Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Safety Done

Well boys and girls, we had the safety done on this potential rig we are flying to Alberta to look at. We haven't received the actual report yet but spoke to the Inspector over the phone afterwards and he believes that it is in really good condition, no rust, no signs of leakage on the roof, brakes are all good, engine clean, etc., etc.

So it turns out we have been extremely stressed all day about this rig, we didn't really realize it until he called and said he believed her to be in good shape. After that call we were both feeling quite excited in anticipation and beginning to feel noticeably more relaxed.

Now, we just hope that the inside of her looks as good as we think it does and there will be a new member of our little family. Okay thats over the top, but you get the idea.

I sorted out banking today (gong show), arranged the RV insurance, notified all credit cards that we were going on a trip so they don't cut us off (which they do all the time!!! - even locally.), I ran a background check on the VIN, did laundry and packed what can be packed before morning. I even found other potential RVs in the area to check out as a backup just in case and created a binder to keep all the required documentation in. Yes, I'm an organization freak. Accept it, move on, I did.

Incidentally, I hauled out 2 large suitcases and 3 carry-ons hoping to fit everything we need in them and somehow managed to get it all into 1 large suitcase and 2 carry-ons. Clearly I was trying to take my mind off something... even managed to fit clean bedding in there. Though we fully anticipate getting a new mattress, a quick stop at WallyWorld for pillows, a mattress cover and disposable dishes and that will get us home.

Did I mention this RV has 1200w of Solar! Yup, I'm excited about that. Just hope that it is all connected appropriately but have always forgotten to ask, at this point we'll find out soon enough.

Since I sat down to type this I have received 3 comment emails from my faithful followers. I'm really coming up in the world! :)

Well for now, its good night and sleep tight, big, long day tomorrow. Going to see the Mountains!

We think we found one

So its been a crazy busy time around here.

I worked Sun and Mon and Brad and our friend are building cribbing to allow us to have land on one corner of the house that will make the deck a complete walk around. We have a few other little things to do before listing her but it will have to wait an extra week or so now.

Yes, we know we planned to put the house on the market in a week but this is something we feel was much needed and we had planned to do it this spring so we are. It will be nice for the new owners (assuming it will sell) which is a big assumption around here.

Our house on the oceanfront (lower deck (grey) is built into the water)

So we have been looking at RVs as you know and we had narrowed it down to a couple but last night we finally decided on one. We corresponded via email with the woman in AB who has agreed to allow us time to get there from here. I booked the flight for Thursday (tomorrow) afternoon and we arrive in AB tomorrow night.

Robbie (the dog) is going to 'The Puppy Hotel' which has been all arranged. Today I have a couple of things to sort out - Inspection, Insurance, Laundry, Tell my boss I'm taking a few days off (it will take us 10 - 14 days to drive her home with a stop in to see the family enroute).

We have both agreed not to make a deal on it unless/until we both discuss it in private after going over it thoroughly, and to walk away from it if we need to. Worse case scenario we can look at the dealerships (since we will be in civilization) but we will not be rushed into anything. I think the last rig was purchased too hastily (obviously) because we had flown all the way there to get it but this time if its a holiday we get then so be it. Just too bad we can't take Robbie with us. He is a car ride fanatic so an RV ride blows his little mind.

The RV itself is beautiful! 2007 30 ft Class A with an interior as close to our style as we have ever seen, so in theory at least it will take very little to 'make it ours'. Its a pretty penny over what we paid for the last one but we hope it will be in better condition. She has assured us there are no leak/water issues and that all is well with the rig, so we're hoping. I asked her for more pics because we were having to fly in and wanted to be sure beforehand, so (it seems at least) that she went to the rig and took close up pictures of walls, floors, furniture, etc. which I thought was really nice of her to do for us.

Bonus Prize: 1200w of Solar!!! Yippee! That was a big thing for us as Brad sleeps with a CPAP -when I say 'us' I mean 'me', Brad doesn't get how important that will be to his sleeping arrangements but he would soon learn without it. And 1200w is nothing to sneeze at, that's huge! Most rigs that have solar don't have that much, so thats awesome.

I ran all the numbers and her:
Wheelbase ratio is 51%: Perfect (should be less than 55%)

GVWR is 15,700 lbs - Curb weight is 13,115 lbs with a 75 Gal fresh water tank (623 lbs) this allows us a Cargo Carrying Capacity of 1375 lbs after us and the dog are accounted for. Big thanks to Marc @ RV Success School for letting me know that the 470 lbs of fuel I was counting was already counted in the GVWR which I didn't know.  Obviously we won't be driving around with full Fresh water tanks (623 lbs) but this is a good number to know when considering how far you will drive with this tank full.

Her tanks are:
Fuel: 75 Gal
Fresh water: 75 Gal
Propane: 20 Gal
Gray: 35 Gal
Black 35 Gal

Before a certain someone asks, not sure what route we'll take back but will likely be popping in for that first meeting ;) (sorry readers, private joke)

Super excited.

Friday, 19 May 2017

House prep and Berkey

Our Berkey Water Filter System arrived a couple of days ago. I had a bit of trouble with it, while I had it set up and have been running water through it I couldn't seem to get it right...

We ordered the PF-2 filters as well as the charcoal and all the filters need to be 'primed', now I couldn't figure out a way to do this and was concerned that perhaps I should have ordered the 'priming button' they sell separately. Apparently we have had so much going on around here that my blonde roots were hanging in my eyes because today I had what Oprah calls a lightbulb moment.

The water was coming out cloudy and I knew that it was the PF-2 that was causing it but how to purge it? Well, duh: I had run water through it before by holding it up to the faucet and at a low rate to get it in the hole at the top of the PF-2. Today I put the PF-2 in the sink drain, stuck the tan washer on top, grabbed my extending faucet and applied it to the top of the tan washer with forceful water pressure for 20 seconds. I had read this in the instructions on the 1st day, but.... blonde.

Crystal clear water! No more lugging those 5Gal jugs around and trying to find somewhere to fill them. We specifically wanted the PF-2 because they remove Arsenic from the water too and this place is known to have Arsenic in the water (not necessarily our area, but who knows?) We never drink the tap water here, though some people swear by it. Since ordering the Berkey a couple of weeks ago the community has been taken off the boil water advisory it has been under for 2 years now.

I did the recommended red food colour test - putting 2 Tbsp red food colouring in the top of the Berkey with the tap water and checking the bottom filtered water for any sign of red - None. Perfect. Tastes great too! (actually no taste which is ideal)

We started working on the house projects today, we ordered some 6x6x12 lumber for cribbing to allow us to create land on one corner of the house so that the deck can be a complete walk around, Brad removed what we call wave lumber from the lower deck (protects the small rocks from being washed out by waves) and had himself a little bonfire down there to burn some of the remnant lumber from the house build.

While he was sorting out down below, I went under the stairs, organized it and sorted through all of our tools. I changed a tool bag we formerly used when we were painting from a painting tool bag to an RV tool bag in preparation. Also, I came across many things that I can put into a garage sale and hopefully get rid of some stuff that others might use.

Normally if we haven't used something for 3 months I throw it out. That's my rule-of-thumb, or at least it used to be but since building the house 2 years ago - not so much. Given that we hope to have the house on the market in the next 2 weeks, I will begin going through everything and figuring out what we want to store, take, sell, donate and dump.

Personally, I am hoping whoever buys the house will also buy the furniture, but if not Brad wants to put our 'things' in storage until we decide where we want our 'residence' to be. THIS is another argument for another day so we won't even go there - yet!

In my mind when we get 'out there' and he sees what it is he will realize that we don't need 'sticks and bricks' (socially acceptable housing), but if he needs that then that is what we will get. It won't stop us from going off in the RV 6 months out of the year and I can live with that.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

We made a decision

We have been shopping in Town yesterday and today in the City and we have agreed to find a Class C or a Class A 26' - 30' in length. 32' at the outside. We will also be looking for a dolly so we can haul our FJ Cruiser with us.

We wandered through a ton of Travel Trailers and 5th Wheels but they just didn't feel as solid for obvious reasons and we just like the Motorhomes better. There are not a lot of Motorhomes for sale in our area and we are into the 'season' now after wasting so much time on George.

I checked to see if there were any RV shows coming up in North America - anywhere and it seems they all end before April. Just my luck. If anyone out there knows of one, PLEASE let us know.

In the meantime and in between time, we have a house to prep for the market. Please God let it sell quickly.... we have given ourselves 2 weeks to get it ready, which should be plenty and the ocean and hills are beautiful in June (not so much May, actually we are expecting SNOW on Sunday we were told by the supermarket cashier).

I will be doing a refresher search on gas mileage for C's and A's and see if I can narrow the field down a little.

Regardless of the Class, we must have:

  • Arctic Package
    •   - Double glazed windows
    •   - Heated bays

  • Night stands
  • Queen island bed
  • Reasonable bedroom storage
  • Minimum 2-way appliance
    •  - Preferably convection oven not microwave (but not mandatory)
  • NO LEAKS (or leak repairs)
  • 2005+
  • Black tank wash
  • Separate fresh water from black/grey bay
  • Electric in the vent fans (not necessarily electric fans, just available electric for Fantastic fans)
  • Kitchen storage
  • Reasonable counter space ( ie. at least some)
  • Cab cup holders (this is a deal breaker)
  • Separate house/engine battery compartments
  • Desk or somewhere to put one ( ie. removable chair)

There might be more, but right now that's all I can remember off the top of my head.

Its progress, slow and steady wins the race.

Oh, and I just noticed that I have reached 10,000 pageviews. Thank you. 💐

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Off to the shops

Well, its Wednesday. Brad goes for his weekly massage today, not sure how he would manage without it and am somewhat concerned about how this will be impacted during #RVLife, careful planning I guess which is kinda my forte.

Since we are going to the local community today Brad suggested we go take a look at some trucks. Incredibly, he is considering trading in our 09 FJ Cruiser on a newer truck with some towing capacity. I think this is a great idea and one which I never thought he would consider given how much we love our FJ. I used to have a yellow 07 and it was incredibly hard to sell it but we just don't need 2 cars when we're both retired in the boonies.

A truck will allow us the capability to tow either a travel trailer or a 5th Wheel and gives us the flexibility to travel locally wherever we go without having to haul the entire rig (like George @ 32') with us.

We will also check into travel trailers and if there are any locally, 5th wheels today.

Tomorrow we are going to the big city for lunch, some friends of ours are coming back to close the sale of their home here. They managed to escape. Can't believe they left without me, but I'll take that up with them tomorrow ;) Just Kidding (sort of)

May 16, 2017
Damn it its cold

So tomorrow we will have a look around the city too. We will do A LOT of research on whatever we find and well before making any decisions of purchase. I am quite opposed to buying anything here, not just out of principle but also because we live on the ocean, the salt water tends to rust everything very quickly here. So unless its new, we will likely have to go somewhere else to get it again.

It felt last night like Brad might actually be coming around to the full-time concept. Today might be a different story, and he would never admit it anyway. If we go off in an RV whether full/part time, he will go kicking and screaming all the while loving every minute of it. Its just how we roll.

Perhaps 'coming around' is the wrong phrase, but certainly willing to consider at least for the short term and feel it out. Once our house sells we won't have to buy another somewhere else immediately, we could just RV until he feels the yearning for a home base and then buy a condo or something so he can have his home. Personally, I think a home base is overrated. Something akin to Walmart putting out Xmas stuff on November 1st.

As a gypsy, I love the idea of being able to move your home anytime. Annoying neighbours, travel bug, family function. RVing allows you such flexibility so why not?! I know its socially acceptable to graduate, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids. We have both done all that but after my stroke at 32 years of age, I guess my attitude has changed... or developed perhaps.

My brother was (is) angry that I am not a CEO of IBM or something, that I left the corporate world in search of something simpler. I just don't see the point of working my ass off just to pay taxes and die. Let's face it the Governments have been telling us for years to save in RRSP's and the like, let me ask you - why do you think that is? Because they intend to pay you your CPP (Canada Pension Plan) at the end of it?, or because they either don't have enough in the kitty or intend to 'use' (ie steal) it out from under you in the end?

I just want to enjoy life, isn't that the point? Or were we put here to fill the Corporate coffers?

Anyway, I'm ranting as I'm known to do on a few topics.

Good news is: We're going shopping!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

We sold George

I know its hard to even fathom, but yes, we sold our RV which didn't have a roof!

My happy face

After realizing that the required repairs for this rig were above our pay grade, we decided to pull the plug and take the financial hit. And we still are to some degree, but...

We found out last night that they would allow us to return the EPDM and accessories, which was a huge relief (we still have to pay the return shipping). This was a large chunk of $ change.

This morning we planned to take the old roof to the dump as we had promised Mr truck bay he could have his bay back as soon as possible, then return all of the supplies we had purchased locally (wood, panels, etc..) and attempt to find somewhere legal to park this beast so it could rot away peacefully.

Going to the dump

When we arrived at the truck bay this morning Mr truck bay was there and upon realizing we didn't know what to do with the damn thing, he said "let me phone my buddy". Well, turns out that buddy was just looking through the papers this morning for an RV... and he's going to fix it - apparently.

I was quite happy to just give it to him just so we didn't have the hassle of disposing of it, but instead he insisted on giving us something and we agreed on $1000. Keep in mind that she has no roof and the insides of her are ripped out, quite the coup if you ask me.

Now we paid $10,500 for her but at least now its not our headache and that was the point. All of our repair supplies have been returned to the local shops, the EPDM is on UPS, and Camperworld is sending me return shipping something or other so the Fantastic Fans can be shipped back.

Considering we were into her around $16,000 with shipping and duty, and we managed to regain $7,000 of that I am happy!

🙇(happy dance)🙇

Its still a blow for sure but a softer one than we anticipated this morning.

Now let's start shopping for another...  🎵 I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning 🎵

PS. We bought Mr truck bay a bottle (milk, of course) for doing us 2 solids back to back. (Allowing us the bay, and finding a buyer.)

Sunday, 14 May 2017

RIP George

Well I went to work today and Brad went to frame up the roof on George. So far so good.

When Brad came to pick me up he suggested that we call it and pull the plug. Apparently while he was up there today he was able to look into the walls of George and discovered that they were saturated also at least the top foot or so almost all the way around.

We could go to a lot of work and expense to sort this out but the walls are not something we think we can reasonably do ourselves and even if we did well who knows how much longer the chassis will last, etc.

We discussed it and have decided that before we go any further we should just end it. Learn from this and move on. I will make enquiries tomorrow into whether we can return the 35' of  EPDM and assorted paraphernalia, if not I should be able to sell it on Ebay, Craigslist or Kijiji (Canadian site). I know we can return the lumber to the local place so we can at least minimize our losses that way.

We will be looking for a 'decent' rig, and although Brad was adamant about the Class C or Class A he is now willing to consider a trailer. Something that we can tow with our FJ Cruiser would be great though I can't help but think of Jazz, The Freedom Theory's current rig that they will be selling very soon since they fell in love with another and have purchased it already. Unlikely, but possible.

We are both feeling very disappointed but rather than push forward it seems only sensible to stop now before we get ridiculously deep financially into this. It is tempting to just push forward and I think to some degree we were both doing just that the last few days. Each one not wanting to disappoint the other but thankfully we are able to talk these things through and now here we are.

Not quite sure what we will do with her, there is a fellow down the road that collects old junker cars, so Brad will see if it can go there. Otherwise there is a place down the highway were people park what looks like junker RV's but could just be a spot on the side of the highway where people go to camp. No telling around here.

Anyway, I'm working tomorrow and then we will make some further decisions in regard to all this.

Until then, bear with us and if you hear of any good RV's in the 26-30 ft range with an island bed, please let us know.

I had a quick conversation with RVJedeye (who is also doing a reno) the other day when he said we were brave for taking this on and I pointed out to him that there is a fine line between brave and crazy and I feel like today we landed on the brave side.

When I think about our initial concept of changing the fabrics and doing a bit of painting, then suddenly the roof needed repair, after that the entire roof had to be replaced and now the walls are hooped too. Frustrating as it is I think we are making the right decision here in calling it now. Knowing your limitations is the most important thing in life, RV or otherwise.