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Old 11-11-2019, 11:33 AM   #1
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Buying a House and Leaving the Road

After more than 5 years of full timing we are going to stop and sit still. I have bought a very cool Spanish revival house in New Mexico built in 1936. It has been restored to it’s former glory and still has it’s original light fixtures and cut glass door knobs, round top doors, wood floors and all of those cool built in cubby holes and storage areas that were common then.


So after more than 70,000 miles of towing our very reliable and wonderfully loyal trailer we are stopping. With three trips to Alaska, (one made from Cabo San Lucas) then Alaska to Maryland, all through the south and traversing the coastline of Texas (there are much more scenic coasts in America), following US 1 from central California to Washington State and all the states in between and the vast majority of the National Parks therein we have had some unforgettable experiences.


The Downside


But to be honest, on the negative side, If I never see another RV park in my entire life it may be too soon for me. There is no other type of business in America that, on average, is so backward, so poorly managed, so technologically ignorant and so in need of some professional management as they are.


It is breathtaking that in this day and age many of these businesses don’t even have a web site, Many that do, have such laughably amateur web sites that it leaves you speechless. Most do not even contain a simple booking engine plug-in allowing you to book online. Widespread reliable and fast WiFi is nearly unheard of in this business sector.


The Myth of the Happy Camper


The idea, the assumption by so many people is that RV’ers, especially full timers, are just one big bunch of like-minded, Happy Campers is just a Myth. While we have met some very special people on our journeys, friendly, happy and tolerant, so many, way too many are angry, intolerant, racist, stuck in the past and seemingly fundamentally unhappy. This is sad. It makes one wonder why they are out here at all.


The Changing Demographics of RV’ing


RV’ers are changing, and rapidly. More and more are younger, working via computer or working in contract jobs such as Visiting Nurses. There is a whole cohort of people who due to financial or other life circumstances are permanently living in RV Parks. We have watched the number of these people rise dramatically in the last 5 years. We have met entire families living in RV’s with three kids and two dogs and two parents who work via computer or by contract and live in RV parks. RV parks all over the country are filling with economically disenfranchised folks who are just getting by. Barely making it.


The RV industry has known and been publishing studies showing that there is a definite and strong trend toward downsizing (despite the fact that they still are building mammoth units and every RV sales lot between Boston and LA have hundreds of unsold huge RV’s). Meanwhile smaller units are flying out the door… This supports the trend toward younger buyers and the similar trend in housing toward smaller and more efficient living generally.


RV Forums and Gatherings


Having been a contributor to several RV forums over these past 5 years I see all of the issues and problems I mention above condensed and magnified in forum discussions. There is a tendency for forum owners and moderators to be uncomfortable with any serious topic, often labeling it “controversial” or “inflammatory”. Often times the topic is simply shining a light on some of the facets of this lifestyle that runs counter to the prevailing myth. Forums in general and RV gatherings like Quartzsite are often exercises in self validation and policing the “Myth”. Very little space is available or allowed for serious discussion of what is right and what is wrong with RV’ing, the industry, Parks, bad behaviour and intolerance. These discussions can take place without political overtones with careful and thoughtful moderation. Most importantly these serious discussions in no way run counter to the idea of enjoying oneself in the outdoors, traveling and seeing great sights and enjoying wonderful places.


Conclusion


Overall we have had a great 5-plus years of seeing this country through new eyes. My first cross country trip came when I was about 4 or 5 years old. Driving an almost new Nash my Mother took me and my brothers, both teenagers at the time, from San Bernardino California to Michigan. Most of the trip along Route 66. I learned to read on that trip by reading road signs and still have vivid memories of the colorful bright neon lights of spinning wagon wheels and cowboys waving, the tee-pee motels and the small diners and towns along the way. Before I was 13 I had been to most US states more than once. By the time I was in my twenties I had been to all 50 and many of them several times.


Over my lifetime I have lived on 4 continents in cities as diverse as Paris, Cairo, Freetown, Bangkok and Cernier Switzerland. That experience means I see my own country with different eyes. With a different and I like to think, a clearer perspective.


I am now almost 67 and after living overseas most recently for more than 7 years I came back to the US in 2013. We decided then to see our country again and get to know it’s people again. We have enjoyed it immensely.


But now I am being called by the siren song of a Garden, a yard for my dog, non movable floors and more and bigger bathrooms.


This is not an end so much as a transition, another phase of my life (I’ve had many) and I am looking forward to it.


[Moderator Edit]
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:54 AM   #2
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BTFT: Don't hold back, tell us what you really think.


After all the "put downs" about RVing, you want someone to purchase your lovely Travel Trailer? By reading your post who would ever want to get started RVing ??
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:56 AM   #3
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We went FT in 2007.........7 yrs later we had to come back off the road.


That was NOT what we wanted to do....but lifes curve balls can cause one to have to make decisions



We LOVED Ftng.and regretted having to change back into S&B living.
We have made the best of it but still long for those traveling days


We found that the MAJORITY of folks to be genuine honest-to-god GOOD people.
We travled the secondary/back roads exploring small town USA
12 trips across the USA and rarely used same route twice.


Different expectations, different mindset, different experiences.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:02 PM   #4
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There are some key phrases in your post that reveal a lot about you. Thanks for sharing so much about yourself. I truly enjoyed the window into your life. If you're planning to hang up your hat, I suppose it's for the best.



A very old, practically ancient man once told me that the world is how we choose to see it. You know, he was right. At least from my perspective.
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Old 11-11-2019, 12:25 PM   #5
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Great post and good insights. I agree with the majority of your comments.

One thing though - the forums and "controversy". I'm friends with the owner of this site. I met him because I used to own 9 forum websites with millions of members. I ran my sites for 20 years and then sold them all to a new owner/investor. You'd think you can control fighting and political arguements but it's not possible. There are some folks that spend most of their days with cable news, political websites and see everything as political. They will turn ANY topic, really ANY, into a political debate and argument. Forum owners and moderators don't read every post. At most only 1% to 2% of posts are read by mods. Mods are volunteers and have a life too. So, it's impossible to control.

The only sensible and fair way to control it is to not allow anything controversial or political to be discussed.

As a for instance, I'll bet there are plenty of folks here that want to verbally disagree with your comments and they see strong political overtones in your comments. It's the way things are these days.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:17 PM   #6
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Hope your new lifestyle will be as fulfilling and enjoyable as you envision it to be!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:36 PM   #7
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Well that's too bad, I hate to see anybody come off the road and I sure hope it never happens to me. I just started my fifth year of full timing and I've never been happier. At the moment the only thing that would make me come off the road would be physical or financial problems.

I agree with you completely about RV parks. Being a retired businessman myself I believe a lot of RV parks only stay in business because of government help making sure that you can't overnight anyplace but their overpriced RV parks. But I mostly solved that problem by being a boondocker and staying away from commercial RV parks as much as possible.

I never looked at my full timing life as a long vacation, or an adventure. To me it was simply a way to live wherever the weather was nice, and I don't see how I could ever grow tired of that. But if you're endlessly traveling I can see how that would eventually become more work than fun.

But good luck with your new home, I spend a lot of time in New Mexico in the between seasons, but have found it far too cold, even down south in Las Cruces and Deming, to spend the winter, but I'm allergic to snow.

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Old 11-11-2019, 01:43 PM   #8
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Don't stop posting on here!
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:02 PM   #9
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The glass is either half empty
Or it is half full.
Why be judgemental?
I certainly wonít judge you by your comments or attitudes and beliefs.
Iím just thankful that I donít have a desire to feel superior.
Sounds like you missed many opportunities to be gracious and humbled.
Life happens And sometimes itís kinder to some over others.
And in a split second things can change.
Best Wishes ~
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creativepart View Post
Great post and good insights. I agree with the majority of your comments.

One thing though - the forums and "controversy". I'm friends with the owner of this site. I met him because I used to own 9 forum websites with millions of members. I ran my sites for 20 years and then sold them all to a new owner/investor. You'd think you can control fighting and political arguements but it's not possible. There are some folks that spend most of their days with cable news, political websites and see everything as political. They will turn ANY topic, really ANY, into a political debate and argument. Forum owners and moderators don't read every post. At most only 1% to 2% of posts are read by mods. Mods are volunteers and have a life too. So, it's impossible to control.

The only sensible and fair way to control it is to not allow anything controversial or political to be discussed.

As a for instance, I'll bet there are plenty of folks here that want to verbally disagree with your comments and they see strong political overtones in your comments. It's the way things are these days.

I completely agree with you. And nowadays especially this content policing can be a very difficult task.


Thanks for your comments.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:41 PM   #11
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I imagine if I were to view the world like you described or have your experiences I too would want to hang up the keys.

Granted my wife and I do not full-time and we have only been RV'ing for 25 years (about 170k miles) so nothing like your whole 5 years but some of best people we've ever met have been RV'ers and have become life long friends.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theboondork. View Post
Well that's too bad, I hate to see anybody come off the road and I sure hope it never happens to me. I just started my fifth year of full timing and I've never been happier. At the moment the only thing that would make me come off the road would be physical or financial problems.

I agree with you completely about RV parks. Being a retired businessman myself I believe a lot of RV parks only stay in business because of government help making sure that you can't overnight anyplace but their overpriced RV parks. But I mostly solved that problem by being a boondocker and staying away from commercial RV parks as much as possible.

I never looked at my full timing life as a long vacation, or an adventure. To me it was simply a way to live wherever the weather was nice, and I don't see how I could ever grow tired of that. But if you're endlessly traveling I can see how that would eventually become more work than fun.

But good luck with your new home, I spend a lot of time in New Mexico in the between seasons, but have found it far too cold, even down south in Las Cruces and Deming, to spend the winter, but I'm allergic to snow.

theboondork.com

You really put you finger on it. Yes we were primarily out here to travel and see specific places (as well as many that we just serendipitously came across). and we did what we wanted to do and enjoyed it for the most part.


We never looked at full-timing as anything more than a temporary condition. We always knew we would return overseas to live or settle here someplace after we got tired of doing this.


I think too often Full-timing is construed to be an all or nothing proposition and that leaving it is somehow a betrayal of the whole RV'ing ethic. To me it's not that cut and dried. There are almost as many ways to full-time/RV as there are people doing it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmotorsports View Post
I imagine if I were to view the world like you described or have your experiences I too would want to hang up the keys.

Granted my wife and I do not full-time and we have only been RV'ing for 25 years (about 170k miles) so nothing like your whole 5 years but some of best people we've ever met have been RV'ers and have become life long friends.

Or looked at a bit differently:


You spent 25 years RV'ing for 170,000 miles or an average of about 6,800 miles per year...


I spent Five years full-timing with 74,000 miles traveled OR 14,800 miles on average per year.


My guess is your average trip was 2 weeks or about a total of 350 days of actual RV'ing. (keep in mind these are averages)


I have been out here 5 years, 365 days a year or a total of 1,825 days. (minus the 120 days or 4 months I spent in Europe last year)


I think I can safely say our experience is at least comparable.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:24 AM   #14
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I don't measure our trips by # days or # miles. It is all about meeting people, seeing places, and doing "stuff".

We recently did a trip with aunt & uncle. While they are a good 15-20 years older, they have never met a stranger. They greet EVERYONE with a genuine smile, hello, how are you today - all while looking them in the eye. Even helping a worker move some stuff.

WOW. Everyone was friendly, smiling.

My point: if you treat people the way you want to be treated, take each day as an opportunity to make new friends, you will succeed.
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