Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Why is your blog called RV Love?
First, we wanted a name that was short, simple and easy to both spell and remember! Next, this blog is about our RV lifestyle AND the things we love – traveling and creating an awesome life together. Finally, the domain name was available – and you know how hard it can be to find one!!?!!
Q2: What's behind your tagline: Live. Love. Travel.?
We’re both positive people who believe in creating your life around what you love, value and want more of. When we sat down to think about what we wanted our lives – and the messages within this website – to represent, it came down really, truly living, loving and traveling more. Yes, our life is very much living in an RV right now, but the “Live. Love. Travel.” message is much broader and is really accurately encompasses our attitude to life, our priorities (RV or not) and we hope those deeper messages will provide inspiration for the stories and experiences we share on RVLove.com.
Q3: Why did you decide to switch from a 'stick and brick' home to an RV lifestyle?
There are many reasons. While we were very happy with our home and life in Colorado, we also felt ready for a life change, a new adventure, and the chance to take our lives to a whole new level that aligned with our values of freedom, love, health, travel and self-sufficiency. When Marc’s job allowed him the opportunity to work virtually and Julie was able to start her own business again, we realized it was a brilliant opportunity and there was nothing holding us back – except a bit of nervousness!
Q4: What kind of RV did you buy?
When we started, we had very little knowledge of what was what in the world of RVs – there are SO many to choose from! (You can learn more about the options in our blog post – Choosing the right type of RV for you). Finally, after several months of focused and intensive research, we ended up buying a gas powered Class A motorhome. It’s a 2012 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 35QBA (bunkhouse model) and so far, we love it! You can take a virtual tour of our motorhome here and read more about our purchasing experience here.
Q5: What was the reason for buying your specific RV?
There are many reasons, which we cover in our post – How we chose our RV, but the top 3 are:
1) Gas Coach = a better fit for our budget at around half the price of a comparable diesel.
2) Tiffin Brand = the Tiffin build quality and features means we get a lot more coach for the money than many others we considered.
3) The Bunkhouse (twin bunk bed area) = an extra space which we would be easily able to (and did) convert into a dedicated office for Marc to work from. Here is a link to our blog post/video about our bunkhouse to office conversion!
Q6: Do you live in the RV full-time? Do you have a home base?
Yes, we have been living full-time in our RV for over 3 years now! We sold our home in Colorado in the Spring of 2014, but we still have family and friends in Colorado and usually go back to visit a couple of times a year.
Q7: How long did you plan this adventure before actually taking off?
We first toyed with the idea of living in a motorhome in July 2011, after being inspired by the story of a Floridian couple we met at a pizza restaurant in Colorado Springs. But, it wasn’t until October 2013 when we were creating a “vision board” – dreaming about and planning our life goals for the future – that we revived the idea of traveling the USA in a motorhome again. So we started doing our research, shopping around, learning a LOT, crunching some numbers, asking some big questions of ourselves and, ultimately, decided to bite the bullet and just go for it! All up, we spent about 8 months of actual, serious (and fun) planning before we hit the road! You can read more about how we got here in our blog post – How did we end up deciding to live in an RV?. We also cover this in a lot more detail with planning and downsizing strategies in our RV Success School course Hit the Road the Right Way.
Q8: What is a 'vision board'?
Creating a vision board is a fun and powerful way to make your dreams come to life! And YES, it really works (oh gosh, that sounds like a Poo-Pourri commercial!). Seriously, we’ve both used it many times to create the life we live and love today – yes, that includes our Motorhome! We cut out pictures and words from magazines (or create a Pinterest Board) of the things, feelings and experiences that inspire us and represent the dreams, goals and visions we have for a life we love. We pin them up on a board which we hang in our home (now in the Motorhome) in a place where we can see it often. Those images and words somehow magically seem to remind the subconscious mind of the life you want and send a message to the Universe that somehow magically helps to make it happen. That’s kind of the cliff-notes explanation and it may sound kooky or woo-woo, but hey, it works for us! 😉 Why not give it a try yourself? Meanwhile, you can take a peek at our “RV Vision board in this post about our purchasing experience.
Q9: Did you retire young or are you still working?
Haha – we’re still working, but definitely aiming to retire young. We’re visualizing a nice, comfortable retirement by age 50, so we have a few years to go yet!
Q10: How do you work from the road?
A critical part of our planning was ensuring these three things:
1) Virtual Job/Business: the ability to work from anywhere is what makes this lifestyle possible for us.
2) Connectivity: solid internet connection via Wifi hotspot plus cellular service with wide coverage is essential.
3) Dedicated Work Space: the bunkhouse office conversion gives Marc a separate workspace and the ability to close his office at the end of the working day. Julie usually works from the passenger laptop desk, occasionally in a cafe, or outside where she can enjoy the view! You can read our blog post and watch the video about how we converted our RV bunkhouse into an office here
Q11: Do you work regular hours or do you have a flexible work schedule?
This recently changed in early 2017! During our first 3 years on the road, Marc worked a regular 40 hour week from 8.30am-5.30pm CST which didn’t offer much flexibility, though his own working hours would change, depending on what timezone we were in. He is a huge advocate (and great example) of successfully navigating work-life balance, so when he’s working, he is “on” and extremely productive during his work day. Outside of that, he completely switches off to enjoy life! That’s right – no work emails or phone calls! (He’s really good about that). Being self employed, Julie’s schedule is more flexible and varies depending on the projects she’s working on, but it’s almost always under 30 hours per week. After almost 4 years with the company, Marc quit his job in 2017 and we now work together full-time on RVLove and RV Success School, this means our schedule is now completely flexible and we control our own days and time – which we LOVE!
Q12: What exactly do you do for work?
Until February 2017, Marc was Director of Operations for a nutritional supplements company based out of Texas and able to work remotely. Since we hit the road, Julie has been self employed as a lifestyle consultant, blogger and digital content creator as well as the main photographer/videographer, writer and producer for our RV Love blog, YouTube Channel and other social media. This has now grown to the point where Marc quit his job and we both work full-time on RVLove and RV Success School, an online learning platform which we launched in May 2017. RV Success School delivers online, self-guided courses to help people guide people through the journey of learning about RVs and RVing and educating them to focus on the most important things and ensure they make sound (and safe) decisions and hit the road successfully. If you thought we already had a lot of content on our blog and YouTube, wait until you see the courses! These are designed to provide a structured learning environment and save a LOT of time, frustration and money along the way. As course instructors, we developed all of the course content, materials, workbooks and resources within RV Success School. We’re incredibly proud of the school, and above all, how much it is helping people already on much greater levels than we’ve been able to do with the blog and our videos. Check it out!
Q13: Is it expensive to live and travel in an RV?
It totally depends on how you do it! We do monitor our expenses on the road, just as we did in our stick and brick. We created a pretty detailed RV lifestyle budget as part of our prep and planning and our monthly living expenses come in pretty close to what they were before – all while traveling the country! Though this can vary from year to year depending on RV repairs and maintenance and where we travel. We shared a year of RV expenses in this blog post and infographic to give you a rough idea of what is possible. But really, you can spend almost as much or as little as you wish.
Q14: What car do you tow and why?
We tow a 2006 Mini Cooper S Convertible using a tow dolly. It’s our fun, zippy, runabout car which is a nice, economical change from the big bus! We cover this in greater detail in our blog post – Finding the ideal TOAD and explain our reasons for choosing a tow dolly over towing 4-down right here.
Q15: What kind of gas mileage do you get?
On the Mini: We get around 30mpg on our Mini Cooper S Convertible, which is great for a runaround car.
On the Motorhome: When we stick to our optimal cruising speed of 55-65 miles per hour, we average around 7-7.5MPG and that’s hauling a fully loaded coach and tow vehicle, albeit a small, light one! It’s not great, but remember, because we tend to slow camp, we’re often parked in a location for a couple of weeks at a time, or in a general area for up to a month! When asked this question, we usually reply with “It may not be good mileage for a vehicle, but it’s great mileage for a house!”
Q16: Isn't an RV lifestyle kind of unfriendly to the environment?
Not necessarily. While we are eco-conscious, we wouldn’t call ourselves ‘greenies’. However, we do like to minimize our carbon footprint in a variety of ways: we travel slowly, we fly less, we don’t have a daily work commute, we ride our bikes and walk often, we don’t use a lot of appliances, we live simply in a small space which is quick and easy to heat/cool, we conserve resources, we ‘reduce, re-use and recycle’, we like to shop at farmer’s markets where possible and we eat mostly organic foods. This means our total energy consumption is actually way less than the average household. In fact, we’ve come to discover that the amount of money we spend on fuel each month (in both the RV and the MINI) is often less than many people we know who have a regular commute to work!
Q17: Do you travel with kids or pets?
No kids. We did commence our travels with our dog Coda – a 9yo female 50/50 Lab Poodle mix – but we sadly had to say goodbye to her in November 2014, after 5 fun months on the road together. We still miss her terribly and we created a tribute to our sweet Coda here. You can learn more about her on our About Page.
Q18: How did your dog Coda like the RV lifestyle?
We affectionately nicknamed her Coda-Pendant, as she could be pretty needy at times. She was very social and loved affection, and as long as she was with us (especially Marc) and got out to walk, explore new places and stalk squirrels, chipmunks or bunnies – she was happy. We were actually really pleased with how well she settled into the new environment and lifestyle, for the most part. You can see Coda and learn more about how she was adjusting in our video – reflections after 3 months living and working on the road.
Q19: What do your family and friends think about what you're doing?
Most of our friends, family and even work colleagues think it’s awesome. A couple of people respond with “what are you thinking?” and thought we should wait until retirement – but if our careers and technology make it possible and affordable now, we say “why wait”? The most common responses we get range from: “I’m jealous” to “that’s so inspiring” and “that takes a lot of courage!” But mostly, people are excited, supportive and fascinated by it. Still a firecracker at age 100, Marc’s Grandma Jeanne said “I love it – you go out there and do it!” – so we are 🙂 After all, who are we to argue with Grandma Jeanne!?
PS. The early naysayers have now all come around and we think are secretly jealous 😉
Q20: Do you ever camp out in Walmart parking lots?
Sure! While Walmart parking lots are hardly a destination, they are a convenient, safe and inexpensive (free) place to park overnight to stock up, freshen up, and catch some zzzzzz’s during a long cross-country drive. Just be sure to call ahead and get the OK from the Store Manager first and park well out of the way. We may do a blog post with tips for this too as it seems a lot of people are fascinated by this concept 🙂