The Road Tripster Family
Family of two traveling around the United States full time. Sold home in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Headed out in Toyota FJ Cruiser and fifth wheel camper. We travel from state to state seeing the sights, meeting great and interesting people, and doing volunteer work.
Most common questions:
Are you crazy?
Well, yes. Though, this lifestyle was not an easy decision. My wife was the first to say he wanted to travel full time. I wanted to jump on board my wife’s visions, so we started praying about it and really researching the idea. We talked to people we respect and sought their wisdom. We finally decided this is the lifestyle for us, at this time.
Why we did do this?
We were sick of the rat race of life; always on the go, constantly tending to our “things” instead of people, spending more time as a family, making a difference in this world.
What do you do for work?
I’m a web designer. I have a laptop, and I do all my work from the RV or outdoors. I have a cell phone with Verizon. It does ok, but usually, I try to use wireless at the campground we stay at. My job pays the bills and we have insurance, but ultimately, I would love to start a business for me and my sons; it just isn’t working out right now. I work Monday through Friday. So, we usually have to be settled down during the week and not travel until the weekends.
How do we all fit?
We have lots of bedding. Our fifth wheel has two extra long queen-size bunk beds in the back. We have a nice shower and a separate toilet area. We have two slide-outs; one is our living/dining room area and our king-size bed slides out. It makes it a lot roomier. We bought our camper new, so it is in good condition.
After our first years of travel, do we regret it?
No. We are thankful we made that choice, for many reasons. We have had so many incredible experiences. It has been wonderful and wonderfully hard at the same time.
Where do we plan on settling down and when?
We don’t know yet. I think we will travel a while longer. We like Oregon, Marysville, Kansas, southern Missouri-where we are from, and northwest Nebraska. If we had the money, I would buy a little, old farmhouse right now, just for a home base.
I would like somewhere to go back to now and then. We just don’t want to go way into debt again. So, we are not buying a home until we make some money to buy it. We do want to keep traveling for a while no matter what.
What is our favorite place?
We loved our time in Florida with family. The stars in the sky are seen from the top of the mountain in the Big Horn Mountains. Hwy 2 in Nebraska was amazingly serene. The jagged mountains in Glacier National Park. Volunteering in Lusk, WY. Artist Point waterfall at Yellowstone. Waterfall in the middle of nowhere in Oregon. Visiting friends and family everywhere. Nogal Canyon, NM. Riding ATVs in the Badlands of SD.
Is a special driver's license required for a motorhome?
No. A regular, valid, state-issued license is all that is required.
Is it expensive to trip in an RV?
When considering an RV for your vacation, you need to remember that it is not just your transportation, it is also your hotel and can be your restaurant. Imagine the cost to take a family of 4 to 3 meals a day at restaurants. Imagine trying to find clean restrooms to use on the road and trying to find an affordable hotel room when you are tired.
An RV sets you free from all that, and so for most families, even with the cost of gas included, RV’ing is still the most affordable way to travel. And that does not even begin to count value of the family together time in the RV. When you add that in, there simply is no better alternative!
What are “Class C” and “Class A” motorhomes?
A Class C motorhome looks like a van in the front with the roof of the motorhome extending out over the cab. Class A looks more like a bus.
The Class C Motorhomes have large bunks over the cab and will generally sleep six to seven people. Many people feel that it is easier to drive a Class C because it is more like the van that they may have driven in the past. In addition, the driver and passenger doors of the Class C’s make getting in and out of the motorhome more convenient.
The Class A’s, are generally larger than the C’s, They offer more living space, a lot more outside accessible storage, and a huge windshield that allows for an “awesome” view.
What kind of gas mileage can I expect to get?
MPG for an RV will vary depending on the RV, but not by much. Most gas RVs are built on the Ford Chassis with the V-10 Triton engine. The Miles Per Gallon will vary the most depending on the speed you drive and the weight you carry. The average miles per gallon traveling at 55 miles per hour would yield 9-12 MPG. Increasing your speed to 75 MPH would drop your mileage down around 6-7 Miles Per Gallon.
Diesel-powered motorhomes MPG will range from 6-10 MPG on an A Class and 12-17 miles per gallon on a Sprinter chassis. Considering the additional costs for diesel fuel, the increased savings don’t always justify the additional costs of a diesel RV. Types of diesel will be less affected by wind, weight, etc. due to the increase of torque from the motor.
What is the RV generator for?
The RV generator is on board and is a part of the RV. The RV generator is only needed for the overhead air conditioner, microwave, and any electrical appliances you plug into a wall outlet. IE. coffee maker, toaster, charger, etc. when you are not plugged into electrical power at an RV park.
When the RV is plugged into an outlet in an RV park or some other source, most appliances operate on electricity. The batteries are also being charged while the RV is plugged into shore power. All other items on the motorhome operate on battery and or propane.
Such as the water heater, furnace, water pump, lights, fridge, and stove. You do not need to run the RV generator for these items. The RV generator normally runs on the same fuel tank as the engine.
Do you need an autoformer?
We have our 30 Amp autoformer for about three years. It is an important tool for maintaining our electrical systems. We monitor our electrical service with a plug-in Volt meter inside our RV. Using these tools you KNOW what kind of electrical service you have. We bought ours after having damage to our Air Conditioner due to low voltage.
A cold night and no electricity?
A Catalytic Heater is of great value in this situation because there is no blower requiring electricity or battery. A penetrating soft infrared heat from low-pressure LP gas works efficiently to heat the room. For those cold days, this heater will maintain consistent heat with the occasional cycling of the main heater to maintain the water lines and basement heat.