They Sold Everything 4 Years Ago To Live In Their RV Full-Time: Justin & Stacy Share What RV-Living Is Really Like
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17th Jun | 7 min read
“For full-time living just don’t expect this to be a vacation. We don’t sit outside at a campfire every night drinking wine and playing the guitar” 

After retiring from the US Navy Seabees in 2010,  Justin and his wife Stacy settled in PA after buying their dream home. When their youngest went off to college in another state, they started to look into their next chapter. They were working so hard for a home they had no time to spend in. So the couple took a leap of faith, sold their home, and all the stuff inside, and moved into their RV. That was almost 4 years ago, and there have been no regrets. Stacy and Justin travel about 30,000 miles a year, exploring the beautiful and amazing parts of the United States. Be sure to visit their website, Opting Out Of Normal, and follow them on Instagram for more of their adventures! 

Inspiration Behind Full-Time RV Life

We were still in our 40’s when we became empty-nesters. There has to be more to life than working mentally and physically exhausting jobs to keep up a home that we never got to spend any time in. We made a plan to sell the home and everything in it. We gave ourselves 2 years. We handed the keys over to the new owners 9 months later. Determination and a few tears got us there! 

We live and travel full-time in our RV. We are coming up on our 4-year nomadiversary. We have no plans of stopping, but life is about chapters. Tomorrow is never promised, and we don’t know what our next chapter will look like. We know one thing, and that is we will never buy normal sticks and bricks house again. We love tiny, simple living. 

Our RV Purchasing Decisions & Tips For Newbies

We have a 2016 Grand Design Solitude. We purchased it in PA after a year of research and saving. I don’t think there is only one source for finding your perfect RV. New or used, there are so many options. We decided on our Grand Design after researching the warrantee and the customer service of the manufacturer. We have been very happy with our decision. Not all warranties cover an RV that is being lived in full time. So read your paperwork! Also, purchase at the end of the season. Our 2016 was purchased in October of 2016 when they were trying to get rid of all the 2016 models. So we got a really great deal on it. It was still brand new, just a whole lot cheaper. Don’t impulse buy. Walk away, and don’t worry that the salesman said someone else is also looking at it. Ha! If it truly is sold from under you, then it wasn’t meant to be anyway. 

New to our blog? Here are some other exciting RV travel stories you might enjoy! 

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Some Typical Costs To Expect And How We’ve Managed Them

Every RV owner has to make the right decision for themselves. There are so many options, prices, sizes and kinds. You have to look at your own finances, and do what works for you best. If you do purchase used, I highly suggest using an inspector to make sure you know everything about your RV. 

We purchased our RV in 2016. We paid for it in full. Leaving completely debt free was our goal we worked hard to do. 

We kept track of all our expenses in 2019, for the whole year. You can see all our expenses, and the money we brought in. We shared it all on our website. As stated previously, your bills are your bills. They will follow you. There is no one answer for how much RV life costs. What are your needs and wants? Will you boondock, or stay in resorts? Do you eat out or cook at home? Do you travel fast or slow? Did you come into RV life with credit card bills, car payments, and RV payments? Do you have pets? Do you have solar on your RV? Or will you need to pay for gas to run a generator? These are all things that need to be really figured out before you even plan any further.

For instance, for every travel day, we spend $100 on fuel. So if we travel every single day, that adds up. So we travel very slow. In 2018 we spent $48 on camping fees for the whole year. Yes, the whole year! Just because so many people told us we couldn’t boondock in a big rig, our goal was to do it for a year and spend less than $100. And we did! Currently, we are planning to travel from PA to FL and it’s going to take us 3 months to get there. There is so much to see in between and traveling slow means 2 things. We get to enjoy the sights and stay within budget. 

We Are Always On The Move

We have made 3 loops around the USA so far. We love to find the hidden gems and take the roads less traveled. We are always asked where our favorite places have been and our answer is always “wherever we are at that moment”. We are really positive people and enjoy every place we’ve been to. 

We aren’t on vacation. We just live. We travel. We stay however long we want to (1 day. 3 months.) and then move on to the next place we want to explore. We are kind of spontaneous and have been known to have 3 months planned out and start heading west. Then over a 15-minute dinner conversation, we change it all up and go east. It’s fun!

Some Challenging Aspects Of RV Life

To be honest, it’s a state of mind. We have had some really stressful things happen, and that is when both of us are at our best. We speak a little quieter, we are thankful for what we have and we get it fixed, or handle it. Life is still life. Things break, we all have bad days, but it’s how you handle it and how you come out on the other end that makes or breaks it. 

COVID Hasn’t Changed Much For Us

We personally don’t use shared facilities. Not because of COVID but because we prefer to use what we have in our RV. We have our own shower and our toilet, just like we did in our sticks and bricks home. In the places we have stayed during COVID, most have been closed. Our advice, just wash your hands and keep yourself clean. 

Advice For New Full-Time RVers

I can only provide advice as a full-time RVer’s. I think people who travel on weekends and for vacations (we used to as well) are in a totally different place. They pack the RV, and they unpack the RV. For full-time living just don’t expect this to be a vacation. We don’t sit outside at a campfire every night drinking wine and playing the guitar. Ha Ha! We are just living our normal life. It just happens to be in an RV. RV life is not cheaper or easier than living in a standard home. It is, however, much more rewarding and fulfilling if you have the right attitude and are flexible. Being flexible is one of the most important things. Flat tires happen. Rain happens. Getting bad fuel in your gas tank happens. Road closures happen. Family members get sick and re-routes happen. Ask us how we know all this! Ha! We also think every full-time RVer should have some sort of mechanical skills to fix small things.

Planning a road trip soon? Here are other road trip stories worth checking out!

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    December 9, 2020 at 5:33 PM

    Great article. I happen to these two and they are an inspiration! See you down the road.