OMG! Am I really going to do this?

OMG! Am I really going to do this?

by Chani
(NC, USA)

I am a 35 year old single woman. My life has always been slightly crazy (probably has to do with me being a little crazy) and I have always wanted to see the country. However life always made it difficult to do too much traveling due to little vacation time.

I have recently been dislocated from my job but I have some money saved up. I am seriously considering taking the money and going on the road.


I have found an '87 Winnebago Elandan that I am probably going to buy and hit the road in. She's not pretty on the outside but nothing physically wrong with her.

For work I am going to try to work through a national temp agency and start back to sewing and selling dresses either online or out of the RV.

My only concern is... I have never really stayed in an RV. I am currently living in an 8 x 10 bedroom so I think I can deal with minimal space. Matter of fact the RV has more room than I currently have. The maintenance part kind of scares me. Since I am going at this alone I am trying to prepare myself as much as possible. I am unsure what "Basic Needs" kind of stuff I will need: Extension cords, hoses, etc.

I know it kind of crazy to want to do this on my own. But I think it would be a great experience and now I won't have the "I wish I had..." feeling when I get older. I am still young(ish), I want to have fun, see the world, and hopefully not have to go home with my tale between my legs. What suggestions can y'all give me? Any? (Please don't say "don't go!") I am trying to read up on the experience but I'm almost at a lose as to where to start.

Also, what do you do for internet? That is one thing I really don't want to give up. I have a ton of questions but I am afraid there are questions I should be asking and I don't know to ask them.

Ok, so perhaps this isn't a story yet, but I am hoping it will be soon. I am very excited to start this quest and to meet all the amazing people that are out there in the world.

Comments for OMG! Am I really going to do this?

Click here to add your own comments

Mar 08, 2015
Signal boosters help
by: Dan S

We camp in state parks within a couple hours of Houston. Cell reception is poor and no wi-fi. I saw an article in Motorhome magazine on Smooth Talker signal boosters. I bought one and it took me from 1 or 2 bars up to 4 or 5 bars in signal strength.

I use the personal hot spot on my iphone. Not cheap but if you need a good connection, it's worth it. Check out smoothtalker.com I bonded a piece of sheet metal on the roof so the magnetic antenna would stick.

Dec 18, 2011
Going Full-time
by: Richard

Do it now, while you can!

My wife and I are 49 and 50, respectively. I retired at 44, but it took four years to get my wife to commit to full-timing. Now she loves it!
My wife and I bought a 34' fifth wheel that we pull with my Ford F-350 LWB 4x4 King Ranch Lariat. We use a Reese 20k hitch after first trying the gooseneck adapter. We learned that the gooseneck adapter would void the warranty of our new home. That's just one example of learning something the hard way.

This life is a never-ending learning experience. Talk to those who've done it a while. Stop by an RV park and just walk up to the first person you see and start asking questions. They'll talk! We have spoken to many who love to play teacher, but that's okay, too. We hear lots that we already know, but every now and then they say something that we needed to know.

Do lots of research on what it will take to complete the package of your new home. Class A folks belittle the pull behinds. We feel that our choice is best because if your class A breaks down, your home is in the shop. Depending on the problem, it can be for quite a while, or an afternoon. It's a crap shoot. Just be sure it's dependable!

Just like a stick-built house, there will also be problems in an RV. That's okay. You sound like you're pretty brave, so it shouldn't be a problem.
One thing that's important to remember is the length of your rig. Check out campgrounds' websites to see the sizes of their sites to be sure yours will fit.

Think about mail, voting, doctors, etc; these are important. You'll need a permanent address. We used escapees mail service and chose Texas as our home state.

We use campground Wi-Fi, but are seriously considering adding this option to our Verizon account so it will be more secure and we'll never be without.

Best of luck in your new life. Maybe we'll run upon you out there someday.

Dec 07, 2011
I don't know how the pre-internet folks did it. We're here now and IT'S WONDERFUL!
by: Jeanette - of the Cheddar Yeti

#1 - So happy for you.

#2 - The hardest part IS maintaining the vehicle. It can be costly. DIY as much as you can. The internet has lots of great instructional videos. search RV Geeks on YouTube.

#3 - FIND community. I'm 35, too. It's a different life but wonderful. People will question you. Surround yourself with supportive people. http://www.nurvers.com/ and then get a twitter account. Stay in touch. cheddaryeti [at] gmail [dot com] www.cheddaryeti.com @cheddaryeti

#4 - We work on the road. Web dev and graphics. We have 2 sources of connection (wireless internet and our smart phones) We rely on free WIFI often as well.

Dec 06, 2011
Do it and don't look back!
by: Shauna Mathis

Traveling as a single woman is one of the most liberating and powerful choices you can ever make. Letting go of the foundations that we rely on to define us - career, relationship, home - even if only for a few months - can deepen your understanding of self more than a decade of self-help workshops.

Dec 05, 2011
Get a Trailer
by: Joe and Tina

If you are at a good stop you like, how will you get groceries? You will have to pull the chocks and all the services. Get a trailer that way if you find a place you may want to stay for a week or so or go sight seeing you will be limited with an RV unless you can tow another car.

Dec 05, 2011
YES!!!
by: Gadabout Bohemian

From a solo, female traveler - you are the perfect age to begin to explore the diversity, adventure and beauty in this country. You will never run out of awe! Some of my suggestions: First of all, follow your intuition which will develop and become stronger the more often you use it and the longer that you travel alone. Respect it and it will serve you well.

Secondly, don't buy a RV until you have done lots and lots and lots more research. Many are built crappy, have been owned by people who knew little about proper care and there is so much more to consider than floor plan, price and personal preferences. I suggest every present or potential RVer's attend at least one of the conferences with RV Safety and Education Foundation: http://www.rvsafety.com/ This is where you will learn from RV techs, specialists, experienced full-timers and more excellent information than you could ever imagine...answers to questions that you didn't know to ask! The conferences are held in several areas around the country and many people return numerous times because of the large selection of classes you can take. Do this before you buy, if possible; you must understand the complexities of RV's to travel safely and avoid a lot of hassles. Lots of folks along the road will offer advice - just be cautious about where they get there "facts" from and research everything you can.

If you really want to experience the true and diverse America, leave the generic interstates, get on the secondary roads, remove any timepiece, drive slow, stop often. This will be a challenge at first - it takes a while to be able to shut off the automatic pilot of the hustle bustle of conventional living.

It is nice to have only a vague itinerary because you will stumble across lots of interesting diversions if you are open to them. Your trusty Rand McNally will have tons of interesting locations noted; in the front there is a section called The Best of the Road that gives some interesting places to explore. But always talk to the locals (and please support them as much as possible)...they know the unmarked or not yet popularized places of awe an interest.

Eventually your personal style of life/travel will develop into your own personal journey. My own style has evolved into learning to be still and listen, look close and observe, taste and savor, feel and acknowledge, tune in and intuit - allow all my senses to be wide open to embrace every moment. It really is about enjoying the journey! All the best awaits you!

Dec 05, 2011
I'm into my second week.
by: travelingfarmgirl@blogspot.com

I can feel your pain sista.

I was a camp host two years ago and loved it. I lived in a 16 ft canned ham. I now have a vintage Airstream and due to the economy and unemployment I have moved into my trailer. It has been an adjustment.

I had worked on my trailer all summer thinking I would bring it out next summer to vacation in. But I have found that it was a wise move to work on it.

I put down new flooring, painted the inside, new upholstery, new water heater. Baby got a face lift.

I am doing OK now that I have got settled in and found a spot for everything. There have been several things to iron out.

I had some adjustments with the water heater and I have had and issues with the propane.

As far as internet I have such good luck with Verizon wireless. I have had it for a numbers of years.

Best of luck and you will be glad you did it....

Dec 05, 2011
OMG
by: Mary

Exciting lifestyle you will never look back. Biggest piece of advice we can give you is to have a mechanic go over your rig good before you purchase. Also tires have to be changed out every 5-7 years regardless of wear so you'll want to make sure you have a current year on your sidewall. Look on RV Trader for a newer rig, it's a buyers market and you may find something reasonable that isn't 25 years old. Other than that you'll learn as you go. RVers are very helpful and informative. Pick their brain, they love it :) Go for it and have fun.

Dec 04, 2011
Full Time Rv'n
by: Ernie

I've been a full-timer now for the last 5 years, could have done it sooner. . .and wished I had!

You'll meet great people on the road and in most campsites. I always look forward to the next "adventure" when I "set-sail" I have a truck-travel trailer combination, travel with 1 cat and 1 dog. You will learn what to pack and what to later "pick-up" with experience and time. Don't be afraid to ask for help/advice as you live your dream!

Dec 04, 2011
Just Do It!!!
by: Toni

You can do it!! Just let people help you as needed and you will get the hang of it with the hoses and drains and all of that. I so wish I could go also. Someday I will even though I may be 65 by then!!! Make a blog and keep us posted on your activities and problems.

Dec 03, 2011
Don't be scared!
by: scubabeck

Hey there!

Do not be scared! Go for it! and just do it! There are a lot of folks who full time. We went to RV Dreams Rally in Sept for information on full timing. They had a lot of great information for people thinking of full timing and those already doing so. As a matter of fact Howard and Linda never even camped when they decided on full timing. No experience what so ever and they have a awesome life and created a website about their adventures.

Another site to check out is Escapees they have rally's also and they have lectures/talks about rv full time and maintenance. They discuss insurance, workampers, places to make your domicile state. All sorts of awesome information on both site. heck them out!

Good luck on your full timing adventure!

Scubabeck

Dec 03, 2011
Do it, Definitly Do it!
by: Sully

Once you buy your RV take it camping locally for a few times to get used to how to hook it up and figure out any issues before going over the road. Campers are friendly folks usually and will be more than happy to answer any questions about RVing that they can. I have found that RVs are essentially the same as far as connections and resources so those of us that have done it can help you along the way just as others helped us.

I use a Verizon Wireless secure 3G hotspot for my internet and Direct TV. During cold weather I keep my propane heater set around 50 and mainly use portable oil radiator type space heaters for my main heat. RV insurance and AAA are also in my RV arsenal. ENJOY!

Dec 03, 2011
New Full Timer
by: JB

Go to any library and they should have several books on rving. Also have a seat in a Barnes & Noble and read up if you can't buy.Look at the used book section I often see good RV books.

We have RV'd for 30 years & now we are any timers.
Keep foods in containers. Spread bounce sheets around. You will want to fill any large opening with steel wool or foam rubber (I liked using large car wash sponges for for an opening around a water inlet). We have never had a problem with rodents in any of our RV's. Keep it clean of crumbs etc so you don't attract ants etc. They like to come in on the water lines.

I think you are brave and lucky to go full timing. Make friends with the people who run the campground. They are always friendly. If not, you may not want to stay there! Be aware of your surroundings ask campground managers or park rangers (each time you check in to a new place- where to go if there is an emergency. You will want a weather radio to warn about tornadoes etc. I have been shocked at how many tornadoes skirted near us this past year.

You will need fire extinguishers www.fireade.com apparently you only have 20 seconds I think it was, to get out of the RV if you wake up and it is on fire. Practice or at least pretend to climb out windows on a blanket on your tummy if you can't use a door. There is free WiFi most places now. The RV should come with the water and sewer hoses you will need. If you can, have the person selling it show you how to do the water sewer and electric hook-up it is simple. This is also described in the RV books.

Things do break often. You are shaking up a house when you drive so things come loose like water connections. Other RVers are usually helpful and may be valuable for troubleshooting if not actually fixing things for you. I can't express how valuable the RV books out there are. The people who write them are RVers! You will probably only need 2 like the "Rv Owners Manual" & "Full Time RVing".

http://rvbookstore.com/shop/cv.aspx?start=13&c=176

Good Luck you will have the time of your life!!!

Dec 03, 2011
Internet
by: Jeannie

You can rely on McDonald's for internet. Most of them have free internet, and you can sit inside or the parking lot and log on!! Public libraries also have free internet and some of the big rest areas as well. Happy trails!! I am jealous!!!

Dec 03, 2011
Yes do it!!!!!
by: Pia

Go for it. Internet...you'll have to rely on WiFi for affordability or your cell phone which can be pricey. My husband and I (with kids) RV'd all over Europe. Currently we are without an RV. But we will be on the road full time soon. Selling up and heading out. There is to much to see and do in this country. You will never see it if you sit and work in one spot forever. Good luck and ENJOY.

Dec 03, 2011
Why not?
by: Skye

I was 10 years older than you are now when I sold my rental property building (where I was also living), and said "the heck with this, I'm going to be a gypsy". Been a gypsy for almost 2 years, and it's pretty good!

About owning a camper (mine is a 2008 21-foot travel trailer):

The bad: mold and dampness, things break all the time (furnace, microwave, leaks, etc), mice.

The good: meeting new people and dogs, cooking on a campfire every night (unless raining, then I eat salad), being in nature, traveling.

Have fun! Peace, Skye

Dec 03, 2011
FUN
by: Anonymous

Passport America RV parks is another good one, half price camping. Also breakdown insurance from Good Sam is good to have. Also from Sprint you can get 3G internet that is portable, That is what we use that way if the campground WiFi sucks, you have your own. Better for banking to, because it is password protected. I wish you tons of luck and lots of Fun!

Dec 03, 2011
You're really going to to do this!
by: RAD59CAD

The 3G or 4G phone is one access point for your internet. Also a Internet card from your cell phone company is a great back up for the camps that don't have WiFi. I'm getting internet most of the time between the two ways. Some of the phones can plug in as a modem to your laptop but I like having my phone and card separate. Cost of the card is another line. Not a big deal. I'm not full-time and envy your spunk! But I've given this a lot of thought and I do camp a lot. Both in parks and on private land.

Dec 03, 2011
Best wishes, stay safe and have fun.
by: Anonymous

I think this is great that you are able to do this. I wish you luck and hope one day me and my husband can retire and afford to RV full time, maybe we will win the lottery and not have to wait till we retire :)

Dec 03, 2011
A good idea.
by: Jeff

You'll do great! make sure you have new batteries in the coach and a good flashlight on hand. Getting set up with DishNetwork makes for good TV, most campgrounds have free WiFi, but if you want great reception inside the camper, I would recommend a 3/4g phone. You can get internet service thru folks like Verizon. Taking a small tool box with some duct tape and wire won't hurt either you just never know what you may have to face. Definitely consider a membership to Good Sam's/AAA, because it doesn't hurt to have some peace of mind. Good Luck with your travels!!!

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Fulltime Rving.