Every time we drive up to this rig of ours we feel full of nervous excitement. To avoid debt, we paid cash for this old gal — she’s a 2006 Wildcat fifth wheel travel trailer.
It was definitely not the newest, shiniest trailer on the market, but it would allow us to travel rent and mortgage free — that’s really all we were looking for.
I can go into detail about how we fund life on the road and our dissatisfaction with our previous business/jobs up until this point in another post. But to summarize what led us to this lifestyle — why not?
I was well beyond burnt out in my wedding photography business, and Keegan was completely unfulfilled creatively with his blue-collar work. We were both working 60+ hours a week and never saw each other. We never went on trips together anymore. For a brief moment, we considered buying a house, because at our age in our hometown, that’s just what you do when you can afford it.
As serendipity goes, we realized that everything happens when it needs to. We didn’t go through with the house — queue the online #minimalist trend and The Minimalists documentary. Down we went into the rabbit hole of YouTube videos where we discovered that couples our age weren’t going into mortgage debt, they were traveling around in their RVs, vans, motorhomes, and buses — we were inspired.
Why not work and travel full-time slowly & sustainably?
We thought, “why not?”. We don’t have a mortgage. Why not? We are healthy, young, and capable. Why not? I had already started a business that could be remote. Why not? Could we really get rid of 80% of our belongings? Really, why not?
Why wait until retirement?
After some research, window shopping, and an Austin Airbnb Airstream experience we felt good about the possibility. We identified the model we liked with a layout that would work for us, and waited for a decently priced used one to pop up within driving distance. Lo and behold, after a few weeks of waiting, one was listed on Craigslist only two hours away and it was under budget. Talk about serendipity.
At this point, we didn’t even have a truck to tow it home! We paid to have it towed back to an RV storage while we looked for the tow vehicle.
A few more weeks later, a 2006 Dodge Ram 3500 diesel truck came onto the market a day’s drive away. We went to check it out, and talked them down to way below budget. The truck was a “down-grade” from our previous vehicles. It doesn’t have the comforts of the cars we sold, but it was more than capable of towing our home to new adventures. For us, that’s a total upgrade.
Many aspects of this journey have been about coming to the realization that less is more. Like I said, we never bought that house and we were still in the process of buying newer cars, so when the time came, we didn’t have giant assets to sell to buy brand spankin’ new everything. We found the things we needed in our means and decided to make do. If buying a slightly dated home on wheels and ride was necessary to buy back our freedom, then so be it. We think it’s a pretty good trade.
We bought our fifth wheel in February of 2018. We were wide-eyed, giddy, and ambitious. We didn’t really know what to expect with renovations — we just knew we could do it! Check out our before and after video and our posts on the inside “tour” of our trailer and see what all we put in to get this thing up to our liking.
Hopefully we will be able to stay on top of this blog with travel updates, stories from the road, and some tips for anyone out there wondering if this full-time RV lifestyle is for you.
Happy travels, y’all