Hi all, I am hoping to be on the road by April. I am wondering what you “old timers” would do differently if you were just starting out?
While we don’t like to “should” all over ourselves, through the four years we’ve been on the road we’ve learned that there are some things we might have done differently when starting out.
There are tons of participating RV parks, most without tight restrictions, and they cost half of what they normally would, some as little as $7 a night for full hookups!
Our first year out we spent far too much money paying full price for RV park stays. Now, I wouldn’t travel even halftime without a PA membership.
It took us two years to figure out that the services you get from Escapees can’t be beat. Our first year out we had a family member do our mail for us (they volunteered). But it was a hassle for them, and we felt the weight of obligation after we knew this sabbatical was turning into a lifestyle.
We also would have saved a ton on our residency / vehicle fees had we turned Texan sooner.
We started out knowing we would boondock, but we didn’t realize the extent of it, nor how much it could save us. Our system was adequate for a long-term vacation but not for making a living with.
We’ve slowly upgraded, but when we had the money four years ago we should’ve started out with a bigger system.
Boondocking gets us closer to our “real” camping roots as backpackers, by allowing us to get as far away from civilization as possible, without having to dig a craphole.
4. Travel without debt.
When we started out, we had not paid off our rig, even though we had the money in savings. I hated knowing that we had real bills to pay and no real income, but I didn’t want to see that pile go away.
For the first time in our lives, we truly felt the meaning of “freedom.” Living a with debt, much less fulltiming with a sporadic income and debt, is a big drag on happiness…at least to us it is.
That’s about all of the “should haves” we can think of. Remember, researching your road tripping lifestyle is key to long term success, and planning how you’ll be comfortable is critical. Don’t hit the road without doing either.