Our 2021 RV Adventure is Underway!

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News Flash:  August is hot in Georgia. 

Really.  Hot.

Fortunately, we’re retired, and with that comes to Freedom to do the “Reverse Snowbird” routine of spending the hottest time of the year someplace else.  Someplace cooler.  It’s become our routine, and we like it. 

We had planned to make RV Adventure a part of our life in retirement, and our dream has become our reality.  In fact, as you read these words we’ve escaped from the Georgia heat and are camping in our RV in a Northern Ohio State Park.  More on that in a moment…

Our 2021 RV Adventure is underway! As you read these words, we're camping in our RV in Ohio, away from the Georgia heat. Click To Tweet

If you’re new to the site (hi to all of the new readers from the Business Inside feature article), here’s a summary of how we’ve spent our summers since our 2018 retirement (you’ll notice that all but the first include some variation of an RV Adventure):


2018:  A 7,000 Mile Train Trip

Our first major journey was a 7,000-mile cross-country train journey, fulfilling a bucket list item to see the country by train.  Ok, it wasn’t an RV Adventure, but it was a great way to start retirement!  In addition to the train trip, we took numerous week-long “mini RV Adventures” within 200 miles of home, which were really shake-down cruises to get familiar with our rig before our “big” RV trip in 2019.

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RV across the USA

2019:  A Summer RV’ing In The Pacific Northwest

6,000 miles in our RV, covering 16 States, with our 4 dogs!  A relaxing month in the Pacific Northwest before our return loop through Glacier, Yellowstone and The Tetons. 

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2020:   RV’ing Across Michigan’s Upper Penisula

We had two big trips in 2020, starting with some slow RV travel across Michigan’s amazing Upper Penisula, followed by a fast-paced cross-country drive to help our daughter move from Seattle to Alabama.

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2021:  A Year For Family

For 2021, we’re taking it a bit easier. Since our daughter is now living nearby and we’re spending a week every month in our second home in Alabama, there’s no need to haul the RV across the country to visit her. 

So, we’re not.

Our 2021 target:  Michigan and Ohio.  It’s still an RV Adventure, but without all of the miles.  During the month of August, we’re using our RV as a mobile home to travel with our 4 dogs, with a focus on visiting family and friends around the Midwest.

As you read these words, we’ve just left my sister’s farm in Southern Michigan (shown above) where we spent a week visiting family.  Fortunately, my Dad’s assisted living facility is no longer quarantined, so we were able to get some quality time with him while we were in town.  I treasure visits with my Dad, especially considering the reality that at 89-years-old our time with him is limited.  After what we’ve all been through the past year, it just seems right to make 2021 the year to focus on family.  #Priorities

Yesterday we migrated across Northern Ohio and set up camp in Punderson State Park.  We have some friends in the area, and we’re staying here for a few days to visit before heading on to visit my wife’s two brothers in other areas of the state.  After that, we’re heading to Hocking Hills, a longtime favorite state park in Southern Ohio to camp with some friends who are also passing through the area.  From there, we’ll weave our way South to our home in the North Georgia mountains.


Conclusion

Ah, retirement. 

A rare time in life when we have the Freedom to travel as we’d like, at whatever pace fits our state of mind.  The RV has turned out to be a great investment for us through our first 3+ years of retirement, and we’ve no regrets about making the investment.  We’ve settled into a nice routine of spending the majority of our time at our mountain cabin base, with one week per month in our second home in Southern Alabama visiting our granddaughter.   Add in the occasional RV adventure, especially when the summer heats up, and you have a recipe for a pretty good life.

Isn’t that what retirement is all about?


Your Turn:  I trust you’ll understand that I won’t be responding to any comments today since we’re traveling, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you manage your time in retirement.  Are you following our approach of part-time RV adventure, or do you hang closer to home?  Perhaps you’ve done (or are planning) some extended travel?  I’m looking forward to reading your comments and getting back on the keyboard when we return home next month. Until then, enjoy your summer!

34 comments

  1. Enjoy your travels. I was wondering what you use to pull your 5th wheel, F250 or F350? Diesel or gas?

    1. Hey Nancy, we pull with an 2017 F250 turbo diessel, single rear axle. Pulls like a dream! Raining at the campground today, so decided to hit a coffee shop and turn on the computer for the first time in over a week! Ah…the luxury of retirement!

  2. Wonderful travels and I completely that 2021 is definitely devoted to family time! We too spent time with our families and on our way through the UP from WI and then dropping down into lower MI where we will visit with more family. We love our retired, full time RV life in our GD Solitude and love your tips to make that happen, even though we are only in our mid-fifties. Will we see you at the Grand Design Rally in Elkhart??

    1. Julie, afraid we’ll miss the GD Rally, we’re currently near Warren, OH and heading South in a few days. Too bad, would have loved to have had the opportunity to meet you. Thanks for reading my work during your full time RV life, much appreciated!

  3. Hi Fritz! Enjoy your time on the road with family and fur babies! Life is good.

    We work hard, save and invest for the long haul…to enjoy our lives later on in a way that is best for all of us. #Priorities. Carol and I loved camping, now we are on to travel via hotels and cabins. Is less stressful not towing any longer, but sure do miss the camping part of it!

    We traveled to Hawaii for our 40th anniversary and splurged on a wonderful resort in Lihue! Loved our time there. Did not want to fly home.
    Driving to CO for some more R&R with friends this month, then on to IA to visit friends and family for LD weekend.

    We are very grateful to our Lord for all He has given us. We are just humble stewards and pray that our giving of our talents and treasures is pleasing to Him. We have enough.

    Stay safe and true Fritz….Steve

  4. I really appreciate your blog! We first heard all about your plan to retire adventure on the Money Guy show and have been following your blog since. We have a retirement goal less than 10 years away, but trying to beat it by getting all of our ” buckets” full along with the necessary planning (using your book as part of our retirement planning team). I am inspired & excited by your stories. We are on a campaign to get our friends & loved ones excited too. Truly, you are impactful. Thank you!

  5. So cool! You certainly made the right decision to save and retire a bit earlier than most. The future is so hard to predict so every day that you‘re still reasonably healthy and able to do things you enjoy, including spending time with family, is a blessing. Have fun!

  6. That’s awesome man! Enjoy the trip! When my kids are 8-10 I think we’ll do the same.

    I’ll be re-retiring sometime in 2022. Hope COVID finally gets under control by then!

    Sam

    1. Sam, I’m honored to have you grace my page with your comment, I’ve long been a regular reader of your work and insights. Your most recent work on real estate with an international perspective was enlightening, per usual. Hope to meet you on the road someday in the future, thanks for stopping by!

  7. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing your travels and bits about retirement. I just retired and my husband has been retired about three years. We are considering for a retirement town a little town in southern AL and wondered what you’d share (and maybe have and I missed it) about your thoughts feelings regarding living there part of the time. We also have another small town in FL in mind. Train travel is on our list too. The RV is not possible due to vision problems although that is something we both would have loved. Again, thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Linda, hello to a potential fellow “LA’er” (Lower Alabama, for those unfamiliar), and congrats on crossing The Starting Line! We enjoy spending a week a month in Enterprise (just West of Dothan), though our enjoyment is driven more by our 2-year-old granddaughter than by the locale itself. It’s not a bad place, but it’s hard to beat our retirement cabin in the Southern Appalachians. We’re not huge fans of the heat (as witnessed by our annual “escape” North during the hottest months), and LA is considerably warmer than the N. GA mountains. Let’s keep in touch, would love to meet you if you end up settling someplace nearby.

      1. Hello Fritz, thank you so much for replying. I am familiar with Enterprise, AL and it certainly is a nice small town. I enjoyed an ice cream cone there one Sunday afternoon and took pictures of the downtown area. Of course, a little granddaughter would be an attraction anywhere! It is a few miles from the area we are interested in; Fairhope, AL. I do not like the heat either and we are attracted to the mid coast area of Maine for the summer months. Over the years we have spent a lot of time in the Southern Appalachians and that is an attraction as well. I am giving myself a year to “regroup” before making any decisions. Again, thanks so much for sharing. Enjoying your blog. Happy travels!

  8. Sounds great, even if more low-key than years past.

    Similar to Financial Samurai, I am going to wait until my kids are a tad bigger before we head off on a long-summer RV trip. But it is in the works.

    Always love hearing about your trips!

  9. Thanks for a great article. We got our RV two years ago in preparation for retirement. Like you, we took numerous short trips to learn about our RV (and the RV lifestyle). Once we reached The Finish Line in April we went on a 3-1/2 week trip down the east coast to FL (from NJ) to visit family and do sightseeing. We’re currently planning a month long trip to the UP of MI and Wisconsin for this fall. So far we’re loving the lifestyle and freedom of the RV!

    ……and I’m jealous about that train trip! Might have to look into that!

  10. I love it! Enjoy. And please provide more pictures, for heaven’s sake. A patriotic wretch like me loves seeing the towns, cities, and scenic treasures of this great country. Peace.

    1. Mr. G, we’ll have to convince a patriotic wretch to get on Facebook or Instagram to see the pictures we post on a regular basis. Smiles. Somehow, I suspect you’ll never succumb to the evils of those Social Media mecca’s. Stay strong, my friend. Selling your soul is not worth it to see a few patriotic pictures from your fellow blogger friend. Wink.

  11. Fritz, escaping your adopted beautiful state of Georgia because of the heat? I had to laugh, I was in your neck of the woods and the Smokies last month to cool off from the heat and humidity of Tampa. Oh well, locations are relative. Enjoy your vacay with the family.

  12. Fritz – Good to hear an update! So far we are taking the opposite approach. We’ve have friends or family from out-of-state almost constantly since late April. We think that is finally slowing week after next. At that point hoteling it from western WA to eastern for a week in mid-Sept and then in mid-Oct 10 days or so down the OR coast… still hoteling.

    Love hearing your’s and other’s travel!

    Take care
    Steve

  13. Sounds great seeing friends and family while escaping the heat. We are going to Raleigh, NC to check the RV show end of August. Looking forward to seeing all the options but mainly to check out travel vans (Leisure Van Unity to be specific). Had the experience of a trailer but want more spontaneity that this may give us.

    I have the train ride on my bucket list too and can’t wait to read about your experience!

    Enjoy your time and thanks for sharing.

  14. I’m a blog reader soon to turn 64 and planning to retire at 68 or maybe a little sooner. My wife (almost 61) and I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to sell our home in the current irrationally exuberant real estate market and moved into a fifth wheel for at least until we see a house we love and the market settles down a bit. I work from home so anywhere there’s at least a couple bars of LTE I’m in business.

    Bought a four year old Keystone Montana towing it with a new single rear wheel Silverado 3500 Duramax Diesel.

    So far we are loving it, although we’re still really in transition. Biggest challenge seems to be finding nice longer-term RV parks in Birmingham area. Corps of Engineers parks are great though. I recommend it!

    1. Hi Fritz, glad to hear you guys are back on the road again! If you are the R.V. type, then there is nothing like traveling around this beautiful nation we call home. I suppose it’s one of the great things about owning your own time, your most precious asset in life.

      My wife and I are in our 8th year of retirement as of July 1, and still loving every minute of it. We bought our first R.V. when we retired and planned a 10 day trip to Utah. We had such a great time we didn’t come back to Arizona for 3 months and covered 7 States! Ahh retirement, freedom at its best. Since then we have done a 3 month trip in the Spring and again in the Fall of each year. We come home in the summers to spend the time in the White Mountains for about 4 months, and at the end of our Fall trip we spend the winters roaming the deserts of the Southwest and the Colorado River where the weather is wonderful in the winter.

      We are part timer’s as far as the R.V. goes, and have enjoyed driving around the country aimlessly for nearly 74,000 miles so far. When we embarked on our first R.V. adventure my wife and I agreed the rules were going to be NO interstate highways, we can’t travel on the same roads twice, and no more than 150 miles a day. Those rules seem simple enough, but the thing about ‘no roads twice’ is getting pretty difficult to adhere to. Still, we love the travel and staying around small towns all across America. Every small town has something interesting to do if you take the time to look for it.

      So, although we are on the road for about 6 total months out of the year, we never miss your posts, and have enjoyed your blog, your book, your podcasts for years. Have a wonderful time on your trip, and when you get home you should drive your jeep around for awhile just because you can!

      1. Thanks for being a regular reader, 31ND, especially given your extensive time in an RV. You’ve always been one of my most loyal readers, and it’s recognized and appreciated! And…don’t worry, I’ll definitely be getting some time in that Jeep when we return to GA, before the weather cools. Because I can, indeed!

  15. Hmm, I spent 4 years in Ohio, south of Toledo. The area was pretty humid, and it got plenty hot at times during the summers. Here’s hoping you all stay cool in your area!

    1. Haha, I guess it’s all relative. Given that GA is typically as hot as a really hot day in Ohio, but it stays there every day through August, OH feels wonderfully cool in comparison. This week, it’s forecast to be in the high 70’s, low 80’s all week. We actually had to pull out our sweatshirts a few nights ago. In August! We were fortunate to hit a “cool spell”, which typically happpens at least 1-2 weeks during our reverse snowbird escapes. Heavenly….

  16. It is good that you allocate your time to enjoy family and friends.
    This is the primary benefit of Financial Independence.

    The secondary benefit of Financial Independence is not RETIREMENT.
    It is a continuation of being useful or relevance in accordance to the beat of your own drum.

  17. We traveled last month to Ohio and thoroughly enjoyed the National Air Force Museum in Dayton and the beautiful farms and small towns in the Ohio Amish country. There’s so much to see wherever you travel.

  18. Fritz, thanks for the blog and the book! They have been a real help as I approach the exit ramp on my own FIRE journey. I enjoy reading your posts and seeing how your RE adventure is unfolding. BTW I live about 20 miles from Punderson State Park. It’s a beautiful area for sure. Enjoy the rest of the trip!

    1. Hey Neighbor! We enjoyed our time in Punderson, and visiting friends around the East side of Cleveland. We even scored a visit to Malley’s in Mentor for some ice cream and chocolate in one of our favorite places on earth. Wink. We’re now at Mosquito State Park near Warren visiting my wife’s brother, taking advantage of today’s rain to hit a coffee shop and turn on my computer for the first time in over a week! The trip is going well, we’re having a very nice time with the “slow travel” and spending time with those we love.

      1. Sounds like you drove right by me! We’re SE of Punderson and W of Warren. Maybe we’ll meet on one your future trips to visit the family!

  19. Michigan is a wonderful place to go camping. Hope you have a good time visiting family. I just finished reading all your old articles although I still have some podcasts left to listen too. I think its time for me to buy your book. I know that pulling the trigger on retirement is going to be tough unless the trigger is pulled for me. Thanks for writing, I watch some youtubers but yours it the first blog.

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