An Ending, a Beginning, or Both

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Dirt road and grain silos, west of Billings, Montana – 2016

Let me cut to the chase…at the end of 2017 we stopped RV’ing and have sold both our Vilano 5th Wheel RV and our RAM 3500 dually truck. The why of stopping requires a little background.

While we were planning our RV lifestyle adventure in late 2014 we knew its success and longevity was dependent upon a number of factors. One of which was how well our four-legged family member, Maggie, would adapt. We had cause to worry because Maggie has always been shy and nervous and as a pup would easily get car/motion sickness.

Nevertheless, Maggie handled our travels in 2015 and most of 2016 fairly well. But in the latter part of 2016 things started going sideways for Maggie. She began experiencing panic attacks when exposed to loud noises like thunder, firecrackers, gunshots, highway lane strips and high winds, as well as nuts, sticks and pinecones falling on the top of our 5th Wheel. I will agree with her that anything falling on the roof of our 5th Wheel sounded like gunshots. But then her anxieties included trips in the truck. She would become so anxious that she was pacing in the back seat of the truck. Even a quick trip with her to the grocery store became difficult.

After trying almost every calming device and concoction we could find we conferred with our Vet and started Maggie on a daily dose of Xanax. The Xanax helps with her perception of reality but it didn’t eliminate the panic attacks.

In 2017 we altered and restricted our travels in hopes of making things easier for Maggie. We wanted to see if traveling shorter distances and staying longer in each location might regain some overall “calmness.” It didn’t.

Bonnie and I spent so much of 2017 discussing what we were going to do. Perhaps if she was a 15 lb lap dog it wouldn’t have been as big of an issue. But as a 70 lb and very strong hound, her anxiety was becoming a strain for all of us, especially those days when we were confined due to inclement weather. There aren’t a lot of places for a 70 lb dog to hide in an RV so she would pace and cry and try to hide behind or under any and everything. It made for some very stressful days for all of us.

Now those who don’t have dogs or who don’t love dogs may not understand our decision to stop. All I’ll say is Maggie’s a beloved family member and with her suffering Bonnie and I couldn’t enjoy or live the RV lifestyle the way we wanted and our commitment to Maggie had to come first.

So where from here? At our age we’re certain we don’t care to own another home. For at least a while we’ll spend time renting near family and friends while investigating our other options. Our three year RV experience was wonderful and changed how we look at life and those things important to us. We enjoyed the simplicity and minimalist aspects of that lifestyle and will continue to embrace that simplicity no matter where or how we end up. As for Maggie….she’s adjusting to our stick and brick structure. There are different noises for her to get use to but rain, wind, trees and pinecones are no longer looming monsters for her. We are all sleeping a little better.

By | 2018-01-05T10:43:05+00:00 January 5th, 2018|Lifestyle / Travel / Living Lite, Slides|12 Comments

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  1. Monte Stevens 5 Jan ’18 at 10:32 am - Reply

    This is good news for me and answers the question of where you have been. Three years is a long time for the RV life style and glad to know you two enjoyed it. And, glad you paid attention to Maggie’s way of telling you what she was experiencing. I will watch to see what life has for you in 2018. This also, allows you the chance to spend a bit more time around the grand babies.
    Strange how I feel you two, and others who I’ve been following through blogs, are a family to me. We want the best for you and Maggie!

    • E. Brooks Moore 5 Jan ’18 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      If it was just Bonnie and I we would still be RV’ing but it just didn’t work out that way. Both the RV and the truck were sold in about two weeks and with the holidays and all it was a mad scramble and we’re still processing it all. At least back in 2014 when going from the house to the RV the RV was fully furnished but coming from the RV we had nothing but our few personal processions. To say the least I’m well versed in assembling furniture now. Thank you for your kind wishes, Monte. Being “family” with you is an honor!

  2. Tom Dills 5 Jan ’18 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Like Monte, Kathy and I have been wondering about you three and it’s good to have an update. Obviously disappointing to change your plans but it sounds like you’ve found a good option. We’ll make a point of touching base offline and see if we can meet up soon. By the way, I like the new blog design!

    • E. Brooks Moore 5 Jan ’18 at 9:31 pm - Reply

      Much has been in flux the last several months. Whether this is a good option may remain to be seen but with some additional time we’re hopeful Maggie’s state of mind will improve. We’ve seen some improvement already. Thanks on the blog design…felt like a change was due on the blog as well. Take care.

  3. Mark 7 Jan ’18 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    I think it is so admirable for you to make this change for Maggie. After being on the move for so long, perhaps you will find other appreciations for the stick and brick. I hope you will keep us updated on how she is readjusting. Best to you, Bonnie and Maggie for 2018!

  4. JOHN WENRICH 12 Jan ’18 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Dear Earl and Bonnie: We are sorry to hear about Maggie’s troubles. We hope that she’s doing better now. Today I called the Vanleigh customer support to ask a few questions and in addition to offering fine service, Shawn informed me that my wife and I had purchased a “famous” 5th wheel. Yes, that’s right, we drove from or home in central Florida and bought your vehicle. I just discovered your blog, but I must ask. Does he/she have a name? We are just getting started with this 5th wheel, but we’ve been camping (vacations) for years. We love this RV so far and we’re going to the big RV show in Tampa next week where we’ll see Leigh Tiffin and a lot of other stuff! I’d love to chat (not necessarily through this blog). Contact me at my email if you’d like. John and Roz

    • E. Brooks Moore 12 Jan ’18 at 4:51 pm - Reply

      Thanks for letting us know and we wish you many happy adventures in the Vilano. An email is on it’s way to you. Earl

  5. Mark 12 Jan ’18 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    See Earl, you guys are famous!! 🙂

    • E. Brooks Moore 12 Jan ’18 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      Mark, no doubt a typo…probably should have been “infamous.” LOL

  6. Paul 20 Jan ’18 at 6:44 am - Reply

    I’m a couple of weeks late to this and not quite sure how I missed it. What a story! Sorry to hear about the end of your travels, but glad that Maggie is recovering. That’s quite a decision. It’s amazing, at least to me, what we will do for our four-legged critters! Stick and Brick living ain’t so bad, Brooks! 🙂

    I guess that you’re Floridians, now, or perhaps you’ve “settled” elsewhere. Anyway, it’s good to hear that you and the family are doing well. I know that, for me, after many long discussions, or thoughts, making the decision, regardless of what it is, is a relief. I hope that you’re feeling relief and acceptance. I’m sure that you’ll find another adventure to partake in! 🙂

    If you’re in the Carolinas at some time, look me up! I’d love to see you guys again!

    • E. Brooks Moore 20 Jan ’18 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      Paul, our four legged friends with their devotion and unconditional love often become more family then pets — so there really wasn’t any other choice to be had. Going from RV to Stick-N-Brick may be a greater chore then the other way around. Coming from a RV, we’re starting from little or nothing…no furniture, bed, or other household goods, only clothes, a few personal things and some kitchen utensils and appliances. We’re still in the process of sorting things out but you’re right, I’m sure there are other adventures ahead! 🙂

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