Wednesday, March 17, 2010

It's funny.

For years now I've stayed up nights fantasizing about a life on the road.  We've all seen the retired folks behind the wheel of their highway worthy vacation homes --  some larger than others.  Every time I pass one of those giant behemoths I wonder if the occupants actually live in that thing full time or just use it for their big summer trip, once a year.

I've done the math with respect to retirement, and I see no value in paying off a residence over the course of a lifetime, only to turn right around and sell it with hopes of then paying cash for my final resting place, pun intended, in the name of "cutting back."  Big deal. 

Pretty anticlimactic, if you ask me.  Yet, it's exactly what my parents did, and they're quite happy.

I honestly don't think the average person of my generation will realize that kind of life profit margin.  I may be wrong. 

I thought about how much disposable income I'd have to "live it up" if my final residence were a motorhome.  And, if a large vehicle with all the creature comforts is what I had mind, then the answer is "not much."  An RV's energy consumption as built under current standards is atrocious.  It guzzles gas, is horribly insulated, has oversized appliances and is remarkably inefficient when it comes to electricity.  Parking is limited and can be quite costly in certain locations  -- not to mention any kind of mortgage I'd be paying on my $100,000 + retirement vehicle.
While it is true that there are very few options for beautiful homes situated in beautiful places that will have a purchase price of such a low figure...



                                                                $600,000 on the west coast

 ...once I tack on all of those other costs I'd still need a sizable income to keep my big RV afloat.

The Roving Home is actually an experiment.  In the big picture of my life, the cost is very reasonable.  It will be paid for upon completion.  It can be parked anwhere over night, preferrably in a place that's free.  It will be virtually self sustaining, able to sip energy due to a thick insulation and a small appliance load.  Of course, included in that efficiency is the willingness and desire to tread lightly -- to trim down what I've known since childhood to be the right way to live -- long showers, lights on all night and a full time refrigerator keeping bottles of condiments cold.  It's far healthier to eat fresh fruits, vegetables and meats, anyway. 

According to "What's My Carbon," I contribute 11.9 tons of pollutants to the atmosphere anually, due to my current energy cosumption and lifestyle choices.  Ouch! 

If all works out, then I do believe I will have found my future in lodging along with a way to save large sums of money, for my later years. 

I will always be able to build another Roving Home if there are things I really want to change.  And, the interior will be luxurious, with accents found commonly in a nicely designed house.  Why not, right?  It's such a tiny space.  It's not as if I have to buy three extravagent faucets.  All I need is one, so I can spend a lot more on it.  I'll need to refill the water and propane tank.  I won't have a large heating bill or a huge property tax bill.  I will no longer have my gigantic property insurance bill, electric bill or trash fee.   

I can't wait to roll up to my mom's retirement community in this thing.  She probably won't even open the door when I ring the bell ... provided security lets me pass through the gates.


  1. Wow, What an impressive snaps are these, I always love the greenery. Thanks buddy for sharing with us.

  2. Liquid,

    I appreciate the comments. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Good Article Rob! All points we consider often. We have really settled on the fact that living this way is so easily sustainable and enjoyable that we don't see a reason to ever go back to stationary life :) Keep sharing the good insights!

    97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"

  4. So true! The only reason my husband and I aren't considering a "roving" life is that our cat and our dog would not tolerate traveling together for any amount of time, and we're not willing to part with either. We are however, making plans to sell our overpriced home in the city and build small in the middle of nowhere. :)

  5. Mike -- I knew there were others, like I, who have considered what a home really means. I'm glad I have found like minds. One thing I didn't say, and would like to add, is the ability to travel while staying at home. How 'bout them apples for a retired life?

    Jessica -- It's a great feeling to own an overpriced home when you're on the selling end. I'd wait a few more years to really reap those benefits of appreciation. In the mean time, line up your ducks and get ready!

  6. My parents take their camper on the road and live out of it for 3 months straight in the summer. I am totally wondering if one day this is going to be my inheritance as they sell the house and decide that the road is all they want. But unfortunately my parents would probably just keep the camper instead of this kick ass pad you are planning.

  7. Hey Sarah, Thanks for commenting! I'll put you on the inheritance list. There's bound to be something I can spare.

  8. What a fantastic idea! I love it, good luck to you!

    I just wanted to stop by and thank you for visiting and following my blog. I really, really appreciate it. So glad you did, because it brought me here to read your fantastic stuff! I'm following you back! Cheers!

  9. Thanks for the "follow." It never ceases to amaze me how so many people actually think this is a good thing. I thought I was on the fringe with this, but maybe not so much.

  10. I find this so interesting and am following so I can keep up with your story.

  11. Hey Denise, Glad you took the time to drop me a line. I hope I continue to entertain! Stay tuned!