Just because you may have camped off and on for a few years doesn’t mean that becoming a full-time RV-er is easy-peasy.
There are still adjustments that have to be made as Marti Wieschowski learned when she “un-tethered” herself from her stationary home in Florida and switched to taking her home with her on the road. While Marti had previously camped with a TAG, once she decided to go full-time, she upgraded to a TAB 400 towed by her 2018 Toyota Tacoma—a choice made for a purely practical reason, as she explained.
“It was mainly for the bathroom!” said Marti. “I found myself ‘boondocking’ frequently in my TAG and felt very unsafe searching for a bathroom in the middle of the night. Also, many workamping opportunities require that the rig is fully self-contained. I love having a dedicated bed and dinette. I have all the features of the giant rigs in a small footprint. It’s easy to tow and maneuver and can go places the big rigs can’t! And nuCamp products are unbeatable in design and quality.”
We interviewed Marti about why she made the decision to full-time, what she has learned and what her plans are going forward.
Q: Why did you want to go full-time rather than just continue part-time on the road, part-time land-based?
I gave up my home in October to care for my ex-boyfriend who suffered a stroke. So I started my downsizing at that time. Moving from Florida to into his home in North Carolina to care for him was the perfect opportunity to offload “stuff.” His house needed to be sold for financial reasons and physical limitations. So I decided if I needed to move again, I might as well jump into a mobile home.
Q: You had been camping part-time for several years. Do you think those previous trips helped prepare you for the full-time life?
I hope so! It’s too early to tell. I have always had great camping and travel experiences. Time will tell.
Q: What if any were some of the surprises or unexpected occurrences you experienced as a full-timer? Anything you had to figure out “on the fly”?
Black water and gray water! I also had to learn all the new systems. Being a tent camper and having a TAG, I am clueless about the water system, heat, solar, and black water and gray water. I had my first gray water overflow my first week out! Nothing like stepping into a tub full of ice water first thing in the morning! I also had to figure out what’s really important when it comes to material things. Gas is expensive! I need to learn to plan ahead!
Q: Looking back, what would you have done differently?
I would have planned ahead and saved more money. I still don’t have a solid game plan. It’s time to stop acting like I’m on vacation and be realistic about spending money and earning money!
Q: What would you recommend to anyone who is thinking of full-timing to help prepare them for it?
Plan, budget, research and have emergency funding and housing. Dragging your house around the country is very expensive. Most people who save money by living in an RV stay parked for extended periods of time and work or volunteer for a free site and/or salary.
Q: uCamp 19 was your first outing. What were some of the positives that came out of attending it? Will you be going to other similar events?
uCamp19 was amazing—just to see how having this common interest brings people together. There were people from all walks of life connecting like a family—it was beautiful to see especially in this day and age. Yes! I will attend more!
Q: What are your travel plans for the rest of 2019?
This summer is about spending time with family and learning how to live this life. Fall will be back to reality. Time to find a job and a long-term place to park for a few months and start planning for Canada/Alaska 2020!