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Kickin' it to the fifth wheel
Anybody from anywhere could end up here.
Walking through the Rainbow's End RV Park, you'll see license plates from all over the country on motorhomes, travel trailers and fifth wheels.
We came to Sequim in April and we are full-time RVers.
In 2008, my husband Hal and I decided to sell our house and just about everything we had furnished it with and collected since marrying in 1972. We custom-ordered a 37-foot fifth wheel despite never spending a single night in an RV before.
Our friends and neighbors thought we'd put the “For Sale” sign on both the fifth wheel and the pick-up truck we purchased after the first month.
We're still on the road in 2012 in a 350-square-foot RV with our seven-year-old Lahsa, trying out new destinations, volunteering for different organizations, and joining new groups.
Living the RV lifestyle doesn't need to be a huge undertaking.
In the past three years we’ve met the full gamut of people, including couples who have been full-time RVing for almost 20 years and have no plans to give it up. We have visited places that we had no idea existed.
The most common questions I’ve been asked involve how to overcome the obstacles leading to a full time RVer’s life style, and how realistic it really is to transform the fantasy of a free-spirited life style into a reality.
My response usually surprises people. It's easy, affordable and realistic.
People often ask things like how do you pay your bills, do you register to vote, and what do you do for your medical needs?
Many people we meet still work while RVing.
They'll hold jobs with Internet companies, travel for the military, be writers, researchers or construction workers.
We pay to use the site www. workcamper.com to look for RV sites looking for help. We work two days on and four days off in Sequim, meeting various clerical and maintenance needs.
Before we placed the order for our new “home,” we researched the type of RV by visiting dealers and researching the Internet. Next, we began the process of selecting a state we wanted to become permanent residents.
For some people that would be where they own property, but since both Hal and I are retired and own no property we chose South Dakota where the taxes are low.
Becoming a legal resident was easy, and mail forwarding services are readily available.
All of our bills — TV, phone — and bank statements come online and we still get some things via mail, such as magazines and vehicle registration.
If you have medical needs and are on insurance, providers can adapt and send information wherever you go.
Living here or there
At the beginning of our RV journey, we spent one week in South Dakota to meet legal requirements to establish permanent residency there. We obtained our drivers licenses and registered to vote using our campground's address. Then we spent an additional couple of weeks visiting Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse’s Monument, and the Badlands National Park.
We are absolutely amazed how beautiful all of the miles we are traveling were, and how friendly the people are we met.
America is an incredible country, and being able to travel through big cities and rural countrysides has given us a deeper appreciation of how truly blessed we are to be Americans.
Making the choice
The full-time RV lifestyle is not for everyone.
Once you have spent time researching all of the variables that are involved in making your RV your home, you might realize that it can be affordable, diverse, and easier than most could imagine.
Hal said the hardest part was giving up your personal privacy, but you quickly adjust.
I miss having a bath at times, but we make it to a hotel as a treat.
Most of living in an RV is making it your own.
We've made modifications inside: installing a dual computer station, a washer and dryer, and a doggy
Think of it this way: there's no garden work, the house cleaning is a slam-dunk, and you can live wherever you want.
When people ask us where home is, we tell them we were born and raised in New Jersey, but home is where the RV is parked.
So, if you have ever wondered how the lifestyle of an RVer would fit you, the Internet is a great place to begin your journey.
Susan Clark is a retired general manager from MobileComm and Hal Clark is retired from the U.S. Air Force.
Susan is available for questions and presentations on the RV lifestyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.