Feb 062015

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.

Often with fulltiming couples the husband is the one who comes up with the idea of selling everything and hitting the road, and the wife needs time to process things before she agrees to give up house and home (and grandkids) in favor of the nomadic lifestyle. But in Rick and Cherry Stevens’ case, she was the one who had wanted to sell the house and go fulltiming for years. Husband Rick said it wasn’t until they went to Florida for two months shortly after retirement that he realized there was nothing missing in his life, even though they were so far from their home near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Soon after that epiphany they began looking for a Class A motorhome to replace the much smaller Class C they owned.

Rick and Cherry Trininty Lutheran member book

Rick, who worked in data processing for 45 years, and Cherry, a former buyer and internal accounts receivable analyst, had spent years camping in tents, popups, and travel trailers over the years. They settled on a 35 foot 2011 Coachmen Mirada as their new home on wheels.

With two years of fulltiming under their belts, they look back and say that the best thing about leaving their old lives is not having the worries and hassles of home ownership, and being warm during the winter. “And it’s nice to save the kids having to clean out our house when we’re gone… that’s done,” they added.

When asked what he likes best about fulltiming, Rick replied that it’s seeing new things, and the opportunity to try out new restaurants. For Cherry, it’s the ease and simplicity of life. “Everything is just quicker and easier,” she said. “You have more time to do what you want to do with your life.”

What do they most dislike about fulltiming? Worrying about what’s going to break in their RV.

While many fulltimers workamp or volunteer as they travel, Rick and Cherry don’t. “It’s been difficult to accept any responsibility anymore,” Rick said. “50 years of work ruined me.”

Unlike many new fulltimers, they have not worn themselves out running around the country. They love the RV park where they winter in Largo, Florida and have only spent two months traveling in the summer, the rest has been spent enjoying family in Pennsylvania.

Retirement has not meant boredom for Rick and Cherry. They are involved in a UCC Church in Dunedin, Florida, Rick is a golfer, and they both enjoy the activities at their RV park. They are also members of the Escapees RV Club and FMCA.

Like many fulltimers, Rich and Cherry said leaving family for long periods of time is the worst part of their lifestyle but they stay in touch with FaceTime. One problem is finding good, affordable internet service when they leave their RV park in Largo for six months. Another frustration is keeping up with the RVs maintenance needs. “Something always needs attention,” Rick said. “Even if it’s just to “strengthen” the systems installed by the manufacturer and remedy their poor workmanship. I have a lot of experience fixing things in our brick home, which translates well when you have a motorhome.”

When asked what their best day fulltiming was, they said it was tough to name just one because they’re all good. Sitting outside, sipping a drink, enjoying the warm wind as you sit in your comfortable chair as you enjoy retirement is pretty hard to beat.

If they had to give a wannabe fulltimer any advice, it would be to spend more time than they did RV shopping. “Buy your best RV first, not after “trying” one or two.”

In summing up their thoughts on the fulltime lifestyle, Rick and Cherry said, “It’s a wonderful lifestyle. No matter what happens as far as our ability to continue living in a motorhome, we’ll always have a “tiny home.” It just simplifies life, and we’ve found simplification to be a crucial element to satisfying living. We’re very happy. Having “eliminated” most of the “things” we have in life has been “freeing.”

Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is a signed paperback copy of Explanations and Advice for the Tech Illiterate by Randall Morris. 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.

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Thought For The Day – The brain is a fascinating organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office.

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  2 Responses to “Fulltimers – Rick and Cherry Stevens”

  1. Nick: Your fingers typed “Key Largo” instead of “Largo” the second time.

  2. Great article, Nick. We’ve passed it on to our family who thought it was well written.

    Thank you so much.


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