The time is October, 2004. John is working for Honeywell's Sensors and controls division as a director of Quality, and heavily engaged in moving production lines from 4 US plants to Mexico. Kathy is the office managerat a Sarasota, FL audiologist's office. We had been thinking about the RV lifestyle for almost 2 years, especially after attending the 2003 Tampa RV Supershow. We had discussed full-time RVing for well over an hour with 2 Escapees RV Club couples. Man, it sounded good, but I had to ask "What is the downside?" They all four said at the same time "We should have done it 10 years sooner!"
We were almost hooked then, but we needed to save some money. Back to 2004, we were working on our plan. Early in October, we decided to sell our house. It was Kathy's dream home with pool in a gated golf community. It was only the 2 of us in more than 2500 square feet. We only used 3 of the rooms. It sold quickly at the top of the Florida Real Estate market and we bought a smaller 1400 square foot condo. The plan was to save as much money as possible for 2 years and then retire and become RVers. Oh, the best laid plans...
A week after we moved in, and I had moved all the production lines out of the country, I received a pink slip. I felt bad for about 10 seconds until I realized I was free! I had hated the last several years of too much travel and too many people loosing their jobs. I did miss the money though.
I still had my Military retirement and a small pension, so we wouldn't starve. I looked around for work, but no body was lining up to hire me at 58 years of age. After 5 months of menial jobs, we received a letter that would shortly change our lives. A very nice lady in Ohio wrote to everyone in the condo association trying to buy a place in our particular area. She wanted to pay cash and not use a realtor. We read this and I was dialing the phone. She was already in Florida so she came over the next afternoon. Long story short, she loved our place and bought it on the spot. We made a nice profit for only living there several months.
That evening, we were sitting at the dining room table and realized that if we were going to do this RV thing, we better get moving or we would be homeless. By this time Kathy wasn't too fond of her job and we decided we were going to try the full-time RV thing.
All the time from the Tampa Show on we had been researching RV types and manufacturers. We ate up every bit of information we could get. We had reams of paper all about RVing. We read blogs, poured over websites, and went to RV shows. That is how we came to look for a diesel motorhome on a Freightliner chassis. It was what we called our "Homework" phase.
The following weekend we went up to the Lazy Days RV center near Tampa. After a long search, we found our beautiful Fleetwood Expedition hiding in the back lot. (A salesman was hiding it for a customer who had not put down a deposit.) We made the deal that afternoon and took delivery several weeks later. By this time we were in downsize mode. Our kids came with a rental truck and took all that they wanted. We had 2 large garage sales. The rest went to the Salvation Army. We had done it, cut the cord. We did a few shakedown trips to local campgrounds and then the house closed and we were off to Live the RV Dream! And we are still living it today!