The clock ticks differently for these motorhomers, who have learned to make a life, not just a living.
By Kerensa Durr, F437547
Full-time RVing has radically changed the way we handle time. Before my husband, Brandon, and I left on this journey, others often dictated our hours. We spent weekdays in offices until the sun went down and then made a long commute home. We scheduled our vacations around jobs, holidays, and family visits. Although we were generally happy, we knew we could do better. We could spend more time with each other and fewer hours at the office. We could fuel our passion for travel while we worked and visited with friends and family. We could set our own hours for working, living, and playing — and do it all from our RV.
To start improving our relationship to time, we created jobs for ourselves. We took the skills we had attained in our careers and translated them into consulting and freelance work. Now, we choose the hours we work and play. Whenever possible, we plan our travel and work schedules together to maximize the time for each. We stay fluid, and we’re always evolving. Currently, we are bringing more of what we love — RVing and travel — into our lives through new projects.
We try to balance our workload and our life. If it’s better to visit a destination during the day, we do that and complete our work at night. Sometimes we avoid crowds on the weekends by making those our workdays. We can set aside a weekday for sight-seeing. I’m sure those who are retired can relate. You’re able to choose the times that best suit you and your needs, which may not be at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday morning with everyone else. It may not be at the height of summer vacation season, either! Now that we can move freely throughout the year, we choose to visit some areas in the off-season. We prefer the slower pace and don’t have to fight for parking spaces or stand in lines.
We slow down our traveling during busy work periods. If we have a heavy workload, we may opt to stay in one spot for a long time. That way, we don’t feel rushed to work and explore; we can do both at our own pace. Sometimes, we’ll speed up our travels in order to attend events or meet friends. But for us, “speeding up” is still slower than for the average car traveler!
When we drove from Oregon to Indiana last year, we stopped in Idaho to see some former coworkers. As we talked, we mentioned that we only had a month to get to Indiana. They looked at us funny and one person said, “Isn’t it just a few days of driving?”
He was right, but that’s not how we think of time in the RV anymore. We didn’t get into this life to race from one destination to the next; we want to see all the points in between. We want to visit all those spots we would never get to if we only had two weeks a year to travel. So, crossing eight states in one month’s time felt very rushed to us. We had to skip many places we would like to visit and already have added some of those destinations into the mix for this year.
Some of our favorite times have been exploring states or areas for an entire season. One year we spent the whole summer touring Colorado. We made small jumps that kept us moving, but didn’t drain us. Staying there for several months allowed us to experience different regions, from the dunes to the mountains and more. We didn’t even realize the state’s diversity until we spent so much time there. I know we wouldn’t have been able to see it all in a week, and I’m grateful our full-timing life enabled us to do so.
For us, a big bonus of the full-time RV life is the ability to spend time with family and friends. They are spread across the country, and we could never visit everyone in just two weeks a year. Now we’re able to stay as long as we like, taking time to share meals, play games, and spend time together. We can make our “home” wherever we choose. Our home has been near our parents, old friends, grandparents, and new friends, too! As I write this, we are bouncing around, visiting family and friends in my home state. Being able to pull my house right up to my grandmother’s house is a blessing. We truly appreciate the opportunity to stay near loved ones.
We often spend weeks with family, making up for lost time. We don’t just fly in for a few days at Christmas. Our niece and nephews truly know us now. And they love visiting us in our “house car,” as our niece calls our motorhome, and making s’mores by the fire. We can’t wait to take them on trips when they’re older.
We still work during our visits, but we have more quality time with everyone than before. And working to pursue this lifestyle doesn’t feel so bad. Knowing that next week I’ll be parked near a good friend’s house or just somewhere we want to explore makes it all worthwhile.
We love having a different view outside our window whenever we move. It keeps things interesting and keeps us motivated to finish our work. We’re more efficient in an RV than a traditional office, and we can use that extra time to our benefit. Who wants to work all day when there is somewhere new to discover?
We count ourselves lucky to have found this life. Full-time RVing is not for everyone, but it’s perfect for us. It has given us our time back; it is now ours to do with as we please. We like to play with it and mix slow and fast travel with our workdays and play days to find a style all our own. And we’re happy that we are able to make these choices to explore our country, visit family and friends, and live our lives to the fullest. We are happy to call ourselves full-time RVers.
Visit Kerensa Durr and Brandon Hatcher in their Facebook group RV To Freedom. You can learn more about full-time RVing at RVtoFreedom.com and read more of their personal adventures at DriveDiveDevour.com.