RVing full time had been a dream of ours for nearly 5 years – we wanted to find a way to see the USA and live the full time RV lifestyle.
One problem with this dream though: we are not “professional full time RV people”…we’re not even half-way experienced full time RVing people.
In fact, we’ve barely ever camped, gone RVing or done anything remotely related to “roughing it” in the outdoors.
The only other time we ever vacationed in an RV was a three-day RVing rental that cost us a small fortune to Acadia National Park in Maine nearly three years ago.
We were so bad at it we vowed we’d never do it again.
But the dream of full time RVing never went away…
So in spite of all that, we took the plunge, bought a behemoth Chapparal Fifth Wheel and set out on our full time RV journey…but this time do it 100% – doing it full time.
Why Full Time RVing?
Most people thought we wouldn’t actually go. We have a nice home in a nice neighborhood with good friends and family nearby. We have good jobs and our kids are doing pretty well in school and life overall is good. We consider ourselves to be very fortunate.
So why throw all that aside and go in an RV full time for a year?
The main reason is that we love to travel. We’ve traveled and vacationed in the continental United States and Canada many times before but always felt we never had enough time to really enjoy all the sites, as well as see all the places we’ve always wanted to go to.
So we decided that to get a real taste of what our country is really all about, we had to do it by RV. In fact, this passion to see the U.S is so strong that in spite of our lack of experience and knowledge of RVing full time, we would buy an RV site unseen on the Internet, buy a big honkin’ truck to pull it (twice in fact, but more on that later), take the kids out of school for a year and home school them, totally take our own businesses mobile and travel the country for a year living in an RV full time.
It all started in 2008, when Jen gave me a book for our 9th wedding anniversary called The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. I gave her a USB cable to hook her phone to her computer as I recall – (nothing says love more than technology accessories I always say).
Suffice to say, I got the better end of the deal.
The 4-Hour Workweek described the limitless possibilities of mobile work enabled by the emerging technology from the Internet to build a “location independent” lifestyle. The author Tim Ferris described how he outsourced much of his work through technology, setting up automated systems to make money online with passive forms of income using automated systems. This enabled him to pursue his passions around the globe including ultimate fighting in China, tangoing in South America and basically pursuing his passions because of his mobile lifestyle.
Although The 4-Hour Workweek didn’t inspire us to decide to take on this full time RV adventure, it did enable the final piece to the puzzle as to how we would accomplish it.
At the time Jen gave me the Tim Ferris book, I was working at a job I hated with my career going nowhere fast. Jen on the other hand had built a very successful business and had always wanted to travel the world from the start of our marriage. The final part was what I could do to enable this mobile dream to come together.
So I started an online business in the Tim Ferris mold, outsourced much of the work and built it part time while still working full time. Eventually my primary online business reached the point where we could be comfortable to leave the trappings and location dependence of the corporate job world and set the stage for the idea Jen had always had in mind ever since we first met.
Truth be told, our original goal was to travel around the world before the age of 40. We had traveled fairly extensively in the continental US and Europe prior to our family, and particularly fell in love with the western United States. But instead, we decided to have kids and build a location based lifestyle in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. And we are so glad we did because our kids are the best things to ever happen to us.
So the idea of going across the US in an RV started to take shape as we discussed how we could satisfy our passions for travel, spending time with our kids, while continuing to pursue careers that we are extremely passionate about. We really weren’t so sure about what we would actually DO with the kids on the road though. How would we educate them for an entire year?
That’s when we heard about road schooling, a form of homeschooling that has been pursued by other location independent families that have similar desires to us with regard to travel, work and family. Although secular road schooling is less prevalent, Jen did a tremendous amount of research on how this all could be done in a mobile environment RVing full time.
So all the pieces of the puzzle started to come together in mid 2010 and we started announcing to our friends and family our intent to hop in an RV, home school our kids, run our businesses and travel the country.
Sounds simple right?
We figured once we announced it we had to do it. Thomas Edison once boldly announced that he would bring electricity to every home and business in the US when all there was was candle power. He said the best way to accomplish your goals is to announce it to the world, then pursue it with reckless abandon to avoid the humiliation of backing down.
We are far from bringing electricity to millions of homes for the first time, but that’s in essence what we did.
So we researched RVs and trucks extensively, dissecting styles and floor plans. This took months of research (how we went about this specifically in later blog posts). We then started putting our house up for rental while we were gone, putting together initial plans for itinerary and got the plan moving forward, laying out all the pieces for a summer 2011 departure.
Departure Day or “D-Day”, as it was commonly referred to, (not coincidentally as the both destructive and liberating historical day in 1944 by the same name) came very quickly. All the plans were in place and we shoved off not the great unknown of upstate New York for what would be the first of many sight unseen spots we would call home over the course of the next 12 months.
The Full Time RV Family Blog
On this blog, we will be as transparent as possible to tell you about what its really like to RV full time as a family: our family rving experiences, how we educate our kids homeschooling, how we maintain and grow our businesses, our travel experiences and observations. As a part of the full time RV experience, our two boys will blog too, (as a part of their homework) but also to give their own personal observations into what it’s like for a kid to pack it all up and head onto the open road in an RV for a year.
On the blog, we’ll provide photos and stories of our travel experiences, blog posts on regional observations, how to instructional videos on how to maintain and live in an RV full time, expense logging to give you a better idea of how much this all costs, occasional product reviews for products we find essential to living the full time RVing lifestyle (we’ll give a link that we do make a small commission on) as well as just general non-related even goofy stuff that we think readers of our blog may find interesting…or stuff we just like!
Our aim on this blog is not to convert you to the RVing full time way of life…in fact far from it. We’re not some messianic tribe of RV enthusiasts that live, breathe and eat all things RV. As I told you before, we are the farthest thing from that – total “wet behind the ears” RV newbies.
Our real goal in writing this blog is that maybe in some small way, you too may be inspired by what we’ve done to throw caution to the wind, take the plunge and pursue your individual dreams that have been lurking in the recesses of your mind for years…no matter how crazy they are.
A few weeks ago, as we visited a local cemetery to pay our respects at a family member’s grave, we realized that life is indeed short. You are on this earth for only a brief moment in time, so you had better make every second count. And when your time on earth is done, don’t have any regrets. Our motive is to do just that RVing full time across this great country of ours…without any regrets.
Thank you for reading and we look forward to corresponding with you on Full Time RV Family!
Special thanks to:
for inspiring us to go full time RVing on the road (OTR)!