The Big Decision

How/why we decided to hit the road

May 28, 2020

The first step of any journey is actually deciding to go for it. In this inaugural blog post we delve into how/why we opted to uproot our lives and take our show on the road. 

We were no strangers to traveling, but jobs, leases, and life in general always kept us tethered to the Denver area (and Cleveland before that). However, that was until 2020 and the rise of WFH – working from home. We didn’t realize it immediately, but a few months into the COVID experience we slowly started to recognize that many of those tethers binding us to our apartment and Denver were no longer there. 

Once we came upon this revelation, we began to question damn near everything about our lifestyle. Why live near the office if you don’t have to go there? Why pay big bucks to live in the city if all the fun stuff is closed? What’s the point of paying for an apartment with amenities if we can’t use them?

Naturally, we did what millennials do when struggling with a tough question – we turned to the internet. Our search led us to a great community of full-time RVers on YouTube (KYD, Fate Unbound, Adventurous Way, and many more) who helped us realize that this lifestyle was not only something we wanted to do, but more importantly, something we could do.

However, before we could start picking out a camper or any of the other fun stuff, we first had to clear the largest hurdle between us and this remote lifestyle we desired – connectivity. Simply put, we had to have a strong, reliable internet connection if this was going to be anything other than a long weekend trip. After all, WFH only works if one can effectively connect and communicate with coworkers. We investigated several different options, but ultimately, we decided that an unlimited cellular plan combined with a mobile router was our best course of action. 

Unfortunately, truly unlimited data plans are hard to come by these days, so we had to get creative. And before you say “what are they talking about, I have an unlimited data plan” check the fine print of your plan – it likely says phone data is unlimited, but hotspot data is capped at a certain threshold. To circumvent this roadblock, we began exploring the possibility of “renting” a grandfathered unlimited plan. Although this niche market is somewhat of a legal gray area we found ourselves with few other viable options, so we decided to pull the trigger. Along with the data plan, we also purchased a Pepwave mobile router (pictured below), which housed our newly rented sim card and provided us with our precious WIFI connection.

With our internet concerns taken care of, our minds were nearly made up. The last step in our decision process was to rent an RV and go on a trial run around the mountains near Denver. We opted to rent a 25-foot class C motorhome from our local Cruise America branch in late May, loaded it up (cat and all), and embarked on our maiden voyage.

Our first stop was a nice little KOA just west of Denver, tucked into the mountains near Idaho Springs, Colorado. Anyone familiar with the RV lifestyle likely knows all about KOA. They have hundreds of franchises all across the country and have a good reputation among the RV community thanks to decades of great customer service.

After a pleasant evening at the Denver-West KOA grilling out and roasting marshmallows, we successfully dumped our sewage tanks for the first time, and made our way to our next stop – Leadville, Colorado. Although we enjoyed Leadville, let’s just say the RV park we visited was not the most luxurious. Either way, we survived just fine and took it as a learning experience regarding what to look for (and to avoid) when picking out RV parks in the future. With this newfound knowledge in hand, it was time for us to move to our final camping spot on this trial run. However, rather than staying at an RV park, this time we would be “boondocking” (camping without water, electric, or sewer hookups) in a beautiful area about 15 miles south of Leadville called Twin Lakes.

As you can see, this place was absolutely fantastic! We had such a good time hiking around and exploring the surrounding area. We couldn’t have picked a better area to conduct this little trial run. Even Charlotte had a blast checking out the scenery from our cozy little perch high up on the hill!

Although we were sad to see the trip come to an end, it was time for us to make our way back to Denver and decide once and for all if this lifestyle was something we wanted to pursue. After many long conversations, family consultations, and sleepless nights, we finally made up our minds in early June. We were actually going through with this crazy idea!

With the big decision finally behind us, it was time for us to face an even greater challenge – actually making it happen. In the next post we’ll dive into our camper/truck buying process and our race against the clock to hit the road before summer was too far gone.