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Preparing for full-time RV travel is a process that starts months or years before you launch. Here are the steps we are taking to prepare for our own full-time RV journey!
While Steve and I just made the decision to travel a couple of months ago, I was both excited and shocked. Traveling has always been my dream and I had brought it up to him a handful of times, he had always been staunchly against it.
Turns out that years on the road as a truck driver and dealing with everything they deal with, that hating a complicated rat race type of life and other reasons were more than enough to make him decide he needs a change.
Step 1 to Full-Time Travel: Prepare
Even though I had been more than ready to travel for years, there’s a difference between being mentally ready and actually ready. In other words, we have some things to do to prepare.
I’m good with that. It gives me something to do with myself while we wait for the girls to finish school.
We started by making a few decisions:
Did we want to pull our girls from school to homeschool them on the road or did we want to let them finish?
While pulling their children from school is an easy decision for some families, we felt we needed to thoroughly discuss it and to include our kids in that discussion. At sixteen years old, they are more than old enough to have a say in a huge decision like this one.
Ultimately, we ended up not even needing to discuss it with the kids though. Neither one of them have any desire to travel with us and both are active in band and/or color guard. One is an honors student and the other is mentally ill in a way that requires consistent treatment.
To pull them from school to go on the road – without a very good reason – would simply be a bit mean considering they do not want to go with us.
Could we afford to leave everything and actually travel?
The second question we asked ourselves was if we could afford to leave everything and travel. While full-time rv’ing is cheaper than having a sticks and bricks home, it will take some money to buy the rv we want and to launch.
In addition, it will mean Steve leaving his job as an over the road trucker and semi-retiring to work with me on any blogs I may own by that time.
Because of this, we’ve decided that in order for us to feel comfortable launching, there are certain financial milestones we will need before launch date. I’ll talk about those in a moment.
When did we want to launch?
Because we made this decision after we decided to wait until the girls’ graduation, this gave us a great jumping off point for our launch date.
The girls will graduate in May, 2023. We want to be here for that, but since they will actually be 19 years old (due to their birthdays), we are perfectly fine heading out not too long after their graduate.
My birthday is mid-June and I really want to be launched and on some lake I’ve never seen before for that birthday.
This gives us a launch date of June 1, 2023.
What type of RV do we want?
This is one question we are still trying to narrow down. Both motorhomes and travel trailers have pros and cons and both have features that we both like.
Ultimately it will come down to storage. Since we both enjoy hunting and fishing with each other, we have a lot of gear and we want room for at least one RV freezer like this one. This will allow us to eat what we hunt and catch.
Because of the hunting and fishing gear, the freezer, bikes and the fact that I want to build myself a Murphy desk, whatever we end up with will either need a garage or a second bedroom that can be converted.
What type of truck do we want?
This one was a no-brainer for me. I left it to him. 😂
He has decided that he wants a Chevy Silverado if we ultimately decide on a travel trailer. I am of the opinion he simply wants the Silverado and it has very little to do with towing an RV.
I am totally okay with that too.
If we do decide on a motorhome, we will be towing a regular vehicle. In this case, we will just plan on keeping the Subaru Outback that we have now.
The Financial Plans for Our RV Launch
Like I said earlier, we have a few financial “must-have’s” before we launch. Since we will be losing the income he has now, we want to make certain we don’t bite off more than we can chew.
Our requirements are:
- Pay off the Subaru we drive now.
- All other debts – minus hospital bills that we make payments on – paid off.
- If we opt for a travel trailer: Pay for the trailer in cash. A loan for the truck is fine if necessary but only one loan.
- At least 1 year expenses in the bank.
- At least 1 year business expenses in the bank.
- All memberships that will save us money purchased before we launch.
- All modifications made before we launch so we aren’t attempting to pay for mods after.
- The freezer(s) purchased before we launch to allow us to carry more food therefore reducing the amount of money we spend on groceries/eating out.
Some of these may seem silly to others, but they make sense to us. Over the years, I have gotten good at doing things cheaply without sacrificing quality and that is what we are looking to carry over once we launch.
I am also working on raising our credit scores as high as I possibly can in the time I have. They are not bad right now, but higher numbers will give us a better interest rate on any loan that we may need to take. One of the methods I am using is Self. If you’ve never heard of them, I can’t recommend them enough.
Ultimately, we have some work ahead of us, but I firmly believe it’s doable. We have plenty of time to get things done and I have never been more motivated to do something in my life.