Frequently Asked Questions
RVLove encompasses our love for life and RVing, and (almost) everything about the RV lifestyle! Our philosophy revolves about creating a life you love and feeling the love for everything we do. We know if we ever get off track, its usually because we’re not loving what we’re doing, so we make a course correction! Love is pretty much our compass for our life, work and travels.
There are many reasons. While we were happy with our home and life in Colorado, we also felt ready for a change. We wanted new adventures. We wanted to take our lives to a whole new level that aligned with our values of freedom, love, health, travel and self-sufficiency. So when Marc’s job allowed him the opportunity to work virtually, we knew the time was right. Julie was in between jobs and wanted to do more writing and videos, so realized it was a brilliant opportunity. There was nothing holding us back – except the fear of the unknown! But we decided to go for it anyway!
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 our first RV – a gas powered Class A motorhome. A 2012 Tiffin Allegro Open Road 35QBA (bunkhouse model). You can take a virtual tour of our motorhome here and read more about our purchasing experience here.
There were many reasons for our purchase, which we cover in our post – How we chose our RV – including the fact it had a bunkjouse which we converted into a dedicated office for Marc to work from. Here is a link to our blog post/video about our bunkhouse to office conversion!
But in 2018, we made a change. While while we loved our first motorhome, after 3.5 years of full-time RVing, we sold our Tiffin and surprised everyone when we bought a much older (1999) County Coach motorhome (a high quality brand). We did a complete RV makeover and also did a major upgrade to our power system, adding solar panels and lithium batteries. Along with large holding tanks (for fresh and waste water) we are now very well equipped for extended off-grid camping.
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. And our book “Living the RV Life – Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road.”
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 Motorhomes and even our tow vehicles! 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.
Haha – we’re still working, but definitely aiming to retire young. We’re visualizing a nice, comfortable retirement by our mid 50s, so we have a few years to go yet!
When we started out, Marc had a full-time job he could do remotely, which supported our RV lifestyle. But in 2017, Marc quit his job and since then, we’ve been self employed, focused 100% on producing content for RVLove.
The 3 most critical things that support our remote work are:
1) A virtual job/business with the ability to work from anywhere
2) Solid internet connection connectivity, via Wi-Fi cellular services with wide coverage, and cellular booster/antenna router.
3) Dedicated, ergonomic work space that doesn’t impact the rest of our living space. You can read our blog post and watch the video about how we converted our RV bunkhouse into an office here and also see our Mobile Technology setup here
Maintaining work-life balance was actually easier during our first 3 years on the road, when Marc worked a regular 40 hour week from 8.30am-5.30pm CST. This didn’t offer much flexibility, though his own working hours would change, depending on what timezone we were in. Marc 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 had always been more flexible and varied depending on the projects she was working on. In 2017, after almost 4 years with his employer, Marc quit his job and we now work together full-time on RVLove and RV Success School. It took a while for us to adjust, but now our schedule is completely flexible and we control our own days and time. We’ve had to set stronger boundaries around work and play, and find ways to switch off from RVLove to just be Marc and Julie/ We’re still works in progress in that department.
It totally depends on how you do it! Living in an RV can be less expensive, about the same, or more expensive than regular life. We monitor our expenses on the road, just as we did in our stick and brick home. We created a pretty detailed RV lifestyle budget as part of our prep and planning and found that our monthly living expenses come in pretty close to what they were before – all while traveling the country! However, 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.
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, marketer and digital content creator for our RV Love blog, YouTube Channel and other social media. RVLove grew to the point where Marc quit his job and now 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!
Yes. When we first hit the road, we towed a 2006 Mini Cooper S Convertible using a tow dolly. It was our fun, zippy, runabout car which was 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. But in 2017 (about 6 months before we switched RVs) we sold the MINI and bought a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk. You can learn more about that – and HOW we tow it – here.
“It may not be good mileage for a vehicle, but it’s great mileage for a house!”
Sticking to our optimal cruising speed of 55-65 miles per hour, here’s our fuel economy:
2012 Tiffin gas motorhome: Average of 7–7.5 mpg.
1999 Country coach diesel motorhome: Average of 8–8.5mpg.
While our RV fuel economy may seem low, remember, we tend to travel slowly. So we’ll often only drive a couple hundred miles then park in a location for 2-4 weeks at a time.
On the Mini: We got around 30mpg on our Mini Cooper S Convertible.
On the Jeep: We get around 20-25mpg on average.
Not necessarily. While we are eco-conscious, we wouldn’t exactly call ourselves ‘greenies’. We do like to minimize our carbon footprint when we can. We travel slowly, we fly less, and we don’t have a daily work commute. We ride our bikes and walk often. We don’t use a lot of appliances, and we live fairly simply in a small space which is quick and easy to heat/cool. We conserve resources, we reduce, re-use and recycle as much as possible. And we like to shop at farmer’s markets eat mostly organic foods when we can. Plus, we we have solar panels and lithium batteries, plus large holding tanks, which makes it easy to camp off-the-grid. So 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 (including both the RV and tow vehicle) is often less than many people we know who have a regular commute to work!
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 and learn more about how she adjusted to RV life in our video – reflections after 3 months living and working on the road.
Most of our friends, family and even work colleagues think it’s awesome. A couple of people have said “what are you thinking?” thinking 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 103, Marc’s Grandma Jeanne (at age 96) 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 😉
Sure! For an overnighter. 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 🙂
THINKING ABOUT HITTING THE ROAD IN AN RV?
There’s never been a better time to get ready to hit the road in an RV and explore – SAFELY! As full-time RVers who have traveled to all 50 USA states over the past 6 years, and authors of the bestselling book Living the RV Life – Your Ultimate Guide to Life on the Road, we are here to show you the way.
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