The CoolRVers are actually a couple of retirees, Judy and Luke Rinehimer and our 5 year old German Shepherd Dog, Miss Shady Lady. We are "extended-time" travelers with a home in Cool, California. Thanks for following along with us as we travel North America in our "rolling condo", enjoying the RV lifestyle. Your comments are always welcomed.

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Friday, April 14, 2017


Non-RVers often have questions about what it is like to travel extensively in a RV.  Today's designated  #A to Z Bloggers Challenge letter of the day is "L" and  "L stands for LIVING ON THE ROAD".

We are NOT full-time RVers and still maintain a 2200 square foot "stick house" in Cool, California when not on the road.  For the past dozen years or so we have spent 8 or 9 months traveling each year in a 400 sq. foot motorhome. 

Typically we leave for our Winter-Spring trip to the Southwest about New Years Day and return in early April. In April and May we get caught up on "routine" medical and dental appointments, prep the yard for wildland fire safety inspections, and spend time with the family.  Our Summer-Fall trip usually begins with RV rally "destinations" and ends in early November after hosting a major rally at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.  Life responsibilities and routines continue regardless of our physical location.

Changing Homes

Life on the road is actually much like that when we we are not traveling.  We still have meals to eat, laundry to do, housekeeping to be done, mail to read, bills to pay, medical appointments to keep, prescriptions to fill, hobbies to pursue, and social media to follow.

If you haven't already done so, take a tour of our 2007 Itasca Horizon 40' TD motorhome by clicking in the blog archives "H is for Horizon".  Our full motorhome kitchen/galley has plenty of storage space, food preparation counters and appliances to cook all our meals on the road. A trip to Costco before hitting the road fills our inside refrigerator and freezer plus there is another freezer in an outside storage bay.  And as RVers know, we are seldom very far away from community grocery stores and/or a WalMart. BUT, eating OUT is always a welcomed choice.


The most common questions we get about our RV lifestyle are:

  1. How do you get your mail?  
  2. What do you do with your house when you are gone?
  3. How can you be with each other 24/7 living in a shoe box?


A critical decision "extended-time" and "full-time" RVers must decide is where is your LEGAL DOMAIN.  Your legal address will dictate where you get your mail, register to vote, register your vehicles, renew your driver's license, pay your taxes, and maintain your health and vehicle/property insurances. Escapees RV Club CEO Shawn Loring has published a very thorough explanation about the complexities involved in declaring domains. Click here to read it.  

Our stick house in California is our domain and legal address. When we travel for extended times we file a "temporary change of address" with the US Postal Service to our Livingston, Texas "address" with the Escapees mail forwarding service  to get our mail on the road. A simple email or phone call to the Escapees headquarters is all we need to do to request our collected mail:  "Please send our mail to our names, c/o General Delivery, Yuma, AZ" (or any other specific address that can receive a USPS Priority Mail envelope or box).  


We do not rent out our house when we are gone.  We have lived in Auburn Lake Trails, a gated planned unit development, for 38 years and have a "Community Services" department that provides home security checks as part of our Homeowners Association benefits.  The Patrol Officers have called us for strange vehicles (a neighbor's truck) in our driveway or gushing broken sprinkler heads. We also pay a neighbor to use our riding lawn tractor to maintain our 3/4 acre of lawn and to keep an eye on the property.  In case of an emergency he also has a key to the house.

Our subdivision is very concerned about California's wildland fire dangers and we must pass mandatory yard inspections to meet CalFire defensive space requirements.  If Luke can't manage the weedeater or tree trimming equipment to meet the stringent requirements we also hire our neighbor to help out. 

Our 2007 motorhome has nearly 94,000 miles but it has been professionally maintained by authorized Freightliner, Cummins, or Winnebago-Itasca Service Centers from Day One.   Luke prides himself in how clean the exterior looks and he is also Mr. Clean when it comes to deep cleaning and vacuuming the motorhome.  Cleaning is not my thing at home or on the road! 

"Purple Jobs" 

Our RV friends Sharon and Don Del Rosario have taught us that we should not define RV or household  "jobs" as hers (pink) or his (blue): all jobs should be PURPLE -- done by either partner. Health or mobility issue can dictate who does what jobs.  While Luke may DRIVE the rig while I navigate, I have had multiple RV Driving School lessons and know I can take over the steering wheel and controls as needed.  I have also had to "dump" the tanks and I serve as the hook-up safety checker.


Our electronic lives are the same at home as on the road.  We carry two laptops, an all-in-one printer/scanner, and cell phones.  We also have DirecTV satellite service in all locations.
We each have our own laptop office workstations in the motorhome.
We use our Verizon data plan to maintain communications in our stick house and on the road.  We have an "unlimited" data plan that allows my Samsung Galaxy 5 Note smartphone and Verizon Tablet to serve as "mobile hotspots" for internet service.  We also have a Verizon MiFi wireless router that allows Mr. Non-Techie to have internet access if I am away with the hotspot smartphone or tablet.

Electronic banking, electronic bill paying, credit card monitoring, Quicken 2017 tracking, and TurboTax keep us financially aware wherever we are.  When traveling we do notify our bank and credit card companies what states or countries we will be in and for how long.  Fraud Departments are excellent in noticing changes in our credit card uses and have been known to detect unauthorized uses when we have failed to notify them of our planned locations.


Over the years we have learned much about living on the road through attendance at rally seminars, a now-discontinued "Life on Wheels" education program, Boot Camps, RV club gatherings, motorhome brand-specific discussion groups, magazines, and campfire circle discussions.  We are life-long learners and I have even facilitated "RVing Women" seminars while on the road.





Joss said...

RV living is definitely not like camping in a tent trailer, something I did every summer for many years. I have fond memories of those times.

Emily Bloomquist said...

Love the description "Purple jobs!"

Emily | My Life In Ecuador