Apr 302015

I get a lot of e-mails from people who are just getting into the fulltime RV lifestyle and have questions about everything from which state to chose as their legal domicile to what kind of RV is best for them, to which camping clubs, if any, to join.

One of the most frequent questions is “What do we do with all of our stuff?” Many people give prized family heirlooms to their kids, then have a series of yard sales to sell off the things they are not taking with them. Whatever is left over gets donated to a charity. Some don’t want all of that hassle and simply call in an estate liquidator to take everything away.

But no matter how they go about it, a lot of people complain that they can’t sell certain things for what they had expected to get for them, and some balk at dropping their price. I also hear that a lot from folks who have their house on the market. They tell me, “I want to get what it’s worth, I’m not giving it away.”

Then you may have it forever. Anything is only as valuable as what somebody is willing to pay for it right now. It may have been worth more last month and maybe it will be again next month, but right now it’s only worth what you can sell it for. The difference between what you want and what you can get is the price of freedom to follow your dream. What’s more important to you, getting your price or saying goodbye to the past and embracing the future?

We’ve also seen a lot of fulltimers getting out of the lifestyle over the years, for one reason or another. Some never planned to fulltime for the rest of their lives and once they achieved their personal goals it was time to move on to whatever was next for them. Others hang up the keys due to the loss of their spouse or health problems, because of aging, or family issues. We’ve known a number of fulltime RVers who got off the road to care for elderly parents. I don’t think I’ve ever known any who stopped because they were bored.

There’s an old joke about a couple who were both 100 years old and had been married 83 years when they filed for divorce. They told the judge that they really wanted the marriage to end after the first 20 years, but they decided to wait until all their kids were dead. In our case, we’d have to keep RVing until all our kinfolk die because we don’t want to settle down where any of them live.

We’re just a few weeks shy of starting our 16th year of fulltiming and still loving it. Every so often Terry or I will ask the other if we’re tired of it and ready to stop, but so far the answer has always been no. We really like Titusville, Florida and last winter we looked at a lot in a 55+ park there with the idea that we could spend part of our winters there and travel the rest of the year, and when the time comes to hang up the keys, we’d live in our motorhome or put a park model on it. But we both say that would be the first string that ties us down, and we’re not ready for that yet.

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to kick off a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Rift in the Races , the second book in my friend John Daulton’s Galactic Mage 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.

RitR Audio Cover - small

Thought For The Day – The hardest thing to open is a closed mind.

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Nick Russell

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  8 Responses to “Getting In And Getting Out”

  1. I love your thinking concerning the lot in Titusville, FL. It will still be there when you’re ready to stop fulltiming. If it isn’t, then perhaps you made an even wiser decision.

  2. Another great profile of a full timing couple:)

  3. Great joke on the 80 years. The thought for the day was great as usual. Most people don’t like change or at least are afraid of change. I see lots of RVers buy a lot and incur unnecessary costs. They don’t know where they will want to live in the future or what they will want. The place they eventually settle down may not have even been built yet. But by having something to settle for they are usually settling and wasting valuable cash. For people like you two it would be a first string. For others it could be a chain. I don’t like chains. I would rather live with the uncertainty of what my address might be in 10 or 20 years than waste money when there is probably greater than a 90% chance that I would be making a mistake. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. As the poster said yesterday, you provide a great RV service.

  4. I totally agree that the time to move is when you want to go. I waited a couple of years trying to get my price for my home of 35 years. When I realized that I was paying taxes, insurance, utilities etc. year around on a house that I was using less than 6 months each year as I travelled in my RV, I worked hard to get what I could which was WAY less than I wanted but sold it, gave my children whatever they wanted and donated the rest of the contents to a resale shop supporting a homeless shelter. I sure did not want to deal with a big garage sale. I am very happy not paying the nearly $5000 each year in expenses and parking my home where ever I want. My wait cost me years of freedom.

  5. We have always been part time full timers (in our 19th year). We are fortunate that our financials are such that we can support both the RV life style (6 to 8 months a year) and our home base (the rest of the year). But during our RVing lifestyle we did downsize from a house on 2.3 acres to a house with an RV port in an RV community in Titusville, FL. Many of our neighbors were RVers and are now year round residents of our community. We love it there and will someday stay there all the time. T’ville was where I grew up and both hubby and I worked in the area. I still have family in the area and we really love this area. We look as we travel at other places but to us T’ville so far is where we want to end up.
    And you are so right Nick, an item is only worth what some one else will pay for it. And for those who are holding out for their price, ask yourself how much MONEY is this item costing me to keep and how much TIME am I wasting waiting for it to sell. You can never get your time back.

  6. We just closed on a house a few days ago after 10 years of full timing. We love full timing (notice my use of the present tense), but age has caught up with us. We have been staying in one place for increasingly longer periods. When we saw the right house in the right place at the right price, we knew it was time.

    How well I remember that feeling of the ball and chain falling off when we sold our house and everything in it 10 years ago! But we have noticed that the lessons we have learned as full timers have changed our attitudes. We arent putting that ball and chain back on. We won’t allow our possessions to imprison us again. Our plans remain chiseled in jello. We retain our adventurous spirits.

    In other words, no matter what kind of house we live in, we’ll always be full timers at heart.

  7. Quite a while back I asked you about having an RV and a base home to fall back on
    I honestly couldn’t think of any reason why not
    In 1999 I sold my house up on the Cape Cod and moved to Florida In 2000 and bought a house in Port St. John because of the somewhat laid-back area
    In 2013 we sold that one and greatly downsized we still RV but now have a park model here’s the key clincher Unlike a lot of other parks in the area we own the land we sit on!, HOA is $60 a month that has not changed for 5 years, that gives us a gated community, 250 acre lake with fish, ( alligators are optional ) clubhouse, social gatherings, if you feel like doing that, a pool, all ground maintenance, except your lot that’s 175.$ pr, year. And free RV storage site
    property taxes are $200
    My water bill when I’m not here is $28 only because we are hooked into city sewer
    The only electric on is the AC that runs about 21 and $22 per month
    Like most park models mobile homes on site you can’t get Hurricane insurance $$$$$$. so I don’t have any
    So the key is with a fixed income
    do you own your own land
    are your HOA fees low ( we have a say )
    are your taxes low ( homestead )
    is your maintenance low
    Ours is only one In Cocoa
    There’s only two places in Titusville that your own The land
    I believe you have been to both of them
    Some parks here you can buy a double wide for $18–$40,000 + with a 500$ $700 a month HOA Plus you’ve never find one going down price
    I know you’re not ready to make the commitment yet that’s great
    But this was OUR reasoning and logic
    Hope you have a great day

  8. I like following your blog, Nick, (you are a funny, funny guy) and I especially loved this post about fulltiming. I am the one who is a dreamer, my husband is firmly planted. I’d love to see a blog post on how to deal with that! I am the one with wanderlust; he is perfectly content staying put and working until, well…you know. The thought of going solo, even part time, is a frightening/lonely proposition to me at this point. I suppose until I get beyond that fear I will stay put as well. I always have wonderful blogs like yours to fuel my armchair traveling. Thanks for your thoughts and your funnies.

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