What We've Learned After 6 Months of RV Travel
Updated: Jun 22, 2020
It went by so fast, but we saved all of those memories!
We knew we wanted to travel more; however, it is really hard with a full-time job. Two or three weeks doesn't seem to go far enough. We've talked about RVs before, and we have watched our share of travel shows on the cable channels. We like the idea of it, but never really thought about it seriously. UNTIL...YouTube. One very frigid winter afternoon, there it was. A magical video appeared that day, from Changing Lanes. They had a Toy Hauler, and it was FANCY. Not only that, but they WORKED from that RV in the garage. Hmm.
The light bulb lit for us that day: you see Pam works remotely and has done so for the past 9 years. Erik can work from anywhere as he is a contractor. Why haven't we thought of this before?
That fine day led us to research everything you can find on Google, YouTube, and Internet Articles. We started putting the numbers together, budgeting for what we thought we could afford. We don't know precisely how long that research phase lasted, but it was several months.
As luck would have it, Pam's uncle Tim is in the RV business. After a few conversations dispersing our research (I'm sure he was giggling during some of those calls) it was time for an in-person visit. We got in our car and drove 3 hours up to Michigan, from Greenwood, Indiana (just south of Indianapolis). We looked at 1 RV. We bought that RV and a like-new 2015 Ford 350. Yes, between all of our research and Tim's expert advice, we purchased a brand new 2019 Keystone Fuzion 369 Toy Hauler. We've never looked back.
What Have We Learned
We learned that planning a 6-month trip to travel to all areas warm in the winter is a lot of work.
There's a lot of calling, emailing, internet searches, RV club research, plan changes, route apps - it can be overwhelming.
We learned that an RV doesn't come with everything you need.
The RV and the truck, it's just the beginning. It is expensive. Of course, it doesn't have to be as pricey, depending on what you purchase. For our plans, let's just say there were a lot of checks written during the months of March-September of 2019 as we prepped for our adventure in mid-October. AND we also decided to purchase Battle Born Batteries and a solar install right from the start. We also continued to follow YouTube RV Channels and lucked upon You, Me & The RV. On their 20,000 follower giveaway; we won a GasStop. We didn't realize we needed one, and now we can't imagine not having it with us! Oh, and we got to meet Stacy during a random State Park tour. We'll share more of that story on a future blog post!
We learned that you really do need try out the RV before you head out on a long journey.
We reserved two campgrounds before our trip, and we are so glad we did! We had a few small issues, and we had time to get the RV repaired before leaving Indiana.
We learned traveling in an RV is not as easy as it looks.
There is A LOT to learn! Black Tanks, Grey Tanks, Battery Usage, Electrical, Internet (Because Pam works from home - we HIGHLY recommend Mobile Internet Resource Center), Phone Apps, TV viewing, Mail Forwarding with Traveling Mailbox, and finally, how to use all of those gadgets you buy for the RV!
Note: We are STILL learning! As you can imagine, we follow many RV YouTube Channels. That's another blog post in itself!
Most of all, we learned that we enjoyed our 6 months in the RV more than we ever imagined!
We traveled through Nashville, Atlanta, and Alabama until we got to our final destination - FLORIDA.
Our mission: "All Sunshine and No Snow". Mission Accomplished!
We stayed in Destin, Tampa, Belle Glade, Key West, and West Palm Beach for 5 months of our 6-month trip. We saw things we would never have seen on a two-week vacation. We went to the beaches, the golf courses, the lakes, the walking trails, the state parks, the zoos, the cites, the tourist traps - we loved it ALL. Even though we had to leave Key West a bit early due to the COVID-19, we had a ball.
We met the nicest people along the way and made friends who we keep in touch with and intend to see again someday. We learned how to Kayak! Thanks, Venture Wild!
We did all of this with very little "stuff." It is amazing how simple life can be if you spend your time on adventures instead of on the couch. We are planning the next journey now, and we won't be taking near as much with us. Let the next adventure begin!