Tuesday, February 11, 2014

We are full-time Campers since July 2000

Before I start to write about "living on the road", I start by showing you a copy of an USA Map.

Our traveling times will come to an end in the nearer future, we are getting too old to do all the necessary work in connection with breaking camp and setting up again. And driving such a long unit on Highways is no picnic either.

All the major US Highways and State Roads driven are highlighted in green. The small roads taken to sightseeing spots or simply to shop are not to be seen here...and so many of the highways shown were driven several times....
We have driven 72,000 Miles by changing locations since summer 2000.

You might be able to imagine what we have seen.
And the climate changes were sometimes pretty drastic. One day you wear a coat, mittens and a hat, and the next day you sit outside in a tanktop.

The United States of America have incredible landscapes, including Alaska.
The Canadian Provinces and Territories are beautiful, too, especially British Columbia. 

Some campers still have a house, or count a property of their children their home or have a storage shed somewhere. We have none of that, what we own is in the trailer.

I must admit, it was hard to leave some things behind I never imagined I could....
...like most of my books, my German Knitting and Crafts Magazines ( I kept 4 from about 100...), all my Crystal glasses, bowls and Vases and my Dinnerware ( most of it I got at anniversaries, my collection of over 40 Kodak 1000-Pieces Puzzles, and most of my clothing which I concidered "Must-have" and now never would wear as a camper.

We had so many Photo Albums, I did not even count them. It was hard work to take all the pictures out and sort them into 3 Photo Boxes ( size of shoe boxes) after having discarded about half.....
Other things were: all the equipment of my Gym, the biggest of it the treadmill.

We did not start this adventure of ours at the whim of a moment....

We were campers already in Germany and made vacations in Holland, Austria and Norway with our campertrailer.

When we lived here in the USA for a while, we bought a 19' Shasta Camper Trailer to drive to Myrtle Beach (S.C.) and Panama City Beach (FL) and Homosassa Springs (FL) to enjoy our vacations in the warmth of the south.
Over the next years we exchanged our first trailer against bigger ones every time we made a deal.
We liked it so much, that an idea began to form - especially after so many harsh snow-rich winters and having so much work to do overall to maintain our park-like property. Dieter was talking about selling our property and traveling full-time. At first I said  NO WAY!  But over time this stance got weaker and weaker, because the memories of our sightseeings so far really were winning about all questions we asked ourselves about it.
We knew that we would have to sell our property at one point, when old age sets in....So we said: Why not now??

After I had my mind set on the open road, it was easy to load just bare necesseties aboard our newest Fifth Wheel, a 34' SHASTA Phoenix. We just had sold our property after having it 3 years on the market...It was too big for most folks, but finally a family with 12 kids bought it....for only the money we had put into it in form of materials.

Some of it we used to buy camping  memberships. Without those our nightly fees for 365 days per year would have emptied out our wallet in a short time. And over the years these normal camping fees got more expensive. If anyone of my readers conciders this lifestyle, please, buy memberships in case you are not THAT rich. If you have any questions about it, you can contact me - either in my website using the mail icon or via message in facebook  (Karin Herrmann Bartsch).
Of course, you have to concider fuel, new tires, repairs etc, but having a house affords money also.

What about the doctors - you ask? It is best to have insurances which allow to visit doctors in any of the states in the US. It would be a mighty hassle in case of a sickness to drive to the home state of that insurance and would be most likely impossible. We have Medicare as our first insurance and a Medigap insurance which picks up the 20% and Medicare Deductable. It is a big chunk of money, but insurances stay on top of all our lists. This means having no money left to eat in restaurants or visits shows or pay extensive entrance fees anywhere. But that is fine....We enjoy landscapes in the big Outdoors. Sitting outside and enjoying ourselves or sitting inside the Fifth Wheel, which has big windows all around, and feeling really at home in that wonderful layout,  is all we care about.

When our Shata Phoenix gave us trouble, we exchanged it for a Winnebago Sun Cruiser, as you can see in the pictures. After having driven extensively in that motorhome without slide-outs, we wanted more living space and exchanged it in 2007 for this one we still have, an Alfa Gold -40' with 3 slide-outs. It feels like living in a small house, the layout is phantastic....

This Blog is hosted by Google and so are the travel pictures I stored at Google. Those are not all I took, but I sorted out for you the ones giving the reader the best impression of an area.
If I had known at that time that I will be a blogger, I might have taken more pictures, maybe of every location we have been,  - - but then - I would have not enjoyed our experience so deeply by worrying about pictures...But I think the ones I posted give you a pretty good impression of our travel experiences.

With the motorhome we drove to Alaska - via Montana, British Columbia and so forth, and we returned on the Canadian Highway 1 all the way east to Manitoba, to Winnipeg and re-entered the States in North Dakota.

Alaska Tour 2003  You will find over 200 pictures of that tour within that website.

In my personal website I have a page which shows you in chronological order where we were parked and when.
So when you open up an album to see pictures, you have the direction we had taken and were the pics were done:

Home is....where we park our RV


Travel - Albums ( Links )

2000 Travels

2001 USA Roundtrip

2002/2003 Travels without Alaska

2004 Travels

2005 Travels

2006 Traveling

2007 in Florence, AZ

2008 Workkamping in California

2009 Workkamping in Texas

2010 in TX, NM and AZ

2011 Workkamping in California

2012 From AZ to FL

2013 Travels

2014 Travels

Please, keep in mind, that sometimes circumstances did not allow to take pictures. First 2 years I took them with an analog camera and scanned them later.

I hope that you enjoy the pictures !

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