If you don’t have a fixed address you’re definitely outside of the mainstream. People tend to look at you sideways when you struggle to answer the question “Where are you from?”
If you’re not full-timing but curious about the lifestyle, these quirky things about full-time RVers give you a glimpse into the nomadic life – and maybe inspire you to give it a try.
Full-timers don’t wear a “nomad” label on their sleeves. But in day-to-day conversations with strangers, when we struggle to find an answer to“Where are you from?” we seem a little odd.
It takes a few minutes to explain why you’re struggling with that and immediately puts you in the spotlight. Whether you’re at a campground or in the supermarket, if your nomadic lifestyle is brought to the attention of a curious stranger, he or she will probably want to know a few things. For example:
Are you rich or something? Did you win the lotto?
People assume that full-time RVers travel constantly, are always on vacation, and do nothing all day but lounge and sip white Russians at the RV park’s pool.
The truth is that we live our lives just as most people do. If we’re too young to retire, we work. Sometimes it’s on the Internet and other times it’s in a campground, a warehouse or seasonal job.
Retired full-timers have more free time, but they’re usually no more extravagant in their choices than “normal” people. Some full-timers have money in the bank, some do not. Our financial situations are just as diverse as any other segment of society.
That’s why answering the inevitable question how much money do you need to go full time? is impossible. It’s different for everyone.
How do you live together in such a small space?
Modern couples typically have different careers that keep them apart all day. When retirement happens, it’s understandable that living in a small space could be frustrating for each person.
That’s the way most couples experience retirement, but not full-timers. Whether working or not, the tiny confines of a house on wheels forces couples to communicate more effectively than ever before.
Getting along in the RV takes practice but you either get along for the sake of traveling together, or you don’t.
When times get tough, if both people aren’t willing to negotiate the troubled waters in a fair and calm way, the full-time travel fantasy is over before it ever begins.
Where do you get your mail?
Even in our electronic age, many people still can’t imagine foregoing a daily visit from their postal courier. But after nine years of living without consistent mail delivery on the road, I’ll vouch that it can be done, effectively as I have found that there are two ways to get mail on the road.
Some full-time RVers who want to keep their original home state ask family members to forward their mail. Others like me choose a new home state and pay for a mail forwarding service. The final decision about where to call home usually rests with how much or how little a full-timers’ own taxes and insurance will be impacted.
Nobody said that full-time RVers always have it easy but current technologies provide more workarounds than ever before.
In future columns I’ll discuss more specific things about full-time RVers, like how we handle vehicle registration, jury duty, prescription drug deliveries and other routine chores that sticks-and-bricks dwellers don’t think twice about. If there are specific questions about full-time RVing that you’d like me to address, just ask!
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.