Sunday, February 23, 2014

12 Days and Counting!

12 days until we are on the road and Barb has only 10 days left at work! Although she has been waiting for this day for years, it has not sunk in. She feels like she is just going on vacation and has to go back in a few weeks.

Lets hope she can wait until April! 

Continuing to get ready, we spent the weekend packing everything we would not need it in the next two weeks. Most of our clothing is in totes, we emptied all the cupboards in the kitchen and have more loads to go to Goodwill. We know we still have too much but we will continue to whittle away while on the road. We have about 10 totes that we will drop off in Salt Lake with our children on the way to AM Solar for our March 17th appointment. Then it is back to Salt Lake the end of March as our daughter is due the first week or April.

The weather certainly is not cooperating here in Wisconsin ....we were teased with high 30's last Wednesday and Thursday only to receive 10" of snow Thursday night and an extended forecast showing highs in the teens and lows below zero. Hopefully the next 12 days will go quickly, we have vet checks, grooming, carpet cleaning and oil changes here at home while Barb is wrapping things up at work.

Let's just hope for no more snow so we can get our rig out on the 9th!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Getting Loaded in Wisconsin

What else is there to do in the middle of the winter in Wisconsin? Barb and I spent the day today getting loaded! No, not that kind of loaded, we spent the morning loading our rig! The countdown is down to 19 days and it cannot come fast enough! This has been the longest and coldest winter I can remember.  The month of January and the first two weeks of February bought us a total of 40 days where the low temperatures were below 0 (a few days the highs were below 0) with many in the teens below and a few in the upper 20’s below!

We are continuing to get things packed and organized. In our spare time we read the blogs and adventures from other RV'ers who are enjoying the warm weather down south wishing we were there. Although from some of the tales, parts of the south are getting their fair share of cold weather as well.The only things we have left to bring over to the rig are the items we use every day and items that we do not want to freeze. We have our rig at the house of some friends of ours here in west central Wisconsin. When I brought some totes over there last week it was completely plowed in with 4 foot banks in front of it. I was not sure if we were going to get out before the snow melted. But when we showed up today, my new best friend Greg had taken the bobcat and moved all the snow from in front of the rig keeping it road ready for us.
Thank you Greg for moving the snow!
Barb getting loaded

If we can just get through the next few weeks without a major snow storm all we have to do is hook up, negotiate a few turns in the yard and be on the road to warmer weather!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

RV Add ons and Extras

There is so much information what is necessary when full timing, it is hard to know what is right. Weeding though blogs and forums we began to see common themes and who is a very informed full timer. Based on this information we started a "must have" and "nice to have" list of add ons for our rig.

Our list of "must haves" included; Double Pane Windows, Arctic Package, Bedroom AC, Custom Paint, Surge Protector (Progressive Industries EMS HW50C), Tire Upgrade (Goodyear G114 215/75R 17.5). We may never know if these items were really necessary but based on what we have read and these are items others say they cannot live without or had wished they installed on their rigs.

Our list of "nice to haves" included; Satellite System (Winegard SK-SWM3), screen porch that attaches to our awning (we plan on spending a lot of time in the Canada where the mosquitos will carry you away!). We also replaced the two recliners with a love seat and a solar system. We don't have the solar system installed yet but have an appointment the third week of March at AM Solar to get our solar set up installed. 

Of course there are the chairs, ladder, dishes.......and numerous other items that must be purchased when setting up for the first time. We found other blogs and forums invaluable in determining what we needed and what brands are the best. 

Then there are the items that we think we may need but are not quite sure. We are resisting the urge to run out and pick these up. Instead we are going to wait 6 months to a year to see if these items are really necessary. 

Over the next few weeks we will be continuing to move items from our rental house to the trailer, which is not a lot of fun with the below zero temperatures and snow that does not seem to quit! We are getting down to our clothes and items that we don't want to freeze. 

We would love to hear from you! What did we miss, what add-on's, extras and accessories would you recommend we add to our rig?

Less than 4 weeks and we will be one the road!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Preparing for the Dream

We began dreaming of life on the road in 2010. At that time it was just that....a dream. We started reading blogs and forums and slowly preparing. We knew that Barb had to work until March of 2014 but from reading the forums it is never too early to prepare! We started downsizing, having 1-2 garage sales each year trying to minimize to the point where everything we own will fit in a 5th wheel still not know if we would be able to pull this off.

Our next big step was putting our house on the market in the summer of 2012. Being a lake home, we knew we had a narrow window to sell. We had lots of showings but did not sell it that summer. That fall/winter went to RV lots, RV shows and reviewed hundreds of models on line narrowing down which rig we would get if we were able to make this dream come true. In the winter of 2012 we traded in our old truck on a 2013 GMC Denali Duramax Diesel Dually. Four months later we ordered our 2014 Cardinal 3450RL.

In February of 2013 Jim was notified that after 30 years with the same company, his job was being eliminated. We took this as a positive sign and continued to prepare for March of 2014. We took delivery of our rig in April of 2013. So here we are with a our home, a new truck, trailer, and Jim losing his job!  Prime house selling time was approaching, we had to sell our house. Luckily Jim's position was extended until the first week of August. Finally, in late June we had offer and closed in late July.

Now homeless and Jim unemployed, we rented a friends lake house for the winter impatiently waiting for March to come. As of today, we are less then 5 weeks until Barb's retirement. This is one of the longest and coldest winters that we can remember and March cannot get here soon enough!