Who are these modern day gypsies who spend their lives on the road? What prompted them to leave their former homes and communities for a life on wheels? Each week we will introduce you to some of the fulltime RVers we meet in our travels and those who read this blog.
Fulltime RVers are resilient people who are up to the challenges life throws at them. Good examples are Jean and John Watson. After 13 years of fulltiming, this fun loving couple know that they can handle anything that comes along, from medical issues to an accident that destroyed their motorhome, and go on down the road with smiles on their faces.
John, from Utica, New York, was an electrical engineer and computer programmer, and Jean, from Raritan, New Jersey, owned a ceramic studio for 15 years, and also worked as a medical office biller. They lived in Middlesex New Jersey before hitting the road, and since they were only 50 when they went fulltime, they continue to work.
John was able to still work as a programmer and to offer support to his customers via the internet, using a satellite dish to get online. He is now doing weekend online support for a company in Virginia. Jean volunteered and then worked for the American Red Cross. She also spent a holiday season working for Amazon. She now works in the maintenance department at Hart Ranch Camping Resort in Rapid City, South Dakota for the spring, summer and fall months.
Their current rig is a 2005 Allegro Bus, a 40’ diesel pusher. This is their third Allegro Bus since they began fulltiming, including one that was totaled after going off the road in Virginia a few years ago.
They got involved in fulltiming after discovering the Escapees RV organization and attending an Escapade in West Virginia. Jean said, “Between the fantastic seminars and great people we met, we knew we wanted to give this lifestyle a try.”
When asked what their best day fulltiming has been, they said it was leaving New Jersey. “When we left for our fulltiming adventure, we said if we hated it we would stop since we did not want to stay in New Jersey anyway,” Jean said. They are glad to have less stress and fewer taxes.
Like many fulltime RVers, the hardest part of leaving their old lives was saying goodbye to their grandson, who was 8 years old at the time. But they took him with them for several weeks after going fulltime to show him what life in an RV would be like for them.
When asked what they like best about fulltiming, they agreed it is the freedom. What do they most dislike? Breakdowns and unpredictable weather, two common complaints of many fulltimers.
When not working the Watsons have plenty to keep them busy. John enjoys cowboy action shooting, and Jean reads her Kindle, knits, and enjoys other crafts.
They belong to the Escapees RV Club, which they consider the best around, and the Good Sam club. They belonged to the FMCA for a while but have not renewed. They have attended many RV rallies, including Escapades, Gypsy Journal rallies, FMCA rallies and The Rally (run by the Good Sam Club).
Favorite places they have visited include Cottonwood and Tucson, Arizona, and Rapid City, South Dakota. John and Jean say there are a lot of great places yet to discover and favorites to go back to, and their goal is to keep on traveling and enjoying the good life.
When asked what advice they would give to a newbie, their answer was slow down, take your time and enjoy. It’s a big country out there.
Jean said, “I tell people don’t wait. John was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but with this lifestyle we can adjust to his needs. There are always new places to see and new people to meet. We’ve made so many good friends as we travel. It’s such a joy to stop at a campground and see people we’ve met at a rally or at Hart Ranch.”
Have you entered our Free Drawing for an audiobook of Hostiles, the third book in John Daulton’s excellent Galactic Mage series yet? One reviewer has called it “a great blend of magic and science.” To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.
Good news for science fiction fans. OMEGA Allegiance, the third book in my friend Stephen Arsenault’s exciting OMEGA series is now available on Amazon. If you have not discovered Stephen’s work yet, check it out. He’s a fine author with a big fan base.
Thought For The Day – Old ways won’t open new doors.