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!

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!!!!

Back to the Drawing Board

So…. this past weekend we went RV shopping and truck shopping…kind of. Well, that was the plan anyway. We already knew what we wanted, it was just a matter of finding it. I should probably back up and mentioned that a few weeks ago I totaled my car. Yep, I sure did. That kind of forced us into doing things a bit sooner than planned. I will remind you, the original plan was to trade in both of our vehicles closer to summer and get a truck and a fifth wheel. Now with one vehicle we were forced to make a decision much sooner, which actually turned out to be a good thing, because there is a lot to decide.

We decided to live with one vehicle and just get our truck and fifth wheel sooner than planned. I started calling around to see what was out there and we made some plans to go see some stuff this past weekend. I had spoken with a salesman at an RV dealership over the phone and the next day received a text from him stating to let him know if we needed any assistance…”that’s nice” I thought, and I told him we would probably be in that weekend to look…then he wanted to know what time. He’s a salesman I get it, dude lives off of commission, so I let it go.

We went to the dealership Saturday morning. We looked around and he answered all our questions and I told him we had already spoke with our bank and all we wanted was a write up of costs to take back to the bank. Well turns out he sold the unit we went to look at (but failed to mention that the night before when we spoke), but hey no worries he can sell us this newer version for only ten grand more! We were quite hesitant and he was quite pushy. We told him we wanted to think about, after all it is a large purchase! He kept asking what the problem was and what would change between now and five hours from now when they close. My boyfriend explained he felt it was important that we look at trucks first. The sales guy started making deals and he offered a decent price so we said “ok, write up the paper for the bank”, then he wanted us to sign something and make a deposit and that’s when we said no…and that’s when he got mad. We made that no pretty firm when he couldn’t guarantee that we could get our $500 deposit back if we changed our minds. Again he began asking what the problem was and he thought we were ready to make a decision. I was honest and told him we don’t like being pressured and he was being far too pushy. He made a comment about us saying we were going to make a decision today and that now we had to…that’s when my boyfriend hopped up out of his chair and said “WE are the buyers and WE make that decision, not you”, and we left.

The salesman texted me about an hour later asking how our truck shopping was going. He called about two hours later and left a voicemail asking if we got a truck yet. He then sent another text an hour after that. I finally replied stating we hadn’t found a truck and would be going with a different RV (one he claimed he couldn’t get us), he replied “let me know when I need to do things on my end”. WTF??? On Monday I again received a text asking about how our truck shopping is going. Needless to say I am no longer replying to the sleazy salesman.

So long story short we didn’t buy anything and are now back to the drawing board and looking at all possibilities and options once again….Come July we are outta here!

Ebay Store

As usual things have been busy and pretty crazy around here. I am just starting a new position as a nurse extern at a hospital here and school just started for this semester. I am also still working casual at my previous job. The boyfriend has been working his busy ten hour days at work and then coming home to post stuff on Ebay. He opened an Ebay store  (check it out!) due to the amount of items we have. So far we are making some awesome progress with that. We have been able to sell around 70 items thus far and that still leaves at least 85% left! We cleared out our storage unit and brought everything back home, so it’s been a bit cramped, but slowly improving as we sell stuff.

Any which way we look at it, it’s getting scary close to go time. We are so excited, yet nervous about getting everything done in time. We have been doing a lot of talking about the little details and making plans. I graduate in four months and our lease is up in six months! Now that I typed it, I am even more anxious…that’s not much time! Oh well back to work!

Ebay and Etsy

The semester is over! We have been really busy trying to get things moving along. We have been listing all kinds of stuff on Ebay to start clearing our stuff out. I opened an Etsy shop to sell crocheted scarves made by my boyfriends grandma. They are just beautiful, I love infinity scarves. There’s an RV show we will be attending in the beginning of January. Lots of exciting things going on.

Check out the Etsy shop! Like and share this post on Facebook to be entered in a drawing for a free scarf!

Https://RealGrandmaInc.etsy.com

 

 

 

 

So Much To Do! Decisions!

It feels like there is no possible way we can get everything done that needs to be done. We did book our next flea market. It will be the fourth weekend in October and it is a huge flea market that happens once every few months. We plan to try and sell some of the precious action figures. There is so much we have to do and only about nine months to do it all. We have all these big things and important things to do and figure out before we can go anywhere and we can barely figure out what to eat for dinner!

We have been doing a lot of research in regards to RVs and we actually started quite a while back when the topic first peaked our interest. Lately our research has been more serious, what do we actually want to live in? Originally we wanted a Class C motor home and wanted to trade in both our vehicles and get a smart car. The more we talked we decided against it for the following reasons…

  • If the motor in the RV breaks down our home goes to the shop with it. Hotels can add up.
  • An RV motor is more expensive to repair than a car or truck motor.
  • You can’t legally move about the RV when it is in motion (originally we were thinking the added comfort while driving would be nice)
  • The dogs would have to be crated and strapped down or seat-belted.
  • The motor and cab of the Class C takes up room that could be additional living space.
  • A smart car would be nice and easy on the environment and it’s purpose would be for getting around once we are parked somewhere…But it would be mighty cramped with two people and three dogs in a tiny smart car.
  • A larger vehicle would allow for more storage space and allow us to pursue some of the travel jobs we want to get into (like storage auctions, more flea markets, ect).

So, after much research and reading we decided a travel trailer or fifth wheel and a truck would be a better choice for us. We still don’t know a brand or exactly what and aren’t sure if it will be a fifth wheel or travel trailer I have read about both. What we do know is that a travel trailer/fifth wheel will offer more usable living space (due to no engine), if our vehicle is in need of repair we still have a home, and a truck will allow more storage space. Although neither of us likes the idea of a gas guzzling pick up truck, it will allow for more storage, and I feel overall we will be leading quite a minimalist lifestyle and hopefully that makes up for it a little. We both believe in a minimalist lifestyle and doing as little harm as possible.

We haven’t gone much further as far as looking at RVs, but we do have several dates written down for RV shows we plan to attend early in 2016. We have also been looking online and seen a couple brands/companies that we like. One that we are in love with is the Wohnwagon (the website is not in english), but this offers more information in English. We loved the Wohnwagon, because it is home-like, well designed, and very self-sustainable. The home insulates itself, has a composting toilet, and also has a water recycling system. They are also customize-able. The other brand we are interested in is Grand Design RVs. The reason we like Grand Design is because they are designed for full-time or long-term living. They are more home-like and have more qualities one would look for. They come with nicer furniture and larger refrigerators. The thing we really liked was that they don’t look like campers or have those ugly patterns and tapestry!

Overall we realize that no matter what we get we will definitely have to do some customizing. There are certain things we know we absolutely want and we can’t find all those qualities in one RV. We will find a layout we like in a quality RV within budget that is closest to meeting our needs and customize to our hearts content.

Do you have any thoughts or advice on finding the right “home”?

Financial Survival…

In today’s world it’s hard enough making ends meet as a two income household. In our house it was two adults with college degrees working full-time. While the bills were paid there was still a strict budget and not much left after that, which is why we want out of this lifestyle and into full-time RVing. That being said, we can’t just toss all our belongings today, trade in our cars, and buy an RV. We have to make it through the next ten months while I finish school. We need to save some money, research, and plan.

BUT…Being in school full-time, the nursing program at that, I am no longer working full-time. Our rent and utilities alone are about $1,250 a month! So how do we make this work? First there is the obvious ways, my boyfriend still works full-time at his regular job and is looking for a second job, and I still work every other weekend.

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Action Figures: My boyfriend has an extensive collection of action figures that he began collecting years ago. These are his prized possessions, but he did begin collecting with the intention of one day selling some of them. He also realizes we have to get rid of most of our stuff in order to fulfill this dream and is more than happy to. We haven’t sold any yet, but many of these are vintage toys and are worth some money or at least what he paid for them. We have spent countless hours taking pictures and inventorying hundreds of action figures. Thankfully there is still a small path through the living room.

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Ebay: In the past we have sold on Ebay and we recently sold a few things and plan to unload some of the action figures this way. Ebay, however, is not my favorite avenue, the fees get ridiculous for one. My biggest issue with Ebay is there is a lot of buyer protection, but very little seller protection. No matter how many pictures you take or how well you describe an item, the buyer still did not see the item in person. If the buyer decides they simply don’t want it and would like a refund, but don’t want to pay return shipping, they simply have to claim the item was defective or not as described. Most buyers are great, but there are still plenty of jerks out there and when a situation like that happens you not only refund the item price, but also the shipping, which puts you in the hole. Customer service is of very little help to sellers and these situations can be quite frustrating.

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Flea Markets: We decided we also wanted to explore flea markets as an option. So last month we rented a space at our very first one. We chose a large flea market close by that is open every weekend. It’s nothing glamorous, but it was our first time and we wanted something to learn on. Because we were just learning we brought a number of random items, but no action figures or anything very valuable. We figured we have to get rid of stuff anyway, so why not try and sell it. Over all it was a great day, the weather was beautiful, sunny, and in the 80’s. We sold quite a bit of stuff and profited almost $200. We spent about eight hours there, we brought our cooler with food and drinks, and spent the day talking with one another and selling our stuff. I also spent a good portion of the day applying and reapplying SPF 50 and still managed to get a little burnt. I wore capris that day and towards the middle of the day propped my legs up on the cooler…..three weeks later I still have a mid-calf tan line. Pale girl problems.

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Random Internet Jobs: I have over the years tried a number of ways to make money online. At one point I answered questions for ChaCha, a text service where people sent in random questions. That paid I believe two cents a question, so if you had time you could eventually make a few dollars. I have used Inbox Dollars, a survey and task site, in the past and have started using it again. Inbox Dollars is by no means a get rich quick thing or a job replacement, but it is simple enough that if a few times a week you have ten minutes to do a few things you can over time accumulate some money. I have also in the past answered nursing related questions for a website of “experts”. I can’t remember what it was called, but people would buzz in and you would chat with them over the computer about whatever questions they had and you were paid by the minute at whatever rate you set. The issue with that was sometimes no one called. There are many other things I have thought about trying, but haven’t yet such as, shadow shopping, advertising on my car, transcribing, virtual assisting, and a number of other things. I’m sure there are a few others I have tried as well over the years, but forgot to mention.

So what have you tried? What are your thoughts? What has worked? What hasn’t? What is worth the time? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments and feel free to link your blog posts about making extra money!