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 What is a Full-timer?
Someone in our Yahoo group opened a kettle of worms when they made the following statement. " We know many people who have been on the road 15 to 20 + years and have no intentions of stopping unless health reasons demand it. These are true full timers, not snowbirds who park for 6 months every year and live in their RV. It's funny how people think that if they live in an RV they are full timers. We know a couple who live in their RV all year but they are in one place and only move to go on vacation. They aren't full timers, they are just living in an RV rather than a mobile home or a stick house."

I don't think that we had ever had a topic that generated so many comments. Those who do live in one place and seldom move seemed strongly motivated to defend their title. Those who sit still for four to six months out of each year also tried to justify being full timers. I even mentioned that I remembered reading a letter in an Escapee magazine a while ago in which the writer stated that one cannot be called a full-timer unless he/she boondock all the time. In his opinion others on the road just can't call themselves full-timers. 

Somewhere back in time those who live in trailers and old motorhomes  in dumpy trailer parks were labeled as "trailer trash." Admittedly some of those tin box houses look pretty sad and so does the trailer park. It is inexpensive housing. I remember seeing units in urban campgrounds that I know couldn't get out on the road if their life depended on it. In fact the first article I wrote in this very column was about such a place in California and supplied pictures to go with it (There's no Comparison). So are they full-timers? Okay they live full-time in an RV and it is true that they have no other home. 

When Ron and I wrote our books and in seminars on full-timing, we started right off with our definition a full-timer. A full-timer is one who "lives" and "travels" full-time in their RV. The key words "lives" and "travels" are important. By our definition there should be no other home---not a park model, not a condo, nothing except for the RV. Also if the RV sits in one place and never ever moves, by our definition, they are not full-time RVers. But beyond that it gets a little vague. What if a full-timer sits on a lot that they do not own for six months? Do they lose their full-timing status? I think not. But what if they are sick and need medical care and have to sit in one place for eight, nine or twelve months. Are they still full-timers? What if the same RVer buys a lot somewhere? That is not like owning a home so they could still be full-timers at least until they put a park model on it.

A large percentage of the readers in our Yahoo group hit the nail on the head when they wrote that the title didn't really matter. What mattered was that they were doing what they wanted to do and having fun and we agree. If we have to have explicit rules as to what one has to do or not do to become a full-timer that is too much like being back in the work place with job descriptions. And what would we call those who never travel but live in an RV somewhere? Just get in your RV and do your thing. 

When we were introduced to people and they asked what we did, we never simply stated that we were full-timers; most people wouldn't know what that is anyway. We went beyond that and said, "we live and travel full-time in our motorhome." Do people who live in a city have to be called "city dwellers"? Maybe there is something magical in the word "full-timer." It is a fantasy or dream to  think that you can go anywhere and live while seeing this wonderful country of ours and if living in a trailer somewhere helps you to feel that you are living that dream who are we to break the bubble? 

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