Friday, September 21, 2012

Sans Souci

Sans Souci is a French term meaning "without care", in other terms, "no worries".  I was cleaning out a drawer in the filing cabinet and ran across the pile of RV books that I had purchased when I was dreaming years ago and this rub on that I had purchased to put in my dream  RV.  Now it is going into the real RV box, it will finally be used.  The RV books were published around 1995.  I am going to glance through them but they would be very out of date.

Here is the first load of books that I am taking to the used book store to sell.  When I start on my craft books and cookbooks, there will be a lot more.  My daughter is trying to figure out the best way to get rid of the knitting, weaving, embroidery, etc books and magazines.  I will need help with getting rid of them.  Most of my Troupe L'oeil  and floorcloth books are not in this group.  Don't have the strength just yet, it has taken me years to collect them.

I know how much weight is a problem in an RV.  In all my years of driving all over the country and living in hotels, I know what is important to me.  I would rather have my crafts than food or clothes.  I will have my RV weighted after it is packed but if I have to get rid of anything it will be clothes and shoes  which I won't be bringing much of anyway.  I am leaving all my precious  craft books and sewing patterns, fabric and yarn  behind, that is roughing it to me.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


9/11/12 I just filled 2 tall kitchen garbage bags full of sewing patterns to take the the Rescue Mission, I turned around and found that I had saved just as many.   I will put those aside to look again later.   I did not get rid of hardly any of my purse patterns..   This will not do......

9/12/12  Won't have time to do any purging for the rest of the week but I did go down to basic cable.  I was thinking, I use Slingbox to watch my home TV when I am on the road working using my IPad or on my laptop, my son has lots of channels, why not hook my Slingbox up to his TV  cable box in his family room.  They hardly ever use the TV in that room, so I won't have any fears of someone changing the channel.  I watch so little TV but I like the idea that if I want to watch PBS, BBC, Smithsonian Channel, etc., I can.  I mentioned it to him and he thought it was a good idea.  He suggested that I change my mailing address to his address and he will contact me if there is anything important and forward it on.  Right now, because I get so little mail (all my bills come on line or I have them automatically paid) he comes up from VA every other week to clean out the mailbox.

9/13/12  Went to the MD RV show with my son, I  was a little disappointed because it was mostly travel trailers and 5th wheels.  There was a 29ft Class A by NewMar the BayStar however, I do not have the nerve to drive a Class A.  I love the big windows and the space however. ... Would you believe that the dealer is located down the road from me.  I never stop in because all they seem to carry is Class A and fifth wheels.   Well Saturday is the big show, I will let you know what interested me when we get back.

9/14/12  I went to the PA RV show and took two seminars.  The first seminar was Tips for Choosing An RV.  Some of the information was to ask the dealer if rig is warranted for fulltime use, dual pane windows are quiet, warmer in winter and cooler in summer.  Consider awnings for windows and AC in bedroom.  Can you move the driver seat with slides closed so you are comfortable when driving.  He had a section in his talk called Try it for Size
1.  lie down in the bed,  2  stand in the shower,  3. sit on the toilet, 4 measure the closets, 5 where the outlets are, 6 exterior storage, 7 pretend you are making a meal.

He also said that if possible buy a used RV a year or 2 older for the same amount you would have spent on the new RV because you would be getting upgrades.

The next seminar I went to was on Full time and Extended RVing.  The first part of the seminar was really what I do now when he talked about your mail, medical, banking, etc.  Since I work on the road, for the last 16 years, I have had to get this worked out. For instance,  banking- I have my paychecks automatically deposited, I use State Farm Bank for depositing other checks by taking a picture of front and back with my phone and when I withdraw money from any bank that charges me, they reimburse me the fee at the end of the month plus they have no fees when I use a ATM that is not theirs.  I have not set foot in a bank for years,  I use a national chain for my medicine since the insurance coverage I have is for one month at a time.

He said that your one year rule should be to check the cabinets, bins, storage areas of your RV and get rid of anything you do not need.  Travel with empty grey/black tanks. Don't take heavy items like tools and sewing machine.  When he said sewing machine, most of the women yelled out.  He said that his wife carries a sewing machine but get a light weight one and make sure you use it.  Well, I guess my sewing/embroidery machine is out.   Emergency Road Service is a must for new and  older RVs.  Get a Motor Carrier road atlas if you like paper or an RV GPS.  Don't drive more than 3 to 4 hours and get off road before 4pm.  Stay away from membership campgrounds until after you have been on the road for at least a year.  However, Passport America is a discount campground service and is cheap.  Use Mi-Fi for internet especially if you do on line banking.

I also obtained information for a recreational vehicle driver education program at Northampton Community College in PA that runs from April 19 to September 23, 2013.  I plan to take the class in either April or May before I actually retire and hit the road June 1.  The cost is $240 a person.  Classroom is 2 1/2 hours and the main topics are: pre-trip vehicle inspection, maintaining space, intersections and turns, blind spots.  The driving portion is  backing skills  1 1/2 hours and the main course is straight line backing, 45 degree backing and parallel parking.  The driving skills portion is 1 1/2 hours and the main things you will be doing is setting up for turns, looking ahead, road signs and maintaining space.

I picked up info on long term sites in the area because if everything goes right, I will need a place from April to June here in MD.

9/16/2012   Back from the PA RV show, I walked for miles looking at all RV's that fit the bill, after doing so I have decided on the Nexus Viper 29V, which is 30'6 ft.
NeXus RV Viper 23 V Floor Plan

The company will customize it and I think that what I need will not affect the price much.   I did put out a call to the ladies on the  Women RV forum as to what they need and what they wish they had.  I think that I want to switch out the sofa for two recliners with a small flip table in between for drinks, etc.   I never sit on the sofa at home but in my favorite chair and the only reason I would have a sofa is for a bed for guest.  Because this is a B+ design, there  is no overhead cab bunk.    I need the dinette because I do not want to have to put up a table everytime I want to sew, set up the loom, work on my polymer projects, etc.   Also there is storage under the seat for my sewing machine and other craft items.   Wish I had the money for the custom paint job but alas.....  I have plenty of storage for everything but my spinning wheel and weaving loom, I asked one of the owners if they could build my bed higher so that the loom would fit (it folds flat), he told me to send him the dimensions, frankly I am to send a wish list and they will let me know what they can and can not  as well as  the price.   Some of the suggestions that I have received so far from the forum are:
central vac, taller toilet with 2" riser, heat strip in the A C, ice maker, outside shower, solar and extra batteries, Onan generator, inverter, electric driver seat, microwave/convection oven, electric awning, regular oven plus the microwave/convection, awnings over all windows, 120v plugs in all rooms plus 12v receptacles for charging electronics.

I also saw on the Nexus website that a lady from RVW, a group I belong to, had just brought a Viper.  I looked her up in the RVW directory and just sent her an email.  Hope she answers, I asked a lot of questions so I hope that I did not scare her off. Another lady from RVW saw that I was going to the PA show to look for my first RV and she was going to search for her first one, she wanted to meet but I did not check my email until this evening, I did send her a note back to contact me and we could get together to talk about what we saw at the show.

Tomorrow I will make another Rescue Mission drop, it still does not look like I have made much progress.  I basically am trying to think of what I take with me in my van when I travel for my job.  I never know how long I will be gone, the last time was 4 months,  so I have to take all I enjoy doing for the precious time I am off.  When I am in my RV, it will be  the same only I won't be going to work.....what  of all my possessions that I do not want to live with out?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Life Changes and New Beginnings

I have an announcement.  Most of you know but this post is for me to scream out loud and for anyone that does not know.

I am retiring June 1 and will be a full time RVer.  My blog will have a little about what state  I am working in, and what I am crafting but it will mostly be about my challenge to downsize all my craft items to what can fit in a small RV, my search for the perfect RV as well as my fears and joys.  I want a record of everything up to and beyond my new beginning so that on a cold winter night after I have been on the road awhile, I can sit back with a glass of wine, read this blog and reflect on all that got me there.

I can't say that I sleep better since I made my decision because my head is filled with too much; however this is the end of a life long dream, I remember when my children were very small, my father went with me to look at small trailers and camper vans because that is what I wanted to do.  My parents never discouraged put everything on the back seat. In fact, just  before my parents died, they went with me to look at fifth wheels and told me that it would happen, I just had to believe.   I know that they will be  with me this weekend when I go with my son on Friday to the MD RV show and my daughter and son-in-law on Saturday to the PA RV show to actually look for not a dream but my home.  I won't be buying one this time but collecting the information on the ones I like so we can do some extensive research.  My daughter wants me to make a list of what things that I must have in the RV like insulated windows and wood floor.  Why a wood floor...because I love wood floors and have never had any, now my new home will have a wood floor among other essentials.

My plans at the moment is to travel 6 months out of the year and stay in an RV park in Florida for 6 months. As a matter of fact, my daughter and I plan on going to Central Florida in the spring to visit some parks so that I can make a reservation for October and November.   During those months it will give me  time to do extensive research on other parks in the area and stay a month or two in them.  I think I will know at the end of the 6 months which one I would like to stay 6 months in the next year.   I did find that there were parks that give very cheap rates if you sign a lease for 6 months, hopefully my son in law and daughter will have moved down  in the next couple of years.

I have joined two women's group, one is very active and consist of full and part time RVers.  The online site has lots of advice that I am drinking in.  The other one is not very active on line but has chapters all over the country.  In fact, in November, I am going to Lancaster, PA for their Thanksgiving rally were I hope to meet and talk to ladies about their life on the road, safety, boondocking (no water, sewer, electric) and whether they use solar panels, cell and internet, etc.  My daughter and I are doing lots of research but how nice it will be to actually talk to people that have conquered this.

I have already had a junk man take the sofa and loveseat, and tomorrow I have bags of clothes that I am taking to the Rescue Mission.  I have lots more clothes and some furniture to take in the coming weeks.    I will give any dress work clothes to the Dress For Success organization.  I just wish that it would be as easy for the tons of yarn, mounds of fabric and other stuff I have.  That is why I decided to tackle the furniture and clothing first.

I know that my son is taking my Department 56 collection so I can visit  my little houses and my treadmill.  My daughter will take some of the yarn  my big TV and I will keep the small one for my bedroom when I am in Florida.   I have an expensive handmade kitchen island table that one of them will have to take.   The rest of the furniture will go to the Rescue Mission or the dump. My daughter is going to scan the photos out of the pile of photo books and boxes that  I have, I will probably get an external drive for her to put them on.  I think we will probably get rid of the  paper photos after that.  The goal is to  just keep plugging away until nothing is here.  I would like to get everything done by March and then move into the motorhome.  The problem is this job, I could get called away for months.  This last time was 4 months.

That is all for now.  I hope you are as excited as I am.