Why Melissa choose to RV full-time

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...seemed like the greatest harebrained idea I had ever had...
Camp Misery

My decision didn’t just happen in one night; instead, my thoughts were led here by a couple of eye-opening events.  Having gastroparesis was one of the main factors. But so was the answers to life’s hard questions and sitting down to evaluate the future. I’m glad we did it, even if selling 90% of our belonging wasn’t an easy choice or action, either.

Life Is Short

I learned the hard way that our lives go by too quickly after seeing my wonderful Mother-In-Law pass away from cancer before the age of 60. About 6-months later I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis (stomach paralysis) which changed my life and views forever. More on that in future blogs.

Crazy Stock Market

I watched my parents work non-stop at good paying jobs, stashing retirement money away, just in time for the market to crash when they retired.  Then I watched my husband work 80+ hour weeks, for salary, with very little time off, for close to 4 years while I worked part-time side gigs and tried to manage my gastroparesis.

Questioning Life

WHY were we doing this?  Isn’t there more to life?  When can we go out to dinner and not be interrupted by his work needing him?   Will we ever get to retire so we can live our dream of traveling?

When we’re discontent, we start to dream of a better life, a more purposeful and rewarding life. The discontent led us to think about building a tiny home and toying with the exciting idea of him quitting his job.  My thoughts progressed further, smaller and more nimble, to living in an RV full time so we could explore the world (okay-the lower 48 States).  But these were just thoughts and dreams. We would never really do it – like all the dreams we have had before.

Crazy Idea Forms

One night when Don came home exhausted from work, I shared what seemed like the greatest harebrained idea I had ever had: “living in an RV full time,” moving back to my hometown and finding a less stressful job to pay it off.  Without much hesitation, he said YES! And so it began, our new adventure. In less than 4-months, it became a reality and not just a dream that is swept back under the pillow.

If you want to read in more depth on why both of us choose to sell off everything and embrace living in a 5th wheel full-time, please check out our blog post: “Why We Went Full-Time In A 5th Wheel.


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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