The only way to become a nomad is to do it. The full-time RVing reality check happens after you jump in. So when Donna Fisher-Jackson and her husband Jim hit the road they were as green as new full-timers can get. “We had never owned an RV before so when we decided to sell everything and hit the road, there was a steep learning curve,” she recalls. Three years after their trial-by-fire full-timing adventure, Donna now shares their lessons learned in her book called “Living the RV Lifestyle: Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road.”
Full-time RVing reality check: it’s a lifestyle, not a vacation
Living in your RV full-time may look like a non-stop party to the untrained eye. However Donna can vouch that it certainly is not. “ You still need to do the laundry, grocery shop, etc,” she says. Trying to balance domestic chores with the RVing learning curve is a challenge for most people. Toss in the need to earn a living while constantly changing locations and the business of learning how to be a nomad turns into a full-time occupation. For anyone who needs to manage all of these lifestyle factors, Donna’s new book lives up to its promise of providing practical advice for success. A short sampling of topics she covers includes:
- How to choose your first full-timing RV
- Practical and emotional tips for downsizing belongings
- How to help your pets adjust and be comfortable
- Common mistakes new full-timers make
- Considerations about leaving the lifestyle behind you.
Full-timing lessons learned together and apart
In her time as a full-time RVer Donna found that many people were curious about the lifestyle. Eventually she felt compelled to share what she had already learned. “I did find that RVing is a dream for many people so I wanted to share my view of what the dream and the actual reality looked like,” she says.
For Jim that reality meant becoming more confident in public. “Having never backed up a 39-foot fifth wheel rig before, he had to teach himself. But he quickly learned not to care what other people were thinking about his skills, just be safe and don’t hit anything,” she recalls.
As for her own full-time RVing reality check, she learned about how to balance her nesting instincts while living their dream of a long-term road trip. “Having a place to call home has always been important to me. Living in a mobile home that moves around was a whole new experience. I learned a lot about myself, and my basic needs,” she explained.
A road-tested relationship
Donna and Jim are no longer full-timing all year. Currently they’re in the process of building their dream home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The couple now travels seasonally in their RV. However the lessons they learned on the road will stay with them wherever they reside. The biggest bonus about living in tight quarters was that she and Jim grew stronger as a couple. “I feel like the experience really tested our commitment and over time has strengthened our relationship. When it’s just the two of you out there on the road, you really learn what you value in each other. You also learn how to work together as a team,” she says.
Whether someone is considering a full-timing road trip as a permanent way life or a temporary adventure, “Living the RV Lifestyle: Practical Advice and Personal Tales from Life on the Road” is filled with the author’s many valuable tips for making the most of it. The 168-page book is available on Amazon in electronic and print.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
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Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.