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An Alternative Lifestyle--Living and Traveling
Full-time in a Recreational Vehicle
Letter to the Editor of Motorhome Magazine
This letter appeared in Motorhome Magazine in the spring of 1991.

My husband and I have been happy full-timers for nearly two years. Not once in this time have we thought that we had made a mistake. Out of curiosity, though, I took Gaylord Maxwell's aptitude test (to determine our suitability to full-timing) on page 43 of the February issue of Motorhome Magazine. Four of my answers differed from HIS and for that, my score indicated that we should “Keep the house for a while.” NO WAY!!!! 

I double checked the questions we differed on and really got angry;  not for me---but for all those who may think twice about full-timing just because of a low score on this one-sided aptitude test. Mr. Gaylord Maxwell is not a full-timer and obviously does not know that full-timers are not of one mold. Some like back roads, others like expressways. Some full-timers are handy, others call a repairman. Some like rustic out of the way places and do not like to be around people, while others have to be where there is lots of activity and many people to talk to. Some want to go to Alaska, some would take a trip to Europe, others just Coast to Coast along a few miles at a time.  While full-timing, we parked our house (motorhome) for six weeks, took four panniers and our bicycles, flew to England and biked across England, Wales and Ireland, came home, jumped in the motorhome and resumed our full-timing. Can't full-timers want to go on a vacation just like other homeowners and retired people? Gaylord's question number 13 asked if we would like to see more of Europe, Asia, or the United States. 

Who says one has to be a handyman to be a successful full-timer? Question seven indicates just that. We just had a hot water heater go and called a repairman. In my opinion, it is better to have professional repairs than have a botched up job if one is not mechanically inclined. Question number 22 also gives the reader the opinion that one who would rather carry favorite cassettes instead of a tool box is not a full-time type person. Sure, we carry a few minor tools, but they are not as important as our music on cassettes. 

Gaylord's test suggests that full-timers must do away with material things. Yes, they give up their house and furniture, etc; but because people are all individuals, we have met full-timers who travel in luxury “homes” pulling luxury “pull toys,” while camping only in the luxury campgrounds. At the other end of the spectrum, we live in a 24-foot class C, pull an old Horizon and like to camp in everything from the rustic to very nice campgrounds. 

We see full-timers who only watch television, seldom leave the campground and almost always travel the interstates. We also know the adventuresome full-timers who think nothing of taking off for parts unknown, camp alone in some national forest, and take off on roads that aren't even on regular maps. Many others fall between these two extremes. Like the rest  of the population, full-timers are all different. The only common thread that we can think of is that they must like their spouse. But that leaves out the single full-timers. 

I hope that many who scored low on the test will think again and go for it. The only way you will know is to go out and do it. Bob Ramsey had the right idea. His letter (Missing Out) appeared on page eight of the same issue. 

Barbara Hofmeister 

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