Do you dream about hitting the road long before you reach retirement age, but aren’t sure how you can afford it? You’re not alone; many full-timers we know shared your dream, including my husband and I.
Full-time RVing used to be a privilege reserved exclusively for retired people who spent decades toiling away in their careers in order to enjoy a freewheelin’ life on the road. But with the disappearance of the traditional retirement in our modern economy, many non-retired people I know are hitting the road long before getting an AARP card.
Research the Reality
If you’re inspired to live a full-timing adventure, begin by creating a smart, financially secure path to departure. Some of the resources I read that helped Jim and I get financially and mentally ready to hit the road include:
Live Your Road Trip Dream by Phil and Carol White
The Whites’ book gets my thumbs up for the best book on planning an extended road trip. From figuring out whether you should rent or sell your home to preparing for the unexpected medical emergencies on the road, the Whites cover it all in this helpful book that’s part trip planner and part memoir about their own adventures across America.
Six Months Off by Hope Dlugozima, James Scott, David Sharp
Whether you’re hitting the road because you’re sick of your current occupation and need a change, or actually enjoy your field but just need an extended break, this book is a helpful guide to preparing to take time off without selling the farm and taking a vow of poverty. The book is out of print but plenty of used copies exist on Amazon.
Meet the Experts
As you read through books that help you with the technical aspects of getting on the road, don’t forget to put yourself out there and start meeting other full-timers. One of the best ways to know what it’s really like to live on the road is to talk to people who’ve done it. From the couples whose trip imploded after year because one of them hated it, to old-timers who spent decades happily rolling down the highway, the RVing community is a friendly place where you can ask as many questions as you want without feeling like you’re being a pest. RVers LOVE to tell about their adventures so don’t be shy.
Join traditional RVing groups like Escapees (www.escapees.com), the world’s largest RVer support community for full-timers, to NuRVers (www.nurvers.com), an up-and-coming group comprised of non-traditional, young road warriors. If you have children, you’ll find growing numbers of families on the road in places like Fulltime Families (http://fulltimefamilies.com), a membership-based support organization for young traveling kids and parents.
As tempting as it may be to start your full-time RVing adventure on a whim, I can’t over-emphasizes the importance of performing careful research to help you discover exactly what you want from the experience. As contradictory as it may be to plan for a life of adventure and spontaneity, I’ve seen too many people pack it all in after just a few months on the road because they really didn’t know what to expect when they turned the key. Planning for your great escape is a guaranteed road map to success, so start today!
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.