Friday, December 27, 2013

Our Home

We had looked at 5th wheels for several months, but didn't expect to get one until we were down south.  We had heard there was more inventory in Texas and Florida--so we expected the prices would be a little less.  We narrowed our search to several brands:  Excel, DRV Mobile Suites,Solitude or Crossroads Redwood.  We had several really long days in Denver looking at RV's with our friends, Tom and Sandy Burke.  They were great keeping us on track with our goals and helping us keep a level head.

Word to the wise... always take friends on your RV shopping journey.  It can really help take the emotion out of it and keep you on track.   

To make a very long story short... we went to Windish RV in Lakewood, CO and really fell in love with the Redwood.  We looked at several Redwood floor plans on their lot, but just could not find one that felt like home.  As we were walking away a Redwood was delivered to their lot--not even off the delivery truck!  We were the first people to see this 5th wheel.  We walked in and it just felt right.  We knew it was God's timing.  So we made the deal.

We walked in and instantly felt like we were home.  Here is an RV we can travel in and feel comfortable... but more important: we will be WARM in the winter and cool in the summer. 
Windish was really great to work with through the sales process.  They gave us double for our Montana than we paid for it 6 years ago.  We really feel like this one is going to meet all of our needs.    

Our Montana was 37 ft. long and 360 square feet.  The Redwood in 40 ft long and 410 square feet.  There is a lot more storage and the storage under the 5th wheel is heated--so we avoid frozen pipes in the future!


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Our New Truck

We have been having problems with our F350 truck. When we started this journey we didn't expect to have to replace this truck.

We budgeted for emergencies—we just didn’t plan for this size of unexpected expense this early. We have had repeated days the truck had no power—in fact going over Monarch Pass it overheated to the point of needing to pull off to the side of the road and we were not sure we were going over the pass.

George and Tom Burke (friend from Denver) decided that it was probably injectors going out (which would be a sizable repair). Over the last 6 months we have researched and "shopped" for trucks. We were holding out the hope that we might not need to get a different truck. We have looked at trucks while we were in Indiana, Kansas City and then Colorado. 

We really thought we were going to get an HDT; a converted Semi-truck set up to pull a 5thwheel. After exhaustive of research we realized it isn’t realistic for me (Lisa) to get into a semi regularly.
Today we brought home our new tow vehicle… a 2014 Ram 3500. It has crazy tow capacity (30,000 pounds).  It has a GVWR of 37,500!!!  We can tow a house with this fabulous truck.
We will easily be able to tow our 5th wheel and then tow the jeep behind the 5th wheel.

We bought the truck from Medved, which is the same dealer we bought our F350 from--11 years ago. Our trade-in on the truck was only $16K less than what we paid for the truck 10 years earlier. We feel excited that we avoided a real crisis by getting a different truck before the old one died. We love the new truck and we are going to move forward in the excitement of that.

It is hard to plan for unexpected expenses in a "normal" life. But now that neither of us is working, an unexpected expense can quickly turn into a crisis. It is funny that I use the term "normal" life. What in the world constitutes a normal life. I guess the world tells us that normal is we have a sticks 'n bricks house and 2 jobs with no expectations of ever not working.

We have done the research, we have prayed about the decision and then we have moved forward with the purchase--hoping and believing it is the right move.


Monday, March 25, 2013

Just like Thomas the Train... "We think we can, We think we can..."

OK, so I am awful at journals... so hopefully that will not translate into a blog being a challenge.  On any given day I have more to say than anyone else in a room--so it should be a good outlet for me.  

I am going to try to catch up and then stay on top of it. March 16-24, 2013 we attended an RV-Dreams rally in New Mexico. The rally was full of great information. The rally gave information and encouragement to anyone that may be wondering if living in an RV full time is a good fit for them.

Howard &Linda led the rally—they have been full-timing for over 8 years. They left their jobs, sold their house and started traveling in their newly purchased RV. They reminded us throughout the rally that they had never traveled in an RV and if they could do it… they made us feel like we could too. The rally was FULL of information about the in's and out’s of living in our RV. There were people that had been living in their RV for a short time, people that knew they wanted to be full timers but just weren’t sure where to start, people who had never been in an RV and then people like us—we dream about the possibility of traveling around the country (but we can’t imagine that we could ever really make it happen). We left that rally being certain that we wanted to pursue that dream. We started to pray for direction and wisdom. We want to make sure that we are following a path pleasing to God.

We contacted a real estate agent about the possibility of selling our home. She gave us a shortlist of things to do to get the house ready for sale. We spend the next month working on the house and processing our feelings about the possibility of this exciting new chapter for us.


Friday, March 1, 2013

In the Beginning...

Early in our marriage we bought a Hi-Lo camper. We found that we loved our time in the camper. We enjoyed our time together and the "mini vacations" that we enjoyed. We started talking about the future possibilities of traveling around America in a larger camper.

Over the next 20 years our dream about getting a 5th wheel or motorhome to travel around the country in our retirement years continued to develop. We sold the Hi-Lo because of a potential layoff. We missed camping, and found an inexpensive Excel travel trailer. We enjoyed this camper for several years but it had many flaws, so we sold it and started looking for a 5th wheel.

We bought a 34 ft. Terry 5th wheel, which we completely redecorated. We loved every minute we would spend in our Terry. We enjoyed vacations, long weekends and even overnight stays in Monument.

We decided we would start looking for a smaller 5th wheel, so that we can easily get into State parks. Our dream to retire and travel around the United States in a 5th wheel continues to grow. We started “window shopping” for our newest “vacation home”. The minute we stepped into our Montana 5th wheel, no other stood a chance. It was love at first site.  Forget the smaller 5th wheel plan, we would move up to this 39 foot “dream house”. It has everything we could hope for: king size bed, big closet with built in dresser. A living room that can be completely closed off and a sweet little fireplace! The dream continues to grow and turns into a plan.

A plan that we believe will happen, the timing continues to remain uncertain—but we know what we want. It feels like no two people will more easily enjoy spending time together in a small space. We enjoy similar sites around the country, we both love road trips and we both love spending time together.
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