It’s amazing at how life throws you curve balls. The text below was written over a year ago. The funny part – it’s finally actually happening, a year later, with a different RV. I’ll be doing another post on that… but thought I’d post this anyway so you can see what we went through! hah
So we are finally getting to travel for real! Well, we’ve traveled to local campgrounds here in Texas but we’ve never left the state. That’s about to change!
In the last post we were still anticipating the house selling and then us buying a different rig (which didn’t happen due to issues with our own rig not being sell-able). Well, at least the house sold right on schedule without an issue and we were able to pay off a few debts. Can’t say enough about that! In fact, I’m going to take a small rabbit trail here and say this: Our equity appreciation was pretty high on this house. We went from a value near $250k to a value of $300k or better. We were only able to sell for $285 due to the dirt road. We had paid off a fair chunk of our original loan, and it *looked* like we were really making money off the house and that it was for sure an *investment*.
WRONG! Don’t ever let someone tell you a house you live in is an investment! It’s an expense. Even with our large amount of equity, we figured it up and we may have actually lost money. Why? Because from the value you paid for the house to the amount you still owe on it is money *you* paid – not counting interest! So to calculate how much you will make off your house, start with the money you paid for it. In our case, $250k. The difference between $285 and $250k is $35k. Now, subtract the realtor fees for selling your house – $17,100 in our case. This leaves us with $17,900. Oh and don’t forget sellers fees to close – about $5,000 by the end of it – which leaves us with $12,000. Now subtract the interest you paid over the time you owned it… You see where this is going?
To be sure, it was nice to get a good price for our house and to come out with money in our pockets. This most certainly paved the way for us to start a new life.
Wait, haven’t we been living in the RV already? Yes, most definitely! Well, then why do we say “start a new life”? That’s because we were running in the red every month while we were selling it and it took a year to sell. So this meant we had no money to pay for gas, or other expenses that come from even moving your rig 10 miles down the road.
There were other issues too. We had several mechanical issues with the rig. We had a slide that was leaking, roof problems, and a whole host of other issues. We started the process of getting these fixed under warranty as soon we were able to pay the deductible after the sale in June. But the work wasn’t completed until August due to the repair company taking forever on certain pieces of the project. We had planned to take the RV out for a test run but we didn’t have time…. because we had big plans for September!
Earlier in the year Mike had talked to his boss about going to Denver to work out of some of their offices for a month. His boss loved the idea because he wanted IT to be seen as available to as many branches as possible. So as we started to prepare everything, we knew that this was the ultimate goal.
Speaking Ultimate things, one of the things we had to do was replace our hitch. We got to where we hated the Curtis X5 hitch adapter plate. We used it in conjunction with a Reese slider hitch. The whole contraption clanked and banged every time we came to a stop or started out because there was so much play in the mechanisms. We had read about the Ultimate 5th wheel connection from Andersen Hitches but it wasn’t till we actually saw the video review from Tom Morton from The Morton’s on the Move, that we decided we had to get one.
We took the RV out to get tires, registered, and weighed for our first trip using The Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection. Have to say that other than no clanking or noise, it wasn’t that much different until we got to our first railroad tracks. These particular railroad tracks always were a point of concern because our old truck always felt like it was going to bounce off the road. Not so with the Ultimate Connection! It was so smooth that it felt like we just barely had anything back there! To be sure, some of that had to be related to a bigger and heavier truck, but the lack of movement of the hitch made a huge improvement!
And that brings us to the new-to-us-truck. We had been very frustrated with the Chevy 2500HD 6.0L gas engine truck. It had the weight capacity (it is under rated!) but the engine was under powered for the weight rating. Plus, they put a 26 gallon tank in it and when towing we only got about 6mpg. Yes, do the math – when we got to 6 gallons left, we had only gone 120 miles, basically at 1/4 tank. This was VERY problematic driving across Texas where the distance between towns can be quite a distance! So we traded it in and got a Ford F350 SRW. We went with the SRW because we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to do much offroading to fishing spots with a DRW truck. We proved this later after we got the truck and went to one of our favorite spots and found that the dual wheels would have scraped up big time.
So we’ve got the truck and the RV is fixed up. What else is there to do? As mentioned above, up to this point, we had only taken the RV out on short trips. This meant that there were certain things we didn’t worry about like TPMS systems or other niceties that we could either do “red neck style” or weren’t that important. But with the sale of the house, one thing we did was ear mark a chunk of money just for buying things that we needed to make living on the road possible or much easier. Things like: A bike rack, roof rack for the big kayak, cellular antenna with wifi booster, new tires designed for the long haul, EZRV EZTPMS, various tools, and a set of blocks, chocks, and levelers from Andersen Hitches. There were a ton of other things that pretty much drained that ear-marked account dry. 🙂
Now we are ready to hit the road. Other than some simple things like washing the truck and RV we are ready to pack up and head out.
When? Next week! We are planning on being in the Denver area for about 3 weeks starting next week. Mike will be working either from the RV or at different offices for Georgetown Mortgage throughout our time up there. Sarah will be working hard on making a set of pillows for a customer and holding down the fort. She has several friends in the area she would like to connect with as well as show Mike some of the places she frequented when growing up in that area. On top of this, we have some sweet fishing spots picked out and intend to catch some Walleye and Trout while up there!
Over all, we can’t say how much we are looking forward to this. There are scary parts to be sure, but we are so excited to actually get to do what we’ve been wanting to do for over 3 years – travel and work full time. There have been many obstacles but as we conquered each one, the next one because that much easier – either to do because of the history of accomplishments or easier because the previous solved problems for the future. If you are debating whether you can do this or not, don’t let little obstacles get in your way. Start completing the little steps one at a time and the bigger ones will get easier and easier.
Sorry for the long post, but had to try to get everyone up to speed on where we have been and we are at now!
Tight lines and Curvy roads!