New Name and Place

We’d like to invite you to visit out new home, Dan & Jen on Wheels (danandjenonwheels.com).  We will no longer be posting to this blog but all the existing content has been moved over to our new blog.  Everything looks pretty much the same but we will probably update the look and feel over the coming months so we can better share out story.  Thanks for stopping by and we look forward to seeing you in out new virtual home.  Oh, and don’t forget to update your links!

Dan & Jen

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RV’s Part 4 – Full-Timing Considerations

Before I begin this post, let me apologize for the delay.  Not only has it been a really busy few months with graduation and vacations and so on, I was informed by another blogger that we shared our blog names.  She initially accused me of copyright infringement but you can’t copyright a title or name.  She then asked if I would change the name of our blog and I think I will (potential new name is right up there ^).  I’m looking into how to do that seamlessly so I don’t lose subscribers and everyone can still find us.   Until then, things remain unchanged.  Thanks!

Looks like home.  But the way, folding tables are a great way to add versatility to a floor plan and save space.

Looks like home. By the way, folding tables are a great way to add versatility to a floor plan and save space.

RV’s serve many purposes.  From weekend camping excursions to extended travel to full-time living, there is an RV out there for everyone.  But those activities all put different demands on the RV.  An RV designed for the budget-minded, weekend camper won’t work, generally, for the full-timer and visa-versa (well, the weekend camper would probably love it but at what cost?).  But since this blog is about full-timing, what are the features one needs to look for when buying that full-time rig?  Well, we’re going to attempt to answer that.

As we’ve already discussed in parts 1, 2 and 3, there are many types of RVs, many levels of quality and many intended uses.  Not all rigs are made for full-timing.  For example, the travel trailer we owned was fairly nice…for a weekend camper.  While it had air conditioning, a microwave and a water heater, it wasn’t full-time worthy.  The fit, finish and fixtures were cheap, things like plastic sink basins, low-end fabrics and cheap blinds.  It had a short queen bed that was lumpy and springy.  The cabinets were thin particle board.  You get the idea.  Daily use would have destroyed that thing. Continue reading

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RV’s Part 3 – The Big Leagues

We’ve discussed the RVs you generally don’t want to buy for full-timing in Part 1 and what we call the minor leagues, RVs you might want to consider but aren’t the most popular options, in Part 2.  Remember, this is all subjective and personal wants and needs may skew your search in other directions.  This advice, or maybe this summation of our research, is good for most RVers but not all.  Take it as intended.  A guide from which to begin your own search.

A class A motorhome.

A class A motorhome.

So we’re in the big leagues now, class A motorhomes and fifth wheels.  These are arguably the most popular choices for full-time RVers and with good reason.  When your camping or taking short trips, size can take a back seat.  When your looking to live full-time in an RV, size is a major consideration for most folks.  Even the biggest RV is tiny when compared to your average stick-built home. Continue reading

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Still Kicking!

We haven’t gone anywhere, promise!  Busy time of year.  Our annual trip to Jamaica came to an end about three weeks back.  We sold the old Jeep and bought a new one at the end of March.  We’ve got one son, Henry, playing baseball and the other, Owen, in track.  Henry, the oldest, is graduating this spring and going into the Marines.  Recruiters, medical records, a trip to MEPS, whew!  And to top it all off, the leach line on out septic system died so we get to put in another one.  The joys of owning a home!

But all that has reminded us exactly why we want to hit the road.  We know RVing isn’t all Guns n Roses…or is that wine and roses? ;)… but even out relatively quiet semi-retired life out in the country can get busy and stressful.  We want simplicity.  We want peace and quiet.  No school, no ceremonies, no sports (well we might miss seeing the boys play but not the rest of it), no home repairs, no yard work (that’s coming soon), blah, blah, blah.

We promise to get back on schedule and finish our choosing an RV series.  But the Jeep was a first step.  That is part of the plan, something you know if you’ve been reading.  For several reasons, we decided to buy it now instead of later.  We love it.  It’s a great vehicle and with the modification we plan to make to it, the Jeep will take us on many exciting adventures.  In the mean time, her she is:

ur 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon.  Click the picture for more information on my other blog, flyfishnevada.com

Our 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. Click the picture for more information on my other blog, flyfishnevada.com

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RVs Part 2 – The Minor Leagues

The great outdoors

The great outdoors

We’ve detailed the purpose of this series and the types of RVs potential full-timers might want to avoid in their search for their future home on wheels here.  Now, it’s time to start talking about the RVs that full-timers seem to choose most often.  Of course, this is mostly opinion and observational based.  We have no data and these posts are probably ripe with our personal biases.  Still, our feelings on the subject might help you in your choice.

So, this post is entitled “The Minor Leagues” but we aren’t judging.  These are all viable choices for full-timers or those that travel extensively in an RV.  Each has a lot of benefits but each also has some drawbacks that keep them from being top choices for most RVers.  We will detail those pros and cons for travel trailers, class c motorhomes and truck campers. Continue reading

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RVs Part 1 – Decisions, Decisions

Makes you want to be there, huh?

Makes you want to be there, huh?

We’ve decided to provide a little insight on what is probably the most important decision a potential full-time RVer can make.  What kind of RV am I going to buy?  I mean, it is going to be your home, right?  It’s also one of the biggest investments you might make in your entire life, exceeded, probably, only by your sticks and bricks home.  It’s a big deal.  No offense to the full-timers out there but I don’t suspect they are the ones to ask for advice.

We don’t say that because they lack knowledge or because they don’t have a keen sense for the pros and cons of a particular model or even many models.  No, we say that because they’ve made their decision.  They have found the RV that’s right for them for whatever reason.  You and us, the aspiring RV buyer, will have our own preferences and criteria.  We need to pick our future home based on our needs not those of someone else. What we intend to do here is provide a discussion of the various types of RVs used by the full-timer community, their advantages and disadvantages and so on. Continue reading

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Happy New Year!

Does that suck or what?  I hate winter.  Luckily that three years old.  We don't even own that care anymore.   Even so, I want to be in San Diego or Florida or Arizona or...

Does that suck or what? I hate winter. Luckily that’s three years old. We don’t even own that car anymore. Even so, I want to be in San Diego or Florida or Arizona or…

Well, I’m back.  I mostly survived the Holidays.  Everyone in my family got sick except me (knock on wood), my dad and my nephew’s fiance.  Neat!  Other than that, it was enjoyable.  Ate way too much but that’s part of the fun is it not?  Anyway, it’s back to business and time to begin forging ahead.

I’d planned a series of posts about selecting RVs.  The ins and outs, the pros and cons, of the various types.  But then, Jen and I had a conversation.  We’d both love to get a fancy class A and a Jeep to tow behind it but what if we couldn’t.  Were saving money to help out but what if things happen and that doesn’t work out?  What then.  Neither of us are willing to abandon this dream.

So we discussed what we could live with Continue reading

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Merry Christmas, Happy New Year & Pleasant RV Dreams

Snow

Brrr!

Is this just an excuse to post?  A quick Merry Christmas and all that?  Well, yes and no.  Yesterday Jen and I went to town to get new tires on our sons’ truck.  That left Jen and I with some time as we waited.  We tend to do our RV dreaming either on the front porch when the weather permits or when we’re in the car alone and something gets us talking about RVing.  You know, like single digit temperatures, snow and fun stuff like that.

Winter always seems to get us in the mood to dream but as our time to actually doing this RVing thing moves closer (two and a half years can just fly by), we’re talking real plans now.  Like our change in attitude about RVing in general, we both seem to have settled on a plan of action somewhat independently.  Today, we did the whole, “Here’s what I was thinking….,” and “Really, me too,” thing.  Great minds… Continue reading

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Why the #@&%$ Would You Do That?

Even this view gets old after a while.

Even this view gets old after a while.

Inevitably, the question we tend to get when we tell people about our decision to live life on the road is “why?”  Some people think we live in paradise already, and in some ways we do.  Others can’t understand why we would want to be nomads.  Yet more people can’t imagine life without a big house and lots of stuff.  There was a time we couldn’t understand that stuff either.

But things happen in life that change your views on things and we’ve had our share. Continue reading

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Welcome to Our Blog!

I never thought this would be me.  Neither did Jen, my wife.  That’s us right down there:

Dan & Jen

Dan & Jen McMartin

We both thought we’d stay in our current home, the one we built in 2001 in Smith Valley, Nevada, forever.  Five acres and 2400 sq feet surrounded by alfalfa fields and sagebrush, mountain views in every direction…heaven, right?  Well, yes and no.  We’ve got a big mortgage, lots of chores to maintain the place and we’re isolated from friends.  Not how we wanted to spend our retirement.  No regrets, however, it’s a great place and a fine house to raise kids in but it’s not where we want to retire anymore.

We want a motorhome and a Jeep.  That’s our dream anyway.  We say so every time some lucky SOB drives by in a rig like that towing a Jeep.  “Livin’ the dream,” is our mantra but that RV blog title was taken so I came up with “Midlife on Wheels”.  So, why the change in plans?  For a lot of reasons.  The big house is too big and too much work.  We live in the middle of nowhere, which is nice in some ways but not in others.  We want to travel too and we figure why have a huge house and the payment sitting empty half the time.  We’re going to be living on my pension.  It’s enough but with the expense of a sticks and bricks house, we wouldn’t have much left to travel.

DSCN0562

My current Jeep that will likely be replaced before we head out on the road.

So after much talk of moving to a smaller house and what we wanted to do when the kids were gone, Jen and I almost simultaneously started to get curious about RVing.  We were both hesitant to tell the other.  We’d both said that lifestyle wasn’t for us many times.  But it is for us and one of us finally said as much and the other was like, “No way, me too!”   And so we started discussing it.  I’m a Jeep guy so we had to have one of those and we both liked motorhomes instead of 5th wheels and big pickups.  A dream was born.

So when do we leave?  Well, we’ve got two boys, Henry who’s 17 as of this writing and graduates in 2014 and Owen who’s 15 and leaves the nest in 2016.  I’ll only be 50 and Jen a few years younger (I’m not telling, sorry).  So were leaving in 2016 theoretically.  I know, I know.  What’s an RV blog without the RV, without the amazing trip reports, pictures and stories?  Well, I’ve read many blogs and follow quite a few religiously. One thing I’ve learned is that getting our of the house and onto the road is half the journey.

So, you get to come along for the entire ride.  From planning, purchase, downsizing, transition and finally leaving convention behind for a life on the road.  We’ve got about 3 years or so to do it.  I’ll try to update this at least once a month as we prepare and more often as we get close.  This is for posterity.  Kind of a scrapbook for us and a road map for others who might be thinking of doing the same thing someday.  It will be fun and we’re sure things won’t turn out the way we think today and by the end we will have learned a ton of stuff.  We’re looking forward to it.  Hope you come along for the ride.

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