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.
Over the years we’ve heard a lot of reasons for why people became fulltime RVers, from a love of travel to seeking freedom from existing routines, to a desire to simplify their lives. But I think Bob and Sandi Swanson are the first couple I’ve met who attribute it to cruise ships. As they explained it, “We love to cruise, and always enjoy the fact that once aboard a ship you unpack once yet every morning the scenery outside the window is different. RVing duplicates that hassle-free freedom, the view out the window is ever-changing, yet your socks are always in the same drawer.”
Bob and Sandi had never stepped foot inside an RV when they bought their motorhome. In their seven years of fulltiming in their 2008 Itasca Ellipse 40 foot diesel pusher, Bob, who was a programmer/analyst for Boeing Maui, and Sandi, a former Computer Science professor at the University of Hawaii in Maui, have been to all of the lower 48 states except Delaware, though they’re not sure how they missed it. (In their defense, it is a small state.) They say they have fond memories of most of them, and some not-so-fond memories of a few. Their favorite pace to visit is southern Utah, though they added that their 2012 Alaska trip was definitely a highlight of their RV lives. They have also visited three Canadian Provinces; Alberta, Yukon, and British Columbia.
They usually stay in one place in the winter and travel in the summers. Unless they are in Point A to Point B mode, they like to stay in places a week or so before they move on.
The Swansons said the hardest part of leaving their old lives was getting rid of their stuff, but that has been more than offset by having the opportunity to visit so many wonderful places and meeting so many special people. They said they have seen more of their families since they started fulltiming.
When asked what they like best about fulltiming, they said it was the combination of new places, new faces, and new experiences. And what do they most dislike about fulltiming? Inconsiderate people. And they miss having a big shower with lots of hot water.
Bob and Sandi said their best day fulltiming is every morning when they wake up in their beautiful home on wheels, and that boondocking in remote places is very special to them. Their worst day fulltiming was having their coach “tossed” by some over zealous Canadian Border Agents. “They ensured that we’ll not return to Canada with our coach.”
Both are avid amateur photographers, and Bob is a stamp collector. Sandi enjoys reading and cooking. They recently we got their amateur radio licenses and are getting their feet wet in that hobby.
Bob and Sandi are life members of the Escapees RV Club, and also belong to the FMCA, the Escapees Boomers, and Boondockers groups. They have attended Escapees Escapade RV rallies, as well as Gypsy Journal rallies and rallies sponsored by the FMCA and the Winnebago/Itasca Owners Club. They have taken many classes at rallies and also attended Freightliner’s “Camp Freightliner” class in Gaffney, South Dakota.
When asked if they have any special RV goals, they said it was to do what they’re doing as long as they can.
What advice would Bob and Sandi give to a newbie? Take it slow. If you want to drive fast and far, buy a Ferrari. They’re cheaper and cost less to operate.
Summing up their feelings on fulltime RVing, the Swansons said, “As with any other aspect of life, you generally reap what you sow. Be flexible and always have a Plan B, C, etc.”
Have you entered our latest Free Drawing yet? This week’s prize is an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake, the third book in my Big Lake mystery series. 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.
Thought For The Day – Normal people scare me. But not as much as I scare them.