This issue, TrailBlazer would like to introduce you to the Haag family, a family of four that sold it all and has been full-time RVing for a year and half. They love the outdoor lifestyle for all of the healthy benefits, and believe it keeps them active!
TB: How long have you been camping and RVing? Who introduced you to it? Tell us how it all began!
LH:I camped a bit with my family while growing up. We started off with a tent but upgraded to a pop-up camper after a few years. After leaving home, I didn’t really camp anymore. I went to college, got a job, got married, and started a family…life got really full and busy. Several years ago, I began to think there must be a better way. I began to have thoughts like, “life is flying by, the girls are growing up so fast, and I’m too busy all the time.” I really felt that I was missing out on time with my family that no amount of money could ever buy back. Then, I stumbled upon the blog of another full-time RV family and my eyes were opened! I had no idea that whole families lived and traveled in RVs! Within about two months we bought our Class A and began to prepare to sell it all and hit the road! We’ve now been full-timing in our RV and traveling around this beautiful country for a year and a half. We are completely hooked and plan to continue RVing for the foreseeable future!
TB: How did you first hear about Thousand Trails?
LH: Once my eyes were opened, I spent almost all my free time (and then some) researching this new lifestyle. It was during this research phase that I first discovered Thousand Trails. It wasn’t until after being on the road full-time that we pulled the trigger on a new membership, but I am so glad we did. We have met the best friends since we started this adventure, and the vast majority are also TT members. We have also found a wonderful community on the road, much of which is made possible by TT campgrounds because that is often where our paths cross. In all honesty, when we get to a TT park, it feels like we’re coming home (even if it’s our first time at that particular park).
TB: What is one of your fondest camping memories? How about one of your fondest Thousand Trails memories?
LH: Our fondest camping memory happened when we hiked Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park last year. Our girls had just turned four and six and had never been on a real hike before. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but to our utter amazement, they hiked several miles up with over 1,500 feet of elevation gain, hiked around the top for an hour, then hiked all the way back down with no issues! That day it was confirmed to me how capable our kids were if we just gave them the chance and encouraged them along the way (oh, and plenty of water and snacks). Our fondest TT memory is from the Peace River location last winter. This is where my wife and I first tried our hands at one of the fastest growing sports in the nation: pickleball! These little courts are all over Florida, but as a past tennis player, I thought it seemed a bit comical. However, we gave it a try at Peace River, then proceeded to play almost every single day for three weeks straight! We were hooked! It has turned out to be equally fun for both of us, and it’s now our favorite athletic pursuit that we enjoy together. It’s also been another great avenue for meeting and connecting with new people as we travel.
TB: Any funny camping/RVing stories?
LH: This past fall we boondocked just outside Badlands National Park at Nomad View Dispersed Camping area. It was here that for the first time in over a year, we got a mouse in our RV! It turns out that these cute little field mice are all over the place out there and make their way into many unsuspecting homes on wheels. I was having my morning coffee when I first saw it. It took some time to figure out where it got in and then get it back out, but once I did, the funniest thing happened. It wouldn’t leave! It ran back and forth from the driver’s side tire to the passenger’s side tire at least 10 times! Meanwhile, anyone looking on would have just seen me running around the RV doing the same thing while trying to chase it off. At first, I was frustrated, but after so many failed attempts, I just had to laugh at myself. Eventually, it gave up and took off into the nearby grasses.
TB: What type of camper are you/what equipment do you use? What do you prefer and why? (ex: fifth wheel, RV, tent, cabins, etc.)
LH: We have a 35ft Class A gas motorhome that we purchased used and proceeded to fully renovate. We really like the Class A option as it allows for easier, faster travel days. We never have to make a special stop just for the kids to use the restroom, and we can do all the necessary setup work without ever going outside. I extend the levelers from the driver’s seat, then hop up to push buttons to pop out the slides, and that’s it! It’s so fast and easy to do! This is especially nice if you happen to arrive somewhere when it’s raining or otherwise less than ideal weather outside.
TB: Where have you gone that you wouldn’t have otherwise if it hadn’t been for your Thousand Trails membership?
LH: If not for our TT membership, we wouldn’t have explored the southern coast of Maine. We stayed at Moody Beach which turned out to be an ideal central location for exploring the beautiful coastline and many incredible lighthouses. This is also where I met a new friend who offered to teach me how to surf. Never did I think I’d learn how to surf, much less in Maine!
TB: What is your favorite part about the outdoor lifestyle?
LH: It’s just so healthy! We breathe fresh air, hike, walk, ride bikes, cook great meals, play pickleball, go rappelling, swim, jog, and so much more! Five or six years ago I was told that my good health was my greatest asset. I’m convinced more than ever how true that statement is and am so grateful that the RV/outdoor lifestyle allows us to spend so much more time enjoying healthy activities with great friends!
TB: We want to know when you knew you were the consummate camper, a true TrailBlazer. Can you finish this sentence? I knew I was a TrailBlazer when…
LH: We knew we were TrailBlazers after being on the road for about six months. We figured that was long enough to be confident in our belief that this lifestyle was for us and that we wouldn’t be moving back into a sticks and bricks traditional home for the foreseeable future! We weren’t in the honeymoon stage anymore and missed nothing from our old lifestyle except our church. Technology allows us to stay connected with family and friends back home, and that is a real blessing! ⎯