in Doing more, Family Time, Not Quite What We'd Planned, On the road, The State We're In, Work Camping

4 years in: RV there yet?

Still no.

We were originally thinking it would be a one-year thing. Maybe two? We certainly didn’t imagine it would be a two-RV thing. But we were quite happily wrong, and we’ve now got enough events planned for Year 5 that there’s no way we’re giving this up yet!

We’re a retired military family. Moving every 2-4 years is in our blood.
We’ve even moved from one RV into another (not as many cardboard boxes; just as tricky).

To celebrate our nomad-versary, I shall regale you with an Amusing Tally of Miscellaneous Statistics.

In four years, we’ve used, purchased, worn through, or replaced for any number of reasons ranging from the mundane, to the catastrophic, to just not getting the right thing the first time around (or second, or third…):

~ the new BFT’s baby picture ~
There were 12 miles on the odometer when we drove it off the lot in May of 2017.
As of August 1, 2019: 57,894

We’ve also held memberships/accounts with:

  • 3 RV insurance companies
  • 3 cellular service providers
  • 2 RV owners’ clubs
  • 4 RV travel/social organizations
  • 2 mail forwarding services

And in addition, we’ve experienced:

Our preferred types of workamping jobs offer visible results.
Here’s how & why we use these opportunities to supplement Tim’s retirement pension.

I’ll spare you a full reprint of last year’s annual review, which included answers to the 13 Questions We Hear All The Time, but I’ll update the three that need it.

How many states have you visited in the RV, I mean like, for more than just a rest stop?

By my count, 37: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

My criteria for counting a state as visited are a bit fluid, which I know will drive some people a little nuts. Did we stay overnight? Long enough to do the weekly laundry? Go on a hike or visit a national park? All of those are valid to me. Just driving through on the way to elsewhere, with a potty break at a gas station? Not so much — otherwise, we’d have counted Mississippi about 8 times by now, instead of zero.

Map created at amcharts.com

Are you thinking about getting a new RV still?

Response in August of 2018: No. We’ve decided to keep upgrading and modifying this one until… well, until we feel like we’re done. (The rest of the lengthy answer is here.)

October of 2018: We uhhh… well, we felt like we were done, so three months after saying we weren’t thinking about getting a new RV, we drove a new one off the lot.

Go ahead. We’re still shaking our heads too.

This sign hangs in our entryway.
Pretty much sums it up!

What’s next?

We’re going to Maine, we’re adding a solar power system, and we’re taking on some seasonal work in San Diego this fall. You’ll find us in the pumpkin patch, and you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter for updates as we go!

So that’s it for the end of Year 4. If there’s a topic I didn’t cover, you are welcome to ask your question in the comments section below, but keep it clean. My parents read this.


Other updates: We started full-timing in August of 2015, but I didn’t think to do an annual review until the end of 2016, and it was just a listing on Facebook of places we’d visited. After that, I started using a quarterly format for the where-we’ve-beens and what-we’ve-dones.

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  1. Love your updates from the road. Even better, your updates on your year(s). Encouraging the wanderlust in all of us!

  2. Congrats on the new RV. We too thought we’d only do the RV full-time lifestyle for a year, 2 tops and here we are into year 7 😏 Enjoy the new rig!

    • Ha! I was wondering who’d be first to ask.

      Mattress 1, 2014: The original that came in our 2008 Heartland Bighorn, which we bought in 2014. It had a depth of about 3″ in its cushiest spots. No.

      Mattress 2, 2015: We downsized the Bighorn’s bed platform from a king to a queen, and thus had to buy a properly sized replacement. We thought a 5″ mattress with 2″ foam topper would be sufficient. It was not.

      Mattress 3, 2017: A vendor at the Heartland rally in Elkhart was offering the 11″ Denver mattresses at a price we couldn’t refuse, so we upgraded yet again.

      Mattress 4, 2018: The one that came with the new RV. I remember no specifics, but it was underwhelming, and we knew we’d need something better for a place we spend at least 1/3 of our lives.

      Mattress 5, 2019: Upgraded to a Sleep Number mattress when we went for our first factory warranty visit in February, since they could install it for us.

      I think we’re done now. For a while.

  3. Following along from the comfort of my home these years have flown by quickly. Do you and Tim fee like time has passed quickly? My vivid memory is the photo of your documents all along your table as you prepared to digitize everything. Has it been that long ago?

    I look forward to every update and appreciate the quarterly links so I can catch up…I think I missed some reading!

    Power-on power couple!

    • I wouldn’t say it has passed quickly, but a lot of it has run together, and if it weren’t for some of my Facebook posts, we’d entirely forget some of the smaller places or shorter stops. Just the other day, Tim said that we need to go to this volcanic park that he’d read about, north of Flagstaff. “I think we’ve been to that one,” I said. And we went back and forth for a few minutes before I found the photos that proved that in fact we had.

      Still good times!