This is Richard and Dana. Dana and I have worked together for decades but in the past couple of years we have worked together pretty closely. In fact, through our work we have traveled together extensively and spent hours talking about camping and RV’s. Do I dare tell you that once we even allowed the car we were driving to run out of gas because we were so engrossed in conversation that we failed to notice the low fuel warning indicators!!
In our travels, we learned we had something in common: a love for RV’ing and a desire to spend some time living full time on the road in our RV’s. The only difference, Dana is retiring at the end of this year and I have several more years before I can make that transition.
The other big difference, I am already a weekend warrior where Dana and Richard had never camped, been in a campground, or spent the night in an RV. But, they were committed and excited that the next chapter of their lives included traveling the country in an RV. That determination, commitment, and passion hooked me and I found myself in love with Dana and Richard’s story. So in love, that I asked them to share a bit of them with you.
Q: What made you decide you wanted to RV?A: We planned a long trip around the USA after retirement but I didn’t want to check in and out of hotels. Actually talking to you about RVing sounded perfect for what we wanted. so we began researching for it. For over a year we read every article we could, watched every YouTube video, we have even traveled the Midwest to see different RV’s. We finally decided on a travel trailer and a new truck to start with and we brought one home the end of February 2017. We are just taking short trips currently until 2018 but we are loving it.
Q: Tell us about your journey to being an RV owner?A: We looked at every kind, brand and price. From Class A’s to Travel Trailers. In fact, when we spent many weekends looking at RV’s from Iowa, South Missouri, Kansas, and almost into Minnesota. Last summer we made our first tour of a campground and I was shocked at how crowded it was. For a moment I thought, this isn’t going to work. But, then we looked at other campgrounds and learned the difference between private and public. When we finally made our purchase, we had to wait about a month to pick it up. For that month we were lost on the weekends because we suddenly had so much free time.
Q: What has it been like owning an RV?A: We love it! We started off camping in our driveway and even those nights felt special to us. We have gone away several weekends, already spent a week in Oklahoma and another in St. Charles, Mo. We can’t believe how wonderful we feel when we are “away.” It’s truly like home without all the stuff we have to take care of. We love it so much.
Q: Have there been any surprises since you started camping? Or things you did not anticipate?A: Not really. Richard had prior experience driving big trucks with big trailers and that experience has really been a blessing. We researched and watched YouTube video’s for so long, we felt like we knew what we were getting into. That being said, there is still a lot to learn to use and maintain the RV but we are loving the adventure of doing so. I am so happy we are learning these lessons before we go full time.Q: Have there been any ah-oh moments?A: Too many. For instance, during a recent trip, we got a good laugh when we arrived at the campground and realized we left all of our groceries behind and arrived with minimal food. Thankfully we found a grocery store nearby and stocked up. Or during the same trip, when we attempted to fill the fresh water tank for the first time. I could not hear the water going anywhere and I realized we didn’t have the lever turned to “fill.”
Q: What have been your favorite moments so far?A: Sitting in our recliners on a rainy Saturday watching movies in front of the fireplace in the RV. or sitting out by the campfire watching the stars and talking. or enjoying our coffee outside in the morning. Richard purchased us a canoe and he loves to take himself or even us on a ride. The other day he found duck nest and was just as happy as can be. We bought ourselves new bicycles last fall after decades of not riding them. Just simply riding our bikes around the campground is a favorite
Q: What have been your most stressful moments so far?A: Just this morning we had to pack up and hook up in the pouring rain. If we had been retired, we would have just stayed but I had to get back to work.
Q: Any advice you would share with others who are considering purchasing an RV? Or advice you wish you could give your younger selves?A: My advice for others is to research, research, research. Ask, ask, ask. Watch the million video’s on YouTube. Join an RV website and read what others are saying. My advice to my younger self: don’t wait so long to start!