I get a lot of questions from blog readers about RVing, what’s happening in our lives since we hung up the keys, writing and self-publishing, and all kinds of other things. While I try to answer all of them individually, sometimes I also share some here.
Q. You guys were on the road fulltime for a very long time. What is the one piece of advice you would give a perspective fulltimer more than anything else?
A. Don’t wait! Terry and I were in our mid-40s when we hit the road, and a lot of people thought we were crazy to walk away from our own business and a good life to do something so risky. But we knew we wanted something more out of life than the daily grind. I have talked to literally thousands of fulltimers in my years giving seminars at RV rallies and the one common denominator among them is that they all say they wish they had started earlier, no matter what age they were when they started out. I also can’t tell you how many people I have talked to who were going to do it someday, but health issues, aging parents, or death put a halt to their plans. Someday never came for them.
Q. What’s the biggest and most welcome change you saw in technology from the time you started fulltiming until now?
A. Definitely better access to communications. When we started out not everybody had cell phones. And if you wanted to check your email you lugged your laptop computer down to the campground office, paid them a dollar or so to plug into a phone line, and then downloaded your email. Then you went back to your RV, read it, typed up any answers you needed to, and went back down to the office again to send them out. These days just about everybody has a phone in their pocket and we are in constant touch with the world via calls, text, and email.
Q. Why does the water color change so much in the pictures you take locally? Sometimes it’s a beautiful blue, other times it seems green or gray, even in pictures taken on the same day.
A. It always amazes me how different the water can be around here. A lot of it depends on cloud cover, water depth, and tides. We have sat down on the pier and watched the water go from a deep blue to the green or gray you talk about in a matter of minutes. We have been on our boat and looked in one direction and saw water a totally different color than the water on the other side.
Q. Which kind of motorhome do you think is best for a fulltimer, gas or diesel?
A. I don’t think the debate over gas or diesel will ever end. We started out with a gas powered Class A motorhome, switched to a diesel powered bus conversion, and then to a diesel pusher. My preference is for diesel, because I like the larger carrying capacity, increased towing capacity, the air ride suspension, and the air brakes a diesel motorhome offers. But I know many people with gas powered coaches that are quite happy in them. Like everything in life, there is no one-size-fits-all.
Q. I need to put new tires on my motorhome sometime this summer, and I seem to remember that you put some kind of foreign brand on your Winnebago instead of Goodyears or Michelins. What did you go with, and were you happy with them?
A. We put Toyo tires on the Winnebago and I found they were comparable to the Goodyears we had been using, if not better, and they cost a lot less money. I’ve also driven many vehicles with Michelins on them. I still think the Toyos are a better deal.
Q. Now that your buddy Greg White isn’t around to fix everything for you, it seems like you’re turning into quite the handyman, installing lights and putting up paneling and all kinds of things around the house. Did you suddenly learn all those skills or were you holding out all along because Greg would do the work for you?
A. Shhhh! Greg reads this blog, don’t throw me under the bus like that!
Q. Hurricane season starts the first of June in Florida. Are you guys going to get out of Dodge and go somewhere safe?
A. Somewhere like the Midwest, where they have tornadoes? Or California where they have wildfires, earthquakes, and mudslides? At least a hurricane gives me plenty of warning when it’s coming so I can prepare for it.
Q. Is it just me, or are there a lot of self-entitled jerk’s joining the RV lifestyle? In our last three campgrounds we had neighbors who let their dogs bark day and night and never picked up after them when they pooped. One of those neighbors had two kids who were playing with a ball and kicked it into our site several times. The last time it went under our awning, knocking my wife’s iced tea off the little table between our chairs, spilling it all over her. I told them to please go back to their own site to play and not come into ours again and the mother came out and read me the riot act.
A. We ran into the occasional jerk when we were on the road, but fortunately, most RVers we met were nice people. We did notice in our last couple of years that there seemed to be more ill mannered RVers who passed the same attitude on to their children and their pets. But even so, there were still a lot of good ones out there, too.
Q. Did you ever take your RV to Alaska? I’ve heard it’s beautiful and a trip that everyone should make at least once.
A. Going to Alaska was very high on our bucket list when we started fulltiming, but we never made it there. There were just so many things in the lower 48 to see and do that we never got around to it. We have considered the possibility of taking a cruise to Alaska one of these days. We’ll see what happens.
Q. Are you still going to be doing seminars at RV rallies now that you are no longer traveling?
A. I love doing seminars. It was always a lot of fun sharing information and meeting new people and talking to them. I don’t have any immediate plans to do any seminars at this time, but if the opportunity presented itself and it worked with our schedule, I wouldn’t mind doing so.
Congratulations Barbara Windham, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Mountain Angel by my friend Suzie O’Connell. We had 48 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon.
Thought For The Day – Remember, every day is a gift. Unfortunately, some gifts suck.