RV full-timing: The decision
By Michael Charland

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This is the first in four-part series about RV full-timing.

Are you considering full-timing? What's involved? What do you do? Questions, questions, questions. If you are like me and have a passion for RVing, this lifestyle may be something to consider. My wife and I made the leap just over two years ago, and I would like to offer the process we went through in making the lifestyle decision and what has happened. Your circumstances may not be the same, and other factors may be involved, but our process can at least give you things to consider and hopefully answer some of your questions.

INDUSTRY PULSE

Have you considered full-timing in your RV?
  • 1. Yes
  • 2. No

First, the decision to full-time. We had owned RVs for more than 20 years and enjoyed going away on weekends and taking a couple of long trips (two weeks) each year. As our three girls became teenagers, we sold our RV as we could not find the time to get out with it. When they began college and I retired, we decided it was time to get back into RVing. We picked up where we had left off. Shortly after buying our travel trailer, I read an article about full-timing. Until then, I had never really thought of it. The article intrigued me, so I gave it to my wife to read and then asked her if this is something she would be interested in. She said yes.

With this initial spark of interest, I jumped into research-and-planning mode to see how we could make this happen. How much would it cost? What do we do with our home? Our stuff? On and on the questions went. Those questions and answers are what I will address in the planning and implementation parts of this series. First, I want to get back to this decision phase and not pass over it casually.

If you are going to do this with a partner — wife, significant other, friend, etc. — you need to have an honest discussion in coming to this decision. What is the impact of living in a small space with each other? Consideration has to be given about how much time together you will be spending, possibly not seeing your family and friends as often. These are important items and, if not addressed upfront, could lead to tension and anger later.

For us, a driving force was that our daughters were now out of college, on their own and living in three different states. The two of us were living in a four-bedroom house in a cold weather city (suburb of Chicago). We thought that full timing would be a good way to explore the country and see places where we might like to settle down at a later date. We discussed the issues I mentioned and were comfortable with our answers. We decided that we would try this for two years and reevaluate at that point.

Next up: The planning.

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.