5 things no one told us about RVing in early retirement

We have absolutely loved being on the road 5 months this summer.  AND, we are 100% ready to head home for the winter.

We set out for New England on May 15.  We had our route, itinerary, and campground reservations set for the entire summer, and we didn’t really deviate.  The only time we didn’t stick to the plan was when we had truck trouble, I pinched a nerve in my back, and it was so hot and buggy we couldn’t take it anymore. 

Our summer travels allowed us to see and experience so many wonderful things.  We got to visit places like:

  • The Grand Canyon
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Gettysburg, PA
  • Washington, DC
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Cooperstown, NY
  • Acadia National Park

As were pulling our RV across the country, we saw many friends and family members. We have to admit our stops that included visits with friendly faces were absolutely our favorites of the entire summer.  Who would have guessed stops in Scottsbluff, NE; Scranton, PA; and Columbus, OH, would rank in our top 5 layovers? Actually, when we look back at our favorite stops of the summer, visits with friends and family outrank everything else.  Well, except for the Annapolis Amish Market!  No friends there, but they have the best pretzel logs in the entire universe!

5 things we learned about ourselves and RV travel

1We need a routine.  Even though we’re not working full-time jobs, we still need a little bit of a routine when we’re on the road.  It helped to plan the week and think through when we were going to travel, do laundry, go grocery shopping, get some exercise, be tourists, etc. Otherwise, we would have slept in everyday, watched too much TV, and generally been 2 lumps on a log.

2We need our peeps.  Early retirement is 95% fabulous.  The 5% negative is that a lot of our friends are working and can’t travel along with us.  For all of you who know Carter, he’s always “in” for everything.  He’s in for dinner.  He’s in for movies.  He’s in for road trips.  He’s in for everything.  It’s hard to stay connected and be “in” when we’re on the road and in different time zones all the time.

3Staying put for a couple weeks helps a lot.  We stayed in multiple locations for about 2 weeks each – Denver, CO; Cape Cod, MA; Montoursville, PA; Bar Harbor, ME; and Lake George, NY.  For some reason, knowing we were going to be somewhere for more than a few days allowed us to settle in a little.  We joined local pickleball leagues, took a few days to do absolutely nothing, signed up for grocery store discounts, and other stuff we’d do at home.

4FaceTime is a godsend.  Wow!  What a difference it made to connect with FaceTime or Skype.  Getting to see people on the other end of the line really helped us.

5We’re “town” people.  It sounds so romantic to boondock or stay in remote state parks.  Well, that remoteness is cool for about 2 nights, and then we want cell phone service, internet, TV, shopping, and civilization in general!

What does all of this mean for Summer 2020 travel?

We are very grateful and thankful for the opportunity to retire early and travel for several months at a time. This summer has taught us a lot about ourselves and made us realize we need to make some changes as we go forward. Next year:

  • We’ll be away from Arizona a month less than we were this summer. 
  • We’ll be spending more time with friends.
  • We won’t be staying at so many remote campgrounds.
  • We’ll still be booking reservations well in advance.

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