Even though it is the dead of winter here in WI with more snow coming this weekend, we are busy starting to map out our local camping trips as well as the beginning of our full time RV journey.
We got together with the camping family a couple weekends ago and started mapping out our last camping trips together. A bit sad knowing we will most likely miss out on many of these awesome trips in the future, but excited because our house has wheels and we can meet up with them as schedules allow and perhaps get them to take some longer trips to visit us.
We are looking forward to our camping excursions this year. We mixed it up a bit on when we go places and some different ones as this year our (yet to be named) RV cannot fit into some of the old haunts. We are starting out early and looking forward to a crisp mid-April camp at Ottowa Lake in the Southern Kettle Moraine. We love this campground, and going in spring will allow us to get some hiking in without the bugs!
In May we are heading to one of our favorite County Parks- Astico, in Dodge County. This is where we took our new RV for its maiden voyage. Hopefully this time it will be a bit warmer and sunny.
June is when it starts to get busy! We have a trip to Harrington Beach State park planned for a little boondocking, non-electric camping with family and then we are off to Mill Creek COE park near Branson, MO for 10 days. We are set to meet up with Rick's old Army buddies from Germany for a mini-reunion there.
We then come back to WI, probably via a leisurely route, and camp with family again at Yellowstone State Park (in WI not out west). Then from there we head up to Door County (also in WI) for our first workamping experience from the middle of July to middle of August. This will be a great way to get our feet wet being camp hosts at one of the campgrounds (Welker's Point) in Peninsula State Park. We love Door County and everything there is to do. I am especially looking forward to taking the ferry over to Washington Island to see the lavender fields in bloom. Once we finish up our campground host duties, we will move over to the "quiet side" of Door County to spend a week recouping from a month of working (whew!!! LOL) and being tourists. Needless to say we will stock up on our favorite wines and cherry bitters for our old-fashioneds. When that week is up, we will head back to Peninsula Park-South Nicolet campground to spend time with family before we officially shove off on our grand journey!
Plans at this time are to hit the Grand Design Owners Rally in Elkhart, IN which is held at the fairgrounds because it is soo big! Looking forward to meeting other Grand Design RV owners, having any repairs or upgrades done to the RV and just having a great time meeting new RV friends.
From there the plans are still a bit jello, subject to change, but the overall goal is to head to FL to establish residency and enjoy the winter months with a definite stop over in NC to visit my dear friend, Vicki Richmond, :-) We might sign up for another workcamping stint on the way or in FL over the winter. We might stay at Wickham Park in Melbourne, FL for a bit; which would be nice around the holidays since I hear they have a cool light display. Watch out Catarozzoli sisters!! Perhaps we will visit the Disney Fort Wilderness Campground again. We had a great time there soo many years ago when we lived in GA. Would be great to go back! Then there is the Keys...oh, the Keys, can you say sandy beaches with a drink in hand while it snows in WI??? Ummm, yeah!!!!
So as you can see, we have some solid plans and then some that are in the planning stages. But with all this camping, we throw in some other activities, such as: listing and selling the house, selling most of our belongings, our youngest son's high school graduation, our oldest turns 21, Rick retires and getting the boys settled in their new digs. Yes these next 6 months are going to be very busy and literally fly by! We will provide updates of what I am sure will be quite a roller coaster ride!
Fast forward to late 2016...
We started to uncover answers to alot of our questions about the full time RV'er lifestyle.
How would we get mail? Well, come to find out there are several mail forwarding companies that cater to the full time traveler. My Dakota Address, America Mailbox, St Brendans Isle and Escapees, just to name a few. They also have several levels of service they could provide from simple mail forwarding to scanning all mail to a site for you to review.. You also can have mail sent to a general postal address and pick up your mail at the local post office, if they allow. Who knew!
RV Insurance-How is it different if you live in your RV? There are specific policies offered by several companies such as National and Geico that insure your vehicles, RV and personal belongings as full time RV'ers.
A big one for us, what do we do about health insurance? There are a couple options for Full Timers including buying a policy on the exchange, starting with a COBRA policy, even exploring faith based sharing programs.
All of these questions and more all funnel up to an important decision of determining where we establish residency. For FT RV'ers, this is one of the most important things to determine. It seems there are a couple states that, for a variety of reasons, float to the top. They are Texas, Florida and South Dakota. As of the moment this blog is published, FL seems to be our front runner as they are the only ones to have a national network for their marketplace insurance option with BCBS. However, that could change so we will monitor that closely.
Next we move on to the all important topic of money.
We met with a financial planner and found we could make this dream a reality, thanks in part to hard work, good investing and the ability to workcamp as we embark on our journey. That was the exciting part! We were going to trade our corporate life for jobs like cleaning fire pits, checking people into their campsite and many, many other camping life type jobs. It also gives us the opportunity to use our current skills to make a living too. If you've read our ABOUT US PAGE, you will know that Rick is a chef and he is really looking forward to making some food at an RV resort for a couple hours and then retiring to the RV. No more staff to manage, corporate clients to please and budgets to meet. Who knows, maybe cooking classes at an RV resort. The possibilities are endless! As for me, I am exploring all sorts of passive income opportunities, dabbling in this blog and other online jobs. I am getting pretty good at being a Secret Shopper, Shipt grocery shopper, etc. You would be amazed at what is out there! I am also now signed up to be a virtual juror. Crazy!!
So at this point, the plan is starting to come together. We still have some unanswered questions like, what are the boys going to do, what kind of RV are we getting, do we have a tow vehicle to use for local drives, etc.
Up next, some big purchases coming in our future.
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