For many RVers, there’s no greater feeling than the first few weeks of full-timing freedom. Even if you’re new to RVing like I once was, the learning curve is just an occasional annoyance as highway dreams unfurl and the thrill of ditching a traditional lifestyle finally sinks in. For new RVers Scott and Kaydee Schermer, their journey is especially exciting as they learn the ins and outs of life on the road while getting reacquainted with this country they left behind many years ago. Together with their three German shepherds and one little lapdog, this fur-filled pack is howling with delight at their new way of life in America.
I met up with this adventurous couple one balmy evening during an impromptu happy hour at a campground in New Braunfels, Texas. There while sitting at our picnic table along the Comal River, Scott and Kaydee explained why they decided to leave a tropical paradise for life on the road. As Kaydee took a sip of her sparkling water, she told me that although they are newbies to RVing, nomadic living is nothing new to her or Scott—or their dogs. Living outside the “norm” is the way they prefer things, she explained. “Why would anyone want to stay in one place and do the same thing, day in and day out?” she asked me. Then without skipping a beat, she figured out why. “Well, someone’s gotta deliver the mail I guess!” she said, in a sweet Southern drawl.
Kaydee has been a global traveler for much of her life. This former Spanish teacher from north Georgia inherited the gypsy gene from her grandmother, who would take her on long road trips to Mexico as a child—just for the fun of it. Later as an adult, she explored a lot of the country, and then finally made a permanent move to the popular expatriate community of San Miguel de Allende. That’s where fate brought her together with Scott, a retired entrepreneur from Chicago. Since 2003 they’ve lived in some of the most scenic parts of Mexico, including the sandy shores of Lake Chapala, near Guadalajara. Although occasional obligations sometimes called them back to the states, their hearts were always in Mexico.
Their easygoing expat life was the envy of their stressed-out American counterparts, but the travel bug always remained. Finally that bug returned with a vengeance earlier this year when their rental house lease expired and they couldn’t find a dog-friendly home that appealed to them. That’s when Kaydee planted the seed that they should move into an RV and tour the United States.
She said she had always looked at RVs going down the highway and loved the idea of being able to take your home with you wherever you go. A full-timing RV lifestyle seemed like a good fit at this point in their lives, so while they were still in Mexico they shopped for RVs on the Internet. The major challenge was finding a rig that was small enough to venture into the offbeat, out-of-the-way places they enjoy exploring, but large and comfortable for everyone, including their very large dogs. Class C’s looked OK but there just wasn’t enough room for the dogs, said Kaydee. Then Scott found Thor Motor Coach’s ACE motorhome, which combines the qualities of Class A and Class C models, and includes something new for the RV marketplace: dog-friendly features, such as a built-in dog bowl and scratch-resistant vinyl furniture coverings.
“The ACE had so many things that we liked,” Scott said. “It has a walk-around king bed, a kitchen super slide and under the shower it even has a pullout tray for kibbles and water.” One of the best features is a large doggie window built right into the entry door, which now serves as the command post for the ever-vigilant German shepherds.
After reading ACE reviews, the couple instinctively knew they found their next residence. Without hesitation they bought a 28-foot model sight unseen from the New Braunfels Camping World dealer and quickly made plans to migrate back to the States with all four dogs and little else. “We were already used to living small,” Kaydee explains, so getting rid of stuff was no big deal.
Touring the U.S.
Less than one month later the pack journeyed back to America, put a few belongings in a small storage unit and moved into the rig. Although some RVers think a 28-foot motorhome is small for full-time travel, Scott and Kaydee like the size. They say it feels like they’re still occupying the same amount of space as when they lived in a traditional house. Whether they are in a big home or a tiny RV, “The dogs are always underfoot,” explains Kaydee. “So who needs all that extra space when the dogs are always stuck on you like Velcro anyways?!”
Just a few campsites away the sun was setting while their loyal dogs surveyed campground activity from behind the doggie door. Their shiny motorhome was still so new it had temporary dealer plates. With no plans other than to escape summer heat and “follow the weather map,” this laid-back happy couple was ready to begin another adventure of a lifetime. They left New Braunfels before I did, but several months later I received an enthusiastic email from Scott, who said: “Kaydee and I have been tremendously enjoying our excursion into the depths of the U. S… If you remember, our goal has been to look for a nice, cool spot and have we found it!”
Scott and Kaydee’s story is a perfect example of how taking a leap of faith can often lead to some of the best times of your life—and deciding to go full-time RVing is a perfect way to go about it! If you’re getting ready to hit the road and looking for your perfect spot, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to share your full-time RVing story, too.
Rene Agredano is a full-time RVer who works from the road as a writer, jewelry designer and advocate for special needs animals. This time of year you’ll find her with other winter boondockers in the Southwestern desert, along with her husband, Jim Nelson, and three-legged German shepherd, Wyatt Ray Dawg. Follow her full-timing travels at LiveWorkDream.com and her blog, “The Full-Timing Nomad” at rvlife.com.