Our Story

We are Jim & Robin…

Jim and Robin

We also go by names such as “crazy” and “nuts.” Sometimes nice words like “UNCONVENTIONAL.” Lets just say that when you decide to follow your own path, one that is on the opposite side of the world from the mainstream path you are raised to follow, you better get some really excellent shoes because the road less traveled is not smooth by any means…but it is so worth the journey…

When we met in 1997, we knew we were meant to be. Our views, perceptions of the world, were all in synch. Until 2009, we talked and daydreamed…a lot. We constantly lived in the future instead of the present. We looked into savings plans (just lacked the actual leftover money to put into them – a minor detail) for that future we hoped we would live to see someday. Bought a house when houses were worth something, thinking one day we would take that equity (like when we are 80 years old) and get a nice little cabin in the woods. We soothed ourselves saying “someday we will have that simpler life.”

But as costs of food, gas and basic living went up, income stayed constant and home values went down, we recognized tomorrow might never come. We were on the “hamster wheel of life.” Spinning our wheels, exhausted, stressed over money/debt…money came in and went back out before we could admire it in our checkbook…we were getting NOWHERE. Future? What? When?

We decided this was not what life was meant to be. We don’t mind struggles, challenges…everyone endures them…but the constantly stressful “time vampire” life was turning out to be just made us miserable. You know how it goes. The job leaves you counting the days until Friday evening, but Sunday comes in what feels like seconds…then back to work you go. Weeknights leave you exhausted and uninspired to do much. You don’t want to leave the “chores” (cleaning, groceries, bills) to take up your valuable weekend time, but you are too tired to tackle them after a full work day. No…this wasn’t living, it was existing…and the carrot in front of our noses (the “future”) was what kept us on the hamster wheel.

We had decided that when my daughter determines it is time to leave the nest, we would pursue a simpler life. In 2009, she was just to begin high school. So we figured we had about five years to plan – devise a strategy. However, in the beginning of 2009, she decided she didn’t want to stay in the very rural environment of NW Montana anymore (we resided by Glacier National Park). Instead, she wanted to move to Illinois, where her father lived, where there were more opportunities for her. An extrovert and energy ball since birth, she wanted to spread her wings and begin high school 2000 miles away.

This would not do.

Not seeing her wasn’t an option. Waiting for the precious two weeks vacation time each year wasn’t an option. Once certain that she was absolutely following this path, we put our plan into action – virtually overnight. By October, 2009, we had sold everything, left our house, put precious memories into a storage unit, bought a 1993, 30 foot travel trailer – and hit the road.

This blog will share everything we have learned, felt, experienced – so you can better understand “why are we living in an rv, full time?” Some posts are technical and concrete, some emotional and moody, other posts just fun and a chance to get to know us better. We have so much growing to do, yet have grown so much. Every day is a new day. Some sad, some happy. You cannot run away from your problems – but you can look at them differently, when standing outside of the hamster wheel vs. in it.

About our blogs:

  1. IF YOU WANT TO GET UP TO DATE ON OUR STORY, WHICH BEGAN IN OCTOBER 2009, YOU ARE WELCOME TO CATCH UP BY READING OUR 1st PERSONAL BLOG OF HOW IT ALL BEGAN HERE. WE NAMED OUR RV “WARD” (the blog was called Ward On The Road) AND HE WAS THE FUNNY KEEPER OF THE BLOG. WE KEPT THAT BLOG GOING UNTIL MAY, 2010.
  2. THEN WE STARTED THIS CHEAP RV LIVING BLOG IN 2010. HAVING PURCHASED A MOTORHOME WHO WE NAMED JOEY, HE BECAME THE NEW VOICE AS YOU CAN SEE IN OUR CATEGORY CALLED “JOEY’S JOURNAL” ON THIS BLOG.
  3. IN SPRING 2013, WE PURCHASED A PICKUP TRUCK AND 5TH WHEEL (named them Mr. Ed and Wilbur), SO JOEY’S CATEGORY ENDED AND WE CONTINUED ON WITH OUR “DAILY LIVING IN OUR RV” CATEGORY.

TOO CONFUSING? Yeah, we know…but such is this rving life! When in doubt, grab an adult beverage and just hit the archives…start at the beginning and enjoy! Contact us anytime if you want to chat…we love hearing from ya, whether you rv or not….

We look forward to meeting you all – thanks so much for taking time to get to know us.

Jim & Robin

 

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10 Responses to Our Story

  1. Jeff Fitzpatrick says:

    Way to go! We are Jeff and Robin and we dropped off the grid back in 2006. We split our time between our 1994 30′ Award Classic and our 1981 40′ Hershine Marine trawler. Summers trailering around the country and mild winters on the boat in the San Francisco Bay. And all on less than $1000 a month, which my military pension more than covers. People laugh at us until they actualize the freedom. Then it’s, “Fitz, I want your life!” Robin does miss her 1925 bungalow but does not miss mowing the acre of yard in small town Kansas. I spent my adult life living out of a suitcase and a deployment bag so these two vehicles are plenty of real estate for me. Best wishes for you both!

    • Cheap RV Living says:

      Hi Jeff and Robin!

      Thanks so much for commenting and sharing your lifestyle with us…it sounds AMAZING! We sure had a hard time letting go of “Ward” (our Award Classic travel trailer)…they are such amazing campers, aren’t they? But now we have Wilbur…our smaller 5th wheel with a slide out, which really gives us the space we needed due to our furry companions, Hannah and Spot.

      You’re so right…we’ve had the chuckles and snickers initially, until people see how much freedom and mobility this lifestyle offers. I don’t think we could ever go back to “normal” living again – once you own/rent property, you are chained to paying not only for the living space but all of the extras that go along with it…and you can’t go anywhere, once you have the job to pay for your sedentary housing. Once living this life, you can see how easily people get “stuck” – and being stuck doesn’t feel too good, does it?

      Anyway….thanks again for commenting and best wishes/safe travels to you both as well!

      Robin and Jim

  2. April Lockwood says:

    Stumbled across your blog today by complete accident but very happy I did so. Our stories are very similar. I have enjoyed each blog I have read, especially the one about “trailer trash”. We will be traveling from Johnston City,Illinois to Dauphin Island, Alabama each year. This is our first year of RV life and we’re loving it. May God bless you both and keep you safe in your travels.

  3. Corey says:

    I admire your choice to hit the road and live more simply. I am taking steps to do the same and am feeling less and less stress daily because of my efforts. Keep up the good work1

  4. LaRoque says:

    Thanks for sharing, love your blog.
    You made the right move. Keep it up. I am still in this miserable rat-race and “vampire” life style. Hopefuly will follow a similar path as yours some day…

    • Cheap RV Living says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. We feel for you and where in that position for years ourselves. Sometimes just having a “plan” – no matter how far off in the future, can really make you get through the rat-race. You don’t need to rv to be a part of this blog family! Hope you come by and visit again…Jim and Robin

  5. Nicole says:

    I am so happy I found your blog…My soulmate and I are planning, yes actually getting to get a little of so-called planning in before we hit the road…for good as well, or at least until we get to that cottage by the creek in my dreams. Thank you for sharing your experiences I look forward to following your adventures. N&N

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