May 29, 2012

Hot and Muggy in the Midwest

I survived this past weekend of extremely hot temps and a little humidity here in the midwest. Most of the time during the heat, my mind wandered to the BLM land of mountains, sunshine and cool temps of the western states. 

From the last post, I did finish the small landscaping job of redoing my flower beds and upgrading a couple of others. Took me a weekend and a couple days after work, so that was completed before the weekend. Not what I could call enjoyable but looks nice.

I have a couple of new people interested in buying my house, but they are not sure about my small town. Basically all I have to do is let them know it's for sale. For me, that seems like a hard trigger to pull. I'm not sure why because I have sold my Z4 sports car, my Toyota 4Runner, gave away a lot of clothes and appliances that I no longer used or wanted. I am basically down to just the bare essentials and even some of that can be either stored or sold when I decide to leave.

Maintaining a home is more work now, whereas years ago it was fun ... something I enjoyed. That is a sure sign to me that I need to sell and change location. I don't mind the hot weather but not a fan of the humidity. I know I would enjoy living back out west, warm in the winter and up in the mountains or northern states in the summer. I have lived in Washington, Colorado, California in the past and have traveled through most of the states by car, bicycle or train. Really have no desire to go east of Indiana nor south.

I am meeting up with a friend and his wife July  4th weekend that has a 36' Class A Monaco. It will be a short visit but an informative one. Steve and I went grew up together. They have a couple of years before he retires and they RV full-time, but they do a lot of traveling in their Monaco and through the years have used every type of camper/motorhome there is as far as types and classes.

Needless to say, we have discussed a lot of RV information over the phone. 

That is about all I can update.  I read my blog list daily, have learned a lot from them, enjoy your great pictures of where you have been or where you are at. Yes, I have the urge to leave.

Even the RV maintenance stories from the blogs I read are quite interesting. Yet, I have two maintenance things possibly on the horizon ... a fridge is acting weird and central air conditioning screaming for a new unit.

So ... "it's a money pit" seems appropriate for both homes on land or on wheels.

May 20, 2012

After A Day of Yard Work

I did some things yesterday that I would put under "house maintenance", that I would not be doing if I were RVing full-time. I am sitting here, almost 9am, feeling the heat building from the outside ... wondering if I can spend another day working on my latest yard project.

Through a suggestion of a friend a few years ago, I laid River Rock in the flower beds in front of my house, with no border. Yesterday I bought what border was left at the local landscaping biz and had enough to do one section in front of my house.  Wasn't bad, dug out only dirt, inserted the brick borders and covered with Cypress mulch around my Yews I put in last fall.

Now the work begins. I have 25' x 4' of River Rock bed to take out and move to the back side of the house. Then dig out to put in the brick border, level them and dig out dirt from the bed and level that. Put the black material for preventing weeds  (does the stuff ever work) and then cover with more Cypress mulch.

It's going to be 90 today and yesterday 86-88 felt like the end of the world while I worked outside.

At different times of taking breaks, drinking lots of water and even after a 2 hour mid-day nap ... I kept thinking what it would be like if I were boondocking in my Class A RV (not bought yet) and sitting outside with the hounds in a nice mid 70's atmosphere with little humidity. Wondering where I would be this time of year.

Also wondering what I would do when I become bored while RVing.

What do you full-timers do when boredom hits  you while you are on the road?

When I am bored here, I usually hit the local college town (25 miles away), for bookstores, camping stores and my favorite watering hole for the 12" Stromboli sandwich and then cruise back home to the spot outside of a small town, with 15 acres of hay behind me.

What would I do if I were bored while RVing full-time?  Let me know what you do while traveling and boredom hits.

Well, its shade on the west side (front) of the house, so off I go to start my day of more landscaping.

I wouldn't be doing this if I were full-timing already .... would I?   (laughing)

May 15, 2012

A Lot of Updates

Well it has been an interesting month or so, since my April 14 post. A few major changes, somethings on my list checked off and a potential huge one (house), if I decide to sell.

1.  I traded my Toyota 4Runner for a gas saver and my future "toad" ... 2009 Mini Cooper

2.  While at the car lot closing that deal, I was talking to a friend of the owner of that car lot, that liked to trade cars as much as I did, leaning against his Hummer, when I asked him if he would be interested in my Z4. Sold it to him the next day after he saw it.

So since last November I have gone from 3 vehicles, an old '94 Chevy Pickup, a Toyota 4runner that I had mentioned here I did not want to sell or trade and a Z4 that I thought I would never sell just 1 vehicle .... the 2009 Mini Cooper.

I still have my 3 hounds and they are going with me when I decide to RV.

Then last week, a single mom, co-worker is looking for a house to buy or rent. Didn't know if she wanted to live in my small town closer to work or stay in the better college town 25 miles away.  But she loved my rent price and/or my "for sale" price and knew up front that she would have to change anything she wanted on her dime ... since I had adjusted the sales price for those upgrades.

Still a possibility on the house as of this morning.

So what's the hold up???

Back in early April I was approached by a manager for the corporation I work for and was made an offer that I could not refuse.  I mean that. No way possible could I turn down what they were offering on a 3 year contract.

So once again, whats the hold up???

For me to have that offer, the corporation has to win the contract it has bid on and the result will not be known until sometime in June.

The co-worker joked that if I sold her or rented her the house, "you will have 30 days to get out" ... then laughed.  I told her I would be out in 2 weeks.  That would be some FAST selling and downsizing.

Downsizing was on my list last winter.  I am happy to say that I have gone through closets and drawers and threw out or gave to goodwill everything I have not used recently in the past year or longer.  So the only stuff left, is things I will no longer need in my travels.  I know how to travel light. You don't go on 10 month deployments on aircraft carriers and not know how to travel light ... so that experience will help me in deciding on just what I need. 

I had a mail flier from CampingWorld in Indy in the mail the other day, showing all of their Memorial Day sales.  Prices are dropping a lot, even on 2012 models, if I decide to go that way.

So I guess the June information will decide if I leave in 2015 or leave sometime this summer. 

Maybe that Memorial Day weekend to June 1 will be a MAJOR source of information in making a final decision.

I have thought of selling / renting my house to the co-worker friend and moving into an RV while I finish my current job, while training my replacement.  They have a great RV park within a few miles of where I work and great rates.

I actually think things are coming together on this RVing full-time idea .... finally!!

April 14, 2012

A New Direction

While I had the Reds game on in the background so I could hear and then see them blow another extra inning game ... I spent the night looking at RV's.  While I was thinking again and when that happens, it could be dangerous.

Bottom line is, I think I might be going about this decision making process all wrong.

I've been trying to decide what to do and what to buy. A few months back one of my readers emailed me and told me to basically quit messing around, buy a 40' diesel, tow my 4Runner and hit the road. I think he was somewhat right, with some modifications.

I know I want to do this eventually after playing it safe for a couple of more years. I know though if I had everything sold, and leave, I still have monthly income coming in and enough to live on with no problem. So why wait 2 more years???

Anyone have a thought about that?

Here is what I was thinking tonight while looking at RVs and spending another week at a job that I am liking less and less as time goes by.

Put the house, Z4 and possessions for sale. Who really knows how long that will take. I personally feel with the area I live in, the house I live in, things could happen pretty quick. I don't think my Z4 would last a weekend sitting down by the highway in the yard "For Sale".

If both of those things happened soon, then I would HAVE TO scramble to downsize my possessions, give a 30 day notice at work and find my RV to buy and move into.

And IF they don't sell ... I keep working for a while, find and buy my RV, then rent the place out.

I am thinking I need something to move me in the direction I want to move and putting the For Sale sign in the yard for the house is just the ticket for me.

Also the RV is becoming clearer and clearer ... Class A - 32' to 35" in length, diesel.

Then head west!!

April 08, 2012

Thoughts Are Clear and Definite

First of all .... Happy Easter!

Things haven't changed much with me about the decision to RV. I go back and forth on what to do, what to buy, what to sell. My thoughts on what to buy are pretty consistent. With the 3 hounds and from what people say that have had both C's and A's, the A's at feel you have more room. I like the thought of being up higher with that big front windshield for viewing.

I have also realized since my last post in February, there have been times I have intentionally stayed away from the RV blogs I follow, the RV for sale sites and the forums. What I found out during those times, the thoughts of hitting the road never leave. I was caught up at work last week, so much that by Friday I spent most of the day reading RV blogs, looking at all of the great places people were boondocking and checking out what was for sale.

I could tell I was in the right direction. I am also finding that I feel pretty good about selling everything when I do decide to leave. Yes the Z4 sports car, the Toyota 4Runner and the house that I have lived in for 17 years. The 4Runner "newness" has wore off, to where it is just another vehicle that I have owned in the past. The Z4 is a great car and really enjoyable to drive with the top down and cruising the back roads. The house .... I am finding out this spring that where I use to enjoy mowing every week, has lately become a dreaded chore. Only takes about an hour with a push mower, still it's hard to take the time to mow.

I was thinking the other day while mowing, if I were to travel just for months at a time I am going to need all 12 months in the year to see what I want to see in this great country. I am not going to want to pay to have my yard taken care of while I am gone. I am not going to want to be enjoying the night sky in the desert while in back of my mind wondering if my house is being broken into ... is everything ok?

I am going to want to have the feeling of pulling in that secluded camp site knowing that is my house and the huge yard around me does not require maintenance of any kind. I want the feeling that when I have the urge to pack up and leave for a new location I can and will.

The hounds??  Well they basically do 3 thing in their daily schedules .... sleep mostly, eat and short periods of playing plus the daily walk, so that is 4 things. They hang out just like I do, not requiring a lot of room. Still, there are 3 that have to be considered and I feel that keeps me in a Class A.

Plans have become pretty firm:
 - Sell everything
 - Pay cash for the RV
 - Arizona and Southern Calif for the winter
 - Utah, Colorado, Washington, Dakotas for the summer
 - Leave no later than May 2014
 - Go back to downsizing NOW!
 - Exit plan will be living in an area nice winter weather

For all those blogs I read ... your pictures, your words, your experiences keep my dream alive.

February 20, 2012

The "itch" to Full-Time Travel is Back

I just finished up a 3-day weekend not doing a lot, but thinking, reading different blogs, glancing at RV's for sale .... and did I say thinking?

That feeling to travel full-time is back stronger than a few weeks ago and increasing. I can't see it any other way when I think of what I should do after I retire or even sooner. I feel my time is up here and it's time for new adventures, new towns, and new people.

Otherwise, it is my belief that I will continue the same "rut" I have been in for what seems like forever. I have had some good times at this place, but it's not one of the best places I have ever lived. I've lived across the street from the beach in Carlsbad California, to Whidbey Island Washington, ten months living in Breckenridge Colorado during ski season, back to Whidbey Island until 1995 when I moved back to Indiana.

It's strange that I have such an attachment to this place.

Is it the chance of mortgage free living? Low cost of living? Near a large college town? I keep wondering what it is that keeps me here.

I can sell my house, my Z4, my Toyota 4Runner and buy a good used RV for cash. That's mortgage free living isn't it? Low cost of living could still be maintained with solar panels, tanks large enough to boondock and I could visit about any large college town that I wanted and even tailgate on Saturdays if I wanted to attend a college football game.

That kind of paints a different picture doesn't it.

I stepped out of my house the other day to hook up my bloodhound to her 80ft climbing rope I have anchored in the field behind my house. If she isn't tethered she would take off at the first smell of a deer or rabbit and being 100ft from a RV traveling US Highway, her life would be short lived.  I would hate that ... so I tether only for short periods of time when she wants outside. She knows where that 80' ends, someway.

So, as I started to say, just as I start to connect her collar to the rope connection, my basset hounds start baying loud and they are off the to races. I glance up and deer are scattering everywhere in the field behind my house. Going in different directions. Maybe 15-20, too many to count and too fast for me to get inside to grab my camera. They must have been grazing in the hay field before we came outside.

The hounds eventually stopped and stared. Some of the younger deer stopped and stared back.

That's one of the nice things about living in this area, the wildlife, unannounced appearances.

Still, I could get the same thing camping out in the Cascade's or Rocky Mtn state parks.

Basically, I need at least two things:

1. The freedom to move when I want
2. Solitude

RVing full-time is the only way I can get those two things ... in my opinion.

P.S.  .... It would be nice to get rid of the year-round allergies I have.

February 12, 2012

Back to What to Buy and What to Do

Sunny, blue sky and 28 degrees.

Just returned from a dog walk, the hounds and I were getting "cabin fever" and the ground was hard enough to take the trip through the field. It has been wet most of the time with the temps hovering around the freezing point give or take a few degrees.

The past few weeks I've been keeping updated on my blog reading. People boondocking in the desert, out in Santee, down in rainy Texas and some up by Las Vegas. The stories and pictures keep the flame lit to travel full-time.

That has always been my plan, boondocking as much as possible. Following the weather, SW in the winters and up through Utah, Colorado, the Dakotas, Washington and Oregon in the summers. All places I have been to in my past travels but not far enough out in the "boonies". With no schedule on how long I stay at each place.

With that in mind, the perfect vehicle would be a diesel pusher, large tanks, solar panels and my large screen tv for sports along with my 27" monitor.  Along with my 3 hounds, would all that be attainable in a 16'-17' camping trailer pulled by my V8 Toyota 4Runner? The easiest way would be a 33'-36' Motorhome, downsize both my cars to a smaller SUV as a toad. Rent my house if it didn't sell ....

Then hit the road full-time with no obligations behind me.

My exit plan would be a smaller place to live somewhere in the SW USA or eastern Southern California. Somewhere the temps are good year round. At the age of 62+ depending on when I would stop RVing and single, a smaller house would work in that area.

The nomadic lifestyle excites me, whereas the thought of retirement and staying here makes me feel bored and restless.

Instead of leaving as soon as possible, I am going to change my departure date to May 2014.

Now, back to my laundry, watching basketball, reading some blogs, continue my downsizing and looking at RVs for sale.

February 04, 2012

The Fulltime RV Buzz Seems to Be Gone

That major RV obsession I had from October - December seems to have left! Not sure why.

There have been a few changes I guess that could have help in making the change. My job became much busier after they implemented the new operating system, that took over 3 months of "downtime" to complete the conversion of different systems into one. So now instead of bored out of my mind where I spent practically all day looking at RV's and reading blogs, is now busy enough where I don't have the time to even get online during work.

This winter has been warmer than I can ever remember. It's been great weather until today (rainy) for the Super Bowl week in Indy. So maybe the lack of a reason to escape the freezing temps made the RV urge to decrease.

As far as the house, I started having doubts about selling everything and hitting the road. So I pulled up the for sale sign, to be used possibly in the future but not right now. Instead of thinking of my list of things to do before leaving, that list changed to things I wanted to do to improve or add things I would like if I were to continue living here.  Plus I have been paying extra on my mortgage payment, so that payoff date looks to be about 7-8 months away.

So with my contentment, my mind was not running all over the place at breakneck speed.

I continue to read the blogs I follow every day. Those give me so much information to think about. I continue thinking about driving down the road in an RV and never coming back the majority of mornings that I make my 12 mile commute through the country to work. I still wonder if I will be as bored at home retired as I am at times during long weekends where my job is closed for a government holiday.

I do look at RVs from time to time but nothing like I did a few months back. During that time I would look at RVs for sale and read different forums or blogs until 2-3am every night.

So ...  I've been thinking that I might be leaning towards my original plan even before the RV bug hit me big time in October 2011.  Keeping my home as a "base camp", travel when I want for as long as I want and then come back if I need a break. The house would be sitting here free of charge.

I guess I will know the answers on what to do when the time comes.

Thanks for reading and following my blog, I will try to post more this month than I did in January.

January 02, 2012

Cold and Snow

It's days like these that make me think of RVing full-time. It's just not the weather, currently 24 with a high today of 28 degrees. Being in southern Indiana I will miss most of the storm predicted for the Great Lakes region, still when I think of 28 or 80 as a high temperature for the mind goes into the wonder mode.

Besides the weather, it is time off from work that makes me start thinking full-time RVing is right for me. I am starting my 3rd day off from work before returning to work tomorrow on the 3rd. I have to admit I have been pretty bored actually and that feeling is about the same with each long weekend I get off work for a holiday. The hounds and I have a walk or two per day, even later today in the snow a walk will take place. I've read some of the new books I bought recently, watched football games yesterday and will today. I also attended a great college basketball game New Year's Eve with IU upsetting #2 Ohio State.

Still I woke up on the 1st with that old 'itch' to hit the road....maybe it is the weather or the new blogs I have found that have me thinking again about the benefits of full-time RVing compared to being retired and staying here full-time. Here the pace is slow, the scenery is nice but there is that 'itch' to take off. If I were retired and living here I am not sure there is enough things to keep me occupied day after day. Traveling will definitely be a part of the plan no matter where I am living.

One of my readers said it best and it has been an idea I have played with back and forth since October. Keep the house, take some trips and see if RVing works with me and my hounds. If I decided that I love RVing and wanted to do it full-time, then rent out my house and it is still here when I decide to come back off the road.

Also something I have always thought of with that plan, from my travels I might find somewhere I would like to live after I stop RVing better than the place I live now.

Last night when looking a new blogs I saw a blogger with the same Toyota 4Runner that I have pulling a 17' Casita. They have traveled up through Canada and up to Alaska. That is a huge difference than buying a 35' Class A diesel pusher isn't it? I like some of the advantages of the Casita set up and every since I bought the 4Runner this past November I have thought of the small trailer - truck combo.

Well enjoy the warm weather. As I set here watching the big snow flurries outside my window, I am going to have another cup of coffee, read some new blogs, look at some RV's - Casita's - Buses for sale as I prepare to watch college football for the rest of the day starting at 1pm.

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.