On Columbus Day weekend in 2007, Joan and Gary Dollarhite left Maine in a used, 34-foot RV, bound for a 15,000-mile adventure through 46 states with their 2-year-old son.

Joan, who was raised in Cumberland, and Gary, a native of Virginia, quit their jobs in Washington, D.C., and sold their house to see the country and spend time with their son. She had been working in the legal department at the National Association of Broadcasters, and he had been working as a real estate appraiser.

“We were living in northern Virginia, and our son was in day care. We were commuting and working long days,” Joan Dollarhite said.

Towing a car from the back of the RV, the couple made it to every state except Alaska, North Dakota, Montana and Hawaii. They finished the trip in Virginia in May last year. They sold the RV there and bought a car and drove to Gorham, where they live now.

The story of their trip is the subject of a book that Joan Dollarhite wrote, “Life from the Right Lane,” which was published in January. It is available for $22 at PublishAmerica.com or $27 at amazon.com.

For their next excursion, they hope to hit the lottery and boat along the nation’s rivers and lakes. The couple is now house sitting in Gorham for her parents, Jack and Annie Sutton, who are sailing in the Bahamas.

Joan is a full-time mom, and Gary is a radio program producer for the Portland Radio Group, which owns several stations in Maine including WGAN.

Q. What did you do with your personal possessions after you sold the home?

Gary: Put it all in storage. We learned to live with a lot fewer things. We’re still living with a basic wardrobe.

Joan: We’re still nomadic. It’s what we need day to day.

Q: When your son is of school age, where would you like to settle?

Joan: Probably the mid-Atlantic region. Maybe North Carolina.

Q. How much did the RV trip cost?

Gary: The total cost was about $30,000 for eight months on the road.

Q. Who did the driving?

Joan: Gary did all the driving. I did all the cooking. Tommy did all the playing and most of the crying.

Q. How many hours did you spend on the road each day?

Gary: I never drove more than three or four hours.

Q. Any mechanical problems?

Gary: Luckily, not too many repairs. The first weekend, in Rhode Island, we had an electrical short in the RV and a cooling fan in the car.

Joan: We drove into Newport (Rhode Island) smoking and steaming.

Gary: It wasn’t a good way to start the trip.

Q. How about flat tires?

Gary: One flat tire in the campground in Phoenix.

Q. Where were you on Feb. 2, 2008?

Joan: We did errands in Phoenix. We shopped in Phoenix. We went to a health pool at a campground. I burned cookies in the oven.

Q. What amenities did your RV kitchen feature?

Joan: The kitchen was small but efficient. Three burners were plenty. The oven was small and didn’t heat evenly.

Q. How many gallons per mile did the RV average and how expensive was gas?

Gary: Between nine and 11 miles per gallon. We averaged paying $3 a gallon.

Q. What scenic area is the most memorable?

Gary: Moab, Utah. Arches National Park and Canyonland National Park.

Joan: The scenery was spectacular. It took our breath away.

Gary: The entire West is just amazing.

Q. Was there one area that stood out as the most challenging for driving?

Gary: Our worst day was driving for two hours between Cheyenne and Douglas in Wyoming. A sign said winter advisory. Winds were 50-60 miles per hour.

Joan: It was white knuckles all the way.

Gary: There was nowhere to stop.

Q. What advice would you give others planning a similar trip?

Gary: The biggest thing is to choose the RV interior design carefully. The bathroom was tiny.

Joan: Be flexible. The day won’t always go as planned. We didn’t plan more than three or four days ahead.

Q. What did your friends think when you told them of plans to sell and travel?

Joan: Half thought it was wonderful. The other half thought we were crazy, we were ruining our lives.

Gary: My friends thought I was a nut.

Q&A – Couple explores life from the ‘right lane’ in new book

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