November 8, 2012

We've Done It

Less than two weeks ago I asked a simple question: We Are Thinking of A Big Shakeup: Are We Nuts? The responses were almost universally, "No."  Your support, suggestions, and real concern for our decision were heartwarming. So, I wanted you to know:

We've Done It.


After thinking through all the options that worked for us, reviewing our finances yet again, and visiting several RV lots in town, Betty and I purchased a used, 30 foot, Four Winds Class C motor home. Because it was a former rental unit with high mileage we also purchased two extended five year warranties that cover the engine and power train as well as all the components (A/C, refrigerator, water pump, hot water heater, roof, etc). The company sells thousands of these units each year and does a thorough job of repainting and refurbishing them. But, we both felt much better with a high level of protection against major issues.

I have joined both Good Sam Club and Passport America. We picked up a Camping World catalog. Betty went shopping for all the basic stuff we need in the RV to make it comfortable and feel like home. I bought various necessities like leveling blocks, a water pressure regulator,  hose elbow, and a sewer hose support.

Good friends gave us a painting of an old van with Betty's favorite Bible verse written across the top along with the words, Road Trip. Besides being hung in a place of honor inside the RV, it also gave us a name for our new baby: R.T., which stands for Road Trip. So, we now are proud owners of R.T. the R.V.

The next step was to book a quick trip to a nearby campground to begin to get comfortable with everything and check out all the components. Just 30 minutes from home, Cave Creek Regional Park is a great place to start our new life. In addition to full hookups, there are miles of hiking trails and even a new Nature Interpretive Center.

As I write this we are making plans to sit under the awning of R.T. with Bailey at our feet while enjoying a late afternoon glass of wine and preparing for a sunset over the distant White Tank Mountains.  

Last August I wrote about  living in an RV while traveling around the country as one of three life-altering ideas I was considering. I can now check that off my list.

Thank you for all your feedback, comments, and ideas on the "Are We Nuts? post. You really did help us take this major step. Betty and I are so excited about what new experiences we will share together.

Just as excited are our daughter, son-in-law, and three grandkids. They will use the RV for a few family vacations.

One important note: this purchase will not result in major changes to the Satisfying Retirement blog. It will not become an RV blog. Yes, we will post about our travels as they occur as an important part of our retirement journey. But, rest assured: if you have zero interest in RVing you will find this blog stays focused on what brought you here in the first place. That doesn't mean I may not start another blog for the RV crowd, but nothing will affect this site.





                        We have taken a leap into the unknown and it feels GREAT!

51 comments:

  1. It's gorgeous and congratulations on making up your minds so fast! So happy to know you and Betty will now experience the joys of RV'ing on a regular basis. Looking forward to hooking up at some point now that you have your wheels!

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    1. Absolutely! We have tentative plans for 2 weeks in California in June. If you guys will be around we should meet for a meal and to swap stories.

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    2. I was just looking at my June calendar now, how coincidental! Just remember, if you want to camp in California in June, the parks here book up within five minutes of the December 1 reservation windows opening. Email me if you'd like some assistance . . . I'm a master at securing S. CA camping reservations. :-)

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    3. Betty and I will think through a tentative plan and I will e-mail you for your suggestions and hints. At the moment we are looking at June 3-15.

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  2. Way to Go! You and Betty are going to have an amazing adventure.

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    1. At some point in the next two years we will be making a two month long trip that includes Florida. After all, I want to go back to Key West! We will make sure we get together.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Linda! It is going to be a blast.

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  4. Well done! Congratulations!!!

    My only bit of advice: now that you've got the home, you need the car. Parking these puppies in small parking spaces is not easy. I would highly recommend towing a car (a TOAD). It gives you the added freedom of going to non-RV friendly spots and lets you widen the range of your explorations, with RT as the home base. I was terrified of towing, but within an hour I completely forgot that Zippy was behind me. It is so worth it!

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    1. We will tow a small car. Now I am researching the advantages/disadvantages of a tow bar or dolly. Expense is part of the decision but ease and safety are more important.

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  5. Betty, Bailey, and I are out in the mountains for the next few days giving R.T. a shakedown trip. I will post comments as they come in but will hold off responding until we return home Saturday afternoon.

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  6. Congrats, and may you have many RV adventures in RT!

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    1. We are back home from our first shake down trip in R.T. It poured rain Friday night. What a neat sound on the roof of the RV.

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  7. Congratulations Bob.

    Now if I could just talk my hubby into getting one we might meet you in an RV park somewhere in America :)

    But my wife is pretty dug in about "NO RV" so likely you will just remain my cyberpal...

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    1. What if we make a trip through Indiana? We could meet up!

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks, Roberta. So far, so good. Of course, my first 1/2 tank fill up cost $75, but that is one of the costs of freedom.

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  9. Congratulations! I'm so glad you get to check off this wish-list item!

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    1. Making a wish list and then not making them come true seems of silly! If I can do something on that list, I will.

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  10. Congratulations! Many happy adventures to the three of you.

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    1. We have started planning out next year's trips!

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  11. The unveiling of RT--yay!! What's the favorite Bible verse?

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  12. Congratulations! And have fun!

    Ann M

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    1. Watch out for R.T. rolling through Kansas!

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    2. We have plenty of land to park on:>)

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  14. Congratulations to both of you! Funny, I was looking at 30 footers yesterday, the pull behind ones that I could tow with the F-150. The prices for both new and used were surprisingly good. Your post has got me thinking that much more. Have fun, enjoy, and think about all of us that are not RVing as you and Betty savor your wine this evening.

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    1. The truck portion is a Ford F-450 V-10 so there is plenty of power for hills and such. An F-150 can tow most trailers if they aren't too heavily loaded.

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    2. Bob, that is a solid truck you have there, especially with the V-10. My F-150 has the EcoBoost engine, rated at about 12,000 lbs of towing capacity. Keeping a base trailer in the 7K lb range, and then added weight for liquids and the like, should be doable. You've got me thinking even more now. Congrats on the shakedown cruise!

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  15. Wonderful! That's a lot of RV; gonna be a comfortable way to spend the evenings, pickin' on your guitar. If you decide to check out the eastern US (especially Philly or Burlington, VT), feel free to contact moi. :) Enjoy.

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    1. We will certainly make it East at some point. Vermont is one of our favorite states and I was born in Philly.

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  16. Bob and Betty: good luck! and Congratulations! How exciting to open up to new adventures together!!

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    1. Watching a movie on the laptop last night while the rain pounded on the roof was very pleasant. We all Bailey, Betty, and me) slept very well and awoke to clear skies and temps around 50 this morning. Beautiful.

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  17. Bob & Betty I am excited for you two! I hope you
    guys enjoy RT for many years to come. :)

    Bob just curious, is your first name Bob or, Robert?

    My husband's name is Robert. I of course am Betty. :)

    When we were young my husband often said when he retired he
    wanted to buy an RV and, travel around most of the year. I
    on the other hand said, "No thanks, I don't want to bring
    the cooking and, cleaning with me!" Now that I am 50, almost
    51 I feel differently. I like having my personal space and,
    things. I no longer enjoy hotels or, room service. Isn't life
    funny? May your joy be full!

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    1. Robert is my "formal" name for the IRS and the like, but I go by Bob. Yes, Bob & Betty almost sounds like a cartoon show!

      The freedom to move when you want and spend extra daysomeplacece you like are nice. Besides, a hotel room isn't a home. Betty has already decorated R.T. and has plans to mount a spice rack, and some of her photos after our first short trip.

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  18. Congratulations Bob and Betty. I look forward to reading about your adventures in RVing. It's something I'd considered doing years ago, but now I'm too afraid to go it alone.

    Rent the movie RV. It's hilarious.

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    1. We watched the movie the night before we picked up the RV...risky, but we thought if the movie scares us we still have time to back out. Instead it made us even happier about our decision.

      The very next morning I handed the salesman the check!

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  19. Road Warriors! I hope your puppy takes to the road with gusto! That is a great piece of art for the RV.

    My husband and I are visiting our itsy-bitsy condo in Surprise for the first time and are jazzed with the new experience.

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    1. Bailey seems to really enjoy it. In fact, she runs to the door of R.T. just as quickly as she heads to our "real" front door.

      She lets us know when it is time to go out and sleeps quite happily on our bed or one of the couches.

      Enjoy your new digs. It is a cool weekend but a nice break after 5 months of summer.

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  20. Woo hoo - congratulations on taking the leap into a new 'adventure.' I look forward to making the same type decision in the next year or so.

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    1. You want to visit all 50 states? That is a great goal. We want to visit as many National Parks and sites as we can.

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  21. So happy for you both! I know you will have many wonderful times using your "new" RV. These are the rewards of all those years of hard work. Plus you will both have the opportunity to see parts of the country you might not visit otherwise and meet many wonderful new people. My daughter's family really enjoys theirs and say that way you know who slept in the bed the night before:). Wishing all the best.

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  22. Good for you. It is beautiful and I think you are going to enjoy it very much.

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    1. It already is starting to feel like home. There is a lot of on going maintenance to think about, but that becomes another learning experience.

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  23. You should get either the book version or the iPad/iPhone version of the Exit Guide. It is wonderful for finding place to stop, buy gas, food and also tells the size of rigs it will handle.

    I have had the book, but moved to the iPad apps for it now. I think there is an RV version as well.

    Next make sure you check out the Free Places to camp book. It really helps cut down on expenses for those on the move days where you come in late and want to move on early and don't need to have hook ups or much else. We have saved $200-300 a trip that way.

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    1. i have found the Exit Guide on Amazon but can't find the Free Places to camp book. Can you give me the author or full title? It sounds like i should have it.

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  24. I believe you’ve made a great decision with that! I can’t think of a better way to retire than to travel and explore different places. I know time has made you wiser, but RV living can give you a unique perspective in life. Are you kind of interested in photography? I’m sure you’ll be able to use that a lot! Keep safe while you leave your footprints on different places. :D

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    1. We are taking another short trip next week. Unfortunately, we won't be able to take a trip of 2 or 3 weeks until spring but planning is well underway.

      Betty is an excellent photographer. In fact, we have a dozen of her works displayed in our home. She will take the pictures and edit them in the evening. We are thinking of taking one of the walls in the RV and using it for her most recent photos of our last trip.

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