When we started this RVing adventure 9 years ago, I had no idea I was making my biggest full-time RV living mistake before we even hit the road.
If you’ve been with me for any length of time, I’m sure you have figured out how independent I am. I don’t like to ask for help and I certainly don’t want to be a burden to anyone. I love knowing I can take care of myself. Unfortunately, things have changed and I’m realizing my mistake.
My Biggest Full-Time RV Living Mistake
I failed to prepare an exit strategy. Heaven knows, I don’t want to exit this lifestyle I love so much but for the last few months, I haven’t been able to travel because I can’t afford it anymore. Prices have increased on everything so much but the increase in fuel costs was the nail in the coffin for this year.
KOA publishes The North American Camping Report each year with a lot of information about RVers, like who we are, how we camp, and the future of camping. I find it fascinating.
Aside from inflation, campgrounds are so full these days getting a monthly rental site is next to impossible and getting more expensive by the week. We just don’t know what fallout is still to come.
I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet but it’s been on my mind so much lately.
Why We Jumped In So Quickly
Rob (my late husband) and I were living in Olympia in our beautiful home but he was sick, very sick, and wouldn’t get better. We had been living with his illness for years and I knew I would lose him sooner or later. He hadn’t been able to work for several years but I was still working.
Rob was getting depressed and at times I was afraid of what I’d find when I got home. I left my job as a project manager in Seattle and took a huge pay cut to work in Olympia. It was much easier and less stressful being just 15 minutes from home when he needed something. Eventually, I came to the realization that I was going to have to stop working to be with him all the time.
In March of 2012, we decided to sell everything and travel the country in an RV. Neither of us had ever had an RV much less driven or towed one but we were certain we could and would make it work. We pulled away from our home on September 9th, 2012, and never looked back.
During our nearly five years of full-time RV travel, we visited the entire lower48 states, saw Rob’s family on the East Coast numerous times, and had some wonderful adventures.
We had a fantastic run but on December 22, 2017, Rob passed away. Do I regret any of these decisions? Absolutely not. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat. I ran into one of Rob’s doctors shortly after he died and she told me she’s sure he lived longer because we tried so hard to make those last years the best we could.
What Would I Have Done Differently?
The only reason I’m sharing this with all of you is that I don’t want any of you to make the same mistake I made. The one thing I’d have done differently is to have a place of my own to land when my full-time RV travel is done. I don’t mean a house. I’d love to have a little piece of property with hookups somewhere. Nothing big or fancy but mine. That’s all.
We consulted a financial adviser and had all of the appropriate plans and documents in place but for whatever reason, we never found out that a widow or widower cannot collect surviving spouse benefits until the age of 60. I was 55 when Rob died and I’ll be 59 in a couple of months.
A Welcoming and Generous Family
I”m very lucky in that I have a wonderful family that truly loves to have Murphy and I stay with them. My brother and sister-in-law, and my daughter and her husband have been so welcoming when we are home from our full-time RV travel. On occasion, I joke about them having a custody battle over me.
A Possible Solution
What you’re probably not aware of, is that I work 40 to 60 hours a week on my online business endeavors. I know it will eventually pay off but for now, I’m staying put and keeping my nose to the grindstone. Hopefully, when that starts to pay off, I’ll be able to secure a place or two of my own in different climates so I can feel a bit more independent and secure.
So that’s it, my only full-time RV living mistake. It’s the only regret I have but I still wouldn’t change a single thing. It’s been an incredible adventure so far.
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