How did we know we could be full time RVers?
Hearing about RVing for the first time
One day I was scrolling through Instagram, and something caught my eye. It was Julia Taylor’s account. She is Julia the Geek and teaches others how to code and make customized websites.
What I found interesting was she lived in her RV all the time! The next day I sent her a DM asking for info about her lifestyle. When she answered, I was so intrigued and wanted to know more. The coding part did not really interest me. Although after several conversations with her, I decided to take her coding challenge. To my surprise, I loved it! More on that in another post.
Then I started searching Instagram for other people who what they call “RV Full Time” and there were all kinds of people that live this life. Families with small kids, young couples, retired couples, and military families. Some were saving for a house. Others needed to move around for work. Most seemed to choose this lifestyle to travel and experience everything they can from stays in different places.
We could be that retired couple. Live in Manitoba Canada for the summers and be close to our kids. Then head south as snowbirds for the winter.
That night I told Rob about it all. He laughed at me. I think he thought I was losing it.
The next day, he said “we really could do that!” We had always been campers and never wanted a trip to end. So of course, we could. That was the day that we could not think of anything else. This became our 5-year plan.
First steps to planning to RV full time
The more we talked, dreamed, and planned, the more excited we were. In our minds, we wanted to do this right now. Quit our jobs and go!
But we have to be realistic. We do not even know if we can afford it. Our current RV was over 20 years old. It was also 25 ft long with a horrible floor plan for living full time. Our house would need renos to sell it. There was a lot to consider. Our daughter had moved out years ago, but we still had the boys home.
Yet, we felt with planning and time we could do it. One step at a time.
Can we afford to retire?
This really was the do or die question. Can we afford to leave our jobs? After some checking…. It was totally doable. We would sell our house and most of our stuff. We would have the money from that plus my pension. If we invested our money properly, it would last us quite awhile.
Rob had his own electrical business and investments. For him it was a matter of slowly closing down his business. Which I did not have to twist his arm on the idea.
Telling our kids and family
We told our kids about our 5-year plan. For the boys, it meant they would need to save money and think about where they wanted to live. I think they thought we were joking.
The rest of the family seemed concerned about such a drastic step. But also, a little curious. No one in our families had ever done this.
Plugging away at our house renos
We had already been plugging away at our house renos.
Our house was 27 years old and needed updating. With work and life, there was never anytime to keep up with stuff.
Now here we were. Wanting to sell it and had to get it back in shape and up to date. There really was not too much of a rush though.
We had 5 years!
Life changes and the Pandemic
Our 5-year plan sudden changed into 3 years.
In 2019 a close uncle became very sick and passed away. This hit home. We started to feel like that could be one of us at any time. We could be working the next 5 years and then die and not live out our dream.
Then came 2020….the PANDEMIC hit. This made our renos a challenge, work was beyond stressful, and I was burnt out.
Rob’s business was pretty steady and then it came to a halt. Which was good and bad. It meant he had more time to work on our renos, but it meant no income. That year I lost another uncle suddenly.
That was it. My earliest retirement date was March 2021. I notified my pension holder and my manager. My last day of work was March 31. It was bittersweet. There were so many memories made there and good friends over the years.
We dove into the renos. Eight to ten hours a day. Every day of the week. We were exhausted. Our house was listed June 2. It officially sold a week later.
Again, another loss. This time it was my Mom. She passed away suddenly a week before we moved. I was devastated.
Possession was Aug 9 (our anniversary). We will never forget that day. The day we left our home of 27 years and moved into our RV and sorta celebrated our 35th Anniversary.
How we really felt when we left the house
There were so many emotions.
Of course, we were excited. To finally be doing this.
When the RV was still parked in our yard, we would go sit in there on our coffee breaks during renos. We would dream about when we would be full time.
Then it became a reality. It was such a weird feeling being free of the busy rat race of work, house and just life in general.
There was the unknown. Where would we go? What parks are good? Will things break down? Are we safe on the road?
This made us a little nervous. When we started, all we knew for sure was that we had a seasonal campsite and a spot for the winter. But year to year, you never know what will change.
We felt sad. To leave our house. Which we built on Rob’s family’s land. His parents have both passed away. Sad that I could not share all these feelings with my Mom.
The kids grew up in this house. They were all on their own now. Yet as a parent, of course we still worried about them.
Everything we thought this life would be, we never expected how it would feel to retire, move, and travel all within six months.
We are still adjusting.
Our Lessons – Plan early. It’s never too soon.