Aug 042009

Before I get into the topic of today’s blog, I wanted to tell you that I received an e-mail last night telling me that that Red from Too Crazy Ladies has fallen and broken her hip, and required replacement surgery while in Marshall, Michigan. Please send your prayers and postive thoughts their way. 

There are a couple of threads on the Escapees RV Club forum about folks with low incomes and limited financial means who are considering the fulltime RV lifestyle. Some of them just want to follow the dream that so many of us already have, while others are considering living in an RV due to economic reversals.

One poster referenced the second category and said that these people often did not have the resources to purchase a quality RV fit for fulltiming , and had no idea of the maintenance costs involved in RV living. He said it was reminiscent of photographs of those who fled the Dust Bowl in the 1930s to find a better life in California.

It may have been a hard experience, but it worked out for a lot of those Dust Bowl Oakies, including my wife’s grandparents. They came from good stock, they were used to hard work and hardship, and they were willing to do whatever it took to make a better life. Maybe it will for some of these new folks too.

While I agree with a lot of what was said in that thread about the fact that the RV lifestyle can present many unexpected challenges, there is a flipside to that coin. You can do it with limited resources. We know because we have!

 When we started out fulltiming, we bought one of the most expensive new gas powered Class A motorhomes on the market, and it turned out to be a lemon. After eighteen months it was falling apart. About that time my wife was diagnosed with stage four cervical cancer and they told us to start planning for her funeral. The day after she was diagnosed, our health insurance company found a loophole in the policy that let them deny her claim. The nest egg we had put away disappeared in minutes and we found ourselves facing a mountain of debt. So I guess we were as desperate as some of the folks described in that post. But as they say, when you hit rock bottom, there is no way to go but up.

Our first order of business was getting Terry healthy again, and today, almost nine years later, she is cancer free and fully recovered. That’s all that really matters. The motorhome went to wherever it is that motorhomes from hell go to, and we bought an ancient MCI bus and converted it into a comfortable home on wheels slowly over time, as we lived and worked and traveled in it. We used to laugh and say it was our buckboard, because every time we got a buck, we bought another board and took another step forward in our project.

We have worked hard and things have gradually turned around for us, and we continue to enjoy this wonderful lifestyle. And the view out the windshield of our old bus is the same one the guy in the high dollar luxury coach parked next to us enjoys!

It just goes back to what my Dad told me over and over again as I was growing up: If you want something bad enough and you are willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, you’ll get there. 

Thought For The Day – Ask your doctor if medical advice from a television commercial is right for you.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  5 Responses to “RVers – The New Oakies?”

  1. Nick,
    Two things I’ve always told my wife and daughter:
    “you only get one go around in life, so make sure you do it the way you want”
    & when things get a little tough and you hit a few bumps in the road,
    “Life will find a way”
    Might sound a little corny but it’s always worked for me.

  2. Buck Board, I like that one!

  3. Well Nick, once again your post has hit home. Christi and I found ourselves slipping into a economic reversal. With not 1, but 2 contracts that went south. We found our nest egg had disappeard in a blink of a eye. We got lucky and found a charter bus ( 1987 MCI 102a3 ), the gentleman was willing to trade a down pmt. and take monthly pmts. Sometimes the stars do line up. We converted it in 90 days. We sold/gave away our home and hit the road. With $300 in our polk and 100 gals of fuel you can’t get far, but you can get. That was 3 months ago. We have been singing our way down the road and we are having a blast. We are meeting some great people and making good friends. Sometimes Wally World is our resting place for the night and sometimes we get a nice RV park to recharge in. All in all, life is good. I am traveling around the great USA with the woman I love. We will be in Estes Park, CO for the month of Aug. singing for our supper and parking space. What a difference a day makes! We are very thankful for our new life and each day the bitterness of the old one melts away. All the Best, Michael & Christi Hargis

  4. Thanks for the news about Red! We have always loved those two ladies, crazy as they may be, and they are both on our prayer list. Hope they are going to be able to come to the Yuma Gypsy Gathering!

  5. Sending good vibes to RED!!! That is the magic about RVing…you can do it on ANY budget!

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