Follow Your Dreams: See all around the country… from your own window!

Do you love to travel?

Do you love to travel so much you would be willing to make the road your home? Larry and Barb Walters of Geneseo, Illinois will be living the ultimate adventure when they take off in their fifth wheel RV this September to live on the road full-time. For many years, it has been the Walters’ dream to live full-time in a beautiful RV, doing what they love most: seeing the gorgeous country, meeting new people, and finding a new adventure at every turn.

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A view of the kitchen and bedroom from the second floor living room of the Walters RV. The Walters chose to decorate their RV with a southwestern theme.

Full-time RVing, as well as living in other kinds of mobile homes, such as tiny homes, has really grown in popularity.

This lifestyle offers many benefits but for the Walters, one of the best ones is the fact that it forces you to live simply. “When you go do this, you’ve got to really downsize. You have to get rid of a lot of things that you thought were, like, really, really important, but they’re not. They’re just things… you realize how much you can actually do without,” reflects Mrs. Walters. The Walters explain that they were able to fill their RV with the things that mean the most. For example, they decorated their RV in a southwest theme, the place where they love to travel. “You have to be able to let go. And just keep the things that are important to you,” says Mrs. Walters.

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With a spacey living room that includes a fireplace, flat-screen TV, massaging couches, and plenty of window space, it’s easy to feel at home in this RV.

Traveling full-time may be the right option for you if

You are passionate about traveling, and are gone from your home for long stretches of time. The Walters explain that this can save you money, because the rent wouldn’t need to be paid for a house that you are not often living in anyway. “We were gone eight months,” Mr. Walters says.

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A view of the kitchen from the second floor. The kitchen comes with plenty of counter and storage space, as well as a full-size refrigerator, stove, double sink, and other appliances.

If having enough living space is a concern for you, never fear.

If you make the proper investment, this shouldn’t pose a problem. If you are looking into traveling full-time, investing in a solid, roomy RV is definitely the best option for you. This means an RV that is on the higher end of the budget is definitely worth it for the most comfortable traveling experience. After all, this will be your home.

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These storage compartments under the living area stretch from one side of the RV to the other. There are several of these spaces around the RV.

The Walters have plenty of storage room in their RV, including spaces underneath their living area, as well as storage compartments stretching from one side to the other, space toward the front, and even a garage under their bedroom. The Walters are passionate about four-wheeling, and are able to store their four-wheeler and a host of other supplies (except a mower– you don’t need one of those anymore) in the garage.

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The Walters have a garage right under their bedroom to store their four-wheeler and many other supplies.

What are some pros and cons of full-time RV travel?

When asked, the Walters agree a spacy RV is one of the best aspects of full-time travel. “With one like this, you’re at home all the time,” says Mr. Walters. “So, you know, that’s the biggest advantage. And you’ve got everything you need. Air conditioning, generator– so you can go out any place and camp.”

The Walters say that they haven’t found many cons, however, Mrs. Walters explains that you have to be prepared not to have a house to return to.

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A dining table and chairs, across from the kitchen.

Some of the Walters best moments traveling (this is just a few):

Horseback riding trips in the west, mountain camping, visiting the beach, motorcycling, and, of course, four-wheeling. “The four-wheeler’s great,” says Mr. Walters, “because we go up in the mountains, and ride on the 200-foot sand dunes out in Utah.” They also comment on the beauty of the breathtaking mountain sky at night.

The Walters agree that one of the best things about traveling is the people they meet along the way. “Actually, that’s probably one of the highlights– meeting new people all the time.” says Larry Walters, “I go take the garbage out, and it takes me an hour to get back.”

“Our best friends in the world live out in Utah,” says Barb Walters. “We met them two years ago. They parked right next to us.” They now meet up with their friends when they go back to Utah, and have taken several other trips with them.

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The large master bedroom has a full-size closet to hang clothes, as well as storage cabinets above and to the sides of the bed.

What are some of the worst things that can happen traveling full-time?

The Walters explain that some of the worst moments in their travels include their vehicle breaking down, and dealing with rotten weather.

When discussing a couple incidents with the vehicle, Mr Walters says, “We had the turbo tube go on my truck and we had to front-wheel it for about twenty miles, and finally ended up stopping. Finally found a part on it that we could fix, and it stayed running. And, the second time, we got stranded in Santa Fe for three days. It just quit. So, needless to say, when we got home we got rid of that truck and got a new one.”

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The bathroom includes a full-size shower, toilet, and plenty of cabinet space above and below the sink counter.

How far in advance should you start planning for something like this?

The Walters have been planning this for about 10 years. Barb Walters points to a plaque she made that hangs above the door on the inside of the RV. It says Follow Your Dreams. “Even when we were just traveling on our vacations, we would look at each other and we’d see a motorhome or a big camper go by and go, ‘That’s what I want to do, I just want to travel all the time.’”

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The Walters cat, Tuxedo, posing on the table.

Advice for future full-time travelers?

“The best advice I can give anybody is when you think you want to do it, do it,” says Mr. Walters. “Don’t wait. The longer you wait, the more chance you take on getting old and not being able to do it.”

“We wish we would have done this ten years ago,” agrees Mrs. Walters.

Also, the Walters maintain that you can always come home again. It’s all about being open to the experience.

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The plaque made by Barb Walters, Follow Your Dreams.

Larry and Barb Walters have been traveling together for about forty years. They have also traveled with pets for about six years. They have one cat now, Tuxedo, that will travel with them full-time (the third cat they’ve traveled with). The Walters plan to head to Florida for their first stop after they take off on their adventure.

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A view of the outside of the Walters RV.

 

Are you interested in traveling full-time? For more information, tips, to read stories about full-time RV travel, and much more, please visit the following website http://www.fulltime-rving.com/index.html.

Author: Elodie R. Bouwens

I am currently in my second year at Black Hawk College. I'm a 2016 graduate of Geneseo High School. Besides writing, I love to walk long distance (goal is 20+ miles), bake, watch The Walking Dead, and read. I absolutely love to write, and I'm excited to write for the Chieftain. If you have any ideas for a topic or story, feel free to contact me at ebouwens@mymail.bhc.edu.

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