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Hibernating Through Life–Time to Wake Up

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“You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book … or you take a trip … and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death.”   ~~The Diary of Anaïs Nin 

Ask yourself this, are you hibernating? You might answer, “Of course not, I’m not a bear, I can’t hibernate!”  But the great majority of Americans can and do hibernate their way through life. In fact their hibernation is so deep they think they are fully awake when in fact they are just sleep-walking through life. There is little joy or happiness in them, just the empty motions of going about the business of being alive. Oh sure, they try to fill their lives with hobbies and activates that bring them the illusion of living but just how much time do they have for happiness?
Their lives belong to their employer (or their business if self-employed). They sold their time and life’s-energy in exchange for money which is nothing but little pieces of paper that are an IOU promising them happiness. Of course the little piece of paper couldn’t do anything for them directly, they could burn it and stay warm very shortly, but otherwise it has no other value at all.
No, the only value in the little pieces of paper is to buy you things and a shelter to warehouse those things.  But that rises a critical question, “Do those things and having a shelter to store them in make you happy?” Sadly, none of us know for sure because we have to keep selling our time in order to buy more things and to pay for the house to store them in; how could we know, we’re never there to use them?
And even if you ever were there in the house, does anyone really believe that those things will make you happy? If they did make you happy, wouldn’t you stop longing for and buying new things? And yet we never escape the desperate hunger for more, newer, bigger and better things. In fact the old things usually end up in the trash very quickly because they failed to bring us the promised happiness. “But, this new thing, that’s the magic ticket! I’ll finally be happy when I get it. But, it’s expensive, so I may have to go deep into debt to get it and then take a second job to pay for the debt. But it will be worth it to finally be happy!”
The insanity of that thinking completely escapes us because we are hibernating our way through life. We are sleep-walkers, going through the motions of living in a dreary fog of work~eat~sleep ~buy … work~eat~sleep ~buy … work~eat~sleep ~buy….
How could we have possibly ended up like this? Is there any way to break out of the dream and become fully alive and awake?

It’s very difficult to wake up! You see our entire society is designed around keeping you a sleep-walker. Every element in the American Dream acts as a tranquilizer to keep you calm, controllable and mold-able.
Fear: You are bombarded by messages of fear warning you of the tremendous danger constantly lurking everywhere around you, ready to pounce on you. Practically all of it is grossly exaggerated, you are in no real danger, but because of the fear in your heart, you are happy to sleep-walk through life in order to avoid seeing the imaginary terrors that are all around you! Better to be hibernating with my head in the sand than torn apart by night terrors!
Advertising: Every day each of us are bombarded by hundreds or even of thousands of ads. all of them scientifically crafted to increase your longing for more and better new things. That hunger and craving for more stuff ties you to your job every bit as certainly as chains tied the slaves to the Masters Plantation.
Education: Every minute you spend in school had one goal, warping your clean pure mind into that of a brain-dead productive citizen.  You had to be smart enough to handle the slave job that you would end up in, but not smart enough to risk you waking up from your hibernation. So the virtues of conformity were placed in front of you constantly—you were bombarded with messages every moment of every day with the supreme importance of traditional values.
Distractions: The greatest risk to the well-oiled machine we call society is that your unhappiness will become so great that you might rebel against it and actually seek some happiness. That must be prevented at all costs! Force won’t work so you need to be kept so distracted that you won’t notice your discontent. So just like the Romans watching the Gladiators, your life is filled with constant, pleasant distractions.

  1. Sports: are the direct equivalent of the Gladiators except the blood is kept to a minimum. But we all keep watching and hoping to see some, and eventually we do–just never enough.
  2. Hobbies: How many Americans use hobbies on their day off from work to make their lives bearable—an incredible number! It can be anything from gardening, hiking, camping, building things, arts and crafts, the possibilities are endless—just so long as for a few hours I can disappear from the drudgery of my life.
  3. Drugs and addictions: Addictions come with many faces, some are ugly and vile but others are beautiful and appealing, but each of them are intended for one sole purpose, to get us through another miserable day in our tedious, dreary, monotonous lives. The number and variety of addictions we use is staggering! Many are legal addictions like 1) tranquilizers 2) alcohol 3) compulsive eating 4) compulsive shopping 5) compulsive sex and love 6) compulsive working and success 7) compulsive gambling 8) and adrenalin junkie. And then there are the illegal addictions like drugs, prostitution, stealing and crime. No matter if they are pretty or ugly, they are all the same thing.

A Test to See if You are Awake

How do you know if you are hibernating through life? You seem to be fully awake but if you are sleep walking, you’d think you were awake even when you weren’t. So I propose a very simple test that is based on one of my favorite quotes:

“You’ve got a lot of choices. If getting out of bed in the morning is a chore and you’re not smiling on a regular basis, try another choice.”  Steven D. Woodhull

Answer these questions as honestly as you can:

  1. Do you dread work days and the only bright spot in your life are your days-off and vacations?
  2. Do you look forward to every new day, month and year; or just endure it until the mythical “golden years” get here and you can finally be happy?
  3. Are you smiling on a regular basis? I don’t mean when you seek out mindless distractions to try to endure another grinding, miserable day. Anyone can smile when you go to a comedy show or ride a roller coaster.
  4. Are the only good things in your life your various distractions? The mere fact you need to seek them out to put a smile on your face should tell you something very important.
  5. How often does a spontaneous smile come to you as you are doing your daily routine? Just a simple, little grin at how good and happy your life is! And I don’t mean on an especially good day when something goes really right, anyone can smile then. No, on just another day with nothing special going on, just a small feeling of joy will well up from deep down inside you and you think to yourself, “Man, I have a really good life.” In the first 40 years of my life, that never once happened to me—I mean never! In the last 8 years of my life, it happens on a very regular basis! What made the difference? I woke up from my hibernation!

If you don’t like the answers you are getting from this test, isn’t it time for a change? You really do have other choices!
Just like in the quote from Anias Nin at the top of the page, it took a shock to wake me from my hibernation. In my case it was a divorce that rocked my world and forced me into living in a van. That was enough to rattle me awake and forced me to confront my own misery—and do something about it. I was confronted by a terrible choice, wake up and live or lay down and die. It was a very hard and painful choice, but I decided I would live. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done but now I’m so glad I did!
Today, an incredible number of Americans are waking up and becoming aware that they have been hibernating their whole lives. They are suddenly aware that they’ve been sleep-walking and their lives are empty, shallow and meaningless. They are nothing but wage-slaves, drones in a hive making someone else rich while they barely survive month to month. I see it every day on my website, forum and Youtube Channel. People come to me hungry for a change, searching for a choice and a new way to live–because they can’t endure the old one any longer.

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation.  ~Henry David Thoreau

What happened, what has caused all these people to wake up?
In 2008 when the world economy slid into a deep recession, the resulting chaos sent a shock wave across the whole planet, but it was especially bad here in the USA. Suddenly the fragility of our lives was made crystal clear to all of us. Millions of Americans lost their jobs, their savings and then their homes. Suddenly the American Dream was revealed for what it really was, a Nightmare. The extremely weak recovery that we are in is the continuing shock wave that is waking people up. Their lives have turned bad and there is no hope for a better future. The fear and distraction that are supposed to numb us to the truth are no longer working, it’s finally dawning on the general public, “Is this as good as it gets? There must be a better way!”

There is a Solution

“It is very important that you only do what you love to do.

You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may lose your car, you may have to move into a shabby place to live, but you will totally live.

And at the end of your days you will bless your life because you have done what you came here to do.

Otherwise, you will live your life as a prostitute, you will do things only for a reason, to please other people, and you will never have lived…

and you will not have a pleasant death.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

The solution is very, very simple, refuse to do anything that you don’t love and doesn’t make you happy! We each need to throw off our indoctrination and begin to do only what we love to do instead of what we are told to do. Of course balance is required, you must always do some things you don’t want to do like, 1) brush your teeth and go to the dentist, 2) get some kind of exercise, 3) be nice to people you don’t really like, 4) pay your taxes and 5) work to make some money. Let me summarize:

  • You always have to do temporary, short-term, less-pleasant things.
  • But you must reject life-dominating things that rob your soul of all it’s joy.

So what am I saying? Do we only do things we love or don’t we? Here’s the point, don’t do life dominating things that you hate. When I lived a “normal life” I hated nearly everything about it and liked only a few, tiny aspects of it. We  must reverse that!!  I still have to do some things I dislike, but mostly I love my life.

  • Most of your life should be spent doing things you love!

  • The minimum amount of time should be doing the few things you must do but dislike.

If you’re reading this post, chances are what you love to do is travel and have adventure—so do it! Sell all your worthless crap, buy a van or RV and hit the road. Most of your life will be drastically happier even though you still have to brush your teeth, get exercise and work at seasonal jobs. There is no such thing as perfect freedom, each of us needs to make some money and do some planning for our future, so you will still have to work and make money somehow.
But even as you are working your seasonal job, you’ll know it’s only temporary. Maybe you can work 3-6 months a year and because you live so cheaply, have plenty of money to live the other 6-9 months. Some people work a full year, then take a year or two off with no work. How much better will you life be then!! Hopefully, you can find a job you love, or at least actually like. I really enjoyed being a campground host and I had many moments of spontaneous joy doing it! Smiling was a genuine and regular part of it!
No, your life won’t always be easy or fun or even pleasant—sometimes it may be terrible. But you’ll be alive and awake and you’ll feel pain and joy, sorrow and exhilaration. Only the sleeping or the dead never feel those things!
But best of all, on a regular basis a sense of joy will bubble up from deep within you that brings a big smile to your face, and you’ll spontaneously say, “Man, do I love my life!”–that’s worth whatever the cost!

I will not die an unlived life 
I will not live in fear 
of falling or catching fire. 
I choose to inhabit my days, 
to allow my living to open me, 
to make me less afraid, 
more accessible, 
to loosen my heart 
until it becomes a wing, 
a torch, a promise. 

~ Dawna Markova

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  1. Lucy

    W O W, brilliant !!

    • Bob

      I appreciate that very much Lucy! Bob

  2. Cae

    Life is a series of compromises. I guess the trick is to compromise as little as possible.

    • Bob

      Well said. That’s one reason why I love the Elizabeth Kubler Ross quote so much, it presents both sides of the story but invites you to take a long view and not just momentary pleasure or pain. Each compromise must be weighed with a view of the success of your whole life. Bob

    • Jim adams

      well put. For me it will be one more year of hibernation and then I will become a permanent tourist(my destiny).

  3. Juanita

    I choose the red pill!

    • Lucy

      Yup, the red pill is the right choice for 99 % of the world population, it’s just many of us don’t see that we make up this matrix from which is very hard to escape. 1 % call the shots, 99 % follow ‘ the big & powerful’s desires ‘, Mondo canNe !!

    • Bob

      Good choice Jaunita! Bob

  4. Ken

    So true. If only more people would admit this about our society and choose to break free from the hidden bondage.

    • Bob

      Thanks Ken, the good news is that more than ever are. Bob

  5. feelinfroggy

    Wow. What a wake up call! So many jewels of wisdom to ponder. Thank you.

    • Bob

      Thank you very much feelinfroggy! Bob

  6. Brad Maybury

    Your writing continues to improve Bob! Keep the inspiration coming; it helps me a lot. Two months ago I moved into my garage converted into a studio so that I have no house payment. I’m now on a 3 year plan for no debts and enough savings for early retirement with the goal of living in my camper in nature most of the time. Hope to see you and others at the 2017 RTR.

    • Bob

      Brad that seems like a great plan! One day at a time keep doing little things that move you forward and you will get you to the prize! Bob

  7. Bob

    This may be your best post ever!

    • Bob

      Wow! Thanks Bob, I really appreciate that! Bob

  8. Cindy

    So true! I am in that trap right now. ?

    • Lucy

      Most of the population IS, take the red pill girlie !!
      My regards, Lucy.

    • Bob

      Cindy, that’s just what it is a trap. Very hard to break out of it. Bob

  9. Steve

    I sure can relate to the quiet life of desperation. I am living in comfort and misery at the same time. But I really don’t have any choice that I can see. If I strike out on my own I don’t think I could live very well on $600 a month that I receive from Social Security. Yes, I could try to get one of the jobs mentioned to help, but at 65 I really don’t feel like getting back into the harness. What a delimma!

    • Bob

      Steve, so how are you living now, $600 will barely pay any kind of rent? Once you eliminate house payments and utilities you can live MUCH better in a van than you could while paying those things. It is possible live to live on $600 a month in a van without any costs for housing.
      It’s the dilemma many older Americans find themselves in, SS is too small to live on but they are unable to go back to work. For many vandwelling is the only good choice. Bob

  10. Josh

    You’re an inspiration, Bob. My family downsized in the spring, and we’re spending the summer up in Canada exploring. Now we’re looking for an RV so we can live this way full-time. All four of us are on board with the lifestyle. Thanks for what you’re doing!

    • Bob

      Josh, you are very brave to make the leap, it isn’t easy and few can do it! I believe you will find it is worth the risk and sacrifice and in the long run you will be very glad you did. Bob

  11. Dave

    Reminds me of the Alan Parsons song … “Do You Really Live”.
    Excellent Post.

    • Bob

      Great reminder Dave! Bob

  12. Bob B.

    Hi Bob , five years ago I was what corporations call down sizing, a legal way to get rid of older employees. I was fifty eight at the time. When the Boss called me into her office to to terminate I was happy to finally be out of the rat race! The job was just to good to quit but to get laid off with a severance was great. Since then I’ve been attending “cheaper rv living university ” baught a trailer and been doing short trips. My wife is about to retire and we hope to travel some. We will keep our home for now as a base to be close to our children and grand kids. I would like to thank you for all your hard work. It must be a labor of love for you to help so many people like me. Perhaps some day I will find you and thank you in person. Until then safe travels. Bob

    • Bob

      Bob, what a great story!! Thanks for sharing it with us. Maybe you can make the RTR one of these years! Bob

  13. Marshall

    No time to hibernate. Only time for the Lord and fun!
    Seven years vandwelling now and no intentions to stop whatsoever. We are in complete control of our lives with no extraneous pressures at all.
    Best part of vandwelling besides the freedom and fun is that I own my life. I am accountable to nobody but the Lord and my immediate family.
    Best choice I ever made was to walk away from that (in hindsight!) miserable life pleasing everybody but myself in the name of the good life.
    Good bye misery and hello life. Freedom forever!

    • Bob

      Thanks Marshall, that sounds like a wonderful life indeed! Bob

  14. John

    Bob, most of your post is pure nonsense. To think you’re “free” because you don’t have house payments and you live in a van is just plain silly. Everyone has restrictions in their lives and if one thinks they don’t and are truly “free” just try and have a large group of internet friends all meet at the same time on public land without a permit.
    I have a nice little older motorhome and enough social security to hit the road permanently. I’ve even spent a few consecutive months at a time on the road and it seemed like the traveling wasn’t near as much fun as arriving at a destination. Then there’s the possibility of a major breakdown or getting rousted at three in the morning and being told to hit the road.
    Bob, not everyone has the background, income or line of b.s that you have. You’re selling “snake oil” dreams.

    • Bob

      Thanks John, I appreciate your point of view, but obviously I disagree. Bob

      • Lucy

        Bob, I just read something truly amazing ( at least to me ) the lady with the blog ‘ Life on the open road ‘ has been a nomad for 17 years, so kool ! And Randy – Mobil kodgers- has been on the road more than 20 years, WOW !

        • Bob

          Lucy, yeah, I’m just a kid compared to some Nomads! The road has been calling people for a very long time!!

    • Canine

      I was quite surprised at how wasteful I was and the amount of stuff I had. The vast majority of that stuff didn’t matter, yet I “had” to have it. Looking back I find it an odd way of thinking.
      I like how you emphasize the need to work and support oneself while shifting the value placed on “stuff” toward other things that matter. Everyone has different values, and that is good; however, we need to recognize what truly has value for each of us. Getting away from the prison of a 30-year mortgage is quite liberating and is high on my list of what is valuable. Having a much smaller impact on the environment and others is way high on my list as well. Vandwelling goes a long way towards feeding those values.

      • Bob

        Thanks Canine, that’s very wise and well said!! I agree 100%

  15. Tony

    Awesome Bob. Been downsizing for three years. It has been rough as I was totally conditioned by our cultural consumerism. On the road in 2017. Your site is a deep supply of “many ways to do it.”

    • Bob

      Tony, I love to hear stories like yours, thank you so much for writing in. My camp is always open to you! Bob

  16. Cindy

    Hi Lucy,
    I want to take red pill, make the leap. I have made poor choice in vehicles and have a new Honda Fit. Not sure I can live in it and work with two dogs. Do RV places or state forest campgrounds let you stay in your car if you are a host?
    Believe me I am thinking how daily. 🙂

    • Lucy

      Hi Cindy, I’m not an expert on the van-dwelling subject, but I figure that due to the space you need, a car will not do it for you and your 2 fury kids, but @ van will. Bob Wells is the guru on this subject- no doubts about it. His Blog is wonderful, it addresses most of the questions van dwellers may have & the solutions to many problems as well.
      On the very top of the blog main page is the menu there you’ll find a treasure chest of information & chances are most of the answers to your questions will be there.
      As for taking the red pill & making the leap you are right, its not easy for anyone. Best wishes on your future enterprises. Lucy.

      • Bob

        Thanks Lucy, very well said! Bob

    • Lucy

      Workamper News Magazine, check this one Cindy ! Hope it’s of help.

      • Bob

        I’m also a big fan of Workamper! I joined, submitted a resume, and instantly had 3 job offers. It works. Bob

    • Bob

      Hi Lucy, you can live in the Fit but it is difficult and only a very few can make it work. The minimum you must have is a comfortable bed in the car. I’d strongly suggest you try to make a bed in it by laying all the seats down flat but the drivers seat. If that won’t work then I’d strongly consider taking out the passenger seat and storing it. Build in a platform to make it level with the back and That should make a comfortable bed. You will mainly want to camp OUT of it, but when traveling and during bad weather you must be able to sleep in it. Maybe a Yakima or Thule boxes on top.
      where I was in the Sierras NF we had some remote campgrounds and the hosts there stayed in tents over the summer, so those jobs do exist, but they are few and far between. Most want you to have a van and most want you to have an RV. Any chance you can trade across for a minivan–that would work well for you.

  17. John Dough

    That was some powerful stuff.
    Much of what you wrote spoke directly to me.
    My time in the rat race is limited, my house is paid off as of this month, I have rents coming in, and I have a 4×4 van ready to be converted for camping, maybe part-time, maybe full time.
    I just need to hang on for a bit longer and save up to buy my freedom.

    • Bob

      John, now I have a heavy dose of 4×4 van envy!!!! I understand the need to stay put until you are ready to go. I did that while I waited to get old enough to retire and my kids turned 18 and were out of the house. Make good use of this time, dedicate yourself to getting ready for your new life and the time will fly by! Bob

      • John Dough

        I would love to see your adventures in a 4×4 van, where you’d go and how you’d use it.
        Don’t be too envious, mine is pretty banged up with a couple dents and a really bad paint job. Not stealth at all with the 6″ lift and 35″ tires either.
        I kind of envy a clean stock looking van.
        I’ll post my camper conversion here when the time comes.

        • Bob

          John, that makes me feel a little better! But I’m sure it’s still an amazing rig and will serve you well! Love to see pictures! I’d strongly suggest you join my forum and post a build thread there! You’ll get all the ideas, help, encouragement and friends you could ever need. Find it here:


  18. Taxpayer

    Lets think…is it a good thing REALLY.. to rely on and feed off an ever growing corrupt government bureaucracy (the people working) controlling are probably one who votes for the “progressive” party with the most government handouts..pension + SSI? Lucky for you there is still enough of other peoples money and all of of us “hibernating” hardworkers sti paying into a increasingly corrupt system generating checks for you. Am I missing something? What is most moral system of govermment and which creates the most prosperity for the most citizens? socialism is fundamentally flawed and evil. Go ahead edit my comments out.

    • Bob

      Taxpayer, capitalism appeals to the worst in human nature–greed and selfishness; and therefore it works extremely well. Go back in American history and you can see it doing very vile things to make the Robber Barrons rich at the turn of the century. It worked, they all got very rich but everyone else suffered. Of course the idea of infinite growth at any cost is preposterous on a very finite planet. Today we are seeing the results and by the turn of this century the planet will be very unpleasant for humans.
      Socialism appeals to the best in human nature which is wonderful but it dooms it to utter failure. Never has worked and never will.
      We’re trying to blend the best of both and it’s working okay but it continually swings back and forth and instead of getting the best of each, we get the worst of both. It too will inevitably self-destruct.
      What to do? Fuck-em-both! They are both SHIT!! I reject them and urge every thinking person to reject them BOTH!! If at all possible, try to overcome your programming and think new thoughts. I have no idea what is going to replace them, but whatever it is has to be better than choosing between destroying our environment (Capitialism) or inevitable tyranny (Socialism).

      • LouiseE

        Actually, I’ve never seen or heard of a large-scale government system that works well for all the people involved. A variety of small-scale systems do pretty well, though. Maybe humans just can’t connect to each other/care about each other when the numbers get too big.

        • Bob

          LouiseE, I agree 100% with your analysis. When we were hunter -Gatherers, we lives in small tribes and bands and thrived. But when we adopted agriculture that inevitably led to cities, towns and states which inevitably led to civilization, which is the mother of all HORRORS.
          In every way, when it comes to humans, smaller is infinitely greater and that includes group size and government. Bob

          • Greg

            And apparently that “group size” is 74 or fewer!

          • Bob

            Greg, it does seem that way doesn’t it!! Bob

      • Ann

        Well said Bob!

        • Bob

          Thank much Ann! Bob

    • Marshall

      We payed into the system and now it’s time to reap the benefits of our investment.
      There is no reason for your anger. We were hard working, tax paying, voting people. Now we are enjoying our retirement. Is’nt that what all Americans are supposed to do?
      Your time will come soon enough.
      I suggest you meet it with happiness.

  19. Greg

    I love that quote by Anais Nin. Thanks so much for posting your thoughts. I think I took the blue pill years ago without even knowing that I did it (like most of us).
    I’m not in the USA but it’s the same where I live. Your words reach around the globe. Thanks Bob.

    • Bob

      Greg, the Matrix movies are such an incredible analogy for modern life–pure genius disguised as an action film. I’m glad you know you took the blue pill, that means you are on the right path now! Bob

  20. Rex Miller

    Great essay!

    • Bob

      Thanks much Rex! Bob

  21. Cindy

    Yes I am looking at Workamper and reading Bob’s blog which has given me lots of great information!
    Thanks so much Bob! And Lucy. ?

  22. Ann

    Another great article Bob! Thank you. I am 50 years old. Have been working for 34 years. I have 120K saved in a 401K and IRA and 15K in cash which I think is enough to live on until I am old enough for ss especially if I do some seasonal work. I have a 2010 Prius with the solar package which I would love to live in (like Suanne) but I have 2 cats and 2 Chihuahua’s so I will sell that for a van and possibly a little fiberglass egg if the van space isn’t enough. I have been in an upside down mortgage since the crash in 2008. I am FINALLY almost at the point where I can sell for what I owe. As soon as I can do that I am gone. I have been researching this way of life for a couple of years and although I do feel some fear I know it is the life for me thanks to your blog and youtube channel Bob and many others who are happily living this life. I can’t wait. ~Ann

    • Bob

      Ann, your hard work and sacrifice all these years is about to pay off!! You are so young that you probably have great health and vigor and the rest of your life should be sheer joy!The very best is just ahead for you!!
      I think you have an excellent plan! A van and and a fiberglass trailer is a nearly perfect combination! If you aren’t, you might want to follow RVSue and crew, she lives in that exact combination and is very happy with it. Like her, I also highly recommend the Chevy Express van.
      I’m hoping to meet you at an RTR one of these days! Bob

      • Ann

        Thanks Bob! I have been reading RVSue’s blog for years. I love her setup. Yes, I will def get a Chevy Express because if possible I would prefer to live just in the van. I will only expand if necessary for my pets. However I am hoping I can give them enough outdoor time that the van will suffice. Live Simple Live Free! 🙂 I think I read that you recommend the 5.7 Chevy Express. Do you think the 1500 is ok or do you recommend a different model? Thanks again! ~Ann

        • Bob

          Ann, the 5.7 is an oldie but a goodie, but the newer 5.3 is vastly superior!! That’s hard to do because the 5.7 was a truly great engine. The 5.3 beats it in every way, more power, more reliable, easier to drive and much better MPG! The 1500 is fine, but if you think you will be towing the 2500 would be better, everything is made a little tougher to handle the extra work of towing.
          Hope that helps. Bob

          • Ann

            Thank you for responding Bob. I appreciate your expertise. I am going to look at a 1997 21′ American Cruiser (Dodge RAM 3500 VAN) for $14980. The ad says the following: in a very good shape. All new front linkage, enhanced steering column, enhanced struts, all new shocks, new helper springs in the back, just installed rear transverse stabilizer to make riding insensitive to winds and multiweeler comovers. Two brand new Fantastic fans, everything works including ONAN generator, hot water heater, 3-way fridge, shower, toilet, you name. Brand new 13″ TV/DVD.
            I have heard the Dodge Rams are great vans. What is your take on this vehicle if you don’t mind me asking? Thanks again!

  23. Tina

    Wow, just love these kind of posts Bob! I’m shaking off the hibernating and coming alive. Once you get out there and feel in your soul how alive you feel, nothing will get in my way. Hope to see you again at the Winter RTR.
    Take care,

    • Bob

      Sounds great Tina, see you then! Bob

  24. Vanholio!

    Whenever I start to oppress myself with oughts, shoulds, and “good” or “reasonable” ideas, I always ask myself, “What would I do if I only had six months to live.” Then I try to get as close to that as possible. Took me decades to figure it out, and following my own advice is still an act of mental rebellion at times. Vanholio was once such a “good” boy!

    • Bob

      Vanholio, that is a very, very wise way to live!!! You have my full admiration for that! Bob

  25. Carolyn

    Excellent post. Not everyone can let go of their fear to see another way.. We don’t all buy into the capitalist propaganda that has been shoved down our throats.
    I’m glad we have you to share your experience and show others that there is another way.
    thank you!

    • Bob

      You’re right Carolyn, very wise–as usual! I’m actually one of those who could not let go of their fears, I was forced into it kicking and screaming!! But having been through it, I think it’s important for me to share with others that it is an option for them. Thank god many refuse to swallow the poison hook line and sinker. But, still, I write to those who have and are starting to be open to another choice.
      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. Bob

  26. chris

    I am 65 and stay in seniors apt housing price by income and my rent is 300 by low rents I am able to travel to the places in the states on my bucket list. I saved and have enough savings and ss to be ok. I don’t have to work but I do ebay I pick up interesting items that will sell if I made 200-400 a month on a few items I am happy.
    I am not ready for the total van experience but I like the idea of using a car and made it like a van to travel 2-3 months a year. they are ways to start instead of waiting try it and find out what fits your situation. we can let money stop us waiting for perfect which never comes but using our minds and help from others to see some peoples don’t let anything stop them they find a way. so power to the people

    • Bob

      Chris, you are such an inspiration! You could sit back and watch TV but instead you are out living and doing! Yes, keeping your apartment and using your car to take trips in would be the perfect balance! If at all possible you should try to get into a minivan though, the MPG will be nearly as good and you will enjoy the extra space a lot more. On the other hand, if you can live with the tiny space of a Prius, you could have unlimited electricity from the drive batteries. That would let you have air conditioning all the time! Bob

  27. Steven

    This is very insightful! It made me rethink about my life choices!

    • Bob

      Steven, I love hearing that, that’s why I do it! Bob

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