would anyone knowingly and willingly want to live in an rv
fulltime? Sounds crazy, doesn't it. After all, the all
American Dream is to buy property, build a house, accumulate as much
wealth as possible, buy as many toys as possible, live life to the
fullest, and then die rich. Why in the world would anyone want to
sell their property, all of their posessions, except for what will fit
in an rv, which is limited to less than 400 sq. feet, and hit the road
with no particular destination in mind, and wander around the country
like nomads? Sounds like someone's elevator doesn't go all the
way to the top, doesn't it?
In reality, it's a little more complex than that. You need to understand that people leave the "normal" lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Some have reported that they feel "trapped", or are a slave to their house, and their posessions. It seems as if there is always something that needs to be fixed around the house, the yard needs mowed, something needs painted, snow shoveled, the lawn mower breaks, and has to be repaired or replaced, leaves raked, and the list just goes on and on and on. Then on top of that comes the real estate taxes, For these people, much of their income is spent on things that are related to the house, and their posessions. In some cases, up to 80% of their income was going to support their property. Imagine if you only needed 20% of your income to live as comfortably as you do now.
Working fulltime, frequently both husband and wife, and one day they just look at each other, and say, "what in the world are we doing here"? Seems like all we ever do is go to work, come home, work around the house, eat and go to bed, and then start the same process over again tomorrow.
Below are a some comments from people who live fulltime in their rv.
The house is too large for our needs. When the kids were growing up, it was fine, but now that the kids are gone, we have no need of all this space. In other words, our needs and desires changed, so for us it was time to move on.
When we lived in houses they were always a chain around the neck. We'd work and beat our brains out so we could take a few weeks vacation every year. Not enough time to enjoy it. Now our life is one big vacation. We still work at the business, but it can be anywhere.
Economics aren't the only factor. My father retired in his 67th year, and six months later suffered a respiratory failure that put him on an oxygen hose the rest of his life. He was unable to do any of the things he had planned to do in retirement. I retired at 59 and a half, and while we don't have the money we would have had if I'd worked until 66, the quality of life we enjoy as fulltimers, and the years of fun we are having, are more precious to us than equity in real estate.
We sold our home when we went Fulltime, for two good reasons. One, we do not want to be absentee landlords and number two, that area is not one we thought we would consider should we or when we settle down again. We sold all our belongings since we did not want to pay storage costs for years and because should we or when we settle down again, it will be into a much smaller pad and we presume our tastes will change
We had already made the decision a few years ago that we will not, nor desire to, stay in our present location. We were go to sell the house and move out of California, problem was we could not agree where we wanted to relocate to. Most of our families live out of state.
Yes, keeping a stick built house is keeping a good asset. I don't think anyone is disagreeing with that. But oodles of money isn't EVERYTHING to everybody.
We did sell our house when we went full time and the feeling of freedom when we drove away is something I'll never forget! I'll always savor those two years of roaming around the country, even if we never full time again
One of the simple tests to see if you are a candidate for a fulltimer, is to take several extended trips. When you are heading home at the end of the trip, are you looking forward to getting "home", or dreading it. That will tell you much about your "fulltiming makeup". How much desire do you have to fulltime? It's all about priorities.
We have a house in one city we bought when my husband needed to be closer to work. In the 6 years we have had it, property values have appreciated 3 fold. It is a large custom made home that we no longer want to live in. The hoity toity life style just doesn't suit us. We can't park our motor home on our property unless we are stocking it to go some where...then we have 48 hours and it has to be moved. We don't pay much attention to that, and that REALLY annoyes the home owner assoc. So, this house is going on the market.
There are two kinds of people. There are those that are "Anchored", and those that are "Floaters". At the "anchored" end of the scale, we have a couple with a "home town" where they were both born and grew up, where they have raised their children, where their schools, jobs, churches, friends, etc. etc. etc. remain. And this couple derives a very strong sense of self and security from owning (or long term renting) a piece of real estate in their home town.
At the "floating" end of the scale, we have a couple who were born and grew up in different places, who relocated a number of times both before they met and married and have continued to move around since they became a couple, who have friends and relatives all over the country, and no strong ties to any particular place - but love almost every place they visit in the US and Canada. And this couple, having experience as home owners, sees real estate as a ball and chain that limits their adventures and consumes their time and efforts.
And we HATED being tied to mowing, weeding, raking leaves, etc., for the past few years
We know fulltimers who stay the summer in one place, all summer, then head south for the winter, and stay the winter in one place all winter. They don't like moving a whole lot, but they also don't like the hot weather in the south, in the summer, nor do they like the cold in the north in the winter. So for them, they have the best of both worlds. Warmer weather in the winter, cooler weather in the summer. They also have none of the responsibility of owning 2 homes, one in the south, and one in the north. All they have is one rv to take care of. They can summer and winter in different places from one year to the next, if they so choose. That is the beauty of the "freedom" part of fulltiming. You don't have to do the same thing, year after year. Yet if you want or "need" to, you can do the same thing year after year.
In our case, there is no way we would have kept our home. We were leaving the area with no ties.....to keep it would have been foolish....It was a specialty property, and NO ONE would have taken care of it properly as a rental.....
There are many cases where fulltiming is just not possible without selling the house. Most of the fulltimers we've talked to have sold their house, and the ones that put their "belongings" in storage, sold them within a year or two. Costs more to store them, than to buy replacements. When it comes to staying in a place that you no longer enjoy, a job you no longer enjoy, and not being able to enjoy the things your heart longs for, it just doesn't make much sense to stay and keep the house, just because someone else says, that's the worst thing you can do.
I also think that if you managed your affairs properly fulltiming could end up being cheaper than maintaining a home and all the expenses associated with it.
Fulltiming does end up being cheaper than maintaining a home and all the expenses associated with it.
Some are fed up with the "rat race", or are looking for a totally different "lifestyle", and fulltiming is it for them. Others just want to travel and see what's around the next bend, meet new people, see the sunset in a different state. Whatever the reason for wanting to fulltime, it can be cheaper than living in a house. Some people are able to live comfortably on less than $1000 a month. Others are broke with $3000 a month. Just as living in a house, how much each spends on "living", is a variable that will be different for each set of fulltimers.
We are, after nearly 7 years of Fulltiming, enormously happy and wish we had done it sooner. We can't even imagine ever returning to a "stuck" and brick existence.
First, let me say, Fulltiming is a gamble, but so is just living your life, no matter where/how you do it..... I even know some people TIED to their homes, scared to try something New, that way, was not for me.....
After 9 years of fulltiming, gotta say, it has been a great lifestyle for us... Selling the ole homestead, A NO Brainer for us...
It was time for us to downsize, had no desire to return to that area, and why buy another home, let is sit vacant for the past nine years?????? RENTING IT OUT??? NO WAY.. had rentals for years, NEVER, NEVER again....
Not all real estate goes up in value either.... I know of one you can get for far less than owners paid for it several years ago.... Still on the market after two years of trying to get rid of it....
Agreed, fulltiming isn't for everyone, been a blast for us....
It's not the easiest life, but we have not regretted it. Yes, we could've have worked a little longer, saved a little more, etc., etc., but for what we've seen, done & the folks we've met the past 2 years, I wouldn't trade it for the world. It all depends on what you are willing to try. My DH & I have been married over 32 years & everyone said it wouldn't last. We've been two-gether in our 36' home for the past 2 years & everyone said it wouldn't last. We are happy and that's what matters. Exit plan? Have no idea, thats in God's hands & will leave it there. We decided we would rather at least try this & give it all we have & see what happens then to sit back & wonder what could've been.
There you have the feelings of some fulltimers who have sold everything, moved what was left into their rv and hit the road. Some people say they are crazy, others only dream of being able to do what the fulltimers have done, and others, wish they had the guts to make the same move, but won't because of a variety of reasons.
I will say this, fulltiming is not for everyone. Some people must "feel anchored". Others, do not have their "security" in a piece of land, or property, or house.
Freedom is a frequently used term with fulltimers. There is no way one can describe the feeling of that "freedom", until one actually experiences it. For many who have experienced it, there is no way they would ever return, to their former lifestyle. Others will find out they are more "anchored" than they thought. What ever folks decide to do, they just need to be sure that it is right for them, and not worry about what someone else thinks.