I know a lot of people who have. It is really great for a period of time to travel light and explore . KOA has some great places and there are alot of great rv parks across the country. Search Yelp for places with high ratings. Make sure you are traveling in a camper/ trailer that feels like home! I recommend the Airstream 25 foot Globetrotter.
I do not know if I recommend this today. The Baja in Mexico used to be more crime-free.
An uncle and aunt of mine used to travel from Colorado every winter down the Baja with a larger RV. She became sick later on and they stopped traveling.
People used to join them down on the Baja. It was organized somehow across the US that people with RVs would get together on the Baja. Must have been a great way to spend the winters. As a couple, they loved to travel by car across the US. Of course, he was an Irish immigrant like my parents. She was American-born. Her family might have been more used to the distances than we were. I do not really know that my siblings have done long car travel either. Outside of going to Michigan or Florida mostly by plane. During my nephew's college days in Wisconsin that family traveled. Another nephew just drove down to Nashville to launch his career in music management. I do not think any of us had ever driven to the west coast. Kind of odd in the US.
I know Loree Johnson does. Maybe she will pop in here and share her experience. She hasn't been very active here though but I follow her on FB and she is very busy with traveling and photography.
We had trailers for almost 30 years. We did several cross country trips that were a blast. At one point we seriously considered full timing when retiring. We sold our trailer in spring of 2022 and have no intentions of getting back into it.
That said it can be a great lifestyle so long as you understand the limitations. I would suggest finding FB groups and other forums dedicated to RVing and particularly full timing. Sharon made a good suggestion also, if you can rent a unit and travel for a couple of weeks you'll get to understand more of what it's all about.
Happy birthday! :) I have never but have a childhood friend that sold her home and almost everything she owned after her husband retired a year ago and they are having the time of their life in their RV traveling.
Happy Birthday! I have known a few who lived in small travel trailers full time. I think I could do that, but I don't think I could do a van. I need a little more space than that. I think clever storage hacks are the key to that kind of lifestyle. I've watched a few videos about it. I'll be changing my lifestyle in a couple of years and would like to downsize a lot. Haven't decided the best way to do that yet though, tiny house, trailer, small apartment?
We lived in a 30' travel trailer (with a double slide out) for four years after Katrina. Big difference after living in a 2400 sq.ft. house but the small space didn't bother me (less to clean!). The low ceiling did bother me...a lot. I couldn't stand having to bend down to look out the windows.
As mentioned already, renting one, although not cheap, would give you an idea of how you'd feel about it.
The others are also correct: none of them are inexpensive.
Keep us posted if you decide to buy one (before you purchase)- some of us may have suggestions, what to look for, what to do before living in it, etc.
I'm thinking about RV/van living because my apartment rent has gone up $225 total in the past two years, and I'm still catching up from dealing with illnesses (thanks again, all here whose kindness made it easier). So I'm looking at alternatives, as are many others, apparently. I'd love a tiny house (if wishes were horses...)
A close friend and retired engineer refitted a cargo van over the last three years. Adding a kitchen, toilet, microwave, refrigerator, two narrow beds, take away table, kitchen sink, storage, new paneling, ceiling panels and lights, and then different equipment to store electricity with a solar panel ontop, new air shaft fan, new flooring.......
His cost is under $20k for the van. Possibly $20k to fit it. He had the tools otherwise. He has traveled to Florida from CT and back several times with his wife. They take the scenic route and take their time.
The problem often with a low-cost RV it will be towards the end of its running life.
My husband has been a medical traveler for the last 18 years. He works on 13-week contracts, so there have been years in the past when we've moved 4 times, but it's typically just 1-3 times each year. That wasn't much of an issue until we started getting older. The moving part is getting more difficult, so we thought the RV would be a perfect solution. Then he worked a contract with a traveler who lives in an RV and discovered some problems he never would have considered that are tied specifically to his career.
While we've put the idea on hold, we are still seriously considering him going part-time at some point in the next few years. His job is flexible enough that he could work the winter months, and we could live in the RV half the year when he's not on contract. In fact, I just had a conversation with my financial advisor today trying to get a better idea of how much longer he will have to work before we can do that.
I used to dream of living in an RV and traveling to capture photos and see the US. Not sure that would be a realist dream for us anymore. But would be nice to be able to get an RV and do a lot more traveling.
There are Youtube videos about people who live in their cars. Some do it for Youtube views as opposed to necessity. One woman has a channel about living in a tiny Prius, complete with a big old dog. Another woman posts videos about living in a van, also with a dog, and in one scene she's walking through a forest in a skimpy skirt, holding a glass of wine. Hoo boy.
We’re currently in the process of moving house. Usually this happens every 2.5 to 5 years, but this time it’s been 10 ( thanks COVID!). I can’t believe the amount of crap we’ve amassed during that time. When I’m working I’m out and about for a few weeks in my campervan. It suits me fine and I enjoy the flexibility and the solitude. Now I look at all this stuff I’m boxing and it’s frustrating. Seriously thinking that I may just sell everything up at some point and get a slightly bigger campervan and go off grid. That and the fact that I’m so sick and tired of the mess this country (UK) is in with no sign of anything improving. Perhaps it’s the change I need. Certainly less stress. Won’t be happening just yet though and it could just be a passing flight of fancy.
My daughter did for 9 months on our property...she said never again! LOL It was a nice one too...50 amp...ice cold A/C. But she didn't like it at all. She was so happy once probate was over on her Dad's estate so she could get her own place.
We don't full time, but do for a couple of months every year. So far we have been stuck here since May when Hubby had his 4th knee replacement on one leg. Will be out and about again this winter though. We have a tiny travel trailer, 19' long, full bath with shower, kitchen with 2 burner stove, sink, small refrigerator and microwave-convection oven, couch, Murphy Bed over the couch. The key is simplicity which appeals to me more as I grow older. We have a place for everything and everything in it's place. Don't think I could do it full time though.
Tiny living looks like it can be fun and after watching a lot of stuff on the topic over the last 2 decades, many who go nomad or something like it usually don't do so long term. It is usually something a lot of folks do for a few years for a big variety of reasons, but mainly for people who travel half the year and have theirs parked on very affordable lots/land rentals, usually with people they know who own the land. Then there are some who are re-evaluating life and what's important to them, and often go nomad for self discovery. While you have others who are often paying off debt and saving money as long as they can buy their home cash or close to it.
It's a lot of work tiny living and it's not for everyone. People with children and those who are not into homesteading usually don't get what they had hoped for. And unless you are in a community specifically for your desired mobile home they often need to be moved around to different locations throughout the year because of camping limits and whatever else.
Here is a great channel I enjoy watching pretty routinely. Another side note is that many tiny homeowners and nomads are artists or work remotely. :) https://www.youtube.com/@kirstendirksen
I have thought about tiny home living when it first started out but for me it's kind of like camping everyday and it is something I decided would have suited me better when I was younger, not by the time I discovered this kind of lifestyle. But admire those who go for it and do it. It is an experience like no other if you do it, even if for a little while.
If you are going to move into a vehicle, get a van not a car -- for privacy sake. Get a cheap gym membership for access to shower/bathroom 24/7. Get an app that gives tips on where to find free camping spots.
Keep your van stealthy so cops don't know you are in there at night.
Take a self-defense course and keep a weapon handy.
A better option is housesitting. You must love pets because you will be exchanging a place to live for taking care of their pets. Our neighbors went to Australia for five weeks and used housesitters. With the cost of pet boarding, it made a lot of sense.
"The house sitting value exchange - free pet care for a place to stay
If you've arrived here with no idea about how house sitting works, don't worry. It's simple really. A home and pet owner leaves their property and pets in your care, while they travel or take a vacation. It is a mutually beneficial value exchange, generally built on trust rather than money, allowing house sitters to live in the home for free, in exchange for looking after the pets and the home."
Yes, I am aware of that SNL sketch by Chris Farley, Edward.
Anyway, living in an RV/van would allow me to travel all over the country and visit festivals, art installations and parks. Nice to think about, after being cooped up in an overpriced apartment for so long.
I've assumed that I had job, income and career specifically so I don't have to do this. I can visit festivals, installations and parks without having to move my home there, especially since, around here at least, sometimes the river rises and then you're in trouble.
I had those things too, Doug, before my work division got shut down and I got laid off, then found a new job, did well in it, got cancer, got complications, then had to isolate because of fear of COVID, lost job, and am now dealing with a new health issue. Life doesn't always work out like you planned.
Because rentals are so expensive here especially for the last decade, many people rent a 1 bedroom in a single family home for less than a 1 bedroom apartment. It is not ideal for everyone of course because some folks just aren't good living with other people, but if you're the kind of person who is out and about most of your day and daily, renting a room may be a very good option.
Room renting from a stranger are up to about $800 a month now but if you know someone or just find someone who isn't greedy and wants to help, you can often find something around $500-600 which will include internet/tv, kitchen and bathroom use and sometimes ever yard space.
Now ADUs are cool and are a great income resource for those who have them but they are not affordable as rentals in this area for many.
There are lots of FB groups that can be really helpful and knowledgeable. Many are quite political. This a good one that leans left - https://www.facebook.com/groups/395605990807327 There are plenty of others than lean right if that is preferred.
I spent the better part of 10 years on the road with just a Subaru Outback. Slept in it about half the time, camped, stayed in hostels all over North America and the occasional Econo Lodge. I could spend a month in Yellowstone/Teton or most anywhere else for $1,000 - $1,500 for food, gas and lodging. Since I was in the parks and driving a lot, it probably could have been a lot less if I didn't spend a fortune on gas driving all over the place. The Canadian Rockies were a little moret expensive cause you have to have official lodging that you pay for but with hostels I could spend 3 months up there for what 2 people who took a traditional vacation would spend for a week.
I suspect it has gotten harder to do and more expensive since the pandemic drove everyone outside and social media bombarded everyone with photos and directions to all the cool places that used to require reading books and researching to find and plan a trip there.
My husband and I had different retirement dreams a few years back. When we would talk about it we would humor each other because we both knew they were just dreams and we all need to have a dream. He wanted to buy land in the middle of a forest with no neighbors for miles around. I wanted to sell everything, buy an RV and travel Canada and the United States.
When retirement came we compromised as neither of our plans were very practical as you get older.
We are now retired and living in the country but in a small community with great people around us yet not too close by, and town is about 20 minutes away. We had to travel to the other end of the country to find our little paradise but here we are in our new forever "Home Sweet Home", be it ever so humble. When the winter gets too harsh we hop in the car and head south for a few weeks and when the summers get too mundane, we hop in the car again and explore the beautifully country surrounding our new home.
There is no RV involved in our travels but I now realize that ship has sailed and there is a lot to be said for a nice, safe and clean hotel room with a comfy bed and a hot shower at the end of a day's travel, and do I really want to cook meals and make beds when I am on vacation? "NO WAY!" so I am more than happy with our compromise. Everything happens for a reason.
My fantasy dream. I win the lottery and take the cash jackpot. If it is $10 million or more after taxes I buy a smallish luxury RV and travel the US with my camera, and my laptop (for editing). Simple. Nomadic. Comfortable. Endlessly exciting. Wonderful.