Back Into Traveling Mode

Welcome, autumn!

By the time you read this on Friday I’ll be on the road again for my first big move since I arrived in Wisconsin in June.

I’ve found during my time as a full-timer that three months is about as long as I like to sit stationary and I get hitch itch after that, and I’ve certainly been feeling it since September hit!

But at the same time, it also takes me a couple days to get back into the rhythms of ‘travel mode’, where taking the Casita from one spot to the next feels as natural as breathing. It’s not all bad though, rediscovering that traveling groove is a little like discovering the joys of RVing for the first time again. Everything is fresh and I’m actively engaged with it all instead of sliding through the motions. I respond well to novelty, it forces me out of my head (where as an introvert I’m prone to spending a lot of time), and into the world. Probably one of the reasons why full-timing works so well for me.

But I’m meandering. It’s getting late on Thursday as I type this up and I’m running out of time, I need to get an early start in the morning. So now I’d like to turn things over to you!

For current and past RVers, long is your ideal max stay before you’re ready to move on? After an absence do you fall back into RVing quickly or does it take time? Do you enjoy traveling more when you’ve been at it for a while or after you’ve had a break from it?

And for those of you in the dreaming and planning stages, feel free to share your progress. Any wins or stories you’d like to share with us? What hurdles are you facing right now? You never know, maybe somebody else reading has great advice to share.

Are you following me on Facebook or Instagram yet? Sometimes I put photos up there that don’t make the cut for the blog, and it’s a good way to get sneak peaks of my current location before the next blog post rolls out. After I arrive at my new camp (later today your time) I’ll put a picture up. I’ll be just outside Minneapolis, I’m going to be attending a renaissance festival in the area over the weekend. Safe travels and happy trails all!

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43 Responses to Back Into Traveling Mode

  1. Robin September 22, 2017 at 11:39 am #

    We have been known to stay in one location for a month especially if there is a lot to see and we are taking advantage of the monthly rate at a park. If we sit still that long, it does take a bit to get back in the groove, but exciting nonetheless. We prefer boondocking though.
    Safe travels to you Becky! I hope our paths cross someday. If you are ever looking for a place to stay in Oregon, get a hold of me 😎.

    • Becky September 22, 2017 at 6:14 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Robin, after the beet harvest is over I’ll be back to boondocking and it’s going to be great! Hopefully our paths will cross sometime.

    • Celena September 24, 2017 at 7:47 am #

      We are trying to figure out our ideal time. It really depends on where we are & the weather, but after nearly 6 months of moving every 3-4 days (sometimes not very far, but moving is moving!), we’ve settled into a week at a time in spots all over Colorado, and we’re looking forward to some month long stays in Arizona over the winter.

      Can’t wait to see the beet harvest!

      • Becky September 26, 2017 at 2:48 pm #

        I prefer to stay at least a week (more often 2) at places I visit, any less than that and I can’t get in the right frame of mind to do any work! But everyone is different and I’m sure you’ll find what works for you Celena. πŸ™‚

  2. Lauri B September 22, 2017 at 11:54 am #

    The doberman and I are picking up our new Class B van on October 29th. Our first trip out (as we are not full time yet, but working our way there) will be to Herber Springs, Arkansas in October for the Workamper Rendezvous event. We are super excited to finally have decided on our new home/mode of travel.

    Best of luck at the Sugar Beet Harvest!!

    • Becky September 22, 2017 at 6:15 pm #

      Awesome Lauri! Congrats on having a date, the time will pass more quickly than you expect. Enjoy the rendezvous. πŸ™‚

  3. John Warren Simpson September 22, 2017 at 12:55 pm #

    I am just starting out on this adventure. There is a lot that goes into making, actually a triple, transition. I retired on August first and moved into an RV park in Nevada for two months to get everything established here. That has meant driver’s license, truck and trailer registration, insurance etc. Not that easy if you don’t have a “real” address. Plus getting all my technology in order. I will be moving on come the first of October. Haven’t escaped the onset of cold weather though. Below freezing temperatures at night for the last week and snow on the nearby hills. I foresee myself alternating between boondoocking and parks with full hookups off and on, trying to avoid stretches of one-night stands. We’ll see how it goes. Best wishes on your travels. Keep up the good work!

    • Becky September 22, 2017 at 6:17 pm #

      Hopefully the weather holds out until you leave John. I spent December in Reno one year, chilly indeed! Seeing the snow on the Sierra Nevada though, that was rather enjoyable. I bet you’re counting down until you can leave, won’t be long! Take care yourself.

    • Mike September 23, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

      Welcome to full timing.
      I too have spent some time in the Reno/Sparks area in the winter. Hit or miss if it will be pleasant.

      I spent last winter in Pahrump and watched the rest of the country deal with the winter weather. Can’t wait to head south again this winter.

      • Becky September 26, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

        Yeah Mike, I rather enjoy the southwest in the winter. πŸ˜‰

  4. Rob September 22, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

    Safe travels!

    • Becky September 22, 2017 at 6:18 pm #

      Thanks!

  5. Connie September 22, 2017 at 3:18 pm #

    October 1, 2017 is my 2 year nomadiversary. I full-time in my Ford Transit van πŸ™‚

    I’ve spent a couple months in a few areas but the itch to hit the road often sets in around the one month mark.

    I thought I’d slow down some and want to stay longer but the gypsy in me can’t be ignored.

    Once I get back on the road the excitement of a new adventure always comes over me. It doesn’t take long to get back in the groove.

    I enjoy following your blog, Becky. Thanks for sharing!

    • Becky September 22, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

      I passed a Transit Connect on the way out here Connie, I like the look of those vans, tall but not as long as the biggies. Seems like a good compromise.

      Thanks for sharing, and happy nomadiversary!

  6. Linda Sand September 22, 2017 at 3:34 pm #

    When we stayed in one place for three months my husband decided he was done moving at all so was ready to come off the road. Oops.

    Watch out for hornets at the Mpls RenFest; I got stung on the tongue when I didn’t realize one was sitting on my sandwich before I took a bite. Plus, never drink from an open can of pop there as the hornets go inside the can. But the festival itself is fun. I can still remember seeing Magical Mystical Michael, a truly talented magician, there many years ago.

    • Becky September 22, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

      Ouch Linda! With the weather as warm as it’s predicted to be hornets could be a problem, I’ll keep an eye out.

      Do you still go out for weekends or anything like that? I remember back when I was getting ready to hit the road how active you were in the forums, and so helpful and friendly. I’m glad you still stay active in the community even though you’re not full-timing anymore.

  7. Craig September 22, 2017 at 4:03 pm #

    I plan to start full timing in January with a 2 month stint in Florida (hate cold). I was thinking of doing the work camping thing but they seem to want longer commitment. I’m thinking a couple weeks at most in one spot. “Hitch Itch”. I love that, as well as your other insights.

    Curious Craig.

    • Becky September 22, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

      Florida is a good place to wait out winter, good luck Craig! Yeah, most seasonal jobs want you for the whole, well, season. That’s part of what makes the beet harvest so nice, it’s quite short. Which is good because by the second half of October I imagine it’ll be getting pretty cold in North Dakota.

  8. John September 22, 2017 at 4:39 pm #

    I’m in the planning/dreaming stage. Our youngest heads to college next fall. Sometime in September of 2018, I’ll be hitching up the Scamp and heading to South Dakota for a few weeks in the Badlands/Black Hills, a place I love but haven’t been to for ten years.

    I’m a hiker, so I’ll stay in an area until I’m tired of hiking there. In some parts of the country, that might take awhile.

    • Becky September 22, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

      Sounds like a fun trip John! I loved my time in that area earlier this year and working there back in 2013 was neat. Plenty of hiking trails too, you won’t get bored for a while.

  9. Robin England September 22, 2017 at 5:16 pm #

    I am still working two jobs, but we leave our Casita on my wife’s family land within sight of Grandfather Mtn in Pinola, NC from April till about October! My wife is retired and stays by her self most of the time! I go up every other weekend!

    • Becky September 22, 2017 at 6:30 pm #

      Oooo I bet that’s a great area to escape for a weekend Robin! I’ve been to the Smokey Mountains more often than any other national park, I never get tired of that area.

  10. Jodee Gravel September 22, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

    One month is definitely our max, and then only if we’re somewhere to see family. Otherwise we are anxious to move on after ten days. Sometimes we leave early or stay longer than the original plan based on how we’re liking where we are. We love the excitement of moving on to a new place.
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..Sheep Loop to Antelope Herd, and More Natural Beauty In BetweenMy Profile

    • Becky September 26, 2017 at 2:50 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Jodee!

  11. Barb L September 23, 2017 at 7:26 am #

    Nearly 7 years fulltime. We started out staying mostly a week or two in one spot and gradually have gone to a month. Decided we’re crafters/makers, not sightseeers.
    We love finding interesting towns or events, good weather and unique people along the way, while working on craft and hobby projects. When we “reposition” from one longer stay to the next, we pace ourselves- 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 3, 1, and try to stay under 300 miles per day.

    • Celena September 24, 2017 at 7:51 am #

      I love that – I think we’re not sightseers either. We often miss the “must sees” – we drove right by Garden of the Gods in Colo Springs last week due to Yellowstone level crowds.

    • Becky September 26, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

      I like sightseeing but am not fond of touristy things or big crowds. So I like to find the out-of-the-way sights that most people have never heard of.

      I definitely hear you on the mileage! 250 is my ideal max these days, early on I had some 500+ days, not fun!

  12. Rhonda September 23, 2017 at 8:49 am #

    Another dreamer/planner here. For years I’ve heard “buy your third camper first”. I reckon I don’t heed good advice well enough as, just this past week, I purchased my *fourth* travel trailer within the past four years! As a “tiny” travel trailer person I’ve found that every foot counts toward the “perfect average” for me. I’ve gone from a 12 footer to a 16, down to a 10 and now I’ve (hopefully) settled on a 14 footer…I think she’s going to work out great for me. For any other dreamers out there my advice is Know Thyself before jumping into the buying process. I’m still home and dreaming and I will most likely be a part-timer rather than a full-timer but who knows what the future holds? For now, dreaming is a wonderful thing! Hope the beet harvest goes well for you, Becky, and Happy Trails through the coming winter months! πŸ™‚

    • Becky September 26, 2017 at 2:56 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Rhonda!

      That “buy your second (or third) camper first” statement is nice, but not real practical for newbies as no one can really know for sure what they’ll need/want in an RV until they’ve actually lived in one for a while! That’s why I recommend that people buy used and not go into debt for a first RV, because that way when it inevitably doesn’t end up being ideal they don’t have as much money sunk in it.

      I hope the 14 footer ends up being just right! Take care.

  13. Matilda’s mate September 23, 2017 at 10:44 am #

    We’re in the dreaming and planning stages for the beginning of our fulltime travels with a tentative departure scheduled for spring or early summer of next year. Matilda and i have been helped and encouraged by your experiences and writing. Thanks!

    • Becky September 26, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

      How exciting, best of luck to you! You’re welcome and I’m glad you’ve found IO helpful and inspiring. Next summer will be here before you know it. πŸ™‚

  14. Mike September 23, 2017 at 1:34 pm #

    When not working I have stayed in one place 4 months. As the time did go by quickly (I was volunteering at an animal shelter 6 days a week), when it was time to go I felt a sense of freedom again. I loved where I was but I was glad to be on the move again.

    New scenery always gives me a fresh picture of the future.

    Great post as always.

    –Mike
    Full time since Nov 2014.

    • Becky September 26, 2017 at 2:59 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Mike. That’s the best feeling, isn’t it? Having enjoyed an extended stay but looking forward to new adventures at the same time. I totally get that.

  15. Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets September 23, 2017 at 9:09 pm #

    Hi Becky! As you are aware, we have been full-timers for 15 months. We absolutely love the lifestyle. As for lengths of stay, we have been all over the board. We do a lot of boondocking and NF campgrounds. Sometimes we stay a few days. But this summer, in the area of the Tetons, we stayed in one campground for 5 weeks. Usually, single days are spent in Walmart or other free overnight lots. We usually use these for resupplying, although recently in Cody, Wyoming, with so much to see and do in that area, we stayed FIVE DAYS at Walmart as a base. Management was happy to have us. But, to answer the question directly, hitch itch generally sets in at the 30 day mark.
    Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets recently posted..Wyoming Political StatementMy Profile

    • Becky September 26, 2017 at 3:00 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Ed!

      Five days, wow! I’m surprised management was cool with it, most have a pretty strict one night limit. I stayed 3 nights at a Walmart in California once due to extenuating circumstances, being right next door to everything I could possibly need was quite handy. πŸ˜‰

  16. Kent September 24, 2017 at 9:48 am #

    With seven months full-timing I have had quite a blend of places to stay with no real intention to do so. It’s been roll with it as the spirit moves and not much in the way of pre-planning.. I was in Bar Nunn, Wyo., near Casper, for the eclipse and also since it is a “hub” for a historic trails group that I am part of… It was good to be fixed for around six weeks so as to be able to focus on those interests and also to have enough time to get to know some folks well enough to make new friends.

    But, it always feels good to be on the move and see/experience new sights and sounds.

    “Boondocking” at the moment and it snowed up here on the top of Walton Mt. North at the end of FR 302 yesterday. (Rabbit Ears Pass, CO) Worth it for all the Fall color though.. Good to know I can always hitch-up and roll on any time I want to…

    • Becky September 26, 2017 at 3:03 pm #

      I happened to catch the aspens changing in Colorado last fall in Leadville, it was amazing! Enjoy that spot at the end of 302 as long as you can Kent, thanks for sharing.

  17. Cheri Peine September 24, 2017 at 10:34 am #

    We are in the process of selling our house to go full-time after part-timing the past 4 years. Our past travel stops and stays have been dictated by our time constraints but we hope there are far fewer of those being full-time. That being said, unless there is plenty to keep us busy in a location, I do not see us staying anywhere more than a week at a time, and probably less more often than not. We do prefer at least two day stops but we prefer to base it on what there is to do in the area or if we just need some downtime to catch up on “household chores”.
    Always enjoy your posts Becky.

    • Becky September 26, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Cheri, I hope your house sells quickly and well!

  18. Jim September 24, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    Since (so far) I’ve only taken long vacations in my RV (up to two weeks, one time a full month), I tend to not stay in one place more than 3 or 4 days. However, on long trips where I might drive up to 1,400 miles from home, I’m done with driving. In those instances, I often establish base camp and never move and do day trips from there or I might reposition once before heading home. So it depends.

    And yes, if I haven’t gone out in a while (i.e. first trip of the season or first trip after missing an entire season) all the stuff that one does reflexively from experience requires some thinking to remember. But the learning curve is very brief and after the first night or two back out on the road, everything is back to normal! πŸ™‚

    I think about full timing a lot thus a big fan of your blog. And I presume I’d stay in one place longer. I wonder whether I will more experience the “hitch itch” or whether fatigue from moving too much if and when I ever go full time.

    • Becky September 26, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

      Thanks for sharing Jim! I hope you get to go full-timing in the future. Discovering what your ideal travel schedule is like is part of the fun of it and hard to predict in advance. 1,400 miles for a two week trip is quite a few miles! Most full-timers I know would break a trip like that up into multiple legs and do it slower for the very reasons you mention.

  19. Rovin' Bones September 26, 2017 at 1:33 am #

    From the time I bought my RV in October of 2016 in preparation to execute my “Master Plan” of workamping and moving about the United States until I finally pulled up tent pegs and headed out for my first workamping contract in YNP starting May 1st I was anxious to get going. But, I knew I had to endure the hitch itch until the finances were in order and the trailer for my motorcycle purchased.

    I’ve been in Yellowstone NP for 5 months and will be departing in 2 weeks for my next gig with Amazon. At no point in those 5 months have I felt anxious to depart; until now. Working in the paradise that is Yellowstone for an entire summer is a photographer’s dream!

    Amazon will end soon enough, but while I am there I will have plenty of opportunity to visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Nantahala Forest, and many other interesting locations in the area. I’ll be quite ready to move on after Amazon, I’m sure. Texas and time with my brother beckons.

    Winter’s remains will be passed by visiting select flea markets along the way to the grand daddy of all flea markets in Quartzsite, AZ.

    March to late April will likely be spent boondocking as I visit places like Canyon De Chelly, Monument Valley, Antelope Valley, Moab, Arches NP, and other photogenic locations as I gradually make my way back north in preparation for a second season in Yellowstone.

    It is an itinerary I hope to repeat for a couple of more years before changing my summer workamping gig to a different location, such as Shenandoah NP, Sequoia NP or King’s Valley, perhaps.

    • Becky September 26, 2017 at 3:13 pm #

      Working at a national park in the summer and Amazon in the fall go together so well. I hear quite a bit of snow fell in Yellowstone recently, the year I worked there it wasn’t as snowy which is probably just as well.

      Enjoy the rest of your time there and at Amazon! Yeah, I always told people I did the national parks for the experience and Amazon for the money, it’s a very different kind of job, but the pay will be good to sustain you through winter and spring explorations.

      Take care!

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