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Why We Decided to Full-Time RV

by Adam Doolittle
full-time rv

Both Kate and I loved to travel and we knew that we wanted to do more of it. With the cost of vacations and the downturn of the Canadian dollar, vacationing was getting pricier. Plus, both of us worked steady jobs with a limited amount of vacation time. The desire to continually travel was there but at the moment, there was no key idea in place that would allow this to happen. Enter April 23, 2015.

April 23, 2015. Previous to this day, Kate and I had been programmers for a pair of radio stations in Fredericton, New Brunswick. That morning, however, it all changed. With 30 years of combined radio experience, Kate and I were released from our duties due to the cost cutting that had begun to overtake the entire broadcasting industry.

Obviously, the immediate shock of no longer having a job can be overwhelming at first. But, once the anger passes, you decide you have to move on. Radio, as long as it has existed, has been a volatile industry. Whether it’s cost cutting or bad ratings, most radio hosts/programmers will lose their job at least once. With our experience, Kate and I could have easily started applying to radio jobs across the country and would have received some offers. However, the interest just wasn’t there anymore. Radio can be a really fun job at times with some great perks. It also (like most jobs) has a way of sucking the life out of you, to the point where you decide you just don’t want this lifestyle anymore.

Heart Anne Wilson Nancy Wilson

One of the cool perks of working in radio was meeting great musicians like Nancy & Anne Wilson of Heart

Without jobs, Kate and I didn’t really have a plan yet. We knew something would come along eventually that would be the right move and decision. In the interim, Kate and I worked for a telecommunications company doing a basic data entry job. It wasn’t thrilling but it paid the bills and didn’t leave us going home with stress at the end of the day. The job was perfect for the time being, but we knew that it wasn’t a long-term solution. That long-term solution continued to escape us for months, but then I had an idea.

For as long as I could remember, I recall wanting to live a life differently than what most consider normal. I didn’t want to work a job that left me stressed and without much money but at the same time I didn’t know of any better option. After being let go from his job, I often sat there and thought, “what can we do where we can travel, have fun and generally live a less stressful life?” The question would constantly be asked internally, but I didn’t have the answer. Then one night, sitting on the couch, watching the Blue Jays triumphant 2015 playoff run, the idea finally made itself present. Full-Time RVing.

“What if we could live in an RV, travel across the country to wherever we want to go and along the way, work jobs that would pay for our newfound lifestyle?” “Is it feasible?” “Would Kate really want to do this?” “How would the cat and dog manage in an RV?”

These are the questions that rolled through my head. I liked the idea and didn’t even know that there are millions of people already living the full-time RV lifestyle. “But would Kate really go for this or would she think this is just another crazy idea?”

The Proposal

One night, on the way home from work, I finally decided to ask. I was nervous. I really liked the idea but thought it to be a longshot that Kate would say yes.  “Before you say no, just listen and let me explain this all in detail,” I said. I went on to describe the idea of living the full-time RV lifestyle. Everything from how great it would be to travel across the country, to how we could manage this financially. Then a pause. Long pause. I knew it was a “no.”

“Well…the thing about your idea is….” Another pause. You’d swear drama was Kate’s passion. “I love it,” she finally said.

At first, I didn’t really believe the words. Kate is very used to me throwing crazy ideas her way. Even with the craziest idea, she always seemed to be supportive. But this was different. This was a massive lifestyle change. Did she really say, “I love it”? “Are you serious?” I asked her. “Yeah, I think it’s a great idea,” she replied. I felt relieved, shocked and I really didn’t know how to proceed. Again, I have so many crazy ideas that I rarely had followed through on in the past, I was shocked that Kate had said yes to this one.

“So…now what?”

The idea was presented. Both of us loved the idea but we had no clue on how to move forward with the idea. For days and weeks, we read countless blogs about the full-time RV lifestyle and those that have been living the lifestyle we had just recently chosen to adopt ourselves. After reading for countless days, we were determined that this was possible – we could do it! It wasn’t something that a lot of people were doing in Canada (likely because of the winter) but it was definitely something a lot of people in the US were doing. Kate and I were worried that it wouldn’t be possible to live the full-time RV lifestyle solely in Canada because our winters. There was no way we could live in an RV during the harsh Canadian winters we’ve been used to our entire lives.

The Plan

Finally, Kate and I realized that the best possible solution at the moment was to enjoy our first summer on the East Coast of Canada. We would full-time RV in Prince Edward Island for the summer and then make the journey to Vancouver Island in late fall and stay there throughout the winter. Vancouver Island’s winters are much different than the rest of Canada. There aren’t many feet of snow piled up in your yard and you don’t need that giant George Costanza Gortex coat to stay warm. Mild temperatures along with a late fall and early spring seem like the perfect combination for full-time RVing in Canada. Sure, it’s not the warmth of Florida or Arizona but it will more than do for us and we know we will enjoy every minute of it.

Cross Canada RV Trip

Looking Forward

I’d be lying if I said both Kate and I weren’t a tad overwhelmed with the transition into full-time RVing. It’s a drastic change. We’ve left a home on 4 acres and have moved into our new home on wheels. There’s a lot we still have to learn about this lifestyle. Neither of us had spent any significant amount of time in an RV previous to this adventure so there will certainly be some bumps along the road but this is a challenge we are beyond excited for. Finally, both of us will venture west of Ontario for the first time in our lives. Our travels will take us through the prairies to the Rockies and finally to Vancouver Island. We will have less stress and more time to enjoy the things we love most: each other, our pets and nature. This is going to be an adventure for us. How long will this adventure be? We really don’t know yet, but we hope that you will follow our journey with your thoughts, questions and maybe even some advice.

***Update – March 2017***

Just over a year ago we purchased our RV and readied ourselves for this crazy journey. Now that we’ve been living the full-time RV lifestyle for quite a while now, we can tell you that we’re loving it. Spending last summer in Borden-Carleton while workamping at Jellystone PEI was a great time. Our 36-day cross-country journey from PEI to Tofino in the fall was incredible and full of a tonne of new experiences. When we first started the adventure we weren’t sure if it was going to stick with us. Now, almost a year later, we’re thrilled with this lifestyle and its simplicity. We’d 100% recommend this lifestyle to anyone.

 

Are you a full-time RVer or casual camper?  Do you think you could ever make the transition to a full-time RV lifestyle?

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30 comments

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Di Coric May 23, 2016 - 1:28 pm

Thanks for sharing Adam! Will be an amazing journey for you all!

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Stefan June 8, 2016 - 5:58 pm

Amazing! Getting an RV is something I’ve been trying to convince my girlfriend about, but she’s not quite ready to jump ship! I think we still have a few more years of travelling ahead of us and then I think it’s an RV in our future.

I didn’t know that Vancouver wasn’t so coold and didn’t get that much snow. I always thought that i’d have to shack up with the parents during the winter months (at least park in the driveway and steal their wifi lol) but Vancouver definitely opens up some possibilities.

Great read, looking forward to some new content!

Ps. Just followed you guys on Insta..great photos!

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Kate McCallum June 8, 2016 - 8:07 pm

Hi Stefan! Vancouver Island doesn’t get much if any snow, so it is perfect for snowbirds. Thanks for following us on Instagram, we will follow you too! FullTime Rv’ing has some challenges, but the cost savings are WELL worth it! Keep in touch and thanks for reading our blog! Make sure you sign up for our newsletter, we will have some cool prizes from some Island experiences we have had!

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Ross & Martine September 25, 2016 - 9:41 pm

Hello Adam & Kate! my wife and I would like to wish you two all the best and in travels. We are planning a similar adventure as you first thing next spring in our 5th wheel and are a little nervous, but excited at the same time. We will be following you two from here on out.
We just created a group on Facebook called ” Full-Time RVers – Canada ” please join and share

Safe Travels !

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Adam Doolittle September 25, 2016 - 10:23 pm

Hi Ross/Martine! Thanks so much for following along with our journey. We were exactly like you, nervous but excited when we made the decision to full-time RV. Now that we’re almost 6 months into living the lifestyle, we couldn’t be happier. It’s great too now that we’re on the road and experiencing new places. We’ll definitely join your group too – what a great idea! Please don’t hesitate to shoot us any questions about beginning the full-time lifestyle. We’d be happy to help.

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Meagen Higginbottom October 16, 2016 - 6:10 pm

So inspiring, I would love to do this! Definitely saving your blog to follow along on your journey.

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Adam Doolittle October 16, 2016 - 6:13 pm

Thanks so much! Feel free to subscribe to our weekly newsletter. We share stories of our journey along with tips and other inspiring ideas.

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Lisa October 17, 2016 - 10:21 am

What a great idea! Takes a lot of guts to actually go through with it and I will admit I’m a tad bit jealous of you guys for being able to pull it off! I look forward to reading more about your travels!

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Adam Doolittle October 21, 2016 - 2:32 pm

Thanks for reading Lisa! It’s a great lifestyle choice. If we can pull it off, you can totally do it!

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Sandy October 22, 2016 - 2:24 pm

I could feel your excitement as I read your story. We live a FT RVing life and wouldn’t have it any other way. Congratulations and have fun!

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Adam Doolittle October 25, 2016 - 6:43 pm

We were absolutely thrilled to begin this lifestyle. It isn’t without its challenges but it is certainly very rewarding. Whereabouts do you full-time RV?

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Cindy November 23, 2016 - 7:50 pm

Adam, my hubby and I are waiting for our NS house to sell and plan as you, winter on Vancouver island. Would love to know where you are staying and anything you can let us know . Here or email just love to learn how its going.

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Adam Doolittle November 23, 2016 - 8:08 pm

Hi Cindy! We’re in Tofino. Quite an unique but amazing spot to spend the winter. Everything is going great for the most part but we’re learning a lot along the way which is overwhelming at times. We’re certain after a couple of years of doing this that we will be very comfortable in this lifestyle.

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Brandon February 8, 2017 - 2:26 am

Hi, we are planning to full time rv starting this spring. We have an 18-month old. From your experience, do you think it is possible to full time rv with a child (before they need to attend school?).
Are there lots if rv parks in Tofino? Cost for the winter season?
Thanks

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Adam Doolittle February 10, 2017 - 4:44 pm

Hi Brandon, yes – it’s definitely possible to full-time with a child before they enter school and even after they enter school. There are plenty of people that full-time RV and homeschool their children. There are also families that modify their RVs to have cribs in them for toddlers. As for RVing in Tofino, there are a few parks. Crystal Cove is open year round and is the only one here that is open year round. It’s beautiful. They do offer a monthly “snowbird” rate. You’d have to inquire with them as to what it is. We don’t pay campsite fees as we workamp in exhange for our site. If you have anymore questions, definitely feel free to email us!

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Brenda Ryals March 14, 2017 - 2:20 pm

How do you handle bad weather such as storms and high winds ? This really concerns us and is the only thing holding us back !

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Adam Doolittle March 15, 2017 - 2:26 pm

Don’t let something like this hold you back from living an awesome lifestyle. All I would say is check the forecast, including winds before you leave and if you’re not comfortable with the conditions stay steady for another day or two. In Surrey, we were only supposed to be there for a day or two but ended up staying a week because of weather. This website is great for checking on the weather along your planned route, too: http://get-there-dry.com/

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Nicole Anderson March 14, 2017 - 7:49 pm

It is just fantastic that you both were brave enough to take the plunge and go for it! And as a consequence you now live your dreams which hopefully will inspire many to consider for themselves. May you both enjoy a wonderful and fulfilling life!

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Adam Doolittle March 15, 2017 - 2:24 pm

Thanks Nicole! We’re living the dream right now and really want to see more people do the same.

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Mar October 18, 2017 - 3:08 pm

Hey
Can you give me an estimate as to how much “life” costs you in this wonderful way of living? I love simplicity.

Thanks
Mar

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Jim & Susan November 7, 2017 - 8:46 am

Hi Adam,
I’m retired, and my wife still works full time. Our hesitation to venture out for the lifestyle you live has been a topic we’ve tossed around for a couple of years. We aren’t getting any younger, so the thought of RVing (full time) is both exciting and worrisome to say the least. Some time in the near future we hope to trek out. Like you we want to winter in Canada, as the Canadian dollar is so poor compared to the American $. The idea of loosing 25% on the exchange horrifies us. Hope to join everyone in the near future…..Jim & Susan (Prince George BC)

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Lori November 11, 2017 - 1:16 pm

I am curious, do you still have a permanent address? Do you need one, for cra? This sounds marvelous, hope to hear more.

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Adam Doolittle November 14, 2017 - 6:19 pm

Hi Lori – yes, you do need to have a permanent address for full-time RVing in Canada. We wrote a detailed account of what we do and what other RVers do here: http://fulltimecanada.ca/common-questions-get-asked-full-time-rving/

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Carolyn November 12, 2017 - 9:21 am

Hi Adam
We are planning to do the same thing this spring. Just wondering do you stay in rv parks and campsites mainly because as I’m looking at it that can be quite costly.

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Adam Doolittle November 14, 2017 - 6:21 pm

Hi Carolyn – yes we stay at RV parks. Because we stay longer periods of time at the parks we’ve been able to arrange Workamping with campgrounds. You can read more about Workamping here: http://fulltimecanada.ca/workamping/

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David December 23, 2017 - 7:01 pm

Hi congrats on your new lifestyle , we are going to be full timeing starting next year we have already purchased our rig . We will be staying in Canada for 6 months , we will be traveling in the USA for 4 months and be rving in Mexico for about 2 months . there are beautiful ocean front rv parks in Mexico .

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Pauline February 6, 2018 - 1:46 am

Where does one find a good used RV MOTORHOME in Canada…there is Kijiji, Craigslist & Autotrade….. or go to the USA and try to import an RV as there appears to be more of a supplying the USA…
Help ….. is it just pure luck frustrated trying to find a good class B or C in Canada

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fulltimecanada February 7, 2018 - 5:36 pm

Hi Pauline, find the right RV can be a challenge. Trying to find a great layout, an RV in great condition, and a great price can be tough. It took us looking for a month plus in New Brunswick to find the RV right for us. RV shows are a great opportunity to find deals. RV dealers can be good and informative too although the price might be higher. The best thing to do would be to have an idea of how much you want to pay and the layouts you most keen on and narrow a search down geographically and try to find the right one that way. Take your time if you have it and find the one that’s right for you. Good luck!

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Linda April 29, 2018 - 10:37 am

We are retired, and are tired of home ownership and the costs that go with it. Seriously thinking about selling and buying a 12-13 ft. camper and a nice pick up truck to pull it. Loads of questions. I know Vancouver Island has pretty nice winters, that’s about the only place in Canada that does. But, we would go south (U.S.) for 5-6 of the winter months. I think we could do it, but don’t want any regrets. So much to think about!

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Deborah June 17, 2019 - 11:20 am

How do you manage for wi-fi? how do you pay your way? we are in limbo right now long story.

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