From Gary: “All in” today means leaving your traditional surroundings and doing something a little less ordinary. Sure, we could cut our hair, shave our chests, and hang out at Burning Man. But, alas, we are not those kinds of people, or are we?
Back in 2000, we met a young couple taking delivery of their sailboat at the same time we did. Two things they did that I never dreamed of – they got a small dinghy for getting to shore, and they SOLD THEIR CAR! How could they do that? Who would do that? I asked them what in the world are you doing? Simple they said, we are going all in. You don’t need a car when you live on your boat. You don’t need a house. You have a home, it floats. You have a car, an inflatable raft that will get you to shore, and within walking distance of groceries and, of course, beer. Back in 2000, I never heard of anyone doing that. Since then, it was a constant dream.
Life is simpler. Life is freer. This journal covers my thoughts on going all in.
The Psychology: We are raised to chase the “American Dream.” Go to school (get in debt), Get a job (pay off debt), Buy a house (get in debt) keep working. And so, the story goes. The community around us shapes our identity. When you sell your house, you typically have a location to move to, a new community to join. Not so when you’re all in.
Families are like gum on the bottom of your shoe. Easy to collect but hard to get rid of. You are forever stuck with your family and they are stuck with you no matter what. (lz) They care about you anywhere. And, sometimes, they follow you. Having the support of a loving family provides strength when a distant place is called home. Friends, however, are mostly location dependent. I know, I know, not me, not you. Indeed, we will keep in touch with as many as possible, but a few of you may slip through the cracks. Not your fault, most likely mine. Sorry in advance. These emails and this blog or web thing is our way of filling those cracks. If you’ve received this, you have shaped our lives and we want you with us as we travel.
Your house and community help form your identity. Your job is also a large part of who you are. But being retired seems to put that person someplace in your past. For Lillian, a connection to the local community is a huge part of her idenity. Traveling around from place to place will really upset that. Being one who doesn’t like people very much and is highly suspicious of groups, I’ll be just fine. There are plenty of RV travel groups to join, so maybe we will give one or two of them a try.
The Rig: Everyone solves the
camper problem (lz) choice differently. For the price of some RV’s, it would be more cost effective to stay at the Waldorf every night. For us, we spent a fair amount of money so we could spend the night in a Walmart parking lot (oh yes we have and will).
A popular RV choice of many folks going all in is what is known as a “Class A.” These are those busses you see. Usually towing a car or maybe a trailer with a car and a motorcycle or two. The newer ones have granite countertops, heated tile floors, residential frigs and even a washer and dryer. They can be as decadent as you can afford. And yes, the heated floors come in handy when you’re roughing it in the wilds of Montana.
Yes, you can live out of your car. We lived in our “Class B” Van for almost eight months at a time. It was twenty-two feet long, had a king size bed, galley, refrigerator, shower and toilet. What else do you need? Oh yeah! We got eighteen miles-per-gallon as we traveled eighty-five thousand miles seeing this great land. We never felt like dragging bags to a hotel. We had all you’d ever need.
Personally, I love those Super C’s! These are a truck cab attached to a camper body. The super C’s don’t just have a truck they have a freightliner. You never know, we might just upsize – again!
So why a trailer? Why an Airstream? Because, I drive a lot. I mean a lot. If you break down in a Class A or Super C, you need a truck towtruck. If you get a flat, you need a truck towtruck. You basically need help no matter how small the problem. If you do break down, and you will, you also lose your home while they fly in a mechanic from Dusseldorf. Very little can go wrong with a trailer that you can’t either fix or live without until you can. You do lose some of those high-end amenities but hey, you’re camping or at least “glamping.” The biggest reason we chose an Airstream was – windows. More windows mean you can see the world you just drove a thousand miles to see and enjoy the weather you searched for.
The Lifestyle: Of course, you can limit your travels from one Four-Star RV Resort to another Four-Star RV Resort. I must admit, the heated swimming pool and spa feel mighty good after a hard day on I-95 (or I-5, or I-anything). If you opted for a State Park you trade opulence for a more natural setting, and usually a bunch more space between rigs. If you opted for National Forest, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or Army Corps of Engineers land you also get FREE! Just like at Walmart.
The Mechanics: Some people use their rigs as a mobile condo, others just for weekending. For us and a growing number of folks, the trend to go full time is just beginning. One of the major benefits of the fulltime RV (or Boating) life is you can choose a more tax friendly State as your primary residence. We sold our house in Maryland on May 17that 12 noon. By 1 PM we were residents of South Dakota. No State Income Tax baby! Apparently, you need a State If you want a driver’s license or would like to vote. Most (like 99.9%) of fulltime RV’ers choose South Dakota, Texas, or Florida because they don’t have an income tax. States are cleaver animals. They each know how to get your money. That’s why when we buy new truck tires it will be in Montana. No Sales Tax baby!
May 24, 2019 @ 08:30 AM: The weekend prep has begun in earnest. Our campground is in the middle of Reston Va. Reston is a planned community and suburb of Washington DC. This weekend is Memorial Day weekend and for DC that means Rolling Thunder. Thousands of Vietnam War vets are here, all riding Harley Davidsons. The leather vests, long hair in a pony tail are the standard uniform. For the Buckle Bunnies, it is big hair and tight jeans. Long past their prime, but hey, roll on friends, roll on.