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I've Never Seen Someone Ask These 3 Important Questions Before Their RV Journey

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

You are ready to buy an RV, or you've already got one, but if you haven't thought through these 3 questions you won't REALLY be prepared for the journey. 🚙

Today I'm going to talk about why a proper mindset is more important than having roadside assistance, and why your family's ultimate aspiration is a bigger deal than knowing your GVWR. 😲

As someone that is excited about travel you can't wait to hit the road. You're also ready for some of the unexpected hazards that are certainly going to come your way. But if you've prepared for flat tires and low bridges but you haven't decided the GREATER purpose for your trip then you'll miss the boat. 🚤

Did you know that RV sales have SKYROCKETED over 600% compared to this time last year? You probably did. But with all the videos out there telling people which RV to buy, and even some information that the experts want you to know about before your trip, 

I've Never Seen Someone Ask These 3 Important Questions Before Their RV Journey.

You are ready to buy an RV, or you've already got one, but if you haven't thought through these 3 questions you won't REALLY be prepared for the journey.

My plan is to start going live each week to cover some of the tips and tricks you’ll need to know if you plan on spending any time in an RV yourself. So I want you to start thinking through the challenges and hurdles you’ve been mulling over but didn’t know who to ask. If one pops into your brain I want you to drop it below so I can make sure to address it in one of these videos. Even if you’re watching on the replay, put it in there and I’ll keep coming back to check things out.

If we haven’t met before, I’m Jim Miller - I help families have a clear path to smoothly transition their lives into the RV that’s perfect for their family so they can live the dream they never thought possible, whether it’s for 14 days or 14 months. I do this through my signature M.A.P.S. process,  walking my clients through all the steps they’ll need in order to take their next adventure.

Let’s dig in.

1 - What changes do you need to make to your MINDSET?

Before you hit the road the first thing you need to work on is your MINDSET.

A great place to start is to take some time to think through this question: “What are the changes I need to make in my expectations?” Here’s how it played out for the Miller family.

For a full year before we started to transition into an RV, Amy and I kept hearing the Lord tell us to simplify our lives.

The fact is, if you’re on the road you might not have the space for your entire spring wardrobe. But that’s ok. Living with less has helped us begin to learn that we didn’t actually own our possessions, they owned us. Here in the U.S., we’ve been lulled into a sense of security. We have possessions that we use to help us have comfort and peace. Unfortunately, this is a false sense of security that comes and goes like the wind. That wasn’t the way we wanted to live.

So take a minute to consider, what are some of the things that “OWN YOU”? No judgment. 🙂If you're going to struggle getting rid of it then it’s worth taking a look at.

In other words, before you begin you need to SET YOUR MIND

2 - What is your family's ultimate ASPIRATION?

The second area to work on is your Aspiration

…..If you’re like me, that word brings with it a little bit of an 80s music flashback...

(🎼🎶🎸“Aspirations in the clouds, but your hopes go down the drain, and you want her….”🎶🎸🎼)

Back to our story:

If you don’t hear anything else I say today, please hear this. The aspiration you establish for your family is going to be the biggest marker for success that you could come up with. 

When we started traveling we honestly missed the mark on this one. It wasn’t until we had been traveling for nearly a year that I started to get a better picture of what this could mean to our family. So please, learn from my mistake. 

We were standing in one of the many National Park visitor centers, reading through the history of that area of the country, when it suddenly hit me. The story of those people was intertwined with the stories of two of the other people groups we’d recently read about. All of a sudden this section of history came alive, and I began to see some of the beauty of experiencing different parts of the country, and not just reading about them. A few months later we were driving through Colorado when my 6-year-old son said, “Dad, that must have been a volcano!” 

“Why do you say that?” I asked.

His reply set me back a little. 

“Because it’s covered in basalt.” 

After I looked up what basalt was (it’s a volcanic rock) I realized that he was doing much more than reading about the science of the formation of the places we’d been visiting, he was ABSORBING IT. I may have studied volcanoes in 7th grade, but he had walked on them, picked up the rock that spewed out of their calderas, and now he had a better understanding of them than most 7th graders could ever dream of. 

In other words, our children were gaining life experiences that no science class could hope to replace. 

I’m not even going into the experience of reading a book about the Santa Fe trail, then looking up and seeing a sign that said, “Welcome to the Santa Fe Trail.” Or talking about the Oregon Trail the week before we rode in a horse-drawn carriage on a trail designated by the National Historic Society as being part of the actual trail, seeing the ruts carved out by wagon wheels hundreds of years before. I’m not even bringing up the experience of walking up to the Grand Canyon, or hiking to the top of Stone Mountain, or standing next to the farmhouses on Mormon Row in the shadow of the Grand Teton mountain range, or watching Old Faithful erupt, or… 

Well, you get the idea. My children have experienced the country in a way I never had. And so have I. 

Not originally, but over time our family’s Aspiration had evolved to become something greater than I would have originally imagined. I wanted my kids to experience some of what makes our country great. 

But there is still something greater. 

We left Kingwood, Texas because God told us to go. And each step of the way we’ve felt God leading us, guiding us, helping us, challenging us, and encouraging us to grow in our faith. As we’ve gone to a new city, or a new state, we’ve made sure to let our kids know that we were there to help people see that God has a purpose for their lives. We’ve met some amazing people, and our kids have been able to watch as God has done some great things in their lives, and the lives of the people we’ve met. 

Ultimately, the aspiration that we’ve reached for is the chance to grow in the way we serve God and to realize that God isn’t a tribal God, He is the God of the entire diverse country. 

Now let me also encourage you, sometimes the best aspiration you can have is to unplug and unwind! Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap. Don’t discount the fact 7th maybe your family’s aspiration should be to get away for a while. But if that’s the case make sure that the things you’re doing on that trip serve that ultimate purpose. Be laser-focused on what you’re doing and your purpose in doing it. That way, at the end of your time in the RV, you will have no regrets. 

3 - How are you PLANNING for your trip?

Finally, the third area to examine is my wife’s favorite: PLANNING

Imagine this: Once a month, or maybe even every week, you took your house and shake it for a couple of hours. After a few times of doing this, what do you think is going to happen? 

Something is going to break. 

Part of your planning process should be to prepare for things in your RV breaking. Whether it’s planning for a flat tire or planning for your slides to break you need to be ready. It’s not IF your RV is going to break, it’s a matter of WHEN. 

We’d been living in our RV for a couple of months when we had our first pseudo-disaster. We were driving west on I-10 during rush hour when we got a flat tire. To make things worse, it was over a mile before the next exit. We ended up driving 35 down the highway for a mile, with cars honking at us, and then we drove off the highway and into a field beside the road. It was an hour before a tow truck was able to come to change our flat tire and get us on the road again. But things would have been much worse if we hadn’t had a plan for what to do when we had that type of emergency. 

On top of the plan for what happens when something breaks, there is also the plan for how to travel. Where can we stay? How do we find RV parks or free places to park? How do we find places to visit when we get to a new city? 

A little confession here. Every place we’ve visited we had a list of things we wanted to do in that city. But the scary thing is that our list of things to do was bigger when we left than when we first arrived. This has happened almost every single place we’ve visited and I never would have imagined it. 

This idea was reflected when we went back to Kingwood for a couple of weeks. While we were there I was talking to a friend who asked me what my favorite place had been that we visited. I asked him, “In what way? Do you mean family-friendly? Or beautiful? Or fun? Or something else?” He said, “Well if you had a week to live where would you want to go back to visit?” My answer surprised me. I told him that I would want to go someplace I’d never been before. In my short time of traveling, I realized that this country has more to offer than I could hope to experience, and I want to try to experience as much of it as I can. 

In our travels, we’ve learned some really cool tricks for how to find places to go in those places and the best ways to get there. Some of these are “insider tips and tricks” that we love to share with our friends. These tips have made a huge difference in our experience around the country, and I know they would make a big difference in yours as well. 

While your traveling you’re also going to look at some accessories to help make our time on the road successful. Some of these accessories are expensive, especially now that there is such a high demand for them. But how do you know which ones you’ll want, and how do you know which ones are a waste of money? As an example, there is a $15 accessory that I hate to be without. I also have a $400 tire pump that was some of the best money I’ve ever spent. But on the other hand, I’ve got some expensive accessories that we never pull out of the closet. 

To wrap up I want to tell you a story about my college days. My brothers and I were sitting around in my apartment in Houston. We had another three days left before it was time for us to head back to our respective lives at school when I had a crazy idea. I realized that it was about a 24-hour drive to get to the Grand Canyon. That meant that we could take turns driving and get to the Canyon, then we would have 24 hours to experience it before it was time to go back to our respective homes. If we jumped in the car we could have the experience of a lifetime!!! But, cooler heads prevailed and we decided not to do it. 

If that story sucked the life out of you. If you thought to yourself, “Oh my gosh! You totally blew it!” Then I want you to think of what the 10-years-from-now version of you would say to you about traveling in an RV. 

Would that decade older person tell you this was the chance of a lifetime, and that you should take it? Or would they say, “Don’t do it?”

Up until this point we’ve addressed the questions of Mindset, Aspirations, and Planning. But now it’s time to look at a bonus. 

The final stage we work our clients through is called “Set, Go!” This is the moment that all the ducks are in a row and it’s time to get off your duff and get on the road. For many of us this can be the toughest step. It’s amazing how comfortable we can get in our daily routine, and many times we will wait until the “perfect time” to go, and before we know it we’ve missed our chance. I can’t tell you how many stories we’ve heard of people that bought an RV to prepare for retirement, then someone got sick, or even worse, someone passed away, and they never lived their dream. I had the good fortune of living out my dream of visiting the Grand Canyon, but that hasn’t happened for my brothers, and maybe it never will. 

Sometimes we need a little push to move us forward, to help us take the next step to do the thing that’s hard. 

I hope that today you’ll take some time to think through your mindset, consider your ultimate family aspiration, think about you’re 

planning, and how you’ll take the leap in order to “Set, Go!” 

If you are struggling to think through some of these concepts then please reach out to me and let’s talk about it. Here on our website click to set up an appointment where I’ve got a free 30-minute call to help you look at these four questions and see if I might be able to help walk you through them in a way that would benefit your family. 

I hope to see you on the road one day. 

Safe travels.

Watch the full video below:

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