This page is a work in progress. It’s hard to concentrate clearly when your husband is working on major plumbing projects and your entire household is just under 300 square feet!
Who Are We
Our little family consists of Shawn, Andrea (your author), and our dog Elvis. Shawn is an IT Manager for a computer hosting company back in Michigan. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Elvis is working on becoming an Instagram star.
Our current 5th wheel is a 43’ 2016 DRV Mobile Suites Atlanta, pulled by a Volvo 730 heavy duty truck. (This sometimes complicates our travel plans as we don’t fit into a lot of older or state/national park campgrounds). A video tour is forthcoming!
In addition to the truck and trailer, I drive a small Nissan Juke as our daily driver. We hope to replace the Juke with a Jeep sometime in the next year, once I start bringing in a solid income.
I enjoy reading, writing, hiking with Elvis, kayaking, nature watching, exploring museums and architecture, and discovering new and interesting people and places.
Why We RV (Short Version)
In late 2015, we were still living on the border of Detroit and watching the neighborhood go downhill. We decided to build a new house in lovely Boise, Idaho. We’d spent a week in the area that summer touring dozens of neighborhoods, subdivisions, and builder’s models. Plans were moving on apace to fly back to Boise in the summer of 2016 to sign papers and put down a deposit on a semi-custom home on the north side. Then in April 2016, our good friend Jay was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
That discovery set us back emotionally. We questioned why we were trading in one upside-down mortgage for an even larger one. We already owned a 5th wheel that we’d used for short camping trips, and RVing across the country was our retirement dream. Instead of putting the travel off until retirement, we opted to do as much traveling as we can while we are in relatively good health. Fortunately, Shawn’s employer had already given him the green light to work from Boise, so it was easy to turn that around and be permitted to work from any geographical location.
We took a leap of faith and left our ancestral home of Michigan on Christmas Eve, 2016.
Hello Andrea and Shawn, We have a few things in common. We have made a couple of choices like yours. Volvo HDT, check. Fiver, not yet. I haven’t spent any time in any high end fivers so I would like to read how you like your DRV?
Left Michigan, check. Ditched the high mortgage, check.
My wife and I were at the east coast rally last year also. We may have met. I hope you get to attend this year, it sounds like you are. I was forced to cancel our reservations this year.
I’m still working, and plan to keep for awhile yet. Someday soon we might choose to leave the rental house and move to a fifth wheel but do not own one yet.
Hi Kevin! Thanks for “stopping by.” We are indeed on our way to the ECR today or tomorrow, depending on weather, and we did attend last year, too (blog post is here: https://40foothouse.com/2017/05/02/2017-east-coast-heavy-duty-truck-rally-deer-run-crossville-tn-april-22-28/. It’s amazing what a wide variety of situations folks find themselves in – there really is no “norm.”
Regarding the DRV, we like it very much. There are things we have changed, and things we’d still like to change, but overall we’ve been very satisfied. It’s a big step up from our previous Cedar Creek in terms of structure and strength. The Facebook DRV forum is very active and a great place to ask questions. If you make it to any more rallies, I’m sure you can get a better look at the DRVs, as there are quite a few HDTers with them.
I will ask others as I find the chance, but in you experience, is the frame stiff enough that most parts of your DRV stay together over time? My thought is if the frame is on the high quality end of the spectrum, then most owners won’t have wall cracks and endcap separations. If the components like windows and slides are higher quality then each part will hold up under full time use. I have been in a few but the layout sometimes turns us off and we don’t get farther.
Hmm. My hubby handles the technical matters, but he would say yes. DRVs are built on triple square box steel frames supplied by Lippert, which is a higher quality frame construction. That being said, we have heard of issues and even have a friend who had an end cap separation issues (which was covered under warranty). DRVs are, like every RV, not without issues, but they are definitely on the higher end of the spectrum.
You are right. We do have similar stories! Doing this while we can because the future is not guaranteed.
Yes I agree with you. I also tried to dream of a place to retire that would be my dream. I got nothin’. 🙂 So maybe it will be a regular home someday, maybe not?