|Happy Holidays to all our readers from sunny San Diego!|
We appreciate your taking the time to read our little blog. It's been fun to share this major lifestyle transition with our family and friends and to meet new friends on the road through the blog.
So...We now have three months of full time RVing under our belts! Here's our first impressions of this major lifestyle change...
We started out by purchasing the rig in Boise because that was the only place in the West that had the model and decor option we wanted. That turned out to be a wonderful way to start because neither of us had ever been there before. Most of the places we have visited in the past three months as we made our way to San Diego have been new to both of us, making everything about this lifestyle a new adventure right from the get-go.
The first couple of days were a bit overwhelming with all we had to learn. Had we known better, we would have pushed the dealer to do a better job of instruction when we picked up the rig; even though they were aware we were brand new at this, in hindsight the delivery process was pretty unorganized and incomplete.
Our first few moves to new campsites were full of anxiety...but we now know what we need to do and it's no longer stressful, it's just life. It takes about half an hour to pack the rig up, and less than that to set up in a new site.
We've had very few hiccups with our new Montana. Had to replace the galley sink vent, we have a GFCI outlet that trips occasionally and one fender skirt that is now cracked due to having to continuously tighten the screws...the last two items will be repaired at a dealer when we switch RV parks here in San Diego. All in all a pretty pain-free start...knock on wood!
We've towed the trailer about 1700 miles in three months and stayed in 5 states and 15 campgrounds. Now we are settled in San Diego for two months visiting family and friends, before we head to Tucson for a month.
We like the idea of settling into our stops for at least a week at a time, and maybe 2 - 4 weeks is better. There is a lot of research involved with every stop we make so frequent moves can sometimes seem like a lot of "work". The "work" usually includes: researching campgrounds and their reviews, researching things to do in the area, and may cover several locations as we decide where the next stop should be. We are thankful to be doing this in the age of the Internet!
Of course, for longer stays we'll need to be in areas where there are plenty of things to keep us interested and occupied, but so far several places we've stayed have seemed like we've only scratched the surface.
Also, when you have a number of things you want to do in an area and only a few days to pack it in to, there is no down time! One of the things we wanted to do more of in retirement is relax
, without feeling pressured to go do stuff, to cram it all in. We've really only managed to incorporate good stretches of relaxation into our last few weeks of travel.
Before we started this lifestyle we were a bit worried about finding places to stay that were appealing, not just parking lots. We didn't want to spend a lot of time in RV parks that were just rows of sites with each RV jammed right up close to the next RV. While the state park-type campgrounds (McDowell Mountain, Yuba, Usery Mountain) were definitely more relaxing, beautiful and spacious and our preferred
type of campground; it turns out that the typical RV park, with rows of RV's next to each other, are not always so bad. Each place you stay can be pleasant depending on your needs at that particular moment, plus our home is so cozy we are always happy to retreat inside to our own personal sanctuary!
One big factor in the appeal of each place we've stayed is: we've never had bad neighbors. RVers are very friendly folks. People are always happy to stop and chat, or lend a hand or some advice, or join in a happy hour.
The main purpose of retiring early into an RV was to be able to travel long term, in comfort, with our kitty, without breaking the bank, without the impersonal feel of hotels or rentals and eating out all the time. We have accomplished that in spades. We are enjoying the beauty that is all around us, from the amazing comfort of our own home that holds everything we need. We can move on whenever we choose, to wherever we choose. Retired life is most excellent!
We'll be in San Diego until January 20th, when the adventures begin anew as we head out on the road again. We'll spend a month in Tucson starting January 25th at Justin's Diamond J RV park, but have no firm plans beyond that...and we like it like that!