We’ve been living in our 1988 Tiffin Allegro for one month now and while haven’t run into many problems, we have had to deal with the reality of explaining why and how we live in our RV full time.
The idea started for me years ago. I had gone back and forth between living in an RV and traveling full time or buying a small plot of land in the middle of nowhere and running a hobby farm for self sustenance. Both seemed expensive and difficult to start, so the ideas never became more than just ideas.
I had talked with Tiffany many times about how I’d like to just wander the country, go where we want on any given day, and live without the stress of paying bills and working day jobs just to afford all of our stuff. It seemed a bitter cycle, work to pay bills to buy stuff to never use because we were working all the time. We had car payments and rent, utilities like power and internet, and our apartment was filling up with stuff we never had the time to use. I wanted a change, but I wasn’t sure how to make it work.
I started watching YouTube videos about people who were doing it full time and was engrossed. I followed a ton of RVers, some good, some bad, and some really annoying. I wanted the lifestyle of changing scenery every day, not having to come and sit at a job and stare at a computer screen. I wanted freedom.
In December, Tiffany went back to Florida to visit family for the holiday. She visited a friend and that friend’s family. A few days later, one of them had died suddenly and unexpectedly. They had talked about selling everything they owned and traveling the country in an RV. But now it would never happen.
The switch had been flipped in Tiffany’s head: Continue what we were doing, or make something happen. When she came home, she me she was done with this lifestyle and we should get an RV and wander. That was all the push I needed to make it happen.
I started searching for RVs on craigslist and RVTrader, seeing what was out there, what we could afford, and how soon we could do it. Our apartment lease ended on July 30th, so we made that are deadline. I would scour craigslist every day for RVs in our area, hoping something would come up that was a gem in the rough. We drove as far as Minnesota to look at an RV, but it turned out it cost too much and needed too much work. We kept looking around our area.
I told my boss I’d be done working around mid-July and told my coworkers the plan. I think most of them didn’t believe me or thought I was just talking and dreaming.
In February, we found the RV we ended up purchasing. We had been looking at Class Cs because I wanted the bunk over the cab for storage and the cats. We ended up with a 1988 Tiffin Allegro Class A. It was bigger than we wanted originally, but it was in great condition and ran well. Two months after I initially looked at it, it was still available and had dropped in price. I kept in contact with the seller because I wanted this RV, I just needed to find a way to afford it.
We had already decided we wouldn’t need our cars while traveling, so first we sold Tiffany’s Honda Civic. It wasn’t in the best condition and needed some work, so we got just barely enough to cover the cost of the RV. At the end of April, we bought the Allegro and moved it to a long term storage place to work on it while we finalized our living arraignments. Everything fell into place, and by July, we had the RV ready to go for the most part, and we moved out of our apartment and into the RV.
So far, we haven’t been traveling much. We’ve stayed close to home to make sure everything works and get it ready to travel in. In a few days though, we head south for the winter. We will be taking our time, traveling for a week and staying at a campground for two. We are going to visit family in Florida and plan to be there by Thanksgiving, so that is our goal. We will be traveling 50 to 100 miles a day to get there. Its not a huge amount, but we have a week to travel 400 miles.
The only negative comment we have had from friends and family is one person who insists we are running away from something. That’s not the case though. We aren’t hiding or trying to escape, we are trying to make the most of the time we have and make it worthwhile. We could have kept our jobs and stayed in a small apartment with our three cats, but that isn’t what we want to do. We want to get out, to explore, and to see the things we never had a chance to see previously. Its an adventure to get it all done, but we’re only in our late 30s and should have plenty of time to do it.