July 27, 2013

House Truck Car and H3 Hummer For Sale

Craig's List was not a fast process but I have listed my 2006 Mini Cooper S and Chevy 2500 Truck on Craig's list. This was after spending the day washing all 3 vehicles and taking some current photos for the ads.

The For Sale Sign for my house has gone back and forth from the front yard to out of view ... LOL

Each time I have posted it out front, down by the highway, I get calls asking about it. The small town local people probably know more about this house than I do and I have lived here for 17 years. My friend that is a popular real estate agent has told me over the years people have asked about my house and if it was available. She feels it will sell fairly quick based on the current market.

So I'll see what happens with everything for sale. I have only tried selling 1 set of Z4 wheels and tires on Craig's list in the past and the only response I got was from my favorite people down in Nigeria with the best shipping costs there is. (j/k)

Yet, people I work with tell me they have always had great luck selling cars and trucks on Craig's List.

It is still early tonight, so I will be listing some personal items on eBay, I still have good results selling there.  That will be the plan tomorrow, taking pictures and writing eBay ads...a lot of this stuff I was going to sell even I had stayed here.

The days off I have from work (The Forced Friday Off by the Government) show me what retirement would be like if I were to stay "status quo" .... and I can't do it that way.  I have to be on the move otherwise I would go nuts sitting here day after day. I have seen about all I want to see within a 5 hour drive from here, over the years I have lived here. I have looked at keeping the house and traveling, yet that changes with costs on the road and costs at home to keep it maintained, also with possible additional stress leaving a house empty for extended period of time. I have had to do that in the past for 6-10 month periods, all with negative results. 

There are periods of great weather in Indiana over the course of the year but it's tough living through the extreme weather changes as you get older. As temps and humidity become unbearable, the cost of electricity increases rapidly. As those temps drop into the single digits with ice and snow in the winter, the cost of electricity increases rapidly. I don't know about your local electric company but mine prefers to charge you more per kilowatt during the "high usage" months, as they call it.

I would prefer to be pulling my electric from a solar system and at times a small generator if needed or boondocked in locations to beat each extreme weather and not paying the overpriced power companies. I even have to pay $32 per month for a "facility" charge on my utility bill....they could have built a castle with that monthly fee per customer!!  LOL

So, even when traveling full time was not even a thought ... I was still thinking about moving back out west after I retired and do that I would have been selling my house.

Here are my 2 Craig's List ads links. For some reason when I post links, they never change to the color of font that I have chosen for links....so you can hover your curser over each and click.  Feel free to send the links to your friends if they interested.  I am also open for suggestions for a better ad if needed. 

It's good to see a plan come together.  No time limits, just continuous daily action toward that goal of traveling....hounds and all.

July 26, 2013

Could Not Leave People Hanging by My Disappearance

When I shut this blog down for the 2nd time in a couple of months, I wasn't coming back ... I still may not blog on a regular basis.

I may or may not post occasionally in the future but I wanted to leave this blog active for those new readers or people that are looking for answers (I have none) about living on the road either in an RV or trailer (I have done neither) with dogs. Maybe some of the research I have done the past 21 months might help someone just starting their search for information.

I am on Facebook, have been for years, but 3 or 4 months ago, I deleted all my friends from just Facebook and only kept that account open so I could follow "pages" or "groups" that I liked.

In Blogs and Facebook, I have never really cared to share what I personally do with the outside world but they are both useful in a way ... so I keep both of them. For information mostly.

So that is where I am today in blogland. Yes, I have continued to read all the blogs I have listed on the left through Feedly. That program was my replacement for Google Reader after it stopped.

For my followers, an update ... NO, I did not buy the Starcraft Trailer I last posted about. One week before delivery, with money in hand, I went down to the dealer for a look again and planned on paying for it a week in advanced. After she unlocked the door so I could look at the trailer I was buying, my initial thought was "this is smaller than I remembered", "smaller than the pictures I had looked at after making arrangements for purchase".

So I spent an hour in 90 degree heat, sitting inside and thinking, on my hands and knees looking at ever nook inside and out of the trailer. I kept asking if that trailer was a workable solution for my 3 dogs and I. There was also some question on the length of the trailer based on the model number in the name and that of trailer manufacturer's norm.  Was it 17' inside or from tongue to bumper. After that hour I spent looking and thinking, during my 40 minute drive home I was fairly certain I was not going to make the purchase of that particular trailer. I called them the next day to cancel.

Still the Starcraft AR-ONE 17RD is a possibility.

I believe the trailer I need is the Northwood Nash, 18' and I need a pickup truck to tow that instead of my H3 Hummer.

I have emailed a few people the past few weeks since I closed my blog and discussed different options, thoughts etc.

Yes, the 3 hounds are a major reason and always has been the reason a decision has not been made...not fear.

So, really all is well, I am in good health, I receive different forms of income on a regular basis, the Indiana temps have cooled to high 70's, the humidity had dropped, the bugs are gone and the land behind my house has been cut and turned into large rolls of hay.

For those that are traveling ... be safe and I enjoy reading about your travels.

David ... your pup reminds me an A LOT of my bloodhound when she was in her first 3 years.

Thanks for stopping by.

July 10, 2013

Why I Picked the AR-ONE 17RD

Since reading about Glenn in October 2011, I spent about a year gathering information about full-time living on the road. I read and still read a lot of blogs of people that travel full-time, some part-time and some ex-travelers. They used Class A's, Class C's, Vans, 5th Wheels, Trailers and even a few tents. I emailed these people on occasion and received replies 100% of the time.

So I had a lot of information to digest on making a lifestyle change, while at the time I wasn't looking to do anything. I had been restless for years, having lived on the west coast for many years I had seen a lot of these places people were writing about and taking pictures. I knew how nice some of those places were.

This lifestyle I was finding out about was giving me a way to do that travel instead of long drives and over priced motel rooms.

After year one passed I started looking at different rigs, some owned by friends and some at RV lots like Camping World in Indy and Colerain in Indy. I came close to buying a 34' Class A locally, in fact if the family had not been on spring break vacation, I probably would have bought it after the road test but that road test had to wait for them to get back and by that time I had 2nd thoughts about something that big...because I always wanted to go "as small as possible".

Then a few weeks ago, I announced on this blog that I was buying the 17' Casita that was only 30 miles away and in mint condition. I decided that was too small for me and my hounds.

I loved the Gulfstream BT Cruiser every time I looked at them and sat in them.  I liked the Class C's.

Yet, I didn't know how far off the beaten path I could get with a Class C, a Class A, a 5th wheel or a larger trailer.

So I bought the Starcraft AR-ONE 17RD for the following reasons:

This trailer, can be towed by my H3 Hummer, 20' long on the inside, 2,800 lbs and no trailer could beat the price…$9,995. I would have paid $12K-$18K for any of the trailers I had talked about before and they would have been used and I would have had to trade my H3 for a pickup. I wanted to try the H3 out before I made the trade so that was a small factor.  I felt a lot of room as I moved around inside the trailer, plenty of storage and everything was new.  Plus, I follow a blogger that bought one last winter, solo traveler and has nothing but great things to say about the trailer.

- 2 yr warranty on the trailer
- 14 yr warranty on the rubber one piece roof  (I think it's 7 years)
- I can fit in the shower
- basement storage in front of the trailer that goes all the way across the trailer
- a full time queen size bed
- with side and rear windows in the dining area, great view outside while eating inside or on computer in bad weather days.
- Starcraft is manufactured in Middlebury IN.

The price of $9,995 included:

    - anti sway hitch
    - installed brake controller
    - new Marine battery
    - Propane filled - I know, not many dollars but still
    - Local RV sales for any repair, conversions or modifications
    - No pressure sales, people were extremely nice, knew their trailers and listened to what type of
      camping/traveling you were going to do.

I still need to load pictures up into Picasa or Photobucket so I can load them here.

The Starcraft AR-ONE 17RD Has Been Purchased

I know for long time readers, the words in the title are hard to believe ... lol

Due to the busy schedule of prepping trailers for delivery from the establishment I am buying from, I had to wait until next week to pick up my new trailer. Since I am now working 4 - 10 hour days, early Friday morning seemed like the perfect time to drive down and pick it up after they install the brake control, the sway control and some operational training on the trailer itself. So I'll pick it up July 19!!!

I have laid the 25' tape measure out in the backyard and have plenty of room to park the trailer parallel or perpendicular to my house. It is not possible to park it in the driveway due to the incline and no room on the sides of the drive. Plus, I don't have a lot of level ground in the backyard, so there was only one place basically to set it up.

I will then move what I would plan to full time with into the trailer, including the dogs, their water bowls, dog food, my clothes, couple of glasses and a couple of plates. Then sleeping bags for them and me to sleep on, not in due to the current temps.

By the following 3 day weekend, the 26th I plan on taking the hounds and I on a weekend camping trip...kind of a "shakedown cruise", enjoy the fire, some coffee and what it feels like to finally relax and just hangout.

By that time my resume's for workamping jobs will have been sent out.  I'd like to start that way to get to know the trailer better, the camping scene, see some nice areas and meet some new people. It will also keep be a little busy rather than just going "cold turkey" from working a fulltime job to nothing.

Once I find a workamping position, I'll look at my start day, subtract travel time, a little vacation before and after arrive and come up with a date to use as my resignation date...."they" will not be happy with that news.

If for some reason I do not come up with a workamping position, I might take off towards the southwest before winter hits Indiana and go boondocking right off the bat.  I've had a lot of good teachers with all the blogs I have been following so it should be fun to see how I and the hounds do.

I will add some pictures later.

I could come up with every excuse and justify every reason NOT to do this.....but the urge to travel just never went away, even when I attempted a couple of times to push it away.

July 07, 2013

Make That a Million and One Times

The night of my last post, the more I looked at my sleeping Bloodhound the bigger she got and the smaller the Casita room looked. Then when all three hounds were standing next to my desk chair wanting attention, I realized the Casita would not work.  My basset hounds are longer than the width of the isle in the Casita Trailer!!

No matter how much I wanted it to work ... facing facts ... it would not work.

So I called the seller, only 30 miles away, the next morning after sleeping on my thoughts and told him I had changed my mind ... that it was too small. He had 2 people in line to buy the trailer if I backed out of it.

I had positive feedback from readers and local friends on that decision. I knew it was the right decision as soon as I hung up from the call.

So now, what?

Yes, there has been a couple of outrageous emails ... enough that I shut the blog down, with no intentions of coming back to blog land. Then there were emails that were helpful and encouraging.

I came back to blog land because I caught myself writing a journal. Then I thought I already have almost 21 months of history already recorded, don't let a few bad emails make you run from blog land. I admit, I am usually not this open with private decisions and putting thoughts out online was somewhat of a question for me.

I'm back ... maybe all of my confusion will help someone, otherwise it will be a good record after I hit the road.

I found a Starcraft dealer nearby, so Saturday I drove on our "new" Interstate to check out this RV dealership loaded with new trailers and 5th wheels.  I am only looking at and have looked at trailers that I can pull with my H3 Hummer. That limits the size of the trailer but there are a couple bigger than the Casita that I think will work. Those are the Starcraft AR-ONE 17RD and the Lance 1575 w/slide.

I looked at, sat in, check out the bed, the storage and the roof for a 2013 Starcraft AR-ONE 17RD. They have given me a great price that includes a new battery, installed brake controller, ball mount, anti-sway bar and any changes I want as part of their dealer prep. 2 year warranty on the trailer and 14 year warranty on the rubber roof. Quoted sale price was $9,995.

This gets me on the road faster, under my budgeted cost, have some good feedback from people that are using it and a lot more space than I saw in the Casita.

So the plan can be the same as I last posted. Buy the trailer, park it in back and live in it, with the hounds and find out if we all will be road worthy. With my forced sequestration day off starting this Friday until the end of September, I see some camping trips on the horizon working only 4 days/week.

Thanks to an email I received from a follower, a suggested book has really helped me understand my insanity.