Saturday, December 31, 2011

Time Flies and So Do My Thoughts

Nothing major to report for the past few weeks. I haven't been doing much of anything but downsizing, throwing out stuff, giving things to goodwill and marking things off my list of to do's before leaving. I can't believe it has been a couple of weeks since my last post.

I am afraid to admit that I have gone back to my "I don't know" mode of thinking.  The urge to leave as soon as possible has seemed to have decreased. Maybe that is because I am comfortable in the house I live in, the place I live and all the sports I am enjoying in the area right now. That decrease in my urge to leave and also I am no longer 'obsessed" with constantly looking at blogs and RV's for sale, made me start thinking that maybe my original retirement plans were correct to begin with.

Before this RV idea, my original retirement plans were to keep my house as a 'base camp', it would be paid for, and travel the country for as long as I wanted and when I wanted. I was going to do that in an older VW Camper or now using my Toyota 4Runner in someway.  (Tent or Trailer Camping).

Maybe if I did that, sometime during that first year or after a year I would know for sure if I should sell everything and hit the road or just keep the house and be a part-timer in my RV travels.

I am finding as I downsize my possessions I have a resistance to selling my house and hitting the road full-time.

As you may remember, my plan was to boondock as much as possible and using solar was the plan.

The eye opener I guess, I was reading more and more RVer's having maintenance problems to fix. It seemed like every blog I was reading or a forum, people were doing constant maintenance. I started thinking how I never cared to work on my cars even if it was easy stuff, during my times of collecting old VW campers, or my old Chevy pickup truck. The Z and the 4Runner have not had any problems to fix but are new enough that I would take them to the dealership to fix.

Yet, reading about problems with generators, solar wiring, electrical steps, black water tanks, electrical problems etc...made me wonder.

Yes I realize that is part of RVing.  I don't know if I want that to be a constant problem in my life full-time.

I'll stop my rambling but here are my current thoughts.

I really don't know what I will decide until I rent a Class C (local) for a weekend camping trip to the State Park nearby. I doubt that will happen until the 2nd week in April.  Why then?  My college basketball addiction is not over until "March Madness" is over. For those that are basketball fans, they know what I mean.  I will also be attending tonight the sold out Assembly Hall (17,900 seats) in Bloomington for the IU vs #2 Ohio State game tonight.  Sure, I could see those games on tv in an RV anywhere in the country but one of the reasons I moved back to Indiana from the PNW was to do just what I am doing tonight....going to IU games.

So far in the past few weeks the main thought that keeps coming back is to keep my house, travel when and where I want after I retire in May 2014.  Still nothing firm between a Class A or a Class C.

Then other times  through all my thoughts, I think of how nice it would be to full-time RV right now.


Friday, December 16, 2011

A Slow But Nice Week

I thought I'd drop in and at least write something. Nothing going on to report as far as RV developments. I have decided it is too much trouble to sell some of my stuff online, so I have decided to give to goodwill or some local charities as I downsize my possessions. I do this annually anyway so there is really not that much to do.

My biggest job is converting important paper files to PDF's to store on my computer and external hard drives, along with converting my music to digital from a "zillion" cds and cassettes.

Have I decided exactly what I want to buy? No, I haven't. I have almost ruled out a trailer being towed by my 4Runner. So it's between an A and a C.  It would be easy to buy a Class A and tow the 4Runner but there are enough things that I like about a Class C to keep me from making a decision at this time.

It's great weather here in the "tropics" of Southern Indiana, cold at night nice (45's)  during the day. I am in the mode of preparing for the holidays, College Football Bowl games along with all of the college basketball games they are now showing on tv.

Reading some of my followers, I see that Don is traveling through the south now and headed for Arizona. Glen is back on the road and found a great place it seems in the panhandle of Florida. Shoeless Joe is battling rain and cool temps at his winter spot in Texas. I haven't seen anything from "4 Windows & a View" since she traded in the 24' Class C for the 40' Class C. I'm interested in how that change in RV's works out for her. Sue and the hounds are boondocking in Arizona in the Casita, she seems to be really enjoying those solar panels she had put on a few weeks ago. "Me and My Dog" is enjoying the winter spot in Quartzsite. I love her pictures and the stories of Katie traveling.

Wandrin' just made an interesting decision about his phone upgrade. I just did that last weekend but unlike him, I could not resist upgrading to an iPhone4. I went from an iPhone 3GS to a 4.  Yes, a 4...thought I was getting a 4S, wasn't paying attention and realized it a few days later.  I have 2 weeks to return the iPhone if I don't like it but after reading about the difference between the 4 and 4S and what I use mine for, I decided to keep the 4. It's not a big deal and probably more than I need anyway since I have an iPad. The iPhone 4 still has a great camera at 5 pixels.

There are a lot more blogs I read than I talk about in the previous paragraph but those are from the top of my head. I read all of these blogs and love hearing about all of the travels, the pictures and even some of the maintenance problems. I can only learn from that type of information.

For those on the road, I enjoy reading about your experiences and seeing your pictures. As always, be safe out there.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Decision Must be Right

These past few days since I posted my departure date has been interesting. There has been a calmness of some sort in everything I did Friday at work and yesterday. My mind is not racing like it has been since October 21.

As I see more 'stuff' get packed up either for goodwill donations or the weekly trash pickup, the future picture of rolling down the highway gets clearer.

Sure, even since Thursday I have thought about "what if...", but the answer is always the same. I need to get out of here for a new stage of my life and the adventure of seeing new land, meeting new people and take the time to see things that I have been wanting to see over the years.

I have always wanted to take vacations and either re-visit places I had traveled years ago but my "workaholic" personality never let me escape. I am the type that even works the week between Christmas and New Year's and have for as long as I remember.

Still when I have scheduled long holiday weekends that lead to 3-4 days off from work, I enjoy them more than anything.

With frost on the ground here this morning and temps in the teens I can only think of cooler night temps boondocking in SW Arizona yet those daytime temps will be much different than what I am facing today or in the next few months.

I thought I might wake up with a change of mind about RVing after what happened in college basketball last night in Bloomington Indiana but I'm sitting here reading RV blogs, looking at RVs with plans today of more downsizing. See, I am a HUGE IU basketball fan (alumnus) and one of the reasons in 1995 I moved back to the Bloomington area was IU sports. Back 15 years ago, they didn't have the mobility of satellite dishes to pick up games, there wasn't BTN where you can see all the IU games that are not on ESPN or CBS.

So location is no longer a factor with my sports addiction.

From all the bloggers and full-timer's that I follow and some following me.....your pictures while you travel are awesome!!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Downsizing Buying an RV and Hitting the Road This Spring

Well it's been almost a week since my last post, last Friday night.

In my last post I had someone comment that I am just screwing around. They told me what to buy, hitch up my 4Runner, load the hounds and hit the road.

That comment struck home with me and made me think.  He was right.

THAT is the way I use to make decisions, now I over analyze EVERYTHING!!  ...  as you can see from this blog.

So, I spent the week re-thinking, reading blogs, more stories, looking at Class A's, C's and trailers...basically everything that I have been doing since October 21 when this huge urge hit me.

What I found was, all the reasons I first had to RV fulltime, KEPT COMING BACK to me.  A few friends that knew of my plans kept asking me when I was leaving.  "What are you waiting for?".

Then something hit me like a ton of bricks. I had been thinking of everything that could go wrong. I'm a survivor. Just like most everyone, I have had my ups and downs in life, things at times didn't go as planned and yes there have been a few times after taking risks I ended up with very little cash left. Each time I was able to rebuild and continue on.

One thing when I look back over the years, that no matter what happened ... in some way I was always provided what I needed and only when I needed it.

I cannot think of a time I ever went without getting what I needed to go on.

This week I started downsizing again ... a bunch of stuff was picked up by my garbage man sometime around 4am this morning. He may be a trash collector but out here in the rural area, he loads anything I sit out to be picked up. Last night it was a TON OF STUFF.  After I post this blog, I'm hitting my closets again and filling up those 32gal black hefty bags with clothes to take to goodwill on Sunday. I am starting at one end of my kitchen cabinets and throwing away stuff I don't use or don't need.

The For Sale sign goes out front of my house no later than Saturday morning...I am still looking for the sign stand to plant in the yard. I will sell the house as is and will start on minor repairs while it is advertised. If I have someone stop to see the inside unexpected, they will see a "lived in" house, otherwise give me about a week and Ill have it spotless for showing.

I plan on leaving May 14, 2012

I plan on buying my used RV for cash. I will have solar panels and large tanks to boondock and in the spring or as soon as my house sells, my first RV trip will be heading to South Dakota (spring time) to set up residency and getting my SD drivers license.  I will workcamp when I feel like it or see a place that I don't want to leave for a while. I will also follow the weather. I realize it may get a little cold in SW Arizona at night in the winter but I'll take my chances. It can't be worse than what I am feeling right now in Indiana at night.

So there it is ... a plan and a SET DATE for departure!

Friday, December 02, 2011

Margarita's and Looking at RV's

After another week of wishing I was no longer working....I'm spending tonight drinking some great margarita's while looking at RVs for sale, reading blogs and will later tune into the Oregon vs UCLA football game for the Pac12 Championship.

There will be an RV show in Indianapolis in January, so that will be a planned vacation day to spend it up there looking around and maybe coming closer to a decision.

I think it is down to two options:

1.  Sell the 4Runner and buy a Class C
2.  Buy a 30-34' Class A diesel pusher and tow the 4Runner

I need more room than a trailer I think and as long as the hounds are traveling with me, I need to allow for a little extra room.

Back to looking at RV's and reading blogs....salute'