spreadsheet and see who I need to contact to change reservations, etc.

We have learned to adopt the idea that all our plans are set in jello!! Not an easy ideal for a "Type A Planner" to adapt, but that's where we are.



-- Edited by NWescapee on Wednesday 2nd of November 2016 12:01:01 PM

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We have been full time for three years now and still enjoying the adventure. So,here are some of my thoughts:
You must have a sense of humor. What appears to be a disaster today is really just a good campfire story in a week or two.
As NWEscapee pointed out, unexpected things happen so you need to be flexible. It is just part of the life style.
If it is broken, try and fix it. Go on line and study it and give it a shot. Worst case is that you have to call in a mechanic if you can't fix it. The more you try and do on your own the more you will learn how to do things. After a while a broken cabinet latch or switch becomes just a minor annoyance and not a service call.
A cheap glass of wine will help with the small things, a good glass of wine helps with major things, having to be towed requires tequila.
Taking a class on your rig helps. Both Freightliner and Spartan offer classes and I recommend you take one.
Simplify, simplify, simplify. You cannot equip the coach like a house. That 12 quart popcorn popper that you used in the house simply is not going to translate well into a 40 foot coach. You need to think about small and light.
Just a few of my thoughts.

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Paul & Kathy

2014 Phaeton 42LH

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 Out of curiosity, what are the one or two biggest frustrations you recall facing when you decided to hit the road or become mobile home dwellers?  How did you resolve these "opportunities"?  Wow that's tough to limit to just two.  I would say getting used to being together all the time initially was often frustrating.  I traveled for work frequently and with a larger house we always had our own space.  Working through how to exist in the same space was more difficult than I thought it would be, but ultimately rewarding as we have so much more time together and genuinely like each other.  Secondly, I would say learning to not barrel through problems.  Stuff happens, and happens frequently in a mobile lifestyle.  Learning to just stop take a breath, and figure it out before continuing was an important life lesson for us.

What would be your pearl of wisdom about FT/Extended RV Living?

  • Develop a friend network of others in the lifestyle and rely on it for support through the tough moments.  If nothing else they can tell you, you are not alone, but often they can provide real life, practical solutions to problems as they have already dealt with them.
  • Be willing to let go of the plan.  It usually takes a lot of planning to get to the point where you are a full timer and then you go on the road and things start to change.  I went from a 5 year plan, to a two year plan, to now I know what I am doing until December.  Some people never plan at all but go where the wind takes them, but others need more structure to feel comfortable.  That's ok, but if you are an uber planner, try to loosen your grip sooner rather than later.  
  • Stuff breaks, know it will happen.  When you are rattling your home around, things break.  Either buy warranties or have funds in the bank to cover those eventualities because they will happen.  They will probably also affect your travel plans at some time or another.  It;s just the cost of living the lifestyle and again the sooner you make your peace with it the easier it will be.
  • This will probably cost more than you think, but less than your old life cost you.  There is a learning curve and for most people the first year in particular can be pricey.  Try not to beat yourself up about that, but understand that you are just learning, especially if you weren't avid RVers before (as we weren't).  
  • Life is full of beautiful pictures but there is other stuff outside the beautiful picture as well.  I have seen some absolutely amazing things in the last two years, and look back on my time as a series of wonderful images.  But along with the beautiful there are other things as well.  There is more poverty in this country than I ever imagined for example.  There is also traffic, bad weather, noisy neighbors, and crappy campgrounds. It is life, not a vacation and even though you know that intellectually, accepting it emotionally takes some time.  At least it did for me.  It is a great life, but it is not without its challenges so when you hit those rough moments (and you will) try to accept them with as much grace as you can.  I am still working on that :) 

Great question,

 

Trace



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 Trace 

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As I sit in the sunny Mazatlan weather today I can say that I am grateful for the opportunities that the RV lifestyle affords. Because of the lowered fixed expenses of an RV we have been able to travel in 11 countries since starting our adventure in 2013.

I did not even imagine how life would turn out for us. We have been open to sudden changes and opportunities when they present themselves. Our RV can be put into storage mode in a day and almost all RV related expenses are suspended. I don't believe that this flexibility would be available to us if we were still in our sticks and bricks.

We love our time in the RV but even more we love the choices it allows.

It has been said many times that everyone RV's differently. That is the TRUTH.



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Russ & Terri Ranger

Travel since July 2013

5 months - Winters in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months - Wandering the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40' PDT Motorhome

1 month - International Travel -19 countries, so far

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First of all, I try to not focus on frustrations, as they tend to just be life as we know it.

We have been living full-time in our fifth wheel now for 5+ years, although we don't travel much.  We purchased in 2010, started living in it in 2011 while we were still working in Oklahoma City.  After retiring in 2014, we moved to Colorado for about 20 months and now we have been in Oregon for the last six months.

When we started planning for our full-time life, we decided to be different from most by staying in one place for extended periods of time.  That allow two things for us; one being that we weren't spending a lot of money for fuel for the F450 for towing from place to place, and two, with our second vehicle, we could use it to explore more attractions and places where we happen to be.  As it has turned out, both of those factors are working for us.  I'm 70 years old and still in pretty good health, so I don't feel the need to see everything at once, and if I like something well enough, I can still go back next month and see it again.

We like the area where we currently are (Grants Pass, Oregon) and the volunteer job we are doing, enough so that we may stay here as long as a total of 2 1/2 years.  In addition to seeing more stuff and saving fuel costs, our utilities are also paid here, so the extra money is going for things that will free us up even more in the future, such as paying off all our credit card debt.

Terry



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Terry and Jo

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Plan to spend more time and dollars on groceries as you will be shopping in new areas, with new foods, new stores, new layouts.  AND THAT IS OK.  It is part of the adventure.  Enjoy it. 

If you know a teacher, especially a elementary teacher, pick up books in the new areas that you go to (national parks have wonderful books about the parks) in order to introduce students to other areas of the country.  Our daughter is a special ed teacher and after a student successfully can read a book about another area, she lets the student check them out to take home and read to their parents (she is in an area with high levels of parents who are immigrants).   The book we got about a little lobster tender in Acadia National Park is one of the most often checkout books - students in Dallas area do not know where lobsters come from beside the tank at Red Lobster restaurant!

Get the T-shirts, helps you to remember the great places you visit.  

You can not take to many digital pictures.  Throw out those that are out of focus, but you will never regret having too many, only regret not having taken the time to get one more shot.

Make up "travel cards" instead of business cards.  Put picture of yourselves with email or blog address.  We tell eveyone who has questions to go look at our blog, that there is probably some information there that will help them.  

Read as many blogs of other fulltimers as you can - great way to find new and different places to go to.

Get the Reader's Digest book "1001 Under discovered places to visit."

Do nice things for each other.  An ice cream cone, bouquet of flowers, new keychain, all sorts of little things that says "I care".

Unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY (repairs scheduled, etc.) do not set an alarm clock.  No one gets a prize for being the first out of the park in the morning.  Let people who have to go to work have the roads/highways.  Also let those that work have the shops/restaurants on the weekends. 

Leave about 10:00 am, travel no more than 200 miles, try to stop by 2:00 pm and spend 2-3 days at each stop.  Find the local diner for breakfast, see what the locals are proud of, take time to enjoy your travels.

 

 

 



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Barb & Dave O'Keeffe

2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)

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My biggest words of wisdom have to do with worrying about dirt/scratches/dings on the rig. So many folks obsess over this, wash the rig every month and pass up on lost of neat places because they don't want to go on gravel roads. 

Us…we bought the rig to use and took our NH 5ver to Alaska year before last. Some dings on the front end underneath where gravel kicked up…but ya know, a couple thousand bucks sometime and we can fix that. The alternative is to only drive down I-95 to Fort Lauderdale…but then you miss all the fun.

One suggestion I saw in the thread was not to set an alarm clock…we've discovered that after 35 years of setting an alarm daily…we're up by 0630 most days even if we don't set the alarm.

We've also wondered…a lot…how we ever had time to work back in the day…our lives today seem fuller than they were while we were working.

 



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JJ


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Thank you so much, what good advise.  Books purchased and on their way!

 

jj



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Neil and Connie wrote:

My biggest words of wisdom have to do with worrying about dirt/scratches/dings on the rig. So many folks obsess over this, wash the rig every month and pass up on lost of neat places because they don't want to go on gravel roads. 

Us…we bought the rig to use and took our NH 5ver to Alaska year before last. Some dings on the front end underneath where gravel kicked up…but ya know, a couple thousand bucks sometime and we can fix that. The alternative is to only drive down I-95 to Fort Lauderdale…but then you miss all the fun.

One suggestion I saw in the thread was not to set an alarm clock…we've discovered that after 35 years of setting an alarm daily…we're up by 0630 most days even if we don't set the alarm.

We've also wondered…a lot…how we ever had time to work back in the day…our lives today seem fuller than they were while we were working.

 


 I have had no trouble getting over the "35 years of setting an alarm clock" ... for the last 25 years I have set the alarm clock for 0530 ... now retired, I have NO TROUBLE sleeping until 0730-0800.  Life is good and getting better!!



-- Edited by RonC on Sunday 6th of November 2016 11:07:06 PM

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Full Timers class of 2016



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The biggest frustrations; 1) Make sure that your sewer connections are secured well, and stand to the side when you open the valve, seen more than one take a nasty bath!! 2) Make sure you tilt the awning to the side for when it rains and don't pool in the awning! Don't use a broom handle to push the awning material up, and don't release the awning bar if full of water. Whoops! Hole through the material or another cold bath. 3) Keep the electric breakers off in the RV, Check the polarity of the electric service pole outside, then plug in, and go inside and turn the breakers on. PIEERE

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Pieere,

I always open the gray tank first when dumping and let a little run to make sure everything is ok, then close and open the black and drain, then pull open the grey (a little will swirl back up into the black giving a little more 'rinse', close the black, let the gray finish, then close.

We have slide toppers on ours and if we are bringing the slides in after a rain, I bring them in alittle and let water drain, then alittle more, and finally completely in - and check that no one is near when we start because a LOT of water will be coming down the side.

Barb


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Barb & Dave O'Keeffe

2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)

Blog:  http://www.barbanddave.net

SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834



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My suggestion is to make it the lifestyle you want, don't try and do it like someone else. We all do it differently, like from only staying 2-3 days to staying months in one area. We prefer longer times in an area. At first I kept thinking I needed to relocate more frequently, because it seemed to me like that's what everyone else did.
Now I know it's okay to stay longer. This full-time life is what we make it. It's so wonderful because it can be whatever you decide you want it to be.
Good luck on your journey!

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Barbaraok wrote:

Pieere,

I always open the gray tank first when dumping and let a little run to make sure everything is ok, then close and open the black and drain,

Barb


 We do the same. Saved me once and that was enough!



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