So, the good news is: a lot of our friends and family are reading this blog. Thanks guys!
The bad news is, ya’ll have a lot of questions that we have, thus far, totally failed to answer on this forum.
But no more!! You have questions? We have answers.
Let’s get started…
Why are you buying a new RV instead of a used one?
If it were up to us, we would have bought used. Unfortunately, the model we really like only began production in 2013, so there just aren’t very many of them available on the secondary market. And the few that are available are almost as expensive as buying a new one. Just as in the regular real estate market, a lot of owners believe their homes are worth more than they actually are, so the asking prices can be pretty ridiculous. And if the asking price is on point, you have a lot of competition from other prospective purchasers.
We decided it made more sense to buy new, with a warranty, from a reputable dealer, on a schedule that worked for us, rather than rolling the dice and trying to get a used model that was properly cared for, fairly priced and available to us at the right time.
How do you get your mail and vote when you live in an RV?
There are three states that are commonly considered “Full-time RV Friendly” in that, residents don’t have to actually reside there in order to be considered residents. Florida, South Dakota and Texas each allow full-time RVers to claim residence without owning or renting property. So you sign up with a mail forwarding company which, for a yearly fee, provides you with a real street address and handles your mail.
Once you have a real street address, you can vote and do everything else you need to do to be a good citizen.
For more about the particulars of how all this stuff works, here’s a comprehensive article by the folks at Technomadia.
Where will you “reside”?
We chose to become residents of Florida for a couple reasons. First, as of now, their health insurance exchanges have the best options and that’s obviously an important consideration for us. Second, Florida has no income tax, no vehicle inspections, no special driver’s licenses, etc. Third, Kevin’s parents live there, so we are down there frequently anyway. Fourth, Florida residents get discounted tickets at Disney which means Kevin and Laura are gonna be spending a lot of time at the Tower of Terror (cuz it’s da bomb!!!).
Did you just say something was “da bomb”?
Indeed, I did.
Do you need a special license to drive an RV?
No. While we are going to take driving lessons, they are not required and there is no test for competency on the roads (in Florida, anyway). Absurd, but true.
Do you have your route planned out?
We have a general idea of where we’ll be for the first year or so, but the specifics are still up in the air. We are intentionally not over-planning. Our goals are to just take things as they come, to not rush around like lunatics, and to not stress out over things that aren’t worth getting stressed out over. While we know that some planning for some locations will be required, we are not going to plan out 52 weeks worth of campgrounds right from the beginning. The point of this project is to relax and enjoy life; not trade one type of stress for another.
How long are you going to travel?
We really don’t know. We generally assume we’ll be out on the road for at least 3 or 4 years, but it could certainly be more or less. We’ll just have to see how it goes.
Will you have a car with you?
Yes. We will be towing our 2002 Nissan Xterra with us. It’s a great truck that has never let us down. Plus, it’s big enough that we can store extra stuff in the back and it has plenty of space for the dog to relax. We’ll also eventually get a bike rack for it so we can have bikes to tool around on.
Are you gonna stay in a Walmart parking lot?
Probably. For the uninitiated, Walmarts are known for allowing RVers to stay in their lots for free overnight. The idea is you’ll park and then go shopping. You’re not supposed to extend your slides or take out your comfy chairs or any of that. It’s just a place to sleep for the night while you’re in transit. Will we do it? Absolutely. It is all your shopping needs and hours of free entertainment, all rolled into one. Score!
Doesn’t Cracker Barrel allow that too?
Yes. But, Kevin’s cardiologist would punch Kevin in the throat if he even looked in the general direction of a Cracker Barrel. So no….
Are there other options for overnight stays outside of campgrounds?
Yes, Harvest Hosts is a network of wineries and farms that allow RVers to camp overnight on their properties. We’ll likely eventually take advantage of that option as well.
Additionally, the federal government owns millions of acres of federal lands – especially in the west. You can camp on those for free for up to 14 days at a time, however, you have to do it without any kind of hookups, which is something we won’t be ready for any time soon.
For more about free camping on federal lands, check out this article from WheelingIt.
Are you going to get a gun to protect yourself?
No. Common sense and a German Shepherd go a long way to easing any anxiety about being in unfamiliar places.
And no one thinks arming me is a good idea. Literally – no one.
And, if all else fails, we have no qualms about delivering a face full of bear spray to anyone who concerns us.
Speaking of bears, aren’t you terrified of spiders?
Isn’t that a problem with all these outdoor plans?
No. Bear spray plus a cigarette lighter =
Are you concerned you and Kevin will kill each other if you’re together 24/7?
Not really. We’ve been together almost 16 years and we really don’t get sick of each other. We’re very yin and yang-y about stuff (It’s a thing…) We know each other better than we know ourselves, we split the workload and we compromise easily. We tend to like the same things, but we also have our own interests and can spend hours in the same physical space, but different mental space.
I think we’re also particularly good at handling stressful situations together and not letting things spiral. In my experience, sometimes people just need to be irrationally ticked off about things – traffic jams, malfunctioning technology, Kanye West…. There’s no great shame in the occasional spaz out moment. The key is for the other person to stay calm, handle whatever needs to be handled, and let the person freaking out come around. (And let’s be honest, “the person freaking out” is always me, but we’re being diplomatic here and implying that Kevin might – one day – get upset about something).
Basically, what we’ve learned is, if you fight the crazy, the crazy will likely fight back. But if you embrace the crazy, the crazy will eventually go pour herself a glass of wine and calm the hell down.
Ok, that was quite a few questions…. If you have any that were not answered here, feel free to comment below or email us!
Until next time…..
Feature photo courtesy of Deb Etherege on Flickr