This article is guest-authored by Kelly Shoemaker, a student in Remote Work 101. Kelly and her husband, Tim, are transitioning from a “sticks and bricks” life to RV living and remote work.
In the spring of 2018, my husband, Tim, saw a local RV show in town and innocently said, “Let’s just go look.” After that, our conversations were all about could we really travel full time? Ultimately, we decided that yes, we CAN do this and this article is all out our transition to RV life and remote work.
To give some context, I’m retiring in August 2019 from a line of work that I’ve been in for 35 years. There was going to be some change no matter what. But how much change? We had never even spent one night in an RV. This would be way outside my comfort zone! Here’s what we did to prepare ourselves.
The Transition To RV Life
At first, our conversations were all over the place. I needed a plan if we were going to move forward. I tackled this “project” like I would tackle a project at work—broke it down into pieces, made assignments, and began the research. We got serious in the summer of 2018 and had 14 months before hitting the road. This was plenty of time, so my stress level was low.
Click here for a resource to help you plan your transition to living the RV lifestyle.
Our plan included these major categories.
We began by researching the type of RV, truck, and other equipment that we would need. At first, we thought we were Class A people (that is the one with the big window and pulls a car behind it), however, the more time we spent looking at 5th wheels, we decided that that was the one for us. A 5th wheel is towed by a truck.
We attended a large RV show and spent some time in the 5th wheels and talking to the sales people. This is what really helped us think through our routine in an RV.
I highly recommend that you go into as many RVs as you can before making a purchase. It helps you picture how you will use it on a daily basis.
My husband turned to YouTube for his research and we now follow several full-time RVers. We have followed Getaway Couple since the beginning of our search. We related to their style, travel spots, and going all in without any prior RV experience. That is so brave!
He researched different RV manufacturers and truck carrying capacities. We decided early on that we did not want a dually—that just wasn’t for us. We purchased our Ford diesel 350 truck at the end of 2018 as one of our first steps. In the last couple of weeks, we ordered our RV, a Grand Design Solitude, with a delivery date of June. We are so excited!
Sell Our House & Belongings
We had a lot of conversations about renting out our house, but in the end, we didn’t want the landlord responsibility.
We told neighbors that we were planning to sell, talked to a real estate agent, and decided to put the house on the market in February 2019.
Luckily, the market in Southwest Florida has been pretty strong. One of our neighbors had friends that were interested in our house. They came for a walk-through and surprisingly we closed in February 2019! We are renting our house until my retirement. It’s pretty weird to rent your own home.
Selling our belongings, mostly furniture, is a task we are still working through. We had a garage sale, however we have found www.letgo.com more successful.
We wanted to simplify, but would we be able to enjoy some of our lifestyle on our new retirement budget? We decided that if we want something bad enough, we will find a way. We made a plan to pay everything off and save, save, save.
For our new budget, again, my husband researched on the internet (are you noticing a theme?). He found a spreadsheet that was very helpful at the Simple Venture. Laura hit all the categories and we began with our best guesstimates.
Since we will be out on the road for about 2 & ½ months before returning to our family hometown for a wedding and the holidays, we will be using that time to write all expenses down and tighten up our numbers.
The next decision was if I need to get a part-time job. I mentioned that I have been in my profession for 35 years. All my job searching to this point has been in the same industry. I was ready for a change to go with all the other changes, but I wasn’t sure that remote work was really a thing.
I searched and it is a thing, and Camille’s Remote Work 101 course was just the thing I needed! I appreciate the exercises in the course which caused me to drill down on my expertise, knowledge, and skills that I could use in a different line of work and most important, find work that I enjoy.
I’m continuing through the course and have developed a timeline of goals to keep me moving forward.
The Next Chapter
We will continue to watch videos, downsize, and support each other in this major transition. I’m a firm believer in following the signs you are given. This journey has opened me up to the “go with the flow” mentality. I’m trying my darnedest to let go of my need for control.
I also know that things happen for a reason and I’m going to try to enjoy it all. Every day I get closer to our journey to see the country, visit farmers’ markets, and try new experiences. And if we need to make changes, we’ll go in another direction.
I hope you enjoyed Kelly’s journey of her transition to RV life and remote work. Are you thinking of making the transition to full or part-time RV living? Leave a comment or ask a question in the comments below.