We bought our fiver this year mainly to start getting ready for retirement. I can retire in 2 years, but will most likely do it in 3 years. We figured we could do small vacations first and then by the time I retire we would be seasoned enough to take longer trips.
I originally was going to wait until 66 (5 years away). But after losing both of my Parent's in a 3 month time span we figured we wanted to enjoy life earlier. Our master plan has always been to make sure we had no debt and we have stuck to that. The fiver will be paid off before I retire.
We have no kids and no tie-downs to how long we can travel once I retire. The only issue is my wife will have to keep working (she says maybe).
Today my wife and I went to our first RV show, with mixed feelings afterwards. On the one hand, we were disappointed to discover that this show was basically one dealer, with several factory representatives, showing his entire line of RVs. Somehow I'd expected a variety of vendors displaying not only RVs but accessories, etc., with lots of different manufactures represented.
On the other hand... wow, was it great to wander around inside of those vehicles. We quickly found our interest focused on Class A motor homes. For a while our favorite floor plan was a Georgetown Forest River XL gasser, which was remarkably spacious, and far less expensive than we thought a comparable motor home would go for. But then, we stepped into a Tiffin diesel (didn't write down the model- rats!) and our world was shaken. Of course, it should be at a cost of over $300,000!
What really surprised us was all of the TVs. TVs above the windshield, TVs in the living area, TVs in the bedroom, TVs outside. Really - how much TV can people watch!
So, a good start to our explorations. This should be fun.
You've gotten some good advice so far. It sounds like you're planning a long-time trip. You might find the Fulltiming section on this forum to answer some of your questions and also the Escapees RV Club online which will answer many questions as well as they have another great RV forum including a full-timing one. Also look in the RV Parks/National Parks forums for some excellent travel information to get some ideas of where to go. Take lots of notes of what other folks do and then compile your own plan. Everyone travels differently - in different RVs and to different places. As full-timers for 16 years we still have not seen it all! You also might want to consider, as we've done, to volunteer for your national, state parks. It's a wonderful opportunity to help our parks and you'll meet some wonderful folks out there. As far as what RV to get....go to shows and poke around in used lots. You'll soon be able to weed out what NOT to buy. It will be obvious to you after looking for a while. Keep in mind - everyone can travel long-term in many different kinds of RVs. We have met full-timers in a cargo van all the way up to the huge buses. They are all enjoying what THEY do. No one can tell you what's best for YOU. Have fun planning! Then have fun using it! The key is to not wait...we've talked with many who say "I wish I had......." The earlier you can start the more things, physically, you'll be able to do. We began in our 50's after our workplaces "downsized" us and haven't regretted it for a minute! We knew we wanted to travel and after the first winter of being gone for 4 months and talking to lots of folks enjoying the long-time lifestyle, and as we were driving back to our BIG house, we discussed the fact that we've lived without all that STUFF for 4 m. and never even thought about it, so why keep it? That summer we sold it all and whatever we could put into our 33' 5th wheel, we did. What was left was long gone. It was such a relief off our shoulders to get rid of it all.
Folks always asked us - but what about the kids? Well we were never ones to hover over their lives. They now had their own. They were absolutely fine with our idea and friends soon became envious that we would consider it. As it turned out in our mobile society, our kids have now moved to multiple states and even to England and back. They didn't stay put either. We see them often - they come to fabulous vacation spots to visit with us and we can easily travel in our RV to visit with them. We even have our own bed!! Our grandchildren have traveled in their minds with us. We call, write, send postcards of places we're visiting so they have gotten a good geography lesson from us. When we started we didn't even have a cell phone or use email. How times have changed! But it's all doable if you get into a different mindset. Best of luck to you! P.S. Can you tell how excited I am for you? It brings back many good memories!!
* This post was
edited 04/27/12 10:36am by 2gypsies *
Extremely Happy Full-Timers for 16 years
.... now trying to adjust to 3-season traveling - and it isn't easy!
2004 40' Newmar Dutch Star Diesel Pusher
2004 Jeep Liberty