Two Year Update on Class of 2014

Here is the newbie class of 2014...all the people we have been hanging out with all week !!

Two years ago we attended our first RV -Dreams rally and the experience changed our life.  Not only did we walk away from the experience with confidence we could actually do this lifestyle, we made an incredible group of people that we are still friends with to this day.  Side Note: We have been lucky to have met many other people in the lifestyle, but to keep things manageable I have just been updating on this original small group.    Although 11 couples it is a small sample of people who become full timers but it is a diverse group of people and I do believe it is a nice cross section of the larger group as a whole.   Since the two year anniversary of when we met is fast approaching I wanted to share some statistics on how the experiences of the group over the last 12 month period.  Each couples experience is unique, but there have been some similarities in experiences which could be helpful for those contemplating the lifestyle.  If nothing else it certainly proves there are lots of way to live this lifestyle and there is no one true way.



  • The age range of the group is 47 – 70 with the median age being 56 years old. 
  • 95% of the group is Caucasian
  • 82 % have been married over 10 years
  • 55% have been married over 20 years
  • 36% have been married over 30 years
  • 55% of the couples have only been married once
  • 73% of the couples have grown children
  • 27% of the couples have grandchildren


  • 100% of the couples lived full-time in their RV for a portion of the last twelve months.
  • 82% of the couples have no sticks and bricks home
  • 27% of the couples own a “home base” piece of property or RV lot
  • 36% of the couples are currently full-timing in a different rig than they started with
    • Upgrade to newer model for more space/features (18%)
    • Change from a fifth wheel to Class A (9%)
    • Major repair issue necessitated replacement of rig (9%)  


  • 45% of the couples had one or more partners working professional jobs on the road
  • 18% of the couples owned small businesses on the road
  • 27% of the couples work kamped during the last twelve months
  • 36% of the couples have at least one partner who is retired with social security and/or pension benefits
  • 27% of the couples lived primarily off of investments/savings


  • 100% of the couples have spent time visiting with at least one other couple from the group
  • 45% of the couples have spent 30 days or more assisting family (holidays, weddings, family illness, parent/child health issue)
  • 45% are traveling primarily in the west, 36% are based primarily in the east, and 18% have split their travel time somewhat equally between the two areas.
  • 18% of the couples have experienced changes to their travel plans due to major repair issues
  • 18% of the couples have experienced changes to their travel plans due to health issues
  • 100% of the couples have the capability to boon dock
  • 55% of the couples have solar


  • 73% of the couples travel with pets
    • One pet (46%)
    • Two or more pets (27%)
  • 55% had dogs only
  • 18% had dogs and cats
  • 18% lost a pet to illness in the last twelve months
  • 27% of the couples had to change their travel plans due to campground pet restrictions (ie: dog breeds; number of dogs) 

So what does this all mean?  Mainly I think it shows (ethnicity aside) that there is diversity in who full timers are and how they live the lifestyle.  It also proves that the lifestyle is sustainable at least for the first couple of years.  One couple will be taking a “reverse snowbird” approach and is in the process of building  a sticks and bricks in Florida.  The other couples have plans to continue full timing for the foreseeable future.   We are excited to see what the next 12 months looks like for us and everyone else.



Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Search Amazon Here
  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.


First Thanksgiving Without Family

This is my first Thanksgiving ever without family so I wanted to make sure we did something completely different.  Some people try to recreate the family experience, and if you are with friends this is definitely a possibility, but I like to “remake” the holiday into something completely different if possible.  It makes it less sad for me, and also gives me an experience I wouldn’t normally have had.  I think my kids are thinking along the same lines this year.  Kyrston bought a complete Thanksgiving dinner from a local restaurant, Luca’s, in Keene that we are all really fond of, Kat and Micah had Mexican food with Jamie and Sara (they will eat the big family dinner over the weekend, and Kay really knocked it out of the park by going snow skiing for the first time, in Lake Tahoe, no less.  We had purchased a couple of beautiful ribeye steaks in preparation for the day but weren’t sure what the volunteering situation would be.  It turned out that the visitor center volunteers had a turkey dinner together which we would have liked to attend, but the campground was almost completely booked for the first time in years.  Usually this time of year the winter rains have started so a campground with no services is not the most fun place to be, but this year we have had many clear sky days and the park aides were very surprised when they looked at the reservation list and saw we only had three spots open.  All of the park aides were off that day so Lee and I made it clear we would work the day.  To be clear, no one told us we had to do this, but they didn’t tell us to close the kiosk either.  Mainly they seemed to leave it up to us and I thought it would be a great way to remake the day.  Plus, it just didn’t seem right to have a full campground and be here and not be available to help people.

So we started the day at 7am with our morning walk-through and Helen, my favorite park aide had prepped the daily check list for me in advance.  After the walk-through I went back to the kiosk and immediately had some folks come up with questions.  The visitors center is a great resource for people, but since they were closed for the day I answered questions (as I was able) about the immediate area.  I did a pretty good job throughout the day with basic information, and was honest with people when I had no idea.  Do you know where the Albino trees are in the Redwood forest?  (Apparently on occasion an offshoot of a Redwood is pure white because it can’t do photosynthesis and currently there are 12 scattered throughout the park.  The staff doesn’t tell people where they are though, because people think they will make great Christmas trees and cut them down when they see them.  First of all, those people are idiots, second, they die almost immediately because they are basically parasites and rely 100% on the parent tree for all nutrients.  Anyway, if you want to see one in founders Grove at marker #2 you can look up 150 feet and see one there.  They tell people about that one because no one can reach it. I learned this when Ranger Davis stopped by on one of her rounds and filled me in.  She was the only ranger working that day and was based 30 miles away but came when I needed her and was very nice…but I am jumping ahead.

After the initial morning rush, I settled in and started to write up a Camp Host Guideline sheet.  There is a huge book here, but nothing really specifically for camp hosts so I had asked Ranger John if I could write something up.  My one-sheet turned into three, but I feel pretty good that it has the main information on it, plus it helped me get more organized just by writing it down.  As I was writing I got to check in or help several people.  Many young groups wanted the hike trail maps for serious hikers, which I provided, and for those who were more meanderers like myself I talked to them about the places we had been so far.   One gentleman stopped because he was hiking the area and no gas stations were open.  He had no water or food so I gave him a bottle of water and three power bars we had in the truck.  Another lady was wondering if we had any green beans because her husband loves green bean casserole and she had forgotten to bring them.  I had two cans of french cut, she was thrilled, and when she tried to pay Lee $10 he refused the money and said Happy Thanksgiving.  It wasn’t all pleasant though.  The girlfriend of one couple was NOT happy because it was so cold and they wanted a refund (which we cannot provide), and several other couples wanted to move.  Because we were booked we did the best we could and by 1pm I had sold the last site and put up the campground full sign.  You would think it would slow down from there, but I guess the traffic was pretty heavy coming north and many people got in later than expected.  We also sold a ton of wood (over $200 worth) and in general were busy with questions and the like.  Around 3pm, someone stopped and said the water was running non-stop in the faucet in the men’s restroom.  I contacted the duty ranger (bit of trial and error on that one) and she headed up because maintenance had just left.  Lee checked it out and turned the water off to that one sink, and we ended up leaving it that way all day.  It was great when Ranger Davis came because I was completely out of change and she opened the safe and gave me all the fives and most of the ones in there.  She also stayed for awhile and helped answer some questions (which I learned from) and in general was very pleasant to hang out with.  We stayed really busy until 5:30 when she left and things finally slowed down and I closed the kiosk and Lee and I had our steak dinner.  One of the volunteers (a single in a B plus) actually brought us some turkey day plates, which was so sweet of her.  The other volunteer, JD, who she was with though, gave me a bit of a scolding about working on the day.  According to him the camp hosts never open the kiosk on Thanksgiving and “if you are here next year you should keep that in mind.”  I was getting off a pretty long day and have to say was a bit annoyed.  My personal philosophy is provide more value than the compensation you are receiving but draw the line at being taken advantage of. The big question is “What is being taken advantage of?”

I am a people pleaser by nature and it’s tough for me (with vague expectations) to not overdue it. For some (like Lee) this will never be an issue because he has a firm grasp on the appropriate when it comes to work-life balance, but for me, and I am sure many others, this line is constantly moving. I think, after much reflection and discussion with Lee,  that if I am choosing to do things because they make me feel good, great.  If I am “scurrying” (for lack of a better word) because of pressure (either internal or external) I need to take a step back and reevaluate.   So to break it down for this particular job (knowing it will change in every situation) the work we did helping people with sites, selling firewood, and answering questions falls in the former category.  Everything else falls into the latter.

At 8:30 we called it a night and I was in bed by 9:30.  I know my 13 hour day doesn’t come close to comparing to what my Amazon friends are going through (good luck with Hell Week btw), but it’s the hardest I have worked since I quit my job.  And it felt really good, I really enjoyed myself, and most importantly created a memory for my first family-free Thanksgiving.


In the kiosk


Steak turkey day yummy

Steak dinner for turkey day yummy



Camper Chronicles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to  Search here

First Wedding on the Road – Part 2

Saturday, the day of the wedding, dawned and we headed over to the venue pretty early.  Let me start by saying I didn’t take one single picture the day of the wedding. But we did hire a great professional photographer so once those pictures come in I’ll be adding some of them.  I will also say that this entry has absolutely nothing to do with full timing or camping, so if that’s where your interests lie you may want to skip this one.

Lee and I both still had work to do to get the venue ready and we headed straight over.  Kat, Kyrston, and Stacy all worked on Kat’s makeup and hair in the morning, but Kat was generous enough to let me skip that and get straight to work.  I know that probably sounds strange as the before wedding beauty ritual is usually a big moment for the mom, but those who know me understand I rarely wear makeup, my hair is as easy to style as possible, and I really wouldn’t have had much to contribute in this area.  So thankfully my oldest daughter stepped in and they all (including my mom) had a wonderful hour of girl time.

Kyrston fixing Katy's hair

Kyrston fixing Katy’s hair










I was re checking the venue site and making my list of needed items.  Thankfully, my sister, brother, and dad were all at the Hastings Farmer’s market and were kind enough to do a last-minute Walmart run. One the big items I knew we needed was more bug spray.  The ceremony site was very buggy the day before so I had Wendy buy me four double packs of Cutter Backyard Bug Control  outdoor foggers. I give this product my highest recommendation.  At Lee’s urging we waited until right before the guests were seated and we sprayed the ground, the willow branches, darn near everything, and it totally worked.  I asked several people later in the day if they had any bug issues and everyone said no.  $40 was a small price to pay for a bug free ceremony!!










The flowers had come in before we got there at 8:30am and this is where I made my first mistake.  Oh yes, I made several throughout the day! The kids decided to do something different with their bridal party and Kat had two girls and a guy (our youngest daughter Kay was unable to attend because she could not get time off from the Air Force and Kat chose to leave the spot open) and Micah had two guys and two girls.  So when four bouquets came in I made a quick look to make sure one was slightly bigger and that was the end of that.  Apparently I can’t count, because later in the day (unfortunately too late to do anything about it) it was discovered by the bridal party that we were missing a bouquet.  I thought three in my head, but there were actually four girls, two on Micah’s side and two on Kat’s.  I have to say though that these moments are what make me so proud of my exceptional daughter.  When she heard we were missing a bouquet, she immediately said “I didn’t want one anyway because you are both walking me down the aisle” and she gave her bouquet to one of the girls.  Jamie, one of the groom’s attendants, also immediately said she was carrying a book for the reading and didn’t need one.  This kind of mistake could have caused full-blown drama with the wrong group of women, but thankfully it was easily resolved.  I did feel bad though, so if you ever do this, please do yourself a favor and stop and actually count the flowers, corsages, and boutonnieres.  You’ll thank yourself later.

Next my helpers arrived with Jeremy and we started touching up the tables from yesterday.  Moss looks pretty cool but it is god awful messy, so we were doing a lot of blowing the little pieces back to the center to avoid smudges on the white tablecloths.  Also, one of the farm’s kittens jumped up on the head table and pulled down some moss right in front of me.  I love kittens, but after all my work I thought my head might explode and the kittens thankfully were put away for the rest of the day. Then we had to put all the flowers out, which we held off as long as we could so they would hold up in the heat, which they did.  Kat had selected a florist who works with all wildflowers and the effect with the moss was really cool.  Ivy and Jylissa our helpers were critical at this stage because it was many trips up and down the stairs bringing out the vases they had put together the day before.  Around this time Kat and Micah arrived at the venue and I should probably take a moment to show you the schedule.  We spent a lot of time as a foursome working out these details and it was based on some very specific ideas the kids had.  Kat wanted to do a “First Look” at the dress with just her, Micah, and the photographer and then she would walk around the rest of the day prior to the 5pm ceremony.  We were a little concerned it would water down the ceremony itself but it was actually fantastic and allowed us to space pictures throughout the day.  I highly recommend it.

11:00 Tracy, Lee, and Stacy help Kat get into dress (we ate quickly during this).  Linda and Jim with Micah.

12:00 “First Look” Kat and Micah, then bride and groom pictures, then bride and groom and parent pictures.

1:30 Rest of bridal party arrives; bridal party pictures

3:00 Extended family arrives – more pictures

4:00 Venue open to all guests

4:45 Shuttle bus from hotel arrives

5:00 Guests seated

5:15 Ceremony

Scheduling things out to this level might seem like overkill, but have you ever been to a wedding where the cake isn’t cut until 9pm??  This is how you avoid that happening.  By the way, putting the dress and veil on a daughter is one of the most special moments for both of us and this did not disappoint.  The venue had a beautiful room for us to use and that one on one time with your daughter before things get crazy is very special.

Bridal room

Bridal room


Bridal room


Because Lee is her dad Katy got movie lights for her makeup retouch

Because Lee is her dad Katy got movie lights for her makeup retouch

In our family we use Gaffe tape for everything!!

In our family we use Gaff tape for everything including stickie bras that don’t stick  well!


Putting on the veil was so special

Putting on the veil was so special










While Kat and Micah were getting their pictures taken, Lee and I got dressed, then got our pictures, then we were back to work talking to the caterers, bartenders, organizing the snack table, finalizing video camera placement, etc.  This time period is where Jeremy and Wendy were absolutely invaluable.  It’s hard to be in five places at once, and everywhere I wasn’t, either he or my sister were. Plus, Jeremy and Kyrston found the time to work out Skyping with my youngest daughter Kay,  and Jeremy carried her around via his phone during the ceremony and after for over an hour.  One of my favorite moments of the day was walking my daughter down the aisle and seeing Kay’s face on the phone as we walked past Jeremy. The three of us actually stopped the processional and said a quick “Hi” to her, and it was so special.  I was sad she couldn’t be there in person, but Jeremy’s kindness helped make her a part of the day.

Before the ceremony, Kat, Lee, and I did have some more one-on-one time as she made final preparations and then it was time to join the bridal party.  We walked up a small hill behind the tree and then Lee let the couples go one at a time carefully controlling the timing.  I was in the back when I realized I had forgotten the hand fasting ribbon which was to be used by myself and Micah’s mom Linda to tie their hands together during the ceremony.  The ribbon was about as far away as it could be (too far to run back without stopping the music) and I really started to panic.  Kat, again, wonderful in those critical moments all day, just laughed and said she felt calmer because I had made a mistake and then suggested we use the ribbon from my dress.  Thank God I had one, and we untied it and the ceremony went off without a hitch,  It really was a fun and unique ceremony as the kids had a very clear vision of what they wanted it to be and I was so happy to be a part of it.

Linda, Kat, Micah, and I during the handfasting ceremony

Linda, Kat, Micah, and I during the handfasting ceremony





The rest of the night was dinner, speeches (which were awesome), the father/daughter dance and mother/son dance, and cake cutting, then the first shuttle arrived, most of the older folks and young kids left, and the twenty somethings really cut loose on the dance floor.  Everyone seemed to have a really a good time and although being the Mother of the bride can be exhausting it was all worth it when Micah told me it was a “perfect day.”  That meant the world to me and made me cry.  He’s a very nice young man and we feel very blessed to have him in our family. I think this picture says it all.


The happy couple

Kat & Micah







The next morning my family and Kat and Micah met for breakfast as my brother and dad were headed to the airport.  Then Kat, Micah, Kyrston, Jeremy, my mom, Wendy, Lee’s mom and dad and his Aunt Dorothy all came over to the camper.  Thank heavens Dede and Denny stopped and bought lunch for everyone because I don’t think I had it in me to cook.  We sat and talked and watched the kids open some of their presents and had a really great time although after the last person left I fell into bed at 8pm and slept like the dead until 6am. It was a wonderful, wonderful week and I am so happy we got to be a part of it.

Y019 Y094

Y009 Y057

On a side note, I did want to mention  that Dede and Denny actually bought us some presents and brought them over on Sunday (everything does at least two things) and when they left DeDe put a beautiful card in the bathroom sink where we would find it at the end of the night.  Her note read: “Never lose sight of the fact that it is never about a destination – life is always about the journey! I hope that your journey is always fun and full of adventure! Even the bumps of the road are part of the journey.  Enjoy them all. Here’s to a beautiful ride.  Love, Mom and Denny.”  She is such a special woman and Denny is an amazing man.  They have been so very very supportive of this lifestyle from the very beginning and the thoughtfulness they put into both their gifts and that card still makes me tear up thinking about it.  We love you both and I know you are reading this because you always read our blog!  So, it’s back to our adventure now and in some respects we feel like we are truly getting started.  The last eight months has been largely about family, friends,  and Lee going to RV Tech school, but now we are headed for the wide open spaces and will be really seeing if this lifestyle is sustainable for us.  Stay tuned, because although it may be bumpy at times, I can promise you it will be an interesting ride!



Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog.

  • As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  Search Amazon Here
  • You can purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • You can purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.