I Love This Lifestyle!

This is day two of my “Things I’m Thankful For” series.

While my husband was in the military we never had a place to call our own. We rented apartments (our first was a roach infested complex, which we were unaware of until we moved in, and couldn’t afford any of the other complexes in town) or other domiciles. When he was in the army, stationed in West Germany, we started out renting from a German couple, but ended up in base housing (really nice).

When we got back to the U.S. we ordered a brand new mobile home. I loved it. It had a buffet in the kitchen, a bay window, washer and dryer, and a built in wood-burning fire place. It was beautiful. I had built in book shelves with glass knick-knack shelves above.

We had to move from West Virginia to North Carolina a few years later in order to find work. That meant moving the mobile home. Due to storm damage my hunsband had to replace part of the roof and it leaked thereafter during every rain storm. There was no way to fix it without replacing the whole roof, which the insurance refused to do, since only part of it had been damaged.

When we moved back to Maryland (where I graduated from high school) we decided to just sell the mobile home and buy a house. We got an FHA loan and bought a house. It was a nice house, in a neighborhood where a couple of my former classmates lived. What a surprise to find one of them living across the street when she brought a homemade coconut cake to welcome us into the neighborhood.

It was a nice area, mostly quiet, and great neighbors. We even had jobs we liked. Until. . .

My dad died in 1991, my mom in 1994. Our son was grown and living in Indiana. Our daughter was nineteen and creating a life of her own. In 1992 or 1993 (I forget which) my husband’s parents returned from a trip to Alaska and dropped off their 26-foot Airstsream travel trailer in our driveway. They said we could keep it if we wanted. If we didn’t want it and decided to sell we just needed to give them back what they had put into it.  That winter I was homeschooling our daughter and we decided to take our vacation in February or March and go to Florida for a couple of weeks to visit my in-laws. We took a boat tour in the Gulf of Mexico and watched dolphins play in the boat’s wake. We toured the Everglades, and the best news of all: we missed the biggest (at that time) ice storm to ever hit the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Wow! That was pretty cool. Hmm.

We began to talk about selling the house and living full time in the camper. We found a used one for sale at a price we could afford–a 31-foot Airstream travel trailer 1973). We parked it in the driveway, put the house on the market (our daughter was moving out anyway), and tried living in it as much as possible to see if we could get along in such a small space over the long haul. It also helped me to figure out what we needed and what we could do without. We had a yard sale for three weekends.

In 1997 we sold the house and became full-time RV’ers. We spent a couple of winters in Quartzsite, Arizona (a fascinating place, quite unique), then started spending our winters in Florida. Then we went to work full-time and stayed here year round for a while. Now that we’re retired we’re back to snow bird status.

Wherever we’re parked we’re home. If a hurricane threatens we just hook up the camper and go. No problem. If we don’t like the neighborhood we just move. Everything we have is paid for, so even though the government says we are poor, and yes, we do have to make sure bills are paid before frivolous spending, we have a great life.

God has allowed this little nobody from the wrong side of the tracks to see parts of Germany; Paris, France; Holland; Alaska, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and most of the Canadian provinces. How amazing is that! GOD IS SO GOOD! I am thankful for my life on this earth, but even more thankful that my Lord Jesus Christ is preparing a place for me in heaven. We may be economically poor, but we are so blessed.

4 thoughts on “I Love This Lifestyle!

    1. You give up a lot and it’s close quarters where you are together most of the time. We parked ours in the driveway for about three months while we put the house on the market. We kept the inside of the house clean and only used the house for taking showers. We learned that we could live together in harmony and peace, and I learned what I could live without. My husband has never been a packrat, but I have always been. But it works for us. Hope it will for you too. Let me know how it goes. BTW, there are many RV groups that you can join. Good Sam and Escapees (SKP’s) are among my favorites. SKP’s has lots of sub groups called “Birds of a Feather,” where people with similar interests keep in touch and meet together. Both have campgrounds that offer discounts to their members. If you have a Holiday Rambler motorhome, there’s also a group for them. Have a great time.

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      1. Thank you so much for the info, we will definitely be looking into this. Wondering if you’ve had any experience with thousand trails as we are considering this campground membership especially since they are having a black Friday $150 discount…
        If you have any opinions on thousand trails or personal experiences, would like to hear any input on them.

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  1. Have had no experience with them. Have heard they are very expensive with lots of maintenance fees, but that was a long time ago, and not firsthand knowledge. Could have just been a disgruntled RV’er. I would ask lots of questions, though, about length of stay rules, maintenance fees, taxes (local and state), weigh benefits vs. comfort, expectations, how it meets your expectations. Used to work for Camp Coast to Coast, which was very similar to Thousand Trails. I couldn’t push people into buying something that they weren’t sure they wanted, even though it sounded like a great deal to me. We couldn’t afford it at the time, and now you never hear about them. One thing to consider wherever you go is what type of campsite is best suited for your rig: pull-thru or back in parking, width of space, spacing of trees. Shade is nice but some trees (esp. here in FL) get carpenter ant infested and rot from inside out, possibly causing tree to fall on your rig. Also, if you have a pull-along camper don’t let the car salesman talk you into buying something that may not handle the weight of your camper or travel trailer. We have seen many accidents or near accidents because someone had a 1/2 ton truck pulling the maximum weight allowance. The problem with that is that when traveling in high winds (Texas panhandle for instance), it can become unstable. We recently saw a truck pulling a travel trailer that had jack-knifed. The trailer was on its side, still attached to the truck that was still on all four wheels. Be careful and enjoy your travels.

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