Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Reflections on 4 years of Fulltime Motorhoming

We started our fulltime life in the motorhome by first holding an auction to sell everything we had accumulated in 35 years of married life -- which was a lot of stuff! This was a big decision for us and took about 6 weeks of hard work to get everything organized and ready for the big auction. We engaged a great auctioneer  who handled all the advertising, and pre-auction publicity.

The auction Saturday was clear, but cold -- unusually so for early fall in South Dakota, but we were pleased with the hundreds of folks eager to bid on our stuff. We sold furniture, wood working equipment, jewelry, kitchen pots and pans, and much more. The great thing about the auction was that everything was sold and removed in one very busy day! We were also pleased at the overall proceeds of the auction -- about 25% higher than we had hoped.

Rick had to finish working over the fall semester and as a result, we could not leave until Christmas 2007. We left South Dakota in clear, cold weather, but in Nebraska, hit heavy snow as you can see. Our 36' Itasca Meridian coach did a great job on the ice, but we were really pleased to finally pull off into the RV park for the night. What a start to fulltiming!

A foot of snow later, we were ready to continue. Fortunately, the RV park plowed the roads and our site so we could head out, but we wondered what kind of life we were embarking on. 

We finally made it to Florida where we spent a wonderful winter and really got into the concept of fulltime living in our coach. In fact, we loved the lifestyle so much, that we ened up trading the 2004 36' Meridian for a 2008 Winnebago Tour 40' coach. 

Moving day is always a thrill, even from one coach to another. Here, all the stuff from the 36' coach is stacked on our site while we awaited delivery of the new 40' rig. We were amazed at how much stuff we had on board.

The 40' coach arrives! Wow, what a difference. We loved the new Tour 40' and ended up fulltiming almost 3 years in this great coach, which took us over 35,000 miles around the country. We learned that the extra room and amenities were very well worth while.

The Tour took us all over the country and we saw things we had only dreamed about. Here, Rick is getting ready to crew in a hot air balloon at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta where we joined other RVers at a rally sponsored by the Escapees  RV Club. 

What a sight! Rick watched as hundreds of balloons lifted off to join him in the air. Wow -- we never dreamed we could do this. 

The 40' Tour made its way to the Pacific coast twice over the three years that we had it and we greatly enjoyed the trips. What a great way to travel and to take in the sights such as this beach on the Oregon coast. We were fortunate to have our old Golden Retriever, Cody, with us for 3 years before he passed. 

The 40' Tour was great, but then Winnebago came out with the 42' tag axle model and we were amazed at the extra space and features it offered. The king bed, stacked washer/dryer, dishwasher and 4 slides sold Orinda. Rick was taken with the large holding tanks and the 4 (FOUR!) big tvs helped seal the deal. This rig is great to drive and live in. 

We took the new coach on a 9,000 mile trip over 6 months last summer/fall and had a great time. Here, we are at an Escapees Rally in Gillette, WY as a weather front blew through.

The new Tour takes a breather next to Yellowstone Lake. After 4 full years of fulltime living in a motorhome, we can say with certainty it is a great lifestyle. We have meet hundreds of great people, seen amazing things, and participated in events that we could only dream about. If you are interested in this life, be sure to fully check it out as it is a whole new world that awaits you.


Ron Howes said...

Isn't it amazing how fast 4 years goes by? When you're retired, it seems that weeks are about 4 days long.

I enjoy your posts and hope you'll keep them up, as you travel in warm climates, while we read them back here in Minnesota with snow threatening.

With kids coming home for Christmas, our own travel plans are delayed, but we spend more time in our 30 foot Fleetwood parked in our yard, than in our house just a few feet away, well-worth the 2 gallons of LP gas or so a day to keep things warm and running.

Besides, the motorhome has a better television.

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

Great look back, it sure does fly by.

jan said...

Do you find the 42 footer hard to maneuver in campgrounds and stops along the wat? We have a 36 foot and have considered longer but just aren't sure.

Rick and Orinda said...

Interesting question on the 42' coach vs. our smaller coach. Actually, after using the larger coach for several months, we have not found any places that we wanted to go that we could not get into due to the larger coach size. Even with the smaller coach, we usually did not try to get into any small state parks and the like. We have had no problem getting into many State parks, National Parks, and similar areas with the large coach. Plus, we really like the extra space the 42 provides.