August 23 – 29, 2016

August 23 – 29, 2016

Tuesday, August 23

Researched how to use our thermostat for the AC unit.  Have not had a breaker pop since.  Also turned off the AC when we used the microwave today.  No sense in taking the chance and not a bad idea to start good habits.  The solution to the problem of the AC being on all of the time is to move out of Florida.

Switching over to LED bulbs in the RV.  (great writeup and info from 3 different sources)  http://www.doityourselfrv.com/replace-incandescent-halogen-bulbs-leds-rv/

I’ve got my order into M4products.com for a 5 “aluminum plate” led replacement “bulbs”.  

Swimming laps in the pool.  I believe that this is the 5th day of getting in 10 laps in the community pool.  It’s so nice to swim in a pool that I don’t have to maintain!  I only hope that lap swimming will be an option once the campground fills up.

First dinner out with RV park friends (the camp hosts to boot!)  We were very excited to have our first sit down with full-time RV campers and decided to recommend a local restaurant.  It would have been nice to stay home for a cookout but it’s still uncomfortable hot here in Florida.

We got to learn about how they transitioned to full-time life, got their Work Camping positions and what their plans were once this work obligation were over.  They are fun people with big smiles and seem beyond happy to be living the life that they are.  They quieted some of our concerns and bade us quite excited about the opportunities out there.

Poor drainage on the slide out covers.  Need a PVC rack to solve.  Added a project to the to-do list.  While on the roof working on the AC unit I discovered water pooling on the slide out covers.  It has turned into quite the moldy puddle of debris.  On other units in the campground I saw that people had made PVC shelves to slide under the canvas to help with drainage.  The PVC parts and pipe have been purchased, just need to get them built and in place.  

Looking at solutions to the RV wobbling while we are inside.  Looked at chock blocks for the tires and other contraptions. Tripods for the fifth wheel tongue were not highly recommended as the solution on the internet.   Will need to research more and try various options.  Maybe it’s just the nature of living in a home with wheels.  I compare it to being on a boat but the boss is less impressed with a house that wobbles and we walk around.

Thursday, August 25

Planning for the day we hook the RV up to the truck and pull out.

We have been so busy this past year.  Not busy in a bad way but by choice.  These past few days I have come to recognize we have time and space to breath a bit.  Life has become a bit simpler.

Ther RV is settled, and we have become acquainted with some of the nuances of life inside an RV.  Our rental properties seem to have the kinks worked out, rent is on time and the phone is not ringing from our tenants with concerns or complaints. Our jobs are chugging along, providing paychecks that are moving us quickly toward our savings numbers.  Things are good and we are both recognizing it and taking the opportunity to relax a bit.

I am trying to catch up on the website, writing, exercise and reading.  The boss is enjoying the opportunity to slow down and put her feet up a bit more.  Regardless of the tasks at hand, we are both trying to appreciate the situation we are in and be grateful for the opportunities in front of us.

So what is the next step to pull the plug and head down the road?  

The boss has been scouring the Work Camper websites and is excited at all the diverse opportunities and positions available.  (Add list of websites that Christy gave to Kay to look at).  It seems like we can go pretty much anywhere to live for “free” and make a small supplemental income. We were warned at dinner the other night by our friends (the campground hosts) that not all RV parks and campgrounds are created equal and that we are currently staying at one of the better ones they have experienced.

This warning has me a bit hesitant to make a commitment to hosting at a place we have never seen.  We would be basing the decision on camper reviews and would know very little about the owners or managers of the property.  I am positive about very few things but I do know for sure that PEOPLE ARE CRAZY, all in our special little ways.  Good crazy or bad it is a consideration. Hopefully, with time we will run into recommendations and come into contact with more people with more experience that us (any experience).  Hope to learn from their successes and failures.

I want to become a river guide in Idaho (or anywhere beautiful).  Having been to Idaho and seeing the Middle Fork of the Salmon river this is my goal.  It happens to be among the top rated rivers to raft down in the US.  I am assuming there is pretty steep competition to guide on this magnificent river through untouched country.

Here are my hangups with obtaining a guide job:

  1. I have never even been whitewater rafting (small detail?) But how can it not be amazing?
  2. Much like the campground hosting, we will need to pack up and drive ⅔ of the way across the US for an unknown opportunity.
  3. The season for guiding is short and there will be no guarantee of income once we get there.
  4. Guiding in Idaho requires state licensing.  This will require I obtain significant training once we get there (some of the training I might even have to pay for).  That equals an unknown income for an unknown time and additional expenses before the first paycheck.

Despite the hangups, I believe that I am still going to make it happen.  So far I have created a list of all of the outfitters I could find on the internet in the areas that I am interested in working. I have filled out one online application and have yet to hear anything back.  The plan is to just keep plugging away at it until I figure it out.

The boss is supporting me on this crazy idea with the idea being that we will find a location where we can set up camp, she will find a tourism-related job that she enjoys and we will have a crazy first summer on the road.  

The dates for this would be March through August. Then we will ???? The insanity of all of this makes for fun conversations but we are both up to the challenge I think.  Sink or swim (pun intended) It will make for a great life story before it’s all over!

Friday, August 26

??When to hit the road ??

We now live in an RV and continue to work our full-time jobs.

So far the boss and I have stayed busy with “making things happen”.  Making decisions, downsizing, moving into the RV,  settling in, learning about our new “home”.  Now we find ourselves in a position of infinite possibilities but are suffering from a bit of indecision.

The current plan is to hit our financial benchmarks then hit the road.  We are calling the magic benchmark number $30,000 liquid with all debts paid.  Our actual numbers from our estimates are $12,000 cash reserve for road-life rainy day funds (6-months expenses) and then $16,000 cash reserve to protect our rental properties.  We have been back and forth on the numbers quite a bit but always end up back at these approximate figures each time.

Why not save more?  This would be the safest and easiest path.

We have steady employment with decent income and benefits.  Health insurance is covered.  I don’t anticipate seasonal positions on the road paying anywhere near what we are making.  I don’t see a situation where our expenses will be this low again.  If we just kept saving at this rate we could amass quite a pile of cash.  

Why not do this for another year?  

Another 2 years?  

Wouldn’t it be great to hit the road with 3x our anticipated “fall back cash”?  4x?  10x?

I don’t have an answer.  Yes?…. At what cost?

Are we fools to give up the “sure thing” in exchange for a nomad lifestyle?  The math says so.  But i’m not sure living well is all about the math.

I recently read that a “fall back plan” can become an obstacle in achieving goals.  Knowing that a plan B exists provides options and an alternative to success in any endeavor.  I’m not sure I agree but I do understand the logic.  If failure is an option …..well….. Its an option.

Why not hedge all bets against failure?

Conversation with self:

Why not stick with the “sure thing” and amass as much $$ as possible until you are too old to work anymore and then ensure that you have the maximum number of options at all times?

Well….. not taking advantage of any of these options defeats the purpose. 

Are you living to collect options without ever choosing one?

Are you afraid that choosing one option could cause you to miss out on the possibilities of another?.  

Its psycho babble but….it’s a bit real.

Paralysis by analysis.  

The freedom to be able to choose our own path is causing a bit of angst.  We could avoid the discomfort by following societies norms and just continuing with the status quo, collecting money and aging.  Or….  we could continue to follow the path that we have already chosen, stay the course and commit to a new and uncertain life.  A life full of unknown opportunities, challenges and experiences.

Not knowing what is around the next corner is a bit spooky.  It’s also exhilarating and energizing.

I say we stay the course and look forward to the opportunities, challenges and experiences that the path ahead may bring.

I think i just talked myself into hitting the road in March.  I’ll need to run it by the boss.

Rant complete.

Saturday, August 27

RV Toilets are Awsome!

Before I begin I want to throw out a few disclaimers:  

I have only been full time for six weeks and during that time have spent one out of every 3 days away from the RV (at work).  

Also in the past month I was out of town for 1 week.

That said, in the days that I have been at the RV I remain in awe of the steadfast resolve of this porcelain combatant.

THE RV TOILET!

I’m a big guy (6’ 4”,  250lbs) and eat a pretty high protein / high vegetable fiber diet.  As a result I tend to engage in combat with porcelain warriors from time to time.  They often put up a good fight but with the aid of a plunger, some profanity and steadfast determination I ultimately become the victor.

This is not the case with my RV porcelain opponent.  Regardless of what punishment I subject it to the result is always the same.  A quick gulp and flush with a smug reply…..is that all you’ve got.

Of course it is is design perfection.  No trap or J-pipe to slow its movements.  No ornate trinkets or ineffective gadgets to hold it back.  Like a cheetah it is perfectly designed for its role in the wild.

I throw my punches and sprinkle my work with TP confetti.  The challenge has been made.  It’s the Toilets turn.

Its reply is always the same.  A vacant thousand yard stare.  A look of indifference.  It knows that it will be the victor and finds my challenge borring.

The side lever is pushed.

In moments the battle is over and once again the toilet is the victor.  It remains stoic.  No rowdy “in your face” or taunts at my failure to best him.

The RV toilet is a thing to be admired.  We can learn from this inanimate servant of our.  Demonstrated attributes to admire:

  • Humility, service is rendered without comment or expectation of thanks
  • Conditioning:  the toilet knows its place in this world and maintains a constant state of readiness to do its doody/Duty
  • Bravery:  mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty (thank you merriam-webster.com)

RV toilets are awesome!

 

Monday, August 29

Living day to day

A tropical depression is hitting Florida today. Hurricane Hermine.  As with all big weather events the predictions of where are all over the place.  Not a hurricane any more though though, winds are expected to 25 mph with lots of rain.

The storm scare got the attention of our RV park manager and I came home to find our RV tied down with hurricane anchors.   This consists of steel cables anchored to the concrete on the rear 2 support beams under the fifth wheel.  There is another strap on the tongue of the fifth wheel as well.  In not sure if they would overcome significant winds but it’s a nice thought.  (TAKE SOME PICS)  Ahhh…..the joys of summertime in florida.

Currently investigating an RV park side hustle.  I recently overheard a conversation at the park office that an RV exterior wash costs $60.  Now, I am yet to wash an RV but I can’t imagine it taking longer than an hour.  $60 an hour minus the costs of detergent seems like a nice chunk of supplemental travel cash.  I’ll start with mine and leave na update.

The LED conversion went well.  I received my shipment of “plate lamps” with wedge bases.  They installed easily and look great.  http://www.m4products.com/alplate-24-5630-nw-natural-white-double-aluminum-plate/

Note:  Added April 1, 2017 Since changing out the few LED’s from this first round we have gone on to replace all of the bulbs with intentions of dry camping in the future.  Because of the costs associated with replacing so many bulbs, I tried ordering E-bay LED’s.  The cost was 1/10th of the “high-end bulbs”.  We have not had a single problem with the cheaper LED replacements and intend to continue to use the cheap ones in the future.  Money saved is money earned!!

Im struggling with the intent of all of the overhead lights in our RV.  It appears they installed lighting for an operating room in here.  There are double lamps everywhere.  I suppose they just didn’t want anyone complaining about not having enough light.  We plan to replace the bulbs that we use and leave the other bulbs in the less used or not used light fixtures.

We are getting better at managing our electrical use.  We got a bit greedy yesterday and had the AC going, warmed food in the microwave and had the TV on.  All was well until the boss took a shower.  About 2 minutes in the breaker popped.  We are assuming that the addition of the water heater pushed the load over the edge.  At least we recognize the reason and can plan to be more careful in the future.  Still learning.

Another event was the replacement of our bedroom mattress.  This was an unanticipated and unwelcome expense but the boss was insistent.  It seems she does not enjoy the dent I create in the mattress and the pull on her body that that dent creates.  She referred to it as a black hole in the bed where i sleep.  Picky, Picky.

We have had this discussion years ago and the end result was us mattress shopping for our old king sized bed.  It was money well spent and resulted in wonderful sleep for years.  We would have brought that mattress with us if it would have fit. The lesson learned was that the cost of a mattress hurts less over time.  Better we replace our mattress immediately and get it out of the way.

We hit the local mattress stores and tried to avoid laughing at the sales people when they quoted us prices.  THEY HAVE GONE UP IN RECENT YEARS!!  WE did find a mattress that reminded us of our old one but of course it was out of our “mattress budget”.  Out of habit I asked if they had any “scratch and dent” mattresses (not knowing if there even was such a thing).   The salesperson stated that there was a clearance outlet in our area so we gave it a visit.  BINGO!  They had the mattress we liked for half the price.  It had a scuff on the side from where the packaging had torn.  Half price was nice but it was still at the upper end of our budget.  I asked what there best price was to make the sale happen right now.  They came off the price another $175 dollars without any haggling.  SOLD!  And we stayed under under budget.

I still have to purchase fifth wheel hitch for the truck but after that I believe all of our large expenses are out of the way.  We upgraded the chairs and are happy with the bedding.  We have yet to identify anything that is not suiting our needs.  There has been a bit of research on solar panels and an upgrade to the 12-volt system in the RV but that is nothing that we currently NEED.  I would love to not do this upgrade but staying in the RV outside of campgrounds is something we would like to explore.

Currently searching for a new theme for the website so that it looks organized. I can only do some much with the free theme that I am using.  Im quite sure it’s limited by my abilities but something a bit more intuitive and organized to suit my needs would be nice.  Less tech stuff and more content is my goal.

WE continue to work and save. I intend to go back to teaching EMT at a local community college and have been waiting for scheduling of my fingerprinting and drug screen.  Once that is done I will be back in the classroom.  I am looking forward to it for both the income and the experience.  I always enjoyed teaching.

Working out has been going well and the boss is on board as well.  No injuries and we are both feeling great.  

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please”

-Mark Twain

Reach out to us and say hello!

The internet is a big place, thank you for stopping by our little corner!  Please let us know what you think, share your comments, concerns and questions with us.  Its nice to know that people care!

August 15 – 21, 2016

August 15 – 21, 2016

Tuesday, August 15

Cooked my first meal in the in the RV!  The gas is enjoyable to cook with, the stovetop is adequate.  The counter space presents challenges but I think we can adapt.  A full thanksgiving meal might be a challenge but Taco night is no big deal!

The chairs were as advertised.  They look great in the RV (hope the boss agrees) and are extremely comfortable.  —-The boss just walked in and approved!—–  great timing.

The gray and black tanks on the RV needed emptying again.  With the boss home alone for 7 days we made it 10 days until ¾ lights showed up on our tank gauges.  It looks like weekly pump out will work well and keep us safe from whatever it is that happens when you don’t empty the yuck tanks. 

The pool at the RV park has come in handy for 2 days in a row.  As it is the down season we have it all to ourselves.  Doing laps has been a pleasure in a big pool that I don’t have to take care of myself!

Time to go sit in those chairs with my feet up.  Past time actually (it’s 9pm)

Friday, August 19

Electricity is like magic to me.  I’m a fairly smart guy and have had some formal electrical training but unfortunately never applied myself to master the material.  Electricity has always been there to do what I want when I want, without conditions.  Not anymore, with a 30 amp service and RV breaker panel—

Here is what I learned late last night and today (thanks to the educational value of a crock pot). The situation started last night with our house master breaker popping.  We were home at the time and noticed the lights and AC turn off (easy to identify), found the breaker and reset.  Turned off a few lights and the fan that runs in the bedroom.  Reset the breaker and things were fine until an hour later.  This time the RV breaker inside was fine and I checked the service outside and found it to be tripped. Reset again and hoped for the best.  Long story short……we were using our crockpot for the first time and the main circuit breaker to our rig would pop when the AC compressor kicked in. We are using too much electricity, This was my diagnosis.

Fast forward to this afternoon.  AC and power all morning and our crockpot food was done so it got unplugged.  After taking care of some afternoon projects and enjoying dinner, and we settled down in the house.  THE OUTSIDE BREAKER THREW AGAIN!  This time with nothing on but the AC, the small living room fan and 2 lights.  

I did some studying online and found this to not be too unusual a situation.  An AC is an AMP hog and RV service is notorious for being fickle. My concerns / questions now are; is the AC in need of cleaning/servicing?  (this will have to wait until Saturday) or is the AC problematic and in need of replacement (It’s 6-years old but hardly used).  Could it be that keeping an RV cool in the summer heat of Florida is just taxing on the unit causing it to run more inefficient?  These are issues I need to figure out and AC is a top priority to me when its 98 degrees with 80% humidity.  I can’t wait to get out of Florida in the summer! Until then I will need to learn my RV electrical and Amp draws intimately.

Installed the first of our Max-air vents on the RV roof.  The bathroom vent fan needs to stay on to keep the room from getting damp from wet towels, moisture in the shower, swimming pool clothing that needs to dry.  Because the fan needs to remain on the vent cover needs to stay up.  The problem we identified with that is we live in Florida and the likelihood of daily rain is high.  It is counterproductive to have it rain into the bathroom when we struggle with moisture already.  Enter the Max-air.  It installed easily and not the vent can remain open.  Great design, and straightforward installation.

On a personal note:

The boss pointed out that I have become a bit unreasonable with not spending money.  She is correct.  I hesitate to spend the first penny unless the purchase is identified as “a complete necessity” and one that will satisfy a need for an extended period of time.

There is a result of an epiphany that took place while selling all of our belongings. This realization is still a bit haunting to me still.  As we were selling off our “treasures and belongings” I recognized how many things we had purchased over time and the massive amount of money that we converted into stuff.  Granted, some of this stuff added value and comfort to our life but soooo much of it was just stuff.  Impulse buys, things we just “had to have” trinkets and gadgets.  As I dug through these items and then sold them for pennies on the dollar I recognized the waste.

We have been a pretty frugal family in the past several years.  Living on a budget and working to become debt free kept us motivated.  And yet we still seemed to accumulate junk along the way.  Now that we live in a space where everything needs to have a place and be kept there I feel the need to “keep it simple” and minimize the “stuff” we purchase.  

I find no enjoyment in buying things but I am also not financially motivated.  Money to me is simply peace of mind and options, a tool that will allow us to move forward and live an adventure as opposed to the rat race.  I recognize the utility of money to buy things that provide comfort, value and service but finding the balance between that and “instant gratification purchases” is what I struggle with.  It will be a work in progress I suppose.

Sunday, August 21

Spent the morning emptying out the last of our stored items in the expedition, transferring to our storage location and then going through and consolidating some of store “Stuff”.

Its tough to stay focused while going through old children’s books, photos, and personal items.  The boss and I stayed strong.  Out went our old yearbooks, teenage memorabilia, odds and ends that we might need to look through again but serve no purpose.  I tossed my old Army certificates, awards, and collectibles.  The boss started unloading her scrapbooking supplies.  It was a successful trip.  We kept it short to prevent it from turning into “work”  we have plenty of time before we become fully mobile and have yet to determine our final storage solution while we are on the road.

Yesterday evening was spent with the roof AC unit.  I watched a few youtube videos on RV AC service and got to it.  I cleaned the internal coils and filter (they were not dirty).  Next, I headed to the roof to get into the outside parts.  After removing the cover i was happy to see that the Unit was clean and appeared to be in good shape.  The coils were spotless.

I found that all of the manufacturer info is on the inside of the shroud and helped tremendously with identifying what I was working with.  After putting the shroud back on I hit the internet to research our unit and got all of the specs.  The unit is an electric hog and with a 30 amp service to the RV we pretty much have to be selective with what electricity we use and when.  

I’m happy to find that nothing is broke but the I now know that you can’t take electricity for granted when living in an RV.  It’s time to study more and learn how to operate more efficiently.  LED light bulbs anyone?  I also found out that the 12-volt system runs off of a converter.   I thought the 12-volt was straight from the battery.  So much to learn but I am enjoying the process.

The boss and I were invited to dinner by some neighbors in the park.  The campground hosts!!  Finally get to hear the inside scoop from experienced full-timers.  I’m excited to hear everything that they have to share.  

Other accomplishments +learning experiences:

Converted our garden hose water supply line to a “white hose”.  The tap water in the RV tasted like garden-hose!  Surprise, that’s where its coming from dummy!  The boss found that this product existed and it’s a great improvement to our water flavor.  Hopefully we can quit buying bottled water now.  Curious to know how others keep water when traveling.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn. “

-Benjamin Franklin

August 14, 2016

August 14, 2016

Sunday, August 14

 

The New Mexico trip was a success.  All deliveries made with no problems. I used some of my downtime to get the website started.  It’s not pretty but its a beginning. Now the challenge is to make it a site worth visiting and get it full of content,  updated and try to grow it into a resource where others might learn from our successes and failures.

After flying back to Orlando late Friday night i went to work Saturday. Headed home this morning (Sunday) to spend the day off with the Boss.  We haven’t had a day of down time together in quite a while.  Morning coffee brought great conversation on our current situations.  So far so good, she and I are both very happy with all of our decisions to date.

Upcoming project priorities are:

  • Selling my Expedition (after I empty the last of the moving items out of it)
  • Reviewing our financial spreadsheets (to track where we are in relation to our timeline goals)
  • Consolidating our items in storage to make a final stack of things to keep.
  • Adding hangers / wall hooks to the RV interior to add convenience.
  • Finding seating solutions inside of the RV.

We decided seating would be the priority.  The boss informed me that she was not happy with the swivel chairs the RV came with. We agreed that being comfortable in 350 sq ft was a priority and that we should do some chair shopping.

We did a bit of searching online and found that the options were overwhelming.  We had good luck in the past with a local furniture store when shopping for our 1500 sq ft home so thought we might try there.  Our main concern was making one purchase, buying quality (that fit in the available space) to avoid having to replace the chairs in a year or 2 as a result of buying junk.

After a bit of looking around, we were steered to Lazy-boy chairs for several reasons.  Quality/durability, comfort,  price (holy SH@* recliners are expensive!) and fit to our space.  Because I am 6’4 and the boss is 5’2 we were each looking for a chair to fit our size.  We found one that suited us both.  The Lazy-boy Pinnacle recliner suits us both perfectly.  We learned that there are additional options (rockers, wall huggers and motorized) as well as different prices (each upgrade adds another $100).  After all was said and done we were looking at 2 chairs at $600 (after tax)  each.  OUCH, This is not in the budget!  A decision was made to head home and do a bit of research to find if there was a more cost effective option.

A bit of internet surfing revealed that our choice was a very popular one and the prices we had been quoted were actually on the low side.  On a whim, I checked craigslist.  While moving out of our house we sold a good bit of high-quality furniture for pennies on the dollar compared to what we had paid.  Maybe we could find similar deals.

We found em!  The exact chairs we were considering buying for $600 each were listed in “like new” condition for $85 each.  If they are as advertised, clean and in good condition, I will be picking them up tomorrow!   $1,030 less than buying them new (was not going to happen) and a problem solved.

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

– John F. Kennedy

August 02 – 11, 2016

August 02 – 11, 2016

Tuesday, August 2

 

Its August already!

Worked a full shift yesterday until 8 this morning.  With the pace that we have been keeping it seemed like a day off despite being a bit busy.

Arrived home this morning to boxes and chaos.  The boss and I are both still working full time with both of us having goofy schedules. The boss informed me she was successful in putting away a couple of boxes yesterday but it resulted in a small pile of 90% empty containers in the living area with miscellaneous things still in need of a home.  We committed to one another to not just hide things but to place things where they made sense and provided the most utility.  The RV has a surprising amount of storage but figuring out where things should be remains a challenge.  We continue to eat this elephant a bite at a time.

After doing a bit more unpacking and organizing i switched my attention to getting the cable service we subscribed to into our RV.  –the back story— When the cable guy showed up to install the service he used the factory plug at the entrance of our place.  After getting everything in place he tested the service and found a huge drop in service speed with the wiring inside of the house.  He trouble shot the lines and deduced that the line in the RV must have a bad splice in it and was delivering poor service.  He tested his line directly to the cable router by running the cable through an open window and removing the screen.  It worked great.  End of installation.

I dug around under cabinets and found that the cable comes into the RV under our stove and then vanishes into a chase pipe.  I attempted to pull on the line to see if I might be able to run a replacement line but no luck.  My solution?  Come in through the floor of the RV at the preferred location for our router.  The idea of punching a hole in the floor seemed a bit out of place but I remembered that the floor is plywood over insulation resting/mounted on a steel frame.  Drill a hole, run the wire, seal the penetration…..finished.   It was actually that easy!  Then proceeded to do some wire management and it came out great.  We now have WIFI of our own and a router to pull Netflix from.

Hit the pool at the campground for a reward, made some new friends from Maryland who were excited to hear our story and wished us the best.  They are leaving the park tomorrow and returning in January.

Ther boss returned from work and we decide to make a road trip to IKEA to look for storage solutions and ideas on how we might best organize our cabinets.   After 2 hours in IKEA, we left with nothing but great ideas on what we could make ourselves!  WE spent $1.50 to get the boss an ice cream sunday!  I was pretty proud.  After selling everything it just seemed dumb to buy more STUFF!  WE decided to reserve purchases for items we identify as meeting a need and not simple wants or impulse buys.

We do NEED a vacuum cleaner.  Any suggestions on what to get?

August 6 – 11

 

Where to begin…

Even though we have succeeded in making the transition to full-time RV life I have yet to experience much of it.  Not complaining, just an observation.  All of our troubles are first world in nature.

Vacuum cleaner dilemma is solved.  The boss got her hands on a high dollar vacuum for $75 (used of course).  It will keep the RV clean and is a size that is manageable.

We made a decision to not purchase ANYTHING! Before determining that we had to have it to improve our quality of life.  Our goal is less stuff.  After getting rid of almost everything we owned (including 2 vacuum cleaners on their last legs) it seemed a bit odd to be making a purchase for the RV.

A buddy of mine was in a pinch and needed some time off at work so I worked a day for him (that is 24 hours, plus my 24 hours).

I got done with 48 hours at the fire station then received a phone call with an interesting opportunity.

A friend of a friend had a delivery of printed advertising pamphlets that needed to be delivered to New Mexico.  I had mentioned in the past that I would be interested in trying out one of these “runs” for him if the opportunity presented itself.  Well…. it was my turn.  Time to make some extra $$.

I rented a 22’ Penski truck and loaded up the pallets of pamphlets.  3 days on the road to get there and then 2 separate delivery days with down time in between.  It was a pretty neat experience.

The driving gave me a good bit of time to reflect on our our current life choices.  I remain content and excited about where we are and where we are headed!

Driving across ⅔ of the country also got me excited about our upcoming adventures.  Once I got past central Texas the landscape changed dramatically.  Its amazing what a  day’s drive can do to change the world around you.  Florida’s beaches are beautiful and I love the ocean but once you get inland, Florida is a pretty boring landscape (after living here for 19 years).

The central and western landscape was impressive.  Mountains, deserts, new plants and animals.  The building construction is different, the food is different, the people have a different “vibe” about them.

I have done a good bit of traveling on and off over the course of my life but typically with a purpose.  Gotta get from point A to point B to do this or see someone.  Driving across country with time to spare is different.  I’m excited to do it more with my home in tow!

Due to my self-imposed tight budget, I ate the majority of my food from a cooler I brought with me. I kept my entertainment free, taking walks and seeking out local hiking trails.  My “big day off” was a drive to White Sands National Monument.  This was a beautiful place and worth the extra driving to get there.

All in all a good trip and affirmation that great things lie ahead for the Boss and I.

I finished the trip by dropping off the rental truck, then took my first UBER ride (easy and cheap!) to the El Paso airport.  The plane ride home got me home on the 12th then back to work on the 13th.  Not too shabby.

I am a big fan of listening to podcasts while driving.  All this road time provided me with a good bit of podcast brain food.  My recent podcast addictions have been:

“Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History”  Blueprint for Armageddon

“Jocko Podcast” everything this man says is gold to me.  Extreme Ownership, leadership, discipline

“The Rich Dad Radio Show” Robert Kiyosaki and his book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” absolutely changed my financial future.  I like to listen to what he continues to say (even though my opinions sometimes differ)

An Honorable mention goes to “Biggerpockets” podcast.  This is a real estate investing podcast and forum that also changed my financial future.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”  

I like this quote and use it as a reminder that I need to keep myself surrounded by forward-thinking people with ambitions, dreams and goals.  Even more important I need to be around people who are taking action to make their goals a reality.  I use podcasts to be around these people.

As I traveled I secretly remained hopeful that the boss was getting the RV into a state of semi-organization.  I like that no committee was held to figure out where things are to go.  I’ll adapt to her decisions.

The next big step is to get HomeWithWheels.com up and running.  The URL is mine but there is a lot to be done to give it life.  I put in a good bit of work on it during my downtime on the trip. So far it has been a struggle.  I have tried and failed at website building in the past but intend to see this project through.  I am excited to create a journal to document our adventures, successes, and failures all in in one location to share with the kids, family and friends. It should serve as good comedy and should be a nice reminder of where we were and where we have gotten.  Stay tuned for more!

“Action speaks louder than words but not nearly as often.”

– Mark Twain