RV full-timing: Implementation
By Michael Charland

Share this article:  

This is the third in a four-part series about RV full-timing: (1) the decision, (2) planning, (3) implementation and (4) how it has worked.

We have our house on the market, our fifth wheel ordered and our truck purchased. Now we have to put it all together and begin our "life on the road."

As previously mentioned, we settled on South Dakota as our state of residence. I contracted with a mail forwarding service in Madison, S.D., to obtain our address. When I bought the truck they used this address so the truck was registered in the state. We made the drive to Madison to obtain our license, which was a very easy process.


What would you do with your possessions while full-timing?
  • 1. Sell/discard
  • 2. Donate to charity
  • 3. Keep in storage

Now for the elephant in the room, our stuff (we actually did not own an elephant, but we had stuff). Our decision was to go minimalist. We had so much of our furniture for many years and, if we settle down later, we would want new stuff. We set aside the items we wanted to keep and those we would be taking with us in the fifth wheel and then started the process of disposing of the remainder.

Fortunately, one of our daughters was moving into her own apartment so she took some of the items. Another relative took a good portion, leaving the rest to be disposed of through a garage sale, charity donations and trash. This process took a couple of months, but we did it. We placed our saved items in storage at a friend's house.

Our fifth wheel arrived about three months before our house sold. This allowed us to do some work on the RV and get it ready for full-timing. Mainly this had to do with organizing how we were going to store items and setting up the TVs for satellite service. A week before our scheduled move-out date, I brought the RV to our house and parked it in the driveway. This allowed us to begin moving items into the RV and see if everything would fit. For the most part we did OK but still had to downsize a little more to make it all work.

On move-out day we were ready to go. Our first stop was the local truck stop to get the trailer weighed. I had read that one of the biggest problems full-timers have is they overload their trailers because they are carrying so much stuff. Fortunately for us, our minimalist approach had worked, we were a thousand pounds under capacity, which was good because we had no fluids in any of the tanks.

Michael Charland is retired and enjoying the lifestyle of full-time RVing with his wife. Their travels have taken them, in the past two years, all the over the United States and into Canada. Michael also writes a blog on their adventures.