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.

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.

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!!

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!

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'

November 30, 2011

Plan Starting to Come Together

I didn't spend much time looking at RVs last night and tonight has been all basketball since my team was on the tube earlier. Yet, during commercials thoughts of what kind of RV to buy starting taking over my thoughts.  Between a Class A and a Class C...don't know yet but I have narrowed it down to what features I would like to have in either RV type.

So the picture is starting to get a little clearer on what I want.

I am looking around here and see I need to get in gear and start downsizing.  I use to be a full time eBay seller between 2005 - 2010. I had the urge the other day of just taking a few pictures of things and listing them on eBay and selling them for whatever the top bid is. maybe start with a few items, start auctions at  99 cents and let it roll. I am still thinking about that and deciding if I have time to package and ship when things sell. It would be nice to build up some cash off of things I would normally throw away. Some will be going to goodwill and some will be given away locally for those that need it.

So things are looking up.  I just have a lot to do and need to get started. Once I see stuff start disappearing then it will be a momentum shift.

I like the in class C's I like Jayco's Thor Chateau, Winnebego's and the Lazy Daze really make me think. For Class A's, I am thinking of 32-35', diesel pusher, couple of slides and using my 4Runner as my toad.

Any feedback is nice and I do consider what people comment or email me.

November 29, 2011

Some Possible Developments

I replied to a friend's email the other day about changing their email address and let her know I was seriously thinking of selling everything and hitting the road fulltime. At the end of my reply I added a question asking her if she knew of anyone that would be interested in buying my house.

She replied this morning that she knows of someone that has always liked my house and are presently looking to buy in the area.  We are making arrangements for them to come over and see the house within the week around their busy work schedule.

That leads me back to my financial spreadsheet tonight, and looking at my options as if the house is sold.  I think this also leads the way for me to get on the road much sooner than I planned and will have to hit my "to do" list harder than I have been. Even if they don't buy the house I can still put a For Sale sign up while I work on my "to do" list.

The bad part???  .... I have not really made up my mind on what type of RV to buy.

November 28, 2011

Fulltime RVing and Finances

I spent the past couple of days trying to get away from RV sales sites, so I could see what thoughts would come to the forefront. I read a lot yesterday about fulltiming, about different rigs and what the owners liked and disliked about them. I also thought about a smaller trailer that could be pulled with a my Toyota 4Runner. That might be a good set up short term but I can't see that being a long term fulltiming option after adding my 3 hounds to the trip.

Had another slow day at work today, so I continued my way around blog land reading more of the same type of blogs. One theme that kept coming up in the new blogs I was reading....finances or lack of.

I see sticking to your budget on the road to be very important. With no plans to workcamp, a pre-planned budget will be a key issue before hitting the road. I already know what my expenses are now living in a house, I know that my eating habits will probably not change,  of course no one knows what the cost will be for unexpected repair and maintenance will be but you can put the money aside and add to it monthly.  In my case when I compare living on the road financially to living in a house that will be paid for, those expenses are very close to being the same.

Fulltiming for me will not be a way to live cheaper. It will be a way to live at about the same monthly expense but deciding where I want to wake up each morning. I will be able to chose where I stay and when I go. When I picture living in my paid house, retired and two different pensions hitting the bank account every month, I see my life possibly becoming very stagnant. I do have workaholic tendencies although those have decreased this past year. I am basing that on what I normally do when I have time off during a long weekend or during a holiday. I would get tired of that routine day after day.

So because of that, hitting the road fulltime is a good thing for me. When I took a cross country bicycle trip many years ago, I had a general plan but every day I was pretty flexible on where I headed or when I rode. I have a strong desire to get back to that type of travel. I know weather will play a factor at times when and where I am at. I plan to boondock as much as possible. My main reason to boondock is not the cost savings compared to staying in a RV park, but the main purpose is getting to a beautiful place that is quiet, no one around and hot sunshine. I want to go places where I hear nothing but the nature around me. I can see myself doing that easier in a RV Class C rather than a Class A.

So based on those plans I think I am pretty close on what it will cost me on a monthly basis. For my fuel estimate I have been using $4.50 per gallon for fuel and 8-12 mpg in whatever vehicle I use. I think I could live at about the same monthly expense that I do now and still be able to save monthly for unexpected repairs that lie around the corner. I know there will be some months where the miles will be almost zero if I am at a place that I like enough that I don't want to leave. That will average out over the year if I am wanting to follow the weather.

So that's where I have been the past two days ... reading different blogs and thinking about cost of living fulltime. Just out of curiosity, how many of you spend more than you budgeted for? How many of you spend pretty close to your estimate?

For some reason, the Class C has moved back to the front of the pack for my type of RV.  I think a trailer that would be towed by a Toyota 4Runner with a V8 engine would be too small for fulltime long term.  Anyone have thoughts on that? I know some of my readers have smaller trailers with dogs and are fulltiming. But my dogs are larger than I have seen so far for those traveling in a towed trailer.  Of the bloggers I have seen with a couple of large dogs, they are all traveling in Class As.

I know eventually answers to all my questions will hit me up the side of the head to where it's obvious what I will do, but it is sure a pain sometimes in getting to that day.

November 27, 2011

Domain Change

Problem solved on the Domain redirect from GoDaddy to the blog.

Over a cup of coffee this morning I was looking on Blogger's notables and saw a recent "Buzz" where it was easy to transfer your domain name from GoDaddy to Blogger. In the past when I was selling sports memorabilia online, I use to transfer domains all the time but each time I had to go through the step by step was confusing each time. So I was happy to see that BlogSpot had found a way to make this process easy.

Well...maybe not.

I had bought my new domain about a month ago for a couple of reasons. That domain is

It goes to my blog when typing that into the address bar...good
It also loads if I leave the www off...good
All looks normal list of blogs I read does not show up...bad

Working on little computer things like this is not on my "to do" list today, so hopefully as the domain grows today that list of blogs I read will show up.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Oh, Saturday was another day of looking at different RV Sales websites. Through the emails and comments I have received it sounds like I am not the only one that took time to sort through this maze of RV full-timing information.  I found a couple of new blogs that I will mention later, that is great information for a "RV Newbie" and also a couple of blogs where Murphy's Law had kicked in as soon as they drove their newly purchased RV off the lot. Some amazing stories between those two blogs....almost made me wonder for a second if RVing was really the direction I wanted to go.

Yet, the more blogs I read of the travel, the pictures and the freedom to move RVing gives....I haven't changed my mind about hitting the road.

More RV posting its back to laundry, blog reading, and preparing for a day of NFL football.

November 25, 2011

Too Complicated??

Maybe I am making this process way too complicated. Anyone agree? I look at these smaller Class C's and know I could live in one of those. I look at my hounds when we are inside at my house, they DON'T do a lot but sleep....some play time but mostly .... sleep. On a couch, their dog chair, their dog bed or a pile of blankets. None of those take a lot of space and are already in a smaller Class C or can be put on the floor.  (pile of blankets and dog bed).

I think that is something to think about for tomorrow around my football games and preparing for snow flurries on Sunday night.

Let me know what you think, all comments are welcome....but really, this RV decision process just shouldn't be that complicated in my opinion.

A Visit to the RV Sales Lot

I decided last week that I was going to take a trip to a large RV Sales lot today, just so I could get a "feel" for a trailer, a C and an A. Somewhere between 28-32'. It also involved making this kind of a road trip with my 2003 Z4 since the roads were dry and the forecast was clear for today. They are saying possible snow flurries by Sunday night but on my return trip today after 12:30pm, I drove around 90 miles with the top down.

2003 Z4
So this trip really helped with 2 things. What the RVs were going to be like and what life would be like without the Z4 to take road trips with.

I started with a local RV seller that was unexpected, even with high reviews online, they were mostly into trailers but I at least I wouldn't be wondering what they were like. That put me further south than I was originally headed. I had a RV lot picked out that had a large selection of all types. When arriving, no one approached me, so I started with the brand new trailers, and a 29' Class A on the showroom floor. I was also pleased that I was not "attacked" by the sales force and I had to ask someone if the sales lot was open today so I could check out some used rigs.

He immediately asked what I was looking for, what type of RVing would I be doing (RV Parks or Boondocking), gas or diesel and what class. He asked what time period I would be looking to purchase and/or leave.  I was able to look at  a 2010 Jayco Greyhawk 31', a 2010 Thor Chateau 31', a 2005 32' Winnebago Class A gas and a 2004 32' Winnebago Journey diesel.

All very nice coaches and like I told him, I have been confused on which to choose between an A or a C while looking at a "million" pictures and after looking at them today.... I still am! The trailers were just too small based on pulling them with my Toyota 4Runner V8. Even the new 29' A  on the showroom felt a little cramped.

Remember, as I am working around these different floor plans I am trying to visualize 2 short legged bassets and a small Bloodhound that still weighs 78lbs and stands 28" at her shoulders would be in this RV.

I know it was only 2'-3' difference but I could tell a large difference as I walked thought the 31' er's compared to the 28' and 29'. The 4 I mentioned above all had 2 slides. Before I made this trip, I was favoring the Jayco models but after looking at the one's today, I liked the floor plans of the Class C Thor and the Class A Journey Diesel.

Some of you may be saying "why diesel", he hasn't talked about that before.

Well during recent research this past week, knowing I would be traveling the mountain ranges of the Western USA, I felt that the diesel might be the way to go. Also, I am thinking more and more of towing my Toyota 4Runner as my 'toad'. If I do tow the SUV I will definitely go diesel and due to the weight I would have to go with the Class A.

As you can tell I am looking at a few options. ALL of these were priced higher than I planned on paying when I started this research a month ago. I might have to spend more than I had planned based on deciding what I need. I will continue looking on eBay, Craig's List, and the different online RV sites but at least now I know it has to have the following:

1.  31' minimum
2.  the kitchen opposite side of the couch and diner
3.  walk around bed
4.  2 slides instead of 1 slide
5.  diesel if I decide to take my 4Runner

So today knocked out the idea of my V8 4Runner towing a trailer. I realized even with no dogs I don't think I could handle something less than 28'  I felt cramped in the new 29' A I looked at and this is from a man that spent a lot of time on Aircraft Carriers 6-10 months at a time, in my past. I just felt much more comfortable in the 31' coaches.

I also know that my idea from boondocking might change to RV parks but that is something I will not know until I try it. So I am kinda planning on a rig that will cover both options as a full-timer. Like a reader from here told me that after he started full-timing, he decided he wanted a "normal life" instead of a "camping life".

On my drive back home, state highways, hilly, curvy ... all too perfect for the Z, I had a lot of time to think about what I liked today. All 4 rigs I mentioned at the top of this blog were extremely clean, little wear. The 2004 32' Journey only had a little over 22,000 miles on it. No body damage of any kind, and with the previous owner installing his large 46" Samsong tv (same size as my home tv), there would be nothing to change EXCEPT, possibly taking out a diner or couch and installing a desk for my iMac and monster size screen.

I also really liked the Class C, 2010 Thor Chateau, actually there was nothing I found to be an issue. I felt like I could get in that and drive away. I would still change out the TV (remember I'm a sports addict) and I would take out either the couch or diner for a desk / computer table. That is where I spend most of my indoor time at home, at my computer desk.

So I will go from here, back to the sites to look around for specific models and sizes. I feel I am getting much much closer to what I want compared to fact a lot closer, now that I have walked around them, sat in them, looked in every exterior corner I could. I also felt good when thinking of selling my house and the Z4 and moving into an RV full-time.

To top off this day, the salesman answered every weird question I asked, added more information about each coach and NO PRESSURE....that was a big plus. All I wanted to do today was a 250 mile road trip.

November 23, 2011

RV Shopping Online

I have spent most of my night....all of it really around my 2 hour nap....of looking at RVs for sale. I think I have ruled out a trailer and pulling that with my 4Runner. For a Class C, I have it narrowed down to a Jayco Melbourne 28'-30'. I found a couple on eBay that I have been watching for a few weeks and each of them have dropped in price. I am pretty sure that is the type of Class C I want if I choose a C. It is also the same model as a fellow reader of this blog.

I continue to think and look at Class A's, 28'-32', at least 1 slide, in the $50K range. Sometimes I feel that with the hounds that will be traveling with me, that a Class A space would be beneficial. I've bookmarked a few of those as well as "watching" them on eBay.

How easy is it to remove the bed in back and the storage underneath? Is it possible to make the bedroom floor flat and open if I remove the bed in a Class A or Class C?  I am thinking I could make that bedroom into a room like I have in my house, were I have my computers, a kennel for the bloodhound and my road bicycle on a stationary trainer for working out. I would not need a lot of room to convert that. With most RVs having sleeping for 4-6 people, I could find somewhere else to sleep and use that back bedroom as I described.

I will check the forums in the meantime to see if I can find some ideas there.

I need to "throttle back" on this process, take my time, get my "to do" list finished and let time take care of itself...the RV will show up at the right time. Enjoy the search and the downsizing process at home and keep marking things off my list that will get me closer to a departure date. I now have the departure date written in large font on my whiteboard on my office wall. It's doable and a good time to leave.

Well I'm going back to research and looking at RVs, maybe a movie.

Happy Thanksgiving to all that stop by to read this blog and are on the road RVing full-time.

November 22, 2011

Today Work Was an Eye Opener ... I'm Motivated More Than Ever!

I know I left you last night with my thoughts of having a lot of questions and justifications on why I could't go full-time right now....or at least I was thinking that way.  I use to be very adventurous, where location was more of a priority than a job. For some reason in the past few years I have changed to conservative, and playing things safe. I would have the chance to move but would come up with excuses not to.

Unbelievable really.  My family has stated more than a few times, they are surprised I have lived in a small midwest town, instead of on the beach somewhere, or traveling somewhere.

I have a job that pays well, I guess I like my job...I don't love my job. It's almost a daily thought when I wake up "I wish I were not going in today". So I guess I am staying for the cash. I have great managers to work for, still most of my job is out of my control. I track large amounts of funding, track expenditures, develop financial plans, and provide monthly reports....on data that is out of my control. The majority of the time I am looking forward to the weekends off and the next paid holiday.

Those are HUGE signs, aren't they?

It's not that I live in a bad area, or a bad house or with bad neighbors.....I don't. I live in a small house, a few miles outside a small rural town and I have 3 neighbors in sight and none of them close. Yet when I think of some of the places I have lived in the past, I realize that even when I am debt free (very close), this is not where I want to spend the rest of my life.

I want to sit on the beach again, like I did when I lived in Carlsbad California for 10 years. Or hike the Cascade Mountains and could get back home within an hour drive back home, looking across the water from Whidbey Island to Victoria. Or the winter I spent in Breckenridge Colorado, living in a small cabin and skiing every day.

I want to wake up in the morning and have the chance of dumping my tanks, filling up with fresh water, fuel and moving my hounds and I to a new location. If that means workcamping for a while, great!!  At least I am living where I really want to, meeting great people along the way and having control of what I want to do.

That sounds a lot better than waking up 5 days a week, dreading going to a job that I no longer like and really only do it for that paycheck every two weeks. Then paying off a house that will only need more maintenance in the future to keep it in good condition. Mowing the yard 1 per week, paying taxes annually, and having "a market" decide just how much my house is worth. The market doesn't know my house, so how stupid is that process??  That will take time and money. I'd rather put that money into RV maintenance while I am boondocking somewhere out in Arizona for the winter, rather than sitting here in the midwest waiting for the winter predictions to hit..."worse than normal"!! That means a lot of snow, going to a job I can't say I really like anymore.

So, I looked at my spreadsheet that I made last month showing all of my options, financially, depending on what I decided.

My eyes, my focus and my thoughts all went back to the same option on that spreadsheet. The same thing I posted here a few weeks ago. The only change to to the list is #1. I'm going to sell my house instead of renting it...with an option. That option being, when I get to the point that I am ready to leave and it has not sold, then I will rent the property. My house will NOT decide when I leave.

I have a lot of things to do between now and the time I leave.  I am going to be scanning full-time and shredding the rest of my paper files, photographs etc.  I am going to all electronic filing. I've been electronic for years in my banking, taxes, basic expenses, etc. I just have a lot more "stuff" to get rid of than I thought I did. Living solo I am shocked how much I have laying around that is never used.

This Friday I am heading to 3 different RV dealers within a 70 mile radius to look at A's and C's. By Monday I plan to have a For Sale sign in my front yard for my house and will sell it below market value if it means I get to RV full-time sooner.

It's sad and very disappointing when I look at myself and realize that the ONLY reason I continue to work and wait 2 years 7 months to retire, is just for a paycheck.  Honestly, that is the only reason I can come up with on why I still work. I understand in today's economy, millions of people would die for a paycheck, so what I say may sound quite strange or rude?

For me, there are a lot more ways of making money using my financial and online sales experience, rather than sitting at a desk all day, spending my free time reading RV blogs, forums and looking at RV's for sale....WISHING I was on the road!

Today at work was an "eye-opener"!!

November 21, 2011

Too Much Analysis?

I knocked off a few more items from my list that needed to get done. That's a good thing. A bad thing is I am starting to go back over all of my notes and spreadsheets and re-analyzing. Also looking at a different angle.  I wasn't having doubt but I was thinking over my finances, how much of my savings do I want to dip into either for a rv purchase or perhaps to live on.

I have read budgets on other blogs, I have looked at my budget and also my expenses that I have kept track of the past 10 years on an Excel spreadsheet. I have a feeling that I will spend more than I plan while on the road.  Sure, I can live like a hermit and keep all my expenses RVing as low as possible but I know there will always be something around the corner that will have to be fixed that is unexpected. Just like owning a house.

Would I be willing to workcamp a lot just to get myself on the road?  I don't think so. When I leave for fulltime, I will not be wanting to work. Volunteer...yes!  But not a job.  I have one of those now that pays quite well and a house that is close to being paid for. So I can't really justify leaving a job and a house to get on the road, only to go back to a job (workcamping) to be financially fit while traveling.  I cannot decide just how much of my savings I want to spend.

The ideal situation would be to sell my house, my sports car and all my furniture. Anything else give to goodwill. Then RV full-time. I might like keeping my house as a home base and RV part time, but I  am really the type that I go all the way or not at all....not 1/2 time.

I had an older relative tell me this past week, to rv full-time now, because by the time I am 70 (in 10.5 yrs) I may not have the good health to travel. Her sister and brother in-law have been RVing fulltime and this winter is their last time. Due to health issues they will be selling their 40' motorhome and moving into a family owned condo.

I have heard something to that effect from more than a few people.

My weakness is "over analyzation" and when that happens, I stand still without moving in either direction.

I am starting to think my preparation may be longer than I had planned a few weeks ago and my departure date not until May 2014.

Still, no matter what the departure date turns out to be, I think this bloodhound could sleep about anywhere.

November 18, 2011

Still Sorting Through Types of RV's

I haven't posted much this week. I've been spending most of my time sorting through my stuff for Goodwill runs or throwing away. For some reason, even with experience, I don't have the urge at this time to sell on eBay or Craig's List. I have also been spending time taking care of things on my list before I depart.

I just wish I could make up my mind on what type of RV to buy when the time comes.  I know from past comments, emails received and general discussions on different RV forums, that the right RV will "hit" me either when I see it, drive it, like the floor plan, etc. Still that process is frustrating at times.

I spend a lot of time reading my blog list and then from that list finding blogs they are reading. So I have a "million' sites bookmarked with information and files of RV's for sale that I like. Lots to look at and study.

It is not if I am going to do this but when. No doubts. The only questions now, are what to buy and when to buy. How long will the RV market be a buyers market? Best to buy new or a few years old and should  I consider a model over 12 years old that was top of the line when new and is still in good shape?  Those are just some of the questions that go through my head while I look at RV's for sale.

I do know that the hounds and I need to get out on the road. I don't really want to be a long distance landlord if my house doesn't sell but I also don't want the status of my house determine my departure date. I know I will have an "end plan" when I leave and I also know that I have no idea how long I will full-time. I do know I want to boondock the majority of the time.

Some of the things I want:

I want solar panels, I want tanks large enough where I can boondock for a few weeks if not a month at a time.  I will have my big screen HD tv for my sports addiction and I plan to either take out the dinette set and install a desk for my computers,  and to eat on....basically like I do now at home. I want an outdoor shower for not only me after a day at the beach but also to keep my dogs clean. I can say I want a Class A most of the time, yet at times a Class C feels like it would be the right type to have.

I am still not convinced that a trailer pulled by my V-8 Toyota 4Runner is the way to go for me. Maybe my 4Runner can be my toad. Anyone out on the road seen a 4Runner as a toad? I know that Jeeps seem to be popular.

So I leave you on this Friday night  (Saturday Morning really) at 12:11am, with my mind made up that I am definitely going to do this and I know what I want but still no clue on what type of RV to buy. Tomorrow will be a day of digging into my LIST and hopefully marking them off my list to make my departure closer.

How long did it take you to buy an RV after you made the decision to RV full-time?

November 16, 2011

More Changes

I started thinking last week of trading my Camry for a different car just because there are a lot of them for sale on the car lots and on different web auto sites. I thought it might be easier to trade that car than sell it. They are a popular car, yet many available. I also wanted a better car for the winter weather. In the past I have had Toyota 4Runners and always liked them, but the used ones with low miles are hard to find.

Last Friday I had a salesman at the Toyota Dealership I have dealt with in the past, call me about a 4Runner that had been traded into his lot, 1 owner, bought new at that dealership and all the service was at the dealership. I told him when I bought the Camry to let me know if he ever had a 4Runner traded in and gave him specs on what I was looking for. So I did some research on the 4Runner and made the trade on Monday. It's a great trade. Camry's are great cars but I love 4Runners. If I eventually trade or sell all cars before I leave, the 4Runner will sell much easier than the Camry.

So, with that trade, it brought up a different option. With the V-8, same engine that is in the Tundra and Land Cruiser, it will tow up to 6,500 lbs. Just out of curiosity I started looking at different trailers. The Casita, Jayco and one very interesting... TrailManor. Could these be used for full-timing?? Some do.

So I have gone the full spectrum of looking and trying to decide on RV's. From the Class A's, the C's and now trailers.

Anyone out there have experience in trailers? I noticed on some blogs of couples with dogs full-timing in a trailer pulled by a small SUV or small truck. I will study those in the meantime to read about their experiences, but if anyone has any experience in the Truck/Trailer combo, let me know.

I had another couple of things checked off the list Monday and Tuesday. My new Larsen storm door was installed, more things were sorted to go to recycling this Saturday and a lot goes in the trash pickup tomorrow morning.

My "to do" list is decreasing on things I HAVE to do before departing.

November 13, 2011

Major Things Off List & Questions

Yesterday turned out to be a great day to knock off a couple of things off of my list that needs to be done before I depart. First, had a friend come over with a "man eater" machine. We cleared out some wild overgrown brush on the back of my property line, to the point of being at the level to where I can use a lawn mower in the future.

The big thing that was knocked off the list was selling my old '94 Chevy Truck, within an hour after putting the for sale sign on the window. I was wanting to clean it before selling and that was going to happen after I finished the yard work of clearing that brush. Just out of curiosity I went ahead and put the sign on the truck anyway while we worked. The buyer test drove it and paid in cash, the price I was asking for.

There is no surprise I have a lot of interest in people wanting to buy my 2003 BMW Z4, with a different color than what you see most of them painted. I will drive my other car until I am finally ready to leave.

With the high winds today 25-40mph from the SW, I will be working inside, doing more things on my "list before departure"....sorting what goes to goodwill, what is sold or thrown out. Based on responses I think the things I am selling will be sold locally before I even have to put it on Craig's List.

I get comments for both ideas of selling my house. Put the sign up immediately and sell as is....or wait until I do some improvements I had planned on doing when I was planning on living here, then put the for sale sign out.A few friends locally think based on what I want to do here before I leave and what I need to do once I find an RV, that I will be gone within 5 months.

Even though I have feedback on these questions, I would like to throw out a few of them to get some ideas from you.

1. Best TV satellite service  - plus what kind of dish?
2. Best cell phone / internet service
3. If I remodel by taking a chair out and putting in a desk for my computer, what do you normally do with the chairs / tables you take out when remodeling a RV?

Friends of mine are becoming excited about the RVing full-time idea, even a couple of them that were somewhat negative when I first mentioned what I wanted to do.

November 12, 2011

This Morning is Like Camping

This morning here in southern Indiana is what I envision some of you going through at your camp sites this morning. It's a bright sunny day, blue sky, but a chill in the air and 47 F. Having a hot cup of Starbucks in my hand, made in the kitchen and just a few steps away from being outside with nothing around. I can't wait to feel that, to see that. What interrupts my "camping" morning is the early Saturday morning traffic on a US highway 125' down the hill.  I use to see a lot of RV traffic on that highway but not nearly as much since 2008.

That decrease in RV traffic made me think the industry was drying up and the short time in 2005 that I thought of full-timing, lasted about as long as my friend's stay that summer, 5 days in his 37' Southwind RV that he had been full-timing in for the previous 3 years. He is the one that told me about workcamping. That visit just barely got the RV fire burning.

So I get ready to start my Saturday with a list of things to do, ALL THINGS that lead me to my departure date. Some of those 19 items can be checked off after today.

I received more local support for "Decision Made", via email this morning. As I stood outside drinking coffee and waiting for the post office to open for mailing a package, I could "feel" myself standing the same way, drinking the same coffee out of the same cup....some where in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Central Calif.

Your RV pictures make me dream.

The hounds within 1 hour....ONE HOUR....had completed their weekend morning routine....go outside to dump their tanks while I make coffee, back inside for the daily breakfast bone (the large ones bought at Costco), back out for a final survey of "their" field....and then within 1 hour of waking up....are all three together sleeping.

It's a dogs life.

I am wondering if RVing full-time is a "dog's life" with a little RV maintenance thrown in just to keep you honest.

Have a great Saturday and be safe if you are traveling.

November 11, 2011

Decision is Made

It might seem quick but since October 21 I have spent practically every hour at home on the internet reading blogs, reading forums, asking questions, emailing my questions to people on the road, looking at different RVs for sale late into the early morning hours (1am-3am) on a daily basis. Then asking local people that I know that RV part time about their experiences, getting sometimes new but a lot of the same consistent answers. After this intense research, reading how people got started RVing fulltime, their why's and what happens when you are tired of RVing. Then going over my financial analysis and making sure my finances can support life on the road. I spent not even thinking about RVing, nor looking what Class A or C was for sale. Thus the later than normal blog post tonight.

I spent most of my day-off from work today, looking at different SUV's for sale. Finding out what my vehicles are worth for putting them up for sale. I read my usual large amounts of sports news, took a nap, walked the hounds longer than normal. Then after watching my favorite college team play their first basketball game of the season, I sat outside in the cold on a bright clear night, just enjoying what was around me. It was beautiful outside.

Still not thinking about any plans, not a thought on what RV to buy and no urge to read any thing about RV's tonight, just enjoying the environment around me. Not thinking about RV's ....  THAT surprised me, because that is ALL I have been thinking about since October 21.  For those just reading this blog....I had this urge to sell everything and hit the road this past April 2011, then came up with every justifiable excuse not to do it and  talked myself out of it.

Then late tonight, totally unexpected I had a feeling of a lot of relief knowing in detail what I was going to do. No doubts, no questions, just a really good and exciting feeling on what I really wanted and how I was going to do it.

The decision came to me and it was quite clear.

1.  Put the house up for sale immediately, I'll be getting signage Saturday morning and putting it up for all to see.
2.  Downsize my 2 cars and 1 old truck to just 1 vehicle that will be used until I leave.
3. Start listing things I want to sell on Craig's list hopefully all by the following week, November 18.
4. Spend this weekend sorting what goes to Goodwill and what gets thrown away and by Sunday drop it off at the Goodwill.
5. Write my departure date in BIG font on my white board right above my desk.
6. Work fast on downsizing / simplifying my things.
7. Upon sale of the house, by an RV for cash
8. If house is not sold 1 month before that date, rent it out  (good local rental market)
9. If house is rented, use part of my savings and the funds from selling my vehicles to buy an RV for cash.

I will be working fast on sorting and moving stuff I no longer need and in some cases have not used in YEARS!! Based on my past experience, once I make a decision, I work fast on what needs to be done and things happen fast to make my decision happen.

This is going to be fun!!

November 10, 2011

My Mind is Hopping All Over the Place

Found some new answers on an rv forum, looked at more Class C's and A's. Read all the blogs I follow and then did some strange searching.....strange! For some reason I started checking car lots for possible trades with my Camry. I looked at 4-Runners, FJ Cruisers, Hummers H3, Mini's. Then had a very strong urge to go wheel 'n deal tomorrow and come back home with a new vehicle.

Can anyone tell me why??  During this process of getting rid of everything I own, that I would have the urge to go trade vehicles?

I am really not sure how to take that way of thinking. Maybe it happened when a friend sent me a text saying she swore she saw snow flurries 25 miles away.  When I have snow, it is a huge problem getting up my 100' inclined driveway. Maybe that is why I started looking at SUV's. I use to have a 4-Runner and loved it.

I am finding more and more Class A blogs that are boondocking. It is the type of boondocking I would do, so I am thinking that is probably the way I go....Class A. If I didn't have the hounds, that might have changed to a Class C but they are coming with me, so it keeps looking like a Class A is the way to go. I had asked on the forum if I found an older Class A priced about the same as a '06-''09 model but had more features, was in good shape and comparable condition for the similar amounts of money, which should I buy?  Some of these older models have some great features and floor plans but I am somewhat skeptical of buying an RV that is over 12 years old.

Saw some great pictures today from blogs I follow with people out on the road. From the beaches in Florida to the mountains in Utah.

The discussion came up with a friend of mine today about the cost of maintenance of a RV and how they are "money pits". She and her husband had an older one that she admitted they rarely used it but it was still costing them money as it just sat there.  So I took her estimated figure, plus some annual figures for rv maintenance from different blogs of full-timers and divided them by 12 for a monthly cost.  I then took the last two years of my house maintenance (painting, landscaping, and interior repairs, etc) and divided my actual cost by 24 to get a monthly cost for my last two years.  The monthly figures were very very similar, almost scary, they were so close. My house maintenance totals did NOT include the mortgage, taxes and insurance I had paid for my house. In most blogs and forums I have read, I find the maintenance comparison between an rv and a house to be very similar in my case.

Then the age excuse is always brought up, what if I get sick, what if my dogs need a vet. The results would be the same if i were here in a house or full-timing in an rv. I guess I will always have friends, co-workers, etc try to talk me out of this. A few think it is awesome and can "see you doing this", and there are some that think I am totally out of my mind. They seem to have forgotten that I have never really followed the straight and narrow road that is expected in society. That is one reason I have always had a lot of fun.

Well that is all I have for tonight. I have tomorrow off for Veterans day. I want to thank all the vets out there that read this blog,  for your time of service to this great country....old vets and young vets alike.  A big Thank You to all!

I'm going to back to looking at 30'-32' Class A's and maybe longer.  vbg

November 09, 2011

THE List

It was a productive day at work. I sat down today and wrote down everything I need to do at home before I can leave. Currently that list stands at 19 items. I then made a list of things I would like to add, change or need to take with me on the RV that I buy, before I hit the road. Currently that list stands at 14 items.  Some are easy to get done, others will take time to complete.

How long will the list take to complete?

I spoke of my plan a few days ago but it listed different options.  This is my plan, not my lists.

1. Rent my house
2. Sell 2 cars and an old truck
3. Either sell, donate, and throw away EVERYTHING I don't need to take with me. (with aircraft carrier experience I know how to travel light)
4. When I am CLOSE to leaving, give my 30 day notice at work, I feel that is more than a fair amount of time for my "will be shocked" employer.
5. Keep what savings I have plus what I get from the sales of my cars for an "emergency fund".
6. Live on my military retirement.
7. Load the hounds and hit the road

How long with that take?  I am not sure, many things on my lists determine my departure....Still, I am thinking no longer than 1 year and most likely sooner, with a goal as soon as possible.

After I am on the road, I am going to have some fun before I even think about workcamping, work with some online ideas (past experience) or what some call "fake jobs". I want to go spend days in places where you cannot hear anything but noise but nature. Just like I have done in the past 12 years, I will record every penny I make and every penny I spend in my yearly spreadsheets. I have one financial spreadsheet, with a tab for each year and then a tab where I can compare expenditures of the current year to the prior year. I love excel spreadsheets...for everything.  :)

Then after I have some "on the road" data to work with, I will then decided if I am a workcamper or fully retired, with an eye out for volunteer work.

I am going to look for a Class A, 30-32' long, 1 slide minimum, outdoor shower, just to list a couple of things. I don't need to get out in the boonies, I just need to make it down dirt roads and be self contained.

Well, I would post more....but I need to get started on this list !!!

November 08, 2011

Did You Think I Was Going to Quit?? ... No Way!!!

I am assuming my followers looked at the title of my post last night and thought "oh, he's going to quit before he even starts".   That thought NEVER crossed my mind. What you don't know about me is my mind has always been going , will be going a 1,000 mph all the time. A friend of mine stopped by my work one day while I was answering an email, while talking on the phone and talking to the person standing at my desk....all at the same time. I'm not sure what you call that, but it probably isn't a good thing. Plus, I analyze....too much.

So last nights post was nothing more than me putting some of my mind travel down on paper (blog) for all to see, when I am usually having this discussion with my dogs and expecting them to give me answers.  :)

About the time I think I have it down what I want, I read a new blog, look at their rig, read their story and then start looking at A's or C's again. Today it was a "C" day. Yet, there is just something about putting those sides out and having room in an A. I know C's have slides but still, a lot of room in those A's.  Sadie (bloodhound) would probably enjoy that as would I. The basset's??? They don't really care about much...they are totally laidback, just a good soft blanket, bed or couch, some food, a daily walk and they are good to go. Today Winston (basset) and I took the old pickup to the local "Feed Store' to pick up some dog food. He was a happy camper when I told him he was going to go in the truck, couldn't stop that deep basset barking.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.

New blogs, new ideas, new rigs, new thoughts, my house, my cars (1  Z4), etc, etc, etc.  You get the picture. My mind going that 1,000 mph, ALL the time. Knowing what I would like to do but not knowing if I should take a gigantic leap or go as planned. (2yrs, 7mos). Local suggestion is to keep the house, keep the Z4, sell the other car, work until May 2014, then hit the road. She says my left side of my brain is running wild right now.

I've looked at the start of blogs that I follow, to see how long it took different people to hit the road full-time after they first had the thought. (I think I'm right on schedule and all of this is normal thinking). How long did they take to by their RV? What was their financial situation, how many repairs have they had on the road, were they shut down, what type of work do they do on the road if any at all. Boondocking, or national forests, rv parks etc.

Yes, same questions I have had the past 3 weeks, but they keep re-appearing. I even fight with myself between a C and an A class RV. Will the A be able to boondock like some people say it will? Will it be more handier for me to have a C even thought it might be smaller inside with 3 hounds?

I know these questions have been asked on this blog before and many have answered either by commenting or by email and I thank you for those comments and suggested links.  They really have been a great help.  In fact all of the info has made me want to full time even more than when I started this blog a few weeks ago.

So, if all of this is not boring to you, hang around and see what happens. Comment when you want and enjoy the humor. I will laugh about these times around a campfire some day, asking myself and others...."What took me so long" ??

November 07, 2011

A Lot of Thinking

Another normal day of reading RV information, in some cases read for a 2nd and 3rd time. Looked at A's, than back at C's. Ran a lot of numbers through my head, whether to pay cash or finance. Currently my mortgage balance is so low that I am unable to write off what little interest I pay every month. While walking the hounds through the field behind my house, I wondered if it was really fair for the 3 of them to be RVing or keeping their life the way it is. Here is a picture of that field. You can slightly see the path I make while they walk 25' out on retractable leashes.

I did look at C's while I was at work today. I saw some different and good ideas how people used that space above the cab for their large tv's, and computer equipment. I am going to need to arrange for my 46" HD tv, as a sports junkie that would be hard to give up. Computers I use right now is an iPad and an iMac with a large 27" monitor that I think I can make arrangements with some slight modifications (office desk) to keep that monitor. Here is my current set up:

I am pretty set on a A's 30'- 32', and only started looking at C's after reading a blog where a couple had spent 4 years full-time RVing and running their computer business on the road. I really don't think I would use the overhead bunk if I had a C, so any ideas about large tv's and computers are welcomed. On a A I already have some pictures of fitting large screen and my computer set up.

I also thought about this blog. I've gained a lot of good information from comments, emails, suggested links but at the same time it is kind of different for me to go public with my thoughts. Yet, I got this idea to start a blog now and not waiting until I started on my RV trip because most of the blogs I started reading a few weeks ago and currently, all started the same way. I guess in a few years it will be nice to go back and look into these earlier blogs and recall just how many different directions my mind was going.

To all the A owners out there on the road that boondock, what is the smallest road you ever traveled on to get to a great camping spot? To all the C owners out there, how many of you wondered if you should have bought a C after you lived in an A for a while and why?

Why do I ask that? The example is the picture of my computer set up. I spent months researching which iMac to buy or a MacPro or a MacAir. When I decided on a iMac, then it was either the 27" or the 21.5" iMac. Even the day I went to the store to make the purchase I looked at each side by side for over an hour and walked out with the 21.5 Then months later I kept thinking about the 27" I passed up. Instead of selling my 21.5 iMac and boxing it up and shipping it to someone that would have bought it outside of my location, I decided to buy the 27' monitor and plugging it into the iMac as a 2nd monitor. I love having two monitors.

So if I bought a C and was happy with it, would I always be wondering about an A????

This picture was taken last August when the temps were really hot but the hounds were wanting to walk.
The Three Amigos

November 06, 2011

A Plan Coming Together

After the initial rush of thinking about resigning from my job, buy a RV, pack up and leave ...  a plan is finally starting to develop mentally. This is after 3 solid weeks of reading for hours and hours, asking a lot of questions here and on forums and looking at RV's from a Class C to a Class A. I have not test driven one yet.

#1  What I would like to do, is buy an RV soon, pack up just what I need and take off. That would mean resigning from a job, leaving my house full of my stuff without downsizing. Then come back within the year to downsize my assets, put the house on the market if I decided that full timing was for me. (no doubt it will be). I could live on my savings during this time and I wouldn't mind workcamping part-time.

#2  The best plan is to wait 2 years 7 months until my retire date. During this time downsize all of my assets, buy an RV after test driving with some weekend trips. A training period for me and my hounds. Also the real estate market here is slow but my house could be a fast seller for those wanting to downsize or a starter home. It's priced right and a good location.

#3  Start the action plan NOW with plans to start the journey as soon as my house sells. Start downsizing immediately, furniture, cars, an old truck. Place the house on the market now and then give my 30 day resignation letter at the time my house sells. With May 2014 as being the date I leave even if the house is not sold.

#4  Do the same thing I am doing now, until May 2014. Read, study, enjoy my "virtual" RV trip through the different blogs I read and wish I was doing that right now. Look and look at RV's, take weekend trips with them by renting or make a purchase.

Decisions, least to put this plan in motion I think I will start listing things on eBay and Craig's List and start to see some movement. Put a plan with dates together and start checking things off as I go.  I want to turn my important files from paper to pdf files, my cd's to digital, my books to ebooks and my movies to electronic media.  Looks like I have a lot to get started on.

Enjoy your day on the road, it's a beautiful day here in the "tropics" of southern Indiana.

November 05, 2011

Normal House Maintenance has Hit Me

Wrapping up my coffee, caught up on emails and blogs ... so now its to some of those stiks and bricks things that take time and money. Ill have a good view but not good as some of the RV pics I see on other blogs.  What is it I am doing this morning before my college football addiction starts at noon?  Hanging a new storm door. Oh fun fun. Of course it's Saturday for the hounds and they are already back to sleep for the day.

November 04, 2011

My Bloodhound Makes Me Wonder about RV's

First of all the title does not mean I am thinking about giving up my bloodhound nor my plans of RVing fulltime. All it means Sadie is having "one of those days". Our daily routine is getting home from work, letting them outside (today was beautiful), by the time they are finished dumping their tanks they are use to having their food and water poured and ready for them to eat. They come back in, eat while I check my email. Then about 30 minutes later we take our daily walk through the hayfield and back, usually about 30 minutes. Today must have been heavy rabbit scent because all three went crazy with their noses to the ground pulling me as I held their two retractable leashes. If I would have had been on skis they would have been pulling me across the grass at a pretty good speed. Winston is leashless here but will no problem using a "dually" on one leash with the other basset.

Well today, Sadie the bloodhound seems to have a little cabin fever, she wants out, then wants in. A little obnoxious. Anything from checking to see what's on the counter to eat, trying to get the bassets to play with her and giving every place in the house an inspection with that nose of hers. She is a smaller size bloodhound due to poor breeding I think, yet is she 73lbs and does not know how strong she is. Winston can hold his own, standing 13" high and packing 57lbs. Heidi is just content to hang out on her pile of mexican blankets next to my desk while I am on the computer.

Today was one of those day's that Sadie felt she didn't get enough to eat .... or the food is so good she can't get enough of it.  Not 10 feet away from me while Im on my computer, she is trying to get the lid off the container I keep the dog food in. She HAS BEEN successful before at this and ate so much one night when I didn't know it, I was concerned she was going to bloat. She has been known to slide open closet doors to get to my spare food that is in bags, chew open the bag and make it her own disposable dog dish. So to say the least, she still has a lot of puppy in her at the age of 3.

An hour later both Winston and Sadie find a place to sleep. It is that hour of being obnoxious when I wonder about a Bloodhound / RV mix.  Are they made for one another or will it be a problem? It is usually just that first hour or two after I get home from work where she is pretty active and excited. On weekends when I am around, she is a little different. Based on all three hound's daily schedule, I have no doubt they will work in an RV. The majority of their days, 7 days per week, they love to sleep. The times I am home during the week, they sleep all day, a little food in the afternoon, a walk and they are good to go. Of course it might be different for her since I will not be gone 9 hours per day once I make the transition to the RV.

It's days like these if an RV will be right for the bloodhound. 22 hours per day, laidback and a couch potato, but at times 1 - 2 hours can make you wonder.

There is a good discussion going on about the difference of Class A and C's on the RV Forum, linked to the left side of my blog.  A lot of good information in there from people that have been on the road a long time to the newbie such as myself.

I'm still "feelin" a small Class A (30'-32').

I am planning on next Friday driving up to the Indy area to look at different RVs and hopefully test drive some.

I was thinking today....RVing and Workcamping as an option if I didn't want to wait the 2.6 yrs to go fulltime.  I will spend some time this weekend reading about workcamping. In the meantime I have a bunch of new websites/blogs to read in a few minutes that I find from reading other blogs or ebooks. I have made folders within my "RV Info" folder, to keep any ebooks I like, or blogs or websites that have good reference material.

I think it might be time to start downsizing and just for fun try selling somethings on ebay or Craigs list.  I am familiar with eBay but have never tried Craigs list. I thought Craig's list might be better for selling some desks, chest of drawers, bookcases, mowers, tools .... things I was wanting to get rid of anyway even if I stayed here.

Have a great Friday night where ever you might be.

November 03, 2011

Today it's a Class A....go figure

An interesting day to say the least. My DishNetwork installation didn't start until about 4pm, was scheduled for 8am till noon. I didn't care, I understand those guys have jobs that run into surprises.  I am going to tell you what I got for free through them, because it can be used by RVers that have internet connection and a tv.  It's like the old WebTV years ago, only with a lot more modern features. The fact is you can bookmark different websites on this program and use your tv as a monitor. I am Wifi mine from the living room back to my computer modem in the opposite corner of my house it works well. So I am sure it will work with your Verizon air cards and you can use your TV as a monitor instead of your laptop screens.  Just an idea.

I spent all day again today while I waited for them to show up, reading blogs, looking at RVs for.....I must admit, I like the C's but I really get good vibes when Im looking at A's. Now I have progressed so much that I have almost changed my mind on a diesel engine instead of gas. My friend is pulling 37' feet and said she use to slow to 40mph going up the mountains with their gas powered C but no problem with a diesel powered A. She and her husband do not boondock but they do stay in state parks in florida and eastern states at 37'. I am still thinking 30-31' though.  It would give me more storage than a C. I want to bring my bicycle with me to ride when the opportunity presents itself. It's a road bike that I use to race many years ago.

I know I probably wont go deep into the forest but I can get far enough away from traffic and have bigger tanks, more storage and more room for long stays.  Of course if you have been reading my blog from day one....I am all over the place on what type of RV to buy....daily.  So today its an A and after I post this I am going back to look at pictures.

I am reading two things I found today, on is "Fulltiming 101' from the, newbies corner.  Then an ebook called "Answers to the Common Excuses" to not to RV.  A lot of new blogs to read. I spent way too much time with the tv installation and got behind on my "new addiction".

Blast away with comments if you think I am making a wrong decision going for the A.

RV thoughts

Actually this is not a vacation but a day off ... one of those days off where "they can be there between 8-noon or noon-4".  I am switching out from DirecTv to DishNetwork. It's a long story and deals nothing with hounds or Rv's, so that is all I will say about it.

What that has done is give me some MORE time to read a pros and cons ebook, found some new blogs, different views, and of course more pictures of different RV's that people are living in fulltime. I would assume the reading and studying never ends?  Always keeping updated?

I still am thinking a Class C is the way to go for me, 28'-30' because I have dogs that will travel with me.  Yes it's tempting to buy a 30' class A, but I am not a "gearhead" and will need a Ford or Chevy dealer/mechanic to do work when needed. I can do the basics but not repair. So far there seems to be one consistent answer from comments here, other forums, emails, etc...."find the floor plan you like and go with it".....the engine, brand name is all about the same. It's a home on wheels, screws will loosen, sometime there will be leaks, or a dead battery etc.

Does that sound right?

BTW, my DishNetwork installer just called and that 10 minute job turned into a few more my 8-noon has now turned into 1 or 2pm.  :)

I looked over my numbers again late last night and found out, once my house is paid for (7K to go), my expenses living here mortgage free is almost identical as RV ing fulltime. Sure that is a rough estimate for expenses and you never know how much exactly it will cost until you are on the road.

Well I am going to go back to my reading and looking....more dreaming.  I'll be back later today or tonight for another post on what I may have found out new or any new questions or ideas I may have.

November 02, 2011

I want to leave now - but I can't

As bad as I want to leave now, the financial numbers and the "to do" list prevent my impulsive, exciting departure.  A HUGE blow to the left side of my brain....HUGE!  On top of this, I haven't bought my RV yet!  Throughout the day at work today I was ready to pack and go. Job stress was not causing this thinking because there isn't any job stress in my life. It was just the continuous thought of living in the pictures I am seeing in the different blogs that I follow. When I make my 12 mile commute every morning through farm lands, trees, hills etc, with the sun coming up I can relate to my past experiences driving down the highway at that time of day while on a trip of some kind and YOU driving your RV or just getting outside at your campground with a cup of coffee as the sun is coming up. I have always loved driving long distance.

So my day started by answering a the few emails I had in my inbox, did about an hour of work, then got online and started looking at different kinds of RV's. Read a few blogs, checked the forums for new posts, then back to looking at RV's. I looked at different National and State Parks I like and know of (ie: San Clemente State Park) and checked for maximum length.  At San Clemente, it was 30ft. Others I checked up through the Pacific Northwest, near Whidbey Island was set up for any length.

Now the day starts getting interesting. A co-worker of mine that kind of lit my RVing flame last spring was at work today. I had not seen him for a few months. I figured he was traveling. We start talking and catching up on our interests when I told him my "new addiction" is RVing.  He asked if I was going to buy one, a 5th wheel or a motorhome. I answer motorhome, probably a Class C, around 30' max so I can get into some of the state parks. He mentioned that he wished he would have known that limit before he spent money on his 40' 5th wheel last spring. He said he did do a lot of research on what manufacturer to buy from but not much more than that.  He is 59 can retire anytime from his previous employer retirement plan but has been waiting for his wife to retire from work in 2 1/2 years. Last spring, they sold their house with plans of living in their 5th wheel until she retires. Which they have been doing. Plus they spent some time this summer traveling and finding out somethings they didn't expect or didn't know about.

He said "there were just a lot of places I wanted to go but couldn't get into because of the length of my 5th wheel.  He has bought space at an RV park in Florida and is thinking of just leaving his 5th wheel down there and live in a smaller RV up here until his wife retires.  (Indiana winters???).  Anyway, the "bomb" hit suddenly in his conversation.

The wife wants to buy a house and stay in the area permanently and RV part time.  Last April it was full-time after selling their "dream home".  I just listened but was surprised. He would prefer to RV full-time. We then started talking about retiring from our work positions instead of waiting. That got me thinking that I needed to take another look at my analysis I have on an Excel spreadsheet and make sure the numbers are good.

So when I got home, finished the daily walk through a 15 acre hay field with my 3 hounds, I sat down and went through my numbers again.  I then made a "no holes barred" pros and cons list.  The list surprised me! I guess I found out that I have a lot of likes living where I do, that I really hadn't paid attention to. This then led me to wonder if I should ever sell the house? When I looked at the numbers....I CAN'T quit today, unless I pay my mortgage off or sell the house. I do have some people interested in buying this house and I believe I could price it right for a quick sell and good profit. That list put a little bug of confusion if I should sell everything or not.

My financial analysis showed it would be best for me to work another 2-1/2 years, instead of retiring now and yes that is a valid option.

So it feels almost like it did the first time I started this RV what to do?  That is somewhat disappointing after the emotional high I spoke of last night. So, I guess it is back to my original plan of taking this next couple of years of downsizing (selling my cars, my house), then picking out an RV. Still, with the economy the way it is, it seems to me it would be a great time to buy the RV now. Then take it out on weekend trips (I rarely take vacations from work) for the next couple of years to "sharpen my RV skills".

My plan LAST YEAR was to keep this house as my base camp and spend most of my time traveling and camping in an old, mint condition, VW camper. With 3 dogs that would change from VW CAMPer to VW CRAMPed.  So that vehicle is a dead issue.

This whole thing is like mental torcher.

So an interesting day.....the RVing co-worker story, my pros and cons list, my number analysis and possibly a dab of doubt wondering if I am making the right choice.

I saw that google visited my blog today, which was kind of cool. It usually takes google 3-5 weeks to show up to "crawl" your blog or site and it took less than a week to pay me a visit. For those that don't understand what I am saying, anytime you have a blog or website, google "spiders" will crawl your space automatically gathering keywords so you can be found in their google search engines when other people type in keywords that can lead them to your site. This is advantageous for those here with an adsense account and make some money with their google advertising on their blog or if they were selling something on a website like I use to do.

After the day I had, I still thought it was pretty nice that google showed up.

Now.....back to looking at of those RV's for sale online !!  (laughing as I open my sales site)

November 01, 2011

I Can't Believe How Ready I Am to Leave

As I read more information and look at different motor homes, my desire increases to sell everything and hit the road. Ive been able to read how everything works. I have a clearer understanding of the plumbing, the electrical hook up, generators, tire pressure warning systems, the black and grey tanks, RV parks or boondocking. The most important feature....the time you have to choose where you want to be and what you want to do., is the best.

I wish I could pack up and leave tomorrow and beat the cold Midwest winter that feels like it is right around the corner. As I decide when to retire and what RV to buy, I am going to start downsizing my things immediately. Actually I started that last spring and try to clean out things not used annually. Now it's a little bit different...before putting the house up for sale (already local interest in the house) I need to fix a couple of things I was planning on doing before winter.

What is interesting, based on my Excel spreadsheet comparison of expenses I have now and what I would have on the road, the totals are pretty close but a little less on the road. I have monthly income from my military retirement, no debt except my small mortgage and social security just 2 years and 7 mos away. (savings).  Its very tempting to start the process now and not wait until I am 62 to be on the road. I have a long list of places I want to see. I know where I want to be in the winter and where I want to be during the spring and summer. From all of your blogs Ive read, the notes I have taken and the blogs you read that I looked the forums people have suggested, I have sites bookmarked and notes a mile long on what I need to start this journey. The picture is a lot clearer now than it was 2 weeks ago when I read Glen's article on Yahoo.

It's all very exciting!!

My mindset is already focused on what I want to happen.

To all the people I am following and all the blogs I am have taken some great pictures of places you have been.  Yet there are just as many more places not seen yet and that is what I am looking forward to.

The hounds will be ok, because they love to ride and by their nature, really laidback dogs. Even today when I walked over to my old pickup truck to check inside, all the dogs were following, barking, talking, ready to jump in the truck because they thought they were going to "go" in the truck.  Not only do they like to ride, they like to sleep and ride. So I don't see an issue there.

To all on the safe!

A short note

After some new information, and sorting of notes on my iPad,  I have changed my focus to a C, 29-31', a couple of slides. I feel pretty confident that is the direction I am going to go. It feels good to get that past me and I can move to other things on my checklist. I plan to test drive some C's on November 10 or 11. Do any of you have laminate flooring in your rigs instead of carpet?  If so, do you notice more road noise or any additional noises not heard when you had carpet?

I do not consider myself a pack-rat but looking around this small house....I have a ton of stuff to get rid of. I think I am going to start a Craig's List account and go that direction. I use to sell full time on eBay so I am familiar with that system but it just takes too much time to ship and pack things. Otherwise, local ads. Living on a highway makes it dangerous to try having a garage sale.

On to the next step....still I can't stop looking at rigs and reading information. I have to force my self to sleep.

How many of you use solar panels for your electrical needs?

I am just curious on this last question, if you would rather email the answer instead of commenting is fine....What is the worst thing that has happened to you in your travels?

October 31, 2011

RV Sizes and House Thoughts

With each day I find more information from the comments people make here, emails, and information from other blogs / forums. The picture is possibly a little more clearer on what I want to use as an RV fulltime. With plans of doing more boondocking than staying at rv parks, and living with my dogs, I am beginning to think a 30'-32' MH will be the best. Leaning more towards a Class A than C and a shorter length so I can stay at National Forest Parks sometime. To help me sort out this confusion, I plan on going to Indianapolis within the next few weeks and looking at and hopefully test drive a Class A and C.  I need to walk, stand inside each type to get a good feel of what I want.

I admit the dogs change my whole thought process. If it were just I, I would buy a Class C, 26' and be done with it. Still, I would never trade my dogs for an RV lifestyle, or for anything. So they are in part of my analysis of this move.

I spent a lot of time this weekend, reading all the information at RVforum  (great info), thinking of what each of your comments and emails were telling me and looking at pictures of different A's & C's with different lengths. The one's I like I am saving for picture purposes only.

Today it hit me that even if I end up loving RVing full time eventually there would be a stopping point. Possibly a point where I would want to RV part-time. Would I rent in a location different than I have now?  Or keep the home I have now, empty  (no renters) so if there was ever a point in time I could not RV, then I would have a place with no mortgage payment. Still I would be paying annual property taxes, house insurance and any upkeep while I was on the road. Added expenses that I don't want.

Then different times of the day or night I think I would sell every asset I have and hit the road for good.  I know full-time RVers reading this have gone through the same "mental game" as I am going through now. I have plenty of time to make my decision, no pressure to make a decision soon but I am the type of person that as soon as I finish my analysis, I am ready to make a decision and go with it. I already know a lot of places I want to see, routes to take and how I want to stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer.  I cannot do that in a house in Indiana, even if I use that as a base address and travel a lot.

Basically I want to downsize more than I am now and hit the road.....dogs and all.

I think you can see that I have been thinking a lot this past weekend. Almost to the point of "information overload".

October 30, 2011

Some New RV Questions

I'm typing this live and its pretty late, still have college football on (Arizona at UDub) and its 1:17am .... yes, college football could be an addiction for me.

Thanks for all the comments today and the new people following. For those following, remember that I am still not really sure when this change in careers is going to happen. It would be within months or not until I retire from my job in a couple of years. I know when I would like to leave but I have some work to do to downsize, decide what to sell, or if I should rent out my house at first to see if the full time RVing is going to work with me and my 3 hounds. Anyway, I have some new RV questions today.

1.  Is there a disadvantage in staying at RV parks if your RV is older than 10 yrs old?
2.  What would be the differences in a 30' Class C or a 30' Class A?
3.  If you had the same amount of money available to by any kind of RV, would you buy an older model for the same amount of money as a newer one?
4.  I plan on spend more time boondocking than staying in RV that why a Class C would be better than a Class A?
5.  Best to buy locally or in those no humidity states in the southwest?
6.  I know it would be based on condition of the RV but if a Class A and Class C are the same price and have less than 25,000 miles on them, which is a better RV?

Some of these questions are based on some comments and others are ones I had as I was looking at ads for RVs while watching my football games. I have decided with the hounds I really need at least one slideout, I would prefer a bed in back. I have an iMac at home but also a large monitor attached to it. I would prefer to keep the larger screen set up rather than going to a full time laptop. I have an iPad that I will be taking. I am also going to google on ideas of mounting or installing a 46" HD tv someway the RV I buy.  If any of you have an answer for those two (computer & tv) it is much appreciated.

I decided against my friends bus. Its a great design but I am not really keen on a diesel and a 4 speed stick at that. Yet, I keep going back to a Class A that is 32-36' long. Would I need that room being single?  Probably not but with the dogs it would be more room and more storage.

I have a pretty good idea in my head when I want to make the move but do not want to announce it yet. I still want to test drive different RVs, Ill do that locally and as many different A's and C's as possible.

Can anyone suggest a good RV Guide I could buy where I would have information on what are the best RVs before I buy one. I guess I could probably look on the internet for reviews but thought someone here might have one that they really liked.

Good night everyone and for those on the road and a full-timer.....I envy you.

October 29, 2011

Can't Stop Thinking of RVing Full Time

Well it is Saturday morning here in Indiana and so far I haven't accomplished anything planned today. I am needing to install a new storm door but it was in the 30s this morning when the hounds and I went outside for the first time of many today. (They think I am their doorman on Weekends) So without being motivated enough to start that installation and complete before my addiction of college football that starts at noon, local looks like it might be a multiple day job.

Thanks for all the new followers, comments and emails.  It is certainly nice to hear from those that have gone through similar thoughts I have had when first thoughts of RVing full time start to appear on a daily basis. As you see I have added some new blogs from the ones you listed and I liked. Also my favorite links is increasing and you will notice that is also becoming longer.  

I figured out the process of uploading photos to blogger from iPhoto. I have also renewed my little knowledge of HTML to where I can manipulate the way I want things.....except staring this post to the right of the photo above instead of below it.
That picture is across the highway from my house, looking from my drive.  It is a July picture but looks much better than what is there now, since the farmer spent last Thursday picking his corn before it rained. Is the view a reason I am hesitant in selling my soon to be paid for small house in rural america? 

Like I said yesterday, I have about decided what I need is a Class C - 25-29', 1 or 2 slide outs, and something around the $50K range or lower. After reading some blogs last night and then at different RVs pictured online I was feeling pretty good about what I wanted.

That is until I called my friend Dennis in Alamogordo NM who has converted an older passenger bus into a 40' beautiful RV.  Here is a picture of it:

That paint job is a vinyl application like you see on cars for NASCAR. The dome in front is the TV Satalite with 2 AC. So you see where I am going with this story?  Scrambles the brain cells doesn't it. Yet I would be limited in where I could park, what RV parks I could get into. Yet it is built with added features to boondock for quite a long time.

These pictures will give you some idea what is inside but they were taken during installation.  He is about finished wrapping everything up and will take finished photos then. He and his wife bought all top of the line stuff.

With the amount of generators, propane tanks, fresh -gray-black water tanks, staying somewhere solo for a while is possible. Tires have been changed to be able to get off and on pavement. Everything inside is new, from the laminate flooring to the custom made kitchen cabinets. You might be wondering why is he selling this after doing all the work???  Health reasons.
It is so tempting, it's within my price range, I know he has done quality work with long term RVing in mind. Gets 10-12 mpg cruising at 55-60 mph. Still it's HUGE! It might be too much to drive for a first timer like myself. I was really beginning to like those Class C's 25'-29' long.

So there you have it.  It's a lazy Saturday morning so far, good coffee, the hounds have been out and are all sleeping for most of the day and I sit here and read new information, new blogs and look at different vehicles.....and my storm door is still in the box leaning up against the wall waiting to be tackled.

The converted 40' Bus or the Class C RV ?????

October 28, 2011

RV Sizes and Types

First of all thanks for all the comments and new followers after my first post. I am not new to blogging, just to this niche and it was nice to see that some people decided to hang around and see what I end up doing. I will read all the comments and will answer emails as soon as I can.

Well it was a pretty productive day and some answers are starting to surface. With my 3 dogs that I am going to travel with, I am thinking a 27'-29', Class C with a sideout is what I am going to need. It is tempting to buy the older 35+ Class A but from most of the blogs that I am reading, they are able to get into some spots where a smaller RV has it's advantages. I am going to want to stay out in the open more than parks. There is a huge selection but I have narrowed my search to the Southwestern part of the USA. I found in my VW Bus buying day, the southwest had dry metal and very little rust if any.

Which brings up the question, is it better to buy from a private party or a dealer?

Even the Class C 28' with no sideouts looks to have enough room for my hounds to sleep (their favorite hobby) while driving or even after parked and set up for a month stay. I walk the dogs daily using retractable leashes. They can go out 25' while we walk but I can control that with a push of a button. Their only problem is, they love people and always seem to move that direct to be able to sniff them a little or sit to be petted.

These blogs are really a great source of information for someone that has traveled but NEVER by RV.

So, before I head out to do some work on my blog, I guess I am looking for a Class C, 1 sideout, 27'-29', Gas Fuel, from either a dealer or private owner located in the Southwestern USA.

In the mean time I am going to try to get some pages up and filled in. Then give you some pictures and history of the hounds so you know will be taking this adventure with me. Also I tried many times to get a profile picture up but Blogspot didn't like them and kept having "internal errors", yet they didn't seem to mind adding the same picture to when I was following a blog.....go figure.

I am also finding that adding photos from iPhoto on my iMac is not a smooth friendship. As soon as I figure out how to keep Picasa from importing ALL (1,000s) of my photos from my hard drive, I will then load them into the blog from Picasa. I am computer literate, worked online at home from '05-'09, so it should not take to long to figure out what I want to do.

Can I follow these blogs of other people if I am using a WordPress blog instead of Blogger?  My frustration trying to use Blogspot is the same as it was years ago when I decided to move to WordPress.

Anyway, wherever you are, have a great Friday night and weekend.

Yes, my mind is still going a thousand mph with all this new exciting information.