There are some nights when I wake up in a cold sweat, terrified that I have made the wrong decision with my life and it’s all going to turn to custard. Then I review what is the worst that can happen, and I roll over, check the alarm clock, yep 1:30am, roll back and return to the land of Nod.
My name is Frederick and I am a full time motorhomer.
So let’s back this lovely bus up and let me tell you the story.
Back in 2008, 6 months short of my 50th birthday, I managed to achieve early retirement after 25 years in the film and television industry, culminating with 10 years of teaching and freelancing in multimedia and video post-production. I was chuffed (pleased) to be able to pass on my knowledge to people starting in the industry to pay forward those that helped me when I was starting out.
So what to do with my retirement? I have always had a bit of Gypsy, Roma or Traveler in me but have not had the inner fortitude to buck the trend of having the ¼ acre dream, having roots or doing something that is outside the ‘norm’. It didn’t help that my then partner was in no way prepared to live anything outside the ‘normal’ lifestyle. To be honest she was very scared of change, needed to have control of the situation and that was who she was. I was also scared of getting out of my comfort zone. So that dream went onto the back burner.
I sat back, got caught up on my reading list, started getting fitter and then decided to do a bit of volunteer work and became a volunteer budget advisor and after a couple of years I was asked if I would help out a budget service for a year and get paid for it, so I changed direction again and went back to employment. Unfortunately the lovely boss lady managed to staple my foot to the floor and 4 years later I finally left. Meanwhile, in June 2013 I had a major upset in my life and an 18 year relationship crashed and burnt That gave me a bit of a kick in the backside and it was suggested to me that possibly this might be the golden opportunity to realize my dream of being foot loose and fancy free on the road.
I have to say at this point I have a sister who has been on the road part time with her husband for over 10 years so she was a huge advocate of this happening. They are in a 7m Toyota Coaster bus that has been converted for motorhoming (Rving) and love the lifestyle.
So it really didn’t take much to persuade me that now was the opportunity to see if this could work for me. I was in a position to do what I wanted, had little in the way of ties to anywhere or anything so this was the perfect time to give it a go.
I started looking at the local website for motorhomes and at the time there were about 750 for sale. My brother-in-law had given me a list of things to avoid, like pre 1990 models, and front wheel drives, so there was a huge range to choose from. I started to send him links of things that looked good and he would give me some ideas about why or why not and from there I started to whittle things down. I had a budget of around $NZ110,000 (approx. $91,000 US) which eliminated quite a few vehicles. I could not believe that there were motorhomes out there for $NZ350,000 (approx. $290,000 US) plus!
So then I started to go visit some of the ones on the “This Is A Possibility” list and started to get a feel for the things that I liked and didn’t like about layouts.