Lloyd’s comment on Kansas Shipwreck prompted me to muse about my experience with lengthy RV travel.
“Thank you for this bit of history. When my parents retired, they spent a year on the road as you are doing, and I’ve always wanted to do the same, but life has a way of changing want-to-be plans. So, through your Blog, I get to experience what my parents must have seen while on their road trip across America back in the 1970s.
And, since this museum wasn’t there back then, I get to experience new things they missed. Thank you.”
This is my second motorhome trip. The first was in1983, and everything about this trip is different. In 1983 I had three great travel companions–my wife, my dog, and my cat. We had a 26-footer that was adequate to our needs. I left a houseful of stuff behind. I drove 18000 miles in just over six months. Gasoline was around a dollar a gallon. We started In Florida and aimed northwest and didn’t turn around until we got to the Pacific Ocean side off British Columbia’s Vancouver Island. We bagged dozens of National Parks. I kept a journal, which helped to rekindle my interest in writing–dormant since college. The writing went back into hibernation when I returned and went back to work—but the pilot light was left on. The gas got turned up again around the time I joined the California Writers Club in 2008.
On this trip I am a solitary traveler, and my pet is a stuffed animal. I disposed of a ton of stuff and am carrying the rest. I am more crammed and cramped by myself in 28 feet than I ever was with my family in 26 feet. I logged a bit over half as many miles in twice the time period. Diesel fuel is less than four dollars a gallon outside of California. I haven’t been to a single national park, but I have collected many odd places and people.
Full-time RVing must look like a massive change to most people. It isn’t a daunting step for me because of my lifetime of cruising in sailboats. The traumatic change is what and how to leave things and people behind. The things are harder because, given the Internet, I don’t feel I’ve left anyone. In fact, the blog has allowed me to stay in touch with everyone and closer touch than ever with many.
It is a life worth trying out in the size that works. A rental of an RV for a month ought to be psychologically and practically reachable for anyone. The number of people who travel in the RV for four months a year is equal to the number of full-timers.
Since it has taken me a year to cruise only the southwest quadrant of the country, I feel I have another year in me for sure. After that, who knows?