Retiring and hitting the road in an RV is the dream for many people. But for Jim Brown of the NC Motorcyclists blog, it has been an enjoyable reality for almost eight years.
The full-timer has traveled all over the country visiting National Parks and Jeep riding in the desert. We reached out to Jim to learn more about his travels and to get his valuable advice on full-timing.
In the past, he has towed a Keystone Fusion Toy Hauler as well as a small R-Pod travel trailer. “Although I like the comfort and amenities of a Class A, my experience (including conversations with other Class A owners) suggests that they require almost constant maintenance,” he says.
In the first week of owning his Thor Axis, the motorhome had several problems and mechanical failures, in particular with the OneControl System. The brand new rig spent the first few months of the year in the shop for repairs.
His favorite part of the full-time lifestyle is the freedom it allows. “The ability to pick up and move anytime I choose; this allows me to meet new people, see new places and experience new things. It’s the variety of the lifestyle that appeals most to me.”
Jim’s blog documents his travels as well as gear and software he recommends. He also captures quality photography everywhere from the large iconic parks to deserted sites in the middle of nowhere.
His travels have led him all over the country from Nevada and Arizona to Texas and Georgia. The National Parks such as Glacier, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Yellowstone, Arches, and Sequoia have been some of his most memorable trips. But he’s also visited many other lesser-known places that were equally impressive, such as the Valley of Fire just outside of Las Vegas.
He not only explores the country by RV, but also by OHV (off-highway vehicle) riding in his Jeep. “Moab, UT has some of the best OHV riding in the country—it combines incredible scenery with trails rated from easy to ‘hold my beer while I try this’. The Paiute Trail System out of Marysvale, UT combines mountainous terrain with lots of wildlife. In the winter, almost anywhere in southern Arizona is good.”
Last November he visited Sand Hollow State Park in southwestern Utah, a popular spot for off-road vehicle riding. The park has a campground with full hookups in addition to a beautiful blue lake and acres of golden sand to drive on.
Jim can often be found at OHV rallies and other rock crawling events like the annual Hump N Bump. “For the most part, I travel alone with no pets which makes the socialization aspect of RVing a great benefit for me,” He says. “I knew I was going to see some amazing sights, but it has been the people I have met that has been the most pleasant surprise.”
With almost a decade of full-timing experience, he has some great advice for those thinking about making the switch. “Learn as much about the lifestyle as possible,” Jim says. “The major RV forums contain a wealth of information as well as allowing you to ask any questions you might have. If you do not currently own an RV, perhaps renting one for month would be a good way to learn if you want to make the leap.”
He plans on visiting the Pacific Northwest this summer as he travels through Oregon and Washington and then back through Montana and Wyoming. You can follow Jim’s travels and recommendations on his blog, NCMotorcyclists.blogspot.com.