I received an e-mail yesterday from a couple who are investigating the fulltime RV lifestyle. They will both be retiring within the next eighteen months, and though they have never owned an RV, they camped in tents when their kids were little, and they said they love traveling. They are looking at different types of RVs, and are favoring a diesel pusher in the 40 foot range. Their question was, how many fulltime RVers jumped right into the lifestyle with both feet, never having owned an RV before?
We know fulltimers who have done just that, and we know others whose evolution into fulltiming was a long process, starting with tents or tent campers, and moving up through the ranks with small Class C motorhomes or travel trailers, and up to larger Class A motorhomes or fifth wheel trailers. We all seem to have taken our own path on the journey to fulltiming.
In our case, I started out with a sleeping bag thrown into a bare bones camper shell mounted on the back of a pickup truck, moved up to a larger pickup camper, then a small Class C motorhome, and a conversion van somewhere along the way. These were all during my working and child raising years, when money and time were both hard to come by. They were used just for weekend outings and a couple of short trips lasting a week or so.
When Miss Terry’s kids were tiny, she took them camping a few times, and owned a Volkswagen camper van for a while. Her folks own a Class A motorhome and fulltimed for several years, but Terry never traveled with them in it.
We started fulltiming in a Class A gas motorhome, then built our own MCI bus conversion, and last year we upgraded to a Winnebago Ultimate Advantage diesel pusher.
Our friends Orv and Nancy Hazelton started out tent camping on their honeymoon, and then had a small Class C motorhome for years. They are currently fulltiming in an Allegro Class A motorhome, and have a brand new Tiffin diesel pusher on order.
Dennis and Carol Hill, from the RV Driving School, have owned everything from pull behinds to motorhomes, in just about every configuration you can imagine. They currently live and travel in a Tiffin Phaeton diesel pusher.
Greg and Jan White, on the other hand, had never traveled in an RV before they rented a Class C for a three week trip in early 2007 that included attending Life on Wheels in Tucson, Arizona. A few months later they purchased an American Eagle diesel pusher and hit the road.
As you can see, there is no one right way to start out. My advice to these folks was to attend the RV Lifestyle, Education and Safety Conference in Bowling Green Kentucky June 3-6, our Eastern Gypsy Gathering Rally in Elkhart, Indiana August 30 to September 3, and the Escapees Boot Camp for new and wannabe RVers, followed by the Escapade Rally September 12-17. Between all of the seminars offered at these events, and the opportunity to interact with both new and veteran RVers, they will come away with a darned good foundation upon which to build their new fulltiming life.
So, how about you? Was your evolution into fulltime RVing or extended RV traveling a slow process, as you worked your way through a series of RVs, or did you jump right in with both feet, buying a rig and hitting the road?
Thought For The Day – Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.