What If?

 Posted by at 4:05 am  Nick's Blog
Aug 312009

In a lengthy e-mail I received yesterday, a couple wanted to share their great desire to escape the rut they are living in and experience the joys of fulltime RV travel, but they also admitted that they have some serious misgivings, and asked a lot of “what if” questions.

What if our RV breaks down someplace where we don’t know a good mechanic? What if one of us gets sick? What if one of our parents gets sick or dies while we’re hundreds of miles away?

I know that to these folks all of their concerns are unique, but in truth, every fulltime RVer has asked themselves all of the same what if questions. In fact, when we were teaching at Life on Wheels, I developed an entire seminar called The Reluctant RVer to address these questions and others that wannabe fulltimers ask.

Some common concerns that new fulltimers face include separation from family and friends; serious illness or death on the road; accidents or mechanical breakdowns; leaving our comfort zone and stepping into the unknown; losing our financial cushion; adapting to the RV lifestyle; and never being able to afford another home.

Yes, people do get sick on the road, RVs do break down in strange towns, and unfortunately, sometimes family members get sick and even die when we’re not there with them. Life happens. We have faced each and every one of these problems at one time or another. We got through them, and trust me, you can too. We cannot spend our lives worrying about what if, or we’ll never get anywhere.

What happens if we break down in a strange town? That’s why we have our Coach-Net road service. They will send out a qualified repair person or a tow truck capable of getting us to a garage that can fix whatever is wrong and get us back on the road. That’s also why we created our RV Good Guys guide to honest and dependable RV repair shops coast to coast. Nobody can purchase an ad in the guide, the only way a repair shop gets listed is if we have had personal experience with them, or someone we know and trust recommends them. You can order this guide from our RV Bookstore.

What happens if we get sick while traveling? Any RV park manager should be able to point you toward the nearest hospital or walk in clinic in their area. In our case, when Terry was diagnosed with cancer nine years ago, having wheels under our house allowed us to be where she could get the best treatment, and to return for follow-up examinations as needed. Companies like Sky Med will also fly you and your spouse or partner home, or to wherever you designate, and then provide a professional driver to transport your RV to a designated place.

A few years ago we were in Ohio when Terry’s father was diagnosed with cancer. Again, because we have wheels under our house, we were free to travel back to Arizona to be with her family during her father’s treatment and recovery.

Everything in life has a certain amount of risk associated with it, whether we are driving to the grocery store, having a Sunday picnic with the family, or watching a baseball game. I don’t know what calamities may befall you as you enjoy the fulltime RV lifestyle, but you can rest assured that sooner or later something will go wrong. Just as it would if you stayed in your sticks and bricks house.    

But I’d much rather deal with whatever problems fate sends my direction while I’m living my dream instead of being back in my old workaholic lifestyle.

I’ll always remember that when her doctors first told us that Terry had Stage Four cancer, and the outcome looked grim, she said “No matter what happens, at least we had eighteen months to live our dream.”

A lot of people never get the chance to follow their dreams. Don’t let the fear of “what if” keep you from making yours come true.

Thought For The Day – Growing old is inevitable. Growing up is optional.

Register Now For Our Ohio Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

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

  13 Responses to “What If?”

  1. Everything you said is so true Nick. To start RVing alone was difficult until I was a block from home. Had I known I would travel 10,000 miles my second year out, I wouldn’t have left the drive way. I had a WONDERFUL time. Yes, I had a breakdown and I became sick. It worked out. I actually have found more timely help while traveling then I would have in the town where my home is. When women ask how I do it by myself, I ask them if they feel comfortable traveling 200-300 miles. They say sure. Well, that’s the answer. What can’t be taken care of or handled when traveling 200-300 miles?

  2. I agree with Cindy. Women can do it alone, as well as couples, having done it by myself for over 5 years. Family will be delighted that you include them on your travel itinerary and can be there with them when they need you. And they will love following your travels if you keep them updated by email, postcards, phone and/or blog. Mechanical problems happen, but there’s always someone nearby to help, and every RVer should have Coach Net or some other RV emergency service. This lifestyle sure beats staring at the same 4 walls day after day! And it actually helps you deal with life’s events easier sometimes because you’re not only mobile, you’re also less stressed out because you’re living a wonderful life!

  3. We’ve been fulltiming for 7 years and never a regret! We were both in our 50’s and after NJ property increased even more than we expected we hit the road. Yes it was hard leaving family.
    This year John was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease so we are so glad we left NJ and the stress when we did. We can adjust our travels to slow down or stay in one place longer depending on our health. We can find the Doctors as needed and prescriptions are easily filled with Walgreen’s central data base.
    If family needs us we can always fly (yuck).
    So If anyone really wants to go fulltime — don’t wait. Get rid of your stuff and hit the road.

  4. I know it will pain you to mention it … but the FMCA membership directory identifies members that will help with problems while on the road. The FMCA membership includes an emergency medical assistance program.

    I mention at our local FMCA rally the impression you had from the National rally and the seemingly different impression of the Greeks on Tour. Several of our folks went to the rally and had a great time … they do not have new expensive MH… some are well over 10 yrs old. They said you must of gotten among the Beavers … the most charitable comment made was that they can be clannish.

  5. Glad to see the Bad Nick blog, Nick. It will be SO MUCH fun to read…….

    I have to say I tend to agree with you most of the time….so I doubt you will piss me off much. But I’m looking forward to the laughing and thinking parts….. 🙂

  6. We have been on the road for nearly two years now and agree with all you said! There’s hardly a location in the USA that someone can’t recommend a mechanic or a doctor or dentist, etc. Go for it!

    Nick and Miss Terry: we have been “watching” your move at Elkhard C’ground the past week. We know you are busy so haven’t interrupted. We will see you at your rally in Ohio. We are veterans of your seminars as we attended two LOW rally’s in Bowling Green KY.
    See you soon.

  7. Just re-read my just posted comments and first thing spotted a typo–apologies to ElkharT C’ground, not Elkhard.

  8. I’m one of those Beavers (& very active in the club) and I’m a friend of Nick and Terry. Sorry if we have given the impression of clannish. We are just very involved in our club, working security and our friends. Please feel free to say Hi to us. I think that despite our teeth we don’t bite.
    We, too, have had emergencies on the road. AAA road service gets us towed to a good repair facility every time. We have had to use several hospitals and have had wonderful care. If fact,probably better care than in our hometown hospital as we ended up in some of the best hospitals in the country (Methodist Hospital in Memphis and Mission Hospital in Asheville). I just had to take our cat to the vet in Yankton, SD. They did a wonderful job. I really like the vet there. I just had an ugly mole removed here in SLC. Called and got in on a cancellation. I had a root canal in Anchorage. You name it we have had to cope with it. Locals know where to go and you can get on the internet and find local medical help and comments about the quality of care. I had to fly back to Florida to see my Dad before he died. Peter stayed with the coach. Worked like a charm.
    I could go on and on but you get the picture. All things can be handled it you want to. Sitting at “home” looking at the four walls is boring. Even though we still have our stick house in Florida we spend most of our time in our home on wheels (our Beaver).
    What you really need is that “gypsy in your soul.” RVing isn’t for everyone. It’s for those who love it and feel at “home” in their home on wheels. Connie B.

  9. I figure we have it a lot easier than the folks that came across the country in covered wagons. They left their homes, and often families, on a long trip with all kinds of hazards and no guarantee of making it. Most of the time miles,and days, from nowhere or help. No idea if they would ever go back to visit or not. Today if need be we can fly across the country in a matter of hours instead of many months. We can call for help or just to keep in touch in a matter or seconds or minutes rather than weeks or months. I think our ancestors would think we were rather silly to be scared to embark on a journey with the way things are today.

  10. Yup, what they all said is true. My greatest challenge is that hubby’s father can do one hell of a guilt trip on his only son. But at his advanced age of 93 and his perfect health, it’s just a ploy to continue to pull the strings on sonny boy. Yes, he may be a bit lonely, but that is HIS problem. There is plenty to do in his retirement village. He did what HE wanted when he retired 35 years ago…who knows if my honey has thiry five years to do what he wants to do! We are never far away from an airport and really can be at his side within hours. I didn’t have that luxury when my dad passed away and we lived in a sticks and bricks out in the country. Like Nick said, we can’t predict the future, but we can live each day to it’s fullest, and doing/living our dreams. Go for it!

  11. “I don’t know what calamities may befall you as you enjoy the full-time RV lifestyle, but you can rest assured that sooner or later something will go wrong. Just as it would if you stayed in your sticks and bricks house.”

    Well put. Life happens. Bill passed away at age 59 but at least had 12 years on the road. When I think of all the things I would have missed had we let fear stop us, I shudder. My life is so much richer – and so much better – than if we had never lived this lifestyle.


  12. Nick, I agree that we can’t spend our lives worring about what if. When Joe suggested that we sell everything and go fullitming, I said yes. Then 5 months later, he was also diagnosed with cancer and went through radiation. Was I ever glad that I had agreed to follow his dream. Life is short. Live your life like there is no tomorrow. Have fun and be safe. Love Marcia

  13. What a great post!

    I have to say, the biggest thing I’m worried about for my Big Adventure is breakdowns. I am completely inept when it comes to repairng anything that is not made of fabric, paper mache, or can be VPN’d or SSH’d into.

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