May 112015

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.

Professional boxers and fulltime RVers have to learn to roll with the punches if they want to survive, and Margaret and Rich Bergen obviously have that philosophy. They know that things can change at the last minute, by choice or by chance, and that’s just fine with them. It’s all part of the adventure.RV

Two years before their planned start to their fulltiming adventure they purchased a 1996 Beaver diesel motorhome to carry them off to their new life and then, three weeks before they hit the road they made a snap decision to buy a 38-foot Monaco Knight. They said it was scary but worth it, and they appreciate the larger coach with its slides and Cummins diesel engine.

On the road since December, 2014, the Bergens left their home in McNabb, Illinois determined to have fun and collect memories, and not to allow whatever speed bumps they might encounter along the way bother them. And life always has speed bumps no matter where you live or what you do.

Before retiring, Rich hauled mail from state to state for an independent contractor and Margaret worked in a warehouse. Both of them love traveling but vacations always came to an end. Being spontaneous people, they never did a lot of planning, preferring to take whatever happened in stride. Again, good qualities for the fulltime lifestyle.

They love having the ability to do as they please that being fulltime RVers gives them, traveling as they can afford or staying put in the area that they like. Being able to design life as they please and meeting so many new people with so many different lifestyles are among their favorite things.

About the only things Rich and Margaret dislike about fulltiming are being away from family, and maybe filling up the motorhome’s fuel tank.

When asked what their worst day of fulltiming has been, Margaret said it was the first morning out, when they woke up and Rich’s pants were missing, with money in the pocket. After an hour or so looking for them they discovered that the cat had dragged the pants under the slide. They laugh about the event and say it taught them a lesson about slides and animals.

Starting out, their goal was to do lots of traveling, but they found themselves workamping in Harlingen, Texas and loving their jobs and the campground so much that they plan to return again next winter. They like being able to save money by not having to spend their Social Security checks. There are also plans to try gate guarding next year. As Margaret said, “Anything is open to us.” She also has a blog, And Let the Fun Begin, that she hopes to someday turn into an income stream, as well as selling some of her crafts. Someday they would love to workamp in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Cherokee, North Carolina, two of their favorite places.

When not working, Rich loves his Harleys, using his tools, and relaxing around the campfire. Margaret is more into crafts, reading, and wants to bicycle more. They both love sightseeing, and like all RVers, they always enjoy discovering a good restaurant.

Asked about any special RVing goals, the Bergens said they want to continue having fun and see and do everything they can, traveling our beautiful country.

What advice would the Bergens give to a newbie? If this is your dream, proceed now! Don’t let people, even your children, make you feel guilty. Keep your sense of humor. You need to be able to roll with the flow. Life out here cannot always be planned, that is the adventure of it. Smile and laugh, it brings happiness. And above all, educate yourself. There are so many avenues available on and off the internet; Facebook sites, blogs, neighbors in RV parks. Always be open to listen!

When asked to share a few words about their thoughts on fulltime RVing, the Bergens said, “We are so excited to be out here now. We are in our first workamping job and loving it. We are only a half hour from South Padre Island. Imagine that! On vacation, one sees the sights only to go home and wonder if you will ever go back. Here, we are just a half hour away. We have already been there twice and will return several more times before we leave. You have the ability to stay in a place as long as you want to enjoy the area and everything it has. Fulltiming is everything you make it to be. You are in control. It also doesn’t require a lot of money. You can design your lifestyle by your income, and subsidize it with workamping or other ways to make money.”

Congratulations, Penny Cooper, the winner of this week’s Gypsy Journal drawing for an audiobook of Crazy Days in Big Lake. We had 116 entries in the drawing. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.

Thought For The Day – There are two forms of travel – First Class and with children.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  One Response to “Fulltimers – Margaret and Rich Bergen”

  1. I was reading some of your articles on motor homes! I’m really needing advice on what the better motor home is..I read about that 1998 Pace Arrow Vision that the couple wrote about in there book and guess what I was looking at! lol I really don’t have a lot of money to spend but bang I guess for my buck is what I need..I really want a double slide looked at a lot with different layouts. What I have found is people double price things that are in the NADA pricing guide because they don’t read that its already added in on the price of the used motor home.Then they get mad at you for bringing it to there attention..I guess I just need some pro and cons to help me decided the better models it would be greatly appreciated.

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