Bob had the great fortune to retire young thanks to some generous stock options he got early on in his career. During his first week of retirement, I didn’t know what we were going to do with ourselves. By Day 5, he was driving me absolutely insane just puttering around the house. By the end of that week, we had both decided it was time to get out of town and do some traveling, while we had the time, money, and health. With no jobs and all of the kids now out of the house, we had nothing tying us down to North Carolina.

We never had the opportunity to travel when we were young, first because Bob was busy investing in his career and then because the babies came along. What started as the idea of doing a little traveling, somehow morphed into buying an RV and the dream of spending half of our year on the road, exploring the country. I never ever saw RVing as part of my retirement dream. If you had told me ten years ago that we’d be driving a huge motorhome across the country, I would have gotten a good laugh. But, the more we talked about traveling, the more we realized how practical an RV was. I’ve never been a fan of flying or sleeping in hotel rooms where thousands of other people have bedded down. Plus, there were the pups to consider. There was no way we could afford to board them or emotionally handle spending half of our time apart from them. We wanted them to be part of our retirement adventures – they love hiking and exploring just as much as we do. So buying an RV seemed like the perfect solution. It’s a traveling home away from home, where our canine children can come along for the ride.

Here's our monstrous home on wheels before we drove it off the lot.

Here’s our monstrous home on wheels before we drove it off the lot.

Bob set to work finding the perfect motorhome with a zest for his research that only a retired engineer can possess. He made an Excel spreadsheet and started plugging away, comparing styles, brands, prices, dealers, and every other component he could think of. After analyzing his work, we both decided that a Class A motorhome would be most ideal, because at up to 45’ long these are the most spacious RVs on the market, offering plenty of room for two adults and 3 grown dogs. Winnebago was the extent of my RV brand knowledge, but Bob came across a luxury brand, Tiffin motorhomes, which are made right here in the U.S. Bob scoured dealerships all over the country looking for the best deal, and finally found one in Fort Worth, TX that had the model we wanted at a good price. We left the dogs with our daughter who was home from college, and flew out to Texas to meet the dealer and make sure all of our questions were answered. Two days later we were rolling home in the monstrous house on wheels, the Allegro Bus, wondering what in the world we had just done.

Captured on our most recent weekend adventure to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I don't think I'd do this in our brand new RV again...narrow, winding roads!

Captured on our most recent weekend adventure to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I don’t think I’d do this in our brand new RV again…narrow, winding roads!

The pups love their new 2nd home! We are gearing up for a big trip across the country this summer, but we’ve done a handful of extended weekend trips with them along, and they seemed to enjoy those immensely. The larger of the two couches towards to the front of the bus has room for all three dogs to lounge or look out at the passing scenery. And at night, there is plenty of room to pull out their dog beds and lay them on the floor in the front of the bus, so everyone gets a good night’s rest. As we get more experience RVing with the dogs, I’ll add more posts with tips about traveling!

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