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Xscapers Profiles: Stacy and Justin Ford

Xscapers Profiles: Stacy and Justin Ford 1

Who is Traveling With You?

We are a married couple with an old, rescued yellow Lab.

How Long Have You Been On The Road?

Xscapers Profiles: Stacy and Justin Ford 2

March of 2020 was our 3 year Nomad-iversary.

Are You Part Time or Full Time?

We have been full time RVer’s since March of 2017. Prior to moving into our RV in 2017, we camped during weekends, holidays and vacations with our two daughters.

What Kind of RV Do You Have?

Xscapers Profiles: Stacy and Justin Ford 3

We have a 2016 Grand Design Solitude 5th Wheel that we drag with a 2012 Dodge Megacab Dually. 

What Got You Interested In Living The RV Life?

After our youngest daughter left for college, we started to really re-evaluate what the next chapter of our life was going to look like. Were we happy going to work, coming home, and mowing the lawn on the weekend, for the rest of our life? We considered ourselves young empty nesters. Spending the next 30 years working for our dream house we never had time to spend enjoying, made us feel there had to be something more fulfilling. Living more intentionally, giving back to communities who need us, and making memories instead of collecting stuff was important to us.  

How Do You Fund Your Travels?

Justin retired after 20 years of service from the US Navy Seabees in 2010. We get a small pension and most of our medical insurance is included in our military retirement. About a year after we started traveling, an amazing opportunity presented itself to Stacy, and she works remotely as a Pinterest Strategist and Team Leader. This gives us some extra fun money to spend on things we wouldn’t normally do.

What is Your Camping Style?

Xscapers Profiles: Stacy and Justin Ford 4

For the first 2 years we were on the road, we almost exclusively camped off grid (boondocking). In 2018 we spent a total of $48 in camping fees for the whole year. And that was still zero days paying to be plugged into a pedestal. In 2020 we became first time grandparents. The east coast isn’t as easy to find boondocking locations in, especially since we’re wanting to be in a specific location. So we recently bought a camping membership to make RV parks more affordable for us. We typically do not travel fast at all. We love to get into an area and explore for a couple weeks. On travel days, we try to drive no more than 200 miles. If you look, the things you can explore in a 200 mile radius are amazing.

What Do You Seek Out When Traveling?

We love historical, off the beaten path, hidden gem places. We enjoy finding something different and unique to see. We do love exploring the popular places too, but we also tend to do that exploring during the weekdays, and off season if we can. We are drawn to waterfalls, slot canyons, mountains, lakes and caves. We do enjoy the coast, but typically will choose the mountains and lakes over the coastal beaches.

What Has Been Your Favorite Experience So Far?

Xscapers Profiles: Stacy and Justin Ford 5

We are asked this a lot! Each and every single place we’ve experienced has been our favorite at the time. We are living a life where every day is a gift. Finding our “road family” has made all our experiences just that much better. Sharing the same love and core understanding for life with people you have so much in common with can make all your experiences a little sweeter.

What Has Been The Hardest Aspect For You While Traveling?

As strange as this might sound, we try real hard not to live with expectations. Life is still life. Things break. We all have bad days. We all have days we don’t feel good. And we all have days where things don’t seem to go right. But we know this has nothing to do with RV life. This is just simply life. We are both very positive people, and in the end know that even on the not so good days, things will look better the next day. 

How Many Xscapers Convergences Have You Attended?

8 official ones, and at least a dozen pre-convergence and post convergence get-togethers.

Are You Introverted or Extroverted?

We are both extroverts. We enjoy the big gatherings, but also love the informal small groups of friends. 

Tell Us Something Weird or Fun About Yourselves.

If you’re looking for a strange or weird tool or that RV part you’d never expect anyone in the RV community to have “just laying around”, Justin probably has three of them that will get the job done. Not even kidding! Those of you who know us, are laughing right now!  

Would You Rather Deal With A Leaky Sewer Hose or a Flat Tire on the RV?

Leaky sewer hose. It may not be what most of you would think. But we installed an extra dump valve just before the sewer connection hose, and if we had a leaky sewer hose we could easily stop the flow (cleanly), unhook, and just go get a new hose. It is much cheaper and easier for us than a flat tire. Which we’ve had.

Do You Have Any Advice For Others / What is the Best Piece of Advice You’ve Received?

Xscapers Profiles: Stacy and Justin Ford 6

Our best advice is leave on this full-time journey debt free. There is a misconception that RV life is cheaper than living in a sticks and bricks house. But it all comes down to the fact that your bills are still your bills, no matter where you live. If you can leave with the least amount of debt possible, you will have less stress. Even if you work remotely, your job is never promised. Also, stay positive. When something goes wrong (and it will), remember it’s just temporary. Stay calm, rely on each other, or your road family to help you. That is truly the best part of the RV community. There is always someone willing to help either physically or with advice on how to fix your situation. 

Where Can People Find You Online If They Want To Follow Your Travels?

Website: www.optingoutofnormal.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OptingOutofNormal

Facebook  RV DIY Solar group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RVSolarDIY

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/optingoutofnormal

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/optingoutofnormal/

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