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Our niece Emily has always lovingly referred to our RV(s) as our “wheel homes”, which is absolutely adorable.
Alyssa and I named our first RV Franklin, after the children’s book about Franklin the turtle (because we were slow as a turtle). And when we bought our 2016 Brave we named it Merica, because it was red and white on the outside and blue on the inside, it just seemed fitting. Merica the Brave.
When you go through as much life as we have with your wheel home, you name it. You not only name it—you talk to her and about her (Merica needs an oil change) and coach him when he needs it. Come on Franklin, you yell, because he’s got to make it over Teton Pass, or else we all roll backward down the mountain.
Our wheel homes have been these vessels that carried us all over North America, during good and bad times. They’ve also been the things that have stressed us out, maxed out our credit cards trying to fill up the gas tanks, and given me anxiety on long drive days when something was incessantly rattling around in the back.
But more often than not, they’ve brought us so much joy.
RV Life Was Not Planned
In 2014 Alyssa and I had this crazy idea to visit all 50 states on our honeymoon. Travel was a big value of ours, and what better way to kick off our marriage than by one epic road trip across America?
When we were originally planning, I suggested we could throw an inflatable bed into the back of Alyssa’s Honda CR-V where we could sleep (this is why I’m not allowed to plan stuff anymore). After Alyssa shot down living in the backseat of her car for the first year of our marriage, my idea graduated to asking if we could borrow my grandpa’s pop up camper (which Alyssa shot down once I told her there was no A/C onboard), finally to us searching for our own RV.
We first looked at truck campers, which I still think are really cool. Then, we settled on our first RV, a 1994 Coachmen Leprechaun (which cost was twice the living space as a truck camper and cost us less than buying a truck camper + a truck).
When we first started traveling in Franklin, we had zero expectations for what life on the road would be like. We didn’t know if we’d like it, if we’d run out of money, or how long we could sustain ourselves. I would never have predicted that we’d live in an RV full-time for as long as we did. But after just a couple weeks of RVing back in 2014, we fell in love and ended up spending nearly five years on the road.
In a lot of ways, RVing itself has become really ingrained into our lives. Heck, it is our lives. My company deals with RV parks and campgrounds on a daily basis. Alyssa wrote a book about RVing. My podcast interviews people who live and work from the road. We’ve crafted so much of our life around RVing, so it’s been weird to sit down and write a blog post about how we sold this thing that’s been such an integral part of our lives.
But we did.
Last month we handed over the keys to Merica, our home for the past few years.
We sold our Winnebago to a new couple who is about to go full-time (yay!) and are really excited to jump into an adventure of their own. I meant to sit down and write this blog post a month ago as an announcement of sorts, but I pushed it back. January was a crazy month for us travel-wise, spending most of the month RVing to and speaking at the Xscapers Bash in Arizona, flying to the Bahamas and spending a week with family traveling for vacation, and filming a video project all last week in NYC. (Can we really say we aren’t full-time traveling anymore when we only spent one week of the month in our own beds?)
But if I’m being honest, I think I delayed writing this blog post, not because of the busyness of travel, but because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about it.
Am I happy? Is it bittersweet? Do I miss it?
I’m honestly not sure. Maybe all the above?
Part of me feels that it’s not a big deal that we no longer own an RV, because we’ll probably hop in another rig at some point or go travel internationally, since we still want to see what RVing is like across the globe. We’ll for sure spend all of next month in an RV (a rental of course) for our RVE Summit in Alabama.
But since we’ve shared so much of our story and life in an RV, I did want to at least write a post that shared a little bit of how we were feeling about selling our RV.
The decision to sell our RV
Once we decided to move into an apartment for a while, the decision to sell the rig was pretty easy. We could have kept it in storage, continued to make payments on it, and tried to go on some trips here and there. But the truth is, it was costing us money to sit and we knew this year was going to be more stationary, so it made the most sense to list it for sale.
I’d played around with the idea of renting it out on Outdoorsy as I knew we could make some money with it, but decided against it. While I knew we could make a decent amount renting the RV and holding onto it, I’d effectively be managing another income stream and business that would require my time—time to respond to inquiries, manage the unit, respond to customers, etc. Currently, I’m stretched pretty thin with CampgroundBooking’s growth, getting ready to host our next Summit, and the idea of having another business entity that required my time felt overwhelming.
So we listed the Winnebago on RV Trader and decided it was time to close the full-time RVing chapter of our lives.
My unfiltered feelings around selling the RV:
I miss being in pretty places, just before writing this blog I was looking at photos from 2017 in Maine and thinking about how much I loved spending two months there.
I’m extremely content in being in one place for the time being.
I love having a dedicated coworking space I can walk to each day in Denton.
It’s really cool that we are now carrying zero debt, as the RV was the only debt we had.
It feels kinda weird to not be living in an RV because that was our life for almost five years, but also you adjust quickly back to the normalcy of apartment life.
I like not having to worry about the winterization and everything right now.
I’m a tiny bit afraid that I’ll settle into a routine and not continue living an adventurous life (probably irrational but I’m throwing it in here just to give you the full range of emotions).
Will we buy another RV and continue traveling after the baby is born?
We’ve received this question quite a bit lately. The short answer is that we hope to. Probably not in America though. After visiting almost every state twice, we are looking to expand our horizons, and our comfort zone, by heading abroad for a season.
The longer answer is that we have no idea what it’s going to be like being new parents and we’re just taking things one step at a time.
Alyssa and I have been talking a lot lately about what we want the next season of our lives to look like and we’re still working through it. We know that as much as we can try to plan, a baby is coming and whatever we decide now could totally change when May comes along (so soon, it’s crazy!).
Next month we’ll be renting a rig for our RVE Summit so we can hang out in Alabama and re-connect with so many of our friends. Then it’s back home to “nest” (I think is the proper term) for the last month or so of Alyssa’s pregnancy.
What I do know about what’s next for us:
This past summer in Canada Alyssa and I were visiting a zoo and at one point I looked around and noticed that everyone was there with their kids. It made sense, it was a zoo so there weren’t a ton of couples in their late 20’s spending a Saturday afternoon strolling around the zoo.
But it was just this memorable moment where I leaned over to Alyssa and said, “We’ve been able to live a great life the past few years and see so much. It would be really cool to bring a baby into this world and then get to share little moments like this with her.”
I know this blog post was about selling our RV, but I guess my excitement about having a baby is a lot more dominant than anything I’m currently feeling about selling our RV.
One thing I do know about what’s next for us is that I want us to lead our daughter along on an adventurous life. I want us to continue striving to live a life that shows her the world and unique ways to live in it and make a difference.
I’m stoked to get to help her find her own path and see the person she becomes. I know travel is going to be really different with a baby, but I’m excited to navigate it with Alyssa.
Related: Making the Transition from RV Life to Apartment Life