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full time rv living

Thanks for stopping by our Full Time RV Living website!  We hope you find the many pages and posts helpful as you investigate your decision to join us!  Please “Like” this page if you found my website helpful.

Full Time RV Living

 

full time rv living

Pam and I started RVing when we got bored with the more traditional vacations, and that was back in 2002.  It had been a dream of ours that when we reached retirement, we would travel the country in an RV.  We always loved hitting the road in any vehicle and thought an RV would be awesome because you would always have a clean bathroom, kitchen, and bed.  You basically could have everything you need with you at all times. We figured what could be better than the Full Time RV Living Lifestyle!

We did not care so much about fuel costs because the other vacations we took were the same if not more expensive than our RV trips.  So, one year we finally decided, “let’s give it a try!”  We had been looking at RV’s for years and dreaming about traveling in one – that was about 29 years ago.   So, we rented our first Class A gas RV and took it on a 3,500-mile trip to visit family, as well as other spots we had not visited.

full time rv living

The First RV Trip in a Rental

We were out three weeks and fell in love with the thing!  It was everything we had dreamed it would be!  I was fascinated how all the RV systems worked so well, how comfortable it was, and easy to drive too!  I came home after that trip and said, “if we don’t have one of these in five years, let’s sell the house and get one to live in full time!”  Well, Pam said, “hold on there big fella!  You want to sell our dream home?”

We are not retirement age, and we wanted to get out on the road while we were still young and healthy enough to enjoy everything that you can do when you can travel around the country.

Most of the full-timers we meet are older, and it appears they can’t enjoy their RV adventure as well as if they had started the lifestyle twenty years earlier.  We have had many of our fellow RVers admit that to us.  We did not want to wait till retirement, and we are so glad we did not put it off and just stepped out in faith!

We have folks at RV parks tell us that we are young to be out doing this kind of thing.  What they don’t realize is two things: first, we are not retired and second is we run a business out of our RV home to fund our travels.

We have some great friends and business associates that shared with us years ago that if you are going to live the lifestyle, find a way to be able to subsidize your activities.  There is only one way for a full time RVer to do that!

So, back to our beginnings that I was describing a little earlier.  After six more trips in even bigger and better RV’s than on our first trip out, we had the house sold, and we purchased our RV.  We were now full time RVers!

We have logged over 100,000 miles in both rented and owned RVs.  We found RV rental was an excellent way to try before you buy.  If you are unsure whether you want a towable RV or a bus style RV, this is a great way to get a feel for both.

We have been enjoying full time RV living since 2008 and we have no plans to go back to the “sticks and bricks” dwelling!  Oh, and by the way, the five-year decision to sell the home took seven.  But that’s okay.  “A dream is a dream until spoken words become reality.”

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We now run our national RV inspection corporation from the comfort of our RV home! Running a business from an RV is the best way to take advantage of all the tax benefits available to us.  We went from full time RVers to full time RVers who also own a great RV inspection business!  We are blessed!!

rv inspections

Our Previous 2005 and 2006 Home on Wheels


We hope our website will help you in your journey towards the RV lifestyle, or if you are lucky enough to be able to, the full time RV living lifestyle! Enjoy the journey!

Please check back with us on a regular basis!  Please feel free to leave comments and ask questions about the lifestyle!  If you have purchased a used RV and want to share your experiences with others, please visit my Used RV Purchase Experiences Facebook page and join the group.  Perhaps you can help someone else find a good RV dealer for their full time RV purchase!

full time rv living

Our Current RV Home

Blessings,

Howard & Pam
Co-Owners of Your Full Time RV Living and
HMRVI Corporation
howard@yourfulltimervliving.com

Please feel free to leave comments so I can answer any questions you may have!


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rv inspections

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44 comments

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  1. Trish

    Love it! I have been thinking about the RV lifestyle for years. looks great and I will be back to your site to get more information when I get closer to RV’ing!!! thanks.

    1. admin

      Thanks for the input Trish! Let me know if we can help!!

  2. Latonia

    Great, site I love it.You have nice pictures of you and your wife.I think you will be very successful with this one.

    1. admin

      Thanks Latonia!

  3. Dennis and Sheryl

    Hi, Guys! Wonderful blog!!! My wife and I have opened EVERY topic…..quite an education. We plan to have our home on the market by June 1, and hopefully sooner. We will be full-timers after selling. Just a few questions we hope you can help us with:
    1. Your RV hauler: We’re interested in a MDT like yours, either a Freightliner or Volvo and either an extended cab or crew cab. We have looked at Mountain Masters in Phoenix, but our options on places selling MDT’s appear very limited. Do you have dealers/customizers or sites you can refer us to? We need to look at pre-owned. What should be our budget range for a dependable MDT?
    2. Clothing: We know we need to downsize our closets also. Any suggestions on essential clothing and brands for us to look at?
    We appreciate your time in advance! I’m sure we’ll have more questions soon. Hope our paths cross soon!
    Soon-to-be-vagabonds, Dennis and Sheryl Eastridge

    1. Howard

      Hi Dennis and Sheryl!

      Thanks for stopping by our website! We are glad it helped you out as you look toward starting the lifestyle.

      Freightliner Sportchassis (actually made by Freightliner) can run you $60k and up depending on who is selling it and the model year. 2005 was the first year of the newer body style. Before that it was the FL60 and FL70. You can get those cheaper, but I did not like the look of them as much. There are companies like the one you found that buy the Freightliner chassis and do the conversion themselves. The Sportchassis made in Clinton, OK by Freightliner is the nicest of the MDT trucks. Do a Google search for Freightliner Sportchassis and you will find dealers across the country who have them for resale.

      The Volvo HDT is a big step unless you have been a trucker and are comfortable with that size rig. We have had friends who have them and you do limit yourself to the parks you stay in because of their size. The only reason to have one is if you are pulling a heavy 5th wheel that is in excess of 32k pounds. The Sportchassis will handle a 5800 pound pin weight on the air hitch with a 32k max trailer weight. That’s more than enough for today’s 5th wheels! Yiu can get the used HDT’s cheap and convert them but seek the experience of someone who has done that. There are HDT groups that you can find on the Escapees forums. Here’s a website you may find interesting: http://www.jackdanmayer.com/

      As far as clothing, we love Columbia Sportswear because it is lightweight for summer, easy to wash, dries fast and packs nicely. If you are in colder climates their winter wear is excellent too. Have lighter jackets you can layer, some long sleeve, some short sleeve, pants that have zip-off bottoms that can then be both long pants or shorts. The new technology clothing allows for easy folding, less wrinkling, no ironing, and overall comfort. Most fivers have plenty of closet and drawer storage so you will find that having what you want aboard fairly easy. Be sure to get a washer and dryer to save yourself from the headaches of the weekly laundry chore. If you are looking at an MDT then I am assuming you are looking at a 40’+ 5th wheel.

      Enjoy the journey and thanks for stopping by!

  4. john

    Howard,
    Just curious why you decided to sell the 5th wheel and move into a motor coach? Was it easy of mobility?
    John

    1. Howard

      Hi John!

      Thanks for stopping by our website! Yes, the 5th wheel and truck were awesome for the six years we had it, for extended stays while full time RVing. But, when it came time to move it around it took more time and planning then we now want to spend when it comes to travel plans. We are moving around quite a bit with teaching advanced RV Inspection classes for the NRVIA and we just needed things to be easier, and smaller. I never thought I would say that as our last home was 3,800SF! Now, instead of spending a day or more to get ready, we can be out in under an hour. And we can fit in any park we choose to visit!

  5. David Swanson

    Hi John:

    Just discovered your site. My wife and I have been Full Timing since 2006, wintering in Arizona and spending summers in Devon Alberta Canada while traveling for 2 months of the year. I find your articles and information right on. Thanks.

    Davud

    1. Howard

      Thanks David! So glad to hear you are enjoying your full time RV lifestyle! Thanks for stopping by our site!

  6. David Swanson

    Sorry Howard, I called you John. Love your site.

    David Swanson

    1. Howard

      No problem! Thanks for stopping by our site!!

  7. Nancy and Ray LaBelle

    We are not retired but have had our 36 ft. Georgie Boy class A since 2005 and are frustrated travelers! We were hoping to travel more and eventually go fulltime. Years ago we opted to do some cruising and Europe traveling that put us in credit card debt by choice. Long story short, we are taking the plunge, selling the house, paying off all our debt and living in a nearby RV park. It actually brings one of us closer to work! Downside is having to walk 4 dogs instead of a fenced back yard and using a laundry mat. We have found a nearby storage facility. As we get the house ready for sale we are planning a yard sale. Eventually we will relocate to Florida so we are storing some appliances and seasonal clothes. We have never towed so just had a mud flap installed and a trailer ordered. We may be at the park up to a year and hope to take some trips during that time. Can you think of anything we have forgotten? I think our 3 adult kids think we are crazy. We are 66 and tired of waiting! Exciting and scary too.

    1. Howard

      Hi, Nancy and Ray!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your journey towards your full time RV lifestyle!

      Selling all and eliminating the debt is never a bad thing! It sounds like you have done your research. Pam and I did a similar thing with our big expensive house but we decided to only keep that which we could travel with. We have talked to others who store items but never use them and eventually wind up selling them. If in six months you don’t see the need to have those stored items you can always sell / donate them and move on.

      We always found we wanted everything with us that we need. We are in our eighth year of full time living and we still get rid of stuff we don’t use. We make it a point to go through the RV and trailer to look for things to discard. After all, it’s all weight that we have to carry.

      Best wishes on your journey! Stop by and let us know how you are getting along with your new RV life!

  8. joe and nancy

    hi john my wife and i are planning to travel ,six monthh of the year.never been west. will be back on east coast for spring summer and fall. not selling house . will be able to stay in a portion of it when we are home . but we plan on alot of side trips with the grand chlldren when home. both of us a starting to have health some problems,so its now or never. we don,t have much money to buy the rv. 10 or 15 thousand. can,t decide between a or c class.also need to make some income from the internet . any advice would be greatly appreciated . as to comfort difference we owned a c for 8 yrs. when kids were little
    . but this is different .

    1. Howard

      Thanks for stopping by our website Joe and Nancy!

      Search carefully for an RV in that price range. You may find a class A or C in that range. Be sure to get it inspected so you don’t wind up buying a money pit!

      As far as income from the internet, that is something that will take time! There are a lot of scams out there. Please don’t get involved with one of those. The only people who create real income online are the ones offering a tangible service or product through a credible website. It can be done but it can take years for an online business to create an income that one can live off of.

      Best wishes!!

  9. Nicole

    Hi Howard, thank you for the wealth of information. I have not had a chance to go through all of the content here so forgive me if this is mentioned elsewhere. I am working toward my full time journey and have set my departure date one year from now. I have been researching the lifestyle for a few years now and up until recently I was set on purchasing a motorhome for this lifestyle, recently though something has changed and I have really been heavily considering starting out with a fifth wheel and truck instead. Many reasons, but primarily because I do not want to be in debt on the road and this seems to be a cheaper route for what my budget consists of. My question is most likely redundant but I cannot seem to understand how to figure out what the right tow vehicle would be for a fifth wheel, I know it depends on the weight but how do you figure it out? I have read so many articles about this but it is so confusing to me. I’m looking at a 1999 sunnybrook 27′. dry weight is around 7500 and GVWR is around 9600, I need the exact numbers but that is ball park. I have also read that any fifth wheel should be towed by a 3500 or dually. If you have any insight that would be greatly appreciated, I just want to be safe out there!
    Best,
    Nicole

    1. Howard

      Hi, Nicole!

      Thanks for stopping by our website! Looking to start the full time RV lifestyle is exciting and at the same time requires lots of research! We have had friends that went in with great expectations but were saddened to learn that the reality was it was not what they expected. So, the research phase that you are spending time doing is a great way to assure success on the road while full timing!

      In regards to your truck question, there are many opinions on this subject but just one fact! You should never exceed the tow vehicles rated GCWR, GAWR, and GVWR! If you are within those numbers and you have adequate and working breaks on the trailer, you should be okay.

      That being said, in my opinion, buy as much truck as you can afford. You may upgrade your trailer in the future and it would suck to have to buy another truck. Also, I feel the truck should at least weigh more than half of the trailer’s weight. We had a 40′ Newmar that weighed 20k pounds loaded. We pulled it with an MDT that weighed 12k lbs.

      The truth is you can pull anything. A Toyota Tundra can drag a space shuttle. Does that mean the vehicle will last very long? Overloading creates excessive wear on engines, drivetrain, suspension, tires, etc.

      Do you need a dually to pull 10k pounds? The truck salesman would say no. Could a 3500 do the job? Sure! 9,600 pounds is not a lot these days when it comes to 5th wheels. But, that 1999 will not last forever and most 5th wheels being made these days seem to be bigger and heavier. So, think ahead, continue to research, and go from there.

      If you can get on the escapees website they have some great articles under RV Safety that may be of interest to you!
      https://www.escapees.com/articles-and-blogs/categories/listings/rv-safety

      Good Luck Nicole and enjoy the journey to your new lifestyle!

  10. Bob

    Hello, we currently own a 2016 32ft travel trailer and we’re shopping for an upgrade of a 5th wheel. I owned 09′ Ford F-150 when we purchased the TT and January of the this year I upgraded to an 2016 Ford F-250 6.7 diesel crewcab 4×4 with a 6.75ft bed. We’re not interested in a toy hauler 5th wheel but we want good quality one for full time living. Are they’re any manfactures you recommend and should I be concerned because of my tow vehicle?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Bob!

      Thanks for stopping by our website!

      What is the maximum load you can place in the bed of your pickup and what is the maximum weight trailer you can pull?

      1. Bob

        The Ford site is showing the specs for towing is 15,100lbs and the payload is 3100lbs.

        1. Howard

          Hi, Bob!

          Most of the 5th wheels I am familiar with that I would believe would be good for full time RV living are in the 16k+ range with at least a pin weight of 3k lbs or more. At least you are aware of those numbers, and as you look around you can match what you have with the RV that will not exceed those values.

  11. Lise

    Hello! Thank you for all the help you offer! Where exactly does one do RV inspection work while full timing?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Lise!

      Thanks for visiting our website! When full time RV living, RV inspections can be done anywhere one is located. It just takes marketing yourself through multiple sources: social media, a website, face-to-face contact, magnetic vehicle signs, referrals from the NRVIA website, etc.

  12. Niels Willemse

    After a quick peek, i think it is interesting to become a rv inspector and driving around helping newbees (and older bees) with the purchase of an rv. Because born and raise in Europe(the Netherlands) it is my dream to become a full time rv person. But the questions that will raise are how to make money and what is a good rv. I’ve been a fan of rv’s sonce a year and have several brochures of different types of rv’s. In the beginning my mind as set for a A or C class but not a 5th wheel. Later that year, wich is somewhere in december, my mind was completely changed. And now, i don’t care, as long as it an rv. I met a American woman and we have talked about full time rving and going on the road for a couole of weeks is okay but not full time. I can live with that but the money for even a ticket is a problem. And the costs of living in the States are about $ 20,000.-, at least what i’ve heard.

    In the mean time i will do some research at this website, to see if i can find some interesting things. I have your email adress added to my favourite in case i have some personal questions.

    Thank yoy from the Netherlands,

    Niels

    In the mean time i will

    1. Howard

      Greetings Niels!

      Thanks for stopping by our website! We are glad to see we can have an impact in other countries besides the United States!

      Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

  13. James Scott

    Howard,

    Great info on your site. Just curious though, in one of your articles you state a 5er is the best way go for fulltime (your opinion), but your current setup is not a 5er. Could you shed some light on this?

    1. Howard

      Hi, James!

      Thanks for visiting our website and checking in!

      We have been out full timing now for nine years. We started our journey in a 5th wheel and our full-timing experience involved staying in areas for three to six months. Therefore the RV did not move that much each year. For this type of full time experience, a 5th wheel is great! (Our opinion) I have stated that several times in our articles about the benefits of towable’s and motorized RV’s.

      When moving around a lot, for us, the 5th wheel was too much work to get parked, setup, and broken down. It also did not do well when boondocking in multiple environments. Plus, at almost sixty-five feet in length when hooked up, it was just too big to go where we wanted to.

      We just visited friends in Colorado Springs, CO and stayed in a rustic campground that is typical for the area. When coming into the park it took a 180-degree sharp turn and up a hill to get to the RV sites. It was tough for me to make it with the class C and trailer. I could not imagine the 5th wheel we had and trying to negotiate that. I would have had to stay somewhere else and miss out on parking next to our friends and spending an evening catching up while enjoying our RV too!

      They have a 42 foot Redwood pulled by a Dodge 3500 dually. They have had it for a year and a half. They admitted to us that it is too big and they are looking to downsize for similar reasons that we did. They find it difficult to drive the rig and they can’t get to places that they now want to visit. (Their opinion)

      Full-timers will find that as they evolve in their full-timing experience, their needs will change based on things they could never have known when starting out and choosing that first RV. It’s a natural process I think we all must realize will occur. We did the best we could when we started out based on how we thought we would live the full time RV lifestyle.

      We never dreamed we would be running another business out of our full time RV home. That certainly changed our needs as far as the RV was concerned!

      Since our current lifestyle involves lots of travel, our class C RV has suited our current full time RV lifestyle much better! As I write this post, we are parked in a smaller Cracker Barrel parking lot while traveling through Colorado. It’s smaller size and drivability makes it easy to do these sorts of things.

      I am confident another full time RV home is in our future! What will it be? Stay tuned! I can tell you it will be a motorized unit and also a class C.

      So, I hope that helps clarify our opinion on this subject James! Please feel free to comment back if needed.

  14. Chris

    Hi Howard,

    I’ve created a problem with an inverter installation and I have no idea where I went wrong. I purchased a Magnum MS2812 inverter/charger and installed a 675 AH battery bank (6 x T105 Trojan batteries). I wired it in per the directions with a 400 Amp fuse on the Positive lead from the batteries and I put in a BMK battery monitor. I added a 30 amp fuse to the main panel in the fifth wheel and ran the power from that to the inverter. I have the AC output from the inverter running to a small sub panel in which I’ve installed four breakers to power the AC outlets (including the GFI outlets), the microwave, and the fridge. When connected to shore power, with the inverter off, everything works fine through the sub panel. If I try to run the inverter (no shore power connected) I run into real problems. Within seconds of trying to run the microwave the DC-powered lights dim and I trip a fault in the inverter. The second issue is that the battery bank is draining when I drive with the inverter turned off. I’ve triple checked everything and can’t figure out where I went wrong.

    Chris

    1. Howard

      Hi, Chris!

      Nice little project you have taken on!

      First off, with the batteries fully charged, what voltage are you generating from the bank of six batteries? What size wire did you use from the batteries to the inverter as well as between the batteries? Starting with the basics to see where you are at.

      Is this an inverter replacement, upgrade, or new installation? What kind of RV?

      Also, did you check the troubleshooting recommendations on page 53 of the Owner’s Manual?

      1. Chris

        Hi Howard, I used heavy 2 gauge battery cables between the batteries and inverter and I have the inverter as close to the batteries as possible so the run is less than 3 feet. The batteries read 12.5 vols on my multi-meter and the BMK says it’s 13.5 to 14.2 depending on when I check it. Part of the problem seems to be that the batteries are constantly being drawn down so they never hit full charge.

        This is a new installation on a 2016 Forest River Wildcat 5th Wheel model 337FB. It had a converter installed and I completely removed that from the trailer to avoid any issues.

        I actually spoke to Magnum technical support since posting this and they’re scratching their heads as well. They found a discrepancy on the ARC50 panel in which the float charge is 13.3v + 12 A but the BMK DC Amp is 35.6 ADC. What does that mean?…not a clue but apparently its abnormal. All they could suggest is that I take it to an authorized shop.

        1. Howard

          Greetings Chris!

          Thanks for the additional info!

          The BMK says the Magnum Inverter/Converter is charging the batteries, but it seems by your VOM reading that they are not, which would lead to a problem when you try to use the inverter under load with the microwave.

          I would say an authorized service center may be a good idea. If they can get their hands on it then they can test the unit to see if it is okay.

          Best of luck!!

  15. Krystal Patterson

    Hi! I have enjoyed your blog and traveling…RVing. But for me I still have to make some money now and then.
    How do you go about making some money. I am a massage therapist and also have done home care. I am licensed in 2 states. I have tried different avenues but I always bumped against a wall. Any ideas would be helpful.
    Happy trails!

    1. Howard

      Hi, Krystal!

      Thanks for visiting our website! We are glad you have enjoyed the information we have shared as full timers for 9 years and counting.

      For us, making money on the road involves running multiple streams of income through our S Corporation. I offer clients services: RV inspections, fluid analysis, RV walk-throughs, lifestyle seminars, and teaching.

      What do you want to achieve with your RVing lifestyle? Do you want to be on the road full time? Can you only do what you do in two states? Are those the states you want to full time RV in?

  16. Ann Marie

    Hi My 2 sliders with not slid or even make a noise. I keep hearing about a battery but have no idea if I have one in my rv. I have a 2011 fairmont serenity model It has not moved since it was delivered to my lot in a rv park they worked and all of a sudden stopped.
    Any ideas will help

    1. Howard

      Hi, Ann Marie!

      Chances are you have a battery given you have slideouts, and my guess is that if it is six years old and not maintained, it needs replacement. If you are not knowledgeable about these things, I would seek the services of a qualified RV technician. You may have issues with both the batteries and/or your converter.

  17. Pam

    hi
    I am looking at a 2007 Four Winds 5000, do you do inspections in eastern pennsylvania?

    1. Howard

      Hi, Pam!

      Thanks for stopping by our website! Where is the RV located? Is it at a dealership or private sale? What City?

  18. Toni-Ann Mistretta

    Hi! Thanks for this site! We are planning full time living in RV. Been researching/ shopping for around 6 months. Just looking into financing and most won’t finance if you are planning on FT living. Also teething to figure out abbrev. in some of the ads. Is there an RV Glossary? Thanks!

    1. Howard

      Thanks for stopping by our website ToniAnn!

      Yes, we RVers do have our own set of terms that tend to leave people wondering what we are talking about. Unfortunately, I don’t know of anything that has been written on the subject.

      As far as financing for full time RVers, we have heard the same that not all RV finance companies will support full-timers. You can check with Alliant Credit Union to see if they still are doing so.

  19. Emily S.

    Howard and Pam,

    I enjoyed listening to your video. My husband and I have thought about owning a RV, but waiting until the kids are older. Your website is nicely put together. I like that you included photos and posts with your corgi. I am currently working with Wealthy Affiliate (https://yourfulltimervliving.com/websitetrainingsupport) to create and get my website going too. I wish you all the best!

    1. Howard

      Hi Emily!

      Thanks for stopping by! Best wishes as you develop your website and possibly the freedom to venture out in your own home on wheels!

  20. Ray Blee

    Love your story. Truly a great lifestyle.

    1. Howard

      Thanks for stopping by our website Ray!

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