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Author Topic: Have finally made the decision to fulltime  (Read 2329 times)

Dan Walters

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Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« on: March 31, 2014, 06:06:37 PM »
After years of traveling on weekends and vacations in a truck camper, a travel trailer and 3 motorhomes, my wife and I have finally reached a point that we are ready to go fulltime.  We've upgraded our RV over the years from the truck camper 30 years ago to our diesel pusher that we currently have and are now ready to make the leap.  Over the past 2 months we have been selling, or giving away to family, a lot of things in our house.  We will put the house on the market in mid April and move into the motorhome as soon as it sells.  Our plan is to be ready to travel by mid July if all goes well.  We will still work some as we travel but hope to be able to go to many places in the U.S. while we do that.

I can tell you that it is not easy letting go of things.  But, they are just that -- things.  We will still put a few things in storage for now and gradually part from them as we go (hopefully).  There is so much to do between now and then that our heads are still spinning, but we will get it done one way or another.

I've been doing some upgrades to the motorhome getting it ready for full-timing.  I had a compartment on the curb side that was set up for a freezer, but did not have one installed.  I bought a 48 quart AC/DC freezer and a freezer slide-out tray and mounted that in the compartment.  We haven't even used it yet but believe it will come in handy when we begin full-timing.  I also installed a new Thetford Aria Classic china toilet to replace the old Sealand toilet that sat too low for us.  I installed a new 23" LED TV/DVD on a swing out arm below the cabinets on the driver's side across from our recliners, which are also new.  We replaced the old rocker recliners with 2 Lazyboy wall away recliners to give us more room as well as comfort (I'm 6'5" tall).  Now, I'm working on replacing the old tube TV in the bedroom with an LCD TV/DVD.  I installed a safe in the closet and bolted it down, set up my Lincoln MKZ Hybrid for towing with a Blue Ox base plate and a TowDaddy wiring kit, purchased a Blue Ox Aventa LX Tow Bar and sold the American Car Dolly.  I went with an RVIBrake System for the Lincoln that uses proportional braking and has a setting for the Hybrid full-time electric brakes.

I'm sure there are a lot more things we need to do before we begin our adventure, but we are excited about the change and are looking forward to our travels.

Dan
Dan
Southeast Texas
2000 Fleetwood American Dream
Towing a 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Maddie

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 06:19:28 PM »
That sounds great, Dan.  I wish I had the nerve to do it.  Please keep us updated on how things go and what to look out for.  Especially, the working on the adventure.  I would like to know your impressions of what you find and how it 'works' out for you.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 06:42:37 PM »
Dan - Congrats on the upcoming lifestyle. I did it for ten years with not a moment of regret. In a few years you will be looking back at the pain of throwing things away and wonder why you kept so much stuff. You are not going to miss all that junk I promise you. Better that you have to deal with it all rather than your kids twenty years down the road.
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halfwright

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 08:35:04 PM »
I know the pain of giving up stuff. I had tools that I had earned my living with for years. It is not so much the items themselves, but the memories that "things" trigger.
After almost 2 years full-time, I know that I would rather be on the road making memories than setting around waiting to die with "things" and old memories around me.
Jim And Darlene Wright
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Dan Walters

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2014, 10:48:37 AM »
Thanks everyone for the encouraging words.  We're actually dealing with it pretty well so far.  A lot of things that we originally thought we would "keep" we've already changed our minds and sold or given them away.  We first offered our 4 sons anything they wanted and then started selling or giving away things.  We still have a ways to go but we've been at it for more than a month now and it is starting to get easier.

I am still working in my business until mid July and we hope to be ready to go by then.  Still looking at some options for working while traveling, so I will post more on that later.

Thanks again for the encouragement and congratulations.

Dan
Dan
Southeast Texas
2000 Fleetwood American Dream
Towing a 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

SailorTrash

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2014, 02:20:39 PM »
Try not to love things. They don't love you back.

We went from a 4-bedroom house to a 33' sailboat five years ago. De-stuffing our life wasn't easy. Now we're back ashore in a 36' pusher, with just the right amount of stuff and a lot of lesson learned.
Mike and Katie, and Simon the dog
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Tender: still looking for the perfect econo-car
Currently just north of Charleston SC

Dan Walters

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 05:05:41 PM »
Just an update on our progress.  Our house went on the market today.  We met with the realtor, signed all the paperwork and I went out and put the "For Sale" sign in the yard myself.  We have now sold or given away everything we plan to.  What's left is a few pieces of furniture and our vehicles. We have rented a 10 X 30 foot climate controlled storage unit and everything we will keep will go in there until we decide to buy another house down the road, hopefully many miles down the road.  Parting with things got easier as we went, but we still probably kept more than we needed to keep.  Still, it's hard to let go of some things right now.  I think we will be able to thin it down even more over the next few years.

Selling the house is not going to be as difficult a decision as I thought.  It just seems to be the right thing to do and the right time to do it to both my wife and I.  We are both so excited to get on the road we just can't wait.  We will be joining the Escapees Club in Livingston, TX and will keep Texas as our domicile state and use Escapees mail forwarding service.  We still have to sell one of our vehicles but will do that just before we pull out for the last time.  I'm anxious to see how the Lincoln will work as a toad and plan to pull it on a couple of weekend trips to try it out before we pull out for our longer travels.

I will be putting new tires on the motorhome before we leave.  My tires are now 7 years old and even though the look perfect, they have to be replaced before we start on our journey.  I will be buying Michelin XZA3 275/80R22.5 LRH tires through the FMCA program.  I will have to take the coach to Houston to the nearest Michelin Dealer that participates in the National Accounts program.

Anyway, so far so good.  Everything is going according to plan.  Let's hope it continues for the next 3 months.

Dan
Dan
Southeast Texas
2000 Fleetwood American Dream
Towing a 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 08:46:14 PM »
Three times in my life I have sold and given away everything to pursue my next chapter. No storage fees. After family hauled off their loot, I called all my friends to come over and make offers on the remainder. So many of my antiques, nicer furniture, and artwork ended up with friends. When I visit them, it's startling to see my old stuff there and it does trigger fond memories. I have pictures of my old "stuff" and yeah it was fun to own all that, but I was so glad to move on to the next opportunity in my life. The rest I sold to the public through ads and a final yard sale, then donated the leftovers, which was mainly 10,000 books.

Just 4 years ago, I was living in the Caribbean on land, having moved off boats,  when I sold and gave away everything again, moving to America with some clothes and a handful of sentimental items.

Early in my life I was married for 5 years and one day I decided that wasn't working out for my emotional health, so I packed my clothes and left. I left him the house, the furniture and everything in it. He got everything. Everything but me.  Everyone said I should fight for my junk but I got freedom and happiness and that was all I needed and wanted at the time.

In 2009 I came back to America after living on oceans and tiny islands for 23 years.

A month later I bought my little old motorhome as an experiment, but I fell in love with it, so 4 years later, I am still fulltiming in this tiny wheel estate.

I love it! I have pictures of my old boats and old homes and old junk, and those are my memories. I don't need a ton of junk to be happy.

I need lakes, rivers, oceans, waterfalls, far flung islands, nature and beauty to be happy.

I don't even own a car!

I keep it simple, just my little old rig, my funny dog and we go wandering around the planet. I keep my clothes paired down to the exact size of the tiny closet and drawers. I didn't have a TV the first few years in the rig.

So much nature, so little time.

My big shopping thrill is food provisioning and finding the perfect compact item that does triple duty in my motorhome. I try to keep things tidy, repaired and organized and love every minute of the beautiful places I frequent. In 4 years time, I have picked several areas to study in depth before shuffling along, so it may take me the rest of my life to tick off all the states and I don't care. Some pockets of beauty I've discovered, I just keep visiting until I can get enough of it. 

There is so much freedom when you have so little junk to worry about.

Part of my past included crewing professionally on luxury yachts for 4 years with only a small duffle as my worldly goods. Eventually I did buy my own boat to live on between assignments and continued crewing about 7 more years,  but for those first 4 years, I could pack in 3 minutes and step foot on the next yacht for the next job, the next adventure and never look back or worry about a pile of junk.

Even now, I was just today rounding up extra stuff, I've decided to live without in my spring cleaning. Worn out clothes, old dog toys, too many coffee cups etc.

America is full of stuff!  There is always more stuff to be had if that's what you need. But there is a ton of fun in not having a bunch of obligations to take care of such as storage fees or maintenance and upkeep on more stuff.

All I can say now is, Life is good! ;D

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Dan Walters

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2014, 08:35:25 AM »
Dear Miss Mermaid,

Thanks for your post.  You have your priorities straight, which is what we are trying to do.  During the 43 years that my wife and I have been married, we have collected a lot of "stuff".  We know that it is just that, "stuff", but it all holds a lot of memories, as you said, and we are having somewhat of a hard time letting go of some of it.  But, we're doing better.  The more we get rid of, the more freeing it feels.  We'll just have to work through those feelings until we can get to a point of letting go.

I've read a lot of your blog and enjoyed your adventures.  I hope my wife and I can share some adventures of our own in the coming years.

Dan
Dan
Southeast Texas
2000 Fleetwood American Dream
Towing a 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

wackymac

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2014, 08:47:53 AM »
Dan, be careful about the storage.  It could be that if you have stored stuff for a long time, the total rental fee would be more than the value of the stuff or the replacement cost.
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Dan Walters

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2014, 01:20:44 PM »
Yes, you're right about that.  We will have to make a decision within a year or two on whether or not to buy another house as a home base or continue to just full-time in the coach for years to come.  In the meantime, we don't want to just discard everything we own until we try out full-timing for a while.  If we discover that we love it and want to continue to do that as long as we can, we will probably get rid of the rest of our "stuff".

Dan
Dan
Southeast Texas
2000 Fleetwood American Dream
Towing a 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Jeff

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2014, 06:54:46 PM »
We filled a 10x20 rental unit when we started fulltiming. I guess you could call it a security blanket for some emotional things for Sue but it worked out fine. Every year we would stop by, drop a few more things off that had taken up space in the m/h and go our way. After six years of full timing we built an Arizona Room on our lot in Surprise and now use about half of the stuff and have the other half stored up in the attic.

The expense of the the rental unit was just part of our fall back position for when we stopped full timing. Now we spend about six months on the road and six months here at Happy Trails.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 11:38:54 PM by Jeff »

Dan Walters

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Re: Have finally made the decision to fulltime
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2014, 03:37:38 PM »
Jeff,

Thanks for your comments about your experience.  I think that is what we are going through right now.  We rented a 10' X 30' storage unit to store the things we didn't want to get rid of and it is plenty big with enough room to get around all the way to the back of the unit so we can still find things that are stored there.  I think after a few years of full-timing we will have a better idea about where we want to live when we can no longer travel.  Until then, there are just things we don't want to part with.

Dan
Dan
Southeast Texas
2000 Fleetwood American Dream
Towing a 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

 

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