It was about 2012 when I first became aware – oh no, let me go back further…
It was right around the very early 2000s when I “met” a young lady on a yahoogroup who lived in a motorhome with her boyfriend and their daughter. At that time I hadn’t heard of such a thing, and dismissed them as “crazy hippies”. But certainly, hippies or not, it was ridiculous.
OK, back even further…when my father died in 1998, he and my step-mother had a beautiful big deisel Bluebird motorhome that they traveled in, and loved. My step-mom wanted to sell it, and offered it to me. I remember discussing it with her, and saying that I wouldn’t be able to afford housing if I bought it, and Casey and I would have to live in it! We both dismissed THAT idea as preposterous, and she sold it to someone else.
I recalled that conversation a few years later when I met the gal on the yahoogroup…and then a decade or so passed before I happened upon a group of people on the internet – retirees, mostly – who actually lived and traveled full-time in RVs of various sorts. That was when the spark was lit, and – as is typical of me when I come across something new – I researched it for the next couple of years.
Then in 2015 Pete and ran across a class A motorhome that really fanned that spark into a full flame. We bought it, had a friend of ours modify the dinette area for a makeshift parrot area for our 6 birds/cages/supplies, and moved in. It wasn’t long before we realized we wouldn’t be living in our house again, and rented it out to friends…
This was how we traveled for the first couple of years. We loved our ’97 Challenger and, though we put quite a bit of work into it during that time, it definitely was “home” until it was totaled in an unfortunate accident in which nobody was hurt, but the insurance company declared it was no longer driveable.
Next was our 1998 Hurricane (in which we still live). It added a foot in length but also a slide which, to us, was like living in a palace! By this time, though, our dogs decided they hated – nay, HATED – being in a house that was moving, so I started driving separately when we traveled, with the dogs.
And that is where we are today. After the first few years of travel, most of which was to spend time nearer to friends and family, we chose to spend longer periods of time in one place when we found one that we enjoyed. For example, we spent 2 winters at a campground near to family. Then last year we found a wonderful campground in a fun area and chose to stay for several months. That is when we decided to find a spot for an indefinite stay, until we had saved enough for a lot upon which we could “stay put”.
So late last fall we were led to a wonderful Christian man who had some lots to lease for RVs or tiny homes. He showed us a few, but there 2 between which we couldn’t decide – so we leased them both. We lived on the first lot – a lovely open lot with a small pole barn surrounded by farms and backing up to a pond, with woods behind – throughout last winter. The views were fantastic, we loved watching the livestock (cattle and horses) go about their lives, and the waterfowl on the pond as well as the nearby children ice skate there. BUT there was a huge drawback. WIND! The wind was unbelievable, and damaging as well, so in spite of the spectacular sunrises and sunsets, with everything else that lot had to offer, we decided to move to the other lot a couple of months ago.
These lots couldn’t be more different! Where we are now is an open area surrounded by woods, along a river. It is quite private, with several dirt roads and lanes between us and the main road. Occasionally we’ll see someone float down the river on a kayak beneath us (we are parked 22′ above the actual river, and look down on it) but other than that we are only visited by turkeys, deer, squirrels, woodchucks, chipmunks, and myriad avian species including the magnificent pileated woodpeckers! We quickly decided that this was the spot for us, and gave up the other lot last month.
And, in the latest part of it all, we decided since we plan to stay where we are until…well, whenever…but still want to travel, we purchased a smaller tow-behind travel trailer for the occasional trips. That way the dogs (and the 2 parrots that I still have) can ride in the Suburban with us. When we’re not traveling, Pete uses “Junior” as a ham shack for his various amateur radio equipment. It gives him a quiet place to talk to people from around the world and participate in the network chats he enjoys. AND, for anyone who wants to visit, it will be a great guest house!