Why I miss a Home Base | A Major Decision

sandhill cranes in-flight

The life of a nomad can appear glamorous. All you have to do is spend a little time on social media and the stunning images will have you longing to live a life of full-time travel. Yet those beautiful photographs don’t usually tell the whole story. I know I’m guilty of sharing predominantly the upside to RV living. Let’s face it, most people prefer to hear and see the positives of those living the nomadic life and ignore many of the realities.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told we’re living the dream which always makes me cringe. Ah, photographs, videos, and stories might appear like many nomads are indeed living a dream (and many feel they are), but in reality, there are days it’s far from a dream and more like a nightmare.

single lane tunnel in rearview mirror
RV won’t fit in that tunnel.

Travel fatigue, decision weariness, and sensory overload are real things.

My RVing friend, Laura at Chapter 3 Travels, recently wrote an article about travel burnout and the realities of living in an RV full-time. It’s a great read, and I would encourage any RV newbie or wannabe full-time RVer to read it.

Laura says … Because RVing has gotten so popular, and because a bunch of yahoo bloggers are all “blah, blah, blahing” about it online, there are more RVs on the road than ever before. What has not kept up is the supply of campgrounds. Ergo, supply and demand doing their thing means prices are going up and competition for choice sites is tougher than ever. Even worse, back in the olden days, there were plentiful options for boondocking on public lands. Now, many of those places are so overrun with RVers that public lands are actually closing down.

I couldn’t agree with Laura more and I accept the title of yahoo blogger knowing that she’s standing alongside me sharing that title.😁

Yep, traveling in an RV full-time ain’t what it used to be! Long gone are the days of traveling on a whim without reservations. Oh sure, Al and I still wing it when transitioning between locations, but we’re also willing to overnight in parking lots when campgrounds are full. (Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Cabela’s, Casinos, Truck Stops, Rest Stops) Those transitional travel nights are the only time we wing it.

Unfortunately, all the planning and scheduling that’s necessary has taken some of the fun out of RVing and that sense of freedom has changed. RVing full-time can be very stressful!

RV traveling down a deserted road in Utah

Why we got a year-round RV site

We’re in our seventh year of living the nomadic life … living in an RV full-time. A lot has changed over the years, including us. We’ve changed the way in which we travel. We’ve changed our goals and priorities. We’ve definitely slowed down as our equipment and our bodies have aged. Say it isn’t so! But to be honest, we’ve always traveled at a slower pace than a lot of other full-time RVers. Perhaps that’s why travel burnout has taken a little longer to hit us.

Even at our slow pace, we feel downright tired. Tired of planning. Tired of making never-ending decisions. Tired of researching. Tired of wondering if we’ll break down. And tired of worrying.

Now mind you, we’re not done with RV travel. Nope, not even close! We still love the adventure and socializing with like-minded friends, but we feel even the most adventurous need a break from a steady diet of travel. This is why many full-time RVers, Al and I included, start missing a home base … a place to go back to on our terms and regroup. A place we call ‘home’.

Sandhill cranes standing in reflection water
We love hanging out with like-minded friends.

Over the past several years, we’ve actually put contracts in on a few houses but were always relieved when negotiations stalled. We soon realized, we weren’t quite ready for the commitment of a sticks and bricks dwelling and that’s when the thought of an RV lot came to mind. We first heard about RVers owning their own lot several years ago through the Escapees organization.

At the time, we were relatively new to Full-time RVing and the thought seemed ridiculous to us. After all, the whole point of RVing is to travel. Why would anyone want to sit in an RV Park for months at a time? Well, after years of living life on the road, we finally get it! And now we’ve decided to rent a year-round RV site.

Why we chose the Pioneer RV Park in north Phoenix

Since our children live in Phoenix, Arizona this is where we spend the most amount of time throughout the year, and because of that, we made Phoenix our legal domicile several years ago.

Considering Phoenix is a winter hot spot for snowbirds, having a reservation in this entertaining city is an absolute must, especially during the most popular months of January, February, and March. Also, prepare for the city to explode in population during those prime months making traffic potentially difficult, but the good thing is with that influx in people, there’s no shortage of like-minded folks to mingle with and meet, and personally, we like that … just another upside to Arizona.

wild iris

This is our third winter camping at the Pioneer RV Resort near Anthem, Arizona and it feels like home. It’s now our home base and a place we have the freedom to come and go without concerns of reservations or fears of backing in the RV. We know exactly which site is ours. It’s a place we can leave our second vehicle and a place where we feel a sense of community.

We decided to contract for an annual site last spring after our first six-month stay at the park. Six months in one location? Wow, we didn’t think we’d last that long without hitch-itch setting in, but we did. We also felt more relaxed than we had in years. Renting a year-round site seemed to solve most of our travel fatigue without making a long term commitment.

I’ll admit, paying the monthly rent on an RV site all summer while we were away, did grind at me, but when put into perspective, it’s not so bad. Let’s face it, if we had purchased a sticks and bricks house, we’d be paying property taxes and all the other things associated with homeownership every month including the months we are away traveling. So, this is no different and our monthly rental cost is significantly less expensive than most monthly expenditures for real estate.

crabapple with droplets of water

For now, this works and solves some of our weariness. And with a mere thirty-day written notice, my rental obligation is nullified. This is the perfect solution for two people with location commitment issues.🤣 Perhaps if we didn’t have children, we might have chosen a place to purchase real estate by now. Or maybe, we’d still be drifting around. One never knows!

A lot of our RV friends that hit the road full-time when we did have either come off the road altogether or have gone part-time or have purchased lots at the Escapees parks or other similar parks. Then there are others who rent annual lots at various RV parks throughout the country as we’ve decided to do.

This changes everything!

So, with a monthly commitment, Al and I won’t be rolling much in the next year or two. We know we’ll be spending 6-8 months living in Phoenix, and during the hot weather months, we’ll escape the heat by traveling north. We’ll probably spend 3 months this summer back in Hayward, Wisconsin doing a repeat of last summer. We enjoyed that visit with family so much so that we’re already looking forward to this summer’s trip.

Will I miss our winter travels? Absolutely! But the travel downtime and the knowledge of knowing where we’ll be sleeping is very much needed at this stage in our journey. 2021 might look the same or we might shake things up. Aren’t choices wonderful?

So, now you know our plans. We’re always open to connecting. So, if you
find yourself in the Phoenix area, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Happy trails!

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141 thoughts on “Why I miss a Home Base | A Major Decision

    1. Yes, a home base allows a traveler to regroup which is something we were really missing. No reason you can’t become an RVer, even if only part-time, especially if you build up that passive income. Smart move on your part! There are lots of families traveling with little ones.

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  1. Hi Ingrid,
    We are snowbirds, with a mobile home in FL and a lake cottage in NH. So we have 2 bases, so to speak. We’ve toyed with fulltime rving, but I cannot let go of having a full time “landing spot.” So we are happily planning our big rv trip next year (and making those reservations 6-12 months in advance where we know we must!!!) but are glad to have permanent homes as well. Yes, it grinds us to pay lot rent in FL 12 months when we are only here 6, but we can afford it in our budget and it gives us a place to call home all winter.

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    1. I love your situation and am jealous. With that said, my biggest issue is the desire to be less than an hours drive from my daughter or we may have found something along the Gulf Coast by now. But I do enjoy AZ! It’s nice to have choices.

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  2. Good for you guys! I’d say 3/4 of our class of 14 have bought property to build a small home or pad for the RV to cut back to part time. A couple are off the tiad entirely. 6th year fir us now snd while we hVd a place in mind for winter and/or summer we still love bring fulltime. I’m sure our time will come in the next 5 or 10 years!

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    1. We have a couple of friends who have been RV full-time over 15 years, but either have raw land or an Escapees lot. I think it’s just a matter of time for the want of a place to go back to to regroup. I’m sure in the next couple of years, we’ll actually buy something and go part-time with a smaller rig.

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  3. Ingrid this sounds like a very wise decision. Although we have never done any RV travel, I have often wondered if you missed having a spot to call home. This seems like the perfect spot with your children being so close by. Very best wishes for this new chapter!

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  4. Ingrid, I completely understand. We’ve been feeling the effects of travel fatigue after seven years of full-time travels. We’re planning right now for our summer in Michigan and our winter NEXT YEAR in Florida, and meanwhile, we’re sorting through my parents’ estate. Half the time I don’t know where the heck I am, LOL.

    It sounds like you’ve come up with a wonderful solution by having a home base in Phoenix. We’re not making our lives any easier right now going back and forth about whether or not we should keep my parents’ home in Apalachicola on the bay. And we still have a home in southern Oregon that has been rented for the last seven years. Sometimes life is harder rather than easier with so many options, right? I’m glad you guys have made a decision, at least for now. I’m overwhelmed. 🙂

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    1. I know what a challenging year it has been for you. Although choices are a wonderful thing, sometimes ‘too’ many decisions can be overwhelming. We’ll be in northern WI this summer with a jaunt or 2 into the UP. Please let me know if your travels will take you across the Mackinac Bridge into Michigan’s UP. Would love to meet up!

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  5. This really resonated with me. My husband and I, after about 3.5 years as full-time RVers, are circling in on potential locations to settle down (part-time at least). He fell hard for the Portland music scene, so we are hoping to head there for at least a year to try it out. Portland campgrounds often have a wait list, but we are thinking by late 2020 or early 2021 we will try putting down roots for a while.

    Having a place that feels like home, with that relaxed feeling you talk about, is really a wonderful thing, as is that sense of community. Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. I love the idea of part-time, but still haven’t found a place that resonates with me. We stay in Phoenix because of our children and as much as I do like it, I love the idea of being near a body of water. Enjoy your trial run near Portland and thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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      1. I definitely understand not finding the right fit yet. Being near a body of water is definitely appealing to me too – I’m hoping all the beautiful water access will make it easier for me give up the sun of the Southwest, at least part of the year!

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        1. I do love the abundant sunshine in the Southwest. After spending our summer back in the Midwest with lots of gray skies, we’re always ready to return to dry out and soak up the vitamin D in AZ.

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  6. Totally get it. We love the full-timing thing and the travel but me being employed 8 1/2 months a year now has kept us mostly stationary September – May and we’ve found we really like that living style too for all the same fatigue reasons. It’s difficult to explain to a lot of people but you’ve stated it so well!

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  7. We have Snowbird RV friends who did the winter travel thing for one year before they decided to book into the same place in Yuma every winter!
    We see the same situation in the summer in Alberta. You might have to pre-book months in advance to get into many of the most popular RV places in the Rockies.
    The same seems to be true overseas too – more and more crowds!

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    1. I think we’re faced with a double whammy with more and more baby boomers retiring and more younger people able to work location independent jobs. This has lead to an explosion in RVing and overcrowding. It’ll be interesting to see how the next 5 years plays out. 😊

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  8. Ingrid, you are so right about living on the road, its getting very busy out there!
    One of the reasons I stopped blogging almost a year and half ago was I realized my beautiful images and videos of the places we visited were part of the problem. Travel blogging is fun and educational but has its repercussions…

    We plan on hitting the road again this fall and but I haven’t deiced whether to begin blogging again, maybe in a different way…?

    As you know we are on the road for 6 months and spend 6 months stationary in Alaska, This works very well for us. I think your new home base in Phoenix is a great idea but maybe not during the summer months. I would consider living somewhere cooler during summer months 🙂

    Come to Alaska in the summer and host a Campground!!

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    1. Dear Ingrid and Al
      After Lewis and I traveled during 20187-2018, I began to miss a home. While traveling through Charleston SC, we fell in love with the people, the food, our neighbors and bought a piece of land and built a home on Johns Island. Permanent RV travel is for the hearty. I am happy on Johns Island SC and love our new home and occasional RV travel. Each to their own!
      Hugs
      Nancy

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      1. I’m so glad you two found a home base that you love. We’re still searching for that spot. Yes, full-time RVing certainly isn’t for everyone. We never thought we’d be on the road this long, but we’ve found it to be somewhat addicting. Enjoy your new home!

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    2. We are definitely not spending the summer in Phoenix. We’ll be returning to northern WI. Because we were busy with Al’s sister’s kitchen model last summer, we didn’t get in all the playing and exploring we wanted. So, we plan on doing that this summer.

      I do hope you’ll continue blogging. I love your photography and writing. But agree, no need to share exact location. I usually only share super popular places. Great hikes or boondocking sites are kept off the blog and only shared with friends.

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  9. “Home is any four walls that enclose the right person.” (Helen Rowland) Ingrid, no matter where or how you choose to live, if you and Al have come to that decision together, then that’s the right one for both of you. Your honesty in detailing your situation is fresh and appealing. This is an excellent post, although I must admit to being distracted by your amazing photos while I was reading it!

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    1. You are so right Mary! Home is all about the right person … and family. I’m glad you enjoyed my photographs. I had a fun time going through my external hard-drive and venturing down memory lane.

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    1. And we are so glad you like it here. We love having you near. Wish we could’ve done some hiking during your stay. I’m still working on my health and hope to be feeling up to a hike when you get back to the valley.

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  10. Thanks for putting it all in perspective and finding a magic formula that works for you! There are so many options and looks like you found a great balance between travel/sensory overload, community, and adventure. We are just starting, but already realizing that the road ahead is very crowded and at times, bumpy 🙂

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    1. Yes, the options are endless and I’m sure we’ll shake things up a little more down the road. Your Class B will allow you the flexibility to travel whenever and wherever your heart desires. Enjoy your explorations and thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Yup, I get it. Congrats on knowing what you want “for now” and making the change. We probably won’t be far behind but just haven’t found that spot yet. For now we just book 5 months at one spot in the winter and consider that our “regrouping” spot. Not as perfect as a year around spot where you can leave stuff if you want but I guess it’s a step. Congrats again and meeting you guys is still on our bucket list 🙂
    Dave & Diane

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    1. Totally understand…and we have a few years on you two…We haven’t traveled for 3 years and our RV is getting to be an “old gal”, just like her owners. We are now under no obligations to be here in Illinois,so we are doing some much needed remodeling on our home and entertaining the thought of a Winter condo someplace warm…or doing what you have done. Our grandkids are getting older and have assured us that they will find us wherever we go..especially if it’s a warm location. Have fun..

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      1. We’ve run into quite a few people who ended up owning two RVs. One permanently parked in the south and another in the north and then they travel between the two in a car. There are several folks here in our RV park who own houses in the north and keep an RV parked here on a lot which makes travel between the two a lot less stressful. Some even fly between their two destinations. I’m sure you guys will find what works for you. But in the meantime, that kitchen is looking good!

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    2. When you find an RV Park that works for you, it’s nice to stay for awhile. And sounds like you’ve found that place in Casa Grande. I’m sure one day our paths will finally cross 😊 We’d love meeting!

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  12. I do not remember how long ago it was but CravesParents decided to find at least one if not two permanent RV sites to rent for 4 to 6 months at time. I saw a shift in them within that first couple of years due to less stress, worry, planning, etc. Then of course we threw them for a loop in moving to Florida. However, they have embraced the Floridian lifestyle while here and a lot warmer here in Dec. thru March than Arkansas. The major take away I learned in dealing with a short sale a few years back is that I am home wherever Mister Craves is, he is my home and heart. Glad to hear the two of you are doing well and working through it together – wishing you the best – Happy Adventuring – Enjoy 🙂

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    1. Very well said, “I am home wherever Mr. Craves is”. I couldn’t agree more. Glad to hear your in-laws are enjoying life in your neck of the woods. I think the older we get, the more important to stay connected with family. Life is short and precious. Hope you’re getting out and about with your camera and enjoying the FL winter. 😊

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          1. I need to get back to blogging and my full-time paying gig is keeping me too busy lately to do that. However, I need to carve out some time throughout the week to do it because it is good for me and let’s me be creative too.

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  13. It seems to me that 7 -8 years of full timing is the breaking point and that’s when our driver/husband gets tired of driving. You hit all the points. Lucky you for you have finally made a choice from the many options and found your bar 🙂

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    1. For now this will work, but eventually we do want to find some kind of property/sticks and bricks. We’re waiting to see which location YOU pick. And then maybe we’ll copy 😃 and move down the road!

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  14. Well said. We’re on our fifth year, with amazingly similar thoughts. Coincidentally, we’re on the list for an Escapees lot in Texas. You seem to have chosen well; we’re in Mesa for a couple of weeks, enjoying the area greatly. Congratulations!

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    1. You’ll find no shortage of things to do and see in the Phoenix valley. We’ve thought long and hard about an Escapees lot and haven’t totally ruled that out especially the place in Congress. Time will tell what we actually decide. I’m sure you’ll be happy in Texas. Hope the waiting list isn’t too long!

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  15. Sounds like a great answer for your wanting to take a break from the road. Our eight years on the road were living the dream. We were very lucky to have smooth sailing for the years. It was, however, time for a change after eight years. After we hit all the places on our list, planning lost its luster. Now we only travel half the year and we look forward to planning new adventures. But it sure is nice to have that home base to return to. Enjoy your new “home.” It sure is a weight off your shoulders making the decision.

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    1. The travel does lose its luster. After a while, the mountains all start looking alike. Having a place to go back to and regroup reignites that travel excitement. I know come mid-May, we’ll be soooo ready to start rolling again. Congrats on your beautiful home! Glad you found that perfect place that works for you 😎

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  16. Awesome photos, Ingrid! I enjoyed your post and am happy you found another niche in RVing that works for you both! It sounds perfect and yet easy when you’re ready to make a change in plans if you want to. 🙂

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    1. Thank you, and yes, easy to change plans when we’re ready. One of the things that we really enjoy about the RV lifestyle is the flexibility and ability to change things up on a whim 😊

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  17. As a Canadian, we were always fighting the shoulder season, meaning that time at the beginning and end of the six months we have to be in Canada to retain our health care and pension and old age security benefits. Plus we had to buy extra health insurance for traveling in the USA. We got tired of freezing in April and October so we bought a small house with a big driveway in the country. That worked for two years, winter in the south the travel trailer, summer in our country home. Then in June my husband got a carotid artery dissection making travel impossible while he recovered. I was so glad we had a home to stay home in. Just last week he got the word that the latest MRI shows he is full healed and back to his previous health status but I doubt we can get travel insurance and even if we could it would likely cost more than we can afford. We will determine this next fall. We are currently musing about the possibility of some travel to places within Canada this summer. Frankly, I’m tired of the stress of traveling and enjoying being home in my stick house. Winter when retired and out in the country is a lot better than winter in the city. A lot like you describe would have been ideal for us but is simply not feasible in winter here at the 51st parallel. We shall see how itchy I get to travel this summer. In any case I do think sooner or later, full time RVing has to slow down and even eventually end for health or travel burnout or something. It’s just the cycle of life. My time as a fulltimer is filled with special and precious memories and I am so glad we did it.

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    1. Congratulations – I’m thrilled to hear that your husband is doing well. I do remember your story and understand why you enjoy spending time at your place in the country. Traveling is indeed stressful and after a while, things start looking the same. There is a cycle of life and we all have to be real with ourselves, our capabilities, and our desires. Life is ever-changing, and as nomads, we tend to embrace change. This getting old stuff, I’m not embracing as well as other life changes 😆

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  18. I hear you! Travelling is hard work. It takes up so much head space, all that researching, deciding, moving, new input, – it can be physically and mentally exhausting. We’ve been nomadic for 10 years now, and seem to be going slower and slower (out of choice). For now, housesitting (for a real ‘home’ feel) and an annual couple of monthly stay in Amsterdam to visit friends and touch ‘home’ ground is OK. I am happy for you that you’ve found your own solution to deal with travellers block. Enjoy it.

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    1. Ten years of nomadic life? Congratulations! Sounds like you’ve found a way to regroup from time to time and find what works best for you. Hope you are still enjoying the journey. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

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  19. Hi. I love reading your blogs.
    We have a little park model home in Florida we stay in for 7 months and travel the country the rest of the time.
    I found RV Trip Wizard and don’t even know how I planned our trips before that. I love them, it takes the drag out of planning. Still a lot of work, but so much easier.
    Take care. Linda

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    1. We’ve considered and looked at some Park Models, but think we’d like a little more elbow room and space. We’re torn at times because we love the RV community.
      I have a friend that loves RV Trip Wizard. I may have to give it a second look – Thank you! 😊

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  20. Our biggest problem when on the road full time was that we nowhere to store any ‘stuff’. Now we’re in a house the biggest problem is that if we go away for any length of time we come back to an overgrown garden. I’m a tad house and garden proud so that rankles. Having a rented lot would seemingly solve both those problems.

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    1. It’s always something, huh! 😆 We’ve had a bunch of stuff stored in a storage facility for years. No regrets! I know, one day we’ll find that place where we’ll want to settle. It’ll probably be somewhere in Arizona (providing our son and daughter still live here).

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  21. Ingrid,
    Helen and I couldn’t give up the home base for full-time because we have spent our entire lives here and have family here as well. We need a place to recoup and re-connect. Part-time, extended RV travel suits us, but I never realized how much hard work and planning it requires. We’re booking three trips for this year and into 2021 and I have spent most of two months researching and reserving. All I can say is it’s worth it…for now. BTW, we tried to book LD State Park for next month but there was no room for us. I had hoped we could meet at Organ Stop Pizza.

    Very interesting post. Great pictures. Joe

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    1. I think everyone needs a place to recoup and re-connect which is why I think so many full-time RVers either come off the road, go part-time, or rent annual sites. We never had any strong connections to our last sticks and bricks place. So for us, it was easy to sell out and move into the RV. Our search for a place to put down roots (part-time) will continue, but renting in the meantime will work perfectly.
      March is the busiest time of year in Phoenix, and I doubt you’ll find availability at this late date. Even the overflow sites at Lost Dutchman will be filled to the brim.

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    1. I know … we’re practically neighbors. Love it! Give me another week of downtime, and I should be ready to get out and about with the camera again. I can’t believe how long it has taken me to shake this bug.

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  22. I’m happy for you guys. Successful full-timers and moving into a change of pace. Nothing wrong with that. We are parked in Aransas Pass outside Rockport Texas at the moment. Tell Al we are heading over to see the Lexington. And we spent some time with the birds near the beach and national wildlife sanctuary to include the Whooping Cranes. This area and what to do near it I know because of your blog. You have made full timer RVing a little easier for us newbies. See ya in Phoenix someday for sure.

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    1. Enjoy your tour of Lady Lex. I still can’t believe Al lived on that ship for a short time while he earned his wings. I hope you used my blog for reference of sights to see while in Port A. Although, I’m sure a few things have changed since hurricane Harvey. I sure am missing my visits to that area.
      I’d love to meet up sometime. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before our trails cross!

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      1. We took the run down the coast from Arnasas Port where we caught the ferry. Then down past Mustang Island, through Corpus and back to Arnasas Bay Corpus did not look appealing. Just as we got on the bridge we looked down at the ship. It must be like a crash landing to land on that thing. And yes, I have your blog posts for the area saved in my spreadsheet from years ago. One park you were at was full but we are learning to ropes in finding our own.

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  23. Very interesting post. We have been at Valle Del Ore, Mesa since September. We took their Fall special and extended till end March. This is a CalAm property, tons of activities, but the news I’m hearing is that they want to make it a park model resort in the future. Eliminate RVs. Took RV off the name of the resort . HOA dues here under 8K/yr. Another item we found interesting is that workamping in a lot of these resorts in the greater Phoenix area is you work, get paid, turn your check in for your site and get a 1099 at tax time. That doesn’t ” work” for us and many others. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and plans.

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    1. Years ago, we did the exact same thing by signing up for a fall special, but never extended our stay. We’ve checked out the CalAm properties in Mesa before, and I agree, they are geared more toward Park Models. Even our park is more interested in setting up Park Models. Eventually, it’ll be downright difficult to find a place to park an RV in the Phx valley. We decided long ago that workamping at RV resorts wouldn’t work for us. Thus, we’ve gone in another direction for part-time work. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  24. It may not be the right decision for everyone but it is for you and Al. Your post is the perfect example of there is no one way, or no right way to enjoy this lifestyle. After nine years on the road we are thinking of putting down some kind of roots in the Pacific Northwest in another year. We don’t know what that will look like yet. Good luck to both of you and happy travels.

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    1. You are so right … there’s no right or wrong way to RV. Nine years full-time? Boy, you got us beat. I think the main reason we haven’t committed to any real estate is that we don’t know what we want. Well, we know what we want but it doesn’t exist in the location that we want 😆 So, we’ll need to figure out priorities and make concessions. Best of luck on your PNW property search!

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  25. Yep, yep, and yep! Travel fatigue is a thing. As you know, I’ve been a nomad since 2003 and I still enjoy living that lifestyle. But, the longer you do it, the more exhausting it becomes. And not just because the lifestyle is getting more popular. We still find plenty of boondocking spots out west. But, really, who wants to be moving every day or every few days for years on end?? Especially when still needing to work and being extra frugal…

    Anyway, the first time – ever – I said “enough is enough” (for a while), was after our eight years sailing the world. That was a step above RVing in difficulty and challenges, especially when running a business. After house sitting throughout the US for a couple of years, we were rested enough to live in our 19ft camper full-time. After two (or has it been three) years of that, I’m tired again.

    Your post comes very timely as my next one will touch on a similar topic. 🙂 We have options this year, but have a hard time coming up with what we really want. We’ve always had a South American adventure in mind, but I feel we need to “rest up” again first. We will see what happens. Stay tuned for our plans at some point in 2020, whenever we have them!

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    1. If anyone understands travel fatigue, it’s you! I’m amazed by as much as you’ve traveled that you aren’t tired of it by now. Part of me has lost interest in exploring new places, and then another part hasn’t. We loved returning to familiar territory last summer and exploring in a way in which we never had time all those years ago.
      I look forward to hearing your upcoming plans, but slowing down might be exactly what you need before embarking on a South American adventure.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Hi Ingrid, All I can say is Amen sister! There are no rainbows and Unicorns when your full-time RV’ers. With that being said the greatest gift this lifestyle has given us is flexibility to go and help when our kids and other family members need help. We are lucky because where we winter in western Arizona only requires us to put down $100 deposit down to hold our spot for the next winter. For us we workamp in the summer when its to hot to be in the Southwest.

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    1. Nice to hear from you Rich and Darla. This RV Resort used to do the same thing – small deposit would hold our site for the next season, but all that has changed as have so many other things in the RVing world making life a little more challenging. Sounds like you found a routine that’s working for you which is important for longevity in this lifestyle.

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    1. Nope, not too far at all. Once I’m totally over this cold, let’s plan on getting together and catching up. And to think our friendship started as two strangers parked in our RVs next to each other in the Quartzsite desert.🌵

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  27. Exciting times! You know our feelings on the subject, we like the idea of a home base but will continue to travel as much as we want and where we want. But to your point more planning and reservations will be needed to make sure we get a site as things get more crowded.

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    1. By downsizing your RV, you’ll have more camping options. You picked a beautiful spot for a home base, and as much as I love your little slice of heaven, it’s just too darn cold for this gal 🥶 We’ll eventually find something in AZ that’ll work.

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  28. That sounds like a wonderful plan! I’ve always thought when we retire and travel we would downsize but still want a base. We really enjoyed Phoenix when we visited last year. Be sure to keep telling us what is happening in that area!

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    1. Unfortunately, the Phoenix valley is growing like a weed and expanding wherever it can. We still like it here though and I don’t think my kids will be moving. So, Arizona will be home. We’re just not sure if it’ll be Prescott, Phoenix, or somewhere else in the state. Time will tell, but it’ll be a small house. Something less than 1500 sq.ft.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally get that. I like living more rural with access to town. What about out towards Superior? We liked Boyce Thompson Arboretum. You can’t go wrong with Prescott. I would want a place with LOTS of hummingbirds! Of course Flagstaff would put you in a nice cooler area between Phoenix and the wonderful Page area. So many nice places!

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  29. I couldn’t agree more with this statement “all the planning and scheduling that’s necessary has taken some of the fun out of RVing” but we aren’t yet ready to “settle” because we still don’t know where we want to be. We are hoping that the RV parks won’t price us out of this lifestyle before we are ready to leave it…

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    1. I’m sure you’ve witnessed a lot of changes during your full-time travels. Yes, it seems to be getting more and more expensive which might be concerning. We aren’t exactly sure where we’d like to settle either, except we know we don’t want to be too far from our kids … a couple hours drive or closer is fine. We’d love to get together before you leave town if you’re interested!

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  30. Congratulations on your decision. I am a bit sad because of the changes but there are always new adventures. I shared your entry with a friend of mine who asked about RVing and she has been reading up on RVing but I don’t know if she has read everything. 🙂

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    1. Thank you Katie. Oh, we’ll still have plenty of adventures, just changing it up a little. After all, that’s what RVing is all about – change. Be sure and let your friend know, I’m here if she has any concerns or questions about the lifestyle.

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  31. I’ve always enjoyed my home base, and extensive travel too, so I completely understand your desire to put out an anchor, Ingrid. You’ve been a wonderful teacher of traveling and how to embrace the changes we encounter in life, and this new change is another example of your courage and self-awareness. Good luck to you both, and congratulations. Fantastic sandhill crane photos.

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    1. Thank you Jet for the very kind comment. I loved going through my external hard-drive and retrieving those sandhill crane images. They remind me of some of the unique adventures we’ve experienced. It’s always fun to embark on fun travels, yet equally enjoyable to return ‘home’ to regroup. I’m working on finding that balance!

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  32. I’m happy to read this, Ingrid, but also didn’t realize how much full-time RV-ing has blown up. It makes sense that you are putting down “roots” in Phoenix since your kids are there and I know how much you value that. Traveling with a trailer or RV takes immense planning as you know from our snowy fiasco last year. Pioneer is a great place to live with summers spent on the road. We also have friends who retired and chased the wind in their trailer for 2 years and are now buying a home. Your photos are gorgeous! Love those feathered friends. Stay tuned for my adventures as Hans and I are about to close on the property.

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    1. Perhaps, if RVing hadn’t exploded as it has, we’d still be happy meandering around. But that’s not the reality anymore and quaint quiet places aren’t so quaint or quiet anymore. I’m super excited for you and Hans and look forward to hearing more about your future home.

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  33. Congratulations on finding your home base. There is no place like home. This sounds like a great decision and one that checked all of your “boxes” – and look forward to your travel back up to Wisconsin. Such a pretty area. You really can have the best of both “worlds.” Would love to meet up again. This summer we will be up North, but do not think we will make it to Wisconsin. Continue to enjoy life! Oh, I picked up Pickleball and immediately saw that your park had courts. It is a blast and love the comradery of the players. Enjoy!

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    1. Hi Jana, I’m so glad you’re happy with your ‘home base’ in Havasu. As you know, we almost bought a place there, but in the end, we felt it was just a little too far from our kids and a tad too remote … no Costco or Sam’s clubs 😆
      I intended to take up Pickleball this winter but health issues reared. The plan is next season. So where will you spend the summer?

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      1. Hi Ingrid,
        We will be in Wyoming, Montana, Utah and hopefully New Mexico. That is the plan! We have family outside of Yellowstone and plan on a rally in Wyoming. Stick in a rodeo and away we go! Should be fun.

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      2. Thanks for sharing your plans, Ingrid. I’m sure you and Al will make the best choice of living arrangements when it’s time. In the meantime, you can enjoy your current situation close to your children and family. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re still suffering from the cold. Please, get well soon.

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        1. Thank you Linda. Yes, this RV park will work for us “for now, anyway”. Another year or two down the road, we’ll probably change things up.
          I’m finally starting to feel better and now working on regaining my energy. The wildflowers are popping and my camera wants to play 😃

          Liked by 1 person

  34. Ingrid, congratulations on your decision to rent an annual site in a place you love! I can relate to all the reasons you decided to do this because they are exactly why we quit going on long trips. I got tired of planning, Henry got tired of towing the RV, and finding sites where we wanted to go got harder and harder. Now when we travel we will stay in motels or B&B’s and I’ll let someone else do the cooking and cleaning! I hope you continue to keep up the blog!

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    1. Those of us that have RVed for a long time understand the challenges and complexities of the lifestyle.
      You have a lovely place to call home and that’s exactly what we’re searching for. We’ll see what we end up doing in a couple of years but being somewhat near our kids is high on our list. Oh, I definitely will continue blogging but I may change things up a bit just as you have. I love my virtual friends too much to give it up 😊

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  35. Beautiful photos. I love the cranes, of course. I see a lot of RV’s in the Walmart parking lot. One of our staff retired several years ago, sold his house and bought an RV. Je and his wife lasted about a year living the nomadic life. They ended buying a house in Mesa.

    I don’t think you can blame the popularity of RVing all on Yahoo bloggers. I assume you and Laura can be counted as Baby Boomers, born sometime between the late forties and early sixties? Laurie and I fall in that category, and we discovered that over the years that whatever we got into soon millions of more people got into the same thing. It’s simply the sheer number of people in the boomer demographic. Whatever you think, whatever you do, millions of people are thinking and doing the same thing.

    I think it would be terribly difficult to live the nomadic life full-time. I love seeing the wonderful photos and art by nomads and reading about their exciting adventures. I’m impressed with people who can be nomads, but I certainly do not envy their nomadic life-style.

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    1. Well, Tim, I think you pegged it properly when referring to the boomer demographic. Al’s at the front of the baby-boomers while I’m in the big bulge and we’ve experienced the negative effects of this population growth all our lives. (my friend Laura and her husband are only in their 40’s)

      Nomadic living certainly isn’t for everyone. I follow some young YouTubers living out of suitcases traveling the world and there’s no way I’d want to do that. I’m entertained by the videos but not jealous (well, maybe jealous of their youth 🤣).

      Hope your friends are happy in Mesa. Summers can get long and hot but the rest of the year is awesome!

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  36. Having a home base seems like a natural evolution after your major wandering years. Although we still camp just six-eight months a year, we now opt for longer stays and less travel. Two great days for us are the day we leave on a long trip, and the day we get home!

    Hope to see you again sometime. You’ll be easier to find.

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    1. Haha, yes we will definitely be easier to find. This summer we hope to get into the UP for some explorations. We got wrapped up in a kitchen remodel last summer and only had a couple of out and back excursions from our Hayward, WI location. So let me know if you’ll be visiting the UP 😊

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  37. This is a great idea Ingrid! After having rented our van last summer, I can totally relate to all of your challenges – I can’t imagine dealing with all them on a full-time basis. Happy that you all will have a home base to enjoy for a while. Makes me want to buy some property and turn it into a long term RV rental lot!

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    1. Hey, I’m all in for the property and RV rental 😃 Let me know when it’s ready! When we built our custom home on an acre of land in Pueblo West, we put in an RV lot for my parents. It was awesome! BTW – you should read Laura’s post titled “Dear People of Instagram”. So funny especially for anyone interested in Van life.

      Liked by 1 person

  38. I’ve been missing you, Ingrid! Thank you for sharing your perspective on full-timing. We share the same thoughts. When both of my sons joined the Air Force, I saw no reason to have stuck & bricks ~I lived full-time in the RV and enjoyed the travels. Workamping at my home “base” in Branson, MO keeps me near my aging parents and other family members. Unfortunately, my partner is not able to travel full-time~so having this “base” is good for him. What I loved about RVing from my 20’s on was the spontaneous spurts of travel. When it’s your home for several years, the spontaneity can be diffused by many things for me! I’m happy to becoming what I call a “reverse snowbird” 😆. I’m going to take summer jobs in the West (awaiting on one in Alaska) and winter in MO. I’d love to get to Arizona. But traveling single makes it difficult so I still travel a lot in my trusted Subaru! Thank you again for sharing. It’s great to follow you! I love learning from those that have learned way more than me!

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    1. Seems like you’ve found what works best for you and your family. Hope your winter in MO hasn’t been too bad. I do not miss those Midwestern winters! A summer somewhere in the west would definitely be a fun adventure, especially Alaska. Although, I’m still partial to Colorado (my home for 20+ years).
      Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to comment and share your story.

      Liked by 1 person

  39. HI, Ingrid – I love following your journeys and adventures. Most important of all, I love your honest, reflective writing style. It sounds like you have made the perfect decision for where you are now. And if I ever am in the Phoenix area, I will definitely be in touch! Wishing you an awesome new adventure.

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    1. Thank you Donna. I feel that it’s really important for those of us ‘seasoned’ full-time RVers to be honest especially for all the newbies starting out each year. I’d love to meet in person. If you ever make it to Phoenix do let me know and I’ll do the same if I make it up to Vancouver Island (Bucket list destination).

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  40. This new RV “Thing” is making it so hard for the rest of us. We are like many artists who live and travel in an RV because it’s what makes sense. But yes, boondock spots are getting over run, and I could just slap people on instagram sometimes. I’ve never been one to say where we are exactly, why would I reveal my favorite quite spot?
    We are in a similar quandary right now too. Al has his shop in Utah that we go back to twice a year and make art, then hit the road. We are going to be hopefully, and finally selling it this spring. Then what? We have batted around the idea of a little house in Arizona somewhere, and that will probably happen eventually. But right now, we need to be on the road for art shows.

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    1. I hear ya Mary! Social media has really changed the dynamics of a lot of things. I rarely share our location especially when we’ve boondocked. There are a lot of options for a small place in Arizona and I can see that as being a great solution for you guys. AZ would give you year-round access as opposed to a place say in WY. Fingers crossed you find an easy solution in switching up properties.
      Sorry I missed you when you were in Surprise. I came down with a cold 🙁

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  41. A great plan. Ingrid! Even if you chose a smaller, newer summer rig, the Laredo would be safe and sound in Arizona. We hesitate to do that in Florida, as the salt air and hurricanes are not RV friendly. Wintertime is great in the Sunshine State, but summer on the coast turns the RV to toast!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the summers in AZ can be quite harsh on our equipment but at least we don’t have to deal with salt and humidity which can be brutal … not to mention hurricanes. Can’t wait to see how you develop your slice of land in MI.

      Liked by 1 person

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