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Marty Chambers, Largo Florida
(Would Have, Could Have, Should Have)

My wife Frances and I started talking about full-timing about eight or so years ago. I had a friend that went to full-timing about twelve years ago and at the time I could not understand why he would do that. But as the years came and went the idea started looking more and more appealing. Frances and I fell in love with the idea over time and started going to RV shows and figuring out what type of RV would best suit our needs.

The plan was when I turned 58 we would sell the house and most of our "stuff," get the RV, and travel around the country to wherever we desired. Well, three unforeseen things happened: The economy went south, property values went down and their is a glut of houses for sale, and on January 26, 2010 my dear wife was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She died on Earth Day/Good Friday, April 22, 2010, after trying to delay what we knew would come sooner or later. We never had a chance to even get out of town for a day.

I know that this is suppose to be about my life as a full-timer but I felt the need to share my story to pass on a little lesson Frances and I unfortunately learned the hard way. Don't let the would have, could have, and should have become a part of the end of you life like she had to. Had I known better five years earlier I would have done thing differently but you can't dwell on it, it does not make any difference to the way things are.

I fully intend to stick with our plan to full time as soon as I can. I intend to live the rest of my life as if I were dying, it is amazing how differently things are when you are faced with death.

And if you are at lake Solitude in the Tetons Mountains, my wife's favorite place on earth, say hi to Frances Chambers, I spread her ashes in its freezing waters on our anniversary, June 6, 2010. We would have been married 36 years.

Go to the RV Life and Travel blog from this page about what so often happens when you put off taking the plunge to go full-time RVing.

Comments for Full-timing

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Jul 29, 2011
My Sentiments Also
by: Anonymous


Thanks again for your lovely article. I am so sorry that you and your wife did not get to fulfill your dream.

We are just about to make the step to full timing. Our house is on the market and we have had a couple nibbles. We are hoping that things work out and it is sold soon. If not we are thinking about other options to get on the road full time. May God bless you sir. Hopefully you will be able to complete the dream.


Jul 29, 2011
Happy Travels
by: Doug

My condolences at the loss of your wife. I lost my wife in 2008 to breast cancer. We often thought of full timing, also, once I finished the military and our daughter had grown. I'll be going it alone, but my wife will be watching over me. Good luck in your travels.

Jul 29, 2011
by: Anonymous

Just read your full-timing story. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you will continue your plans to go full-time, I think your wife would have wanted you to.

Take care of yourself,

Aug 02, 2011
It's "Someda"y Before You Know It
by: Debbie B.

I heard a fellow F/T'r say..."someday has arrived". Someday I'll go F/T, someday I'll lose weight, someday I will die, etc.

My husband & I have lived fairly frugally. No fancy furniture, no new cars, a small home, etc. We began F/T'ing last month (July 2011) at the age of 54. You never know what the future will bring or when, so we are not waiting for the perfect time, but living life as we've wanted (on the road) NOW. May not be the perfect time, but it's a good enough time to make us happy.

Aug 05, 2011
You Really Struck Home!
by: CamperPete

Marty, I've got to admit that I choked up a bit when I read this post. Sorry for your loss. My wife, Debbie, and I have been married for over 40 years, are in our 60's but not yet retired. We've camped and RV'd since our kids were little, and have talked about full-timing, or at least very extended RV trips, "when we retire." The eerie thing is, we spoke just the other day about waiting too long...until unexpected poor health or other catastrophe makes it impossible to pursue our dreams. Thanks for the "kick in the butt!"

Aug 17, 2011
Hang in There
by: Bob in New Jersey

Sorry for your loss. My wife died in Sept. 2010 from breast cancer, at age 52. We did manage to pack a lot into our eight short years together.

I am planning to sell the house and go on the road in two years when I retire. I just got back from a four week western motorcycle trip and loved it. Especially all the wonderful people I met.

I was walking through the food store last night feeling sorry for myself and I said to myself it's time to stop and get on with it. I'm sure I will never get over it. She was very special, but you have to make the most of what you have to work with.

See you on the road - Bob

Aug 26, 2011
Thank You!
by: Rick young (21)

I just wanted to say thank you for sharing. I'm sure it was painful, but i promise it did not fall on deaf ears.

My wife and I have been talking about buying a Hurricane RV. Tonight was our one year anniversary; we married one ear ago tonight. I'll be absolutely sure not to take a single moment for granted.

Follow your dreams and go fulltime. I promise I'll follow mine. I know the lake where you spread your sweetheart's ashes. I'm sure I'll be there again someday. I'll be sure to say hello, followed by a prayer for you.

Feb 05, 2012
Thank You and Good Luck!
by: Ken Baker

Your story touched me! There is a life lesson here that I intend to use. Live for today! Don't put off your dreams and plans. Do what is going to make YOU happy, not what other people seem to think is best for YOU!

My wife and I have a beautiful Bighorn 5th wheel and bills up the wazoo. But the only thing keeping us here is our jobs and our stuff! Well, it's time to get rid of our stuff and have the freedom to live where we want to. We realize that we will have to work for many years to come, but we are OK with that. We can sell things that are collectables that we thought would make us happy to have.

But you know what? There is only one go around here on this earth and it's time to live and take on a different kind of stuff -- memories!

Good luck, sir, with your new adventures, and start living the dreams that you and your wife had planned! Maybe, just maybe we will meet somewhere down the road! It would be my honor!

Thank You, Ken Baker, Traverse City, MI.

Jun 07, 2012
Thankyou for Posting
by: Anonymous

Wow, I cried when I read your post. I am the same age as your wife, exactly.

I am just ending a divorce. With my settlement, if I can't live full time where my kids are, I am going to buy a Class A diesel pusher and live in it.

I hope you are able to live life again. Thanks for posting. You really said some important things.

Oct 18, 2012
Keep the Dream Alive
by: Marty Chambers

I want to thank everyone for all the kind words. My wife would also want to say thank you all for giving me all the support.

Days pass onto weeks, weeks to months, and months to years. Before you know it you are wondering if you waited too long to live your dreams, to share life with loved ones like you know you should have.

As they say at Hospice, "Live each day as a gift." Open that gift and share it with your loved ones and never take them for granted.

Live the dream, don't just dream about the life. I'll get out there sooner or later and join the rest of you enjoying the best lifestyle there is. All my best to everyone.

Nov 22, 2012
Have Walked in Your Shoes
by: Mary

My sympathy to you on your loss of your dear wife. I, too, was married 41 years and my husband died very suddenly.

We had camped all our married life and didn't have plans to go full-time, but I didn't want to give up RVing. I bought a motor home and continue to camp...snowbird in AZ in the winter, back home to IL in the summer. Now that the grandkids are older, I think I will travel more during the summer and see the country and not sit in IL for the summer.

A friend told me when my husband died, time does help the pain, and she was right. Losing a beloved partner so suddenly really makes you realize what is important in life...and how fragile life is. Wishing you the very best..healing thoughts to you.

Jan 10, 2014
Lake Solitude
by: Roger

Sorry for your loss. I went swimming at Lake Solitude in the Tetons Mountains in September 2008. What a beautiful place.

My wife and I are going full time RVing in two years when I retired. I do not want to put it off because my father died when he was 59.

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