Occasionally we get emails or comments asking questions about our lifestyle. Normally we answer by email, but Diana asked a couple of interesting questions so we’ll attempt to answer them today. Diana in South Carolina writes:
“I enjoy reading your blog on a regular basis. I found you in the beginning because of full timer searches. I would love to know what you know now that you didn't know then about the lifestyle. Also, especially working as a host, what do the rookies and amateurs need to know most about camping.
Well, first of all, thank you, Diana, for following along; we are honored by all of our readers who travel along with us. Hopefully you’ll glean something out of our answers.
We had been lifelong campers having begun with tents, graduated to a pop-up camper, then a travel trailer, and on to fifthwheels. So, in retrospect, we had a pretty good idea what we were getting into. However, there are always some “bends in the road” that you don’t anticipate.
First of all, most RVs (motorhomes and fifthwheels) generally do not stand up to the rigors of the fulltime lifestyle. The RV industry, for the most part, builds units for vacationers which means, they don’t anticipate the units getting used more than a couple of months each year. As you know, fulltimers live in their coaches 24/7-365 that essentially means that their units get 6 to 7 years worth of use in a year. Basically an RV ages like a dawg – 7 years for every humanoid year.
Having said that, it is usually good if one of the owners is “handy” at accomplishing maintenance and/or repairs because it’s gonna happen (generally at the most inconvenient time). A good set of tools is a must and like Red Green says, “If she don’t find you handsome, she’d better find you handy!”
We were followers of Norm and Linda Payne’s website, See Ya Down The Road, so our fulltiming visions were along the lines of their traveling lifestyle. However, being that we “quit w*rk” before being eligible for any type of retirement income, we had to live off of our savings and workamping income.
Therefore, we had anticipated workamping eight months a year and traveling for four. Well, the most we ever w*rked in a year was six months and that was only for two years (2006/2007 year and the 2007/2008 year). So we found ourselves hunkering down for a couple of extra months each year on our leased site at Rainbow Plantation.
The bottom line is that we didn’t travel exactly the way that we had envisioned (like Norm and Linda). And now that we are officially retired, we’ve have discovered that we would prefer to have a home base and do short trips from there; that is, travel for a month or two at the most and then return “home” for awhile.
Also, being that we have four kids in four different states and family in a couple others we spend more time “visiting” than actually traveling. And, ya know what? That’s okay with us; it’s all about kids, grand children, and families, ya know. But, we would like to fit in some trips out west and will begin working on that plan.
Our thought at this time is to decide where we want to plant ourselves and purchase either a small home or a piece of land where we can build a small home. Then we will downsize our RV to a small motorhome (be it a Class A, Class B, or Class C). Something that we can travel in easily, get into smaller places, park in driveways, etc.. In the meantime, we just may purchase the smaller RV and leave the fifthwheel at Rainbow Plantation while we are traveling. By the way, Rainbow Plantation is the only place to date that we can agree on that has the “it factor” for us.
So, to sum it up, I guess defining/discovering the lifestyle that suits us best is the most significant answer to the “know now that you didn’t know then” question. Like the old adage says, “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it!”
As for workamping and/or camp hosting, we recommend that you join Workamper.com and read through their material. They have great guidelines along with answers to FAQs concerning the subject. We prefer volunteering to paid gigs; after all, we quit w*rking so we could relax and enjoy traveling. Also, we prefer to volunteer for a month or two rather than tie up an entire season in one place.
Well Diana, hopefully that answers your questions. Feel free to email us with any other questions that you may think of. We are always happy to share whatever we can with others. Happy Travels.
Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -