Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Roadrunner Reflections: Questions for Our Readers

I've been thinking a lot lately about how this whole adventure started.  Hitting the road in the Roadrunner and 'Living the Dream' one of the most exciting things that we've ever done!  We purchased the motorhome eight years ago.

Interestingly enough, we bought our 2007 Tiffin Allegro Bus right here in Virginia Beach from a private party.  We have never regretted that decision!  We would have never guessed we'd be spending six months at a campground five miles from where it all started.

But here we are and will be for a couple of more months.  Daughter Kelly came through surgery with flying colors and is recovering nicely.  But Grandma and Grandpa continue to provide some useful assistance with the two young grand kids.

Back to the beginning of the RV Adventure and how it all started.  There are many reasons why we decided to sell everything, downsize and get into this wonderful lifestyle.

I know there are hundreds of you out there that regularly or semi-regularly check in and read The Roadrunner Chronicles, so I have a couple (three to be exact) questions for you.  Will you give some input?  Here's Question #1

1.  What is the primary reason you decided to RV? What was your main incentive?

For us -- it ended up being related to the notion that we could not decide where we wanted to retire.  Florida?  New Mexico?  Tennessee? -- we had those thoughts rattling around in the background when we started looking at RV back in 2007.

So if you'd be kind enough to respond an give some feedback -- that would be great!

Questions #2 is directly related to #1 and is this:

2.  Did you have to convince your spouse to do this?  Or were you both on board from the start?

For Pam and me, we started out slowly and talked a lot about RVs and those people that were able to afford them.  We looked and learned for quite a few months before we decided, "This might be for us if we can figure out how to pay for something like that."

It took a good many months of talking about things and then coming up with a way to pay for an RV.
That leads me to Question #3 which is:

3.  How did you (or how are you paying) pay the RV?  

Did you purchase it outright?  Did you cash in savings?  Did you finance it over time?  Did you sell your house?

In our case, we nailed it down to two choices:
We were either going to rent our house out and finance the RV; or sell our house and pay off the RV and tow before we started out.

In retrospect, we are very glad we chose to sell our 'Stix and Bricks' home.  We had 15+ years of equity in it and had been paying double payments for a few years to get the principal down.  By the time we sold it for $450K we had only $80,000 left for the payoff.

(That introduced another set of questions as, "What if this doesn't work out?" and "Are we going to be out in the middle of nowhere a few months from now and ask ourselves, "What have we done!!?"-- we will save that for another time.)

I realize many people can not or chose not to sell their home.  Everyone has to make those decisions that they are most comfortable with.   Always there is a bit of risk involved in doing this but everyone has a comfort threshold and as I have said a hundred times, "There are many ways to do this lifestyle!"

So today I have three questions I am asking for your input on:
1.  How did you decide to start RVing?
2.  Did you have to convince or persuade your spouse to RV?
3.  How did you pay for (or are paying for the RV?

There will be more questions down the road for our readers, but I hope you'll take a minute and respond and let us and our other readers know what your answers are to these questions.

Thanks so much!  And thanks for joining us today on the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. 1. We were California residents and knew we didn't want to retire and stay in CA.
    2. We were both on board, I'd dreamed of full timing since my 20's... convincing DH was easy
    3. We intended to use house equity too, but the housing crash eliminated that dream. We'd also been making extra payments on our house for years so we were able to sell but walked away with no equity at all and ended up financing our coach.... NO REGRETS!

  2. We started RVing in our first class A to travel to sell my art work and supplies. I was reading Karen in the Woods blog and was introduced to the full time living concept. That led to reading many more blogs and we loved the idea, sold the sticks and bricks and purchased our new to us Tiffin Bus. The decision was mutual. We paid cash for our new home on wheels. Living the dream!

  3. 1. We used to attend a lot of rallies and shows. We attended several of the now-defunct Life on Wheels rallies and went to many of Nick Russell's seminars. He had been a FTer for several years and we liked the idea. As you, we continued to research for several years before diving in.
    2. Actually, Karen was more in favor of the idea than me (which I understand is somewhat unusual). By the time we began, however, we were both onboard and ready to head out.
    3. We were actually intending to begin FTing in 2008, but we knew that we wanted to see our house from the onset. The real estate market took a big hit that year, so we decided to hold off. We planned some more and purchased our rig new in 2010 (while still making our house payments) and eventually sold the house quickly in 2012. We began the FTing lifestyle officially in Oct. 2012 when the house went to closing and we moved into our MH for the remaining 2 months prior to my retirement. So far, a great decision. We are staying near Zion NP at this time, and for a month!!!!

  4. 1. We sold our house in CA; we knew we would retire there and didn't want the hassle of renting.
    2. Took a while to convince my wife. We were travelling three to four months a year for several years before taking the big leap. She kept saying "maybe". Finally, in 2015 we took an 8 week trip and I asked that at the end she say yes or no, not maybe, and I would be happy either way. Thankfully she said yes.
    3. Our Class A is paid off.

  5. 1. See the country.
    2. Both on the same page. Randy's

    1. 2.idea but no problem for me.
      3. Alliant Credit owns our Bus
      On our way to Yellowstone some rough spots whilst posting.
      Wish you both the best.

  6. 1. Had bought an RV for vacation travel but found we could not get very far from home on one or sometimes a two week trip. Joined an RV club and were jealous of travel stories shared by members. So......retired at 55 and hit the road full-time.
    2. The decision to full-time took several years of research, talking and planning. It was pretty much a mutual decision.
    3. Our first RV had been paid for in cash (35' gas Class A). It was 2 yrs. old when we hit the road. Our house was also paid off but we had a live-in housesitter for the first two years and finally decided we would not want to live there again (too large and kids were elsewhere) so sold it. A year later we custom ordered a 40' diesel, financed it, and paid it off in 7 years. After 16 years on the road we sadly had to hang up the keys a year ago due to health reasons. We sold the RV through a consignment dealer and are now in a manufactured home in a "combo RV and home community" that we had stayed at frequently in our years of wonderful travel.

  7. 1. We've camped our entire adult life and have lived in 18 different homes (which is somewhat like camping) so at age 50 (1999) we decided to stop moving from home to home and move the "house" instead;o)) We had a 5th wheel and truck which we payed cash for. However, 911 sent us back to work and off the road as our retirement accounts tanked. In 2010, we rekindled our interest in Full-timing when we attended an RV-Dreams rally. However, it took until 2012 to sell our home. We finally bought our current Class A and hit the road again in March 2012. Not sure how long this trip will be, but we love it.
    2. There was no convincing...we both love this lifestyle.
    3. We paid cash...debt free makes this lifestyle much more enjoyable;-))

  8. Our number one reason was the same as yours... where will we retire next. And we were both on board from the get go. Sold our house and paid cash for the RV... still loving it all...

  9. I'm way behind on blogs. I learned about full timing when Tina came into my office to ask a couple of tax questions. She mentioned living in an RV and it was almost two hours later before I let her leave. All this time her hubby was sitting out in the truck waiting for her. I went home that night and told Jim that as soon as we retired we were going to live in an RV. He asked me if we could retire tomorrow. But it was a couple of years before we could head out.

    We started out in a fifth wheel, went to a motorhome, then back to a fifth wheel. As we've gotten older we leave the rig in AZ and travel in a much smaller travel trailer. Both the fiver and tt were paid for but we just bought a new rig to leave in AZ and Alliant Credit Union owns that one.

  10. #1 We met another couple that had been RVing for about 10 years and had done it in so many countries. We were always tent campers so we never really thought about RVing because it didn't seem like camping to us. This couple explained how they did it without staying in campgrounds for the most part, so you had more privacy and it was cheaper. Our main incentive was that we both love to travel and this was a way that we could do it fairly cheaply and we had a dog at the time so she could tag along with us.

    #2 Kevin was on board right from the start but it took me a week or two to think about it and then we just decided, why not? and jumped right in! We were on the road less than 3 months later. In that time we sold the house and just about everything in it and bought a secondhand motorhome.

    It was a secondhand motorhome that didn't really cost all that much so we paid cash for it. We bought in the United States and did the paperwork to import it to Canada. we've been really lucky with it too and other than a little work we haven't put a ton of money into repairs. We still have the motorhome, almost 10 years later. It doesn't owe us a thing. We love him!

    Haven't regretted the change in our lives and we are now almost finished our 10 year. The one regret that we do have, is that we don't see our families as often but we make the effort to visit them at least twice a year.