Happy 1-year with Bailey, or was it?

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In looking over the last year, I have come to realize that the path of living in a fifth wheel may have always been our destiny.
1st year living in in the 2014 Bayhill 320RS

March 13, 2019, is the one-year mark from when we picked up our 5th wheel named Bailey from Camping World despite having purchased it back in January.  If you are interested in that adventure of ours you can read it HERE.

If you would have asked me in January 2018 “where do you see yourself in a year?”, I definitely would never have replied “living in a 5th wheel full-time.”  Especially since we had relocated about 2 years prior for Don to manage a brand new store with a company he had been with for close to 14 years. The move was near the Glacier National Park area, where we enjoyed every moment of hiking and began shopping for a house.  So to embrace the lifestyle of living in a 5th wheel full time was uncharacteristic of us as well as to our friends and family. Why we choose to do so is covered in Melissa’s story, Don’s story and Our why.

In looking over the last year, I have come to realize that the path of living in a fifth wheel may have always been our destiny.  The long series of events from myself being diagnosed with gastroparesis and having to quit my 15-year job in 2012, then bouncing around several States for Don to climb the corporate ladder to support us, was a large part of ‘What if we never sold our house?’ as we looked back over the years.   

Looking Back

Well IF we did not sell our home, I would have stayed at my prior workplace, which I would be coming up on 20 years with them.  However, recently I found out that they are closing the office I logged so many hours in. It was no surprise to me because when I left back in 2012 they had signed acquisition papers for a new company to take control.  

A few weeks ago we found out that the brand new store Don got running on his own (ribbon cutting and all), in that Glacier NP area would be shutting its doors in a couple of months.  That was crazy to hear, as the store was only 3 years new. To make matters hit home harder, that store was among 300+ others. Including the initial store, he ran when we had our house.

In hindsight, keeping our house, at this very moment, both of us would be jobless and examining our options.  With a lot of people now looking for work, including other retail store closures in town, landing a new job would be a tall task.  So we would probably have been exploring the idea of relocating or living in a fifth wheel full-time to have some much-needed downtime from all the stress. Obviously, we will never know what would have been.

Pondering ‘what could have been’ makes me realize how funny life can be. You take one path thinking it is leading to amazing adventures, so you forfeit the other path.  But in the end, both paths may take you to the same destination, each having their own amazing adventures along the way.

1 year with the 5th wheel

The path we chose by picking up Bailey 1 year ago has been packed full of learning experiences regardless of the countless hours of research, through the four seasons.

Spring was our first season in the 5th wheel where we starting learning the new tasks of: cooking on propane, dumping the tanks, figuring out how to store items for transit and all the new sounds that would wake us up at night.

Summer came and we had to: find a way to block the direct sun beating through the windows, RV maintenance, installing tank sensors and settling into jobs. Because we are staying through the winter to be with family.

Fall arrived a little too early so we installed tank heaters and built a skirt around Bailey.  We finalized caulking water entry points, put covers on the AC units and gave our home the last bath for the season.

Winter was not as bad as expected until January came.  We had a month of temperatures not exceeding freezing for the highs and the lows were in the single digits.  Before that, we were trying to figure out how to block the cold air coming in through the windows and regulate a decent inside temperature so the propane furnace had a small break as well as our wallet from the electric usage (space heaters and fireplace).

The future

All of our adventures will be in blogs to come, so you can learn with us. We shot a ton of video footage during that period which we are editing, so you can watch them on YouTube (hopefully in a few months).  But yes, it has been a HAPPY 1-year with Don in our new home (Bailey the 5th wheel) and both of us can not wait for the adventures ahead of us.

Thank you for your support and we will see you on our next adventure!  


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Melissa McElfresh

Melissa McElfresh

In 2012 I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis), which made me realize life is too short and not to take simple things for granted. As an avid indoor-girl with allergies, I did not go on hikes of any sort. But, one day my Marine husband, Don, asked if I would go on a 'nature walk' with him. It was on the paved Going To The Sun Road in Glacier National Park. I went and was hooked, eager for our next adventure! The desire to see new places, meet new people, experience new cultures, has aided me to share with you my new adventure.

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About Us

We are sharing our adventures to not only document our full-time living in a 5th wheel but to provide others with information.  Our extensive research involved searching for answers to these questions: how to begin this lifestyle, what RV is best to live in full-time and what jobs could we do to support our dream.  However, we did not find a lot of answers out there that pertained to our quest.  Quickly we realized people choose this lifestyle and their RV for many different reasons.  There is no right or wrong answer.  We are here to provide you with another perspective.

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