Charley and I started thinking about becoming fulltimers about 10 years ago. Charley started researching what it would take to do this using the internet and many, many blogs that he visits almost daily. He also sent a lot of notes to other folks who had been doing this for a while and obtained advice when he needed it. In other words he did all of the work to find out what we needed to know.
After we talked and talked and talked about it we decided that it was what we wanted to do and we started planning for it. The first step for us was to downsize from the large home that we had when our kids were still at home so we put our home on the market, sold it and bought a patio home to live in until we could retire. As a part of this downsizing our kids inherited a lot of furniture and other things that they could use in their homes. Some was placed in storage for our daughter who would be getting married a little later in this process.
One other thing that we had to do was get some bills paid off so that we could retire. That was a little harder but we made good progress during the few years we were waiting and living in the patio home.
We decided during this time that we wanted to go with a 5th wheel and large truck rather than a motor home, mainly to avoid the extra engine and tires of a tow vehicle which we would have to have. We started going to shows and researching on the internet to determine what we wanted. We even went to the huge show in Tampa, Florida to look at as many brands as we could in one place. That trip turned out to be very worthwhile and helped in our decision to go with a Montana.
In November 2008 we traded in our two existing vehicles and bought a Ford F450 to tow the 5er. Charley did a lot of research on this model and when we test drove it we found it to be very quiet for a diesel truck. That helped sell us on this model. Note - we have found the 450 to be very rough riding when we are not towing the 5er but we can live with that.
In early 2009 we put our patio home on the market and sold it within two weeks. We then ordered the Montana 5er that we wanted. So in April 2009 we were moving out of the patio home, giving our kids who had both just built new homes all of our remaining furniture and things, and moving into our new home!! We parked the 5er on our son's property and got started on our new life while waiting until I could retire.
Now the economic situation last year almost put us on hold for a while but we lucked out and made it anyway. So I retired on 12/31/2009 and we "officially" became fulltimers as of 1/1/2010. We became members of the Escapees RV Club, changed our legal residence to our Livingston, TX address, and moved the registration for our truck and 5er. Hence the reason for our recent trip to Texas, to get registered to vote and obtain Texas drivers licenses. We have also joined Passport America and Freedom Resorts to help with the expenses associated with a camping venture.
As we have said before we feel very strongly that we have made the right decision for us and have no regrets at all. We look forward to seeing as much of our beautiful country that we can in the years to come (some of Canada and Mexico too) and meeting lots of great people along the way!!