In a matter of four days, Bob retired from his state job, we closed the sale of our house, and we sold our car. And then I got laid off from my full-time remote job. That’s a lot to swallow all at once, but hey, we love adventure. So bring it on.
Adventure is exactly what we signed up for. Somewhere along the way, as our five kids grew and matured and left the nest, we came up with a dream of living full time in an RV and traveling the country. After all, travel is what brought us together in the first place.
We both toured in 1987 with a nondenominational Christian group called the Continental Singers & Orchestra and met at light technician rehearsal camp. Bob’s tour explored most of America that summer while my tour visited all of the Southern states and Bermuda.
More than 30 years and many other travels later, we’re gearing up to hit the road again — only this time we’re taking our home with us and traveling in the comfort of a Dodge Ram 3500 dually crew-cab truck (aka Gulliver) instead of a Greyhound-type bus.
Transitioning to Tiny Home Living
Gulliver will be leading the way to many adventures to come, towing our Jayco Pinnacle 37MDQS fifth wheel (see Figure 1). We moved into the RV nearly four weeks ago, a feat that took careful planning, considerable time, and intentional effort.
Figure 1. The four slide-outs in our 2018 Jayco Pinnacle 37MDQS make for comfortable living space, with a living room area, kitchen with an island, separate office, single bedroom, and a bathroom. Source: Jayco
Downsizing from an 1,800-square-foot house to a living space nearly a third of that size required many trips to Goodwill to drop off donations, a visit to the Household Hazardous Materials facility, bugging our kids with pictures and, “Do you want this?” and an appointment for the “Junk Guys” to haul things away.
Just how big is a roughly 600-square-foot RV? Our rig is nearly 42 feet long, 8.5 feet wide when closed (about 15 feet wide with all four slide-outs open), and 13.3 feet high. Yep, it’s about the size of a semi truck. We took an RV driving class so we’d be comfortable maneuvering the rig, and it helped immensely. We highly recommend it.
We wanted a rig with an office in it so I could close the door at the end of the workday and be home. It was working great when I had my job. I didn’t even think about work once I closed that door.
The Next Stage
With the house and car sold, and more time on our hands, we’re getting the trailer ready for life on the road. We’re trying to stuff things we kept anywhere we can fit them in the RV. The tricky thing is they have to have a place not only when we’re stationary, but also when we travel.
Bob installed solar panels and converted two Honda generators to propane so we can live off the grid, or boondock (read camp for free), and still have the power we need. We ordered a number of things to help get the trailer just the way we want it. I’m on the hunt for a new editing job. And things are falling into place. Stay tuned. The adventure has only just begun.
This is the travel blog of Bob and Lana Gates and our truck, Gulliver, and fifth wheel, Tagalong. We live on the road full time, enjoying all the adventures that come our way.