14 Things I Learned in My First 4 Months of RV Living

This week was my 4-month anniversary living in an RV!

Last week, I posted a blog about the day I left the backyard of my suburban apartment and embarked on my new life. And today I’m sitting in my RV, writing and working,  while enjoying a warm breezy day, the sound of a gentle stream and views of Deschutes National Forest right outside my door. I have to admit; life is pretty damn good!

Four months ago, when I started this new chapter, I had a whole bunch of ideas about what this life would look like. Guess what? It looks nothing like that!  (What is that saying about the best laid plans??? ) All I know is that nothing every turns out like I plan – and it’s always better than I could have imagined.

RV Life is full of surprises!

  1. I thought I’d stay close to my home-base in the Bay Area and try to retain a small portion of my old professional life. The fact is, trying to live in an RV in such a densely populated area completely sucked. My goal had been to live in National Forests a couple hours away and commute back a couple times a month. This proved to be too expensive and stressful.
  2. Trying to find remote places to live with a cell signal was harder than I thought. I’m not retired, I have to work. Many of the places I’d planned on living had zero cell coverage. Which meant I had to spend more time in cities. I have to tell ya, trying to be invisible and fly under the radar living in a 29’ Class C RV, so people don’t think I’m a homeless vagrant got old pretty quick. (Read my blog, “How to Stealth Camp in a 29′ Class C RV” here).
  3. Saying goodbye to California! Oh my gosh, how uptight and mean California seems now that I’m living on the fringes of society! When I left California for Arizona two months ago, I knew I never wanted to go back; I fell in love with the open space, the tiny, uncrowded towns and the obvious absence of “Do Not Enter”, “No Trespassing” and “Private Property” signs.  Over the past two months, I’ve spent 2 weeks in California – and 6 of those days was a backpacking trip. I love California, but not as a full time RVer!
  4. I have a traveling companion! I’m independent and I like being alone.  Sure, I had some reservations about constantly being alone, living in remote areas of the National Forests, but I knew I’d be just fine.  The last thing I expected when I headed to Arizona for CheapRVLiving.com’s summer Rubber Tramp Rendezvous (RTR) was to meet someone I’d develop a deep connection with and end up traveling with. Today Bob and I have been traveling together on and off  for 5 weeks. It’s nice to have a fellow nomad to be with when I want company and who understand when I need my alone time and need to take off for a few days – or few weeks! After-all, my new life s about freedom and living my life MY way: no exceptions.

    Bob and Cody at Crater Lake on my Birthday
    Bob and Cody at Crater Lake on my Birthday

Besides my RV Life looking quite different than I’d expected, I’ve learned a TON! (There is so much to learn!).

Here are the most practical things I’ve learned so far about living full time in an RV:

  1. I can boondock for 2 weeks before I need to dump my black and gray water tanks and fill  fresh water (F/W 33G + 6G H/W; B/W 33G; G/W 25G)
  2. Propane lasts me about 3 weeks (13.9G). I cook twice a day, it runs my refrigerator and I turn on the water heater maybe once a week. I  can also run the heat for about 30 minutes in the morning 4-5 days per week.
  3. All of the sensor lights for black and gray water, propane and battery levels on the range hood are useless. They either don’t work at all or are inaccurate. The only one that works is the fresh water light.
  4. My house battery needs to be filled with distilled water about once per month. (I fried my first battery).

    Great views - near Lake Tahoe
    Great views – near Lake Tahoe
  5. You have to own a voltmeter! Property house battery charging and maintenance is very important if you don’t want to keep frying batteries! (I’ve bought two already – but in all fairness, the first one came with the RV and was 5 years old).
  6. I will never ever ever be completely dirt-free again.  I live with dirt, eat wit dirt and even sleep with dirt. When you boondock in National Forests, dirt is a fact of life (especially with Capone).
  7. A daily sponge bath is just as good as a shower and uses about 1/10 of the water. (Speaking of bathing – baby wipes are your friend – stock up!)
  8. Canned goods can never be stored in overhead cabinets securely – no matter what, they shift and move around when I drive. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had cans come crashing on my head after moving camp.  The other night, I almost killed Bob with a giant mason jar full of lentils!
  9. This lifestyle is NOT necessarily cheap. All that money I thought I’d save by not paying rent??? Yeah, it goes in the gas tank and repairs. I was at the gas station one day and the guy next to me looked over my rig and said,  “that thing  must really eat the gas!” I replied, “yeah, I call it ‘Rent’”.  I get somewhere between 8-9 MPG.
  10. 30 Gigs of data is barely enough – I started out with 10 – and now I barely get by with 30. I only stream about 3-4 hours of TV a month, the rest is work; email, social media, uploads and downloads, etc.
  11. “No Trespassing” means NO Trespassing. In my first four weeks, I was kicked out of 4 different spots. For some reason I thought “Full Time RVer” meant “Outlaw” and rules didn’t apply to me! I was quickly set straight by unamused property owners, security guards and police officers.  I’m now happy to say my outlaw days are over and I’m a law abiding Nomad (mostly). More about this in my blog about stealth camping in a Class C RV. 

    "Stealth" camping in Auburn, CA
    “Stealth” camping in Auburn, CA
  12. I really wish I’d gotten my rig inspected before I bought it. New issues pop up almost every day. Yesterday I turned on my water heater and the place flooded with the smell of propane. My fuse keeps blowing in my speedometer and odometer and the last time I tried to change it, it sparked… so it stays blown (find out why this was a huge deal!)  My ABS light has been on for two months. My engine stopped charging my house battery… the list just never ends. Learn from my mistakes: get your rig inspected before you buy it!!! (So,, at the very least, you know what needs work = peace of mind!).  (Read my future blogs about the transmission rebuild.. ughhh): 
  13. The only weapons I need are my common sense and my gut. But a bat, an ice ax, a hatchet, bear spray and sword don’t hurt for backup! Seriously, I was out in some remote places alone for a couple months and all I needed was my common sense. Read my blog about Solo RV Life Safety or watch the video.
  14. Living in an RV has ruined me. Already, I can’t imagine ever going back.  Even on my toughest days (and there have been a few – especially in the beginning), the thought of going back to my former life fills me with angst and dread. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.  I am exactly where I want to be!

I’m sure there are a million other things I’ve learned – and have yet to learn. I’ll be sharing them as they come up.

I look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries on the road!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a fulltime RVer? And if you’re still in the planning stages, what’s your biggest concern or fear? 

60 comments

  1. Hi Carolyn! It was fun reading the beginning of your journey. I have not started yet, but I am adapting a Chevy HHR for this. I have done a lot of research and did learn that gas would be an issue. Thus the smaller vehicle. It averages between 28 – 30 mpg. I have a tent that attaches to the back, but hope to not need it. My sleeping area is in the HHR.

    Please continue to keep us u-to-date on your journey. It is an informative and interesting read.

    1. Hi Marilyn, I’m having MPG envy! 28-30 is great! You’re going to be able to do lots of traveling in that. Thanks for the comment – carolyn

    2. Marilyn, I’m wondering about that style of travel too.
      I have a Class C for cruising the coast of Florida. It gets about 8mpg. However my Jeep Cherokee gets 25mpg and for my first long trip — cross country — I thinking of taking the Jeep and wondering about solar — If it’s worth it to carry the solar suitcase, batteries, etc. I’m wondering about watching local TV channels for a bit of news, weather, Late Night, & for DVDs. And for computer, hotspot, wifi booster etc. And maybe an electric blanket. There are campgrounds, yes, but if you’re free camping with no hookups? Are you planning to have any solar onboard? Just curious.

    3. Can someone tell me how to reduce the grey ribbon on this page to make it easier to read the articles? It takes up 1/3 of the reading space. I’m sure there’s an easy way to do it. There’s a lot of good stuff to read here, but I’ll never be able to read it like this. Any help would be appreciated!

  2. Carolyn, the biggest good lesson I’ve learned is that when I started out I didn’t know that I could spend the night at most Walmarts when I was just making miles. In addition to saving money, it’s so much easier than unloading the car, disconnecting the dolly, backing into a camping space and doing all of the hookups–and then having to repeat it all in reverse the next morning.

    The biggest bad lesson is (like you) I found out how fast I go through propane when I’m running the furnace. I solved that problem two ways. I now have an external tank that I can take and have it refilled without having to take the motorhome.

    The other solution that works even better is that I spend the winter months in Florida now and not in the mountains.

    1. Jerry – great lessons and great info for people just starting out. Thanks for sharing! I plan to be in AZ for the winter, but it will still be cool! – Carolyn

  3. Hi Carolyn,

    Great article and congratulations on 4 months! It will be interesting to see in a year if you are still in the same rig or maybe down size to something smaller. I don’t really have any fears or concerns, really just looking for which van I want to go with. Maybe a little worried about breaking down somewhere in the middle of no where. But I’m planning on getting a newer van or SUV. And RV is nice with the space an home like amenities but trying to figure all these systems out and things breaking, I want to keep it as simple as possible and easy on my check book. I guess my concern is can I live small and doing things differently. But to have the freedom and live out in those wild places I think is totally worth it. 😉 Agree that whatever RV or vehicle you get, have it checked out.

    Take care,

    Tina

    1. Thank you Tina! I expect to be in this rig at least a couple of years and I go back and forth on size. I do love the comfort of living in it, but not so much the gas it takes and not being able to go as remote as I’d like. Who knows what I’ll end up in.
      I worried about breaking down in the middle of nowhere too but then I realized I was in my house so I’d survive – AND I have all my backpacking gear, so given enough time, I can walk anywhere! – Good luck on your search! Let me know what you end up in. – Carolyn

      1. I have been full time RVing on and off for over a year now. Been doing it continually since May. I have a 30 foot Class A and have with me my son, dog and three cats. Once my son is off on his own and the pets have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, I’m changing to a truck and a truck camper. I’m doing this so that I get (hopefully) better gas mileage, more access to repairs for the truck, better costs for repairs, better access to parts, can go more places and get into a regular parking spot. But, the biggest reason is that if the truck breaks down and is beyond repairing is that I can just get another truck and put the camper on it. No need to move or lose your home. That and a good used truck are a dime a dozen so no need to hunt down an RV that will work.

  4. Hey Carolyn,

    First of all, I’m so happy to hear about you and Bob, I have been following his videos/blog for several months and he really seems like a great guy!

    My concerns are mostly about learning all the technical aspects of an RV (batteries, tanks, propane, solar, etc.) with my plans on mostly boondocking on NF and BLM land. I’m still in the planning stages but hope to purchase one in the next month. I have a previous experience with vandwelling throughout CA and NM back in 2004, which I absolutely loved but this time around I would like more space.

    Back then it was me, a dog, a futon and a cooler, which was fine since I mostly stealth camped in cities. My adorable Dodge Caravan with faux-wood siding looked so grandmotherly I had no trouble being an outlaw. 😉

    Thanks for the newbie RV info, every bit helps!
    Diane

    1. Diane, Thank you, Bob is a great guy and fun to travel with!
      I am still learning the technical stuff there are a million moving parts to an RV and so much to go wrong (especially with an older RV). Just learning how the battery gets charged and what appliances run on which source took weeks to figure out!
      A dog, a futon and a cooler – — sounds so nice and simple! Good luck on your search, I can’t wait to hear what you end up in! Thanks for the note – Carolyn

  5. Good blog! My biggest fear is having to sell my house to live the nomad lifestyle. If I find the nomad lifestyle is not for me I will not have the funds (after buying a right and essentials) to go back to the sticks and bricks.

    Also not earning enough on the road to sustain myself. Part of me says “just do it ” and another part is screaming “what? Are you crazy?”

    Look forward to reading more of your blogs. Rose

    1. Rose, I’m sticking my nose in here.
      Make a plan.
      You probably don’t need as much in the way of “essentials” as you think. You DO need your cash in reserve. You need a vehicle that gets good gas mileage and that you can sleep in. If that is a car or a van, you can wash up in a pop-up shower tent with a pail of water, or you can take paid showers at campgrounds and other facilities. You can cook outside. You don’t really NEED refrigeration. Test the lifestyle out some before you spend too much money.
      I’m selling my house too, but I’m keeping a vacant lot that I own in the country that has electricity. My own private lay-by. It’s not exactly legal to “live” on a vacant lot without having a permanent dwelling there, but I may decide to do it anyway for a short time if I get tired of travel. And then in time maybe I’ll build the tiniest legal dwelling the code will allow — I think that is about 300sf. If you can, you should have a reasonable backup plan. We’re all just wanting more freedom and less demands on us to work our lives away. Yet we all know that even the best ideas don’t always pan out. Life is 50/50 — 50% awesome, and 50% hard things we have to work through.
      Land and lots are still cheap in some areas, and some counties in some states have much more lenient codes.
      If you can figure it out you can by a cheap property.
      Make a plan — it will probably ALL change almost as soon as you try to implement it, but at least you will go knowing you have a plan. “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” — Theodore Roosevelt 🙂

    2. Rose, Thank you, glad you enjoyed the blog. Some people don’t sell their houses right away, they rent them out and make sure they like the lifestyle first, maybe that is a way to start. I also know a couple of women who bought mini-vans and converted them. They take them out on their vacations to see how they like living in them. I would definitely find ways to test it before going all-in. I didn’t sell my car, just in case I wanted to go back to my old life and rent an apartment. Within 2 months I was ready to sell it and move on!
      And no matter how much planning and preparation we do, I think there will always be that part of us that thinks we’ve lost our mind! It’s a big step.
      I wish you all the best. -Carolyn

  6. My biggest fear is buying a lemon that requires more work than I would have the funds to fix, basically putting the kabash on my entire future as a nomad. I am definitely going to pay for an inspection if I get an RV. Part of me is leaning towards a step van but I’d need to pay someone to customize it. Where do I find such a person? I’m very curious about living in a camper van to save gas $$. Without a kitchen and bathroom, what do you do? Porta-Potty, grill and solar shower? I need to do some research.

    1. Lori, CheapRVLiving.com is the best resource I know for all of the questions you have. He lives in a van so he has tons of great info about bathroom, shower, cooking, etc. Since I have a bathroom, full kitchen and shower, I’m not much help. Good luck! – Carolyn

      1. Absolutely, One of the most eye-opening resources out there is Bob Wells’ book, “How to Live in Car, Van, or RV.” You can get it at his website CheapRVLiving or at Amazon.

  7. Hi Carolyn,
    Thanks for all the information. I have some of the same concerns/fears Rose does. Will I like it. Will I be stressed trying to find places to park. Can I support myself? What rig is best. I think about all these things.
    Thanks for any information/insight! Have fun with Bob! He has been a wealth of info.
    Cindy

    1. Cindy, Finding places to park was fun at first, but trying to fly under the radar in cities became tiresome. I never really slept well when I had to sleep with one eye open.. National Forests and BLM land are much easier. There are always places to park- even if you just park on the side of a forest road for the night and then do some exploring the next day (driving or on foot). – I wish you the best, Carolyn

  8. Thanks for another very helpful post Carolyn. I’m in the ‘thinking about it’ stage, and the internet topic is a critical piece. For those of us working online, especially if needing better than average quality and speed of connection, as well as much higher data usage, am finding this site https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/ to be the single more informative.
    It’s by the very helpful couple Chris and Cherie at http://www.technomadia.com/
    Like Bob, they put in enormous time offering helpful content on many topics.
    Cheers.

      1. Speaking of Technomadia, How do they make income from their (2) sites? I understand that they try to help newbies, are becoming somewhat famous, and that they get free wine — what else?
        I gather they must receive payment somehow from this.
        I understand that they receive certain benefits from companies such as the one who gave their bus a facelift, but what else? Are there ways of making money from an online presence that is not visible to me?

        1. Paula, They make a ton of great videos and and they sell ads on those videos through youtube, I’m sure they do well there. It looks like they also do some Amazon affiliate marketing (like the Amazon ads on my site) and they wrote a book.. All of these can help them earn enough to live. – Caroilyn

    1. I checked out the two websites you reccomended and they look like exactly what I’ve been searching for. It’s amazing how much you don’t know about something until you start trying to find answers for the simplest questions. These websites have answers to questions I didn’t even know I should be asking! Thanks

  9. Hi Carolyn,

    Jenny here again. Loved this post as well.
    I see many of your followers are wondering about how to have an income while being nomadic. When I made up my mind to get out there I was online for months researching how to make some money and work at some of these remote locations. My number one website I cant say enough about is CoolWorks.com
    They even have a section called “older and Bolder”. Its seasonal work at national parks, various resorts, ranches, camps, ski resorts, and jobs on the water. They also offer volunteer and conservation corps opportunities.
    When I worked at the Teton National Park in the Summer of 2014 I worked with people of all ages. Some of these places offer RV spots while you work at very reduced prices.
    Another website to check out is: Workers On Wheels. Found them recently and have been following their Facebook page. Awesome
    Also………Modern Day Nomads, Wand’rly and RVShare have some articles on making and saving money while traveling.
    Hope this can help in some small way. For me seasonal work was a great way to be at different locations for a season and explore.
    Your 14 things you learned were eye opening!
    Safe travels as always~

    1. Jenny, Excellent advice, thank you for sharing this. I’ll add CoolWorks to my “Working on the Road” page so others can find it too. I also like Freelance websites like Thumbtack where you can bid on jobs ranging from writing, accounting, translating, business consulting, technical support, photography and more.
      The fact is, if you’re creative, there are tons of ways to make money! Thanks again, Carolyn

  10. I’ve been a fan of Bob’s Cheap RV Living for about a year now and am so glad he decided to ‘introduce’ you to his followers. I’m really looking forward to your next entry. I’ll be seventy one next month and am still dreaming of having a life on the road. For a variety of life’s reasons (some legitimate and some not), I never quite took that all-important step to to get on out there. So, here’s a toast to you and all you wonderful people who have taken that step and are following your dream. Be safe, be careful and don’t do anything stupid. Life is meant to be lived, so get on with it.

    1. Nancy, I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog so far and that you get to vicariously live out your nomad dreams through me (and others). I will do my best to keep sharing my stories for you to enjoy! Thank you! – Carolyn

  11. Hi from Dick Kelly in Florida. It was fun reading about your first 4 months and the things that you have found out about traveling and camping etc. I’m not a nomad since I’m still married to my mate after 64 years now, she doesn’t like to travel so I just go somewhere about every year. I have a little Prius that I love for traveling and it has plenty of room for me to sleep in the back. On my trip from Fort Myers, FL to Alaska and back in the fall of 2015 I averaged just a shade over 50mpg and found plenty of places to stop and sleep overnight on the way. Plenty of pull-offs along the Alaska Highway, some with restrooms and plenty of fast food places where I could use their WiFi for emailing my wife. I never got chased anywhere I stopped but then it’s not as likely in a Prius vs a motor home! I did use Walmarts several times to and found that to be pretty good. I did about 12,000 miles on the Alaska trip and loved it all. My granddaughter and her husband were working at Teton so I spent a couple of nights with them. This spring I made a trip to AZ and I did have a breakdown with the Prius there and it’s the only problem I’ve had with is since my purchase and it has 120,000 miles on it now. I will probably do another trip out west in 2017 probably to WY, MT, CO, UT, etc. I will camp at some of the places that Bob has camped at and I have the Coordinates on most of those places. I met Bob in Williams, AZ this June and got to talk with him a bit and meet Cody! I wish you the best and good luck with the motor home.

    http://rgkbjk.blogspot.com/ This is the link to my Alaska trip if you have time to look and are interested. I did take lots of pictures, like Bob does.

    1. Dick – WOW! I have nothing but admiration for those who can travel in smaller vehicles. Your trip sounds AMAZING. I look forward to checking it out. Thank you for sharing your story with me. And I wish you many safe and happy journeys. – Carolyn

    2. Dick, Wow! Impressive! You must be extremely healthy for your age. Do you cook for yourself on your road trips? I’m asking because I’m trying to get a simplified meal plan down for myself. Restaurant food contains waaaay too much salt for me, so end up doing it myself. Just wondering how you manage it. Paula

  12. Carolyn, enjoyed your Blog and all of the Great comments. Looking for more.
    Could there be a selling of the class C and Bob talking you into a VAN?
    Carolyn/Capone and Bob/Cody what a fine Company!

    1. Cajun – oh my!!! Did Bob put you up to that? lol. All four of us in a van – we could do a contest: readers can guess who comes out alive! 🙂
      Thank you for checking out my site and for taking the time to leave your comment. You made me smile! Safe travels. – Carolyn

  13. Carolyn – Congratulations on the blog and meeting someone! Bob is a great guy. I read his blog all the time and finally got to meet him at the past Rubber Tramp Rendezvous outside Flagstaff, AZ.

    1. HI Lawrence, I was at the Flagstaff RTR too! That’s where I met a ton of wonderful van dwellers (including Bob) and full time RVers. It was a great time -(until we got kicked out!). Hope to meet you at the next one! – Carolyn

  14. Most other blogs I have read are evangelical drivel for whatever lifestyle they are promoting. Your’s takes a factual look at what you are doing. I like it. Please never stop thinking critically even though there are easier rows to hoe. There is a song by the Eagles called Desperado. “Freedom is just someone talkin.” In my 60 years I have found throwing off old chains makes room for new ones. If you are forging new chains, might make for an interesting blog someday.

    When reading your blog I found myself trying to be in your shoes. Between my stubbornness and opinions and my wife’s stubbornness and opinions after being married 20 years, there is no way we could live together in such cramped quarters. Even though we both rail against Donald Trump we are both too independent to spend 24/7 around each other.

    Everyone is different but if you have found something that works for you, go with it with all your passion and enjoy it!

    1. Eric, Would you expect anything less from the woman who writes about the John Muir Trail the way I do? Sugar-coating and fluff aren’t my style! Thanks for reading me here and for your thoughtful and encouraging comments. I appreciate it! Happy trails to you! – Carolyn

  15. Don’t beat yourself up too much about the lack of purchase inspection. Any owner will tell you that the ALL RVs need regular maintenance and repair, even brand new ones. It’s just a fact we all have to live with.

    1. Ahhhh, music to my ears Sunny. Thank you, you are absolutely right.. but still I should have known better.. but then again what’s the fun without the element of fear and surprise?? I see you’re back to sticks and bricks, how does it feel? – Carolyn

  16. Carolyn:

    Great comments. I downsized my two story home into a 42ft 5th wheel about 3 years ago. To say it was a significant emotional event would be an understatement. The brand new RV was riddled with over 50 warranty issues. The first two years I spent more time living on an RV repair lot, fighting with Hearland RV and coordinating with RV repair services than anything else. The brand new RAM truck to tow said 5th wheel, was totaled on the way to pick up the 5th wheel. Giving you just a small window of the events, I found out several things such as yourself. BTW: I am not retired and work full time as you do.

    I’ve been kicked off the Hearland user group as well as several other generic groups. No one wants to make the RV industry responsible. I’m betting the RV sites are owned and run by the RV industry that wants everyone to believe RV life is heaven for those who seek it and a temptation for those who don’t. The sites are “all” about Good, Good and Good times. The RV industry is unregulated and (in my opinion) that allows the manufactures and dealerships to get away with unbelievable poor quality and service of their products.

    The financial hardships I have heard, seen and experienced first hand is unbelievable. Life savings have gone into many RV’s only to be lost by warranty repair hell or just left parked in storage facilities due to the inability to sell, repair or use . Then again I have seen and heard of those who have little to no problems with their RV’s. The former greatly out number the latter.

    I do not dry dock with my 5th wheel, which leaves me at the mercy and cost factor of RV park locations. It can and does get (very) expensive (appears this is not something the RV industry wants you to know either). Unless you go month to month which in many cases is far less expensive that over night or weekly stays. Monthly rentals breaks down to about the cost of a small to medium apartment depending on geographical location.

    I have seen some absolutely beautiful camp grounds and I have seen those basic parking lots with the bare minimum of electrical, water and dump sites, ladened with gravel or dirt parking lots. I’m not sure who rates these RV parks, but very few met the so called high ratings they were given (in my opinion).

    I have found only one location that understood the meaning of “WiFi”. To me that means it works, all the time, strong signal and plenty of bandwidth for every camper. It does not mean, works on occasion or take your laptop down to the rec center etc. My cell phone cost sky rocketed during these times.

    Having said all this, the positive side to my lifestyle change are the fellow campers themselves. “Most” of them are like minded and willing to help, invite you over for a BBQ etc. I have made several good friends along my route to Texas. I have gotten off the couch more, enjoyed the weather and exercised (I hike 100 yds to the laundry room), ten fold from what I had done living in the burbs of the San Francisco East Bay.

    The coach has been repair stable and weather tight for the moment. I cross my fingers waiting for the next break down. In the mean time, I enjoy my current park surroundings, fellow campers, my rescue cat and a recently purchased motorcycle.

    I wish you Godly blessing on your travels. Keep us up to date on your experience.

    1. Fred, you’ve confirmed what I learned researching the RV Life and now living it: it is not for the faint of heart. If you want easy and smooth sailing this is not the life for you. But, if you can deal with adversity, you might find you actually enjoy the challenges. Thank you for reading and for taking the time to tell me your story. I wish you safe and happy and problem-free travels! – Carolyn

    1. I’m glad you found this helpful! Thank you for checking out my site! I look forward to following your adventures as well. Good luck! – Carolyn

  17. No wonder Bob has been MIA in youtube 🙂 Happy for both of you. I’ve been following Bob for about a year. I live near Yuma and hope to meet you both in Quartzsite, AZ during the RTR. I hope to be a nomad by June 2017. Still getting rid of STUFF!!!! and saving as much as possible. Thank you for taking the time to share and inspire. Mil Gracias…los adoro 🙂

    1. Carolina, Ha ha!!! Thank you! I hope to meet you at Quartzite as well. Good luck getting rid of stuff! Te veo pronto! – Carolyn 🙂

  18. I so admire your gusto. I am in the fantasizing about following your “leave everything-embrace the unknown and travel freely” route while stuck in the “I’m married and feel too obligated and guilty to leave him because he’s not such a bad man” phase. If ever I do, I’ll be in a tiny Transit….with gigantic smile.

    1. Rina- Hi! Your post made me smile. I can relate to your situation so much… my ex wasn’t a bad man either. But one day I realized, “he’s not exactly a good man either.”! And I realized I was slowly dying living that life… I picture you in your Tiny transit with a familiar “I’m free” smile. I do hope you get there and that some day we can cross paths. I wish you all the best and thank you for reading and leaving me your comments! – Carolyn

  19. My biggest lesson being a full-timer is that a 4 season travel trailer is really a 3 1/2 season. -20 deg will cause all sorts of problems in the best of rigs. Other than that, every week I seem to learn something new.

    –Mike

    1. Mike, -20 degrees? Holy Cow, you’re a brave soul! Yes, it’s a constant learning curve, for sure. Have fun and be safe! Thanks for reading. -Carolyn

  20. Hi Carolyn,
    I’m loving watching your videos and reading your blog posts. I’m planning on being a solo woman rv’r but worried about finances as I’m not retired and can’t get disability yet. I’m getting to the point that I won’t be able to do my job anymore but stupid ss rules won’t allow me to claim benefits. Thus having to get finances figured out. Will be renting out my sticks and bricks but won’t make much money from that but it’s a backup plan if I need to leave the road. Though I dread that possibility as I have been dreaming of fulltiming for years.

    1. Lisa- I hope things work out for you and you’re able to get on the road soon. Good luck and thank you for watching and reading my stories! – Carolyn

  21. Yes, the inspection before purchase is a must…one I didn’t do either. However, I’m grateful to say, that I lucked out BIG TIME (and I hope you will hereon forth) as I traded my 2007 Malibu for my current “Green Queen”, a 2001 Ford E350 v10 in December 2012. She’s powerful. She’s badass. And I love her! I think I get around 17 mpg. My strategy is to “extend her life”, by sitting for up to a week at a time and camp no farther than about 10 miles from a preferably smallish town with decent services. And, camping closer to services is all the better. This minimizes driving, wear and tear. She has 197,000 miles on her and I’ve been living on the edge financially and thus far, this plan has been working out well. I fill up with gas about once a month. I can sometimes go even longer between fill ups! I spray her tires and cover them up with tire covers. The more tricks to extend her life and her parts lives, the better! After her, it’s back-packing and RVing Europe with the goal of dual residency. Perhaps Belgium. She’s it for America. Long live Green Queen!

    1. Gloria .. hmmm maybe I should have traded in my car.. I was reluctant to get rid of it at first, but now all the issues with Matilda and selling the car.. oh, that darn 20/20 hindsight! I am so happy for you that you have a van you love and is reliable. That’s such a relief for anyone living this life! Good luck on extending her life..
      I have the same long term goal… my best friend and loving companion is 12 in March.. I’d love another dog, but I will take advantage of being free for a while and wandering the globe.. Even thought about the Peace Corps.. who knows!! 🙂
      Love your spirit and attitude.. thanks for writing! – C

      1. You’re just amazing, taking the time to responds to so many comments! One could feel guilty now leaving too many comments! Thank you! I really resonate and love your spirit as well, Carolyn. Long live Capone!!

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