Palm Trees in southern Florida

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The RV as Housing & the end game

I was watching the guy across the road from me have deck built in front of his RV. It's a nice deck, almost as long as the rig & 12' wide. It sits on special bricks, nothing in the ground. Treated wood, rails & a ramp rather than stairs, I asked him about the ramp. He has a friend who uses a wheelchair and realizes that someday he might he might be on one of those powered scooters.
Someday... he was planning for the end game.

I looked around at other trailers that had decks & other additions to make their home more of a home and wondered about that. There are a number of people here who pay a year at a time, they have no intention of moving. They live here in the winter or come down once a month for a weekend of fishing, this is their 'house at the beach'.
There was a guy who took his deck apart and loaded the boards into the back of his pickup and left, later he came back and picked up his trailer, he was gone & the spot was vacant. A "house at the beach" that can be moved.

I think about all the other parks I've been to or noticed as I traveled, there are a lot of people who's home is an RV in a park. They own their own home and rent the land it sits on.

I got involved in a discussion about fulltiming on a forum, when to start and how to exit. I started thinking about it.

We started because there were places we wanted to go & things we wanted to try, someday.
We found ourselves in a situation where going full time was an option, it was not a pleasant situation but there it was. Someday was here.  We took it.

We needed a 'plan'. Part of 'the plan' was what we were going to do & what if we got tired of it?  The end game.
The "do" part solved itself as the days went on, the exit plan turned out to be simple.
We had our home, it has wheels and it was always going to be parked somewhere, if we got tired of traveling or we found a place we really liked we could just find a spot and stay there.

No matter where you are the Golden Arches at not far away

I have met a guy who has an RV in one park and another in a different part of the country, they drive between them as the seasons change. There is more than one way to stop full timing.

Beach access #5 on Padre Island, Texas
  I just added the photos because I can't see doing a blog without some photos


  1. My situation is dissimilar to yours in some respects because I am not mobile. I live on the top of a mountain in the Blue Ridge. I have a big place. My kids grew up and moved away. I am having a harder and harder time keeping the place up. In five years when my wife retires from teaching she wants to go live in Florida in a condo on the beach. I think that would kill me in short order as I am not a social person. Like you,I am looking at the end game.

    1. Hello Harry, your comment was in twice. I deleted one of them thinking it would look better. "Look" & "better" seems to be a dumb concept on my part... I'm learning.

      For my purposes the "end game" was stopping the traveling part of full timing.
      I've been working a lot since we went full time, it's been fun. I'm not , at this point, cut out to just goof off, the working is good.
      At the amusement park last summer I met a lot of fulltimers who were older than I was, old enough that I realized I have a lot of time to do things. I spent over 20 years in the Coast Guard, after last summer I realize have that kind of time to do something new!

      I've been reading different email lists & blogs since we stepped off our 'standard' path & I noticed something, there is not a 'correct'' way to live your life. People take all kinds different paths to find what makes them happy. The vandwellers list has been an eye opener...

      You didn't say what you do, just that your spouse has five yrs till she retires. Five years is a long time.
      I've no idea where, what or how I'll be in 5 years but with any luck next winter we'll make it down to Florida!

    2. Harry,
      You don't have to socialize just because you live in a condo on the beach. My favorite condo rental is on the beach in Oregon and while I do go walking and to restaurants there I've never met any of the neighbors. I do my socializing on my computer.

    3. I don't really do anything. I used to work in the Oil and Gas Industry, but retired at the end of 2012. I wanted to buy a boat and live on that but my wife didn't want to. Right now it looks like the Condo in Florida once she retires.

      Linda, it's more the idea of having people all around me. I don't feel really comfortable around crowds. I've been living on top of a mountain in the Smokies since 1986. I have a brother who has a house in Newport, he sends some beautiful pictures of the beaches in Oregon.

    4. Get a van & go visit your brother, it's hard to beat the Oregon coast.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Thanks for taking off the double posting of my comment. I get that sometimes, have never figured out how I am doing it.

  3. I think it is great that people are planning ahead especially taking into consideration when the possibility of having to use an assisted device such as a wheelchair or scooter becomes a reality.

    RV'ing has always appealed to me. The idea of having everything you own with you and that your home has wheel is very enticing.

    1. I had thought of settling down in one spot if/when we got tired of traveling, I thought about it in a abstract way. Since I've noticed all these people who have built a home around their 'house on wheels' it's not so abstract any more.

      There are a number of things I want to do before I 'need' that ramp to get into my house, things that require walking .
      We'll see.....

  4. "Life is short.
    But the years are long."

    Hey Rob,

    I'm a Heinlein fan myself.


    1. Welcome Moe! How's your brother Larry doing? ( Like you haven't heard that one before!)

      I read Heinlein many years ago, he made an impression on me but that was many years ago.

    2. Talk of the "end game" is what made me think of Heinlein; and in particular Time Enough for Love. How much time does any of us have!

      I though pretty hard about going to college when I was 32. I convinced myself at the time that I was too old for that.

      I finally started college when I was 54. I was 59 when I received my degree.

      I might live 6 more months or another 30 years. Know what I mean?

      Yours is one of several blogs I read that are written by fellas at or around retirement age. I enjoy reading of the different ideas and mind sets of my cohorts.

      RV living seem like a good life style to me & my wife. I am curious to see if it can be done on the cheap.



    3. How cheap do you want the RV life to be? From what I've read and seen you need about as much as you have. Seriously.

      RvSue has a blog and she lists her finances every month for anyone to see what's happening.
      It's labeled "money" up at the top.

      Bob at has done several write ups on costs. He spends his time boondocking.

      There are others out there who talk about the costs, Insurance, internet, phones, food are still there & need to be paid for. Rent is maybe different, if you're making a payment on an RV and renting a spot in s park it might be the same. If you move a lot (fuel costs) it might be the same, if you go to a nice area and spend a month or two to look around it may be cheaper.

      Take a piece of paper & a pencil and do some figuring. My RV is a pig, I use 66 cents per mile as my budget marker, others do way better.
      Pick a spot you'd like to visit, I use see what is available in an area.
      Go to and look around, I'm sure you'll find something on the costs.

      Life is too short.
      I have a daughter that leukemia got just before she was 21. I deal well with humor but have little time for bullshit... I learned that from my daughter.
      As Barney says at "Don't Wait, Tomorrow Starts Now"

  5. Hi Rob, Thanks for the mention of my blog statement. It is original to me but others have likely said the same thing before. I have learned as you have that we do not have enough time left for BS from others. My self inflicted pile is way plenty for me. My sympathy goes to you for your loss of your daughter. At least we can learn from her wisdom. Stay dry out there in Lamar. It is nasty here in AP.

    1. Thank you.
      I've seen the 'do it today' sentiment as a motto on more than one full-timer blog, I think it's true.
      I was talking with a guy down here last week who was unhappy that his body was going south on him as there was still a lot he wanted to do but his legs were not able.

  6. Great blog, Rob, and an excellent post... very thought-provoking. Thanks!