My inspiration came when I was about 8 years old. Dad came home with a 30' class A motorhome. His dad invented restaurant equipment. The plan was to gut this brand new RV and create a mobile kitchen that could show the equipment to heads of restaurant chains. So like I said my dad comes home with this to show us (Mom and I). We get in and he drives us around the neighborhood. I was very excited, this thing had everything, toilet, bed, fridge etc. After that I had dreamed about getting an RV and driving all over the country, working as needed.
Well many years went by and the dream subsided. But every once in a while it would re-emerge. When it did, I would mention it to my wife (at the time) and she thought I was crazy (most people think that though). So once again the dream would die and time would move on.
Now years later, I am divorced and as a computer consultant I take jobs in various places. I am tired of flying, renting in every city I work in is not really a good option. Buying a house is worse as I never know when I would have to sell it or I would have to start flying again.I have become tired of apartments in general and condos are like house, hard to get rid of. Lastly I have had lousy neighbors and poorly managed apartments.
In 2003 I became re-acquainted with my dream and began the research needed to learn what it would really be like to live in an RV full time. I skimmed some RV books and read this site to the point I kept up with each days posts (while working fulltime).
I started out small and bought a small travel trailer (TT). After getting every thing ready we went on a "test run" to a local camping facility. The test run went well, we had one incident but it was minor.
We next moved to Kansas City (new job), I first took off in the RV and set up camp while Beth finished getting the house ready for sale. I was learning what it is like to live in a very small space, after all we were a 2500 sq. ft. Victorian home. I learned what it was like enduring high winds, rain storms, thunder and lightning, which can be very interesting in something so small. Not to mention that you usually will have 2" or maybe less between you and the elements. Beth came to visit and stay in the RV with me for a few days, we look at apartments since we were new to the area. We eventually found a place that we would lease.
Beth headed back in Illinois and finished some painting on the house and I eventually came back to load up the U-Haul and bring our stuff to Kansas City. When arrived at our "gated community" apartment complex and began to unload. While we were unloading we saw some neighbors and exchanged "hellos". We continued to unload,there is nothing like hauling a washer and dryer up to a 3rd floor apartment without an elevator by yourself, but I can be stubborn.
Well with everything moved in, I began to work on the electronics and Beth started in the kitchen. I do not thin we were there more than a day when we were greeted with BASS, all night long. We called the community and registered a complaint. Well this went on for a week or so, we even confronted the BITCH. Her defense was that she had lived there longer, she can do what she wants and that she lives her stereo up so someone thinks that she is home and will not rob her, What do you have in your apartment 3 stories up that someone is going to target you for a robbery? She is just another BITCH that thinks the world owes her and she is going to get what she can.
At this point since nothing was being done I wanted to do some un-typeable things, I really do not like people like this, they are just not needed.
Well things got a tad better but I am sure the complex asked her to mellow out a little so that they looked like they were doing their job. We at least were able to get some sleep.
Well after a week and a half I headed out in the RV for a month long road trip. I wanted to take Beth along but money was getting tight with moving and rent etc. She told me to go and enjoy and she would set up "house".
Pictures from the road trip I took in Sept of 05. I had a really nice time, it was great to see parts of the country I had never seen. I plan to do this same trip but maybe head towards Washington and Oregon.
While on the trip I had an incident, the right rear tire blew on the camper. I felt it pretty quick and was on the side of the highway in no time. I called ERS (Emergency Roadside Services) and they said they could be out here in about an hour. Just as I got off the phone a South Dakota Highway Patrol trooper stopped behind me. We talked for a minute and he helped me change the tire and off I went. I called ERS back and canceled my call. I knew to get radial tire put on before i left as I had read that bias-ply on campers can be useless or even dangerous.
Well I made it to my next stop for camping in the Black Hills, wow this place is absolutely beautiful, you must come and see this. I stayed at the KOA in the Black Hills, the owners were very nice and even had Wi-Fi in the park. I did some laundry and took a swim in the pool which was very cold but felt good as well.
Next stop was Rapid City South Dakota, here I stopped to get all of the tires changed to radials. IN a few hours I was back on the road and heading towards Mount Rushmore and then to Crazy Horse.
Mount Rushmore was really nice, I checked out the museum and of course the gift shop too. Well off to Crazy Horse, which was the primary reason for going on this trip. Every year on Sept. 6th they have a birthday celebration for the beginning of the monument. They have a laser light show that tells Crazy Horse's story and then a sequential blasting that kind of makes it own light show. After those you gather inside and they have cake and ice cream. I met the wife of the creator, apparently she comes to even celebration. They had 10 kids of which 7 of them work on the mountain in some form or fashion.
I had not realized that the festivities would be so long and I was falling behind on my schedule. I was almost midnight when I left and no way I was going to make my next stop, Reno Nevada. So I drove for an hour or so and eventually became tired, I stopped the the next hotel I saw. I walked in and inquired about the location of a camp ground, ironically the hotel had a camp group down around the side of it. So I paid the guy and headed down to the camp ground. It looked a little like an old drive in with out the large parking mounds, way down on the other end was a concession stand like building. I couldn't make much else out as it was dark and I was tired. I can tell you that being the ONLY camper out there and with the wind whipping up it was a little spooky. (To many horror flicks as a kids hehe) Well I setup and off to sleep I went eventually.
The next morning I woke up and saw the camp ground in the sunlight while it was not scary any more it still looked like a drive-in theater. So off I went on to Reno.
I loved every minute of it and became an expert in setup and tear down. I could be ready to go in less than 15 minutes.
While I was on the road Beth kept me apprised of her progress on things. At about the second week into mu journey Beth told me about the neighbors. The floor plan is such that the bedrooms back to one another. Well apparently our neighbor who we will not refer to as BITCH would leave her stereo turned up with mostly bass. vacation Beth was having issues at our apartment (neighbors) and the management company would not really do anything. I abruptly ended my vacation after almost 3 weeks and headed home as she was very upset and starting to suffer from anxiety from all of the bull shit the neighbor was causing. This was the end of apartment living for both of us.Well I got back from vacation and we talked about my dream again, I showed her the RV that I thought she would like. She looked over the brochure, we then headed to the local dealer selling the model, she agreed that I knew exactly what she would want. She still said to me that it was years away at best, I still disagreed Well we got back to the apartment and of course nothing had changed and the constant noise was still going on, she looked at me and said "I will probably never say this again, but if you want to do this then lets do it". Four hours later I signed on the dotted line and here we are. It has taken her a little longer to acclimate to the life but she has adjusted very well.