About 9 months ago Clay and I were having a discussion about what we would do after I graduated from college. We both wanted to move and live somewhere with a more outdoor lifestyle. We work very hard and wanted to have more available to do in our free time than the bars, restaurants and shopping that Dallas seemed to offer in abundance. Being in our 30’s-40’s, we aren’t the party animals that we used to be. We wanted to change our life.
Deciding to leave Dallas was easy and hard at the same time. Our families all live in Texas, so we have roots here. The Dallas job market is incredible but so is the cost of living, and it’s only increasing as more people move to the area. We have discussed seasonal living and the idea of having two homes but neither of us really knows where and we haven’t travelled enough to know. We thought about how difficult it would be to move all of our stuff, and about all the complications of renting places to live with the constrictions of short term leases. A motorhome made the most sense. Additionally Clay can work remotely from anywhere, so as long as he has internet he can work from the road.
We started to look online and found that used motorhomes had a large price range but were actually similar in price to a car. We found a few articles about how much money people were saving by living in a motorhome as well. So we decided to shop local RV dealerships and plan our big adventure. My sister had recently become pregnant with my niece, so we decided the motorhome was OUR baby, Our Adventure Baby, hence the name of this blog.
As time passed, we both had our doubts and fears about what we were about to do. But each time we sat down to discuss it it still seemed the most rational and best decision for us. After I graduated we started doing some real homework and shopping for motorhomes. There were so many things to think about, as you are about to see:
What make was the best kind of motorhome to buy?
There are some better-known brands on the road, but we ended up with a Newmar, which is a well-known and established, quality brand.
Should we get a diesel or gas engine?
Clay always thought a diesel was best because it can haul more of a load and has a smoother ride. We got a diesel pusher which means the engine is in the back of the motorhome.
How many slide outs, if any, should we try to get?
I always thought getting fewer slide outs, which extend the floors and walls, was better, since I didn’t want to worry about too many moving parts. We ended up with a large one in the living area, where we will spend most of our time.
What is a good price for us?
Our price range was 25-45k. We were able to get a 2001 Newmar Dutchstar for about $30k. We didn’t want to spend a lot but still wanted a quality home.
Could we get financed?
The dealership was able to help us find financing with a local bank and got us a good interest rate.
How much would insurance cost?
Our insurance costs the same as the insurance for my car. We also got AAA for motorhomes.
What are the costs to get it road ready and to maintain it?
Everyone told us it would be expensive, but it was hard to tell until now. We spent about what we expected to get it road ready, though we still have a way to go to be totally ready. We are trying not to be overwhelmed by all the moving parts and the monthly, bimonthly, and quarterly checkups for them, such as for batteries, water tanks, generator, propane levels, tires, etc..
Where would we go?
We put a map of the US up in our living room months ago and marked areas we want to visit and areas we think we might like to live. Our plans are frequently changing, so I am not really sure where we will be at any time, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas time, when we will be floating around Texas to visit with our families.
How long should we stay in each place?
This may change but we think two weeks is a good amount of time to see a place. If we love it we can stay longer, if we don’t we can leave in a week. Since Clay works during the week, we plan to move spots on weekends. That is when a lot of parks are busy and full with reservations.
How much researching will we need to do?
We research everything, constantly. Things have gone as we planned for the most part. Nothing too crazy or unexpected has happened.
Where will we go first?
We made our way to Clay’s parents’ place, where we parked our rig in the driveway, plugged in, and gained access to all the tools we need. We planned to be here about a month and so far we are still pretty much on schedule. I thought we might have been able to leave by Labor Day, but it has taken about two weeks longer than that.
Our visit also allowed Clay’s folks to take a much-needed vacation to Florida for some fishing, while we helped take care of Clay’s grandparents, the house, and the dogs.
How long will we travel?
No idea. Maybe a year, maybe longer, maybe less, it really depends on too many factors to know for sure.
We are very excited about our decision and love our new home. Thanks for following along!