I’m not an expert – just experienced
|Imagine downsizing from our Big Old (built in 1890) Victorian home to a 35′ RV
Cutty’s Resort remains open it winter so it was possible to go ‘full time’ in the RV. That same year we sold our 1890 Victorian home and became full-timers.
Our dream had been to retire to a ‘mobile lifestyle’. I envisioned it being something like, waking in the morning and flipping a coin to decide if we were to travel left or right, forward or back. We were still several years from being able to retire but we were beginning to live a version of the dream.
Our friends and family were concerned for us to the point that when we said we were going to live in the RV during the winter they asked, “Won’t you be cold?” To which we replied, “I don’t know, ask us again in the spring.” Well, thanks to following the advice of other full-timers, we made it through that first winter with only minor difficulties. And, “No” we were not cold. We learned to use foil-backed foam insulation to skirt the trailer. We also learned to use ‘trouble lights’ to provide just a little heat behind the RV refrigerator. (Unlike household refrigerators which use a compressor, RV refrigerators rely on evaporation and must have heat to work.) We learned to use plastic film to cover the windows. We learned how to depend on the fresh water tank for water and how to keep the water lines from freezing. But most of all we learned how beautiful God’s world is in the winter.
We watched the leaves on the trees around the lake turn from green to bright fall colors and then to abandon the trees for the winter. We watched the sunlight sparkle so brightly on the lake that it almost hurt your eyes. We watched the geese and ducks invade and then leave as they passed through to warmer areas. Gold finches changed to their drab green fall color. Rabbits, raccoons, deer and hawks became the winter time entertainment replacing the song birds of summer. We discovered that the winter sun shining on snow and ice mimicked the sunlight sparkle of the summer lake. We discovered how little we needed for us to be happy.
For the next couple of years we made the resort our home base. However, we also were able to volunteer as camp hosts at a couple of Corp of Engineer parks around Saylorville Lake. We both were still working full time (though we were both doing temp work).
In the years since then we have both retired. Ella was tired of waiting for new temp jobs to open. I had a heart attack that made me even more aware of how quickly things can change. Since retiring, we have done more work camping and some part-time jobs.
Now that we qualify for Medicare it will give us more freedom to travel without worrying about whether our insurance will be honored. Our plan is to travel to the Austin Texas area for the winter of 2012-2013 and then return to Iowa for the summer months. However, we’ll see how those plans work out. They have already gone through some revision. The original plan was to purchase another RV to take to Texas. We would then leave that one in storage in the south and return to Iowa and live in the RR. (to be continued)