It’s been quite a year. Over 40,000 miles traveled and Twenty-Eight states visited. We were on the road in our Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 197 nights, had awesome adventures and more than a few setbacks. And through it all, our excitement and enthusiasm for the small motorhome lifestyle remains as high as it was when we began RVing nearly five years ago.

Looking back at the year here’s five of the most important things we learned from our travels in 2015.

Stuff is Just Stuff – Our May robbery while we were eating dinner in an upscale shopping center just across the Mississippi from St. Louis on the Illinois side taught us that things can be replaced. Yes, its no fun being robbed. But insurance took care most of the loss everything I needed was able to be replaced and when bad stuff happens, how we react to it determines how bad it really is. We determined not to let this stop our plans pr steal our joy. It didn’t.

Health is the most important thing we have – When Jennifer came down with a case of bacterial pneumonia in June and had to be hospitalized for three days while we were camping in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana, we learned that you can’t ignore warning signs. Her worsening cough as we traveled through the West should have sent us to seek medical help a lot sooner. But even in the middle of the mountains, we found first-rate health care in a great little hospital in Red Lodge. That taught us that health emergencies on the road are not a cause to panic. Excellent medical care is pretty available everywhere.

RVers and the most friendly people you will ever find – Caring, too. When Jen was hospitalized, two members of our group boondocking in the mountains, generously took Tai, or Norwegian Elkhound and spoiled him rotten so I could be with Jennifer as much as possible. When Tai died in July, we heard from literally hundreds of Roadtrekers who expressed condolences to us and offered comfort. As we’ve traveled, RVers have offered us places to stay, shower and camp. Many have invited us to dinners. At campgrounds, we’ve had readers and listeners to our podcast drive out to visit us or park their units near us to visit. This is so much more than a community. It’s a family and wherever you travel, you have family.

When things break, they can be fixed – Mobile RV service repairmen are all across the country. There are RV service shops everywhere. In Florida, when I fitting on my freshwater fill broke loose, a mobile RV service was on scene 15 minutes after I called. On ten minutes, he had installed a new part. In Pennsylvania, when our Sprinter blew a gasket, the emergency towing service provided owners by Roadtrek had a wrecker out to my location in an hour. They towed the unit to a town 35 miles up the road, did the engine repair for us (under warranty) and came back to where we were staying to pick us up and take us to the dealership to pick up the van. When a tossed football was not caught by some teenagers in Georgia and my side window was shattered, Roadtrek sent replacement glass to a local glass dealer and it was soon repaired.

The RV is Our Home – We’ve long noticed how good we sleep in our Roadtrek. This summer, while on a vacation trip with two of our three adult children and their families in Maine, we chose to sleep in the coach, rather than the bedroom we had available to us in the 125-year-old house we had rented on the seashore. In the Roadtrek, we had our own bed. Our own private ensuite bathroom. All our clothes were there. We enjoyed the beach, the porch, playing games in the big rambling house with the family, but when it came time to turn in, our Roadtrek was right there in the driveway. Home.