How does the work thing, ya know, work?It will work the same as if I were working from home. I’ll be working my normal 40-hour week, but my office will be in my RV instead of at our corporate headquarters. In my current role, I interact with people all over the world, so the only person I really see in person is my manager, who is fully supportive of my new lifestyle. Now that I’ve been at the company for a bit, I’m pretty much on my own and don’t need to meet with my boss as much as I did when I first started. I did have to request to be able to work from “home” (it wasn’t just assumed), but I’ve earned my manager’s and co-workers’ trust, so they gave me the go-ahead.
Where are you going and will you come visit me?In the first year, I plan to hit the entire Northeast, then shoot down to the Southeast. I’ll share my planned route once I get closer to departure! Two things that I am looking to do:
1. Post up in one location at a time (probably close to friends/family in an area) and take weekends to explore around that location.
2. Not stick to a strict itinerary (shocking, I know – this will take me some getting used to), so if I want to pick up and explore someplace different, I will.
Do you have to get a special license for the RV?No, but I feel like I should have to?? Who is trusting me?? But there are RV-specific driving courses all around the country that I will probably take advantage of. The biggest vehicle I’ve ever driven is my dad’s GMC Sierra Denali, which is a bit over 19′ long, compared to a Class C RV, which could be anywhere between 20′ and 31′ in length.
Are you renting or buying an RV?Buying! For a few reasons:
1. I don’t know how long I will have it for – could be 1 year, could be 10.
2. I want to modify it and make it my own, cozy living space.
3. Renting is actually really expensive, probably because of liability and depreciation. My sister and I are renting a Class B (a camper van) for 7 days in March and it cost us $760 just to book it (not taking into account gas, extra miles, etc.). If I buy and finance an RV within my budget, which is the plan, my monthly payment will be $400 max.
Are you selling your house?Nope, I will be renting it out. It’s walking distance from downtown Chapel Hill/Carrboro, so it would be great for a grad student and their family or a single person looking to be close to downtown, but in a neighborhood. I actually purchased my house with intentions to rent it out for eternity. So, if you know anyone who is looking to rent around June or July in the CH/Carrboro area, let me know!
How large will the RV be?I am looking at Class C motorhomes, which look like this:
They range from 20′ to 31′, but for full-time living and small me driving purposes, I’m honing in on the 27-30′ range.
Have you considered a camper towed behind your Jeep?Yes. I decided against that pretty quickly because I don’t want the wear and tear on my Jeep, since it’s newer and I’m leasing it. I’d rather put the miles and wear on an older, used RV that depreciates quickly anyway. I (briefly) considered trading in my Jeep for a truck that could tow a fifth-wheel RV but I love my Jeep too much to do that. Also, I was listening to a podcast where a solo female full-timer was being interviewed, and she said she decided on a drivable RV (versus a towable) with the thought that she could climb up to the front and simply drive away if she ever felt the need.
What happens to your Jeep?It’s comin’ with me! I’ll tow it behind my RV, that way I can easily detach it and drive it to the store, or anywhere that’s not as RV-friendly. Like this:
What spots are on your destination list?Check out my bucket list here. Basically the entire lower 48, but I definitely want to check off all National Parks, and visit all major cities. In the further future, I want to explore Canada and Alaska.
Please send recommendations in the comments of that page!!
Will you be avoiding serial killers?I just bought a “Serial Killers Welcome” sign for my front door. But I won’t be in Washington for at least a year and a half, so I have some time to make my RV more SK-friendly.
How will you check in with friends and family (especially Courtney)?I’ll have internet! It’s a bit more complicated (and expensive) than getting internet in your home, but it is a priority for me since I will be working 9-5. Basically campgrounds have wi-fi, though it’s very weak, so I’ll utilize a hotspot. I’ve also thought about satellite for when I’m not on a campground, but that’s TBD. There is a whole website dedicated to full-time RV internet solutions!
You can check in on my location at any given time here (note that I update this manually and it’s not my actual coordinates, don’t worry), I’ll post pictures all over Instagram, of course, and I hope that I will be able to meet up with each of you guys when I’m in your state!
Will you carry weapons? How will you SS and not GM?Oddly enough, every male that I have told my plan to so far has said, “bring a weapon”. So I probably will. I recently spoke to a solo female full-timer and she said she has never felt the need for one, but it doesn’t hurt to have one just in case. My primary weapons will be my dogs, though. Sonny, especially, is very protective over me and will go after anyone that approaches me that he feels is threatening (tried and true).
How often will you return home?Good question! I will definitely be home for Christmas this year. It depends on where I am next year, but I would like to be home for Christmas every year to be with my family and catch up with my NC friends.
Have you taken some survival training in case you get lost or stuck somewhere alone, a la 127 Hours?Not yet, but I should! Send me ideas for this, if you have any, please!
Can we embed a GPS in your skin so we know you’re safe?There’s actually some cool technology kinda like this, but a little less invasive. One thing that I plan on getting is called SPOT. It’s basically a GPS that uses satellite, aka it works everywhere. With it, you can click a button to let friends and family know you’re going on a hike, allow them to track your location in real-time, and click another button to send GPS coordinates and a distress message to the Emergency Response Center.
Do you have some type of GPS on/in your car so people can follow you and more importantly know where you are at at all times!!!Thank you guys for being concerned about my safety <3. It makes me a little sad that women have to constantly be so hyper-aware and cautious, but it is what it is. Safety has been on the forefront of most of my conversations regarding going full-time solo, for obvious reasons! There are tons of resources I’ve found for being a solo, full-time woman (triple whammy, so we all look out for each other). There are Facebook groups, websites, and even meet-up groups for women who are as crazy as I am. So I’m not the first and certainly won’t be last. It is intimidating, but nowadays, no one is safe anywhere. I trust my own judgment and gut feelings so, if I ever feel unsafe, I can put my key in the ignition and haul right out of there. I’ll also be practicing my RBF in the meantime.
Another point that I want to bring up is that I will primarily be in campgrounds and RV parks/resorts. These places are mainly filled with like-minded young people living and working in their rigs, as well as older people enjoying their retirement in beautiful places. I won’t be staying in motorhome communities, where people live 365 days a year, or on the side of the road or in the woods. In my first year especially, when I am still adjusting and learning, I will be sure to stay in parks with high ratings that are located in more populated areas.
What happens when you break down? Is AAA everywhere?Yes, AAA is nationwide! There are also RV-specific programs, like Good Sam’s, that provide roadside assistance. Worst case, I could unhook my Jeep and abandon my RV while I get help.