May 21, 2014

I'm Back Only to Update the Latest Plans

I'm back tonight, much sooner than you probably expected and sooner than I had planned on, but there has been some recent developments this afternoon. I thought I'd post the updates and then take a break from blogging ... my future schedule just got really busy today. I chose to, on the suggestion of a friend, to blog about things tonight, instead of continuing to stay away for a month or so and then posting when I got back "by the way, last May I decided and did this while I was away" .... I don't believe that is fair to people logging in to read this blog and have chosen to follow me.

I have spent the last couple of days getting prepared to leave the area for a short vacation. Some of my camping gear is missing. I believe it's one of those "senior moments" you hear about...all speculation I know :) ... but a few years ago camping was more of a regular activity. A younger relative needed some equipment on the trips I did not have time to go on. I believe that is where some of my stuff is. I forgot to get it back or ask for it back. I was pretty job oriented then and was extremely busy with traveling, so I just spaced it. It's not a big deal because it's all replaceable.

I spent more time than I wanted and expected at the local Bureau of Motor Vehicles this morning. Since my plates for the Chevy Truck were just bought a few weeks ago because in this state, my plates expire 28 April every year for all my vehicles ... I was wanting to transfer those plates to the Toyota FJ Cruiser that was just bought. It's a simple process and the lady doing my transaction has shown in the past to be very knowledgeable about her job. I felt good as I sat down up until she started frowning at the computer screen, then her hand went to her forehead and possibly some slight mumbling to herself, barely audible. I knew then I might see many other people sit down, do their transaction and then leave way before I would. I remained calm. It ended up being a successful transaction taking longer than planned but at least I was given a huge credit.

With everything transpiring with the vehicle changes, mind changing on what rigs to buy, etc ... there has been a lot of thinking going on about my plans going on. Those plans have been thought about for a long time but a lot of it just got sorted out the past few weeks and hit loudly today and I feel its all part of the plan starting to come together. The pieces of the puzzle are showing up with the most appropriate timing, something I thought might happen once I was retired.

You probably remember over these past few years I have looked at, blogged about, a lot of different ideas, a lot of different rigs, a lot of different trailers. So what I am going to explain was NOT just something that flashed through my mind and a minute later I decided to do it .... I might be crazy but I'm not insane.

Last week after looking at the RV in Indy, since I was near one of two large RV dealers in the area, I stopped in to look at used trailers and new trailers. They all had one thing in common, they felt like trailers when I stepped inside them. Nothing impressed me, new or old. They were poorly constructed, it was just a feel I had again about them. When winds out west are up to 50mph at times and I am moving the trailer a little bit just by stepping inside ... I see that as a problem. It wasn't  something I had not thought of before or felt before.

Through all my research there were a few manufacturers that had topped the list. Probably the Nash, Arctic Fox, Bigfoot and Escape (Canadian) always seemed to end up in my "favorites" folder of trailers I liked. The Jayco makes good stuff but it had that feel I described earlier.

So last week I was on a forum and saw "Production Dates" for a specific manufacturer. I didn't think much of it, because I always assumed I'd buy a used one. The problem with that theory was twofold. One, few were available and Two the used ones had retained their value to where there were a few $1,000s difference between a old and new one. The difference was small enough in most cases to make you consider just ordering a new one. Also rarely did I find a used trailer having everything I needed. The thing is with all of these trailers based on my past research and past Excel spreadsheets to compare ... they all ended up about the same total price but they all had different standard equipment and you were going to have to buy options to get what you NEEDED, not what you WANTED.

So a long story short .... {drum roll}

I called Escape Trailers in Canada today, late this afternoon, to place a deposit on a new build for a December 2014 delivery. I found out the last reservation spot sold earlier this morning. So they took down all of my information except my cc number and I am to call back soon for a January 2015 production date.

That is the trailer I am going to buy, no doubts, no changing my mind. Not only have I thought about that trailer before but with my recent change of tow vehicle, that changed the amount of weight I could tow ... it's all good, it wasn't a surprise. I have a close friend that has inspected them for me in real time, stepped inside them, touched and felt them and the trailer came highly recommended. With over 15 years of being on the road, more on the road than off, I felt their knowledge was more valuable than me traveling 2,000 miles to find out for myself on what very little experience I have.

Now that the trailer date has been decided ... and it definitely has ... that changes my plans of leaving  this week or next because based on my other decision I am about to tell you about ... after months, if not years of thinking about it ... Since my retirement roughly 6 weeks ago, I found out some things that I suspected would happen and have. Some of these reasons are personal and will not be blogged about nor discussed with anyone but basically it is something I thought about last year, all through this year and even years before an RV was even part of my vocabulary. I felt that once I retired I would have my answer ... that has come to be true and I have an answer.

I am selling my house.

My two cars are already listed for sale as of today and in fact one was cleaned today and is parked down by the US Highway I live on, that gets a lot of traffic. It will take longer than my 1994 Chevy which lasted about a day down by the highway before it sold. Now before we all go freakazoid about this move, don't look at this decision as if I'm selling out to go full-time rving/traveling, something I have never done but look at it with the perspective of the hounds and I relocating back to the western states where I spent over 20 years of my life. Only this time I'll not be looking to live on the beach in Carlsbad Calif like I did in 1977, nor Whidbey Island NW of Seattle where I spent 10 years before moving back to Indiana for job related excuses. Some where out in states many miles west of the Mississippi River, there is a place that will let me know when the time is right ... that's it. In the meantime, what little I keep will be stored at a friends and small enough amounts that things can be shipped or driven out to me. There will not be much to take because honestly after my downsizing last summer and fall, I really don't have that much stuff to move.

So the new plan is and has already started:

1.  Get down to one vehicle ... my tow vehicle the FJ Cruiser ... Two other cars are currently for sale.
2.  Deposit on a new trailer after years of study.... the time spent searching for a rig or trailer are over!!!
2.  Once the cars and house are sold I will hit the road and will either tent camp on my way to the western states and then find something locally to stay in until the January 2015 delivery date for my new trailer.
3.  Based on weather, I plan to leave Indiana no matter what has or has not sold, no later than October 15. Based on local market information I received last week in a conversation, it is very possible that my house will sell faster than one of my cars.  :) but I have to clean it out and clean it up for it to be shown to prospective buyers.

So as you see there is a reason I am not leaving for vacation or some camping like I had planned a couple of days ago. I cannot justify taking time off from here until I have prepped my house so that it it's prepared for the local Real Estate agent to show it. That also includes a final downsizing of possessions.

I HAVE A LOT of work to do, not only to prep the house for showings but also to get rid of the last of my possessions that I no longer want. It's NOT everything, just a few things that fall into that folder of either selling them online or donating them to libraries, Goodwill or local charities. This is stuff that I have not used or looked at in over a year or longer!! The stuff I blogged about in the past 3-4 months, that I didn't want to get rid of, most of that is going with me.

It's already close to June 1 and October 15, IF NOT SOONER is just right around the corner, so I don't have a lot of time. Currently the vehicles to do lists are all finished, either they are for sale or have been registered and have new tires. The humidity hit today and the hounds are panting on occasion and that's never a good sign. Highly motivating for me to get into action.

As far as selling the house and the moving part, I basically saw that decision weeks ago but put it on the back burner so to speak. Each day forward I could see it was the right thing to do.

So that is my plan update. Everything seems to be falling into place, just like I thought it would once I was in the retirement mode. I'm some of the readers are taking or placing side bets on if this happens ... when it does, I want a percentage of the winning amount.  LOL

I do not plan, as some of the blogs I read a few years ago, do daily or weekly blog updates about the downsizing of possessions, the status of car sales or house sale. I'm going to be off the blog for a while doing what I just discussed. I will finally have to get my butt off this chair and away from this computer day after day to get the things done in time for hounds and I to head west.

Time waits for no one.

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