Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Roadrunner Reflections: Three Years and Going Strong

Believe it or not, we have been full-timing over three years as of last week.  Seems like a long long time ago since we left our big house and yard and neighborhood in Fairfax, Virginia.  We have been here in Virginia Beach for almost a month.  Interestingly, we actually bought our 2007 Allegro Bus from a private owner who lives about five miles from here...

Regarding how we feel about this lifestyle--in a few words, I'd say its been great and we can't think of anything we'd rather be doing.

There are quite a few things we like about this lifestyle:

Being together.  Pam is easy to be with and we have grown together through interesting times over the three years.  Some good, some hard.  All interesting.

Freedom.  We know what retirement feels like (although I work a few hours each month for pay…) and for us, it works well.  We are content to be able to chose to stay in an area to enjoy, volunteer, or to learn about the surroundings.  We love having the freedom to go or stay…and sleep in our own bed every night.

Adventure.  No doubt about it.  We like seeing new things, learning about different places and putting more of our nation's history into context.

Fitness.  Over the last three years we have adjusted to a routine where we can get enough exercise to feel better.   We also have enjoyed times of discipline to manage our eating and get it into some form of balance.

Old friends and family.  This lifestyle affords us the opportunity of seeing more friends and family in the last three years than we have connected with in the last 20.  It has been great and we have a renewed appreciation and fondness for our family and heritage.

Reading.  We both like to read but we have read a lot more than we thought we would.  I am in the middle of finishing, Killing Lincoln, by Bill O'Reilly with Martin Dugard.  Pam just finished reading, To the Last Man, by Jeff Shaara.

History.  From traipsing around the gravestones and homestead of my mother's relatives in Colfax, Washington to walking through Hemingway's House in Key West, we have seen some interesting and fun places this last year.

Surprises.  We really love Florida.  And Montana.  And Virginia Beach.  After spending the winter in Florida this last year we are ready to go back next year.  And we know it will never be like it was this year but

Has it gone according to plan?  For the most part I'd say so.  But not always.  Some of the items we have learned to deal with:

- Medical.  No doubt about it, our medical has cost us more dollars than if we had stayed put in our old house and been going to our old doctors.

- RV repairs.  Again, the simple fact is we way under estimated how much we would spend on repairs, upgrades and general maintenance on our RV.

- Spending more money than we would like.  We like being frugal and not spending a lot of money.  Having said that, we have not gone into debt over the last three years and we feel much more confident about our future on the road and how much it will cost.

But then on the other hand, we have had some unexpected plusses:
- Making new friends.  That has really been a source of enjoyment and satisfaction.  After three years, we have met many, many new friends who have become good friends.  That has been nice.

- Working more online and making enough money to live comfortably.  Another big surprise is that somehow, by God's grace, I have been able to work a little more online (25-35 hours a month?) which have really helped out financially.  It also gives us a good feeling that we are not only living off retirement and savings which is nice.  The time may come when we have to workamp or something, but in the foreseeable future, that is not necessary and we are most thankful.

What does the future hold?
Who knows?  But our faith and knowledge of being on the road for the last three years has taught us that we can do this and that we probably will be able to deal with whatever comes along.  A lot has happened.  And we have seen a lot.  And we feel really really blessed to be doing this and look forward to what comes our way.

For now -- we are planning a couple of weeks up in Washington DC before we head for the Northeast and Maine.

So-- Yes! We still love this and doing this and hope to continue for as long as we can.  We love the RV lifestyle after three years and are looking forward to the next three.

Until next time, thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. Whew! It sure is good to read YOUR blog! So many of them lately are fulltimers getting off the road and settling down again. We are chomping at the bit to just GET OUT THERE and start fulltiming!

    Glad there will still be "someone" out there to travel with! LOL

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I definitely agree with two items - the full-time lifestyle is doable. Adjustments have to be made but it isn't that difficult. The motor home maintenace expenses have been so much higher than we anticipated. But, if we had known that ahead of time, we might have changed our mind and never had the adventures. I wish we didn't spend so much money on a monthly basis, but we have certainly been enjoying the lifestyle. Wishing you another happy 3 years.

  3. This was a wonderful post. And I found myself agreeing with almost everything. We are into our 4th year on the road and have no desire to be settling down until health issues determine otherwise. Expenses on the RV - definitely more than you plan for. But we're still doing okay living on our retirement. Thanks for the post.

  4. Great blog...I would still like to get on the road for a year at least, but Dennis is not in my boat with that one..

  5. congrats on making it to three years..I am sure that the time has just flown by!..Cheers to many more safe and happy travel miles!!

  6. Great post and assessement of the fulltiming lifestyle. Happy Anniversary! We have enjoyed reading about your journey. Time sure does fly.

  7. Three years on the road -- here's hoping for many more in good health. Thanks for sharing your thoughts; very helpful for those of us hoping to embark on this lifestyle soon :-))

  8. Very nice post. Hope the next 3 years bring you much adventure and joy!

  9. Nice post. Guess when we get to this age its nice to be 'free' an many ways. We are shooting for next spring, if not completely full time (depends on house) than at least 50%.

  10. Very nice post. Agree with so much of what you mention. We have been full-timing almost 2 years now and love it.

    Hope to see you out there sometime.

    Bob & Connie Sims

  11. As usual, an informative and entertaining post...congratulations on your anniversary.

  12. Thanks for letting Sherri and I travel with you. We have really enjoyed reading about all the cool places you have been too. We will be heading out in February next year and maybe our paths will cross...

    Somewhere in Time

  13. Good possitive assessment. After 6 months, seems like yesterday, we are having the time of our life. We can only imagine what it will be like after 3 more years.

  14. We have been very lucky at not having RV repairs except for minor stuff hit our budget for two years, knock on wood! It's great to hear about people who still plan on staying out there, like Karen said. We all are truly blessed that can do this and we agree with your assessments about all the great blessings this lifestyle brings to full and part timers. Carry on, guys! See you on the road someday, hopefully!

  15. Happy to hear you are still doing well and still enjoy the full time life style. We met on the beach in Camp Pendleton Ca on your 1st year. I was in the Lodge in Key West when you were there, but never went by and said hello. We spent most of the winter in Cocoa Beach and went to Patric AFB at least once a week, but never met up with you to say hi. We left Maine yesterday and now are in Fundy National Park Canada. Someday I will buy you lunch, if we ever cross paths again.
    Good luck and best wishes for another great RV year.

  16. Where did ya'll live in Fairfax. Connie and I live in the Mosby Woods subdivision right near Fairfax High School of of US-50 and have been here since 1988. We pick up our new New Horizons 5ver next month, the house is almost sold, and we'll be hitting the road in July.

  17. It is good to read your blog and congratulations on your 3 year anniversary. Time flies it seems like yesterday we were having lunch with you in Albuquerque. We are starting our fifth year on the road fulltiming and love the lifestyle. We will be volunteering on a church build in Caribou Me this summer. If you make it that far north stop by and see us. We may be spending time in Fl. this next winter also. Wishing y'all the best.