Monday, April 29, 2013

Beginning Something New

I managed to snag my mom yesterday and we drove 175 miles north to go look at that old motorhome. I had the money in my pocket and I was ready to buy that thing, pending it's running condition. Well, I looked it over and talked with the guy for a while, took it for a short test drive. I'm a pretty indecisive person and I felt there was a lot of pressure on the situation, especially with it being so far away. I felt like I had to buy it RIGHT THEN, or pass on it. The main thing keeping me from buying it was numerous oil leaks. Just old gaskets and whatnot. Also just the fact that it is an old dodge. 1977. It's a cold blooded machine and it wasn't afraid to show it.

In the end we decided we'd go to eat and think on it before we left the area. I had pretty quickly talked myself out of buying it.

Then we got home, and it all set in. I was actually quite depressed that I had passed it up. I thought about it all night, and thought about it quite a bit today. At work I looked up the parts that I knew I would need for it to take care of most of the oil leaks. I'm looking at $20, and that includes a new fuel pump (mechanical, it's old remember) for $10! Keep in mind I work at an auto parts store and get a crazy discount.

Last night I posted a few things on Facebook about it and everyone was kind of cheering for the fact that I didn't buy it, which I found completely annoying. It feels like everyone wants me to live a normal life and that does nothing but frustrate me and encourage me to walk my own path.

So, tonight after letting things stew in my mind for a day and a half I decided this is it. This is the motorhome, for better or worse. Mistake or no mistake. I am buying it. I've already texted the guy to make sure it was still for sale and told him that I want it, that I'm buying it. He's holding it for me while I work on how to get back up there again. If all goes well I hope to figure out a way to get up there Wednesday.

Side note: I don't want to think like this because it's not the kind of thinking I need right now, BUT I'm also fairly confident I can get my money back out of it if I came down to deciding I DID make a mistake and had to resell it. Especially since I live in an area much easier for a larger amount of people to get to. Not that I'm going to turn around and sell it. It's going to be an amazing purchase.

Some other details. He claims everything works. I didn't check everything, I was more concerned with the engine/body aspect. I know the interior lights work. The water pump works. The engine charges the house battery. There actually is a house battery (awesome, since that will give me two house batteries now for when I get my solar swapped over from the van). The built in LP tanks are gone, which I'm not that sad about. Portable bottles (20lb or whatever) are way easier anyway. I didn't care if the stove/oven worked. I have, literally, 4 of them in storage. I also didn't check the fridge but he said it worked on DC and I'm really hoping it does. How fast that drains a battery would be a concern. I'm fairly confident a two battery system with solar panels would handle it though. As mentioned, the water pump works as tested at the main kitchen sink. I assume it worked for the shower as well. Yeah, a shower. One that I think would work pretty nicely for me. Both front seats swivel (AWESOME). I don't know. I'm sure I'll run down everything again once I buy it.

The guy I'm buying it from drove it to Los Angeles, and lived in it there for a year. He's probably around my age, and he's been pretty cool. That's another *cough* cosmic vibe *cough* that I tried to ignore. He drove it back to Michigan two summers ago. I feel good about buying it from him for some reason.

So stay tuned. Things will be changing, and my next update will probably be after I acquire the new motorhome.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Van Trip North / Getting Very Excited

As I mentioned last time, I drove the van up north on my last day off from work. It was the first really nice day in a while and I wanted to just go for a drive. Here's some pics from that.


Getting Excited

So I got more pictures of my newest motorhome interest. Even a video of the guy starting it up. Hard to tell if it sounds good in a cell phone video but still exciting. At this point, I love everything I've seen about it. I'm planning to head up there this weekend but it really makes a lot of thoughts and questions go through my mind.

One thought process is obviously about money. I haven't asked the guy anything about price yet. It is a 'Best offer' listing and I would like to get the best price I can, but at the same time I am not a good haggler. He's asking $2500 for it. I guess I've kind of assumed I could talk him down to $2000, but I'd probably feel really good about it if I could get it for maybe $1800. Less would be amazing but I don't feel confident, at this point sight unseen, even thinking about offering less than that. Regardless, either way my savings would be practically wiped out.

The next thought is am I ready. If I get a motorhome, that throws my plans into motion really quickly. I don't have the real estate to keep a motorhome sitting around without actually using it. There's a lot of mental things and also organizational things to think about. Can I actually LIVE in a motorhome in parking lots while working a regular job? Even without working a regular job, can I manage to live in parking lots in one overall area and get away with it? Having a job makes it easier in the aspect that I have somewere legit to be parked during the day. How hot will it get in the summer? I could, in theory, withstand the temps if I needed to but what about my cats? Especially in the heat of the day while parked at work. Will I be able to create some sort of air flow to keep them at least cool 'enough'? Am I ready to go against what my parents (probably) think and also the general public? On one hand I feel excited because I'd finally be doing exactly what I want like I used to do. Not care about anyone else's opinions and live life the way I want, and end up having people respect me and like that about me.

I have more questions than just those. All great questions. In reality it's all just fear though. Fear of others. Fear of spending all my money. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of getting stranded. Fear.

Here's a quick picture of the one I've been talking about!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Oh boy.

Well I found another motorhome that I'm interested in. It's an old Class B, which I never planned on ever getting because they usually sell for a lot more than I want to, or can, spend. The big problem with this one right now is that it's located quite a ways north of me. It'd take up most of my day to go up there and check it out. I'm getting pretty excited about it though.

The guy seems cool, and apparently lived in it for a year out in LA. He's going to send me some more pictures of it tomorrow and I'm hoping that I'll be able to go up and check it out this weekend. Ideally I would be able to bring someone with me in case I do decide to buy it so I can just drive it back at that point, instead of spending even more gas going back and forth up there.

Ahhh. I'm more excited than I should be. Pictures are definitely decieving. But... so far everything is sounding pretty cool.

I drove the van up north on Monday and I need to upload a few pictures I took of that trip too. Just a driving trip since it was a beautiful day and I haven't been away for a long time.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sold, not to me.

That motorhome I was looking at is sold apparently. Which is good and bad. Now I don't have to worry about it, or the financial situation buying it would have put me in. But at the same time it's really made me think a motorhome is the way to go for me.

Short ones, 20' or less, are pretty hard to find though. Especially for reasonable prices and in decent shape. Keeping my eyes open. The longer it takes me to find one the better so I can continue saving up more money. I'm working towards selling some of my bigger items soon, so that'll be some more money in the bank hopefully. It's difficult because the weather has been crap for weeks now and I no longer have two days off in a row at work ever. So I have one day at a time to get things done.

Monday, April 15, 2013


There's so many different people in the world. I'm fairly certain you can find people to back you up and support you no matter what your thinking is.

I went to bed last night shortly after my post because I was in a bad way and it wasn't going to get better unless I just went to sleep. Now knowing that you can find support no matter who you are should be a comforting thought but to me it kind of freaks me out. How do you ever know if you're doing it right, or even more dangerous how do you know there's even a right at all. Regardless, the internet has given me hope and inspiration to keep moving forward. Now that my ideas are shifting a little from vandwelling to a Class C RV I'm trying to find new blogs to read to stay motivated and keep my eye on the goal.

I actually did email the guy with the motorhome this morning and asked if he'd take $750 less than his asking price. I haven't heard back yet. As much as it would stink to turn down yet another motorhome all because of a few hundred bucks I think I'd probably have to if he doesn't take less. I have the money, but then I wouldn't be able to afford the sales tax or title and registration. And I'd be broke.

I've got my Crown Vic up on craigslist now. I've been thinking about fixing it for so long now, and it's never going to happen. I'm pretty close to slapping a ridiculously low price on it just to get it out of here. I took some pictures of my van too, but it's not on craigslist yet. I think I probably will be putting it up there though. Just to see if anyone is at all interested in it.

Just feeling like I need to start getting rid of stuff. If I do happen to end up with a motorhome I need to get rid of a few things just to have somewhere to park it while I make the transition to fulltiming in it. That, and I went with my mom and helped her buy a car off CL today, so there's another vehicle in the yard too. Time to start thinning MY stuff. I need to get it done while I'm in the right frame of mind that everything must go.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Outside Forces

I almost have (had) myself talked into buying that motorhome.

Often times my internal battles in my own mind about what to do are more than enough for me. Throw in all of the outside forces telling me what to do and there's not much for me to do but shut down. It's too much.

All of my excitement from earlier tonight about maybe actually buying this motorhome and actually getting somewhere with a mobile lifestyle and eventually leaving the state has been completely drained by a friend of mine. An ex actually. We have such totally different views on life I really shouldn't put any stock in her opinions but the truth is I do, and she manages to get into the most vulnerable places of my plan and put doubt in my head. A plan that I have to convince myself is the way to go to begin with.  I wish I didn't have to steel myself up so much to protect myself from people that don't see life the same way I do. Whether real or imagined. Sometimes I think I put thoughts in my families minds that maybe they don't really think.

Good night.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Test Drive

I had the day off and had planned to drive up north and maybe find some hiking trails somewhere but the weather was gross and the farther north you went the worse it got. I've actually really been wanting to go kayaking but I know the water will be very cold, and I'm sure some lakes still have ice. And all the rivers in the area are flooding right now.

So instead I drove south and went to check out a motorhome. It's a 1984, and it shows but it doesn't look too bad. I took it for a test drive and it ran fine. I only took it up to 60, maybe 65 on the expressway. Probably about as fast as something like that should be driven anyway. I will say this, driving my van after driving that and I was very impressed with the power it has.

I'm actually a big fan of the layout it had. Pretty much the same as my travel trailer, only flip flopped and with the addition of a bathroom right behind the driver's seat. A big bathroom. I'm a big guy and I should have no problem using that bathroom. The shower portion was maybe a little iffy but I could make it work with little effort. Would have been amazing if the entire area was designed to get wet and had a drain but the toilet sits outside of the shower pan and the shower pan is raised up maybe 5 inches. The other negative of having the bathroom right behind the driver's seat is it leaves the driver's seat a little cramped for someone with long legs. No seat tilting ability either. At all, the seats don't even have the option to tilt. No cruise control. Both of those things could be viewed positively as it would discourage driving long distances in one shot. It would encourage taking my time and enjoying the ride (and making the gas dollars stretch). All the dash gauges appeared to work. There were a lot of little toggle switches that I have no clue what they do. Haha.

All together I view it as move-in ready. I could move all my crap in and my cats and we'd be living in an RV immediately. I would probably need to remove the carpet before I did, but overall it wouldn't be the end of the world. I just hate having carpet with my cats, and in RVs in general.

I'm 6' 3" and can stand straight in the entire thing. I like that. The added width is very nice too. The overcab just becomes storage for me but it also gives that extra space that makes me feel better about the cats having enough room.

Now for the reasons that I'm still thinking about it and not running right out to buy it. The price is every cent I have. More than that actually, but I can talk him down the few hundred to be in my range. My biggest biggest biggest issue is the tires. He calls them 'newer tires' and even with me standing right there saying 'Look at them, they're weatherchecked and separating' he still thinks they're great tires. It will need new tires. Plain and simple. I just bought new tires for my van, I don't think I'm ready to buy MORE new tires. Unfortunately they aren't the same size as the van. Tires are expensive. True, if I bought it and lived in it then I'd be staying within a few miles of work every night and having a tire blow out in that case is a much smaller issue. So I could, in theory, just drive it as it is until something happens.

He said he could probably give me $500 for my van. Which sounds stupid, I'm sure. But do you know how hard it'll be for me if I were to try to sell my van for anything much more than that? A custom, half finished interior and a severely rusted frame underneath. It's a good engine and everything, but the actual van isn't far from being junk. There's not many people out there that would buy that van and be able to just look past all the rust like I am doing. Haha.

I will continue to hem and haw about this until it gets sold to someone else. That's my usual style.

Saturday, April 6, 2013


I'm suddenly feeling like my life has been complicated by the van, which is obviously the opposite of what was supposed to happen. And after putting what money I have into it in terms of repairs and then of course wood/materials for building the inside it seems like a giant waste to scrap the entire plan now. But I would be lying if I said I haven't been considering it. It's developed an exhaust leak that is getting louder and louder and I haven't looked into how big of a repair it'd be yet. There's also a new fluid leak underneath it every day when I get out of work. Friday in particular had a very large spot in comparison to recent days. I haven't diagnosed that one yet either.

So I wonder if it's time to cut my losses before I keep pouring more money into it.

I'm starting to think this blog is going to never be about being 'on the road'. I know that's okay. For me, at least. Maybe not for you. I guess I just feel like I'm drifting, and not in the good way. If I could be drifting on the road then great, but I'm not. I'm just not getting there, I'm not getting anywhere currently. That's what I find the most unacceptable to me.

My 'promotion' at work has been stressful and I spent a week desperately wanting to quit, but now I'm starting to settle in again and am trying my best to deal with being uncomfortable by my lack of knowledge. Knowledge that can only be acquired by time and experience in this case. The store manager and assistant manager have been cool about it and I've come to understand that I've been expecting way more of myself than they have and that it's okay for me to not know everything.

Do I want to be with this company forever? No. Do I feel a lot of outside pressure to be with this company for at least a decent amount of time? Yes.

The only way for this job to make any sense for me going forward, I think, is to ditch the van and get something way better on gas mileage. I can't keep spending $400/month in gas just to get to and from work.

Today I found a cheap, small 'cabin' on 5 acres with a great big old barn. Problem is, it's 100 miles north of here. 120 miles north of my work. It got me thinking a lot about how nice it'd be to have a place of my own again. That's where a lot of this post is coming from. I wish it was located down here, but then again 100 miles north excites me because it's in a national forest and that 100 miles means the difference between black bears and a greater abundance of bobcats and things like that. I have zero experience with those things, but they're wild and I want to know them. Only recently have coyotes and things like that really made themselves known around here. Black bears are maybe a yearly occurance but it's just a lone bear passing through the county that ultimately returns north.