HISTORY OF KAREN and LEE Duquette AND HOW THEY BECAME FULL-TIME RV
|Karen and Lee met and married
at Pearl Harbor Hawaii. Karen was in the
U.S. Navy and Lee was in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Click on either of these two photos for photos of their first date and wedding
|Then they were blessed with the birth of
their daughter Renee and later, their son Brian.
Click on Brian's baby photo to learn more about Brian, or read about his tragedy by clicking on the "Brian" button above.
|While living in Tennessee, Karen and Lee Duquette started tent camping, then bought a pull trailer for fun trips. Eventually, they sold their house In Tennessee, moved to Florida in their pull-trailer, and lived in an RV Park in Davie, Florida full-time for awhile.
|Lee Duquette was a union electrician and they traveled wherever there was work. So they moved around a bit in their RV trailer, and eventually ended up back in Florida in 1979. At that time, they bought a house in Hollywood, Florida and settled down so their children could stay put through their high school years.
Karen and Lee Duquette spent three years researching trailers and motorhomes and decided that they would prefer a motorhome, not a pull trailer. They sold their big full-size conversion van and bought a Chevy HHR because they read that it would make a great tow vehicle, known as a toad. Karen named the car "MOB" which stands for My Orange Baby.
|They put their house up for sale and sold off most belongings, except for the necessities of life. Then they each put in their retirement notice at work so they could become the two RV Gypsies and travel full-time even on their limited, fixed budget.
|They bought their motorhome (RV), and chose
a 40-foot Winnebago Vectra RV and named it AWO which stands for "All
We Own" because they no longer owned a house, (although they will
always have a car to tow behind their RV).
Click on the photo at the left to see photos of AWO on the date of purchase.
The two RV Gypsies wanted their tow car (toad) which is known as MOB (My Orange Baby) to somewhat match their motorhome, so they gave it a make-over with decals to match the design on the RV. Check out the photos of how MOB got redesigned by clicking on the photo at the left.
|Then came the time for the two RV Gypsies
to leave their children and grandchildren and travel the USA and Canada
full-time. Here is love to all four of you while we are gone. But we will
be back often to visit you because we will miss all of you.
This was the hardest part of becoming a full-time RV Gypsy. But the hardest part of their entire lives was learning that while they were on their first road trip, their fantastic son Brian was murdered in his own home in Orlando, and the family will never be the same.
Time passed and after driving over 16,000 miles in 7-months time, including almost 3 months in Alaska, the two RV Gypsies decided that their toad, (known at that time as MOB "My Orange Baby") just wasn't big enough. Plus MOB really took a beating on the Alaska Highway in the Yukon. So the two RV Gypsies splurged on a 2010 Ford F150 Lariat crew cab with cab cover, custom ordered.
|It was a very long truck and the cab cover
made it look longer, so the truck became
MOB #2 - "Monster Out Back" - So they went from towing MOB #1- "My Orange Baby" to towing MOB #2- Monster Out Back.
Time passed and the two RV Gypsies decided that they wanted a 4-wheel drive jeep so they could enjoy some off-road adventures. So Lee bought a used jeep and they went from towing
|Unfortunately, MOB #3 only made it from Florida to California, then it totally died. It needed a part that was not being made anymore. The two RV Gypsies really goofed buying the jeep because they wanted to rough it up on dirt roads with it. So they had to buy another car. Karen Duquette really tested her brain to name MOB #4 but managed to do so and since it has no luxury options, this toad became: MOB #4 - Minimal Of Bling. Karen hates this toad - it is small and cramped. But they will keep it until it dies.
|This was the license plate on the front of MOB #1.
|This is the replacement license plate on the front MOB #2. Because bad road conditions make it necessary to change this plate now and then. This one has also gotten messed up. They cost a lot of money, and this time the protective shield on it caused the problem because sand got between the protective shield and the photo.
NOTE: There is a wild side to everyone, the thing we are born with that makes us who we are. The need to push ourselves and take on new adventures: to walk, hike, climb, jump, and leap into the great unknown. Presently, the two RV Gypsies' wild side is the need to make each day different and connect with their own inner peace. Granted, their wild side changes with each year, but the excitement of being an RV Gypsy with no permanent house, other than their RV, leads them down the wild path that is right for them.
A partial summary of the life of the RV Gypsies traveling the USA and Canada since 2008:
- The two RV Gypsies have done something exciting in every USA state (they met and married in Hawaii) and have been several times to Alaska, plus a lot of Canada: British Columbia, The Yukon Territory, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Campobello Island, PEI, and Nova Scotia. Driving through a state does not count as being in the state, they MUST do some fun stuff while there.
- The two RV Gypsies crossed the Continental Divide in 12 different places, plus the 45th Parallel of Latitude - 1/2 way between the Equator and the real North Pole in three different states.
- They saw The NORTHERN LIGHTS while at Lake Superior in Upper Michigan
- Plus: Lee
Duquette got attacked by a grouse while hiking, had a squirrel climb up
his leg, a butterfly land on his back (these were 3 separate occasions).
- The two RV
Gypsies went to 112 National Parks / National Monuments, Four Corners
USA, the International Peace Garden, 113 different state parks (some more
than once), 68 lighthouses, 20 forts, 6 volcanoes, saw Terry Fator perform
5 times, rode through locks on the Erie Canal, experienced Spook Hill,
visited Mt. Rushmore, Mt. Saint Helens, Devils Tower, Devils Gate, Independent
Rock, Mackinac Island, Hells Gate, Stone Mountain, 15 dams, Grouse Mountain,
The Alamo, all of the Great Lakes plus the Great Salt Lake,
The two RV Gypsies have seen and photographed lots of wildlife: alligators, armadillos, Bald & Golden Eagles, Grizzly & Black Bears, beavers, big horn sheep, bobcats, bison, white buffalo, caribou, chipmunks, coyotes, deer, donkeys, elk, fox, goats, gopher tortoises, groundhogs, a grouse, guinea hens, hawks, horses, Llamas, a leaf bug, rabbits, a lynx, moose, mountain sheep, ospreys, owls, peacocks, pelicans, prairie dogs, pronghorns, ptarmigans, puffins, raccoons, red foxes, red headed woodpeckers, squirrels, roadrunners, roosters, sandhill cranes, sea lions, sea otters, seagulls, seals, white swans, black swans, turkey vultures, turkeys, turtles, whales, white goats, yellow-bellied marmots and much more - (plus wolves but they were in a sanctuary - no longer total wild).
|The two RV Gypsies want to hear from you through e-mail, and phone calls. If you have a RV travel website, please contact Karen so your website can be linked to this site and vice-versa. She will NOT link to businesses, but will gladly link to full-time RVers' sites or RV blogs. Anything to help other people who travel via RV or car.
|If you find any typos or errors on this website, please use the "E-mail Us" button above. And please remember to sign our guestbook. Thank you. If some photos don't show up on your computer, hit the F5 button, or view, refresh. That should solve the problem. Also, in the bottom right hand corner of your computer screen, (or the top right depending on your operating system and browser) put the size on 100%, 125%, or 150%, never bigger to have the pages fit your computer screen properly.