Saturday, January 5, 2019

That was Us

About six years ago, Pattie and I were beginning to seriously consider the full-time RV lifestyle.  I was doing research on the types of RVs suitable for full-time use and the financial aspects of the lifestyle.  We traveled to a few RV shows to look at RVs and attend seminars.  As we traveled along the highway, we would see large motorhomes towing a vehicle and we would say, “That could be us.”  Seeing such a large rig with a TOAD vehicle made us curious about where they were going and what adventures were they having.  After three and a half years of full-timing, we now know what it is all about.
This blog entry brings us to a close in our full-time RV lifestyle.  I accepted a job in a large corporation and we are moving to the Boston, MA area.  In the past 90 days, we have gone from living in a church parking lot performing disaster relief operations to living in a Boston suburb townhouse wearing suits to work. We squeezed in time with family over the holidays in there somewhere.  Just thinking back over the tasks accomplished in the past 90 days is astonishing.
            Phone interviews, designed new accessory for Jeep, Built Mike’s Metal Fab web site, Interviewed with Army CoE for campground Host position, face to face interview in Washington DC, disaster relief work in Wilmington, NC, received corporate job offer, Thanksgiving visit in Atlanta, accepted job offer, retrieved and installed original motorhome couch from storage in Auburn, advertised motorhome for sale, planned for storage or consignment for motorhome, flew to Boston to look for new home, began work, flew back to Alabama for Christmas, packed motorhome items in U-Haul and transport to Auburn, met movers in Auburn to pack and load items from storage, searched for Pattie a car, sold motorhome, bought Pattie a car, visited Atlanta for New Years, traveled back to Auburn for medical appointment, drove to Boston, MA, received goods at townhouse.

Whew!  Talk about going from a make it up as you go lifestyle to full throttle into a new lifestyle.  It is amazing that so much was accomplished in such a short period of time with many events happening at perfect (if not last minute) timing.  Selling the motorhome was one of those events.  I placed an ad on and called a few places to discuss consignment selling.  I hated the idea of leaving the motorhome with a dealer to consignment sell it. I wanted to be able to meet the new owners and tell them The Bus’ history and teach them how the systems work. As time grew short to move, I had resigned myself to this option although I was getting quite a few calls from potential buyers.  Finally, a couple from Mobile, AL called and said they had been looking for a coach like ours for several months.  I told them of my time constraints and they came immediately to see it.  It was a Pastor and his wife who were looking for a coach to use to use in a travel ministry.  We hit it off immediately and I agreed to sell it to him for the same price I would have received had I sold it on consignment and $1,000 less to cover the cost of replacing the batteries which I would need to do this year anyway.  It was great to have a couple days with them to tell them about the coach and our adventures.  I am on their speed dial for questions and have received several calls that I enjoy.
Transferring to new owners
In our initial planning for full-time RV living, we had discussed various exit strategies.  It was one of our top concerns.  We expected to full-time for 3-5 years and calculated the costs involved keeping a nest egg saved for starting our next lifestyle. When we hit the 3-year point, we agreed to continue until an opportunity presented itself.  The job offer seemed to be that opportunity so we took the exit ramp at 3 years 7 months.  How did we fair over that time?
            Depreciation on a 7-year-old motorhome:  ~$10,000 per year
            Maintenance: $3900 per year
            Tires: $4100
            Insurance: ~$1400 per year
            Tags (Alabama): $1100 per year
            Times towed: 0
            Nights Unable to sleep in it: 0
            Windshields replaced: 0
            Flat tires: 0
            Air Bag failures: 1
            Slide issues: 2
            Satellite antenna issues: 2
            Water Pumps (house): 1
            Electrical gremlins killed: 3
            Injuries: 2
            Days sick: 0 (think about that!)
            Memories together:  1,000,000+
            Do it again:  YES

So this brings us to a close on this chapter of our life.  As Dan Wilson wrote in the 1998 song Closing Time, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.” Now as we travel down the highways and see those large motorhomes towing their dinghy vehicles, we say, “That was us” and smile at the memories we shared.

Thanks for keepingupwiththejonesrv.

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