Full-Time RV Life

April 18, 2019  •  8 Comments

Full-Time RV Life.

 

It wasn’t long after starting Olie’s Images it became clear that if I was gonna do this that I’d need a different lifestyle. When I started Olie's Images I was interning at Peabody energy in Gillette, WY. But I still had one more year of college to finish my second and third degrees. It was increasingly clear that photography was about to consume my life. At the time I had an apartment in Laramie, WY. I was hauling my equipment out on Thursday after class and back on Sunday night when I got home. At the time, everything was fitting in the bed of my truck. I knew that I needed an RV but it was going to be tough convincing a bank to give me an RV loan. I had to find an RV that my truck could handle because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to convince two banks to give a loan to a brand new business owner. 

Tracer - Ultra-LiteShortly after switching to a 1-ton diesel from my Half ton Ecoboost. IMG_0531Outdoor KitchenI really do miss that outdoor kitchen.
 

For this reason, I started my journey of full time RVing in an ultralight travel trailer. It was pretty long and had two opposing slide outs in the back but there was no denying that it wasn’t built for this life. That trailer didn’t last long. It was falling apart fast. After about 8 months I traded it in on a fifth wheel toy hauler. It was an obvious choice. It was heavier duty and it had a garage. I no longer had to store my gear in the back of my truck and on the dinette. I now had a 13’ garage, room for all the booth equipment and photo gear. It was sure nice to step up into a bigger trailer. It is more stable in all situations. It had an automatic leveling system which was a huge improvement over the silly stabilizer jacks on the travel trailer. But it had less clearance and it was actually a smaller living space if you don’t count the garage. 

Time to TradeThis was the day I upgraded to a Fifth Wheel Toy Hauler

I'd have to say that Northern Hills Homes and RV's was excellent to deal with. I purchased all of these trailers except for the first one in Casper from Ron. He's the man. If you're in the market for an RV, horse trailer, or mobile home then go check out these guys. Give them a shot at your business, you'll be glad you did. Doug Lueder is the owner and sponsors many equine events around the area. If you go in there you'll probably see some of my photos hanging up somewhere. Everyone in there has always treated me well. They were really the first ones to give me the time of day when I was starting to look for my first trailer as a new business owner. 

Matching ColorsSooooo much better. :)

That trailer served me well for two years. It has been all over the country with me. Even in plenty of sketchy situations in weird Walmart parking lots, down rough muddy roads, and even blew a tire that ripped up the side. That was the last straw. It was time for me to find a new home. Now, I’m living in my third brand new trailer and the fourth RV I’ve owned. The first was a long time ago when I was living in Casper. My current trailer is a 2019 Momentum 397TH by Grand Design. There are certainly nicer rigs on the market but not many. LOL This trailer is like a mobile apartment. 

Momentum at SunsetWe headed to Andrews, TX right after trading. Seriously, like 3 days later.

I love this trailer. It has so many features that I wanted. After living in three RVs full time I knew what I wanted. It has the bed that comes out on a slide so the nose can be a full-size closet. It has two full bathrooms so my friends that come to help have their own bedroom and bathroom. It has the upgraded stereo system because I love to watch movies in the theater seats with the bass thumping. It has the message and heated seats in those theater seats too. It has a dedicated space to set up my iMac. There’s even space for Brenna’s iMac at the same time. There’s a huge fridge and an island so we can easily move around without being in each other’s way. I wanted a fireplace and I got one. It’s perfectly aimed at the theater seats adding the finishing touch to my movie room. LOL The only thing I wish it had is a dishwasher. Even though I know they are small and don’t wash many dishes at a time. It would still be so nice. 

Driver's SideSlide in the nose for King Mattress and Slide for the Kitchen in the middle.

This trailer is 5’ longer, 3” taller, and about 4,000 pounds heavier than my last 5th wheel. But I can still easily pull it with my single wheel one ton 2017 Ford F-350 Platinum. Most of that extra weight seems to be in the frame. This trailer has the least amount of ground clearance of all the trailers I’ve owned. So, it doesn’t see rough conditions often. There's room for over 150gal of fresh water. Making it ideal for boondocking if I need to or want to. The onboard Onan generator with 60 gallons of fuel means we can get work done even out in the middle of nowhere or along the side of the road. I’ll often need to get some client orders fulfilled when we are on the road. So, we’ll pull over and get to work. Customers are the reason that I can live this life. So, they are a high priority. The last year or so has gotten increasingly more difficult to keep up. It’s been nice lately having Brenna on full time to help me keep up. But there are certainly days when both of us isn’t enough to stay ahead of it. 

Passenger SideBig slide for living room. Rear door to garage front door to living area.

This is my 5th year at Olie’s Images and my 4th year of living in an RV full time. There’s good days almost all the time and a few bad days of course. However, it never really feels like traveling full time. It doesn’t feel like a hotel. It feels like home. Once you shut the door, it’s hard to know where we are. It doesn’t feel like a strange place. It’s stable except for really high winds or one of us jumping around. LOL But otherwise you wouldn’t know it’s a house on wheels. There’s plenty of storage. Even some extra space we haven’t filled up yet. 

Lone Star ArenaRoom for a motorcycle. This was my second bike that got to travel with me.

Most people don’t get it and that’s ok. Especially if they aren’t looking at it with their own eyes. But that doesn’t bother me. In fact, it’s kinda fun for me. I have a really nice home and I’m very happy with it. I love that no matter where I’m at, it feels like home. It’s so nice to be able to go without needing to “come back” to a certain geographic location. We will, of course, go exploring and come back to where the trailer is parked. But generally, it comes with me everywhere I go. With any choice, you make there will be opportunity costs and trade-offs but for me, the benefits outweigh the negatives. 

 

I’ve been kicking around the idea of doing a video tour of my trailer so you can see for yourself how we live. Let me know if that would interest you. 

 

Thanks for checking out my blog! If you have any questions let me know in the comments. :)

Rear PatioThe rear ramp makes into a patio with a 3 season door to the garage. Solid or Mesh wall. Leaving AZHeaded to TX with my new trailer. Follow me on IG! Quick Run to MexicoThis was a fun day trip to Mexico. We didn't take the trailer, just the truck and some camera gear.

 


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