Why Betty Loved Living the Mobile Lifestyle in Retirement

Category: Adventurous retirement

September 23, 2016 — By Betty Fitterman
Note: This is a 6 part series that Betty Fitterman was kind enough to contribute way back at Topretirements’ beginning. To see the other 5 parts see the links at the bottom of this article.

While millions of baby boomers are starting to check out active adult communities, college towns, and cities as their retirement destination, a sub-set of young-at-heart retirees has a much more adventurous approach. These folks have adopted a mobile lifestyle, and for them, the entire continent is their community.

We’re talking about the permanent and semi-permanent RVers, many of whom have sold everything – homes, condos, cars, furniture and all – to live as turtles, as one friend described it, carrying their homes on their backs for as long as they enjoy it.

It’s not an easy decision, especially when it comes to friends and family left behind, but the rewards are many. It’s exciting, educational, and freeing, and if you do it right, a great way to conserve your finances for the long haul.

This writer made the decision to liquidate everything and move into a luxury mobile home only after a couple of years of vacationing in, first, a rental RV, then a mid-size Class C Mobile home, the kind that looks like it’s been built around a truck cab. Although I enjoyed these vacations immensely, I could not for the life of me imagine moving into one full-time, and it took my husband three years to convince me to abandon my successful advertising business, say goodbye to friends and family for the time being, and sell everything we owned.

I’m a nester. I loved my beautiful home, but the cost of running a six-bedroom home on two acres was killing us. I knew we’d have to do something soon, or we’d be living in a double-wide in some backwater town, working at the local WalMart and scraping by to stay alive. We wanted to travel. We wanted some semblance of the luxury we’d worked so hard for. We wanted to retire without money worries. So with the housing market dropping into the basement, we put our dream house and our investment condo up for sale, sold three of our four cars, and went shopping for a mobile coach.


We were lucky. We shopped around and found a like-new Class A Mobile home, the kind that looks like a rock-star bus and has a spacious, comfortable interior. Ours had been owned by a poor soul who purchased it then became ill and couldn’t drive. We profited from the collapse of his dream, I’m both happy and sad to say. It was an incredible bargain, a 2004 with only 4000 miles on it.

Monterey RVOn the plus side, a mortgage of $100,000 was immensely preferable to our current million-dollar noose, and while gas prices were soaring, they still didn’t compare to the taxes and running costs of owning a home with a yearly tax bill of $47,000. I kept looking at that number and imagining how many vacations we could take with that money. Moving to a landed retirement community would also be a smart move financially, but we’d have to figure the cost of vacations and home upkeep into our plan.

With our home on our backs, on the other hand, we could be on permanent vacation, and while there is some upkeep to be factored in, it still would be less than owning a home. Besides, once we’d found the place that “makes our hearts sing,” as my husband kept saying, we’d still have plenty of savings to purchase a pretty house and keep the RV as well. It seemed like a win-win situation, and while I was less interested in this peripatetic retirement for all the emotional reasons a nester can come up with, my husband was so gung-ho about it, I simply couldn’t say no. I wish you could have seen the look on his face when I finally said okay, let’s do this thing.

Just a few months into this adventure, I am finding extra benefits I never even imagined. We had a gardener and a cleaning lady, but now I’m doing the housework. It takes all of one hour every week. I don’t mind; it’s exercise.

While most decorating is done by the RV manufacturer, I still managed to exercise my decorating muscle by ripping out some of the more mundane furnishings and adding my own personal touch by way of new coverlets, curtains, a coffee table scaled to our living space and some sexy-looking pillows for the couch. I’ve scoured antique shops for things like a vase that won’t break (an old bean pot is just heavy enough and looks wonderful) and a dish drain in bright red. A born shopper, I’m learning the wisdom of thinking twice about a purchase because there is a finite amount of space to both display and store things. As a result, I’ve saved money, but had just as much fun.

My husband is so happy he’s doing all the hard work that I would never want to do, and almost half of the indoor chores. He walks the dog, sets up the camper at each stop, shampoos the rug, dries the dishes, does the barbecuing, and washes the laundry. He’s more of a partner than I’ve ever had, and that feels wonderful. But I haven’t become Mrs. Homebody by any stretch of the imagination. There are wonderful restaurants in every town, so we go out whenever we want to. I miss going to the movies, but we have satellite TV, so I can rent a movie and watch in my pajamas. And I still treat myself to jewelry (small and packs well).

But the best part is the travel, of course. Our enormous windows offer us a huge, unobstructed view of this continent’s most glorious sights. We can stop just about anywhere. On the side of a waterfall, near a babbling brook, at a honky-tonk amusement park, or simply on the side of a country road to take pictures of a dilapidated barn. Two weeks ago, we drove all the way from New York to Nashville just to see the Eagles in concert.

Can you do all of this in a car? Sure, but will you? RV living has given us the chance to slow down and enjoy the world. We have met some lovely people along the way and exchanged e-mail addresses and promised to stay in touch. In March, we will head to Florida to an RV Event in a community devoted to astrology. We’ll lie on our backs in a farmer’s field and enjoy the show above our heads. We’ll meet people who love this hobby and then we’ll move on, visiting friends who have retired and moved to pretty little houses in pretty little towns all over the country. This is our retirement community. Everywhere and anywhere you can drive a 32,000 lb. vehicle.

Much to my surprise, I’m already loving this lifestyle. And if a curmudgeonly old nester with a successful business she enjoys going to every day, a love of the big city, and a penchant for the finer things in life can say this, then maybe there’s something to mobile living after all.

In coming articles, I’ll write in more detail about the cost of RVing vs. landed living, the learning curve that’s involved in living together full time – believe me, no small feat – life on the road, and I’ll share some tips about where to go and how to travel without angst into new and unfamiliar places. Tune in. This is just the beginning.

About Betty Fitterman
Betty Fitterman was in advertising for over 30 years before her retirement. An award-winning writer, she was EVP/Creative Director and a member of the Board of Directors of Lintas Advertising until 1997, when she and her partner Frank DeVito formed DeVito Fitterman Advertising, which today is a successful agency serving blue chip clients like Johnson & Johnson, Ricola, ASCAP. Fujifilm and Arch Insurance, among others. To read her humorous observances on mobile living, visit her blog at http://adventuresinthebettybus.blogspot.com.

This is a 6 part series. To learn more about Betty’s continuing RV adventure go to ourBlog and look under “Adventurous Retirements”.
Part 1: Living the Adventurous Mobile Lifestyle in Retirement
Part 2: The Money Pit
Part 3: The Turtle Lifestyle: Buying Your RV
Part 4: Starting Out on Your Adventure
Part 5: Planning Can Be Fun

Comments? Have you ever thought about buying an RV and using it as your portable home? Have questions about how to to do it? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.



Posted by Admin on September 22nd, 2016

47 Comments »

  1. These comments were moved here for further discussion on the RV lifestyle:

    My wife (soon to join me in retirement) and I are considering pursuing the RV lifestyle for the coming 2-3 years; possibly by late 2017, early 2018. Neither of us are familiar with this type of lifestyle and would encourage any feedback about what and how to learn the basics of being a mobile consumer of parks and generally any experiences related to that type of living?by Peter Callanan — September 21, 2016 |

    I don’t know anything about the RV lifestyle but here is a link to books that might be of interest to you Peter Callanan.?https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=Motorhome+and+RV+Retirement+Living?by Louise — September 22, 2016 |

    Peter, Check out RV-Dreams.com and also Living the RV Dream. There is a lot to learn , but the RV lifestyle is becoming very popular. There are also numerous websites and blogs for full-time RV living. RV-Dreams puts on educational rallies which I would highly recommend. My wife and I will be full-timing upon our retirement in about 4 weeks. She started our research/education about 4 years ago. Can’t wait for the adventure. Starting out in Florida for the winter.?by BRFGolfNut — September 22, 2016

    by Admin — September 22, 2016

  2. How do you establish residency as far as taxes go? Each state has different income tax situations.

    How do you get your mail?

    How about health insurance and prescriptions?

    by Louise — September 23, 2016

  3. Anyone who happens to see this, Betty Fitterman’s full story is well worth the enjoyable read. Go through the 6-part series to get established and then use her link to jump to the blog. My choice was to then jump to the beginning (the end as presented on the blog site) and start with her adventures in 2008, working forward to the end of that year and then on in time.

    From our well-traveled perspective, Betty tells a story in the way that most will enjoy whether you have reasonable means for a comfortable retirement or less so. And even the truly wealthy might well enjoy a well told tale. For me, I felt like I was reading about a kindred spirit. One with a little more means than we have, but who is well grounded in what it means to be pretty “normal” in a mixed and sometimes bizarre world.

    by Rich — September 23, 2016

  4. Louise,

    Answers to those questions (and many more) can be found on a You Tube channel called “Enigmatic Nomadics”. (Not to be confused with a related channel called “Enigmatic Nomadics/Vlog”.) In May of this year three videos were posted addressing drivers licenses, state of residence, mail, health insurance and a number of other related issues. There was also a video posted in February regarding quality healthcare, dental care and prescription drugs being obtained in Algodones, Mexico which is just over the border from Yuma, AZ. The gentleman in the videos, Bob Wells, also has a very informative website at http://www.cheaprvliving.com. Admittedly, this channel and the website are aimed more at the van dwelling crowd, however, much of the information Bob provides is entirely applicable to full time RVers. Check them both out and I believe that specific questions can be submitted through the website.

    by MarkM — September 23, 2016

  5. Louise,

    Check out DakotaPost for mail forwarding all over U.S.

    https://dakotapost.net

    We have full-timing RV friends who us it. You can also check some of the big RV clubs like FMCA or Good Sam.

    by Marianne — September 24, 2016

  6. Thank you for sharing Betty Fitterman’s life adventure. She has the attitude that everyone should have in retirement no matter where or how they decide. I think if anyone read’s the 6 part series they are going to come away with a different view on options to retirement.

    by DeyErmand — September 25, 2016

  7. Below are some links for 4 youtube bloggers I watch that have full-timed
    and might give you people to follow and gain ideas/info:

    go to you tube and search on there “Names”…

    The wynns (great info, not they are on a Catamarin) : http://www.gonewiththewynns.com/

    less junk more journey (fun couple with cute little girl) – http://lessjunkmorejourney.com/

    RVLove (husband still works, wife from Australia) – good tips…funny –

    Outsideourbubble.com (nice couple, good tips) – the downside of full-timing –

    by mike — September 25, 2016

  8. Just bought a rv..and loving it..keep the stories coming.

    by Carl & Debbie — September 28, 2016

  9. Louise, Sorry I can’t answer your questions about taxes and medical, but if you are looking for an excellent mail forwarder, check out Americas Mailbox (www.americas-mailbox.com). The owners are RVers themselves and understand the lifestyle. I have used their services for nearly 15 years and can recommend them without reservation.

    by Iris Graham — September 28, 2016

  10. I am a single female, 67yo. Retired. I’m intrigued by the concept of RVing as I have always enjoyed road trips and want to expand this further with options to linger longer in an area without incurring the expenses of motels. I am interested in hearing from other women who may have experienced traveling alone via RVing. Also those who may be interested in sharing such an adventure. (I’m bisexual but have not bias for exclusion.) I worry about mechanical problems and resolutions, safety over night in pull off spots as well as camps, and I’m sure there are other issues I’ve not thought of as yet. Also advice on sizes and types of RVs best for my situation.
    Love to hear feedback.

    by BarbT — September 28, 2016

  11. After reading this series of articles a few years ago I was intrigued enough to convince DH that we should buy a used RV. (It took about two sentences worth of convincing.)

    My best advice to people looking for an RV is to research, research, research! There is much to learn and many who will gladly share advice and experience. Haunt Internet forums, ask questions and learn. Go to RV shows and sales lots, making it clear to the salespeople that your purchase is months away. They’re used to lookie-loos on fact finding missions and are unlikely to pressure you if you’re up front about your motives. Most are on commission so be considerate of their time.

    After a lot of Internet sleuthing and walkthroughs of various RVs, if you’re like us, you’ll narrow your choice down to type (types include Class A, Class B, Class C, travel trailer, 5th wheel and more). Then look for the amenities that make you comfortable, and what inclusions or exclusions are dealbreakers. Then move onto brand, then model, then year range.

    We bought a 10 year old RV that suits us perfectly because we waited to find exactly, precisely what we wanted. If you decide to purchase something used, for heaven’s sake get it checked out by a reputable dealer or RV repair shop. You do NOT want surprise repairs!

    RV-ing these days is referred to as “glamping” (glamorous camping). An apt description. DH and I are nearly retired and wish we had more opportunities to hit the road. We’re unlikely to become full timers because of our very strong family ties in the area where we live now, but we will certainly be on the road (a lot!) when our time is more our own.

    by JCarol — September 30, 2016

  12. It’s one thing to read the short 6-part article. If you really think you want to become a full-time RVer, you should read ALL of Betty’s blog (as well as folllowing JCarol’s advice). The number of repairs, the cost, and the amount of “wait” time for those repairs that Betty experienced is amazing.

    Each person will have to decide what they want, and whether RVing is definitely a “must have”. We tried it out for a couple of years including an 8000-mile, five-week trip through the 4-corners states (starting from NC). Enjoyed it and strongly considered upgrading and making it a major part of our lives. But for us, the negatives out-weighed the advantages.

    — RV parks are NOT our thing. The good ones are ok at best, the others…
    — Just making the purchase is a losing financial prospect (spreadsheet it).
    — It’s a money pit.
    — Too many “not fun” routine activities (including setup/take down.

    We prefer to pack our car with clothes in a similar way to how we packed the RV and use a single carry-on for overnight stays in motels. We have now done this for 16 years and over 20,000 road miles traveled for anywhere from long weekends up to 3 month trips. Always with a comfortable sedan and with costs much less than any RV option. To each their own…

    by Rich — October 1, 2016

  13. Barb T.-

    There are several groups for women travelers such as RV’ing Women. You can find them on Facebook. You can also find other women’s groups just going a search with women = RV, and then you could pick the group you like best.
    Good Luck!

    by dawest58 — October 1, 2016

  14. Thanks, Rich! So smart, so practical, so economical.

    by Ann — October 2, 2016

  15. Rich, I have yearned for a RV fit for a rock star but know it can be a money pit. So most likely unless we win the lottery, we will never invest in one. The one thing I wanted to mention is that to have a more luxurious vehicle (sedan) consider renting something you might never own. Something large and lots of room to tote things. There would be many choices like an upscale passenger van or Cadillac Escalade as examples. Would give you that vacation experience rather than driving your own car. Just my two cents!

    by Louise — October 3, 2016

  16. I’m with Rich on this one. Surprising how much it costs to park one of these rigs per night. Then you have to do all the work–unhook your car, hookups to utilities, put the side out, etc., etc. For not much more money stay in a hotel and let somebody else do the work! My son owns one of these things and is now trying to get rid of it. Says it’s a money pit. I’ve driven all over the country in my comfortable Lexus, staying in hotels or with friends. My car can go places the big rig can’t.

    by Linda — October 3, 2016

  17. Yes, I do still vacation at Hotels and enjoy the experience. But,

    As a motorhome owner (2015 32′ Class A) some initial thoughts –

    a) It is not difficult to setup or leave a campsite. for me it takes maybe 10-15 minutes by myself
    to level (automatic jacks), extend slides (we have 3), hookup water (screw on a hose)
    electrical (plug a cord), dump (screw on dump hose). this can be quicker than standing in a line
    at a hotel desk…

    b) campground costs. yes, some campgrounds can be “costly” (maybe $50-75/night). But most
    run around $30-40 night. Many include lots of amenities (pool, playground, game room,
    laundry, etc.) and some not at hotels (pet parks, etc.)

    c) food . you can eat out or bring your own food. which can save lots of money.

    d) you own bed. how many watch Hotel Impossible show? After watching this and how many
    hotels aren’t the cleanliest … i prefer my own bed knowing it’s clean. Plus, I have my own pillow!

    e) many rv owners tow their own car (with a Class A). those with a 5ther or Trailer already have
    their own car to sightsee.

    f) part of the fun of the motorhome is the journey getting to each destination.
    My wife enjoys relaxing in our Class A either reading or taking Great Photos from
    the large front window..

    So, yes a RV can be more work and if not used a money pit. but, for many it’s a
    great way to see the country in their own home with family…

    by mike — October 3, 2016

  18. I agree with Rich. Before buying our RV I read Betty’s entire blog plus followed a number of other bloggers. Owning an RV is an expense but one we found well worth the money. Bear in mind that gently used RVs are significantly cheaper than new.

    Loads of RV park directories and rating sites can easily be found on Google. As Rich said, some parks are great, some less so. We have yet to set up at a site that made us feel unsafe or uncomfortable. We mostly keep to ourselves while RVing so our relationships with our temporary neighbors tend to be of very shallow depth.

    We’ve talked to snowbirds who travel from northern climates to CA, AZ, NM, or FL to avoid the winter. Some winter in the same park every year, reacquainting with fellow snowbirds who follow the same pattern, others move every few weeks. Many work part-time in the RV park offices to help defray some of their rental costs and to stay socially active.

    We overwhelmingly prefer staying in our RV over hotels and don’t enjoy eating most meals out. Those are personal decisions, of course. Only you can choose how you want to travel.

    It must be said that the RVing community is extraordinarily helpful and generous. If you’re having mechanical or other difficulties, whether on the side of the road or in an RV park, you will soon find yourself surrounded by help. These folks offer expertise while rolling up their shirt sleeves. They’ll bring their tools, give you spare parts, and make sure you are ok before they continue on the road.

    It’s really quite a remarkable community, I must say.

    by JCarol — October 3, 2016

  19. Our experience is very similar to Mike’s and Jcarol’s. We have a 28′ class A after owning a smaller class C before I retired. We don’t live full time in our rig but enjoy 6-8 weeks on the road each year and belong to a couple of RV clubs with 3 day outings every month or so. We can take our dog – something we can’t easily do without the RV. We also visit family and have our own space – my brother put an RV pad with electricity on his property for us so we would feel welcome and stay longer, LOL. Our retirement community has a secure RV lot where we store the rig for a very cheap price.

    The wonderful traveling experiences, places we’ve visited, and people we’ve met are priceless memories.

    by Marianne — October 3, 2016

  20. I also agree with mike, JCarol, and Marianne. The RV lifestyle is very freeing as you bring everything with you in your travelling home. Refrigerator, bed, closets, dressers, bathrooms, etc. Nightly costs vary greatly, depending on the location and amenities. Usually, the longer you stay the lower the nightly average rate. My wife and I will begin our full-time RV living later this month. No more sticks & bricks home to tie us back.

    by BRFGolfNut — October 4, 2016

  21. Are there places you can rent RV’s for maybe several months at a time?

    by Louise — October 4, 2016

  22. I hope no one will interpret what I say as trying to discourage those who want to try RVing. I just strongly suggest that you look at the real costs and go in with your eyes open — and have fun, because it can be a great time! But as I said, we now prefer what might be called “RV-type” travel. Let me give some more detail on how we do this.

    My wife and I (and our two dogs) now travel by car and rent motels, condos or houses, our approach is much the same as RVing without the permanent “home base” being moved around. We put two plastic chests of drawers in the back seat of our sedan — drawers opening toward the doors. If we’re at a motel/hotel, we remove clothes for the next day and take our carry-on into the room. We have twice covered the western US by car this way — once using only motel/hotels, once by renting a house or condo in both AZ and in CO (only using motels between like the week-long tour through the Parks of southern Utah between the stays in Sedona and Silverthorne). The cost of an extended stay at a really nice house/condo (often with pool) typically averages from $40-60 a night. We prepare meals or eat out as suits us. Naturally, we had our car to travel all over those regions (which could include an overnight motel stay).

    Despite the “Hotel Impossible” we have NEVER encountered a dirty room (out of over 200 stays — and many more on my former business travels). Only once have we ever checked out of a hotel because it was not inviting (pool closed, renovations). We only make advance reservations if we MUST have a certain place on a certain date. If staying only one night, we seldom stay at top tier motels — Days Inn, Travelodge, La Quinta, etc. are moderately priced, good for a night’s rest and CLEAN. And you can always inspect a room before committing to stay. We always require a room with microwave and fridge so that we have the option to “eat in”. Since we have trunk space (only one carry-on needed), we also take at least two coolers. (My wife has allergies that can make eating out quite difficult.)

    We also ALWAYS travel with our 2 dogs — they are NEVER left “at home” or kenneled or even at a pet “resort” — they are with us. That requires some special consideration, but Dante is such an ardent tourist, I would never consider leaving him behind. (He sat with me for a full afternoon watching the action from the patio of the Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge. In my lap, on the wall, down in the rain port which easily held his 15 pounds). The dogs are also never off-leash on our travels. There are two major “extras” for the dogs: a folding crate we always take with us — large enough for both dogs with extra roominess. And I also built a window-high platform that anchors to the seat belts in the center of the rear seat. They travel tethered to a zip-line running over the back seat with short harness connections. (One serious concern: dogs are NOT allowed on most trails in any National Park — only sidewalks and parking lots. National Monuments, National Forests and state parks are almost always ok with dogs.)

    So our comfortable car becomes our “RV”. We usually have a route planned, but no itinerary except for special purposes (major Park visits that require reservations; a 4-day stay so my wife could do genealogy research at the Mormon Tabernacle in Salt Lake City; etc.). We adjust our route at a whim and those “off-the-beaten-track” shortcuts the GPSs seem to love present no obstacles. Seeing friends en route is always great and we don’t impose as our “plan” is to stay in a motel. Fortunately, there are innumerable hotels and restaurants around the country the can accommodate dogs and AAA has a great hotel guide on touring with dogs that is updated yearly.

    by Rich — October 4, 2016

  23. All of these articles point out one theme –

    It’s great to live in the United States and have many options that suit everyone’s needs so
    we can enjoy life, make friends, and accumulate many great memories..

    by mike — October 4, 2016

  24. There is no right or wrong or better. This goes way beyond cost. The RV person and also the person that pops up a tent are looking for a different thrill than the person who prefers the motel/hotel. Different strokes for different folks.

    by Bubbajog — October 4, 2016

  25. Bubbajog is right! Different strokes for different folks! I used to work in the corporate world and most times when someone in the corporation got married they would go to exotic places like the Caribbean, Europe, Tahiti, Bermuda, Alaska cruises etc. One of my coworkers got married late in life and when she got back from her honeymoon I asked her where she went on her honeymoon and she told me ‘camping’ (in a tent). I stood there with my mind blown and mumbled something stupid to her I am sure! I couldn’t fathom anyone going camping on their honeymoon! First of all I am not an outdoorsy type person and bugs and spiders horrify me. Secondly when I go on vacation I want luxury and to be pampered. However, in her eyes and heart, she had the best honeymoon ever and that is all that counts!

    by Louise — October 5, 2016

  26. I think you (we) are all right. There are lots of posts and articles about traveling abroad or living abroad. What is common about this “RV” thread is that we are all interested in ways to see our country (or continent). This is truly a fantastic place (no “put down” for the many other countries and continents that require other means to visit) and I think it’s great to read about the different means people find to get around.

    No matter how WE choose to travel today, my wife and I still share a love for all the intrigue, involvement and adventure of those who would RV. There is always a certain joy at exploring a new Class A or passing one on the road and thinking “what if”.

    by Rich — October 5, 2016

  27. Yes, there are many enjoyable ways to travel this country and continent. Sometimes our decisions are based on our ages and stages of life. DH & I enjoyed tent camping before the kids arrived on our scene. Then, when our kids were small I had no interest in camping. Constantly herding a mess of young ‘uns to keep them out of trouble, sleeping in a tent, cooking over a campfire, washing dishes in a basin by a muddy spigot area? Definitely not my idea of a restful vacation. RV’s weren’t on our radar screen back then, tent camping was.

    Now that the kids have flown from our nest and RVs have become more affordable, user-friendly and ubiquitous, the new version of camping definitely is precisely my idea of a restful vacation! Will we feel the same way in five years? There’s no way to know. For now though, we’re greatly enjoying it and are always a bit sad when it’s time to mosey back home again.

    by JCarol — October 5, 2016

  28. My husband and I have done all forms of RVing from tent to Fifth Wheel. We just came back from a 16 day trip from Albuquerque to Twinsburg,Ohio. We live in the West and want to explore our old Eastern and MidWestern roots. We decided to take this trip using hotels, but missed our own bed and opening our doors to the great outdoors. We would like to buy an RV in one of those colder-weather states, store it there through the winter, drive without it from the West, and camp in the MidWest and East during Spring, Summer, or Fall.

    Our problem is that we can’t find covered storage in the East. We were told that most people there use uncovered storage with no damage to the RV. We know about winterizing, but I still can’t imagine 15-30″ of snow sitting on the roof and undercarriage for 3 months without repairs being needed each Spring. Am I needlessly worrying about this? Any advise from you seasoned Road Warriors?

    by SandySW — October 6, 2016

  29. There are a few in Southern Maryland you could leave it at. I don’t know what the cost is for sure but i heard it’s around $100,00 a month).. Southern Maryland ( St. Mary’s County) is about 60 miles from DC (south) and about 90 miles from Baltimore (south). Hope this helps.

    by Richard — October 7, 2016

  30. SandySW, many County Fairgrounds in the Upper Midwest offed enclosed winter storage at reasonable rates. Generally from sometime in October thru about mid April. Once you put the RV in storage, you most likely will not be able to get it out until the spring. You would also still need to winterize the unit.

    by BRFGolfNut — October 7, 2016

  31. Sandy,

    have you researched Indiana? Indiana is the CAPITAL of RV manufacturers and probably
    a great option for buying/storing..

    by mike — October 7, 2016

  32. What a great use of the Fairgrounds during the Winter. Southern MD and Indiana would work for us. Thanks for the storage info. Don’t you just love traveling through this Beautiful country? Restores your faith in US. Much better than listening to the 6 o’clock News.

    by SandySW — October 8, 2016

  33. I wonder if the author of these articles is still RV’ing. I see she is a writer for Pelican Post in Florida and in one of her articles stated she lives there. So I wonder if she is even RV’ing any more, which might explain why her blog has not been updated in several years. It would be very interesting to find out if she is still travelling and if not why.

    by Carl — October 20, 2016

  34. Just wondering-
    We’re interested in a smaller type camping van. It doesn’t have a bathroom just a raised roof and large windows. I’m not even sure what it is called or how much they cost. Is there anyone who has some experience and can give me some info? Thanks

    by Staci — October 21, 2016

  35. Staci, What you are looking for is typically called a Class B “camper van” or a conversion van. Both are similar but but the conversion is literally a van converted to be a camper. The cost from used to new can vary widely — from about $30,000 to $120,000 or more. Start with a google search for “RV types” and go from there.

    Also, I would suggest that you just go ahead and look at camper vans with a toilet (of some type) even if not a shower. They will be more common and you just might end up very happy you had it.

    by Rich — October 22, 2016

  36. Staci . . . we bought a T@B two years ago, which we pull behind a Lexus 350, SUV-type. We LOVE this setup and the cost for the T@B, brand new with all sorts of upgrades and specifics of our choosing, was under $18,000 –we even upgraded the tires! We opted OUT of the shower and the toilet to allow more room for cooking and have NEVER, for one single instant regretted that decision. There is an outside shower, but we don’t even know if it works or not — we’ve never needed it. We haven’t camped “off the grid yet” but have dry-camped along the BlueRidge Parkway.

    Wishing you well . . . and wishing, too, that I was right now on the road again!

    by ellen — November 3, 2016

  37. Ellen
    Please enlighten me— What is a T@B?
    Thanks!!

    by Staci — November 4, 2016

  38. I was going to ask the same question but looked it up on google and found that it is a tear drop style trailer that can be modified to ones needs and likes. It would be helpful if writers would elaborate on certain things for those of us who are not familiar with the lingo such as T@B. Same goes for when people mention a city but do not specify the state. Sometimes a thread goes on and on and by the time the last comment is made you sometimes have no idea what state is being discussed.

    by Louise — November 4, 2016

  39. Just thought it’s simpler to google it and see a picture — worth a thousand words. And, yes, it is more or less tear-drop shaped, but the important thing is: it is SMALLer than most, but larger than some! Ours has seating for approximately 6 that makes into a queen-sized bed, a two-burner propane stove, an alpine-ready fridge that operates on propane, battery & AC power, a really nice countertop for preparing food and a nice sink . . . and tons of windows and storage space, plus heat & air. If you go to http://www.tab-rv.com, you can see a whole range of them in fun and exciting colors. Ours is solid silver to match our car. BUT, the possibilities are almost endless. The only REAL IMPORTANT thing is: you have to like the person you are sharing the space with a lot . . . or plan to spend a lot of time hiking! which is what I do . . . even though I do also enjoy the company of my husband with whom I’ve shared 37 years, but sometimes you just NEED YOUR SPACE! LOL

    Oh, they also sell a tent that attaches to the side giving you an additional approximate 60 square feet which is nice to have.

    by Ellen — November 4, 2016

  40. A camper van is what I believe we’re interested in– something that can be used as a second car if needed. Does anyone have experience traveling in that?? Is the lack of plumbing all that bad??!!

    by Staci — November 10, 2016

  41. Instead of buying an RV, Im thinking renting one for the summer is the best way to go. Ive seen some for $500 weekly. So it is cheaper than buying one, no maintenance costs….. Otherwise, traveling by car is the best option.

    by mary11 — May 31, 2017

  42. We are moving a couple of comments about the RV lifestyle from another Blog because they fit here better!

    From Laura C:
    Retirement time is so exciting. It’s fun reading about all your plans. We retired to an RV 12 years ago. We had lots of retired friends at the time and from them got two great peices of advice. The first was to retire as early as possible. There is no amount of money that is better than freedom. The second piece of advice is to store NOTHING. Anything stored gets ruined within a few years anyway, and stuff you don’t need now is stuff you don’t need. If your kids want anything, give it to them now. We’ve had to clean up the belongings of three deceased family members since our retirement and it was weeks of nightmare I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
    We have since purchased an 800 square foot park model home in a gated RV community we’ve visited for many years to serve as a home base and travel in a much smaller RV for several months a year. The only problem we have is that our little mini home is in Southern California and the traffic has become appalling with more and more housing going up around our community. We are looking at NC or Florida and plan to go this fall in the RV to check it out. We won’t get in a hurry and will perhaps take a couple of years to make his adjustment. We will probably rent first in places that take our fancy and see how it goes.
    Good luck everyone, and for your own sake, don’t store that junk!

    After going through and reading again, I have some advice or comments for people going full time in an RV for retirement. We did so for 12 years and loved it, but now it is different from 12 years ago. More and more people are going full time and also, with the upturning, albeit slowly, in the economy,, more and more young families are turning to RVs for their vacations. It is becoming very difficult to just drift around the country in an RV. Reservations are becoming almost mandatory if you want to get in RV parks on the weekends, especially in places like CA or other popular vacation destinations. Also, get the absolute smallest RV you can be comfortable traveling and living in, but the best quality you can afford. There are still free boon-docking opportunities, but the bigger you are the more you’ll just have to stay in RV parks, which are becoming more and more expensive. When we first went full time, one could stay in an RV park for $12-$25 per night. Now you’ll pay at least $35/night and usually more. Also, look into what it costs to maintain your chosen RV. We had a diesel pusher and it was a minimum $500 bill to just have the regular maintenance done every 3000-5000 miles.
    In closing, talk to lots of people who have or are full timing. Find a place you like to be during the time of year you least like to travel, find an RV community you really like and that has the activities you like (tennis and pickleball for us) and make yourself part of that community. You need friends and contacts to feel more normal and your landed friends just won’t understand your new life. There’s lots more, but you get the drift.
    Good luck and have fun.

    From Jennifer:
    I will be 63 in September and my job is being phased out of a Church. I am considering selling almost everything I have including my home which is a condo. I could possibly then live on Social Security and my retirement savings in a downsized lifestyle. Freedom is getting close and I can taste it. I am interested in a park model homein gated community and wondered how you found the one you now own your home in. My brother in Portland Oregon says that RV’s are like a car and depreciate in value and that a tiny home is in the same category and a waste of money. Has your Park model retained any value?Many thanks and your comments about not storing anything is spot on! Things we don’t use or need become a chain around our necks.

    by Admin — July 29, 2017

  43. I feel if you just want to experience the RV lifestyle during the summer months it’s best to rent them. Alot cheaper in the long run…

    by mary11 — July 30, 2017

  44. RV’s are expensive and an old/usd one is bound to break down. The cost of repair could break the budget. Plus, while your RV is under repair, and waiting for parts, you have no place to live! Then you will have to find a motel. Another thing is that vehicles depreciate so you will never get the value back out of it. Maybe renting an RV might be the way to go. Or maybe a pull behind trailer 5th wheel type camper…. Louise

    by Admin — September 18, 2017

  45. Or you can just travel in your car or SUV and stay in motels. RV overnight stays are about $50 a day so you might as well stay in a motel where they provide you free breakfasts and cable!!

    by mary11 — September 19, 2017

  46. The person that experiences life as a RV-er, and the person that spends the night in a motel are two totally different animals!!

    by Bubbajog — September 19, 2017

  47. to BarbT (from 9/28/2016)
    Sisters On The Fly.com
    is a group of women from around the U.S. who get together for RV adventure trips.

    by trudy — March 30, 2018

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