Today I am so excited! More Than A Wheelin’ has decided to share their RV life story with The Virtual Campground.
This is awesome because Camille and I have gotten very close this year. I look up to her tremendously. I always tell people she’s who I want to be when I grow up.
So without further ado, Liz Wilcox’s favorite interview yet! Enjoy all the why’s and how’s of this couple on their journey to rv life!
Alright. Let’s get this party started. Who is More Than A Wheelin’?
More Than A Wheelin’ started off as me (Camille), my husband Bryce, and our two cats Parker and Bianca. Unfortunately, one night at a Thousand Trails outside of San Antonio, Bianca broke out of our rig. We anxiously searched for days only to find her collar. It was devastating.
Now it’s just the three of us and we watch over Parker like two helicopter parents.
You guys aren’t retired. How did you get into this whole RV life thing, anyway?
I have an entire blog post written about this but in a nutshell…
Bryce and I have worked an average of twenty years in corporate America. We worked long hours, and although we generally enjoyed out jobs, we had little time to do much else. We don’t have kids, so after a while of the same routine; work to pay the mortgageso you can live in suburbia so you can go to work again… it gets real old.
That combined with health issues and a desire to do new things pushed us into the idea of full-time travel.
It seems like you guys were on a successful path to retirement. What were the reactions of your family and friends?
It was a total mix. My dad and step-mom thought it was cool, until we got serious about it. Then my dad was like, “Are you sure don’t want to have a baby instead?”
They’ve been on me about that for over a decade so it was no surprise.
Some of our friends thought is was cool and were really supportive. Some thought it was too risky. Like you said, we had good jobs and a path to retirement. For some people, throwing that away is a cardinal sin.
But we decided to prioritize our health and happiness over money.
Well congrats on RV life! What kind of RV did you end up getting anyway?
We have a 2016 Tiffin Allegro, Open Road 34 foot gas coach. In hindsight we should have bought used to save money. But we were so new at this RVing thing that we were really nervous about buying used.
Now I know better.
We like our coach, but still we could have done a lot better on cost. In reality though, we financed it and it’s about a 1/3 of our mortgage, so we’re still ahead of the game.
While that is a pretty big coach, I’m sure you had to downsize. How did you do it?
We went through a major purge process.
I am talking major as we (by we, I mean Bryce) have some hoarding tendencies. He’d probably tell you these are “collectibles.”
Plus between the two of us, we had accumulated twenty-ish years worth of stuff on our own before we got married. So it was a lengthy, emotional and physical process to downsize. We sold and donated as much as we could.
But we also had a deadline for our leave date, so the things we couldn’t get rid of in time went into storage.
We are not looking forward to dealing with that any time soon.
So you have to go back to storage…one day. When will that be? Do you have a finish line of RV life?
As of this month, September 2017, we just hit our one-year mark. It went by so fast too!
I can’t say that we have a finish line yet because I feel like we are just getting started in a way. I just hit my groove in a lot of ways, and have finally “settled” into RV life (although you are never really settled).
Settling in (so to speak) is nice. What’s been the best thing about full-time travel?
The best thing is you can go where you want, when you want. You don’t have to wait for vacation time. You don’t have to box yourselfin on how long you want to stay somewhere.
I feel like it’s less about full-time travel and it should be called full-time freedom. Because that’s what it feels like.
Travel is the by-product of that level of freedom. Also, I love seeing new places and meeting new people.
Building a community of other full-time RVers on the road has been one of the best experiences.
I love what you said there. But I gotta ask, what’s the worst thing about full-time travel?
Sometimes it’s the unknowns– the weather, the breakdowns, etc.
In the beginning we felt really out of control because we had some issues with our rig. You know, the ones I wrote about in Attack of the Godzilla Slide, for your book.
But over time, you adjust to that. It’s life. You adapt to things out of your control and learn to roll with whatever comes up.
Sounds like you’re learning a lot about life. What else have you picked up on and what are you still seeking?
A few things come to mind.
One, nomadic life is really different than what I was doing before. I feel like I am relearning how to live life! I was so programmed before. Now I have this blank slate.
Honestly, sometimes that’s intimidating.
Two, I’m a really creative person with a lot to offer the world. I always knew I was creative. People would tell me that all the time, but I didn’t fully connect with that until recently.
Now I’m making found object art, using materials I find on my travels. I am writing and creating content. Alongside building my own business, I’ve found great joy in collaborating with other RVers on projects.
It’s like I always knew I was capable but never tested the theory. Instead, I used to go to work. I’d sit in a cubicle and channel my energy into someone else’s business.
Now I am doing it for myself. It’s exciting and terrifying at the same time.
Last, I have learned that this country is an amazing place. It not only has beautiful scenery but beautiful people,too.
There’s a lot of division in our country right now, but honestly I have only met the kindest, more gracious people. And it doesn’t matter what religion, political affiliations, or worldview they have. Everyone has greeted us warmly and made us feel welcome.
Wow, Camille. Thanks for the honest and in depth answer. But let’s get real serious here. How are you affording this lifestyle? It’s what everyone wants to know.
Ah, the big question of the day!
Yes, finances have been an interesting journey, as well.
When we quit our jobs, we were in a position to use some savings to get started. It actually goes against our grain to use savings for anything other then emergencies or retirement. I mean, retirement is essentially what we had been working toward our whole careers!
This was a major risk to us.
But we knew savings would only last for so long.
About 4 months into our journey I started getting concerned about money. I began positioning myself to make money while traveling. I built a blog and while I am not monetizing that yet, it has led to other opportunities.
Outdoorsy, an RV rental company pays me as a guest contributor on the blog part of their site. I also proudly work as the project manager for the RV Nomads documentary film. And to top it all off, I was recently hired by the Escapees RV club to develop an online course for “How To Transition to Full-Time RVing.” Check out the resource for how to make the transition to RV life at the bottom of this interview.
These opportunities arose from a combination of putting myself out there, and saying “yes” to almost any opportunity that came my way. I am not making tons of money but that isn’t the point.The point is to come up with a sustainable way to travel.
Right now I am enjoying learning all these new skills and collaborating with really cool people.
Bryce is studying options trading. As a former financial analyst, he has always managed his own retirement accounts. Now he wants to branch out into other ways to apply his financial acumen. He is getting very close to making some practice trades. Keep your fingers crossed!
Holy smokes! You guys are really diversifying. I love it. Any parting words of wisdom?
We had such an intense transition from traditional living to full-time RVing.
And we know that transition is one of the major barriers for people to jump into this lifestyle.So we created a project plan with actions steps that enabled us to transition within 6 months. That plan is free for anyone to use and is available here.
Thanks for sharing your RV life story with The Virtual Campground!
Be sure to check out Camille and Bryce at morethanawheelin.com
And drop your thoughts in the comments below!