Friday, March 22, 2013

I Went With My Gut Feeling

I ended up going with my gut feeling on making the purchase. After my 2nd trip to the RV to look at it again, in the same day....I came home and started having thoughts that lasted well past midnight. By the time I went to bed I had decided I was NOT going to buy it...but thought I'd sleep on it.

I got up on Sunday and the feeling was stronger than ever that I was about to buy an RV that I really didn't want.

What made it hard, was the Rv was very clean, great shape, low mileage .... but it didn't fall into what I had planned. The Class A was my first idea back in November 2011 but after visiting my friends in their 36' Monaco last summer, I had decided to go smaller.

My plan from the start was to "downsize" everything I owned before hitting the road.  Using the proceeds from my house sale to purchase an RV or trailer, not taking cash out of my savings. With this downsizing plan, I couldn't justify buying more RV than I needed.

I have always liked the 24' BT Cruiser's made by Gulfstream, with a couple of slides. I can still tow a 4x4 toad and it is a little bigger than a Casita trailer.

That night of many thoughts, I looked at a lot of blog posts, some forums, some pictures of smaller RV's and knew that is what I needed and had planned for.

The feeling after I called the seller telling him I would not be out for the test drive, was a much better feeling than the one I had when thinking about make the purchase. I knew then I had made the right decision.

Saturday, March 09, 2013

A Day Away From the Purchase

Nothing done on the house today, so no For Sale sign this afternoon. As you can see from the picture and the story below, the house schedule was again pushed to the side.

Last week I mentioned I had found an RV for sale in the local small town I live in. I had planned on just looking at it to see if I liked the floor plan and to compare it to the trailers, Class A and Class C's I had sat in up in Indianapolis on 2 different trips.

After talking to the seller, found out he works at the same government facility that I do. He also was in racing with my next door neighbor and came highly recommended for taking care of all of his vehicles. The seller was in Florida with the family for spring vacation and due back tomorrow afternoon. After talking to him this morning, we decided I could go out and inspect the RV as much as I wanted, it was unlocked and keys on the seat. So off i went with my printed checklist for buying a used RV.

I started by looking in every outside bay, granted they have this RV packed with their stuff to camp in, still I could see enough of the bays, engine compartment, wheel wells, tires, roof, all the closets, stoves, microwave, oven, woodwork, plumbing bay, power cord bay, etc.

Condition throughout is like new ... only the driver seat needed some repair, the roof needed a new coat and the rear side light lens needed replaced.

All roof top vents, electrical wiring, electrical power cord, hoses, tanks, tubes, plumbing....like new condition. It was as good as the pictures.

Information and pictures were passed to a couple of friends that have or are rving full time and had bought used RV's, so I could get their opinion and I knew they would ask me all the right questions.  They both said IF it looked as good as the pictures, that everything worked and it drove well .... it was a great deal for the price. NADA had it appraised much higher. Extremely low mileage, only 247 hours on the generator.

The first owner let it sit, older couple and hardly used it. The seller bought it in 2011 and has put 2,300 miles on it, using it while he raced locally, Indy Colts tailgating and Indy 500 tailgating.

So the deal will be final after the test drive. Everything works, extremely clean and mechanically taken care of.  No sign of interior leaks, no smoke smell, no damage of any kind to the wood cabinets and trim. It has been winterized and has been sitting since last November.

I have told him to consider it sold. He has had a lot calls, emails and interest but like all the deals I lost out on when trying to buy different trailers out of state, the local interested person had the better chance to purchase.

So here are a few specs:

2000 Gulf Stream Palm Breeze, 32', one slide (table/couch), Ford Chassis, Triton V10 engine, only 6,343 total miles, tow package, towing brake, 15,000BTU A/C...$19,990.

I had not planned on buying something this soon but I felt as well as a couple of RV friends that it was a deal that I could not pass up and it was what I was looking for if I was going to go the Class A route. With the hounds I felt I needed the extra room and I believe this will be a great boondocking rig after I have solar installed. I plan on installing all new batteries, possibly the tires but they look good.

I'll post more pictures after it's in my possession.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

On Schedule

It seems that I am right on schedule to plant the For Sale sign in the yard sometime Saturday afternoon. By the that time the snow will be gone, blizzard yesterday but 60's Saturday. The ground will be saturated and easy to secure the sign and my carpets will be cleaned and in the drying stage.

These past few days this week, a couple of small things knocked off my list of things to do but some really important ones. I firmed up with my old friend and college roommate in the 70's, that my custom made Romic bicycle with the "vintage" Campy parts, would go to his son who is a cycling animal. We think it will be a nice surprise for him.  During the conversation I was also able to arrange my huge music collection, would go to his daughter that loves all kinds of music and does a lot of research of band members and different types of music around her job, husband and child. He said that she will be floored with excitement when the collection arrives.

Downtown in this small town, is a music consignment shop. I will be there early Saturday morning checking out their policies, what they will sell and possibly making arrangements to have them sell my old but grand Yamaha Stereo components, with a over priced Nakimichi cassette deck/recorder along with some Polk Audio tower speakers, weighing in around 70lbs a piece. This 250w per channel still plays strong and was bought in 1984 overseas.

After those items are delivered, I will be down to clothes, dishes, furniture and books.

Since I have been downsizing, I have very little furniture left, just the basics. I don't have the urge to sell my things on Craig's List or eBay. I was a fulltime eBay seller from 2005-2010 and although that was a drop shipping business, it took a lot of work. So I'll pass stuff out to friends or it goes to the goodwill and pass on the possible earnings.

I know I may be sticking the sign out a little early but on a busy highway, you never know what may happen.

I would really like to pick up a small trailer like RVsue lives in but with 3 larger dogs and one of those being a clumsy bloodhound that can clear a coffee table off with a wag of her tail, I just don't see how that would be comfortable. So I am back to looking at Class C's and some Class A's since the prices seem to have dropped a lot, and each of those can tow my H3.

Somewhere in my travels I will find the place I want to settle down when the time comes and if that time comes. All I know I am heading west. As it stands right now I will change my residency to South Dakota from Indiana the way it sounds, so depending when I leave, I will be heading to South Dakota to get the night stay in, the picture of the drivers license.

Some may ask, although I feel and my local friends feel my house will sell fairly quickly, what happens if it doesn't sell? Well I will continue to do the little fixes and when May 2014 rolls around, I will leave it empty with a Real Estate Agency to sell for me...but I really have no doubt it will sell by the time I need to hit the road. Don't know why I feel that way, I just do. Once it sells I'll give my 30 day notice at work and if I have not bought an RV by that time, it will be done within that time frame.

There is a Class A in great shape is for sale in this town, so I will make arrangements to check it out on Saturday, although I always said I would never buy an RV in Indiana.

I can't wait to hit the road!

Monday, March 04, 2013

A productive Weekend

Amazing sometimes how fast things can change. I was sitting here at my Saturday morning with a cup of coffee, reading blogs, sports, news, looking at trailers, rvs, and extreme vehicles. I looked at the room I was in with all my stuff ready to go to the recycling center...so I made that trip to the recycling center. Then I went through my closets another time and left only the bare minimum I would need for work plus my jeans, shorts and tshirts...everything that I had not worn in a while, went into a bag and went to goodwill after hours.

I came back from the 25 mile drive, one way, and started to clean the rest of the afternoon and felt this energy and motivation come over me like I had been missing in the past few weeks, then had the inside of the house looking more like a "presentable view" instead of the "lived in view". My ballgame tipped off at 7:30pm, so I left for that, came back and got some sleep earlier than normal.

Sunday, it was mid 30's but clear and sunny so I went outside to do some work on my bank, picked up limbs from the high winds a few weeks ago and then did a general inspection of the outside of the house for potential repairs...there were none to do. That short time of doing little yard stuff I realized I dreaded doing what would be needed to maintain the yard and landscaping. After all, there has to be more to life than doing that over and over and over every year.

All during this time of cleaning, throwing away stuff and working outside today, I kept thinking of what I was really feeling and what I was wanting to do if money was no option, jobs were no option and the only thing I had was free time.

That answer had me traveling full-time and not here doing the weekly routine things of laundry, lawn work, and looking for something to do while my friends still were working. I thought of RVsue out in Arizona, Glenn's first couple of years of traveling and all the neat stories he wrote about. Then WheelingIt driving that 38' Class A out into the desert with their solar panels and boondocking. I thought of the summer I spent traveling cross country and then up the west coast on with a bicycle, a tent and sleeping bag.

All of this was what excited me, just like it did in October of 2011.

I thought of the times I had moved from the beach in Southern California in 1984 to Whidbey Island Washington up in the San Juan's and how nice it would be to spend just the summers up on the NW instead of the high 90's here with even that high of humidity. Or the times I drove from Reno Nevada down 395 to Southern California and remembering how beautiful that drive was. Then the time I spent the winter during a a ski season in Breckenridge Colorado....I enjoyed all of those places to the max.

Here, is yard work, after I hopefully surviving tornado season, cold winters that I do not want to experience when I'm older and a general feeling of boredom after being here for 16 yrs this month.

Everyone said this weekend, after mentioning to them "I might sell my house", either knew someone that would be interested, some that said "I always liked that house" and an real estate agency wanting to list it if I did decide to sell it, saying they knew of interested people.

With all of those people saying that, plus what I had done this weekend of getting my ass in gear, I knew there was a reason that the thought of rving full-time had never gone away even after several attempts of pushing it out of my thoughts for months at a time. I knew what my gut was telling me was the right course of action and it was time to make it happen.

So when I get home from work tomorrow, I will continue to knock something else off my "to do list", plus I have a few things to work on for even a better look and then the for sale sign is going in the front yard ... but not until I get those things done.

If things don't work out on the road, I'll sell what I have and look for a new residence somewhere out west, small town, where the weather is nice enough all year round to ride my bicycles, hike or soak up some sun.

I feel better already with my thought process. Last week was just a bummer of a week with some of the news I had received.

Now back to finding something to buy to live in on the road.

Friday, March 01, 2013

An Unproductive Week

Well for those readers waiting to see if that For Sale sign goes in the front yard tomorrow, I don't know. I didn't get anything done this week as far as my house goes. I did nothing but work overtime, came home and did nothing about getting out of here. Read a lot on the internet, watched a little college basketball ... and thought ... and thought ... and thought about what to do.

Not really doubting my plans but just wondering if I am making the correct decision ... I guess that is doubt, isn't it.

Unexpectedly my neighbor had a realtor for sale in his yard on Tuesday.  I was curious last Saturday why he had finally decided to clear a bank of brush and trees for over 200 feet. I own 13' of that bank from the top down but he had some men clearing to the top. Good, takes something off my "to do" list in April when it will be getting warmer.

Back to their house for sale, any disadvantage of having 2 houses next door to each other for sale at the same time?

I have a small 2 bedroom/1 bath, he has a small 4 bedroom/2 baths, both older houses.

The news of sequestration is going to affect me. I've been planning for it to happen when it mentioned the first time. I will be one of the many government employees or government contractors that will be forced to work 4 days per week and only get paid for 32 hours. My salary will be prorated for 4 days instead of 5...then add in the fact, I work overtime now and still cannot keep up with the pace of the schedules. Nothing like a 20% pay decrease to make me even more thrilled than I already have been. That may start around the middle of April and run into October 1.

Then my #1 Hoosiers got upset at Minnesota on Tuesday, only later that same night I find out that 2 close old friends of many years, are in a new battle against cancer. Puts that ballgame in a little perspective doesn't it.

So with all things considered ... I haven't been in a great mood nor motivated to do much this week, other than a lot of thinking.

I will say my range of thinking is consistent with the other times over the past year or so, when nothing gets done. It ranges from enjoying the various stories of some of the people I follow here that are in Arizona boondocking in some decent weather......all the way to the other end of the spectrum where I ask myself am I making a wise decision of selling a house that I own and only pay a very small amount in yearly property tax.

Questions that I have always had and won't know the real answer until I am on the road. I will not know for sure until I do it.

This week a friend says that with my 3 dogs, a 17' trailer would not be enough room for them and I, I'd need more room, even though they do it with multiple dogs that are smaller than mine. That 17' really equates to 14' and while I look at that measurement taped to my floor in the room I am currently writing from ... it really does look small for full timing. With that in mind that moves me away from a trailer that my H3 can tow, so I started looking at Class C's again and Class A's (prices are low) with towing my H3.

Back to the job situation ... currently not in a job that thrills me since I am out of the financial part of the work (Jan 1 policy change) and thinking maybe this sequestration might be the right time to pull up stakes and move out.

Yet, as I have downsized recently, I run into things that I really don't want to sell or store but too big to take with me or too valuable to want to get rid of. Then I read other bloggers who within a year have had doubts if they made the right decision to sell everything and hit the road full time. Makes me think.

My mind has always gone back and forth on this decision, as you know ... since October 2011.

Yet, for the readers that are checking back here or planning to check for that For Sale sign picture this weekend, I'm not positive that is going to happen this weekend. I still need to move my house inside from the "lived in" look to the "presentable for viewing" look in case I would have an interested buyer.

I'll keep you posted.