When we decided to get into the RV lifestyle, we sought out every possible area for information about RVing. Articles, blogs or podcast we listened to, they always mentioned joining RV clubs. Not knowing which clubs would suit us best, we joined just about all that we came across. We are members of Passport America, Escapers, KOA VIP Club, Good Sam’s, Full-Time Families (FtF) , and the Family Motor Coach Association just to name a few. Some have been very helpful, others we have not done a thing with.

 

A few months ago, we received the email notification about the upcoming Full Time Families rally in Tampa, FL. We have been lifetime members for more than 2 years; yet have never attended a single event. Since the timing would work in our travel schedule, we decided to partner the rally with our upcoming trip to Disney’s Fort Wilderness. The perfect opportunity to find out if the money we spent would be helpful in our RV travels.

 

We joined the Rally FB page to keep in touch with all the pre-rally information.

As we headed down to Tampa for the rally, we really didn’t know what to expect. We knew we would be in the minority, kind of used to that in the RV world. By minority, we meant the small number of attendees that weren’t living full time on the road.

So many questions swirled through our minds…

  • Were these people normal?
  • How in the world do they manage to live full time in a RV?
  • How do they manage the kids?
  • What about pets?
  • How do they figure out where to go?
  • What about work? How do they earn a living?

IMG_0073We always try finding local kids science museums to visit when we are in a new area. We found a great one in Tampa called the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI). Just in case the rally turned out to be a flop, we planned a visit the day before the start of the rally. Since our goal was to connect and get to know FtF members, we posted on the FB page that we were going to MOSI. And boy did we get a response! Seemed like plenty of families were arriving early and planning excursions outside of the rally site. A few families decided to join us for our MOSI trip. MOSI was a fantastic museum, full of STEM exhibits for the boys to play and explore. It’s so cool to see them enjoy playing in a science museum and not ever realize how much they are learning along the way. IMG_0084

 

 

 

 

FtF Rally Time to get social….

From the moment we pulled into our site, we could tell this was going to be a different type of rally. Kids were everywhere! All the FtF members placed signs in their RV’s so they could be identified as a FtF family. IMG_0062We really loved how every day the kids went out to play and there were tons of kids to play with. Every kid shared his or her bikes, scooters, toys or electric cars. Our site was on the cul-de-sac and seemed like the place where all the kids gathered. It made it really easy to get out and socialize.

 

The rally schedule was filled with meetings, meet and greets, a few seminars, but mainly it was social events. Since the weekend fell on Valentine’s weekend, there was even a dance for the kids.  Nice touch.

 

IMG_2742The big excursion was an FtF takeover of Legoland. It was our first ever trip to Legoland and it won’t be our last. Check out the picture of the FtF group as we enter Legoland. FtF was given a great discount, less than $12 a person. That alone was worth coming to the rally.

 

 

 

What we learned

We learned every FtF member has a story. Some hit the road due to financial hardship. We met a couple of retired air traffic controllers that retired early and hit the road. Some of these families started a year-long journey and haven’t stopped. While others have found ways to work from the road, like a lawyer we met in the group.

We have all heard talk of “unplugging” and getting back to the simpler things in life. Most of these families aren’t unplugged or “living off the grid”. They do find very creative ways to manage all the barriers in living full time in an RV. Having Internet access is a big deal even while living in a RV. Keep in mind, these families are homeschooling their kids and access to the Internet is a vital part of “road schooling”. Internet and ways to connect was a very popular and lively discussion forum.

As we left our first FtF rally we realized that we made a great purchase. FtF is first and foremost, an incredible group of like-minded families that have entered into a common adventure. How each family came to be full timers is as unique as each family can be. All the FtF members we met were welcoming, helpful and honest. We really appreciated their honestly when talking about the up’s and downs of life on the road. The most common thread through all the FtF members we met was the desire to make whatever time they had left with their kids as special as possible. The commitment to give these children lifelong memories and bring to life everything they are learning is specular. In an age where the family structure is under relentless attack, FtF can be a plentiful resource.

If you are thinking about going Full time, or love camping or even enjoy RV travel with your family please check out Full time families.

 

Fast Facts about FtF

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  • Over 1000 member and growing
  • Multiple rallies through out the year –i.e. East coast, West coast and “Not back to school”
  • Blog written by FtF members

 

  • Membership – has it’s privileges such as
    • FtF campground “kid friendly” discounts
    • Books and other written resources
    • Home-school or Road school information (Time 4 Learning)
    • Reciprocal membership with Escapees
    • A community of like minded RVers
    • Member discount program with companies like; Thousand Trails, Woodalls, work camper.com, overnight parking.com, RV Trader.com and many more!

 

Our first Full-time Families rally…traveling into the unknown….
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