Dear RV Diary,
Live in an RV full-time
After much thought and research, Bill and I have made the decision to downsize our house and live in an RV Travel Trailer full-time, while traveling and exploring the Americas. This transition is not going to happen overnight. In fact, it will be several years, but that gives us plenty of time to plan and get ready.
When planning the transition from our corporate jobs and stationary house into RV living and travel, there is a lot to consider.
Here’s a list of a few of our initial questions and concerns:
- Homeschooling for our 15 year old son and consideration of his goals and needs
- Finances – how will we work and pay for this nomadic lifestyle?
- Traveling with dogs
- How do we obtain health insurance and how much will it cost?
- What about our friendships?
- Possessions – what do we do with all our STUFF? What about family heirlooms or sentimental items?
We’ve done some research and have answered some of the questions and concerns we have about the full-time RV lifestyle.
In February, we had a discussion with our son, Curtis. Could we leave sooner than four years? It would be amazing and educational for him to travel around the country with us. We would need to home school him, but we could totally do that! Well…Curtis’ answer was an absolute no! He cited concerns about getting scholarships for college and not having any friends. Making friends that he can build relationships with is very important to him. Curtis is also in a very rigorous program at his high school, which will help him in the college scholarships area and he doesn’t want to leave the program. That answers the first question. Our departure date will be after Curtis enters college.
First, we will definitely Pay Off All Debt. This is non-negotiable. We do not want to be in debt when we leave our current careers. We also want to pay in full when we buy our RV.
Second, we want to build up a decent size cushion of cash in our savings account.
We have researched ways to make money while living remotely and/or traveling. We have several ideas that will work for us.
Here are 22 resources to find remote jobs.
We could find seasonal jobs in Alaska during the summer for the tourist season. There are tons of jobs available in Alaska during the summer. We could work, while being amongst absolutely breath-taking scenery and earn enough money in a few months to support ourselves for the rest of the year. Some websites where you can find these jobs are:
We could work in national parks or camp sites wherever we are located by finding jobs through
www.happyvagabonds.com this site provides links to work camping jobs by state.
We could work for Amazon if in the right location. They have seasonal jobs specifically for RVers. www.amazondelivers.jobs/about/camperforce/
We could find freelance remote work using our current career skillsets on:
The point is, I don’t think this is as big of a concern as we originally thought. If our debt is fully paid off, we only have to worry about our expenses of being nomads.
Traveling with Dogs:
I have to admit that I am a little worried about traveling and camping with dogs. We have two dogs. One is a little 8 pound Chihuahua who has anxiety when in a car. The other is a 80 pound hunk of energy. He dislikes wildlife and barks non-stop when he sees a squirrel, or bird, or deer. We will just have to take them on some trial camping trips and see how well they do. Maybe some dog training is in order.
How do we obtain health insurance and how much will it cost?
I have researched the health insurance topic enough to understand that this question is not easily answered. There are many factors involved and each person’s policy and cost will vary based on their specific family structure, domicile state, age, current health and needs. We definitely need to dive into this topic further.
What about our friendships?
I don’t want to leave my BFF, Tracy. Every time I think about it, this weird salty liquid comes out my eye holes. What will happen to our friendship if I am away for months at a time? I know we can talk on the phone or video chat, but that is not the same as being together and just hanging out. We have already agreed to come back home to spend every Thanksgiving through New Year’s together with her family. I just don’t know how it’s going to feel being away from her for long periods of time and I am really scared of how the time away will affect our relationship.
Possessions – what do we do with all our STUFF? What about family heirlooms or sentimental items?
We originally thought we would sell our home and move into the RV, which had me worried about our family heirlooms and sentimental items. I figured we would need to have at least a small storage unit. After much thought, we decided Curtis would need a home to come home to during college breaks, so we have decided to buy a smaller home. We plan to downsize dramatically, so that means getting rid of most of our stuff. We need to organize our belongings into four categories:
- Donate it.
- Sell it.
- Keep it.
- Trash it.
I’ve already done one really good sweep through the basement and had a huge yardsale where we made a really good amount of money. I will post the details of that yardsale in a future post.
There’s still a ton of downsizing work to be done and at times it can seem overwhelming. The task must be broken down into smaller chunks. I am glad we have a couple of years to get through this process.