Did you know that an estimated one million Americans live in a motorcoach? When we told friends and family we were going to buy and travel in a motorcoach many thought we had lost our minds!
The questions poured in:
- How could we go from living in a 2,000-square-foot home to living in a 400-square-foot Motorcoach?
- What would we do with our stuff?
- How would we stand being together all the time in such a small space?
But it was a choice we made. And, we are thrilled to be part of a movement of people ditching the large homes that have long embodied the American Dream. We’ve embraced a life of travel, minimal belongings and working when and where we want…… at least for half the year.
At the time Deborah & I first met, I had just sold out of my partnership in a 1973 Pace Arrow motorhome. Oh what fun it had provided, as three guys and occasional dates, took it camping, skiing and off-the-grid boondocking. Since then, I had always dreamed of a bigger, better one!!
Fast forward nearly 40 years to the summer of 2017. Deborah and I were driving home from a Seattle/Minnesota trip. As I watched a big motorhome approach us on the highway and pass going the other direction, I blurted out, “let’s buy a motorhome!” With undeniable Deborah enthusiasm she replied “great, let’s do it!”
A month later when I said “I found a motorhome, let’s go look at it, ” she replied “Great, let’s go!” After looking it over for less than 30 minutes, Deborah said “Let’s buy it!”
This is where the rubber meets the road. It’s one thing to dream the dream. It’s a big step to live the dream. It’s even a bigger step to write the check! Buyer’s remorse crept into the picture, but the spirit of adventure prevailed and BAM was ours.
“BAM,” instantly became her name, short for Big Ass Motorhome.
Getting to Know BAM
The day we first met BAM, it was pretty much “love at first sight.” When we pulled up to the private residence where she was setting, she seemed to be stretched out and sunning in the long drive. My gosh, she was big, really BIG, and she was gleaming and BEAUTIFUL!
Most of all, she was everything that we had dreamed of; a 40’ Diesel Pusher Bus, with a big leather captain’s chairs fit for a king and queen. It was a sunny but cool early December morning and she stood bright, shiny and immaculate. Her awnings were out, her windows were gleaming and her big tires were jet black and shiny. She looked great. She knew it. Her current owner knew it, and we knew it.
She was the first motorcoach we looked at, and it didn’t take long to confirm she was the one that we wanted.
From Idea to Reality
Thirty days earlier, BAM had been a whim of an idea. But, we were ready to follow the whim and now she was ours. Her name, BAM, had come years earlier from our daughter, Tara.
As a family, we traveled a lot in the late 1990s, right when motorhomes were evolving into full size buses complete with large diesel engine dependability and providing luxurious living. Tara called them Big Ass Motorhomes, and we shared her dream of owning one to travel in someday. Thus, the name BAM.
BAM is a looker, and she gets noticed. But, enjoying her company for nearly two years has enabled us to discover her sometimes demanding and feisty personality. Like a beautiful woman, she is more high-maintenance than wash-and-wear.
We knew nothing about her inner workings when we first took off in May of 2017 but have quickly found out there are a lot of moving parts and peculiarities within her care and maintenance!
Some things can break and be worked around. Others have to be fixed right away. But, every time we have someone work on her, we hear the same two things —“She sure is pretty” and “once you get all the little things fixed she will be better than a new one”.
It Takes Work to Look This Good
We made the commitment to keep BAM current and give her the loving care and maintenance that she desires and deserves. And even with some wonderful renovations and enhancements during the winter and spring of 2018, there still seems to be a list of things that we would like to do to and for her, that would address a few of the idiosyncrasies she’s picked up from our time on the road. But the bottom line is, she is still beautiful, she knows it, we know it, and everyone is happy.
I am an explorer. And, I guess that I have always been. Fortunately, I am married to a kindred spirit who loves exploration and discovery as much as I do.
My girlfriends are amazed that I can live 24/7 in a 400 square foot home on wheels, with my husband, and remain happy and married. But, I find the adventure, the change in scenery, the exploration and discovery of new places, and the personal and intellectual growth stimulating and it truly fills my soul.
I believe that Tim and I have a stronger relationship because of the living arrangements. We’ve talked and marveled at how, after almost 40 years of marriage, we are truly partners and appreciate each other now more than we ever have.
As we travel, I love that we do not have to pack and repack. I love sleeping in my own bed, having my own bathroom and washer and dryer, and the ability to choose to cook and eat at home or go out while we are on the road.
Less is More!
And, I have learned to do with less. As an example, the first year, I packed and limited myself to 24 pairs of shoes. Last year, I reduced that number to 12 pairs. And, I believe that I will pack even less this upcoming summer!! I honestly have no complaints about our living arrangements, and I certainly do not feel that I have surrendered or given up anything to live a life in a motorcoach.
Living the Dream
Life in BAM has awaken that free spirit in us. It has caused us to proactively plan our lives and make “things” happen. At the same time, it has enabled us to be spontaneous and take advantage of unique opportunities. Ultimately, BAM has empowered us to “seize the day” and live life in a manner in which we use to dream. Yes, Life is Good.
“You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So… get on your way!”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!