August 2012 – let the fun begin!!!

Roy and I decided to create this blog to possibly help anyone who is considering the full timer RV lifestyle. I’ve been reading many blogs about people who decided to RV full time, sold everything and hit the road. Their experiences have helped me tremendously and I’m hoping that this blog will help someone else considering this lifestyle. Everyone’s path is different, in one way or another, so our path won’t be suited for everyone. We can at least share our experiences in hopes of helping someone else through our mistakes and successes. Once we FINALLY get to truly live the lifestyle traveling I hope this blog will keep us connected with the folks back home that want to know where our travels take us. That’s the why behind the blog, and now let me begin sharing our story.

Sometime during the month of August, 2012 Roy and I made the decision to totally change our lifestyle. As monumental of a lifestyle change as this is, I cannot pinpoint the date or the discussion we were having that brought us to this decision. I took a month off of work in August to de-stress from extreme personal stress and some work related stress that had accumulated. During that month I had plenty of time to look at my life, what got me to this point, spend quality time in God’s Holy Word and in prayer with Him. I also began seeing a counselor who helped me to see clearly that change was needed for me to come out of the depression I was in. The life Roy and I worked so hard to build for ourselves, our children and grandchildren had drastically changed within the last several months. Even though we were living a very comfortable lifestyle financially, both still working without many bills, everything else had changed. We came to see that we needed to refocus our lives on the two people who fell in love and got married 40 years ago. Roy and I are the original family, and we deserve to be happy, so lifestyle change here we come.

At the beginning our thoughts were very general. We knew we wanted to sell our house, sell everything we owned in the house, yard and garage, purchase a mobile type home, retire and travel. And we thought it would happen in that order. We’re still on that course but our plans are getting more specific as time goes on and the order in which we’d complete our plan has changed. Several times at the beginning we couldn’t see how we could make this happen. One obstacle was that we really didn’t have sufficient retirement income to support ourselves even in a reduced RV lifestyle. Another was that my husband needs stability and the idea of our only home being one on wheels kind of unnerved him. I thought keeping a house here “just in case” was a waste of money. I’m perhaps a little more of a risk taker than he is and it was very obvious in our stands on this.

Things started falling into place and several things happened within a week that made Roy and I much, much more confident that this was the future plan for us. One day before my husband and son went shopping I was especially distraught that maybe our plan was not doable. They must have discussed the problem at hand and being the problem solving men that they are they came up with a wonderful, wonderful idea. When they came home they asked me to sit down and they shared with me the idea they came up with. We thought about it and discussed it further and when it hit me that this was the perfect solution to our meager retirement income not being enough to support us on the road.

Our rental drive that could be our sticks home if we need it to during our RV travels.
Our rental drive that could be our sticks home if we need it to during our RV travels.

We own a rental house that brings in good income but right now it is being used to pay the note on that house with very little to spare. Their idea was to pay off that mortgage when we sold our house (which has no mortgage) and supplement our meager retirement income with the rent they pay, making this plan very doable! Not only did paying off the rental house provide us with income, it also provided us with a house we still owned that we could live in if we decided to stop full timing or if one of us got sick or we need to stop RVing for a while for some unforeseen reason. Check off additional income, check off sticks house to return to if needed!

On top of these two items being checked off the concerns list, sometime during the next week I discovered WORKAMPING!!!! Never heard of it before, didn’t have a clue that such opportunities existed much less that thousands of RV folks are doing it every day. As we have time to learn more about Workamping I’ll share for those who might be interested. Basically its working a few hours a week at a state or federal park or even Disneyworld in exchange for a free RV spot there. We began to see that lots of research and opening ourselves to new possibilities were needed to make this happen.

First up was a garage sale to rid ourselves of all the things we absolutely didn’t need. Since I had time off work I began going room to room, drawer to drawer, and door to door seeing what we could let go of without us feeling it. Every day I came up with enough things to cover our big kitchen counter and the dining room table plus some. After days and days of filtering through most of our things and many hours of pricing things we had our first garage sale. Signs were up in the neighborhood, ad in the newspaper, Craigslist notice and invitation sent to all my Facebook friends. We were starting at 8 am and by 6:30 there were people waiting in the drive way. I loved having that garage sale. It was so freeing to get rid of the “stuff” in our lives. I got to give little things to the children and had fun cutting deals with people. I’ve never liked doing that but that day it was a blast! We hoped to maybe make $300 and wound up far exceeding that around $700! What a motivation that was to keep getting rid of our stuff. If you walked through our house it didn’t look like we’d sold so much stuff but we had. Why in the world had we hung on to so much stuff for so long. We think it was “just in case we need it”.

At that point Roy hadn’t begun going through his tools and computers and that will probably wait to be sold until everything else is gone through and sent off to a new home. His tools are his babies and I know that will be a difficult parting of the ways when it does happen. He will get in the garage sale spirit soon I am sure!



Our very first RV adventure blogging post!

As of September, 2016 we have finally visited all of the 48 connected states in the US!







The blog below was the first blog that started documenting our travels and the experiences we’ve had.  A lot has happened since this first blog.  We were such newbies in the RV world and over the past 6 years have gained so much experience not only with RV life but in our own lives.  God has been so good to us leading us through this journey.  Hope you will read through the various posts to learn about RV life and about the silly couple that are the Chauvins!

UPDATE: In the past year (2018) we moved out of Dora and into the house we built four  years ago in Amite.  In January 2019 Dora went to live with a wonderful family in California.  This is a BIG change in Dora and our life.

August, 2012 – Hello world! Welcome to my first blog about Roy, Rosalyn, Dora and Boots’ adventures exploring the United States. We won’t start exploring for a while, other than an occasional trip to locations around Louisiana and a Christmas trip to Disneyworld! At least, not until our sticks and bricks house is sold! Please someone buy it!

This lovely 2 story Acadian style home on one acre is for sale!!!
This lovely 2 story Acadian style home on one acre is for sale!!!

If you’re wondering who Dora and Boots are, no they’re not our new grandchildren! They are TV characters our granddaughter Madisyn loves and consequently we’ve seen many episodes of Dora. In her show, Dora is an explorer and we learn all sorts of things through her exploring. Since our RV adventures will take us exploring throughout the United States, we thought it fitting to name our RV “Dora”. Our truck we are towing behind the RV is now named Boots, Dora’s trusty side kick who follows her everywhere! Our Dodge Dakota truck that we will tow is called our “toad”, in RV lingo. That means Boots is our toad!

I am married to my best friend, Roy Chauvin! Roy and I are a regular every day Southern Baptist Christian couple living in Hammond, Louisiana. I am a young 58 years old, born and raised in New Orleans Louisiana. Roy is a slightly older 63 year old who just turned the Social Security retirement age in January, 2013 and was born and raised in Metairie, Louisiana right outside of New Orleans. We met in 1971 and were married in 1972. Our first son was born in the late 1970s followed by his brother Chip in 1981. They are both grown men now with wives and children of their own. All that’s a story for another day but we wanted you to know a little about the folks going on this journey. We moved to Hammond, Louisiana 25+ years ago and have lived here since. It’s a small college town between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. We both currently work at Southeastern Louisiana University. Roy is the Computer Fix It Guru (of course not his official title) and I am the Telephone Billing/Work Order Coordinator which is my official title. We are die-hard New Orleans Saints fans. We’ve loved them since they became a team in our teen age years and have supported them faithfully ever since.

Our adventure began back in August of 2012. I started keeping notes as we began the journey, making the decision to undertake this total lifestyle change. Instead of a daily blog, at first it will be a monthly blog for the months August, September, October, November and December 2012. From here on out I’ll post as I have the opportunity to or when enough experiences have occurred to be interesting.

We hope anyone considering the full time RV lifestyle will learn a little from our experiences as we have learned so much from others experiences. Ask us questions if you want, if we’ve experienced it we’ll let you know what happened with us! If you’re experienced full timing RVers and you see we’re making mistakes please, please shout out to us and share your sage advice with us newbies! We’ve been so happy since we made this decision that we are hoping some of our family and friends will get the itch and come join Roy, Rosalyn, Dora and Boots on our great adventure!

The blogs below are in newest blog first order. If you’d like to read about our experiences in order start at the last one in the list from August and read up to the current date. You may have to click on OLDER POSTS to get to the August one. Please click the FOLLOW link on the right if you’d like to receive an email whenever a new blog is posted!