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Full-time RVing… The Beginning: Answering Questions on How We Started

Full-time RVing … How did you get started? Were you retired? Where did you live before? How long did you spend planning? It must have been scary! What kind of new full-timer's rig did you buy?

We started full-time RVing in April 1992, when Bob and I were both 32 years old. We were far from retirement age. We had no pensions, no steady monthly check coming in.

We had nearly no camping or RVing experience, and had no desire to go camping. Neither did we have a lifelong dream to travel. We did not spend years planning. We did not read a bunch of books about it, or join a bunch of RVing or camping clubs -- there weren't many back then, or if there were, we didn't know about them. We didn't have and didn't buy a new RV. We didn't know what we were doing, where we were going, or if we would like it.

We lived in a wonderful old house, sitting on top of a hill, overlooking the historic city of Deadwood in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We were in town, yet somewhat secluded by woods that were home to deer that grazed our back yard. Bob had a workshop. I had an office.

We had the typical toys. We had no kids, but did have a dog and cat. Bob was assistant water superintendent for the city and was in line for appointment to be superintendent of water, streets, and parks. I designed and was the administrator of the childcare and development program at the nearby university. In addition, I sold Mary Kay products. We were in the typical situation of working day and night for someone else. Working to pay for things that we no longer had time to enjoy, and too busy to enjoy each other or our home.

My interest in selling Mary Kay products quickly bottomed as soon as I'd reached my goal of getting the famed car. I had some leftover products and supplies, so I took them to a flea market one weekend to get rid of them.

Bob and I have always been bargain hunters, enjoying auctions, flea markets, and garage sales. He's a fixer. He often buys power tools and mechanical things that don't work and then repairs them. While we sometimes succumbed to the box lots at auctions, we tried to resist them. What would we do with all that other stuff after taking out the one or two items we actually wanted?

It didn't take long to piece this together and figure out that I could take along those cast-aways to the flea market when I went back to sell the small amount of remaining Mary Kay.

As much as I loved hunting for bargains to buy, I loved selling them for a profit much more! We could go to auctions and buy, and I’d take it to the flea market and sell it. We'd found a form of entertainment that paid us instead of being an expense!

This was in South Dakota, and the winter indoor flea markets were only once a month. As spring approached, the other vendors asked me if I was going to have a space "Up on the hill" over the summer. "Up on the hill" was the location of the local outdoor flea market, where most of them sold things every weekend all summer long.

Was I? Hmmmm.

Continued on the next page. Click here to read more about how we got started full-time RVing.

Go to the Getting Started section page with more articles and stories about RVing full-time.

Go to the RV Life and Travel blog from this page on how we got started as full-time RVers.

Go to the RV Life and Travel home page to find more articles about RVs, RV camping, and full-time RVing.

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