A few weeks ago, we got an email from Jason. He’d been reading our blog and recently he and his wife began to think about living on the road a little more than halftime (they’re easing into it!). They have a business that allows them to work from anywhere, so they had a few questions for us. I asked if they would mind me turning this into a Q & A blog post since maybe you have the same questions!
Q1 – Why did you choose Airstream? What other manufacturers did you consider?
We originally looked at C classes and the more people we talked to, we realized people don’t really fulltime in those a lot because if something happens to the engine, you’re also without a house while it’s in the shop. Then we started looking at trailers and really LOOKED at all kind of models and sizes. Then we went to an RV show in Illinois and saw the Airstreams…. Deke’s parents had an Avion in the 70s and I think all those memories just came flooding back and our decision was made! We started researching, looking at resale value and how they hold up over time with heavy use. We really couldn’t afford one, so we knew it would have to be a used model so we just kept looking until we found one in good shape!
Q2 – We’re in our late 20s, not sure about yall, but you look close to that as well; have you come across other young couples that you’ve networked with? (NOTE: I did NOT pay Jason to say that.)
First, thank you for saying we look that young… I’ll be 40 this year and Deke’s close behind me. We’re pretty young at heart, so we do meet a lot of people in their 20s and 30s doing the same thing — and we meet more all the time. There arent a TON of people that do it fulltime, but a lot that do it half or 3/4 of the year — below are some of my are my favorite folks. I adore the people we’ve met on the road, and some have become great friends!
Q3 – Honestly, how much do you work vs play?
We try to get one good trip in a month — 4 or 5 days– to a campground we’ve never been to. Then once or twice a year we do a big 2 week trip. Besides our cross country trip, last year we did Texas to Ohio in 2010 and this year we’re doing Seattle to Denver. But being able to come home from work and basically camp is really great — I can typically get a fire going and we grill for dinner, so its kind of the same thing!
Weekend trip to Dinosaur Valley.
Long lost weekend at Atlanta State Park.
Fishing weekend to Ft Griffin.
Halfway to Seattle and doing great.
Q4 – Your husband looks like he drives a F150, is that correct? If so, how does he feel his ½ ton performs and would he prefer more truck?
We have an F250 that we just got before leaving Texas. Before that we had a Tundra. The Tundra was adequate, but it didn’t have the payload we needed for fulltime living. All the heavy stuff was in the bed of the truck (generator, air compressor, bikes), so we needed a bit more. The F250 is more than enough for us — and it did a fantastic job over the mountains this year. My biggest concern over towing capacity is safety and I never felt unsafe in the truck. Mountains, snow, rain, sand .. the truck got through it all with flying colors.
Deke loved that he could name the trip on the truck computer.
Q5 – How does your pup like the road? (We’ve got two)
Lucy loves the road… she does amazingly well on long trips as long as her bed is there, and she has her own spot on the couch inside. We have friends with up to 3 dogs and one friend with a huge great dane and all seem to be really well adjusted! We’ll always have dogs, and we’ve traveled with two in the past… my BIGGEST and most serious recommendation if you’re going to fulltime with a dog, is really keep in mind the shedding is worse when you have 120 sq ft and it can get really annoying. We’ve had two miniature schnauzers that don’t shed and it was like heaven compared to Lucy!
Checking out New Mexico.
Q6 – Have your eating/exercise habits changed? We are both pretty healthy and value staying in shape. We’d like to think we’d work out from the road (and continue to be active if not more active) and that we’d still cook a lot from the trailer; do you find that to be the case or do you eat a lot of fast food?
We never eat fast food — it’s a challenge on the road for sure, but we just refuse to do it. It takes a bit of planning ahead and a good cooler, but for long trips, its all apples, celery, pretzels, water and more water, and then we always stop at a park and make a lunch, even if its just a sandwich. One time we were starving and had to stop at a KFC and I almost lost my mind. I dont think I ate anything but the mashed potatoes. And exercise is really built in here! If you look at a lot of the fulltime traveler websites, people have kayaks and skis and bikes… if you’re in state parks, you’ll have so many options. We have bikes and snowshoes, so we’ve got a winter and a summer option for exercise that don’t take up a lot of room. And we love to hike. Plus, I love to cook. When you decide on what kind of kitchen to get… really think about what you need. I HAD to have an oven, not a convection oven, and some models don’t have real ovens. I did NOT need a microwave, but this unit came with one, and I’m actually glad I have it sometimes, although I don’t use it that often.
Double stack grilling. Sometimes a necessary evil.
Q7 – Have you calculated what it cost you to live a month vs regular bills? So instead of electric, gas, rent, cable – you’ve got gas, camp fees, etc?
We have camp fees and propane right now, plus our internet service. In Texas we paid $375 a month at one spot and $425 at another, then were charged for electric and water which together was probably another $100 a month. Here its $450 plus $35 flat fee for all utilities, plus our propane and internet. Both vary a lot depending on the season and the weather! You’re so much better staying in State Parks — but they often don’t allow you to stay more than a month at a time, but with a bit of research you can really find some nice RV parks out there with good rates and a nice view!
Thanks for the questions Jason, and thanks to all our readers for the continued interest and support!! If anyone else has questions for Weaselmouth, please LET US KNOW!