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.