RV Life On FIRE

Even though we have been on the road for over a year now, a week hasn’t gone by without someone asking us, “What do you do all day” or “Don’t you get bored?” The questions don’t bother us, but it’s interesting that the perception, even among some friends and family, is that we just sit in our “RV down by the river” like hobos watching life pass us by.

We understand that how we choose to live doesn’t conform to conventional societal norms. And we get that this lifestyle is not for everyone, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It certainly doesn’t mean that we have thrown in the towel in order to live a self-imposed life of misery. As a matter of fact, it’s just the opposite.

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One Year On The Road

Towards the end of February we passed the anniversary date marking one year full-time on the road. We didn’t get a chance to celebrate this milestone. As a matter of fact, we didn’t even know it happened. The date came and went as we were busy preparing to hit the road once again and failed to recognize our accomplishment.

Reflecting on the last year we have come a long way and yet it seems as though we are just getting started. Perhaps this is because we began our adventures in February, but it took another seven months before we actually started living life on our own terms.

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10 Essentials For Your New RV

Before you know it spring will be upon us and thus begins RV and camping season. With the huge increase in popularity for RV’s it seems like a good time to put out an updated list of essential items, all of which we use.

We have some items that are standard must-haves and part of owning an RV. Then there are some items that are essential because they make life a little easier and traveling a little more efficient and safer. There is something to be said for practical use and being full-time on the road that has given us a lot of experience in necessities of RV life.

You can find our original list from 2019 here. It’s a good list and while we are including items that are essential, we also strive to include some items that are not typically included on the standard lists people post.

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Full-Time Travel Planning

How do you decide where to go? How do you decide where to stay? Isn’t it stressful to have to make plans all the time? Isn’t it expensive?

These are some popular questions we get asked so we thought it would be a good idea to give some insight into our current planning process similar to what we did with full-time budgeting. I say “current planning process” because I feel the process will evolve over time as our circumstances change and as we gain experience with a higher level of comfort on the road.

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2021 Year In Review

What a difference a year makes! As a matter of fact, we never published our 2020 year in review for a few reasons. Mostly because 2020 just plain sucked! The pandemic ruined everything from our son’s senior year of high school, large parts of our college road trip, his freshman year in college and our plans to start our full-time RV life. And who can forget the financial rollercoaster from the top of the world down to the pit of despair and back again? Publishing a blog post and reliving it all over again was the last thing on our minds.

Here we are at the end of another year and still dealing with the continued fallout from the pandemic. Some things have remained the same. Everything else in our lives has changed for the better.

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Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

This has been an amazing year and we truly appreciate all of our readers and the time you take to read our posts and support our little blog.

This year we made significant progress to reach our F.I.R.E goals and transitioned into living our full-time RV dream. And we finally retired!

Since the beginning of the year the number of people following our blog has more than doubled and we are on track to more than quadruple the number of page views compared to last year. Even more amazing is that we have had visitors from 74 different countries this year!

We are very humbled by the level of support we have received and are excited to keep sharing our adventures with you as we travel across the Country.

Thank you!

Joe & Mrs. RVF

September 2021 Financial Update

Well it finally happened, we had a negative return month. This is our first month in the red since January, which is pretty remarkable, and even in January we were barely negative. In fact we would have to look back to October 2020 for the last significant negative month which shows that a correction was probably long over due. Of course everyone, including us, loves to see their portfolio go up month after month but in reality that is not healthy or sustainable. While it’s never fun to see your portfolio decrease, sometimes dramatically, these pullbacks create the opportunity to take up new positions, add to existing positions or to dollar cost average. Plus they are a healthy aspect of a long term investment strategy.

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April 2021 Financial Update

The month of April came and went in what seemed to be a flash and we are happy it is over. The month began with us still being stuck camping in a bodyshop parking lot as repairs continued on our RV. Once the wonderful folks at M&M Coach completed the work it was time for us to head to South Dakota so we could complete the process of becoming residents.

Of course everything we hoped to avoid on our journey to and from South Dakota ended up happening. And why not since Murphy’s Law seems to be our copilot and trial by fire is the gauntlet we apparently have to run through in order to live this amazing life.

We hit below freezing temps, snow and heavy winds pretty much every single day in Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota. Just the week before these same places were enjoying sunny 80 degree days but now it’s snowing in the middle of April. We made sure to fill our water tanks every chance we got because several campgrounds were unable to turn on their water due to the risk of the pipes freezing. This also meant we had to ration water because getting more would require breaking down camp and driving the RV somewhere in snowing conditions to refill the tank. No thank you!

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Becoming South Dakota Residents

To us one of the essential parts of becoming full time RV’ers was to establish residency, or domicile, in a state other than California. This is something most full timers do if they no longer intend to have a permanent residence or home base in a state. There are several reasons both financially and logistically to take this step and although it takes a little bit of work it is a fairly easy process and well worth the time.

When it comes to full time travelers some states are more beneficial than others. Have you ever noticed that many RV’s on the road are to be registered in South Dakota, Texas or Florida? This is because these three states are considered full time friendly states and make it very easy to become residents even though you don’t intend on being in the state most of the time. Another thing these three states have in common is they have an income tax rate of ZERO!! That’s right, if you are a resident of one of these three states you do not have to pay a state income tax. Contrast that with California who has one of the highest state tax rates in the nation and you can start to understand our motivation for getting out of the state. Continue reading “Becoming South Dakota Residents”