Sunday, February 27, 2011

Downsizing, RV'ing and Carbon Footprint

I love the idea of less stuff. We just downsized two years ago from 3700 sq. ft. to 2100 sq. ft. and now we are preparing to move into a 360 sq. ft. RV. We also have to consider how much that stuff weighs.

I always felt guilty living in 3700 sq. ft. in that it took lots of resources to heat and cool, furnish, and maintain such a home. I felt that it was overkill for two people and that I was doing a good thing for the environment to downsize. But, to be fair, it had been neglected for many years, so we did do a good thing by buying and restoring the house. 

We then moved into a 2100 sq. ft. condo, that is concrete and steel, and is extremely energy efficient. We live downtown and can ride our bicycles for our errands. We work from home and drive very little. I have struggled a little with justifying our increase of fuel usage moving around in our RV. I always saw myself driving one of those electric cars, or holding out for a car with a solar panel and windmill on the roof. Now, here I am planning to buy and drive a 3500 dual-wheel diesel truck.

I think that we will spend several months in one place each year, which will cut down on fuel usage.  And, I think that our plan of not being in extreme temps and the reduction of square footage to heat, cool and maintain will offset our carbon footprint. We will buy and consume less, because of limited space. Although it is harder to recycle on the road, I know I will find a way, or else, the guilt will kick in. I don't like feeding our landfills with stuff that can be reused.

I think that RV'ers are viewed by some as being resource hogs, because of the fuel usage and the fact that they "plug" in. And, many folks are critical of RV'ers having some of the amenities of a Stick & Brick house, but call themselves "camping". But I think that if those that are being critical would consider that they too are "camping" in a fixed place, probably with a much bigger carbon footprint than RV'ers.

I think the real heros with the least carbon footprint in our country are the homeless! They use things other folks have discarded, they often share a community kitchen, and they typically walk wherever they go. I love supporting the homeless as I downsize. We are very fortunate and should never take our ability to have food, clothing and shelter for granted!

Do other RV'ers ever think about these things?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Whew! We close in 23 days!

Choosing options for an RV is hard work! But, it's easier than building a house, because there are fewer decisions, and I have always been a little indecisive. Maybe that's explains why I am so "gypsy-like". We decided on the RV brand and model, now it's just a matter of considering every option and doing the research. We have decided on a "brand-spanking new" DRV Mobile Suites. It is warranted for full-timing and is four-season. It is 36', which is small enough that we can stick to the heavy duty trucks. And, it is looking like a Dodge Ram for our tow vehicle. I'm thinking I might need cowboy boots and hat to drive this truck around with a Texas tag!

We close in 23 days, and will live in our Winnebago View until the fiver comes in. Hopefully we will have our truck by then! I'd hate to have to camp in the parking lot of RV's For Less!

So, needless to say, I have been pretty busy with details. Going through "stuff" today and sorting: need for next 3 weeks and until 5er comes in (Winnebago space is limited); pack and store what we will need when 5er comes in (for year-round travel); pack items to take to auction; pack items to store while we are traveling; pack items to donate to Community Kitchen, family and friends. Whew!

Beautiful day here in Chattanooga. Spring is in the air!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

We have a contract!

The offer was not dead after all! Our agent is pretty persistent and persuasive, so in the end the buyer came back with a little more after our counter, and we knew it was time to fold 'em. We were pretty lucky in that we bought two years ago and sold for a little more than we paid. (It's those sales commissions that are a killer.)

So, we are scheduled to close March 21st, and there is so much to do! We made reservations today at a local campground here in Chattanooga, where we plan to stay after closing, up until the RV-Dreams rally in Sevierville, TN. We have to buy a truck, sell or trade two vehicles, sell or trade our Winnebago View, buy a fifth-wheel and then - we are outta here! Still not sure of hubby's retirement date as there are still some things to work out there.

Yipee! I am hoping our luck rubs off on everyone else with their house for sale!

Happy Trails!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

: ( Offer expired...and I had mentally started packing....

Life is a roller coaster at times. Yesterday it looked like we were on our way to a contract, and today - nodda. It was one of those rare deals, cash, no contingency, no appraisal, no inspection - almost too good to be true. The buyers were looking for a bargain, and we met them half-way, but that wasn't enough. Drat!  I was so disappointed. Oh well.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Shhhh....don't want to jinx the offer

We got an offer on our condo today! Countered back at 'em and it's in their, we may be working toward a contract! If so, we will close March 21...only one month away! Now I am in panic mode. Yikes!

But, I have made life changes so many times that I know that it will all come together, and the madness is only temporary. (Remind me of that later when the panic really sets in.) Whoo hoo!!! Wish me luck!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm So Excited....I Just Can't Hide It

Yesterday was our first showing since putting the For Sale sign up about a month ago. So, we loaded up the cat and the dog and went RV shopping. We ended up at RV's For Less in Knoxville and looked over their 5'ers. They had just gotten in 3 new DRV Mobile Suites and we really liked one of them. We have been flip-flopping between a 5'er and a motorhome, just because of the fear of driving a honker truck pulling a honker coach. But after talking to the owner at RV's For Less we feel better about our original choice of a fifth wheel. This guy is sold on the Suites. He once built Prevost buses and seems to be know what's what in the quality of RV's. So, I think we have made our decision about what and where to buy. Now on to the other decisions, like which hitch, which truck. So much to do, so little time!

While in Knoxville, we got a phone call from our agent. After the prospective buyer took a peek, he called our agent and wanted to know - get this - if we would consider including our furniture! Whoo Hoo....they would be doing us a huge favor if that happens! No offer, but that sounded positive. We have another showing today. Keep your fingers and toes crossed.

Happy Trails,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

RV-Dreams Spring Rally in Tennessee

I am so excited! We have been on the waiting list for the RV-Dreams Spring Rally, and there was a cancellation, so we are going! Yipee! I have heard so many good things about Howard and Linda and am really excited to have the opportunity to participate in the rally. Anyone out there in Blogville going? I look forward to meeting and talking to other folks that share our dream!

Also, another good thing today....our condo has been on the market for almost a month, and we are getting our first showing this weekend. Yipee! The sun is out and folks are beginning to come out of hibernation. So, you never know! 2011 may be our year!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Work gets in the way!

I have been living vicariously through my blog buds. Thanks for all of the time you take to post about your adventures on the road. I have been all about work lately, and it really does get in the way sometimes. I have always heard that we should not wish our lives away, but I will have to say that I do look forward to the day that we can move on to the next phase.

We are planning to squeeze in a trip to Lazydays RV in Florida this month to see mass quantites of RV's all in one place. Hubby has to be down that way anyway for work, so we thought we would make use of the trip. We are planning to upgrade, from a small 23' motorhome and are weighing larger motorhome vs. 5'er. We plan to full-time once our condo sells, and can see staying in one place for an extended length of time, possibly months. My hopes are to avoid extremes in weather year round (if possible). I have been leaning toward the 5'ers in that there is only one vehicle to maintain. I did watch the videos on the Carriage website and was impressed with the fact that they make the frames, cabinetry, countertops, lots of the furniture, curtains, spreads, etc. at the factory. I know to look for 4-season warranted for full-time, welded not screwed, then go for the floor plan we like best. Anyone with opinions about Carriage, DRV Suites, NuWa, New Horizons, Excel? Those are some names I picked up from various forums. Any that anyone would recommend that we consider in the 5'ers?

I have new blog buds that I'd like to welcome...Jeff & Sheryl who found some sun somewhere in this country! The Cruzin2some Dawn and Denise, who like myself, are waiting for the big leap. Stu and Donna, 2 Taking a 5th, who have one hellava rig. I gotta get me a hat and sunglasses like Donna's once I hit the road. And, welcome to Georgina! I learn so much from all of you. It's nice to check in and see what you all are up to. I hate that the weather has had such an impact on everyone, and hope that things will soon turn sunny and warm.

Happy trails!