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Old 07-11-2014, 05:41 AM   #1
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Tomorrow's the day...

Sitting here in our garden room, filled with moonlight and soft breezes, I have to wonder if I can really leave our lovely Vermont home. Our house is finally under contract after a year in a very down market (four-year inventory of homes in western Vermont) and we'll close in less than a month, Lord willin' an' the creek don't rise. Tomorrow I drive our new Ram 3500 to Victor NY to pick up our 38GK. Fortunately, the fierce thunderstorm/windstorm which swept through Poultney on July 3 neither damaged our home, nor the new truck, despite the 40 foot spruce which snapped off and landed across the bed. No damage to the bed (a dimple) or the hitch (phew!) or the house: neighbors on both sides of us have large maples through their roofs! The house inspection which the buyers ordered went off without a hitch today - and I'd already cleaned up the eight downed trees on our property with the help of great neighbors and friends. Tomorrow I'll take a route parallel to the interstate, both to help break in my new diesel with varied terrain and loads, and to scout out for underpasses lower than 13'6" - I don't intend to be that guy who shears off his AC unit, or worse, 'cause he didn't scout out the road ahead. I could just take the Interstate, but that wouldn't be as effective a way to break in the Cummins engine. I'll stay nearby the dealer tomorrow night and will do as thorough an inspection as I can on Saturday, then I'll return Sunday to start packing the RW. We had already planned an estate sale for August 2 - the dealer will take anything which doesn't sell, leaving us with an empty S&B house ready for closing Aug. 5. We plan to be set up at a nearby lakeside RV park by then, and then after the house closing we'll head for Maine for a couple of weeks to say goodbye to friends and family there, and to my beloved Acadia National Park, about which I've done two photo books. You full-timers know this drill ... Giving away or selling (pennies on the dollar) 95% of your cherished belongings in order to achieve a lighter load (16,500#?) and a freedom of movement ... But at the cost of friends and community and that sense of belonging. Mixed feelings and tears go well with the moonlight and vodka. But tomorrow Moby (the Great White Ram) and I will burn another bridge and will pick up the RW. I'll try to make some YouTube-worthy videos of the walk-through for future RW buyers, and my own info files of course. Time for some sleep now ... big day tomorrow. G'night!
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:16 AM   #2
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It doesn't surprise me about the mixed feelings you are currently having do to your changing lifestyle. I remember having some of the same thoughts when we sold off almost everything for pennies on the dollar. It took a couple of weeks for us to really begin to adjust to the mobile lifestyle. But once we did adjust it has been a very liberating feeling. We are now 18 months into full-time in our RW and love it. It does not take long and your RW will feel just like home. Change is usually difficult for most people, so give it some time and you will adjust. The upsides afforded those who take on a mobile lifestyle far outweigh the initial feelings when leaving a stick and brick home, friends and community.

Here are a few things to think about when going mobile:
- Internet and cell phone technologies can keep us in contact with friends
- You will meet new friends that share many of your passions
- You can always return to your area during any given year to visit family and/or friends
- Nothing is permanent, you always have the option of returning to your former
area/lifestyle. The only thing is that it's unlikely you would return to your former home
- Simplifying your lifestyle can be very rewarding
- Being mobile allows you to volunteer your services in many different areas and capacities -
should you choose to do so
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:17 AM   #3
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Download "Trucker Path" app to locate low clearances on your route, seems to work pretty well.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:41 PM   #4
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Alan...I couldn't help getting a little choked up while reading your musing as we hope to be in your shoes in the next couple of years. Fortunately, or unfortunately, our home helped to pay for many college educations and we need the market to improve before the house gets sold.

I have faith in everything Sinder said, especially the friends and family part. I think what we look forward to most is the freedom and ability to travel this great country and visit more frequently with those folks who we have come to know and love over many years.

Best wishes and God speed. We wish you all the best and hope to see you on down the road some day.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:12 PM   #5
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Alan & Angie,

Reading your post brings back the memories of our transition. Ruth and I built our dream log home on the river in the woods in 2001, thought that we would be there for the rest of our lives!! Well obviously we are not, our love for travel, to see this magnificent country we live in and not have to limit our adventures to short snippets won out over the house in the woods.

Selling your dream home is difficult, many memories, some bad but most you will cherish for the rest of your life. Shedding your belongings, that is tough...but you soon realize that it's just stuff, the real treasures are in you and they never go away.

We sold our home in October 2012 after the house was on the market for close to a year, we were so relieved that it had sold yet sad, even distraught as we progressed through the emptying of the house. To see that magnificent dwelling empty of all our belongings, brought back the memories of building, putting it together with our special touches... BUT... then the overwhelming freedom, and the unknown...being without a home!!! In my 60 plus years I had never been without a home, what a strange feeling...

Now, almost two years later we look at what we went through and where we are now, wow!!! I can only say that I am so glad we made the decision to go fulltime!!! There have been some hard times of transition but overall the change has been one I wouldn't trade for anything. Yes you do miss friends and community, but they are still there and you can maintain those friendships via long distance and time, real friends will remain real friends, you just make it work despite the obstacles. BUT, there are so many new friends, new memories, new places, new experiences. We have met some really great people since going on the road and I wouldn't trade it for anything!!

Now, I wonder why it took me so long to make the change and can't imagine ever going back to our old lifestyle. Our lives have changed so much and we love it!!!

I pray your transition is as wonderful as ours!!!
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanN View Post
Sitting here in our garden room, filled with moonlight and soft breezes, I have to wonder if I can really leave our lovely Vermont home. Our house is finally under contract after a year in a very down market (four-year inventory of homes in western Vermont) and we'll close in less than a month, Lord willin' an' the creek don't rise. Tomorrow I drive our new Ram 3500 to Victor NY to pick up our 38GK. Fortunately, the fierce thunderstorm/windstorm which swept through Poultney on July 3 neither damaged our home, nor the new truck, despite the 40 foot spruce which snapped off and landed across the bed. No damage to the bed (a dimple) or the hitch (phew!) or the house: neighbors on both sides of us have large maples through their roofs! The house inspection which the buyers ordered went off without a hitch today - and I'd already cleaned up the eight downed trees on our property with the help of great neighbors and friends. Tomorrow I'll take a route parallel to the interstate, both to help break in my new diesel with varied terrain and loads, and to scout out for underpasses lower than 13'6" - I don't intend to be that guy who shears off his AC unit, or worse, 'cause he didn't scout out the road ahead. I could just take the Interstate, but that wouldn't be as effective a way to break in the Cummins engine. I'll stay nearby the dealer tomorrow night and will do as thorough an inspection as I can on Saturday, then I'll return Sunday to start packing the RW. We had already planned an estate sale for August 2 - the dealer will take anything which doesn't sell, leaving us with an empty S&B house ready for closing Aug. 5. We plan to be set up at a nearby lakeside RV park by then, and then after the house closing we'll head for Maine for a couple of weeks to say goodbye to friends and family there, and to my beloved Acadia National Park, about which I've done two photo books. You full-timers know this drill ... Giving away or selling (pennies on the dollar) 95% of your cherished belongings in order to achieve a lighter load (16,500#?) and a freedom of movement ... But at the cost of friends and community and that sense of belonging. Mixed feelings and tears go well with the moonlight and vodka. But tomorrow Moby (the Great White Ram) and I will burn another bridge and will pick up the RW. I'll try to make some YouTube-worthy videos of the walk-through for future RW buyers, and my own info files of course. Time for some sleep now ... big day tomorrow. G'night!
Alan,

I wish you and your wife years of happiness and good health. My wife and I were just having a discussion while sitting around the campfire here in Maine.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:40 PM   #7
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Wishing you all the best for the PDI and enjoy the full time lifestyle.

We also have just sold our home of 25 yrs, where we brought up our kids. Just prior to departing on a 3 month holiday we signed the papers and it went on the market April 1st, with us hoping for a sale when we were gone with closing when we returned in July. However it sold in 2 days, with the first offer being the day it listed. Closed in May, so our daughter had to pack up everything and clean the house out.

It was really strange coming home and house sitting for our daughter for the 2 weeks. It was also difficult living in a strange house and not having had an opportunity to say our goodbyes to the home we lived in, and that gave us so many great memories.

Can't wait to get back on the road in our RW, only 7 more days before we head East for the Rally.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:47 PM   #8
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Andy ~ looking forward to meeting you and Judi and new friends. And Tracy and I can't wait to sort everything out and call the RW "home".
See you in a few weeks.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:20 PM   #9
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Alan,

Wishing you the best in your transition.

Just some advise from somebody that hasn't done it (as if you need that, eh)

I hear of so many people that make the jump and start out in a new 5er, only to have it end up back in the shop for a week, or even a few months. In as much as you are breaking in that new truck, give that Redwood a chance to break in too before you completely rely on it. It is almost guaranteed it will need to go back to the shop at least once. Put together a good plan B (relative, hotel, etc).
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:03 PM   #10
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Our transition went with no regrets. We had thought for a long time we would like to be fulltimers. We had been RVing for years, and talking about it for as long. We sold our house and moved into our camper the same month I retired. That was over 12 years ago, and we haven't looked back since. Gave the stuff we wanted to keep in the family to the daughters and sold the rest. We have met people that have tried the full time thing, but just can't hack it and have had to settle down again. A person doesn't know unless they try it.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:02 AM   #11
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Been fulltime for just over 6 years & don't plan to change any time soon, no regrets. So far this is our second new 5er, third total since we started, none of which had major issues that I couldn't fix or dealer/service center couldn't do in a day, never did not have to sleep out of home. If you are not somewhat of a handyman it maybe be different. We have a very small storage unit with stuff we don't need to haul, keepsakes/photo albums, but everything else is right here & we only weigh in at 16525#, so I say get'er done.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:48 AM   #12
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Thank you all so much for all your support and good wishes. The 300 mile trip went off without a "hitch" - well, except the one that counted. The Curt hitch was mounted at the correct height for the fiver (whew!) and the truck body has plenty of radius clearance (whew!). The PDI went fine, then I took the unit it a horse track nearby to take benefit of the huge parking lot - soon I was backing into the imaginary RV slot between a lamppost and an orange cone. Years of hauling a tail-wagger sure helped. Like riding a bike - once you learn how you never forget how to fall off! I then spent the night at a nearby RV park, and the looks I got when pulling in! People actually got out of their chairs to get a closer look as I drove by, and within minutes of getting the sliders out and the fans cooling, I was conducting tours. RW already has quite a rep, and a lot of followers. One ten year old boy even asked, "Gee, mister, are you RICH?" "Hush, Jason," mom replied, "You don't ask people that!" LOL The ride to the race track through town was a knuckle-buster, the first hundred miles towards home yesterday was on high vigilance, and the last two hundred miles I felt my old comfort at hauling. I never doubted my ability, but the SIZE of these rigs is enough to make your confidence look both ways - twice! The haul ride was smooth with little chucking ... I won't be looking for air hitch or pin box upgrades soon. The Trail-Air pin box/ Curt Q24 hitch make a good team. Mileage was 14.5 mpg on the way over, empty, and 10 mpg hauling home, but the Cummins still has less than 1,000 miles on it: those numbers will improve.
We both started thinning out our possessions five years ago, in anticipation of this transition. Of course, I should have thinned out a lot more than I have, cuz there's still the lions share to dispose of... But that's why we hired the estate sale people. I've already given away most of my orchid collection, but I still have to find homes for a few bonsai (two will travel with us, but I'll probably give them away eventually as well). I have house plants which have lived with me, shared my CO2 and shared their O2 for over forty years ... You can see why I won't just put them in the compost pile. But we live in a plant loving community, so I'll find folk who will appreciate and care for them all. Now about the rock collection...



While we know that new friends will be found down the road, there are others we simply will never see again. Angele simply has no desire to return to New England - too much other country to explore, she says, but we'll see how she feels in a few years. Facebook and email will keep me connected to old friends, just as it has for years. This is a well-considered change, planned for many years, and we make it for reasons of voluntary simplicity and the opportunity to focus diminishing energies towards personal growth. I always told my children, "Change is the only constant in life - learn to make it your friend and ally, because any effort to resist it is futile." So we will now try to embrace that philosophy ourselves and wave good-bye, shed a tear or two, and point Moby Ram down the road!
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:39 PM   #13
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I always told my children, "Change is the only constant in life - learn to make it your friend and ally, because any effort to resist it is futile." So we will now try to embrace that philosophy ourselves and wave good-bye, shed a tear or two, and point Moby Ram down the road!
Children?? How about adults too! Great words to live by for sure.

Congratulations.
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Old 07-13-2014, 12:44 PM   #14
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We have been Full Time for almost 3 years now.
It was a very emotional selling and leaving our home of 23 years but the transition to the Fulltime Lifestyle has been great.
We now are much closer than we have ever been and our stress level is much lower.
My motto is "If we do not like our neighbors, we just move"
We are glad we made the change to Fulltiming, while the lifestyle is not for everyone, we like it.
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Old 07-13-2014, 01:08 PM   #15
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Alan,

I'm so happy for you! I'm glad everything went well and you had safe travels on your victory trip home. Happy Trails my friend!
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:10 PM   #16
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So happy your maiden voyage went well!!!

Live the dream!!!
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:16 PM   #17
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Best wishes. We have been full time for 9 mos. and have never looked back.
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Old 07-14-2014, 01:30 AM   #18
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Congratulations on a successful delivery, enjoy the maiden voyage
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Old 07-14-2014, 03:52 AM   #19
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Best wishes. We have been full time for 9 mos. and have never looked back.
Thanks, and I envy your white rig! When did designers decide that heat-reflecting white was a poor color choice? :-)
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Old 07-14-2014, 04:07 AM   #20
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We have the Curt Q24 in our GMC 3500HD and the Trail Air Tri Glide Pin Box on our 38FL, only pulled from the dealer to our homebase, (about 250 miles) pulled great, but the nose of 5er was a little high so I lowered the hitch one position after we got to our homebase.
Will not be able to tell how the setup is until we move again next Sunday.
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