Blog # 1

Planning Our Fulltime Journey

The journey begins…

Mom and Dad, aka Annie and Rich, will both turn 62 during the next year. Annie especially, loves driving across the country. Rich, mostly just loves being with Annie, and me. During the last couple of years they have driven several times to Michigan to visit Rich’s step-mom. They usually take a very circuitous route; stopping to visit friends in New Mexico, their daughter in Colorado, a brother in North Carolina, and various other friends and relatives. I had to stay home on all of the trips!

A few years ago Anne’s sister and brother-in-law bought a travel trailer. After a couple of adventures they knew they enjoyed the travel, but needed something more. They settled on a 33 foot, Class C. By the end of their first year they had exhausted their warranties’ mileage limit. Now they split their time between their house and their RV. They are currently work-camping at the Grand Canyon.

Mom and Dad decided that they too, wanted to travel, and see the country. So they began looking into the fulltime lifestyle; and after lots of thought and discussion, decided to commit.

We currently live in a large home in the Phoenix area, which we share with my two sisters, Meg and Willow. Oh, also my Aunt Keri and Uncle Alex. The four humans split the expenses. The house is large enough that we don’t get in each other’s way. Well, except for my little sister Willow. She’s always hanging around me, and sniffing; constantly sniffing.

When the lease is up, we will all move. It’s possible the move could be out of Arizona. Aunt Keri has lived in Arizona her entire life, and is quite tired of Arizona summers. Annie and Rich will keep a guest room wherever Aunt Keri and Uncle Alex end up; but they have decided that it is important to fully commit to downsizing, and the fulltime lifestyle. The current plan calls for 8 to 10 years in the RV. When they reach their 70’s, they plan on that being the decade of cruising.

I’m not so keen on the cruising. Water to me, just means I’m going to get a bath. I work hard to perfect my dog scent. Finding the right aromatic “stuff” to roll around in isn’t easy. Just when I get everything smelling just right; Annie decides I need a bath. Nope, I’m not looking forward the decade of cruising.

I don’t totally understand why we don’t just buy a motorhome and go, but Mom and Dad seem to think there are important decisions to be made. Dad explained that most motorhomes, or RVs, are designed for short trips. Besides the obvious small spaces in an RV; Dad points out other issues for fulltime living. Some sinks, both in the kitchens and bathrooms are just tiny bowls. Some kitchen sinks are so small you couldn’t possibly wash a pot or pan easily. Many bathroom sinks are not really big enough to get both your hands under the faucet at the same time.

In many motorhomes there is no counter space, except when you have the “covers” on the sink and stove. If you are using both at the same time, then there is no free counter space.

My Dad is concerned about the size of the shower. Most showers are fine for a weekend trip, but if this is your only shower for the next 8 to 10 years, he wants some room. And don’t even get him started on the 6 gallon water heaters!

I hear both Mom and Dad say “the next 8 to 10 years” a lot. Everything is measured in that time frame. If the only seats are the dinette and a sofa, can we live with that for the next 8 to 10 years. Again, what works fine when you are in the motorhome for a long weekend, may not work well for the next 8 to 10 years. Dad says when you are on vacation, and doing fun stuff, anywhere can seem ideal. But when you are into your daily routine, day after day, week after week; you seldom have the time, or energy, to do those same activities. That means you do spend your time inside the RV, doing the normal, everyday, mundane things. So the layout of your motorhome needs to be thought out for everyday living.

I asked Dad if anyone makes a motorhome designed for full-timers. All he said was, “Shhh, stop barking”.

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