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Becoming full time RV travelers

Updated: May 10, 2023

We did it! We took the leap of faith to become full time RV travelers! In this blog post we’ll share how we planned for this moment in our lives as well as the unplanned details that were God ordained. Since this is the first of many blog posts to come I thought I'd tell you where we have been (in life) where we are going (into the future) and maybe as we blaze a trail, others will have the courage to leap into the adventure for themselves.

From TX to SC
Liz and Grady Glover

The Road Ahead

Every new couple begins life together looking to the future;

- Where will we live?

- How will we be employed?

- How many kids will we have?

And the list goes on...

Grady and I always talked about how fun it would be to live in an RV and see the country. I honestly never thought we would do it because I'm a nest builder. I love decorating my home and snuggling into my community too much to be a gypsy. And yet here I am writing this blog as we ramble down the road in our 37' diesel pusher Class A RV. I'm not really that brave. God sort of nudged me out of my cozy comfort zone and into the great outdoors. 

A Little Texas History

Looking back, I can see that adventure is in our DNA. We both grew up in TEXAS and lived in our home state for 26 years of our married lives. Grady's job with the airlines allowed us to move back and forth from Houston to Austin about every 4 years. By doing this we implemented our strategy to become debt free and pay cash for a house by the time we were 40 years old. We purchased bottom of the market "fixer upper" homes in more desirable neighborhoods. After we made cosmetic improvements, we would put the house on the market and roll the equity into the next home that we would purchase, until we achieved our goal to be debt free.  

Let me clarify that we were not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. Our first home was a double wide mobile home on a little mobile home lot that we purchased as well. I think our down payment was about 500.00. Our last home was a 2,700 sq ft Charleston home on a golf course.

I think all the shifting and moving over the years prepared us to hold our possessions loosely and to eventually transition to full time RV travel. 

Life in the Rear View Mirror

We recently retired and are looking at life in the rear view mirror. We are so grateful for the blessings that our jobs provided, homes that we owned, communities that we lived in and family that we enjoyed. I wouldn't change any of those things or do it differently. Life, however, is seasonal and when our jobs were finished and schedules were suddenly free from appointments and obligations we found ourselves in a position to live our next dream.

To say this transition was easier for my husband than it was for me is an understatement! In fact I had a lot of anxiety at first. Maybe someday I'll even write a blog about it. But today I will say that I have transitioned beautifully and have found such joy in the journey.

How We Got Started

  1. Take it slow and easy - We saved for a long time until we had enough cash to purchase our first RV while we still owned our Charleston home. We bought an older model 37' diesel pusher, Class A, 1996 Beaver Patriot with no slides. We paid $23,000 and if you have been shopping around for RVs you know that this is quite inexpensive for an RV. We felt that we needed to start with an RV that was basic and simple enough for beginners. We didn't know it at the time, but the Beaver Patriot was a high end and top quality coach in its day and we have not been disappointed with it. Take lots of time to search online and get to know the different makes, models and features that each one has to offer. A good place to start is

  2. Purchase an inexpensive RV and pay cash - There is nothing more stressful than debt! This new journey is intended to bring liberty and joy into your life. Plan ahead and start sacrificing in other areas financially so you can add funds to your RV savings account. The anticipation and finding ways to save toward your RV purchase is actually part of the fun and excitement in this journey. 

  3. Start out as a hobby and weekend traveler - The last thing you want to do is to liquidate your assets and jump into full time RV travel to find out too late you aren't built to live in a 300 sq ft home with the love of your life. There are more challenges than I can name, but will cover this topic in another blog. When we finally made our RV purchase, we found a lovely campground on a lake in our state and traveled there several times. We experimented with dry docking in Cracker Barrel and Walmart parking lots as well as hooking up in campsites with full services. Before we launched into full time RV travel we had several trips and experiences under our belt.

  4. Get to know your RV - I am constantly amazed at the intricate systems that work together to make our RV a real and viable home. Most RVs even have both DC and AC power sources, which was totally new to us. As much as you may be tempted to jump in your RV and go have fun, you should use the first several trips to study your RV and tweak the systems until they are fully functional and you are familiar with how everything works. Every RV should come with manuals and if not they are easy to find online for your make and model. Google and YouTube have been our best resources but we have been known to spread the manuals out on the table and learn about all the features and functions of the systems in our Beaver.

  5. Imagine tiny living - Depending on the level of your transition to full time RV living, you should be prepared to live small and simple. We can become so attached to our stuff and junk that liquidating assets can be overwhelmingly stressful and can even strain your relationship with your traveling companions. Minimal living is an art and a discipline which takes a commitment on everyone's part. We own a property in a little rural town with a warehouse. I am blessed to have all of my possessions stored in my warehouse so I can live minimally and still own my stuff and junk. We are not sure how long we are going to travel so we wanted to keep the possessions that would be needed for a future house/home. The longer we travel the easier liquidating assets will be in the near future. For us, the jury is still out, but if you have a place to store your assets until you know for sure, that is a bonus!

  6. Outfit your RV - Your RV will become your home. Make it your own just like you would if it were a house. Our Beaver Patriot was so old, it needed to be updated on every level. The more layers we peeled back, the more we discovered what was hidden that needed repair. The obvious things were outdated furniture and window treatments. Getting rid of the old sofa and chairs also eliminated some of the odors from previous owners. The old sofa was replaced with a new one from Ikea. One of my favorite chairs from my storage barn was reupholstered to match. I recovered all of the window cornices with my own fabric and made new draperies where they were needed. We got really bold and peeled the tacky vinyl off the walls to find luanne board underneath. I lightly sanded the walls and painted them bright white and stenciled my own designs on the walls. Because there is no room for art or wall hangings I learned how to make the walls and textiles my art. I will elaborate more later on how to effectively outfit and organize your RV for full time living, but the most important thing that I will stress is to make your space your own.

  7. Thousand Trails - We stumbled upon an RV Resort while we were visiting family in Conroe, TX. We were looking for a place to park for a couple of weeks but were denied access to Thousand Trails RV Resort because we were not members. After sitting through the presentation we decided to join so we could access the Thousand Trails campgrounds across the country. We paid a hefty program fee of about $7,800 plus a membership fee of about $500 per year. But with this plan we can stay at any Thousand Trails campground for 21 days at a time. Because we use 50 amp service we are also charged an uncharge for utilities of $3 per night. If you do the math, you will find that we will be living pretty inexpensively. We have visited several Thousand Trails campgrounds and will be creating blogs on the different campgrounds and resorts within the system. 

  8. Dry docking - Some of our favorite overnight experiences are dry docking in parking lots. Recently we stayed in a Cracker Barrel parking lot adjacent to Hobby Lobby and several other outlet stores. I think I wondered around in the stores for hours that day. We have found that 1 night stays as we travel to and from destination points are best spent at safe parking lots. We will not bother to drive out of our way to stay for one night in a campgrounds again. The last time we did that we got stuck in Mississippi Mud (another story for another day!)

  9. Find a job that allows for travel - I am amazed at how many young families are full time RV travelers! The campgrounds are full of children who are home schooled and fishing in the ponds and riding their bikes and having wonderful life experiences with their families. I know that some of these moms and dads work for Thousand Trails and have the flexibility to travel and work at many of the Thousand Trails campgrounds. But there are others who work from their kitchen tables. Give me a minute and I'll begin to gather information and interview some of these adventurers and tell you what they do and how they do it. Stay tuned for more!

  10. Down time entertainment - This part is easy. Every Thousand Trails campground has a recreation center with a workout room, game tables, putt putt golf courses and many are near lakes and rivers for fishing and water sports. Of course Google is happy to provide tourist attraction information with local festivals and arts centers. If all else fails pull out your bike and enjoy the countryside. I am.  

Go with God

There is a great big world full of adventure, God's beautiful Creation and amazing people. I want to meet as many of these people and see as much of His Creation as I can before we are too tired and crooked to go any further. I hope you will keep in touch and join us on our adventures. Maybe we will even meet you along the way. Be safe and go with God.

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Excited for you guys!! Would love to see a video tour of the RV. I’ve seen bits and pieces but not the RV as a whole. I love the things you create and excited to see what you’ve done it. Looking forward to more blogs as well! Love you guys! ☺️

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