Full-time RVer's Story
Tony and Mary Campbell
In the year 1997 my family rented an RV Class C so we could follow our son Mike who was on the rowing team at the University of Michigan. We loved the idea that we could drive in the evening, get to the rowing parking lot late, sleep there at night and be in the middle of the activity the next day for the rowing meet.
In the year 2000, my husband and I decided to buy a bigger RV Class A and retire after 40 years in the workforce. We had a home in Detroit that we loved and we started to take some trips, first 4 months in 2000 then 6 months in 2001, then in 2002 we took a 10 month 30,000 mile trip to Alaska and back by way of ‘ground zero’ in New York, Vero Beach, FL, New Orleans, LA, the Guatemalan Border, the Arctic Circle, Alaska, Apple Valley, CA, Napa Valley and home.
It was a great trip and on the way we built houses for Habitat for Humanity with a group called the RV Care-a-Vanners - a group of retirees who travel in their RVs and take two weeks out along the way to build affordable housing according to the philosophy of Millard Fuller, the founder of Habitat, “that everyone is entitled to a decent place to sleep at night”.
In 2006 we decided that if we could spend 10 months in the RV traveling around the country that we could spend a lifetime. So we sold our home and our belongings as garage sale items and moved in. What a thrill and a simple life it is. We have travelled, building for Habitat and visiting friends and family along the way.
It is 2009 and we have been full-timers for three years with no plans in sight to buy a house and stand still. I even volunteered to take on the coordinato's job for the RV Care-a-Vanners when, due to budget cuts, that position was dropped from the program. I went to Americus, Georgia, the Habitat Headquarters and volunteered to run the program if they would let me run it from my RV. So on June 15th of this year my husband Tony and I went on the road with a laptop, the program, an air-card and the phone number from the RV Coordinator desk running the program and never looked back.
We know some day that the time will come when we won’t be as strong and healthy as we are now. I guess at that time we will hang up our hiking boots and our map of the back country of Yosemite and Denali and buy a rocking chair. But don’t look for us doing that any time soon…. Mary Campbell