The Search Begins

_20160202_095055The First Pass

The reality of our decision is not only sinking in but it is consuming our every thought, almost every minute. We have practically already lived out the trip ahead of us in our minds and are vascillating between mounting excitement and this phantom satisfaction of having already embarked. Bizarre, huh? We joked about how we don’t even have to go now because we’ve already mentally journeyed the country. Ha hahahaha….but, no. We’re still going.

A first glimpse of our potential living quarters was provided by Pete at Fretz RV in Souderton. We’d never even stepped onto an RV before, and quite the titillating experience it was! I wanted the first one we saw. “This is IT!” I saw the hesitation in my honey’s eyes, however. So after a few hours of exploration, we convened in our Durango V6, towing capacity 6,000lbs (purchased 2 months ago with the intent of hauling an RV).

He wants something more, something sturdier….something….not able to be towed by our brand new Durango. Of course! The bigger-is-better monster has gripped my husband with its evil intent. I may have to reel him in on this one…

After some back and forth from, going bigger and trading this baby SUV in for a pick-up to eliminating our initial wish list of double bunks (one for storage, one for a baby room) we think we have settled on a humble abode, below our towing capacity, in which we have floor and storage space, and if need be, the babe who will be a year and a half upon our departure, can sleep with us. She still does anyway for the most part, so no biggie. This way, we can bring a play yard and she can use that too instead of finding a creative way to seal off a bunk area for her to sleep in.

The Particulars

Learning the technical language, the towing specifications and the ins and outs of RV living has been exceptionally challenging. Figuring things out has been a complicated labyrinth of information practically written in a different language. I’m compiling an RVing for Dummies page so I might save you the months of confusion we spent figuring stuff out. Still, there are weekend conventions, websites, and endless resources to get in to the nitty gritty.

Buying an RV is not like buying a car. There are many factors to take into account that you don’t even know exist yet. Suffice it to say, there is a learning curve. Don’t get too confident too soon if you consider following sit here!

I’m going to skip ahead here for a moment.

We discovered upon our extensive and mounting research that in order to boondock with a travel trailer, as is our plan when possible, you need a heck of a lot more power than what is provided by the manufacturer. See, they figure, travel trailers are good matches for the occasional traveller or short term stints. Or, just people who will park in an RV park and juice up there. Class A, B and C motor homes are designed to go wherever, whenever, and are equipped to do so. They are not only much more expensive, but they are not an option for us since travelling with a baby that should be in a car seat is a major “no-no” since there is no safe way to secure a baby in a mobile home.

We are also conservationists. I reuse, reduce, recycle at every chance I’m able. I pay extra for green energy. I find the energy drains in my home and eliminate them. It’s sort of a hobby. In that spirit, solar energy on an RV is a favored option for powering up for dry camping. Except it seems adding the panels (and also buying a regular generator which is pretty necessary, as well) is not only expensive, but hard to do.

So, Matt found an appropriate model from 2014 that was already solar powered, and even had some towing and storage extras, as well as an insulated underbelly that will be useful when we depart in the winter months on the East Coast. Here she is: Keystone Outback.

In the meantime, I am mentally clearing out the clutter in our home. The sudden need to expunge and get rid of EVERYTHING is overwhelming me. It’s interesting because my desire to hang on to things “I might need one day” and my hubby’s minimalist nature has been a bone of contention through the history of our relocation. It’s funny how over time we start to meet in the middle of our differences without realizing it. All I can say is, every day I look at each room from the perspective of object-elimination. I cannot WAIT to rid myself of the weight of “things”. I realize now what a prison you are locked into by your possessions. It will be liberating to go without them all and experience life through moments and vistas, rather than desires and purchases.

We signed up for a local flea market next month to sell all of the antique items that we collected from…you guessed it…flea markets. We may be able to recoup about $1000 or more if we can sell it all.

Then there’s the business of all the other accumulated belongings that can’t come with us, but we’d like to save, such as pictures, family heirlooms, some books, baby items that may be necessary if a baby #2 comes along. They will be boxed and carted to my mom’s basement. Hopefully, with her blessing.

But I’m getting ahead of myself! We are 4-6 months from leaving and I’m trying to take things one step at a time. The good news is, we should be able to exit our 2 year lease at the one year mark without penalty. Phew! Once we get our hands on our new digs, I think we’ll be rolling out the door full steam ahead!