This week marks our one year anniversary of living full-time in our RV. We have learned so much about this lifestyle and about ourselves. We have driven over 10,000 miles exploring 22 states staying at a variety of campgrounds and seeing so much of this beautiful country. We have seen sites both big and small, remote and urban, and have enjoyed it all.
As Joanna likes to say, it was not all unicorns farting rainbows, we had mechanical issues, warranty repairs on both the coach and the Jeep, small cramped campgrounds, a chicken ranch next door, and all kinds of inclement weather. We have had 114° and 6″ of snow. We have learned that repairs cannot be set aside for later but that they have to be taken care of immediately. We have learned that internet on a hot spot is not like it was in our sticks and bricks and we have learned to live in a 40 ft space without killing each other.
The good news is that we have decided that this lifestyle is right for us for the foreseeable future. The house is gone, the kids got the stuff they wanted, we have very little in storage, and we have an idea of what our exit plan will be when that time comes, which we hope is years down the road.
Ahhh … but where are we now?? After selling our house, we headed south for a bit of an upgrade. Our original satellite system limited our TV/media viewing and it would cut out in storms and in wooded areas. Jonathan spent a lot of time researching what we could do to improve it and found Cordell Satellite Sales and Service, an installer in the Charlotte, NC area where we could get a new system installed. We switched from a Winegard Roadtrip to Winegard Trav’ler. We highly recommend Cordell if you need any internet/satellite work or upgrades, they were knowledgeable, experienced, and fast! Now the signal is great, we keep it during storms, and we can watch different channels on different TVs and we can record up to 11 other channels all at the same time. Much more like our cable in our old house.
Cordell was just down the road from Carowinds Amusement Park and Campground which was perfect as they would come and install the system at the campground. Once everything was installed and working correctly we spent some time at the amusement park and seeing the sites around Charlotte which is a lovely southern town, one we will want to come back and explore more. Carowinds is a wonderful local park with, not only, great roller coasters and rides, but also Camp Snoopy for the younger ones, an awesome water park, nightly entertainment, and a pre-historic dinosaur walk. Their campground has spacious, wooded sites with a shuttle service to the park whenever you want to be a kid again.
After Charlotte it was back to Red Bay and Tiffin to have the work finished on the RV that we had started prior to having to return to PA to empty the house. We had expected it to take 2 1/2 weeks again but it turned out they were able to get the painting done and install the new headlight in two days. While we were there we also found the wheel covers we had been looking for and had them installed as well.
It was awesome that Tiffin was so quick this time but it did leave us in a bit of a bind. We had made reservation for what we thought was going to be the two week wait over the 4th of July but we had to cancel them since Tiffin could take us right away. The work was completed on the 3rd and we had to scramble to find campgrounds during the holiday week. Surprisingly, after only a few phone calls, Joanna was able to find a spot at the Avalon Landing RV Park in Milton, FL which is between Pensacola (our old stomping grounds) and Crestview (where are mail service is located) starting on July 5th. She then found Yellowhammer RV Park which was half way between
Red Bay and Milton. Yellowhammer is an RV dealer in Clanton, AL with quite a nice little campground behind it. They are right off of I65 which makes it a great place for a one or two night stop over while traveling. It made for a quiet 4th but at least we had a spot to camp and you never know what you will find when you get out to explore small town America. We found The Peach Place, a great little farm stand-restaurant-garden-playground just down the road from Yellowhammer as well as an awesome BBQ shack.
We are now in Milton deep into the process of setting up our domicile and meeting the residency requirements to be legal in Florida. We have our driver’s licenses, voter registrations, and FL insurance. Next up are tags and vehicle registrations. Once all of the details are taken care of we plan to head to Tallahassee to spend some time with Joanna’s family. After that? Who knows? We will finally be free of a schedule and we can just wander a bit before our next full-timers experiment. More on that later!