The Long Roll
#rollingandwriting has been on the road for two years in this very rig. Where have we been and what have we done? We'll take a look back and see.
As we put two new stickers on our map this month I took a moment to look back at where we came from, where we've been, and what comes next. #rollingandwriting has been an interesting adventure but like anything, it is always subject to change.
The every-day-hero and I set out in July of 2018 to see our own country. After nearly fourteen years of living overseas, we wanted to see our homeland and the wonders it had to share.
With our son in college and living in another town and a perfect opportunity to sell up and move out the hero and I prepared our little travel trailer for the road. It was a nice trailer and a great truck, but we discovered by December of that year that the way we traveled with ur twenty-one-foot trailer was not good enough for full time. In reality, when we bought that rig we had no intention of going full time. The original plan was to use the rig for holidays, summers, and long weekends. Since we were teachers it seemed like the perfect way to ease into the full-time RV life.
What happened to that plan you ask? Life. The school where I was working had to downsize for the next year and instead of having younger teachers with fewer years in the system than me have to move on, I decided it was the perfect time to go. Since the Hero was still subbing at that time and the house was up for sale, he agreed and by July we were on the road.
Our little rig was comfortable but pretty small, and though it served us well we knew that we wanted to make a change. We loved life on the road and wanted to extend it as long as possible so the hero started doing his homework as we worked our way through the southwest toward Texas and the home of Foretravel motorhomes. We didn't know exactly what we wanted, or how it would work out but we knew that since we moved every week or two we wanted something easy to move out and be on the road. By Thanksgiving that year we were in Texas visiting family but not before stopping to check out used motor homes at Motor Homes of Texas in Nacogdoches. I love the name of that town. We fell in love with a coach right away
but by the time we got into the office, it was sold. We determined to head southeast to Corpus Christi to visit family and then would loop back to see what else might be around.
Just the fact that we could roll into a family member's driveway and hang out for a week over the holiday was another bonus for the RV life and helped us confirm that we wanted to keep on #rollingandwriting. After Thanksgiving, we rolled into MOT again and found our new home. They say timing is everything and in this case it was. There were two coaches that had just arrived the night before and I knew almost immediately which one I liked best. To be honest I was hoping for something a little smaller but our current rig passed the hero's inspection and my 'feels like home' test so we negotiated and bought our big white rig.
In December we will have been living full time in this RV for two years. This picture is in Florida after we booked it home to spend Christmas with our boy. This brings me back to the map at the top of the page. We have a general rule for when we put a sticker on the map and except for one instance, we have stuck to it. Our rule is simple you have to stay the night in that state. You can see there is a bit of a gap between Texas and Florida since we drove straight through Lousiana.
I can't say that we haven't made plenty of mistakes on the road. We've had moments where we got on the wrong road and had to turn the whole rig around. I'll say that unhooking the Jeep and then turning the RV is much easier than it ever was to back the trailer out of a tight spot. We've had scary moments trying to squeeze through road work and we've had to drive straight through thirty hours down I-80 to get home when my mom was sick.
Still, we have loved the change.
So why the switch from a trailer to a motor home? You never know how you like to roll until you get out there and do it. One of the things I like about the big rig is that if we stop for the night in a parking lot or rest area you can pretty much stop, level it out, and turn the key. You are home without having to go outside.
Another thing I like about this change is that if when we are boondocking or headed for dispersed camping areas on rougher roads we can park the rig
and take the Jeep out to find the spot we want to stay in. All of this is especially nice on a rainy night when you pull in late.
There are some downsides to a big RV like ours. Mostly, it's big. Also with a huge diesel engine, any repairs can be very expensive. Surprisingly gas mileage isn't a big deal. It comes out about the same as what we got with the truck and trailer.
Overall, having the bigger RV and a motor home that handles well, a signature of older Foretravels, has been good.
There is enough room for both of us to work in. The space has good separation between living space, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. The first year out with this rig we traveled to many places. Again just look at the map. We've had times when we really put the big engine through
its paces, like the aforementioned thirty-hour drive and of course our trip through Canada to Alaska. The great thing is no matter where we go we sleep in our own bed and the views can be amazing. Additionally, you have a lot more storage which is vital when you are out and away from towns for extended days.
There is just a measure of comfort knowing you have a little more room and weight carrying capacity to me. I can keep extra blankets, linens, and towels for those long stays without hookups. For Christmas, I might even need this new blanket to keep me cozy and warm. It even looks like the cover of Red Truck Rendezvous.
So what could make us change this comfy ride? I'm not saying we plan to do that but the way you roll makes a big difference in what rig is best for you. This year the way we do our #rollingandwriting has changed. We have sat still for much more of 2020 than we expected.
First, we spent the winter in Florida with our kiddo and family. In March we rolled home to my mom's place in Pennsylvania when she had to have her pacemaker put in and stayed put throughout the first few months of the crazy Corona.
The hero taking a job in Yellowstone also made a big change for us as we parked the rig and lived in the nation's first national park for close to four months. Big rigs like our RV are meant to travel. Engines are meant to run and get you someplace. parking for long spells is not the best for an engine designed to trot.
If we are able to return to Yellowstone next season this is something we might need to consider in how we live. There are many questions to consider about how we will continue to roll.
Another consideration is how we pay for our #rollingandwriting. The every-day-hero taking jobs like the one in
Yellowstone and working for the park and the Amazon Camper Force job in Tennessee will help to keep us rolling but also slow our roll. So will there be a new rig in the future or maybe changes to the one we have? We knew when we bought this RV that we were not crazy about the booth dining area and would rather have a desk. We also said we would keep the carpet for a couple of years then decide if we would put in a new floor. I rather like this. Just like any home updates need to happen.
At the moment we just don't know exactly what comes next. The one thing we are sure of is that I'll keep writing new books as I have been. The slower process of moving and staying in various places has given me time to plan and organize more which we hope will bring more consistency in both writing and selling books.
Whatever comes next we know books will be a big part of it so stay tuned and maybe one day we'll see you on the road.
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