Five Years as Full-Timers, July 9, 2003 to July 8, 2008

On July 9th, 2003 we drove down the driveway away from our house and became full-time RVers, called "full-timers".  No house,  no land, just a motorhome.  Our original plan was to be on the road 2 to 5 years.  Less than a year into our journey, we realized we had lots more we wanted to see and do, so we bought a larger motorhome (the Dutch Star weíre still living in).  Now we are at 5 years with no plans to stop anytime soon.

We put 16,165 miles on the Dolphin, 56,036 miles on the Dutch Star for a total of 72,201 miles as full-timers, for an average of 14,440 miles per year.  During that time we put 88,310 miles on our Honda CRV for an average of 17,662 miles per year.  Good thing we are putting more miles on the CRV, it gets much better miles per gallon of fuel.  Our first motorhome fill up as full-timers was at $1.449 per gallon, our last fill up was at a price of $4.449 per gallon.  That is a massive change in five years.

We have stopped 473 times with the motorhome for an average traveling distance of 153 miles between campsites and an average stay of 3.86 days per stop.  Our longest stay anywhere was 75 nights (Gulf Waters RV Resort in Fort Myers Beach, FL from December 17, 2007 through February 29, 2008) and we have stayed many places only one night.  Our shortest campsite move is 2 miles from Eagles Nest in Ilwaco, WA to NACO Long Beach in Seaview, WA while our longest was 437 miles on April 9, 2008 avoiding severe weather. 

We have camped in 49 states.  The exception is Hawaii, where we can't drive to, but we have been there multiple times by airplane.  We havenít found a state yet that we donít want to spend more time in.  We have spent the most time in Washington, Florida, California, and Arizona, all with way over 100 nights spent per state.  The next group is Alaska, New Mexico, Oregon, and Texas with between 50 and 100 nights of camping per state.  There are ten states we have spent only 1 to 4 nights in, so we definitely need to spend more time in these states.

We have camped in six Canadian Provinces.  We want to increase this number and spend more time in all of the provinces we have previously camped in.

We have yet to camp in Mexico but give us time.  We have enjoyed Mexico in the past.

We have many friends we have met on the road and we keep in contact with friends from our previous life.  We love it. 

Along with all the beautiful sights to be seen throughout North America, we enjoy exploring new grocery stores and visiting new restaurants.  It is amazing what new foods we find by prowling through the aisles and refrigerator cases at the local warehouse clubs and grocery stores.  (Yes, 95% or more of the stuff is the same, but that other 5%...)

Do we think we will still be full-timers in five years?  We have no idea, but can't see why not.  We enjoy the flexibility, plus we have not found a place we like for 12 months of the year.  (Lots of places we love in their best season(s), however.)  We enjoy seeing new things, trying new foods and find the changes in places we revisit interesting. 

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