The Most Unusual Reasons For Full Time RVing
Most people hit the road for good because they have a long-standing wish to explore North America by RV. But others jump into it when life throws curveballs. Here are four full-time RVers with the most interesting and unusual reasons for full time RVing. Maybe their stories will inspire you to give it a try too!
Out of Depression and Into Sunshine, by Andy Potvin
My wife battles an extreme form of depression with a level of social anxiety that’s painful to watch. After years of treatment, and trying every medication available, we learned that there was nothing that would help. This was something that we were just going to have to find a way to live with.
During those years of treatment, though, I noticed that if I took her for a drive and explored someplace new, she would climb out of the abyss and remain in a good place for a few days. When we ran out of new places to explore, the positive effect wore off, so we’d drive further away to find new places.
I realized that to keep this up, we’d need to move every few months, and then it dawned on me—move into a motorhome! We could move whenever, wherever we needed to. We could even chase the sunshine if the weather got cloudy for too long.
It took a year to convince her, and a year to organize our circumstances. We’ve been living in our 38′ Class A for just over two months now, and it seems to be working. With everyday as a new adventure, and the freedom to change that adventure whenever we need to, we’ve been able to tackle the depression and lessen the anxiety.
Life has become enjoyable again, and much, much more adventurous!
The Electric Gypsy, by Pete Koski
Being an Industrial Electrician needing to super charge my 401Ks, I discovered that I could earn much more money on the road than being local. DW bought into it!
First RV was a 98 bounder, which we loved. Now we are in a 2012 Coachmen Chaparral, which we love. Best part is we travel all over, moving every 2-4 months. On time off we have seen Niagara Falls, Lake Tahoe, Reno, the Pacific Coast Highway, and Yosemite.
Very few of these places would we have seen, had it not been for our gypsy lifestyle.
A Full-timing Family on the Fly, by Walter O Bingham
I was working in Montana for several months while my family was in Illinois. I got a call from the landlord (parents) in mid-January that they are evicting my family, 30 days.
Came home as soon as I could, searched for weeks for Class A MHs and finally found one. Bought it and took a good 3 weeks to pack up the RV, get everything out, and took off down the road.
Have not returned in over 2 years. Full-time in a 36 foot gas Class A MH with five children and my wife. Pull 12 passenger van on tow dolly behind MH and drive a pickup as well.
New Job, New Life, by Sue White
I’d been downsizing for two years with an idea to try the tiny home life. I landed a job where I could work anywhere. The lightbulb clicked, 3 months later I bought an older Class A 32-foot RV for cash that was perfectly fine but 1998 ugly as in interior.
Spent three months gutting/renovating, and here I am 6 months later living where I want, in a 2017 interior tin can tiny home, and loving it to pieces!
My large doggos love it, too. A total 180 from this time last year.
Do you have an unusual reason for full time RVing? If so, comment below, or share your experience with the community on iRV2 Forums. We’d love to know more about your story.
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.
Danerly, Long Beach, CA says
My husband and I are so excited to hit the road. After 15 years living aboard a boat, we are ready to tour the US in our RV purchased last year. We would have left to RV full time last year but it requires making a decent income on the road, not just work camping but enough to save, invest and plan for the day RVing is no longer an option. After reading the last article where Sue White found a job that allowed her to work remote, I am exited by the prospect. I have done a great deal of research but other than computer coding which offers the most flexibility, I would appreciate other options. Reliable Internet options is also another concern working a full schedule. We don’t plan to move to a new location every month and may only be able to go as far as weekend will take us, but the Internet is the biggest obstacle. I would so appreciate suggestions so we can make our goal of leaving by April 2018. Thank you!
wifi receiving antennas that hook up via usb some can receive signals miles away from a hotspot
Thomas W Davis says
First) Assess your skill set and that of your partner. Second) Ask yourselves how you used them to earn a living, prior to being in an RV. Third) Those skills did not go away when you moved into your RV. Fourth) Add to those skill set’s your personal integrity and you have a marketable talent. Fifth)n ever forget the combination of your education and life experiences have a dollar value. Sixth) Help your neighbor, don’t be afraid to be a friend and out of your way to be of assistance you will be astonished at what happens, you are a child of GOD and you will always be successful.
Tim Nihoul says
Both my wife and I work from home and can work anywhere, just need a phone and WiFi. We plan to sell our home, buy an rv and hit the road. It does take time to develop and make this solid, yet we believe we’ll have it that way by next spring. Everything we do is done virtually.
Sam Crabtree says
In our case the reason we’re full timing is because we realized that we could. We had previously lived on an RV 2005-2009, a marine RV – otherwise known as a 39 foot sailboat, mostly in the Sea of Cortez, MX. But we did get as far south as Cabo Corientes, the cape at the south side of Banderas Bay the bay where Puerto Vallarta is. We knew the lifestyle of cruising – and we like it. But at my age, 82, the maintenance of my 1971 sailboat was something that I was no longer capable of performing – and I’ve never been rich enough to pay someone else. I either had to buy a newer boat or find another way that my 65 year old wife and I could re-embrace that lifestyle or a similar one. A 2000 Ford F350 7.3 liter diesel, with duals and a 2017 KZ Sportsmen was considerably less expensive than a sailboat less than 20 years old with similar space. Both my wife and I ride Terra Trikes and the pickup can carry them. My wife is a travelling bookkeeper. As soon as she realized that she could do the books remotely for her good clients (one she’s had for over 20 years) if she convinced them to hire someone to feed her the information digitally (and also do the filing for less than they were paying her for that busy work) we started looking for the truck and trailer.
The trailer we bought is a bunkhouse model and my son removed the bunks and converted that area to an office for Susie. We cold have left without Susie working, but that wouldn’ have allowed the growth of our (her) savings to support her when I’m no longer around and she must stop working. She wanted that we should go before I was unable to enjoy it.
So here we are, almost two months into the rest of my life. So she sits in the office my son built doing book keeping while I sit here responding to this question. (She doesn’t even have to kvetch or nag to make me feel guilty – but only a little. I HAVE lived 17 years more than she has. And the last 16 years with her she has made some of the best years of my very wonderful and full life.
I taught her the wandering life and she teaches, continually teaches me how to make it better even as I lose some of my physical abilities with age.
Anne Redman says
Good for you guys for finding each other and for choosing the lifestyle that makes you both happy. To many years of travel for you both. Happy camping!
Jim Kinnebrew says
God bless you Mr & Mrs Crabteree! What an inspiring example you have given us! Hope you stay well for a very long time and see all that you want to see around our great country. Maybe we will find you on the road sometime–you piddling your time away commenting on the web while your dear wife slaves away over the books! (Yes, just having fun with you!) May the Lord bless you richly as you continue to grow and enjoy many blessings. Happy Trails!
BOLTON A PECK says
Back in the ’90s my wife and I converted a school bus to an RV, sold our stuff, and moved out of SLC, UT for good. Although short of money, those were some great times.
Fast forward to 2008.. we broke up. No longer husband and wife except on paper-but with two beautiful little girls and a home based business on my part.
It’s a good thing I kept the bus! I’ve been living aboard the Enterprise again since 2010, and I’m now in the process of renovating the original conversion with better wiring, a new RV fridge, a tiled bathroom. butcherblock countertop, vastly better wiring, etcetera.. but the most important thing is that, because I live in said bus on the property with my erstwhile spouse, Daddy gets to be home for his girls as they grow up. Mom and Dad don’t have to fight it out for custody of the kids-no battles over who gets whom for the holidays, and savings of several thousand dollars every month in rent versus having two separate abodes.
Although not without its foibles and eccentricities, fulltiming in my RV, even when it isn’t traveling, has allowed me to be home for my girls to grow up.
Richard Lang says
Don’t know how unusual this is – but after 28 years in San Francisco, watching the costs go up, it was obvious we couldn’t stay when it was my time to retire. We did a week in a rented camper as a trial of sorts. Of course it was insufficient for what we eventually encountered – but it was the start. After that we set a budge and began scouring online for something. The 2005 Forest River Georgetown XL we saw caught both our eyes and we bought it.
Naturally we missed a few things someone with more experience might have seen. But it looked good, had low mileage and the price was right. Then it was a 30 day sprint to sell off or give away all that wouldn’t fit. We got wise – there was nothing we had that HAD to be stored. The kids got whatever they wanted and we climbed aboard.
Would I do it again? You bet I would.
We lived on boats and an extended series of RVs, traveling all over north and central America.
In 2003, we acquired a Medium Duty Truck, converted it to a TinyHomeOnWheels, and never looked back.
Stand-still houses? Not so much.
We are building a boat to our needs. Vastly amused watching the condition of fUSA, we think it’s prudent to bail before the whole place goes sporty… with episodes of extreme friskiness.
Patti Panuccio says
This is my fourth time going Full Time, in the past, it was to make a living. This time it seems to be a sanctuary. When I lost my soul mate last year ( thanks to Harvey) it was the only thing I knew that would soothe my soul.
In the future, I hope to start blogging my journal of being on the road with my crew of four Felines.
My husband has terminal cancer and I have been contemplating full time rv life when he is gone but am worried I might feel even more forlorn and lonely. I would travel with two cats as well.
How often do you move and do you stay in rv parks or?
Patti Panuccio says
Currently, I am trying to spend time with my mother in Cheyenne, WY who also has cancer, but I have to move because of Cheyenne Frontier days, everything in town is booked. I am on a fixed income and have applied to several parks at http://www.volunteer.gov for a variety of positions that have free h/u as compensation, my plan is simple to move when I can afford it, stay cheap as often as possible and when I see someplace I want to explore, stop and explore it. One day at a time.
There’s a place we stay in Greeley, the Greeley RV Park, that you might find room at during Cheyenne Frontier Days. It’s about an hour from Cheyenne.
Patti Panuccio says
As of 7-7-27 they area super was looking for hosts when we were at Stateline Reservoir just South of Mountain View, WY. Contact him through American Land and Leisure. Sorry, i did not get him or his wifes name. They were camped at Bridger Lake next to Stateline Reservoir. Nice folks.
Patti Panuccio says
Dawn Wokson says
I’m so sorry to hear of what your going through.Check into some groups and clubs and get to know some of the people online,then go meet them offline.There are several choices,you can stay in various types of campgrounds,or you can boondock.Bob Wells on youtube has a tribe of folks who travel together during the winter,and some continue on into the summer.I plan on joining them this winter,but I have also joined a couple of other groups online.Some groups get together and hike and other activities,some just get together over a campfire.Several of us in one group are talking about getting together this winter at Bobs RTR,rubber Tramp Rendezvous.Just put fulltime Rving in any search bar and click on all of the ideas that popup
Patti Panuccio says
Thank you and I might see you this winter, I just gotta due Quartzite, it’s been on my to-do list forever. I did join LOW and am looking forward to spending some time in Demming when it gets cooler.
Mads & Ivy Ledet says
Not quite 3 years ago we decided to travel full time. We bought a new MBS 2401R from RV Wholesalers in Lakeview, OH. We took some shakedown trips and, in April, got rid of our home, truck camper, truck, boat, etc. Stored our furniture, paid off the MH, invested the rest of the money and took off. We created a public Facebook page to post our travels to keep our feed clean for other things. We have almost 70,000 miles on the MH and have seen Alaska, most of Canada, a lot of the US and the western part of Mexico. We expect to stop in a couple of years but, for now, we are having the time of our life.
In this article, how OVERWEIGHT is a 36′ gas motorhome with 5 children in it, towing a 12 passenger van on a tow dolly BE ????????????
Thomas Blankenship says
Dawn Wokson says
I’m going through a divorce and when it is all settled I’ll be heading out fulltime with my dogs and cats.I plan on fultiming for several years while saving up for my own little piece of property for a home base and somewhere to settle when I get older.I’m 60 now,so don’t plan doing this forever
Sherry Oliver says
I sold my house and ran away from home! Never had so much fun in my life! If I had known, I would have run away sooner! 12 year old truck and 14 year old HiLo trailer. Summers in son’s yard in Ohio, winters in Florida with daughter.
Visits to family and friends, side trips, I am so happy there ought to be a law! Dogs love it to!
I need to be able to Pin this. Is there a way to include a Pinterest button on your article? Thank you!
Interesting that this thread was started two years ago.
Seems a bit dated; thought about leaving information, but changed my mind when I saw the dates.
john arata says
Really suffes from depression and full timing is good for her I would think the anxiety of place to place new neighbors and all would be tough
Billy Bob Thorton says
Love the story about the couple finding a better situation to fight her depression. God Bless you guys, and happy travels
Karoline Moore says
About 13-16 years ago I had a job that required me to travel frequently. During our son’s summer break I would take our son with me for my longest tour of the year: Colorado to Oregon, Washington, California, and Utah for 6-7 weeks. I had to “work” trade shows on Friday, Saturday and Sundays, but Monday though Thursdays were mine. I just had to drive to the next town. So our son and I used the time in between and saw things like: Yellowstone, the Columbia River Gorge, Mt St Helen’s, Vancouver (Canda), Seattle, Olympic National Park, the Oregon and California coat, Redwood National Forest, San Francisco,, LA, Arches and Canyonlands National Park come to mind. My husband was never “allowed” to go since the US Army always had other plans for him: deployments, training up to deployments, field problems, military schools etc. He missed out on a lot of trips our son and I took, both overseas and stateside. My husband finally retired last year after almost 30 years in the Army. Our plan was to travel the world, but due to his health (he needs shots every 12 weeks never mind carry anything over 30 lbs amongst many other things) we can not go on that big around the world trip. He is 100% disabled and his medical needs like another complete shoulder replacement surgery this fall and his PTSD are also limiting factors on how far we can roam. The RV life was just the right choice for us. We bought a slightly used shorter 5th wheel over the winter, sold our house, moved our stiff into storage and moved in in May. We are now seeing the country he served for all those years and are enjoying it a lot. We just started our journey 2 month ago and are visiting/revisiting sites our son and I had seen all those years ago, plus new to both of us sites too…… the plan is to do this until we get tired of it or his parents need us. We hope, that all that is many years in the future.
Curt & Mary Jo Hencye says
My wife and I are full-time disaster relief missionaries and travel around the US helping folks recover/rebuild after natural disasters who couldn’t otherwise do it themselves. We’ve started helping folks in 2004 and ended up going full-time while helping folks in NYC after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. We’d been sleeping on church floors, spare bedrooms, etc and started looking into RV’g in 2012. In 2016 we got our 38′ 5th wheel and now live in it full time and love our new home! We weren’t campers or had any former RV’g experience. We’ve learned a lot over the few years we’ve been doing this, but it works great for us!
Hi! Did Covid mess you up, or are you still traveling, I hope? You give me hope saying you didn’t give up and stay put because your husband has health issues! I’m almost 70, and overweight enough that things are hard, such as hiking (no more horseback riding for now, or square dancing), so was considering selling the RV, but we’ll rethink that some more – fulltiming was sure fun!
My husband is retiring next year. We had already decided to move out of state. It occurred to us that we could RV full time for a year while travelling the US (a dream of ours for years) while we look for a new state to move to then buy a home when we find what we want. We have a teenager at home and already homeschool so that isn’t an issue and best of all, our income is enough that we can do this. We are looking at this as an epic yearlong family vacation and an adventure finding our new home.