100 Days Full Time on the Road

We’ve been on the road 100 nights now. 100 days since I broke the only door to our house while we were locked outside of it while stopped at a rest stop in Southern Oregon. We’ve put together 100 ideas that help to sum up our trip so far, from reasons to go RVing, to things that are harder while on the road. So, without further ado….

35 reasons we enjoy living in our RV full-time.

35 things we enjoy, and reasons we set out on this journey

  1. Sunsets – we had them, but we didn’t spend as much time actually enjoying them.
  2. Sunrises – when I enjoyed sunrises, it was typically driving to work, and I was probably swearing at the reflection off the road.
  3. Good, local food. Let me clarify. Not all local food is good.
  4. Understanding the Portland lifestyle wasn’t the only way to think. The reason I bring this up is because I became so accustomed to having liberal people support all my perspectives. But honestly, Portland has a tendency to have a stick up its butt. Yes, it’s green. Yes it’s progressive. Yes, it has the best coffee in the entire USA, but there are other good places and I think a lot of times Portland as a whole forgets that.
  5. Meeting people; who we have met that have been influential are not typically other RVers, for the most part. They’re the small business owners at car washes, or the people who do repair on our RV, or the uber drivers we happen to take us when we’re not driving.
  6. Traveling to see our family and friends! Our first major stop was to see some of our best friends in California, and be able to spend quality time with them without thinking about when our flight leaves.
  7. Re-evaluating what’s importance: From what we spend our time doing, to what we’ve decided to travel with.
  8. Getting rid of JUNK.
  9. Getting more JUNK from new places! (We haven’t done this yet, but I’m keeping some cabinet spaces open for something that brings me joy.)
  10. Realizing how to conserve water and electricity. This has been an eye-opener for me in such a positive way.
  11. New grocery stores
  12. Escaping the endless days of rain in the PNW. (We’re not always warm, but we’re not being rained out everywhere.) Amendment: I started putting this blog together several weeks ago. The past 3 days have accumulated enough water that when we step outside it goes over our boots. So, we have a lot of rain in Dallas. Moving on.
  13. Visiting beautiful natural areas we’d have otherwise not visited
  14. Skies, clouds, stars
  15. Adopting a healthier lifestyle. Living in an RV doesn’t automatically mean this; you can be sedentary and eat fast food just as easily as living in a house. It was a reset button for us though. We’re both working out and eating better. I love it.
  16. Getting to see so many places, but always being able to sleep in our own bed every night.
  17. Learning how to be flexible – this is especially true for me. Jeremiah is pro at doing mind yoga so he’s very flexible.
  18. The scent of cut grass in JANUARY.
  19. Camping on the beach for free.
  20. A new view from your bedroom every morning – you know, like sunrises on the beach.
  21. Learning!
  22. An 80 degree day in February
  23. An organized life: everything has a place. This brings me so much joy.
  24. I lose my keys a lot less often now.
  25. My own coffee in my own kitchen  in my own mug every morning. No hotel coffee.
  26. More time together. Jeremiah and I worked together and lived together, but we’re together 98% of the time now. For us, that’s a happy life. It might be maddening for some people.
  27. We deliberately choose when we’re not together, rather than it just being part of our life.
  28. Spending nearly every moment with our dog!
  29. A tired dog from all the new sniffs and walks.
  30. Being able to escape the snow!
  31. Humidity or desert. You choose. It’s totally up to what you want. Go there!
  32. Living in new places rather than just passing through or vacationing in them. When we vacationed, we had a set amount of time from when our plane landed to when it departed and we’d do all the touristy things we could fit in. But there were times when we wanted to stay longer, like in DC when we visited in 2016, to places we’d really have liked less time at. Now, we get to decide when we arrive and leave, for the most part, and we get choose to do more local things.  
  33. Eating outside on a patio in late December next to a river,  and needing sunglasses, not rain jackets.
  34. Fewer airports! Fewer delays.
  35. Time. It passes so quickly. There’s just not enough of it, and we want to make sure that every day we’re living it to the fullest, and for us that means living in a motorhome, traveling.

12 Places we’ve visited that we’d otherwise have skipped

  1. Quartszite. And to be honest, I don’t think we’ll ever go back there. We didn’t see the appeal. There were beautiful sunsets though.
  2. Kartchner Caverns
  3. Bisbee and Tombstone Arizona
  4. Corpus Christi’s aquarium
  5. South Padre Island. I think Jeremiah left his heart here, so we may need to go back to get it.
  6. Space Center Houston
  7. Batteship Texas State Historical Site
  8. The Deep Ellum Neighborhood – this is huge to me because we had several other RVers suggest this to us. Without that community, we might have totally missed it.
  9. Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico
  10. Dallas World Aquarium
  11. Rock City, California
  12. Salton Sea

9 Things we’ve Eaten… and Enjoyed

  1. Some of the best barbecue! Hutchins is amazing.
  2. One delicious hamburger at Square Burger
  3. Burritos in El Paso
  4. Greek Food at Opa! Greek Taverna (Also, incredible service)
  5. I found my 2nd favorite donut ever. The strawberry one at Shipley’s. It could also have been that I hadn’t had sugar in a couple weeks at that point so it felt like drugs. Unsure. Moving on.
  6. Mi Casa in Benson, Arizona. This was some of the most beautifully presented food I’ve ever had.
  7. Smoke Shack bbq in San Antonio
  8. Ice Cream while sitting by the river in San Antonio
  9. Good margaritas at E Bar Tex-Mex in Dallas
15 lessons we've learned while traveling in our RV full-time.

15 Lessons we’ve learned

  1. Hobbies change on the road; I write more and Jeremiah tweaks little things throughout the coach daily.
  2. How to get a driver’s license in Texas – a blog will be coming written by Jeremiah. (I write the majority of our blogs for a few reasons, the obvious ones being I enjoy writing and I have more time.)
  3. We’ve both realized more than before that expectations can lead to disappointments.
  4. Sleeping in a secure truck lot is one of the quietest, safest places to park. (But you can’t put your slides out.)
  5. Don’t keep your water hooked up when it’s going to be 25 degrees out.
  6. We’ve learned to do laundry when we can, because if we don’t have hookups, it’s not happening.  
  7. Boondocking is our favorite. We knew it would be, but we crave getting out of RV parks and campsites.
  8. We’re life-long travelers now; we went on vacations every so often before this, but this has really reminded us we love to see new places.
  9. The United States is huge. Huge.
  10. Make simple meals when boondocking to reduce dishes to wash.
  11. We can get to Puerto Rico in our motorhome! An uber driver from Puerto Rico let us know there’s a ferry from Florida and we can park all over the island. Yes please! (Admittedly, I haven’t done any research on this.)
  12. Hillsboro Oregon has the best tacos in the nation. Sorry everyone else.
  13. Amazon lockers are really handy, but they’re only in bigger cities. Additionally, they have a tendency to actually deliver packages earlier than stated.
  14. We are bad at taking video of anything.
  15. Good blogs take a long time to put together.

8 Things we miss about stationary life

  1. A bathtub. Time to find some hot springs! Hey Arkansas, how you doing?
  2. Our shop.
  3. A yard so that Bernadette can run for hours on end without needing full supervision
  4. Amazon Prime to our doorstep
  5. Getting produce delivered to our door.
  6. When I used to get angry with Jeremiah, I’d let him know he ordered me flowers and I’d order myself flowers to be delivered. I miss flower deliveries.
  7. Sushi places that I could eat at. I’m allergic to regular fish, but not shell fish. All the sushi places we’ve gone to down south have limited options and don’t even stock real crab. My heart is broken a little.
  8. Early February was when I started my tomatoes and peppers from seeds for the past 4 years, and t here’s no garden to plant them in this year so that is not happening! I spent hours researching flavors and benefits of various plants, but this year I’m… not. I miss the garden

6 things we’ve bought that have added value to our life

  1. A tea kettle. I drink about 4 cups of herbal tea a day, and microwaves use a ton of electricity.
  2. Walkie Talkies. Holy, cannoli. We haven’t had any arguments on the road about backing up, etc since we got these. Also, we like to make fun of people who yell and motion wildly, so we couldn’t be those people. I’m an asshole, what can I say.
  3. A long retractable lead for Bernadette. This is something I do not use, but has been awesome for Jeremiah and Bernie to use together. She has a lot fewer options to run free being on the road so the retractable lead has been useful for when Jeremiah takes her on walks. I do use a long lead that we’ve had for years but I’m just not a fan of how the retractable lead functions – Jeremiah loves it though.
  4. Vacuum bags/storage bags. I LOVE THESE. I wish I had used these for linens in our brick-and-mortar house. I recently unpacked a bag so I could re-pack and vacuum it when I was bored. You think I’m joking? I’m not. The ones we use: space bags.
  5. Fancy ties to help keep our extra hose wound up.
  6. A line-a-day journal. I write in one every night and sometimes just state where we’re at. It’s already been fun to look back at where we were a week or month ago.

3 things that are harder on the road

  1. Anything medical/dental. Anything beyond a single trip to a generic cold/flu/etc doc means sitting tight while it happens. Finding a dentist or eye doctor means you’re on the phone getting records sent around between your old doc and the new one
  2. Finding any professional. Work on the coach or anything beyond an oil change on the toad? Need to find a good mechanic – hard to do when most people you meet are also travelers. Google reviews are your friend, but they’re not perfect. We’ve found Texas has really high ratings for average or less than average experiences for us. You can’t have a favorite place when you aren’t in the neighborhood for more than a few weeks to establish rapport.
  3. Mail / shipping / amazon. The post office sucks, hard stop. We’ve all but given up on them after a 2 day express package took 12 days to get mailed 300 miles across Texas with our dog’s prescription in it. Fedex and UPS are more reliable – but shipping to a mailing service and then shipping to wherever we are adds a lot of time and amazon lockers aren’t that frequent in the world.

12 tips if you’re thinking of full-time RVing

  1. When scheduling an appointment, ask if there is anything earlier. Several times we’ve been able to be fit in within a day or two, even when an initial appointment is 3 weeks out. Not sure why this happens, but it’s worth asking!
  2. Ask locals for suggestions
  3. If you’re needing to stay at an RV park, inquire what their weekly rate is. We’ve stayed at a few that we paid for a week at because it was significantly less expensive, but didn’t stay the entire week.
  4.  Don’t have expectations of places. I don’t mean don’t have hopes, but simply don’t “expect” to have the best time everywhere you go, because then you’ll be disappointed if you don’t.
  5. Be ready to adjust your travel schedule as things come up – positive like someone recommending a balloon festival or less positive – like a months worth of doctors visits. We expected to be in warm, sunny Florida by now but we’re in Dallas while Jeremiah has appointments for the next month. Initially I was upset because we had set these expectations and all I can think about is swimming with manatees. Stop setting them! You’ll be so much happier.
  6. Buy local if you can; don’t shop at Walmart all the time.
  7. Establish a normal daily routine.
  8. Mark everything you bring in to your RV. We used small colorful dots. Then, peel the dot off each time you use something. At the end of a couple months, see what you haven’t used and consider getting rid of them, or boxing them up for storage.
  9. Don’t think you need to get rid of everything, because that can be overwhelming. Consider getting a storage space (luckily we were able to rent some shop space from Jeremiah’s parents – thanks Ross and Sue!!) because if you sell/donate/trash everything, you may regret that later. Just be considerate of your future self.
  10. Research places you want to go and things you want to see. This should be a no-brainer, but it’s not. Check hours, days, or even best times of the year.
  11. Just buy an RV that you think will reasonably meet your needs. You won’t know until you get on the road what your ‘ideal’ RV will be – your goals and needs will change and you CANNOT predict that while living in a stick and brick.
  12. Create a bucket list. Go do it now. I’ll wait. … That bucket list looks pretty awesome… doesn’t it? Well then what are you waiting for?

What things have you learned while traveling? Let us know! And by the way, we might have had 100 things to mention at 100 days, but don’t expect 200 in another three months.

2 Comments

  1. Another great post.

    FYI, its over 1000 miles from Miami to Puerto Rico and also “The Bermuda Triangle”. I did a quick search and there doesn’t seem to be any ferry available for that route, but car shipping is available.

    However, you can get a ferry to Grand Bahama which takes about 3.5 hours out of Fort Lauderdale.

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