Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Plan Update:

The best laid plans.
A lot has happened in the last several weeks. The dream is not dead but it is severely injured.
It is a long story but here are the highlights.
Several technical and financial setbacks have made following through with my plans at this time difficult at best. But even more importantly is my realization that I love Eileen very much and I'd rather be here with her than anyplace else without her. Even if that means another Midwestern winter.
When the time is right for both of us, she and I will start the travel dream together. For now, being together is what matters most.
So come October I'll be moving to Fort Wayne to begin the next chapter. Not the path I planned but a brand new path full of new challenges and opportunities.
Who knows, I might even find a fun new job in the interim.
It is time for a change and at this point in time I believe this is the right choice.
Bring it on life.....I refuse to go down.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Route

When the Adventures begin:
Fort Wayne to Yuma Arizona.
13 Stops
About 15 days
2113 Miles
Stop for beer in St Louis
Visit Aliens in Roswell
Take a wrong turn in Albuquerque
See the OK Corral in Tucson
Explore Yuma, Castle Dome, the Colorado River,  etc, etc.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Funny Laws

I heard on an RV podcast this week that it is illegal in the state of Arizona to have anything not factory installed attached to your windshield.  Including GPS units, radar detectors etc. The police there can use that as a reason to stop and ticket you. So I moved my GPS bracket to the dash considering Arizona is my Winter destination.

Break away switch

When I bought this trailer I noticed something that seemed broken and missing. It was the emergency break away switch.  I replaced it today with a brand new switch and cable.

Built Ford Tough

I needed some mud flaps to keep from throwing stones back at the fiver when I'm traveling.  Here they are installed.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Preparing for desert life.

More desert preparation. My trailer fresh water tank is 50 gallons. I don't want to have to break camp and haul the rig to the water station whenever I run low on fresh water or my waste tanks fill up. Enter the 50 gallon collapsible water tank.
Paired with the 42 gallon Blue Boy I now can bring in fresh water and haul away used water without having to move the rig. Saving inconvenience, time, and money.
There is always a way if you are just willing to dig deep and find it.

The key.

Happiness is the goal. I don't believe I've ever met anyone who truly wants to be unhappy. Some seem to live life seeking unhappiness, but I don't think it is what they really want. Maybe the fear of failing to find happiness is enough to keep some folks from really trying, or maybe it's something else I can't begin to understand.
I believe most of us know we want it, but are not sure how to get it. We follow the road that society has laid out for us. We simply do what we believe we are supposed to do. Maybe some find happiness doing that, I did not.
I'm not saying I was miserable or there was not any joy in my life. It was just not completely fulfilling. I always felt like something was missing. Something I couldn't quite put my finger on. So I kept on doing what others said I should, following the herd, always hoping I'd eventually run across that whatever it was, that's missing.
Then I found the key. That magical skeleton key that as John Denver put it, "opens every door."
What is the key?
Self awareness. The realization that happiness is individual and we have to determine for ourselves what it is that will make us happy. We have to throw away the rules and limitations society imposes on us and reach deep inside ourselves and ask, what do I need to be happy? What do I really want to do with the rest of my life? What would it take for me to live this new lifestyle.

Wanna be happy? Here's the secret.....be true to yourself.  Chase your dream. Discover what you really want from life. You might just find yourself happier than a tornado in a trailer park.

You're welcome.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Less Stuff More Freedom

The guy who sells these stickers sold his house and moved into a class b van. I like his motto. You can buy the stickers here: http://www.happilyhouseless.com/

I ordered mine. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The lottery of life.

Someone asked me "how can you afford quit your job and go be a gypsy? "
I said "it's easy, I won the lottery,  yep $200 million". They said "you did not".
And they were right, I did not. But what if I had? No one would think twice about me quitting if I had won the Lottery. Money, is all the lottery changes.  What do you suppose I'd do if I had won? I'm thinking I'd do things I enjoy, have more fun, travel. I'd like to believe I'd donate a lot of money to good causes like curing diabetes. Something dear to my heart.
Life does cost money and I don't know of any way around that - but what I do know is it CAN cost a lot less money than most of us think. Also I believe that making money does not have to be work but can be fun.
So how can I afford to quit my job and be a gypsy?  I can't -  living my former lifestyle. I've drastically changed my lifestyle and I will still be occasionally employed.  But my hope is.......to never have to "work" again. I know I'm already appreciating things I used to completely overlook. There's incredible beauty all around us if we can just step back from the rush of making a living in order to fill our big house full of stuff......to see it.

Monday, June 1, 2015

14 days. My first two weeks as a full-time RV-er.

Although I'm not yet “on the road”, I am living full-time in my 5er so technically I'm a full-timer. I want to document what I'm thinking after the first two weeks.
The pros:
  • Beautiful scenery. I'm staying right on a private lake. I could not afford to buy a house in such a beautiful spot.
  • Less. Less stuff to take care of, less space to clean, no lawn to mow. I vacuum my whole house with a Dustbuster in less than 10 minutes. (Less is also a Con.)
  • Freedom. I feel much free-er. Nothing holding me back. I can move on a whim, or not. I have choice to be where I want.
  • Lower expenses. No property taxes, no mortgage. Much lower utility bills.
  • Carpe-dufaw. This doesn't mean anything......I can still just be silly.
  • All the comforts of home. I still have a couch, tv, fridge. My own bathroom & shower. Coming home from work is much the same as it was before as far as “comfort” goes.
  • Less. Moving from 1300 sq feet to under 300 is hard. Even for me who has very little attachment to stuff. I'd estimate that right now I own less than 10% the amount of stuff I did one year ago. It's still too much. You just have to drastically limit yourself on stuff. I am keeping a lot of tools because they can earn income in my travels and my fishing gear because, well heck, a guy has to have priorities.
  • Temperature. The rv is much more affected by outside temperature than a house is. Makes sense, with much thinner roofs and walls. So when it's cold outside, it's cold inside and vise-versa. It's workable, but a noticeable difference.
  • Build quality. RV's at least anything remotely affordable to me are made pretty cheaply. This low quality can create issues that shouldn't exist but do. Again, nothing you can't tolerate in most cases but it's a shame they are not built better.

So that's about it thus far. Plenty to still do and learn but it's my starting point. So far I wouldn't trade it to go back.

What any Boy Scout knows......

One of my favorite memories as a  boy was the years I spent in scouting. It was a lot of fun but also taught me some things.
1. Be prepared.
People ask me all the time, "aren't you scared?" "Aren't you worried about what might happen?"
 My answer is always, "Nope".  Fear does not exist and worry is a waste of energy. Danger exist and we must be aware of that but fear is not real.
Worrying is a choice and eight or nine times out of ten what we worry about never happens.
Rule one in scouting taught me how to alleviate fear and worry by being prepared. 

My rule #1.
Every time a worry come into my head I ask myself this question, "ok, how can I prepare for that?" Then I do that. Sometimes it takes a long time to prepare but if I can't do it immediately, it goes on the to do list.

My rule #2.
Think of the worst case scenario and have a backup plan for that. As long as you have prepared an exit strategy you always have an out. Maybe not a great choice, but a way out.

People often tell me that I'm lucky because "at least you (me) can see the light at the end of the tunnel". I don't think of myself in a tunnel. I see myself on the path of life. I've been just trudging along on the well worn path heading for the typical eventual goal. There have been y's in my path. Occasionally I took one but most times not,  I just "stayed the course". This time there is no "y". I'm simply stepping off the defined path and starting a whole new path, into the unknown. Others have done it and survived, some even thrived. It's not scary to me it's exhilarating. I'm sure there will be new paths. Some heavily used, some lightly traveled. I most likely will travel some of those at times, but for the most part, be blazing my own new trail.

I am beginning a new phase in life. I'm very proud of some of the things I'm accomplished thus far, others not so much but those experiences brought me here. Where I go from here is the choice I'm faced with now.

I'm not "brave" or "courageous" or "crazy". I've just decided to spend this stage of my life trying new things, experiencing new adventures, and most of all having fun. Instead of the drudgery that comes from doing what I thought, I was "supposed to do".

Maybe I'm "supposed to do".......this.  Time will tell.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

A sudden chill in the air, a rumble in the distance. Even watching a storm roll in is more enjoyable sitting by the campfire at the lake.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Nice breeze....full belly, cold drink. I may have to squeeze in a nap, before bedtime. :)

Friday, May 8, 2015

New home.

Loaded up for the trip to the new Campground.

Arriving at my summer destination.

Getting it level

Finally setup.

Midnight at my new home.

First morning 6am.

Leaving for work.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Laying out the truck bed.

Toolboxes - Check
Generator - Check
Trailer Spare - Check
Ladder - Check

All locked down - Check

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Some clouding on the top and passenger side.

Shiny new windshield!
Next up, oil change & filter, fuel filters, transmission oil & filter change.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New 16 inch wheels & tires installed today.

Very happy to have top notch Firestone tires. Should be all set for several years of travel. I actually bought them a few weeks ago but just got them installed today. Another item checked off the list. Next up.....The dually gets a new windshield. I want a nice clear picture window to look out of, during my travels.

Friday, April 3, 2015

"Cloud" Control

My solar set-up is awesome but the reality is that sometimes you get a few cloudy days. Nothing you can do about that. So I want to be able to keep my batteries charged even on those less than sunny days.

At 3100 peak watts, this will recharge the battery bank in a few hours from 50%. It will also run my roof top air conditioner should we be get caught somewhere uncomfortably hot while out in the boonies.

Another item checked off the list. List is getting shorter & shorter.

Champion Generator

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My new Empire heater arrived today.

I was very happy to see my new heater had arrived from Amazon already today. I set right to work finding the ideal location to keep it when not in use. I think you will be impressed with my ingenuity.

This is the side of the TV cabinet. The factory furnace is inside here so the bottom area is mostly used for that. One shelf I'll have to shorted but that's all.
Cutting out the new hole.
Measuring the space requirements.
Test fitting.
In it's new home. Now you see it.......
Now you don't.......you see the Bass Island Lighthouse. The heater is safely tucked away in it's own out of the way spot. I bought a 12 ft flexible hose so I can pull the heater out and set it about anywhere in the camper.
This was pretty much just wasted space. I lost only about 6 inches of shelf space inside the cabinet.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Staying Warm in even the coldest (warm) places.

Although it's my intention to avoid cold at (almost) any cost, sometimes it gets cold even in the generally warm locals. Of course we have the factory installed propane furnace, but those are notoriously in-efficient. Here is my solution. I ordered it today:

The Empire Heating Systems Vent-Free Radiant Heater Hr15tl Lp 15000 Btu - Thermostatic Control.
This little beauty is:

Radiant Heat:

cat on a windowsill!
Our radiant heaters
project warmth into the room like sunlight
through a window. Ideal for any supplemental
heat application.

• 99.9% efficiency – turns more gas into heat 
• Available in LP or Natural gas
• Pushbutton piezo ignition and standing pilot
• Heats even when electric power fails
• Oxygen Depletion Sensor shuts off heater before
oxygen drops to unsafe levels
• Every heater is test-fired at the factory to check
• Wall-mount or floor stand
• Three-year limited warranty on parts and labor

This Empire brand comes highly recommended by Handy Bob's Solar, someone I believe knows what he's talking about. He's been using one similar to this for 10 years now.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The last piece of the solar power setup.

4 new Trojan T-105 6-volt batteries. Just what I needed to complete the solar project. Check that one off the list.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I've been a busy boy.

New LP Gas detector. Installed at the low point of interior.
New Carbon Monoxide Detector.
New 12 volt outlet for bedroom TV.
New courtesy light in the bedroom.
Modified courtesy light with 12 volt outlet for 12 volt electric blanket.
Supplies for the road. You always need a screw, bolt or fuse.