A blog reader contacted me yesterday asking when Miss Terry and I knew it was time to hang up the keys. He and his wife have been fulltiming for close to 10 years and enjoyed it much of that time. But he said lately they are beginning to dread it every time they leave a campground headed somewhere else.
Their truck is 15 years old and their fifth wheel is 14 years old, and both are starting to show their age and having a lot of mechanical problems. They are currently in Elkhart, Indiana, getting new axles put on, and this is not the first time they’ve had to do that. He said that they are reaching the point where they either have to buy a newer RV and tow vehicle or think about getting off the road.
He said they knew eventually they would hang up the keys, and even knew where they planned to do it. And at their age, he said the most they expected to fulltime was another 3 – 5 years. They are not sure if the investment in another rig and tow vehicle is worth it at this stage in their lives, or if they should stop traveling now.
When is it time to hang up the keys? For some fulltimers it’s when their own health or family medical issues get in the way of traveling. For others, it’s when their financial situation changes, either for the good or the bad. And for others, it’s when it’s no longer fun.
That’s what happened with Terry and me. We loved fulltiming, and at one time we were sure we would do it as long as we were physically able to and then settle down in an RV park somewhere to live out our days in our motorhome. But just like our travel plans were always set in Jell-O, so is the rest of life.
We had some great adventures, we made some wonderful friends along the way that we will cherish forever, and we don’t regret a minute of it. But one day we looked at each other and both said, “I’m not having fun anymore, are you?” That’s when we knew.
At the same time, we also both acknowledged that there were other things we wanted to do that did not fit with the RV lifestyle. Terry wanted to get more into weaving and have a larger loom. I wanted to live on or very close to the water, have a boat, and do more fishing. And we wanted to do those things while we were still physically capable.
And just as we never had a minute of regret when we began our fulltime lifestyle and all through our days on the road, we have not had a minute of regret since we began this new phase in our lives.
So when is it your time to hang up the keys? I don’t know. But if you are honest with each other (if there are two of you) and with yourself, you’ll know. You may not want to admit it to yourself at first. I think Terry and I both experienced that. But when the time is right, you’ll figure it out.
Today is your last chance to enter our Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Koinobi, the first book in author Reid Minnich’s Koinobi science fiction trilogy. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
Thought For The Day – I just want to be rich enough to throw leftovers away after dinner, instead of putting them in Tupperware and throwing them away a week later