A One Year RV Trip Turns Into 5 Years of Full-time RVing

How It All Started

On June 15th, 2011 we hit the road setting off on a planned one year RVing trip of a lifetime. It had been a longtime dream of mine to travel around the US and Canada in an RV. I didn’t want it to be a hurried couple week vacation. I wanted the ability to take it slow if desired and make my schedule as I went, thus the rather lengthy one-year time frame.

I had envisioned this trip taking place sometime after retirement however several factors came into play allowing me to realize my dream much earlier.

  • My wife Anne was changing her career path from software development and project management to pursue her photography passion.
  • We recently had decided to sell the house and move to a new town so would be free of sticks and bricks ties.
  • Both of us owned our own small businesses and could easily place them on hold for a year.
  • Motivation was provided when several people close to us passed away at a relatively young age.

Off We Go!

For the trip, we bought an older 1-ton diesel pickup and a brand spanking new Keystone Cougar fifth wheel trailer. The plan was to keep the truck and sell off the fifth wheel after the one year adventure was over. We would eat the depreciation and move on with our lives. I had owned a campervan for many years so wasn’t a newbie RVer but had never towed and camped in a large trailer. After only a few weeks we were loving it, though.

Truck and Trailer

Big Blue and Our Cougar Trailer

We drove all the way across the country from our west coast home to Canada’s east coast spending the summer camping in the Maritimes. We were enjoying the lifestyle immensely and by the time we arrived in Florida that winter we were completely hooked. It was at this point half way through the year’s journey that Anne and I got really serious about a complete life change. We wanted to be full-time RVers.

Ray and Anne s North American RV Adventure 2011 2012

Let’s Keep Doing This

Full-time RVing can be a very frugal lifestyle but since we were both decades away from retirement we still would need a modest income to survive or our savings would soon be gone. Our goal was to bootstrap a pair of location independent businesses allowing us the freedom to travel almost anywhere.

By the end of our first year, Anne was well on her way. She was able to grow and begin to monetize her photography blog plus release several eBooks and recently a video course.

Anne and Ray

I was able to help out by doing some part time electronics repair work while we summered near our previous home on Vancouver Island. I also started building my own blog “Love Your RV!” I’ve never been much of a writer. It’s never been my forte. However, I do have a passion for RVing and decided to try and share it. The hope was to document my experiences and through that provide value to other RVers.

With lots of hard work, perseverance, and many loyal followers we have slowly grown our online businesses over the last few years. They now generate sufficient income to keep us on the road and living this amazing lifestyle.

Anne and Ray at White Sands NM

Best Years of My Life

The last five years have been the best of my life. I feel as though I have lived more in the last five than in the previous 20 or more combined. We’ve seen scads of beautiful places, enjoyed loads of unique experiences and met tons of awesome people.

I thought the nomadic life might be a tad lonely but it turns out it’s far from it. We have far more friends than we ever did living in our stationary sticks and bricks home. My new RVing friends hail from all over the country. It’s really broadened my horizons.

Map of our 5 years of full time RVing

We’ve feel blessed to have traveled all around the US and Canada, spending the last four winters enjoying the warmth and sunshine of the southwest desert region. The old truck and fifth wheel have performed marvelously moving us over 60,000 miles.  The years have been spent in hundreds of different campgrounds, scenic boondocking locations and exploring many of the greatest parks North America has to offer.

Check out the photo gallery for a look at some of the sweetest locations

What a View Alabama Hills boondocking

Looking Forward To More

You would think 5 years of living in an RV might get to be monotonous but so far that hasn’t been the case. Far from it! We love our little home on wheels. The plan is to now continue on into our 6th year. Barring an unexpected health issue, there is no end in site. Stay tuned…

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5 years of full time RVing by the Love Your RV blog - http://www.loveyourrv.com/ #fulltimerver #snowbirds

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