Changing Rigs

Changing Rigs: The Logistics of Moving Houses While Living Full-time on the Road

When we purchased our first RV in September of 2019, it was a beautiful thirty-five-foot bumper-pull travel trailer. We knew at that time we were going to live full-time in the rig for a year or so, but did not intend to stay on the road indefinitely. If you missed our story on why we hit the road full-time, read about it HERE. After extending our timeline, we decided that having a few additional amenities like a second bathroom would make our life on the road more ideal for our family long-term. We wrote down the non-negotiable items we wanted as well as a few wish list features we desired in our next rig. As we started the search for our new home on wheels, I started thinking about the logistics involved in not only finding a new rig, but also selling our current one and moving between them. This is where things got tricky. When you live full-time in a moveable home, you aren’t spending months packing and prepping for the move. Our move from one rig to the other happened in only a few days and involved zero boxes. Let me take you along on the journey from the idea of changing rigs to the logistics involved in making this massive change and how we worked out the details.

Initially, it was inconceivable for me to consider a new rig because we had worked tirelessly to completely renovate the current rig and we LOVED our little home on wheels! However, knowing we had only one bathroom and could use a few other changes to the floorplan, we reviewed our wish list and look at rig options. My husband scoured the internet and compiled a list of RVs that fit our requirements: forty feet or less in length, two separate areas for kiddos so there could be more separation for private space, two bathrooms, a couch area for us to all sit on and enjoy a family movie night, a kitchen table, a two-compartment sink in the kitchen, and a kitchen layout that was usable for our family. While I was confident no rig existed to meet all our requirements and I could stay in my perfectly remodeled home on wheels, my husband kept searching until one night, he declared he had found our new rig: a thirty-nine-foot 2019 Keystone Fuzion 373 Toy Hauler located in New York. I was in awe when he showed me the layout and features it had to offer. I knew this was the rig for us. I picked up my pride and knew that if this was going to work, it would take both of us being all in to work out the logistics. The first step in the process involved a call to the seller to arrange a viewing when my husband could pop by to look at the rig on his way to work.

At the time, we were in South Carolina, working our way up the east coast to Maine and the rig was in a small town in New York. As we worked out the logistics to look at and pick up the new RV, another piece of the puzzle was finding a new truck, since our current truck did not have enough towing capacity to haul the new rig. Knowing we were going up the east coast, we began to look in major cities for trucks along our general route that would meet our specifications. My husband called a dealer in Richmond, Virginia where we found the truck we needed. The brand-new truck had only been on the lot less than a day and we made arrangements to purchase it. At this point, we had our new RV, which was ready to be picked up in New York and we needed to figure out how to get the new truck in Virginia and what to do with the extra vehicle we traveled with.

Logistics is something my husband and I both enjoy. We are good at putting pieces together to make things work, as well as thinking outside the box to come up with creative solutions to a given problem. This dynamic situation provided a new level of problem solving. With the new rig in one state, the new truck in another, and our current rig still needing to be listed for sale, we put our pencil to paper and worked out a plan to make everything come together.

My husband, working for the airlines, could easily hop on a flight to go get the new truck, uber to the dealership, and pick it up. Then he could drive the new truck and rendezvous with me to continue on our trek up north to New York to pick up our new rig. As the logistics came together, we perfected the details and listed our current RV for sale, which ended up being sold to a friend of ours in Kansas. Once we got the new rig, it only took about twenty-four hours to moved everything from one rig to the other. Then my husband drove the old rig to Kansas, flew back to the east coast to pick up our van, and we continued our trek up the east coast. It was a whirlwind.

If you’re thinking what I’m thinking as I have written this all out: that sounds like an absolutely insane plan. Well friends, yes it does. As hectic as this all sounds, we finalized the details and it was set in motion. The plan went flawlessly to purchase the new truck, put the required 500 miles on the engine in order to break it in, as well as purchasing the new rig. We parked the rigs side by side and moved out of one and into the other. The chaos of moving was unlike any move we had done before. We didn’t pack boxes or have things organized as we would usually do. We unloaded one cabinet at a time and had the children help us by ferry belongings over to the new rig. Things were piled on the floor, couch, and countertops. There was nothing but disorder. Somehow amidst the chaos, there was calm. We knew this new rig would be a great home for us, and would provide the opportunity to have a better space for our children and to create memories of a lifetime in a new home, as we had done in the last one. It seemed that even amidst the pandemonium, the pieces fell into place flawlessly. Whether you believe in divine powers or not, I cannot deny the sense of peace I felt as things came together and everything fell into place seamlessly. If I ever questioned if we were destined to continue on our current path, this was a divine answer from the heavens above and the universe: hell yes. We said our sad farewells to the old rig and my husband drove it to our friends who would have new adventures with it in our beloved homeland, Kansas.

If I have learned anything in the process of moving from rig to rig and life logistics, it is this: it doesn’t have to be easy, but you can make things work if you work at it. We had to “think outside the box,” as they say. In order to find a vehicle for our needs, we called dealerships in every major city along our route until we found a truck that would work for us. From there, we planned the next step, then the next one, and the next one. Problems as a whole are only problems until you break them down and solve one after the other. Problems become simpler when broken down into smaller, incremental steps.

Changing rigs was no small task and the logistics were tricky. In order to make all the pieces of this puzzle fit, we listed out the problems which helped us break them down and find a solution to each item on the list. As we solidified things, we were able to see the plan coming together and finish working out the minor details. When you face a big change involving lots of planning, remember to break it down and then review the plan to see if there’s anything you missed. Even the biggest projects can become simplified when broken down into smaller pieces. While the logistics in this experience were not simple, we are thrilled it worked out seamlessly.

Is there a time in your life where logistics seemed impossible, but you worked tirelessly to make things work flawlessly? How did it turn out?

Signing off,

-BG Barnstormer

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