The 4 Reasons We’re Excited To Be Full-Time RVers Again After Two Years
By Kelly Beasley
Published: March 24, 2023
Hola! If you're new here, we're Kelly and Marshall, the founders of Camp Addict.
For those of you wondering, these are the reasons why we are back on the road as full-time RVers again.
Before I explain, each of us was ON the road for 5.5 years (me) and 6.5 years (Marshall) before 2021.
But after years of almost exclusive boondocking, COVID concerns, and a serious burnout of towing trailers, a change was in order.
So I asked Marshall if he wanted to be roommates (we're just friends, y'all!). He said yes and so I proceeded to buy a house.
He agreed, and long story short, we lived in Marana, AZ, for two years (2021-2022).
But after about a year and a half, we both got itchy feet for multiple reasons.
Here's why we got off and then back on the road in our new vans.
The search for a place to land was brutal. I wanted just a small plot, mostly to have a landing pad in the winter.
Within 6 months I had three properties under contract at different times. The first three fell through.
So when I found the Marana property, fondly named 'Hotel Kellyfornia' because of how big it was (4.5 acres) and the ability (and intention) to have lots of friends come and visit, I was run down and ready for anything that worked.
I was TIRED of looking, and values kept rising.
And this property was far and away nicer (and more expensive) than any other properties I had under contract.
This one went through and we were officially off the road.
In the end, it was a good thing it was the 'winner' because of how things went after that.
1. House Problems
The original plan was only to stay during the winter and travel during the summer.
Sounded good, and we both did just that the first year.
But by year two, we were both SO tired of dragging around a trailer that neither of us went anywhere.
We stayed through the grueling hot summer. And naturally, no RV friends came to visit during summer.
So it got pretty lonely. Not to mention we were about 30-40 minutes away from any town amenities.
Being so far from town really was a killer. It became a pretty big nuisance.
2. The Wash/Ditches
The two significant ditches on the road (part of a large wash) to the house were also problematic.
Most friends had to come in the back way, adding 10-15 minutes of a rough ride to get to the place (large RVs couldn't go through the washes). No fun.
Then we discovered that the summer monsoons flooded the ditches WAY more than we'd imagined and messed up the ditches AND the dirt road even more.
So getting in and out that way was even a pain in our cars. Monsoons also messed up the back way in, with more brush growth and making more ruts in the road. Ugh.
So friends were visiting less than we'd hoped due to the distance from town and difficulty getting in.
That was a HUGE hit.
3. Summer in Arizona
No, we'd not planned to be in Arizona through the summers.
But we didn't want to take the trailers out, nope. And buying expensive vans seemed like a bad idea as we'd only use them half the year.
We felt trapped in the house often during last summer, which we did not enjoy.
4. Other Minor 'Issues'
There were other 'signs' that leaving was a good idea.
The new neighbors (the original neighbor passed away the first summer we were there) became the typical junkyard type.
They'd started collecting and turning that place into crap.
Their dogs had started becoming barking nuisances at times.
I thought I could use the 'back 40' (unfenced 2 acres of the property), but after seeing it during rain, it was clear I could not, as it was a flood zone that flooded when there was a decent amount of rain.
When the ditches were full, it was a 40-minute round-trip drive to get mail. That was a big deal-breaker.
There was a rat that got under the house that would chew on the metal vents trying to get out.
I'd sealed the place up, and it was stuck under the crawlspace (long story), keeping me up at night. I took that as another sign.
The market was juuuust starting to decline, so it was a great time to sell.
The distance to town and the low-income area the property was in started getting to us.
There were other little signs.
I'm sure I'm missing something.
I ALWAYS knew this wasn't a 'forever' property, and I'd said that from the start.
But 'non-forever' came sooner than we'd anticipated.
Moving To Denver
So we decided to move to Denver.
It's the only place we could think of that we'd both want to live.
So we started looking in Denver for places.
However, it didn't take long to realize that to live there, we'd spend an ENORMOUS amount on mortgage or rent. This was very unappealing.
And the market was at a high for housing, a lousy time to buy.
From there, I suddenly thought, instead of MOVING somewhere, why not do the Van Life we'd dreamed of doing for so long?
I could sell the house, and we'd buy vans and do that instead. Marshall was immediately SOLD on that idea, LOL (as was I).
At that point, the only thing we'd miss about house life was fostering kittens from the local shelter.
The search for vans began. And it was short lived.
The first day we went out looking, we went to one dealership and then learned of an RV show that day at the Pima County Fairgrounds.
We looked there next.
The FIRST van I saw was the Winnebago Solis Pocket.
And it was perfect! Until I realized it didn't have an onboard generator.
But I eventually decided I could live without it.
I didn't mind the lack of a bathroom- that's what makes the Pocket so OPEN! The floor plan was perfect.
Marshall was sold initially but then decided he couldn't live without a bathroom. He got the Winnebago Solis 59P.
We found the best-priced ones in Vegas.
So, we rented a car (well, cars were SO expensive we rented a U-haul moving van instead!) and hiked up to Vegas!
A pretty drive and a day or two later, we were delighted van owners.
This was at the end of September 2022.
Buying before the house sold gave us time to upgrade the solar and batteries, make the mods we wanted, and get everything sold, including all acquired furniture, stuff, and other vehicles and travel trailers.
I put the house on the market at the end of November, and it sold perfectly a few days past the two-year mark in December 2022.
And that's when we hit the road!
Since then, we've had to stick around Arizona for various reasons.
But even before the house sold, we got out in the vans some.
Since we've been full-time again, we've met up with friends quite a bit.
We've already been to San Diego, Texas, White Sands National Park, and have been to quite a few friend meet-ups.
Do I love my van?
LIKE WHY DIDN'T I JUST START OFF WITH A VAN I'D PROBABLY NEVER HAVE GOTTEN OFF THE ROAD!!! LOL.
Pretty sure Marshall feels the same way.
I couldn't love it more. I don't think. The simplicity is grand, and the ability to park and maneuver ANYWHERE is priceless.
We both agree that having EVERYTHING we need with at all times is also invaluable and is something we don't ever want to live without again. At least while on the road.
So that's our story.
We are in the vans now, and I don't think we've been happier with our ways of living!
No end in sight.
Author: Kelly Beasley
I dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 6.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road.