September 2012 – Taking baby steps toward our dream!

In September we began thinking about telling our family and friends and this was a little daunting. Who knew what their reactions would be to this seemingly radical change in a generally conservative couple. Many people’s response was that we are doing what they always dreamed of doing. I love that response and encourage anyone wanting to do extensive traveling even if you have a limited budget to look into this. Others had question after question about how we would handle one situation after another. My sister was especially worried about how we’d do living in a metal house on wheels! The only thing we could do at this point was assure them we were thoroughly researching all of it and would take it one step at a time.

Telling our boss we were both retiring was another story. We’ll put that off as long as we can as my boss was one of my very dearest friends before she became my boss.  I will miss her on a personal level more than at a work level and that will make it difficult to tell her initially. Roy will probably retire first in February and I’ll retire when the house is sold. This gives us time to wrap up things at work and hopefully document all our procedures enough for someone to pick up on them quickly.

We began spending as much time as we could looking at different types of motor homes. I was drawn to the fifth wheels with their floor plans more to my liking. I felt they had more character than the Class A motor homes we looked at. Roy was immediately drawn to the Class A Diesel Pushers. One Saturday we visited one of our local RV dealers and a wonderful salesman spent a good 2 hours with us explaining so much to us about RVs. We let him know up front we were not ready to buy since we needed to sell the house first. He understood and still spent a good bit of time with us. We were like little sponges soaking up the knowledge he was sharing. He really felt that full timers need a Class A diesel and explained all the reasons he felt that way. Some were the increased gas mileage, longer length of engine life and the power that they have when mountain traveling. He pointed out the difference between the noise a gas engine up front generates and the quiet of having a diesel engine in the back. Also that diesels can carry more weight than their gas-powered counterparts. And then we found out that diesels cost way more than gas-powered ones. We knew we’d be buying used but our unrealistic price range was around $50,000. When he showed us a couple of RVs in that price range we were so disheartened because we in no way wanted to live in one of those. He explained to us that being willing to go over $50,000, probably closer to $100,000, puts you in a whole different class of RV. Knowing that our budget wasn’t unlimited he recommended that we look at individuals selling their RV instead of going to a dealership where the pricing might be higher.

We began canvasing the internet to learn all we could and going to see as many different RVs as we could. We wanted to see older ones that could be restored, medium priced newer ones that didn’t need much and brand news ones. We wanted to make the most informed decision we could. Craigslist has lots of RVs and we’d both spend entire evenings looking at picture after picture of any kind of RV we could find. We’d go to look at some actual RVs in the evenings and on weekends.

When we weren’t looking at RVs we were getting the house ready to put on the market. The columns on the front and back porch and the wood decking on the front porch got a fresh coat of paint. The flower gardens got a nice sprucing up and even though we don’t have much clutter we went room to room and decluttered even more. My sister Harriett, and my friend Pam, were my models for a decluttered house and I believe we achieved that.

This is our front porch and columns after a fresh coat of paint!
This is our front porch and columns after a fresh coat of paint!

Roy finally won me over to agreeing that we’d get a Class A when I began to see several types of Class As that did have the character I was looking for, however most of these seemed to be out of our price range. Once we worked that out we needed to decide between gasoline and diesel. After Roy and I going back and forth and me sometimes pushing for a gas powered RV because of the cheaper price and him standing firm on the need to have the more powerful diesel we again deferred to his mechanical knowledge and made the decision that a Class A Diesel Pusher it would be. Our search finally had a specific type of RV to look for. Amen, I handle clarity of focus so much better than all the scattered researching we were doing before now.

ONE DAY CLOSER TO OUR DREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!