It is hard to believe that we have been full time in our RV for close to a year! We have been to 10 states starting in the green enchanted forests of Washington to our current spot at a wildlife refuge in Texas.
We have learned a lot! If you are thinking about the nomad lifestyle then you have a few things to consider.
I am not big on giving advice but, how it came about for us may help you with some of those decisions.
*Hint, if you are thinking about being a nomad, then you should definitely do it.
There are a lot of beautiful places across the country. Get out there and see them!
How it started
In the fall of 2019 we were out and about one afternoon running the usual mundane errands: grocery shopping, car wash, a stop at a home improvement store. Nothing special.
We passed by an RV dealer with some pretty cool campers. We were tent campers for many years and had always talked about getting a small camper and spotted a couple for sale.
To get to the smaller campers we of course had to walk past the newer more luxurious class A’s in the front of the lot. There was one with a door open so, what the heck, we’ll just take a peek.
Wow, we were in love! There were double recliners, a residential refrigerator, and a queen size bed. I had no idea that a motorhome could be so nice.
Actually, I had never even thought about it until then. Large class A motorhomes were never on my radar. My first round of thoughts was:
- “I could live in this”.
- “Do people live in these?”
- “Is he thinking the same thing?”
I looked over at Victor and the little mischievous smile he had. Yep, he was definitely thinking the same thing.
By this point a salesman had noticed us (and realized he left a door open) and joined us in the rig. After the usual sales guy small talk, he asked if we were looking for something specific.
We wanted to see more so, rather than moving on to the smaller trailers we decided to tour the other class A’s.
You know, you really get great service when you act like you have a couple hundred thousand burning a hole in your pocket.
Even if you have no desire to ever buy a new class A, it is still a fun way to spend an afternoon. (be sure to go on free hot dog day)
If you are considering full time, then looking at the luxury models can give you an idea of what you may want that is in your budget. It can also give you inspiration on how to improve on older models.
We were both frustrated with our jobs. It just felt like we were working so hard to pay our mortgage and other expenses only to come home and have to work on the house.
It felt like the job was only paying for the other job that I happen to live in.
We had conversations about how having a house felt silly since we used the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, couch, and patio. The rest was just a waste of space and money.
We came home the evening after our RV tours and fell down the YouTube rabbit hole of the world of full time RVing. We quickly realized this is not just something rich grandparents do when they retire.
This is a movement.
There are a community of RVers out there who call their wheels home.
The decision for us was not a hard one. We both love to travel. We both loved the idea of downsizing and getting rid of useless stuff. We both were comfortable with the thought of not having a “home base” for an undetermined amount of time.
The only thing left was to decide when and how to do it.
Cooking and experimenting with food is something we both have always enjoyed. Victor had been tinkering with his BBQ sauce recipe for a couple of years. We began canning it and giving it out as gifts and wondered if it was something we could sell.
An even bigger question was, could this be something we could sell while traveling in an RV full time?
One of the biggest questions people who want to full time RV have is “how do I make money?”
We were of course asking ourselves the same question.
Yes, we would like to sell our sauce. Yes, we would like to work for ourselves. Yes, we would like to travel while doing it.
Of course I cannot mention BBQ sauce without mentioning how we decided on the name. Eddy was our sweet boy who we lovingly referred to as our “Old Blind Dog”.
We did not kid ourselves about the BBQ sauce. It’s not like we are the first ones to put BBQ sauce in a jar and try and sell it.
The vision never included being on the shelves in big chain grocery stores. Our vision was to travel the country and join small local festivals and maybe a BBQ competition here and there.
This meant we would need a rig with a lot of space.
Choosing our Rig
We knew early on that we were going to go with a Class A. We had a truck, but it was not big enough to pull a fifth wheel. We also had a payment on the truck which was something we wanted to get rid of. For us it was more economical to purchase a Class A with a ton of space underneath and tow a car behind it.
We found that our bucket list was not that big. In addition to storage space, we knew we wanted a full-size fridge and at least a queen size bed. We preferred a second bathroom, but it was not a requirement.
Now that we have lived in our RV for close to a year, our bucket list for our next rig will be a little longer. In the future I will post about all of the things we didn’t think of.
We ended up with Bob, short for Sponge Bob Square Home. Bob is a 2017 Thor Miramar 34.1. Overall, we are pretty happy with the purchase. We bought it used with really low miles. We have had to work out some kinks along the way but Bob has been pretty good to us.
Our “toad” is a 2020 Chevy Spark with standard transmission
(to the young folk, that means stick shift).
The standard transmission makes it capable of being flat towed. Keep in mind, not all stick-shifts can be flat towed and not all automatics are incapable of being towed. This is something that has to be researched. We wanted to flat tow so we would not have to hassle with a dolly or trailer. If you end up in a small campsite, you will also have to figure out what to do with said trailer. We are happy with this decision. We were also happy with the deal we got on the Chevy Spark.
Apparently, no one wants to drive a standard transmission to commute in a city with heavy traffic. Go figure. The sales guy said it had been on the lot for a year and didn’t think anyone had even taken it for a test drive. It was brand new with less than 20 miles on it. I am pretty sure they took a loss just to get it off the lot.
Then the World Changed
So we came up with our grand idea in the fall of 2019. We actually bought our Rig in January of 2020. Yes, that’s right, one month before the shit hit the fan. I won’t bore you with the details of how our plans changed because, well, everyone’s plans changed.
Basically, our plans were put on hold for close to a year. I am not complaining at all. In fact, it gave us more time to save, and the value of our home increased. We consider ourselves very lucky. We finally sold our house and moved into our RV in November of 2020.
Where we are now
Full time RVers tend to fall into two categories: stationary and travelers. Victor and I have found the best of both worlds. Volunteering has allowed us to stay and enjoy nature for a couple months at a time before moving on to our next adventure.
Work camping is a great way to give back to the community while living on the cheep. We have met a lot of great people. Many people still work on line while camp hosting since hosting usually does not require full time hours.
I cant wait to bring you more updates on the ins and outs of work camping.