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About Us

nell and ralphedited2We are Ralph and Nell Parker.  We are vagabonds, gypsies, wanderers at heart.

I retired from a not very exciting regular job in early 2009 to paint fulltime, focused primarily on landscape painting.  Nell retired in early 2012 and we started travelling.  This blog begins with our first major milestone, the purchase of a 1998 36 foot motorhome in early 2011, and documents the journey from there.

Changes in locations and lifestyles aren’t new to either of us.  Nell has lived in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Texas.  I’ve lived in Texas and New Zealand.  Together,we have lived in Texas, Georgia, and New Mexico.  For a short time, we had our own little hole-in-the-wall art gallery in Ruidoso, New Mexico.  We’ve done art markets and festivals in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

I started these chronicles long before we became fulltime RVers, which has allowed us to share the run-up… the preparations… all those things that took us from “newbie part-timers” to “fulltime RVers”, including the process of selling our house and unloading almost all of our worldly possession.  We have gone from a 1998 36 foot Holiday Rambler motorhome to a 2003 36 Bounder motorhome for a short time. We now live fulltime in a 2008 36 foot Montana Mountaineer fifth wheel in an RV community near Georgetown, Texas.  In 2015, we acquired a 1995 28 foot Class C motorhome to travel in. We’re still trying to decide if that was a good idea or not.

Ralph Parker

15 Comments leave one →
  1. derek culbard permalink
    December 23, 2011 7:16 pm

    read your blog everyday ralph…live the dream………………question ..could you do this solo

    • December 23, 2011 8:01 pm

      Derek, it’s good to hear from you again. I’m assuming you’re wondering if a person could live and travel in an RV on their own,and the answer is absolutely. I read a lot of RV blogs and forums, and it’s surprising the number of people who live this lifestyle solo – people of all ages. Certainly, in a rig the size of ours, it’s good to have a co-pilot who can check blind spots on the highway and watch the passenger side on turns… and it’s really helpful to have a spotter when pulling into a gas station, or backing into a campsite. But I’ve made a couple of solo drives, and I find that the more I do it, the more confident I am, and I think with practice and experience, one could handle almost any situation. As far as setting up at a site, and dealing with the routine things, like sewer dumps, etc., those are my jobs anyway. Now… if you can’t cook… which I can’t… that’s another subject.

  2. Ralph Libone permalink
    June 6, 2012 2:18 pm

    Nell and Ralph, You guys looks so happy and relaxed. I am so happy for you. I know you deserve it. Blessings on your travels. Please be safe and enjoy all that life brings you. Nell,I miss you alot. Thank you for being my friend for all these years. I am glad you guys are living your dream. Love and Blessings. Ralph

  3. Rita permalink
    January 1, 2013 2:15 am

    Good evening.

    As the clock counts down, I’d like to say BEST WISHES and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you. Hubby and I enjoy your blog and hope all is well since you haven’t posted in the past month.

    We wish you safe travels and many new adventures in 2013.

    Rita & Jim in Idaho

    • January 2, 2013 4:52 pm

      Hi Rita! Aside from the aches and pains of getting older, all is well with us. I’ve just been lazy during the holidays. I’ve received several notes like yours, so I guess I’d better get back to work.

      All the best to you and Jim in the new year!

  4. Ivy permalink
    February 2, 2014 10:15 pm

    I just found your blog. You guys must be having fun and enjoying life. I just bought a 2003 Bounder 35E myself. Any tips or suggestions? I live in Tennessee and plan to do some local camping in my area and drive down to Port St. Joe Florida in July for a family week long camping adventure. My thought was to test out the RV lifestyle before I retire in seven years. Any and all suggestions are welcomed.

    • February 3, 2014 7:01 pm

      Hi Ivy,
      I suspect most of our issues have been the result of neglect by the previous owner, but here are a couple of tips: First, compare your inside propane monitor with the one outside on the tank. Our inside monitor doesn’t work, and we almost ran out of propane just before a freeze. Second, go to Home Depot or Loew’s and buy a toilet line auger. It looks like a long flexible spring with a hand crank on one end. You may never need it, but because of the 2003 Bounder’s toilet plumbing design, the line can get clogged. Once we got ours cleaned out, we tend to use less paper and a lot more water. I dump a little more often, but that’s a lot better than opening up a clogged toilet line. I’m assuming you know to use “septic safe” toilet paper. (Look for those words on the package.) All the best. Good luck and happy travels!

  5. Ivy permalink
    February 3, 2014 11:03 pm

    Thanks! The monitor work correctly before I drove it 280 miles. At the end of the drive the outside showed1/2 and the inside showed full. I am going to wait a day and see if giving it time to settle changes anything. I am assuming I can replace the monitor if needed. So far the only issue is the right hand power mirror quit working and the dealer said it is the switch. Yes, I knew about the septic safe and will go get the auger. All suggestions/tips are appreciated known or unknown. Where are you two now?

  6. Bella permalink
    May 24, 2014 12:10 am

    The picture of the red barn on Utica, ohio…do you have any other photos of it? It was my Great grandfather’s Blacksmith shop I believe.

    • May 26, 2014 10:56 pm

      Bella, the blogs go pretty far back, so you’re going to have to be more specific. What blog post did you see the barn on?

  7. July 17, 2015 10:01 am

    You make me think of my parents 🙂 They weren’t artists, but travelled a lot in their VW-bus in Europe, sometimes for months in a rented motorhome in the US and then also other organized culture travels in Asia etc. They had a wonderful house, but as soon as they were at home for a week (and there were no odd jobs), they had new travel plans and soon went on their next trip to see cultural art, nature etc. They did this for more than 30 years after an early retirement. Parts of it captured in about 125 large albums.
    I miss them. They loved to live simple, I think they were happiest in their old VW-bus.
    Maybe I have the bug too; am thinking of living in a small van and traveling, now that the kids have their own lives.
    Thank you for blogging about your lives and art! It is very inspiring.
    Best wishes! 🙂

    • July 19, 2015 5:25 pm

      Sita, what a nice note! Thank you for sharing the description of your parents and their travels. About the time I wonder if I should continue this blog, I get a note like yours and it inspires me to carry on. Follow your dream and go for it. We bought our first motorhome when I was in my mid-sixties. We love it. Let us hear about your travels!

      • July 20, 2015 12:22 pm

        Thanks for the kind reply and encouragement 🙂 I love to read your blogs, so yes please, carry on!
        On my search for information about painting with gouache I stumbled upon them.
        It’s inspiring to read how you combine art and traveling. I will be 61 this month, so there’s still time 🙂
        By the time I will start traveling, I’ll let you know! First I’ll explore painting outside – until now I just did figure drawing.
        Best wishes to you and your family!

  8. August 1, 2015 11:31 am

    Hello! 🙂 I send you this post because I really like your blog!
    If you want to accept this nomination, go to the site below for details.

    Note: as a fairly new blogger I have understood that the nomination is only meant to be an encouragement and a nice way to make your favorite bloggers known via your blog site – and of course it’s okay not to participate, but I hope you will 🙂


  1. Three Day Quote Challenge; Day 2 | Sita Rasa

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