We Bought a Motorhome!

We finally did it, we bought an RV. It’s a 1991 Holiday Rambler and it’s all ours. It’s old, but it was in great condition and we got a good deal.

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There it is!

When we looked at this motorhome we were immediately impressed by how clean the inside was. We could tell it had been well taken care of. It started right up and everything seemed ok. We knew ahead of time that we would need all new tires and a number of other things. The electrical is only 30 amp due to the age and the inside is cramped and dated, but we had planned to remodel whatever we got.

We tried to call a mobile RV mechanic to inspect it before we bought it, but here in Arizona it’s snowbird season AKA peak RV season and no one was answering. Two other people were scheduled to look at the RV and we didn’t want to miss out, so we went straight to the bank. We tried to withdraw the money and were met with “I don’t have that kind of cash”. My husband and I laughed, we thought the bank teller was joking, but she just looked at us, she wasn’t kidding. We ended up with a cashiers check. By the time all was said and done we had a 37 foot RV to drive home 51 miles in big city Friday afternoon rush hour traffic. Let’s keep in mind neither one of us have driven an RV…..and we needed to get gas.

So there we were driving around downtown on tiny streets in traffic, him driving the RV, me following in the Jeep. We made it to a gas station and thanks to team work successfully backed up the 37 foot beast and pulled up to the gas pump. The pull away, well not as successful, back end sway bumped the concrete post at the gas pump leaving a minor fender bender. No big deal, there was already a dent there from the previous owner that I pointed to before we bought the RV and jokingly stated “Who cares, I’m sure we will do that within the first week of owning it”…..well make that the first day.

We left the gas station with me leading in the Jeep trying to navigate the safest way home with the least traffic. We drove as much as we could on side roads, but if you have ever used GPS on a smart phone you know that it really wants you to take main streets and get on the freeway. Then my phone died and instead of getting lost taking us who knows where, I did a crazy thing and led us onto the freeway in bumper to bumper traffic. It took us forever, and I mean forever, to get home, but we made it safely.

Did I mention we have no where to store the RV? We didn’t plan on buying it that day, we thought we would have at least a day to call storage places. So there we were with a 37 foot RV, no where to store it, and no idea where we were going to live in it. Luckily there is a small side street off of the freeway near where we live where semi trucks park to sleep, so we parked it there while we devised a plan. What was the brilliant plan I came up with? Go pick up the dogs and have a slumber party at Wal-Mart! So that’s what we did, we got the dogs, went back to the RV, and drove it to Wal-Mart. There were about three other RVs camping out in the parking lot for the night, although I’m guessing they didn’t live a few miles down the road.

First thing Saturday morning we called repair shops and found one, thank goodness.This solved a couple problems, now we had somewhere to store the RV for a bit while we looked for somewhere to live in it and we were getting it inspected to make sure it is road safe. The drive to the repair shop was nerve wracking, I followed in the Jeep and could smell burning rubber. I crossed my fingers we’d make it without blowing a tire and we did. Now we are just waiting for the verdict. Hoping we made a good purchase and don’t have to sell this one and try again.

Are We Going to Do This or Not?

It’s been over four years since we began talking about the prospect of a full-time RV lifestyle and it’s been nearly two and a half years since I started this blog. So what exactly is going on? Are we ever going to do this or is it just some crazy thought we had? When I first made a joke over four years ago about living in an RV, it was a future dream. At that time we decided yes, it was the lifestyle we wanted and it would benefit us, but at that moment it wasn’t realistic for us to purchase an RV, pack up, and go. We both worked outside of the home, I had a nursing degree I needed to further in order to do travel nursing, and our area offered limited RV selections. There was so much to do and learn. So what did we do? I finished school, we packed up and moved to Arizona, we got married, and I went back to school to further my degree…again.

We settled into life here and occasionally brought up our plans for RV living. Life was pretty good, but 2017 brought a lot of hardships, many financial. One day, after a long shift at work, I sat down in the living room on the edge of tears, we had to do something. I was exhausted, I had just worked well over twelve hours without eating or going to the bathroom. It was painful to think much of that money goes to rent and utilities for a place we don’t own and barely utilize, because we are always working to pay for it. I brought up our plans to RV, we had to do something, we had to find a cheaper way to live. We had to break out of this cookie cutter lifestyle. The remainder of 2017 brought many more changes and difficulties. My husband was in a car accident where a large truck slammed into him, sandwiching him between two vehicles, thankfully no one was hurt. My husband also quit his stressful case management job and shortly after spent several days in the hospital for multiple ulcers found in his esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. To top all this off our landlord informed us he planned to sell the home we live in and would like to know when we were going to move out.

The year 2017 was stressful, but it opened our eyes to a number of things. First of all, my husband needed to find a new job he loved, no more stressful case management and hopefully no more ulcers. While recovering he decided to start his own business and now does Ebay full-time successfully. We looked around in the fall for RVs, but had no luck. Then we had an idea, why don’t we buy a trailer home? It would be just as cheap, we can fix it up, and it will be more accommodating for the new business. It was difficult to find one we could afford, in a park that wasn’t age restricted (55+), and allowed three dogs, but at the end of January we found one. We were ready to purchase. We paid $120 to have our background checks done and credit scores ran. We gave our landlord notice and we were ready to go. We played phone tag with the lady a couple times leaving messages and she left one message. Then…….we never heard from her again. We called everyday for a week and left a message asking her to let us know either way, but got no response.

We had twenty days left to be out of our house and no where to go! Talking to my husband one night, it dawned on me. Maybe this is the universe forcing us into the plan we have had for the last four plus years. I told him it was a sign, one thing holding us back before was who would care for the dogs with both of us working outside the home or how would we make income? Now he works from home and I can do travel nursing. I said “At this point, what have we got to lose?” We began searching Craigslist and other online sources and messaging ads. We got a response from a few and set up an appointment to see one the next day.

On Friday February 9, 2018 we bought a class A motorhome. 

So are we going to do this or not? YES!!!!!

The Search Continues

It has been a hectic couple of months. We were waiting for more RVs to become available so we could really begin our search. In the meantime, my husband ended up sick in the hospital for several days. Things like this really throw a wrench in your plans, but we keep moving. We already knew prior to this that he would not continue working in his current profession due to stress levels and being on call all the time, and our little vacation at the hospital proved to us we were right. We also knew that if we ever did want to travel while living in an RV he would need a job that can go on the road.

As a nurse I have options for careers on the road, but as a case manager, my husbands options were more limited. Unfortunately for us, we are not wealthy, nor do we have trust funds, and we must continue to work if we were to travel. Another concern was both of us working full-time outside of the home, when we have three dogs and our home is an RV. These had been things we had talked about for some time, but the hospital stay gave us the push we needed to actually make a change. We took a big chance and my husband is in the process of starting a business. This is something that he can do from anywhere and allows him to work from home a majority of the time.

Now that he is healthy and home again we have started to more seriously look at RVs, but so far nothing had popped up until recently. As we get further into the fall season there are more and more available. We are heading out to look at one tomorrow and are very excited about it. We have also emailed several other prospects.

 

Let’s Try This Again

Get up at 4:30 AM, go to work for over twelve hours, don’t eat, drink, or pee, come home emotionally and physically exhausted, go to bed, wake up and repeat. All that to make a decent living, and a decent living I do make, we both do, but you would never know it. Half of it is spent on housing, a house that we barely see or enjoy, because we spend half of our time at work. We are tired of throwing away money being society’s drones, and slaves to our debt.

It was nearly 9:00 PM and I had just gotten home after a thirteen hour shift, thirteen hours on my feet without eating or using the bathroom. I was exhausted. I was exhausted nearly to the point of tears. I sat down in the living room and I didn’t have to say anything, because he already knew. It didn’t take more than a minute for us to decide it was time to go back to our original plan. This cookie cutter lifestyle isn’t for us and we’re tired of working towards a life we should already be living.

Next thing you know it’s back to planning. We know dealerships are over-priced and over-rated, but we wanted to look around anyway and get some ideas about layouts. We spent the morning looking and sure enough…WAY over-priced. We have also been on Craiglist and as expected, many ads are scams. We will keep looking and hopefully in the next month find something!

Long Overdue Update

This is the post where I apologize for being absent and not posting in so long and where I update you on random useless information. A lot has happened over the past year and we have made some big decisions, but I will save all of that for a future post. This is where you get the little day to day details on how life has been and more apologies for not posting in over a year, as well as my hopes that you’re still out there.

Of course a lot has happened, it’s been an entire year, and I must say it went by pretty fast. About thirteen months ago we made our cross country drive to start a new life in a warmer climate. I had just finished school, we had just gotten engaged, and we had been planning this move for two years. Our plans changed many times over that two year period and have continued to change as time goes on.

We started out a few years ago by just simply deciding we wanted to move and after watching a silly TV show that turned into a dream of full-time RV living. After a lot of thought, consideration, and planning, we decided it was best to hold off on that dream for the moment. It wasn’t realistic at the time. Our move date was coming up quickly and finding an RV was difficult where we were. We didn’t want to spend a lot and defeat the whole purpose of the lifestyle, but we also didn’t want a water damaged piece of junk that wouldn’t make it across country. We had no time to renovate an RV and little time to learn the ropes even though we had been researching all along.  We decided establishing residency and getting settled would be a good idea. At that time the smart thing to do was wait.

We arrived to our new home a few days after leaving Wisconsin and we loved it, our home was nice and we had a beautiful fenced in backyard for the dogs. We got settled in our new home and learned our way around the area. Exactly a week after arriving we got married. We had planned to elope before we left Wisconsin. I found the place after much online searching and scheduled the date! It was short, sweet, and perfectly us. Shortly after the wedding we started our jobs and so began the usual daily grind.

We have had an eventful year of friends and family visiting, me starting back to school…again, and adventures exploring our new home state. A lot of things have changed, but some things have remained the same, we love our new home state, we love each other, and we haven’t let go of our dream to break free of the cookie cutter life.

We Moved…

It was a long awaited and hectic move, but we did it, we finally moved. We put in our notice at our apartment complex, quit our jobs, got rid of 90% of what we owned, crammed what we could in the car with us and the dogs, and moved over 1,800 miles across the country.

We couldn’t be happier. We love it. The house is amazing, the weather is beautiful, and it’s just what we wanted. Moving is hectic and we are exhausted, but we are starting to settle in little by little.

Over the past few years ours plans have changed several times, many of which you have seen on here, but some things have always remained the same, we want to do what makes us happy and we wanted to leave Wisconsin.

Our plans may have changed over and over and they will probably change again, but we will always do whatever makes us happy. For now the RV will stand for Relaxing Vacation. Sure we will both work full-time and it’s not exactly a vacation, but the fresh start we have here and the sun shining everyday sure makes it feel like one.

We Got Engaged!

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I can certainly say that May 2016 was quite eventful for me. All in less than a week I had my birthday, graduated college, and got engaged.

It started that Wednesday with my birthday…. I had the day off, no class and no work, so I stayed home relaxing with the dogs and cleaning. The plan was my boyfriend would pick up Red Robin on his way home for dinner (free birthday burger, heck yea!). He called when he was done with work and asked me to call in our order. I was so excited for my Red Robin that I hadn’t eaten much all day and I was starving! After a while I started to wonder where the heck he was, I knew it was rush hour, but it shouldn’t take this long and dang it I’m hungry! I reached for my phone to call him and ask what was taking so long, but I decided not to be a jerk. He’s a very thoughtful guy and probably stopped to get me flowers or something, he usually does, he’s probably doing something nice. Finally, He walked through the door struggling to carry everything, and not only does he have Red Robin, but he has a vegan ice cream cake!

After about five years of knowing each other and dating four of those years I knew he loved me, but this was the day I knew he really and I mean really loved me. How? This year he came home with food instead of flowers, and not just any food, vegan food, and cake at that, ice cream cake! He knows me well!

The next day got even better with my mom and nephew arriving in town, well after I almost burnt our apartment down, but that’s a whole other story. Friday morning I was off to my last day of school. It was very surreal. This was something I didn’t think I’d be able to finish and yet there I was at the very end. It was such a different experience from when I obtained my LPN degree. This school was very different, every instructor was so kind and helpful and truly wanted everyone to succeed. I went in assuming everyone would be much younger than me and cliquey. I had the mind set that I wasn’t going to talk to anyone, I was there to get a degree and get out. Much to my surprise it was a very diverse group with quite a range of ages and some of the kindest people I’ve ever met. This past year hasn’t been easy, but these instructors, classmates, and this school made the experience so much easier than it could have been and helped me to forget the horrible experience I had the first time around.

After class I was met by my mom and nephew and it was off to lunch, it’s what we do best! We spent the day together eating and shopping and preparing for my graduation party Saturday.

Saturday rolled around and was pretty hectic. I got up early and ran to the store, then the cake arrived, and we were packing the coolers. My friend and her daughter arrived. My friend and I had appointments to get a couple piercings before the party. My boyfriend was so helpful, he could tell I was stressed out, he was cleaning the kitchen and all sorts of stuff. Then out of nowhere my brother, his wife, and two of their other kids show up (4 hours before the party). I wasn’t expecting them to come since they live so far away, so it was a very nice surprise, but a very crowded little apartment! My friend and I went to our appointments and when we got back it was time to head to the party location. We got down their and set up. We kept things simple, a couple coolers, a cake, some plates/napkins, and we ordered pizza.

Then….

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Things were going well, most of our closest friends and family were there and it was very nice. Then it was time to cut the cake, but first everyone wanted a million pictures. Then I was finally going to cut this beautiful cake when my boyfriend starts making a speech. I stopped him telling him no one was really listening, that’s when he yelled “Can I have everyone’s attention?!”. I was shocked, he never raises his voice. Then he proceeded to say how proud he was of me for finishing school and how hard I worked and how happy he has been to call me his girlfriend. At this point, I’m thinking “how sweet, he’s saying nice things about me. Now about that damn cake!”.

Then all of a sudden I hear “and I’d be even happier to call you my wife”, that’s when I about shit myself. I turned and looked at him to see him struggling to pull something from his back pocket. He finally got out this tiny white box and dropped to his knee. I was in total shock, I was 162% sure he’d never propose. I reacted like a bone head due to shock and not knowing if it was actually happening. Of course I said yes, but I was still in shock. He just looked at me, so I snatched the box from his hands, it was sparkly! Later he told me he thought I was suppose to say yes and then he was suppose to put the ring on me, but I snatched it too fast! We are both laughing in that picture, because after he proposed, as soon as he stood up, his mom yelled “Do it again, I missed it!” We thought she wanted a picture of him on this knee. He got back on his knee and we stood really still and after a minute we started laughing, because we didn’t know what was taking so long. Then she said “Well are you going to say yes?”. Here she was videoing and wanted him to do the WHOLE thing again. HAHA.

I definitely will never forget this week of events! Two things I NEVER thought would happen, I went back for my RN (and finished) and I got engaged.

It’s Graduation Day!

It seems like not that long ago we started talking about moving out of Wisconsin. In reality it was over two years ago, maybe more like three years. Then we had this crazy idea that we would live unconventionally.

As time went on these plans changed…several times, but one thing never did. We have a dream and that’s to live and not just survive, we are tired of just surviving. It doesn’t matter how many times these plans change. The whole point of this journey is that we can change our minds and that’s ok. We wanted the power to choose our destiny and to live how we want.

The idea of leaving a conventional cookie cutter life behind is scary. Heck, just getting rid of almost everything you own and moving out of state where you know absolutely no one and starting all over is scary. What if we hate it? That’s ok. That’s the point, that’s why we are doing this, if we don’t like it we can do something else. It’s our lives and we are going to make the rules. We are going to try new things and experiences and if we don’t like something we will do something else.

This year has gone so fast, it seems like just the other day I was freaking out about trying to get into school and affording it and what to do, now I’m done. I knew I could do it, but it was scary and if you had asked me two years ago, I would have said I didn’t know if this would ever happen. I honestly didn’t think I’d ever have the opportunity to go back to school. Every time I looked into it or applied something didn’t work, whether it was the student loans or my transfer credits or my job. Now I’m done.

In approximately two and a half months we are out of here!

New Plan…Maybe?

After much searching we realized all the RVs around here are high mileage, over priced, and most have water damage. So we thought about just packing up and leaving and buying one once we got to our destination. They are cheaper and in better shape down there.

Well we talked and talked…what we decided is we have three months until our lease is up and about a million things to do. We also thought about residency and the importance of that. We don’t want to establish a domicile elsewhere like most RVers and Arizona doesn’t have the services some other choice states do, which may make it more difficult and require a lot more research. Residency is something that is important to us for voting (especially with November’s election), registering vehicles, mail, etc. With so much to do, so little time, and the importance of establishing residency, we have decided to rent when we initially arrive.

Renting will not only allow us to establish residency, but it will allow us to become acclimated to the new area and our new jobs. It will also allow us to take our time in choosing an RV and not make us feel rushed into one that we don’t necessarily want, because we no longer want to stay in an extended stay motel.

I feel that all of the decisions we have made along the way have been the right ones. I think this will be a nice transition to our new lifestyle. The best part about our decision to live differently was that we decided we have options. We decided the idea is that we can do whatever the f*** we want and we can change our minds if we want. The idea is to live unconventionally and to be happy that is all that matters. As I said this will make the transition easier during a time when we need to focus on cleaning out our apartment, continuing to get rid of things, applying for new jobs, saving up, planning a move, and I need to worry about graduating!

Still looking…

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Things as usual have been very busy. I am getting closer and closer to graduation and things have been pretty hectic. We have been looking everyday for an RV, but haven’t seen much of anything. We check local RV dealerships, Camping World’s website, an RV Trader. We were looking on Craigslist for local private sellers and contacted a few, but every single one was a scam or seemed sketchy so we decided to avoid Craigslist all together. Everything within 400 miles of us is either in way too pricey, has extremely high mileage, doesn’t run well, or all of the above. We are just looking for a happy medium. It doesn’t have to be perfect, we plan to remodel anyway, but it does have to run. We have decided it will probably be best to buy one after we move. This will also lessen the chances of it having water damage as most of them around here do, simply because of the weather. So the new plan: Get rid of almost everything (that’s not a new plan, that’s been the plan all along), pack a tiny Uhaul and hitch it to the back of the car, and head out. Once we arrive wherever we decide to call home we will get an extended stay hotel until we find the RV we want.

We have still been working on getting rid of all the action figures on Ebay. I hear that “cha ching” constantly and we go to the post office everyday, but we still have so much left. I swear those figures are multiplying! I’ve started applying for jobs and I’m still working on cleaning out this apartment. Doing so many things at one time, it’s a bit overwhelming, but this is how I work all the time! Can’t wait to see what the future brings and really can’t wait for school to be done!!!!