Note: This is an updated repost of a blog from April, 2015 on a topic I still hear a lot about from new or wannabe be fulltimers.
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 from a lot 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 have also known fulltimers who rent storage lockers to keep all of their stuff until the day they hang up the keys. I would say that over 80% of them who stay in the fulltime RV lifestyle close out the lockers and get rid of the stuff after 3-5 years of paying money for things they may never use again.
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, or because of aging or family issues. We’ve known a number of fulltime RVers who got off the road to care for elderly parents. And even some who did it to raise grandchildren because the kids’ parents are unwilling or unable to do so. I don’t think I’ve ever known any who stopped traveling because they were bored.
When they do stop traveling, some former fulltimers buy a lot in an RV park or an Escapees co-op and park their rigs to live there permanently, others buy a house or mobile home in a place they discovered in their travels, and still others go back to their old home towns to be near kids and grandkids.
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 used to say we’d have to keep RVing until all our kinfolk die, because we didn’t want to settle down where any of them live.
We spent over 18 years fulltiming and for the most part loved every day of it. Every so often Terry or I would ask the other if they were tired of it and ready to stop. The answer was always no. And then one day, out of the blue, we both realized there were other things we wanted to do in our lives that didn’t fit into our mobile lifestyle. So we bought a place on the Intracoastal Waterway in central Florida, sold the RV, and embraced our new path.
People have asked us if we’d ever want to do it again. We’ve asked ourselves that more than once, and the answer is always no. We loved it while we were doing it, but that’s in the past. We still love to travel and we do miss so many of our wonderful friends from the RV world, but we keep in touch through emails, Facebook and phone calls.
Be sure to enter our latest Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for a campground rating, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day. To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) 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 – The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together.