Why Would You Stop?

 Posted by at 12:04 am  Nick's Blog
Jul 212014

In the past I’ve published several blogs about hanging up the keys and getting off the road, and talked about where we would settle down. Looking back at those blog posts it’s interesting to me to see how our interests have changed, yet how they have also stayed the same.

In blogs in 2009 and 2010, I said that if we ever settled down it might well be in the Rockport/Aransas Pass area of the Texas Coastal Bend. A few years later we discovered Florida’s Space Coast and as I wrote in a blog on exit strategies a few months ago, that’s probably where we’d want to live. Though the location has changed, our reasons are much the same – a moderate climate, opportunities for fishing and kayaking, and the cost of living is affordable.

Today let’s talk about why we (or you) might hang up the keys and stop fulltiming. We’ve been living the fulltime RV lifestyle for 15 years now and have no immediate plans to stop.

However, Terry loves to weave and spin and, and though we have found ways to incorporate those interests into our lifestyle, space can be an issue. I know there are times when she wishes she had more room to spread out and work. I’d love to have a 22-26 foot boat and spend time fishing in Florida, but it makes no sense to own something like that if we’re not going to be around to use it. I’d be lying to you if I said the thought of getting a place to settle down and pursue those interests hasn’t crossed our minds a time or two.

However, the flip side of that coin is that we still love traveling and can’t imagine being tied down to a house, mowing grass, and all of the other chores that go along with that. Besides, as it is now, if our neighbors have a yappy dog or insist on having a smoky campfire every night, we know that it won’t be long before they, or we, go on down the road. What if we bought a place and had to put up with rude neighbors all the time?

We’ve seen a lot of fulltimers come and go over the years. Some knew going in that this lifestyle was not going to be permanent and when they had fulfilled their reasons for fulltiming, they stopped. Others discovered that they really weren’t suited for living on the road or just got tired of it and decided to do something else.

We’ve also known many fulltime RVers who planned to keep on traveling forever and only got off the road when illness or death forced them to. And we’ve known a few that stopped traveling to take care of aging parents or grandchildren when family issues created a need for them to do so.

Terry and I have always said that we’d stop fulltiming when it stopped being fun, and that hasn’t happened yet. I think for us it would be a health issue or when age makes it unsafe for us continue. We hope that will be a long time yet.

How about you? Did you enter the fulltime lifestyle planning to keep on going until you wore the wheels off your rig, or did you have a point in mind when you’d stop? Has that changed over time? What would cause you to hang up the keys?

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  32 Responses to “Why Would You Stop?”


    Don’t make me have to tell you again.

  2. We started out with a 1 year plan. 5 years into that we are still making one year plans and have no idea when we’ll stop.

  3. 8 years and still loving it.If we have to stop for some reason it will most likely be Texas because of the kids living there. We will probably get a lease somewhere and stay in the rv.

  4. Had planned to be on the road for at least twenty years – 2005 to 2025. Cancer intervened. But we live in a mobile home park that has a smallish RV section, so I still get to see rigs come and go. ;-> A lot of the homeowners in here are also port-time or former RV’ers, so that helps, too.

    Virtual hugs,


  5. We sold our home and went full-time in 2009. We rented an RV lot in central Florida for the winter in 2009, in 2010 we bought our own lot, in 2012 we bought a double-wide park model in the same park and our RV lot has year-round renters, in 2013 we traded our 40 foot Phaeton for a MB diesel 25 foot and two slides. We now travel for 3 or 4 months in the summer and short trips in Florida during the winter. We don’t worry about our “home” while we take off on our travels – lawn maintenance is included and the clubhouse pool will be just fine while we are gone. We feel we have the best of both worlds now.

  6. I’ve been traveling 8-9 months a year for only two years. I think I’ll stop when I find a place with no tornados, no snow, no earthquakes, no hurricanes, no fires and lots of nice people!! I imagine that will take awhile to find ………

  7. We are probably your shortest full timers! We were ready to retire and sold the house and went full time for FIVE months. But then Steve got a good job offer to transfer his position to work in a State Park. Well, he said he would help them out for the summer and see how it goes. The summer turned to fall, and he really liked it (it was a full time position year round) So as fall was turning to winter, we quickly bought another house near the campground. Smaller and cheaper than the one we sold.

    The park staff like that he takes all his vacation time in the winter so we can head south for a while to escape the Wisconsin Winter…. and he is there at the park the spring, summer and fall when they need him the most. We also handle all of the camphost coordinating and training in the park.

    When he does get around to retiring, we have reduced our housing costs by 2/3 with this house and can afford to still keep it and travel at the same time. The house we picked is our perfect “exit housing strategy” as it’s close to the kids and grandkids and reasonable taxes and costs to live here. Plus, the best part, is that we can park our motorhome right in our own yard. That was the FIRST priority to be assured of that before we even put an offer on the house.

    (and I have a room for my weaving looms and spinning wheels….)

  8. The only reason we would stop is death or illness. My wife has a chronic problem that we are abel to control with meds at this point. We hope to continue this as long as possible.

  9. We planed on 5 years full timing it and made it 3 before a staff infection turned into mersa and my wife lost her leg. We ended up back in our home town the place we really did not want to come back to. But what can you do?

  10. Started out with a 5 year plan and at the end of that time were still having so much fun we didn’t want to quit so we just continued on a year by year basis. 11 years later still having fun and no plans to stop.

  11. Our grandkids have a very unstable home life and we have reached the decision after 14 months on the road to go back home and try to get custody of them. Otherwise we’d still be trucking down the highway.

  12. After 5 years we decided to buy a park model at a place in Florida. That lasted 2 years and we found ourselves embroiled in all sorts of internal politics and drama in the park. Everybody wanted us to choose sides. We solved that problem by selling the park model at a loss and we are back to fulltiming. We learned our lesson.

  13. When we bought our motorhome we thought we’d full time forever. But my husband’s declining health put an end to that after two years and we bought a lot at a resort park in Mims, Florida. We kept telling ourselves it was only for a while but we enjoy the park and our neighbors so much and we’re 5 minutes from Titusville that we have decided to trade the Phaeton in and get a Class B for short trips around the state

  14. The only way you’ll get me out of my motorhome is in a body bag. Twice we decided maybe we should go back home and be near kids and grandkids. Both times quickly reminded us why we started this in the first place. We don’t want to be the family drama dump and unpaid babysitters for the rest of our lives.

  15. After 9.5 years of full timing some medical issues had us buy a home base on the Space Coast of FL., on a small lake. Note I said a home base. Now if problems makes us hang up the keys we have some place to call home without being a burden to our kids. We traded our 38 foot 5th wheel with 5 slides for a 31 foot class C. Now on our first 5 week trip, and realize how much we miss traveling. We are now in the planning stage of a 6-9 month trip. We are planning to be more traveling RVer’s rather then spending longer periods of time in one place. We realize we are in the twilight of our traveling days and there are places we want to visit or revisit.

  16. My kids can take the keys out of my rigormotis hands. Bob & I have bought a lot at the SKP KOFA park and will stay there when we have seen and done IT all. RVer’s are the world’s friendlist people and we want friendly neighbors. NO house for us. Maybe a park model but who knows. BTW I’ve been on the road for 16 1/2 years and see no end in sight.

  17. We started in 2010 after converting our MCI 5 C Saudi Bus into a motor-home. We sold the house and the construction business at that time wasn’t really worth selling. Kept my contractors license and the wife was a notary. We started work camping in California and Wife broke her foot, injured her knees at the same time. She was in a wheel chair and we were out of the Bus after only 18 months. We had a friend that had a Heartache and needed some help on his ranch. So I have been working the ranch until she was well again to travel. We will always have the ranch to go back to when needed but want to be on the road again full-time. We love it while in it and have been working on it to go out again when she was able to climb the steps again.
    Now 25 months later we are getting ready to go out again and she is healed sufficiently to again climb the entry steps. This will be our second maiden voyage and then slow work our way back into it. Next month we will be in Yreka, CA at the threads and string festival for 10 days of heaven.


  18. Yep – I definitely need more room for my hobbies…..( spinning, weaving, quilting, beading…..the list keeps getting longer!)

    We set out to try life on the road for 1-2 years, in 2007! Thought we’d find a nice house in a warm climate, etc., etc. etc.

    Now, I know that when we land, we will RENT an apartment or condo – something we can still travel from with no worries about lawns, pools, etc. And, if we decide it’s not for us, we are not locked in beyond a one-year lease.

    No plans to do this yet, but it is our “exit” plan.

    Everyone needs an “exit” plan, but it can remain flexible to meet our ever changing situations….and it is definitely NOT “one-size-fits-all.”

    RVers are the BEST, and it is really hard to imagine life without our rig taking us to new friends & adventures!


  19. I am a single woman. When I retired from nursing, I started traveling in the Fall 90 days a year, still keeping my house in Florida City, FL. Sold out and moved to Terrell, TX, to be near a daughter. Bought a house, but continued to travel each Fall. Worsening health caused me to sell the house, and sell my beautiful F350 Full Crew Cab dualie (to the local Volunteer Firefighters) BUT…. kept my RV (34 ft 3-slide 5th Wheel) and made it my fulltime home. My site is near the entrance to my RV park, so I can admire (look up online) or critique every incoming outfit. Still hanging in there at age 78!

  20. A very wise friend of ours said,”You need to do things before you HAVE to, or you are at the mercy of urgent circumstances.” We kept that in mind while we were full timing, always having a “short list” of criteria for a place that we might like to eventually settle. The needs were good medical care, a major airport close by, good weather, congenial activities and a decent cost of living. We found al of those in Tucson. We surprised ourselves by buying a “winter” home in a community that we love … almost by accident. We have spent one winter there and are very glad we took the opportunity to do so. We still travel for 7 months or so, but if medical needs take us by surprise we are good to go. I took the opportunity to have knee replacements this Spring, and had a perfect place to spend the important first 8 weeks after surgery. Others have different requirements … but I think it is always smart to have a plan in the back of your mind.

  21. It would be age and health. This is our 18th year of part-time full-timing. We have a “home” (homebase) in an RV resort. We visit it from 3 to 6 months each year depending on our whims. We keep our stuff there. Maintenance fee takes care of lawns, etc and we have a local (retired RVer) check on our place while we are gone.
    We thought we would never stop but age is catching up with us. We are slower, don’t like traveling so far and if something happened to one of us, we would sell the RV and just live at the RV resort. That doesn’t mean we would quit traveling but our traveling would be of a different kind: more local traveling, fly and stay places.
    The good news is that our cul de sac street is full of active and retired RVers. It’s more like the old time village. We have lots of friends, socials, activities. So we wouldn’t be leaving RVing we would just be changing the emphasis.
    It’s always good to have an exit strategy and to talk to your spouse about it. That way you really don’t have an abrupt change in your lifestyle, it’s just an oozing in to the next phase of your life.

  22. From camping with my family to backpacking to half time to full time to no time on the road. I have been disabled most of my life. I went camping any way I could, for however long I could between medical crises. This last time I managed to stay out 5 months before getting West Nile Virus. Now I can’t even drive. It has been 2 years. The last time I had to quit was after 3 strokes. You just never know what’s next in life! I hate seeing people procrastinate and wait for “later”. Follow your heart’s desire NOW. Today is all you have.

  23. It would also be age & health for us. We’ve been fulltime for 8 years and have no exit strategy. We haven’t seen anyplace yet that we would want to stay. We sold our house in 2006 but keep a substantial portion of the profit in a CD so that if we HAD to stop traveling we would be financially able to so. The kids live in CA, 1 in So Cal and 1 in No Cal, we don’t want to go there. Right now, no plan is our plan.

  24. This week marks the end of our 7th year on the road and we still do not have an exit strategy. We have decided that there is no one place we have visited that we would want to live all year. Florida and Arizona are to hot in the summer and any place up north is to cold in the winter. At this point we plan to continue as long as we can.

  25. We started full time about five weeks ago. We are spending June & July in vacation mode. We close on our house July 30th and start our first volunteer job August 8th. So far it has been hectic spending just one to four nights at a campground. Full timers reality will set in when we are stationary for two months. I think all is going well so far. Moods are usually good, money is OK & the Winnebago has only had minor issues. I am not yet running for the door and I am looking forward to many years on the road.

  26. We are entering our third year of full-time RV life and have no exit plan. If there is some compelling reason to quit, such as health or family issues, we’d have to come up with a plan but we don’t want to even think about it at this point.

  27. Funny about your timing of this blog. We are on our last day of full timing. Tomorrow we will be back where we started in Idaho looking for a small place to live. It was health issues for both of us that brought about the decision. After another Urgent Care visit followed by an ER visit last Saturday, we decided we needed to be near our known and trusted medical providers full time. I, for one, will keep following your blog. You write very well and you are a fun read, especially when Bad Nick comes out to play.

  28. We been fulltiming for 10yrs now and plan to continue until health or death stop us. That being said we did get a lot at the Escapee park in Hondo Tx. we felt we needed a place to be in the winter or if health problems takes us off the road for a few months. All RVers should have an exit plan, you just don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

  29. We’ve been full-timing for 14 years. We’ve slowed down over time and now have some health problems that are, so far, manageable. We’ve spent the last several years at the same park in the winter and have acquired some great friendships and activities we would hate to give up. We also found some wonderful doctors there who understand and deal with our lifestyle. Park models really don’t interest us as they aren’t much bigger than our 40′ rig. Friends who have moved back into “sticks and bricks” complain about “coldness” of neighbors and wish they were back in the RV parks full of friendly people. Our exit strategy is that we will evaluate the circumstances at the time, if leaving the full-timing lifestyle is needed. Our kids keep moving, so moving to be near them would be risky…and we would prefer to avoid living in a northern climate. Being able to ‘bring our house with us’ has been a definite advantage in dealing with family situations over the last 14 years as well as allowing us to see a great portion of this wonderful country in comfort without worrying about or supporting a ‘sticks and bricks’ home.

  30. This is the third or forth time you have posted blogs about exiting and hangng up the keys Nick. Why do I feel that you are sitting us up for an announcement of YOUR exit?

  31. I don’t know why you feel that way John, but as Mark Twain was quoted as saying, the rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. As I said in this blog, we are still having fun and don’t have any plans to stop.

    I write about a lot of things in the blog that relate to the RV lifestyle, and hanging up the keys is eventually part of that lifestyle for all of us. It doesn’t mean we’re doing it anytime soon. And judging by the number of comments on today’s blog, the topic is of interest to a lot of our readers.

  32. We went fulltime in 2006 in a 30′ Airstream TT. We had a great time until 2008 when DH’s medical problems increased. We sold the Airstream, moved into an apartment until DH’s health stabilized and then we bought a 40′ Foretravel DP. We went back on the road in 2009 where we stayed til 2012 when DH’s eyesight became compromised. We sold the Foretravel and bought a house, but missed RVing so much that we got a 17′ Casita in 2013. Now we “sometime” in our Casita. We’d fulltime again in an instant if health problems were not around, but we’re happy with our small house and smaller TT.

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