The first two weeks of going full time

Christine & Jimmy Voss
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Our first two weeks of freedom weren’t really free. We had quite a lot scheduled and had a tight schedule to meet. We were excited to leave on our adventure and ready to start our 1300 mile journey.

Observation Tower – Hot Springs NP
DeGrey Lake – Arkansas

First up The day after Jimmy retired we headed from Texas up to Arkansas for an LTV Rally. This would be our second rally to attend as Texoma Travelers members and we were really looking forward to it. This rally was held at DeGrey Lake Resort State Park and it was just amazing to see so many LTV’s in one spot! We filled an entire loop and actually overflowed into another. We made new friends, toured other coaches and enjoyed great food too. Our free time was spent Geocaching and exploring Hot Springs National Park. We just had a day at the park so we plan to go back and spend a little more time there… I’ve got to soak! While in Hot Springs, we climbed to the top of the Observation Tower… if you ever overhear someone say you can take the stairs to the second floor, DON’T fall for it! The second floor is actually all the way up at the top!! We climbed it and while the climb itself wasn’t bad, the swaying was a bit scary! We did get some great pictures though. The last day of the rally was cut a bit short due to bad weather so we headed out early for the next leg of our journey.

Next up – Table Rock State Park near Branson Missouri

The plan was to get set up and relax a bit before an early appointment with RV SunScreen, but the weather was again not cooperating and our appointment was moved to the late afternoon. We were quite surprised when we got to the park and found out that our site had no hook-ups. Looks like when we booked, we booked a basic site which is a primitive site… who knew! We were excited to try out our solar as we had not had much opportunity to use it and plan to be off the grid as much as we can. This spot would be a great way to practice. We learned a lot in those two days, but we sure haven’t gotten it all figured out. Turns out our spot wasn’t so good for practice… darn beautiful trees, LOL. After spending the early morning hours with no power, we understand that we have a lot to learn and we will need MUCH more practice.

Sewing the edges
Cutting the final shape

RV SunScreen showed up at our site as scheduled in a pick-up truck. They opened up the back, pulled out tables, a sewing machine and screen fabric then proceeded to custom-make the windshield and side window covers while we watched! It was neat to watch them work. You could tell they had done this a few times!

Drilling hole for snap… GULP!
Sizing the screen

Our screens turned out great! They snap in place, darken the windows, prevent people from seeing in during the day, but still allow us to see out. We love that we still have a view, but don’t have to worry so much about everybody seeing what we are doing. Bonus points for also cutting down on the heat coming in! Installing and removing them has been interesting. We are not tall people and have found it is a bit hard to attach/un-attach the top snaps. We could use a stepstool to get it done, but our way is way more fun!

Can’t reach!!
Got it… With a little help!

Our next appointment was a week and 650 miles away, so we drove about halfway and spent a few days at Sangchris State Park. We randomly chose this park as it was generally on our way and at about the halfway mark but driving in sure made us question our decision! We drove through miles and miles of fields with no oasis in sight… then suddenly, there it was with a huge lake too!

It was a pretty place and we were the only ones there besides the camp host. Weekday camping score! This was our first experience with a central water system… we had no idea there was such a thing, but we later found that it is very common!

We were all alone here!

It was also the first place we have been able to gather firewood and we could see why! Branches were constantly falling and they needed us to help keep the area clean! We enjoyed our stay and were ready for the final appointment. Levellers install!

Final stop: Elkhart Indiana. We got up bright and early to prep for the day’s journey and headed out. We have since learned to do most of the prep the night before. Pre-work sure makes morning departures easier.

We arrived at Equalizer Systems shop after dark, parked and went to bed. It was hard to sleep as we were excited about this upgrade! The installer knocked on our door around 6:30 am to start the install. We waited in their “lounge” area. Our cat, Max, was quite happy with the accommodations. By the early afternoon, they were done and we were on our way again.

One relaxed cat!
Overview of Controls
Equalizer Control Panel

Wait! Where are we going next?? Who knows! We’ll take it day by day and go wherever the road leads us… after all, home is wherever we park. Hello freedom, we are so glad to meet you.

Lessons Learned:

  • Rallies are fun, but the weather doesn’t always cooperate
  • Accidental eavesdropping can lead to great fun, or big mistakes
  • The terms we know, may not be the terms others use
  • Solar and trees/shade don’t get along
  • There’s always another way to do something, choose the fun way
  • The “Norm” can be different depending on where you are
  • Pre-work is the way to go… especially when mornings are COLD
  • Freedom can be scary, just embrace it


Note: Full-time RVing (in any type or make of RV) may have implications on policies including, but not limited to, warranty and insurance policies. Please do your own research before making the decision to live in an RV on a full-time basis.

Christine & Jimmy Voss

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