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.

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!!!!

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!

RV Show #1

As a kid growing up in a small town I remember going to the “Boat and Home Show” every year. The show was held in the high school gym and featured everything from RV’s to home improvements and what not. As lame as it was in a tiny town, I loved going. The tables always had free candy or pens to give away and I never turn down free stuff. I remember looking at all the fancy stuff people could do to their homes and then walking in all the RV’s and thinking how cool it was. Back then in my mind, RV’s were for rich people, we had tents…or the back of a pick up. They were so fancy, a mini home away from home. At that time I never imagined I’d be buying one to live in full-time.

At the end of Summer 2015 I did research on all the RV shows in our state and marked them on our calendar. Turns out one of the all time biggest RV shows, The Wisconsin RV Show was right in our city. I looked it up and was ecstatic, they had RV’s, tow vehicles, and seminars. On Friday, January 8th, 2016 we set out for the RV show. We were both pretty excited to look around, after all in less than six months we will be purchasing our new “home”. This just made it seem more like reality and less like a dream. The show was held in downtown Milwaukee. From the moment I saw the address and we drove down there I was baffled as to how they would get all those RV’s/Trailers into a building downtown. Who the heck wants to tow something like that through downtown and better yet what building can accommodate all that? Let’s not forget, how will they get them into the building???  We arrived late morning and were directed to the third floor of the Wisconsin Center. Yes, third floor, at this point I was totally confused as to how they got all those RV’s and stuff to the third floor of a downtown building.

When we got to the third floor we were absolutely amazed by the amount of stuff they fit up there and all the things to see. I was still unsure how everything got in there, but at this point I was so excited to look it didn’t matter. We passed the tables selling odds and ends and turned the corner to the actual show and were mesmerized by all those RV’s. We stopped at a couple tables and entered our names in some drawings and then moved on to see the RV’s. The first row we looked in one or two and then realized this was a row of contraptions that would be far too small. We walked to the end of the row and decided to go into the first RV in the next section. It was a fifth wheel and originally I didn’t want one, we had decided on getting a travel trailer, but we were here to be open minded and look at everything. I didn’t care for any fifth wheel layouts I had seen shopping online. They all seemed to put the bed above the part that goes over the back of the truck. To me it didn’t seem home like at all and it seemed claustrophobic.

We walked into this fifth wheel and all my previous thoughts about fifth wheels vanished. It was incredible. We both fell in love with it. The living room was placed in the area that goes over the back of the truck rather than a bed. It was perfectly homey and the layout was incredible. We were in awe! I knew instantly that was what I wanted and luckily he agreed! I could have stopped looking right there, my mind was made up, but we were there to look at as many as we could and get an idea of what we like and what we don’t.

After about an hour and a half of climbing in and out of RV’s we were exhausted and hot. At that time we made our way to the seminar we planned to attend “Preparing to Full-time”. The seminar was given by the couple (Howard and Linda Payne) that runs the blog RV-Dreams. They seemed so happy, I loved it. Mr. Payne spoke during the seminar and boy was it overwhelming all the stuff he brought up. Most of it I had already read about, but hearing it out loud made it seem scarier. I found comfort in the fact that they were new to the lifestyle when they started too. We had planned to attend another seminar or two, but were too exhausted after all that (and didn’t want a parking ticket :0).

We went home and looked at more pictures and information about the fifth wheel we fell in love with. We decided that it is the one we want and we are going to try our best to get it. I think with enough team work we can do it! Stay tuned for when I share details on our love child the fifth wheel!

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”?