Reflecting on Two Years of Full-Time RVing
This summer marked our second year of full-time RVing in The Bago, our 2007 Winnebago Journey. We have traveled as far North as the Canadian border and as far South as Baja in Mexico. We have enjoyed, for the most part, not having any elaborate plans or long-term reservations. We do have a bit of a routine where we spend summers in Oregon and the Northwest connecting with family and spending time in some favorite spots on the coast and Central Oregon. And when the weather turns damp and gray, we head South.
After two years on the road, we wanted to reflect on the most important aspects of this journey and show a realistic look at what full-time RVing is like. So, to celebrate our nomadaversy, here are a few thoughts on the occasion.
The Bago: Our Trusty Rolling Home
When considering full-time RV life, it is important to take the size of the RV into account and pick something that will suit your living needs and travel plans.
Our Winnebago Journey has been a comfortable home on wheels. While, I don't think we would want anything bigger, driving in Mexico has occasionally left us wishing for a smaller rig for south of the border off-road adventures. But, we haven't been able to come up with a good fit for capability and comfort without busting our budget.
I also really enjoy driving The Bago - it's a very smooth ride on the interstates and highways. However, navigating gas stations can sometimes be tricky, especially while towing the Jeep and not being able to back-up without unhitching. But overall, it is a great adventure mobile and we've even been able to take it off-road when boondocking (read more about that here).
Crosby: Life with an RV Dog
The third member of our crew, our dog Crosby, has definitely adapted to Bago living. When we first started out, he was afraid of every sound -- the rumbling of the engine starting up, the leveling jacks, the slides moving, and the air compressor blowing up our paddle boards.
But, after a few months and many treats later, he got into the groove of life and accepted that this strange moving house was now home. We like to think he appreciates a new yard every couple of weeks -- lots to sniff!
If planning to hit the road with pets, be prepared for a bit of a transition period for them (read more tips for doing that here).
RV Life: Not All Rainbows, Unicorns & Campfires
Although we no longer own a house and don't have a yard to mow, it doesn't mean we are carefree. RVs, and especially Class A diesel pushers, have complicated mechanical, plumbing, and electrical systems that require maintenance and repairs. Many of the systems are tucked into small, awkward spaces and are expensive to repair or replace.
In our blogging and social media, I try to share beautiful and positive images of our travels. But I guess if there was a required truth in advertising, I would include misses at the dump station, crawling into the storage bay to install a new water pump, or the failed toilet repair. However, considering that The Bago is now eleven years old, we've been pretty lucky that repairs have been minor so far.
It is important to keep up with maintenance and be ready for the unknown when RVing, and to budget for those things as well. (Read about preventative maintenance tips for outside, as well as inside your motorhome).
Where to Next?
We don't really have any fixed plans. No upcoming reservations. This can be extremely freeing, but also a little nerve racking. When the footloose and fancy-free thing gets old, we'll buckle down and make some plans. We might settle down at some point, but haven't really found the one place that would make us want to stay. The call of the road is strong, so I'm sure we will at least always be part-timers.
Are you a full-timer? How long have you been on the road and what tips would you share with someone considering this lifestyle?