We started dreaming about retirement, traveling and living full time in our RV about 5 years ago. We had moved from Pittsburgh, PA to Zanesville, OH a few years earlier. During that move we talked about eliminating some of our stuff and getting a smaller home. We were empty nesters and didn’t really need as much space as we had in Pittsburgh. Somehow, we managed to buy a larger home and ended up moving much more “stuff” than we initially planned. We loved the home but after a couple of years, we realized we weren’t using most of the space.
For me having the extra space and extra stuff was stressful. Definitely too much work taking care of the house, yard, and landscaping. I went to work every day and then felt like my free time was spent working at home. We had a 26 ft Cougar travel trailer at a seasonal site at a campground about 15 miles away. It was so relaxing to escape to there for weekends. The campground was situated on the river and we had a wonderful view from our site. Loved having my coffee on the deck in the morning just watching the river go by. We didn’t want to leave on Sunday’s to head back home. I am not sure about Tim, but I found the smaller space to be more comfortable and definitely less stressful.
We started researching full time RV living and determined that the camper we had would not be the best for full time travel. We started attending RV shows, researching online, and watching YouTube videos to learn from others who were further into this journey than us. We determined that we needed either a Fifth Wheel or a motorhome. We had not driven a motorhome in quite a few years so decided to buy a used one and try it out to help make that decision. The next thing we knew, we were owners of a 2000 Newmar Dutch Star.
The motorhome definitely had more space and gave us a sense of mobility. For the most part, we still spent the weekends at the same campground on the river and only took a few longer trips with it. After we had it for about a year, I had a job offer that took us back to Pittsburgh and to an apartment downtown. That move gave us the opportunity to really start downsizing; more to come in my next blog about that effort. Unfortunately, an apartment doesn’t provide a spot to park a 35 ft. motorhome. For a short time, we stored it at my cousins’ place in the country and then decided we needed to get a seasonal site until we could really go full time.
More decisions had to be made; should we leave a motorhome at a campground long term? Tim felt that wasn’t the best approach; he felt a vehicle needed to be driven. We were still undecided if the motorhome was the best approach for full time living. We would have to pull a vehicle anyway, so back to the drawing board. Tim start looking for a used fifth wheel. I liked the living space better in those and knew Tim could get his dream truck if we went that route. Luckily we found a great deal on a 2015 Forest River Cedar Creek 34RL and then bought a Ford 350 dually truck to tow it. We used it last year for weekend camping at our seasonal site and loved it. This is definitely our retirement home.
Thank you for joining us on the journey towards our dream. For now, we are enjoying the process and counting down the days to our future life. Next up, the downsizing process.