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My (very long) intro


legazsee

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I apologize in advance, but from reading this forum I feel like I may have found my tribe so to speak. I’m so excited, and my ideas are flowing, and I need to get them out and get objective feedback. Here goes:

 

I’m a nomad by nature, and my husband is a homebody. I am an old school military brat, the kind that used to pack up and move every two years to a new country. I did this until I was 30. That is when I met my husband. He is born and raised in VA, and likes being “home”. I’ve been here 10 years, and I like it OK, I just don’t like staying still. To me full-time RV life is the perfect compromise. We just take “home” with us J.

We currently own a money pit otherwise known as a house, that we are tied to, and spend way too much time and money on to not actually be in it that often, plus I never intended to live a life by traditional rules. I want my children to get the type of education that you can only get by going and doing and seeing the world.

 

My dream is this: I will be finished with my IT degree in November. I will need to work on-site for a couple of years to get industry experience. After two years of working full-time, I plan to start looking for a remote or virtual position. Once I find the position, I would like to sell the money pit, and instead of getting another traditional house, I would like to purchase an HDT and larger 5th wheel. Initially we would live locally for about a year to get used to the idea, and learn how to function with less stuff. I would still try to move to a new campsite locally every 2-3 months. At this point I would keep the kids in school, but once we are mobile, I plan to road school the kids by doing online school and lots of “field trips” such as museums and national parks etc. My ultimate dream would be to spend one month in each of the Lower 48, so 4 years on the road. I would like to find a place to “settle” again for the kids’ high school years. By settle I mean still live out of the RV, just staying stationary until the boys are done with high school.

This is what I have figured out so far:

DH has CDL, so the HDT is not a problem. I want him to be able to quit working, and if he wants to finish his degree while we travel. I would like to be able to support us on my income, which I hope to be able to make working remotely.

He prefers the Volvo trucks, because that is what he drives when he has to for work, so I’m thinking a 770. I like the back bench seats with the table for studying with the kids when we are driving.

My ideal 5th wheel has the following:

1.5-2 bathrooms (I feel that with 4 people there should at least be two toilets)

Toy hauler so that the garage can be used as a bedroom for the kids when we are parked.

Loft space so that if we stop for a night, they still have sleeping space.

King sized bed

3+ sliders

Space for Washer/Dryer (stackable)

I would like to be have it be the Maximum legal total length.

So far I have found the Keystone Big Sky 422 and the Heartland Cyclone 4200 that fits all of these criteria. Honest feedback about this choice, and any alternatives I should look at are greatly appreciated.

We also will need to be able to bring a small vehicle with us that can hold 4 people comfortably.

 

Please give me feedback. Any suggestions for RVs to look at or avoid, tell me any huge gaps in my idea that I will need to be aware of prior to taking on this adventure. This is the brainstorming stage, and I am starting a research file for myself. Most of all, how did you get your spouse on board. Mine thinks it sounds great, but I will have to be the one to make this happen.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! You are in a good place to get a lot of information from some very experienced folks. It would help if we knew how many children and the ages. There are others who do what you dream of so it can sure be done. We didn't go on the road until after our kids were grown and I retired so can give mostly RV related advice but there are others here that can & will. My main advice for you at this point is that it is important that you work out a plan which is enthusiastically embraced by all of the family as that is the best way to get all of the other lifestyle changes to work out.

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The Voltage 3950 covers alot of your criteria. Lots of slepping/storage space, stackable washer/dryer and a 12 foot garage. A mini cooper holds 5 but is 13'5". I dont know of any 4 seaters that would fit in a TH. I too was a military brat and then in the military myself. I feel I have done my kids a dis service by not providing them the experiences I had growing up, it really changes your views on things. I don't know if I could handle two high school kids full timing in an RV :huh: or not but if you get them in the lifestyle early I guess things may be easier on everyone once they get older :) . Good luck, theres nothing worse than getting older and looking back to beat yourself up on what you coulda/shoulda/woulda done.

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Thanks for the feedback. I am starting to put together a plan, because if I don't have an actual plan, my husband may never agree to it. I am creating a tentative timeline that puts us at being out of our house an into an RV in June 2018, and on the road full time by June 2019. My boys are currently 6 and 3, so that will make them 9 and 6 when we move in (10 and 7 when we go on the road). I think this will be a decent age because they are not babies, but not yet teenagers and old enough to remember their experiences. Once the teenage years hit, I will probably make my way back to VA and stay put through the high school period, so that they can check off all the boxes required to get into college should they choose to.

I will check out that Voltage 3950. I am trying to compile a list of possibilities, so that next year I can make a short list. We will have to buy used the first time, which is fine, because kids tend to tear stuff up.

I was lucky enough as a military brat to find a best friend that I kept up with. I actually relocated to VA because she invited me to come stay for awhile when I got the itch to move 10 years ago. We are lucky to have each other, because not many people understand the way we grew up. I was a Navy brat, but ended up in the AF. I only got out to go back to college, but found out that it was way easier to find a civilian job as a flight medic than to jump through the hoops to do it in the military.

I do feel that my kids are missing out on seeing all that I did, and I am not done seeing what is out there myself. You only get one life, I want to make the most of mine. :)

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It sounds so exciting! I took my kids on the road for three months when they were 10 & 12 and it was absolutely wonderful.

 

The one thing that jumped out at me in your plan was the intent to keep them in school while having moved into the RV & sold the sticks and bricks. Here, you would not be able to do that. To have kids in the school district, you must be able to prove you have a permanent address in the district and they are quite strict about it. You will want to check the rules in your area to figure out whether this is going to make you alter your plans a bit.

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Your husband has lived all his life in Virginia; mine lived all his life in Minnesota. That tie turned out to be stronger than I realized. Is there a decent RV park near home? The reassurance of having a place to return home might make it easier for your husband to go. Or, like mine, it might make it harder for him to leave next time. Please, do lots of talking about this issue. My husband gave me three plus years of full-timing but then the pull of home won him over. If you think that might happen in your case, make plans appropriately.

 

Linda Sand

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I managed to take my DW out of the town she was born in and she's had no regrets. I was also a traveler when I was growing up (father worked for the USAAF and then the USAF) and I've never been able to shake it. We spent 5 years cruising on a 32' sailboat with first one kid, then two. We returned to her home territory and ten years later moved to a farm 200 miles distant.

 

Now we have a 36' motor home which is far roomier than the sailboat ever was.

 

I am a network engineer and there is lots of work for folks like us. Especially if you're good at Cisco-speak.

 

Best of luck and welcome to the forum.

 

WDR

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I am reading up on the complications of the schooling. I have a couple of addresses that I can use in good school districts, so I can use that as a back-up plan if I need to. I will research the rules though. While my husband has been in VA most of his life (he did spend 5 years overseas on active duty) we do not live where he grew up. He is not so much attached to where we are at as he has a resistance to thing that are not his idea. It's pulling teeth to get him to go on a vacation, and about three days in he is so glad we did it. I think that doing a four year stint, and then planning to return to VA for the boy to go to highschool is a decent start. We can plan to start the negotiations for the future upon our return. Once my husband is out on the road and meeting people, and getting to do these things with his boys he will be all in, it is just getting him to that point.

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Be very cautious about using addresses where you aren't actually residing. Here they will pursue you aggressively if they think you aren't actually living there. If caught, they will charge you back tuition fees.

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Desert rat,

Are you full-time in the RV again, and if so how do you mange the work-life balance? I am looking at trying to stay within my healthcare system, which is starting to see the value of allowing remote working situation. I am specializing in network security, which is a hot-button in healthcare right now.

I am also checking around to see what options I have for school. DH worked with a guy full-timed out at one of the VA beach campgrounds for 8 years with his kids. They have since moved on, but DH keeps in touch with him. I know those rules do tend to change as well. Thanks for the input. Better to know before hand than to try to dig yourself out of a hole.

Kim

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Hello, legazsee

I do not post often but just happen to see that you are currently living in VA. Welcome to Escapees and enjoy your reading as there is many articles and topics to keep you busy for awhile. If your ever around the HamptonRoads area shoot me a message and my soon-to-be wife (in two weeks) can have ya'll over for a lite lunch in our TT. TTYL.

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Desert rat,

Are you full-time in the RV again, and if so how do you mange the work-life balance? I am looking at trying to stay within my healthcare system, which is starting to see the value of allowing remote working situation. I am specializing in network security, which is a hot-button in healthcare right now.

I am also checking around to see what options I have for school. DH worked with a guy full-timed out at one of the VA beach campgrounds for 8 years with his kids. They have since moved on, but DH keeps in touch with him. I know those rules do tend to change as well. Thanks for the input. Better to know before hand than to try to dig yourself out of a hole.

Kim

Kim... we're no longer full time in anything. We "swallowed the anchor" in the late 80s and since then have owned an assortment of RVs from a 29' 5th wheel to an Alaskan Camper to a 21' 1970 Streamline travel trailer. Kids are gone so no more school

 

We used the Calvert School on the boat and that seemed to work well. Kristy was 7 or 8 when we came back and moved right into school. She graduated college with a teaching degree but married an engineer who made lots of money and never really taught much.

 

When my wife retires in 2017 we'll begin to "snow bird" moving to AZ in the winter and back to WA summers. She sells hot dogs at a local farmer's market ad that will add a few thou to our cruising kitty; only two days a week, too.

 

I do a lot of network security work; mostly auditing networks to see what's open and probing servers. I also do a lot of VPNs as no one wants to lease a line any more. I have a steady income from a utility I wrote that indexes UCC files and puts them on a web server so title searches can be done by the title specialists. It's all on a LAN and only accessible via SSH.

 

I have set up a lot of email systems; especially for family service outfits that don't have lots of money for cloud-based email and don't want to risk the freebee mailing systems due to security issues. All of this in Linux, of course.

 

Security was mostly ad hoc for a long time. Every admin knew a little bit. Now it's become a hot-button issue. I hope you've got a good grasp of Linux as it - and CIsco's operating commands - will play a big part in your work.

 

WDR

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Razorback,

We live in P-town. I bought one of those old houses when I was working at the Naval Hospital. I always wanted one, but the renovation of it has taken over my life, and I want out as soon as it is done. Congratulations on getting married. Give me a shout when you are done with the wedding/honeymoon, and we would love to come see your set up.

Kim

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Desert rat,

Are you full-time in the RV again, and if so how do you mange the work-life balance?

Psssst! Sneak a look at his profile and he listed his birth date which indicates that he is now as old as I and most likely has been retired for some time...... And don't tell anyone that I'm that old either! :wacko:

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Psssst! Sneak a look at his profile and he listed his birth date which indicates that he is now as old as I and most likely has been retired for some time...... And don't tell anyone that I'm that old either! :wacko:

Actually, I am "semi" retired. Which is supposed to mean that I work less than before; which is true. I do work less than before. But I still work about the same as a government employee. :P

 

WDR

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