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Author Topic: Fulltimers...How Did You Downsize?  (Read 4121 times)
HB of CJ
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« on: November 03, 2012, 09:09:48 PM »

Did you just sell off all your household possessions or did you give them away?  Storage? What decisions were used to reduce everything down to fit into a full time Bus Conversion?  HB of CJ (old coot)
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2012, 10:16:56 PM »

We did all of the above.
We sold what we didn't need in the coach on Craig's list and had an estate sale.

We keep business records and legal papers, Fishing stuff, small set of summer clothes and winter cloths. Got big tubs for extra canned goods and rice etc. under bus sealed in plastic,etc. We also keep mechanic tools.
Sold or gave to friends big stuff , Table saws, drills, refrigerator, beds, couches, tables I used to make table for the bus gave away the chairs.

Donated Books, clothes we didn't need, You know the sweater that was 5 years old and you wore once.  anything that didn't sell.

Storage Keep stuff that didn't go in Bus. We rented a 10 x 15 unit for 70.00 a month and we pare it down every time we come to town. We hope to have a 5 X 5 by next year, or nothing at all.

We gave away a lot of Art work to friends that said "oh I like that" It felt good to make someone else happy!...

Gave our big desk top computers away to a local school for administration.

Dave5Cs Grin
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 02:44:48 AM »

Yup, we did the same.
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2012, 04:39:29 AM »

Yup, we did the same.

(Ed, I swear to Gawd, I am not stalking you)

We did the same, 3 sales, if it wasn't nailed down, it was sold.  Took her out for six weeks and she could not stand any more of it.  Wanted to come home and touch her stuff.  We now have re-settled in a little one water tower town on the Oklahoma prairie. 

Peace is restored in my small piece of the universe.

BCO
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2012, 05:22:58 AM »

We did some of each... kinda.   Grin

Went through everything first. Asked the kids what they wanted. Sold and gave away everything else we absolutely didn't want. We already had a 26' enclosed trailer. Loaded all the stuff we wanted or wasn't sure about in that & left it stored. After 3 years we are back in a house so we just towed the trailer to the new digs & unloaded.  We could sell the trailer now if we wanted & recoup some of the expense but I'm keeping it "just in case".   Grin Grin

I think a storage trailer is better than storage because it's yours, no rent to pay, & it's easier to load & unload. If you happen to have some land or a friend who will keep it for you, it's an ideal situation.

TOM
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2012, 05:26:29 AM »

We never sold anything just locked the house and shop for 6 months and gave it a try neither of us cared for full timing it wasn't our gig that takes special people IMO more drop out of full timing  than the ones that stay
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2012, 05:46:17 AM »

My parents tried it back in 1975 . My dad retired from GM and bought a brand new 3500 GMC with a 38' gooseneck trailer. They took off to full time it starting in the Midwest and working southwest. About 10 months later they had enough so they came back. Problem was they sold everything including their house. They bought a new house and everything to go with it. Sold the trailer and got a little cabin up north.

I know the trailer isn't the same as a bus but same experience. I would suggest locking the doors and giving it a try first.
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2012, 06:02:11 AM »

Well, for one, we got married and moved into the coach literally two years into our now three year marriage. We are both young (Heather is 27 and I just crossed the barrier from 29 to 30) and didn't have a lot of stuff yet. We rented and never bought a house, so we had very little space even when we did live the "rooted" life for that first two years. But we did have a garage sale to sell unwanteds. Stuff that we just couldn't bear to part with (blown up photos matted and framed, two really nice lamps, and a box of misc memories stuff) we just store in the finished basement of some good friends of ours (they are like family to us). Here's the key:

When you move into your coach full-time, you will, over the next several months and even years continue to get rid of stuff. Things you trip over, climb over in the luggage bays, will begin to irritate you and you'll realize you're never going to use that big fuzzy body pillow and that three sets of sheets and pillow cases for your bed are just one too many and you'll send them to Goodwill. Trust us on this. We've been purging the last 16 months we've lived in our coach. Another item is clothing. It takes up tons of space...we have reduced it enough to fit our lifestyle...we still have quite a few clothes and like to dress sharp, so a good portion of those are hanging clothes, but when we purchase new items, we literally choose the same number of items in our closet and give them to Goodwill. So it's an even exchange...we're never adding to the pile if you will. Best of luck....fulltiming has changed our lives in such a positive way...we have grown to have a very profound affection for our coach and very much look forward to returning to it when we leave it for business trips or family visits.
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2012, 06:51:17 AM »

We sold, gave and stored. When we get back to Texas next year, we plan to empty the larger storage and opt for the smallest size. We can't take everything with us, such as old pictures etc. My DW will not get rid of a couple of pieces of furniture, I just live with it and not make a big deal of it.

Full timing is not for everyone. It takes a lot of sacrifice and compromise. For us it was the way to go as three months after we started, I lost my job due to the poor global economy.

A few things we wish we had, a slide and my DW would like a bathtub! Cheesy

We have been full timing for 3 1/2 years and look forward to as many as we can until we have to use walkers or canes! Grin
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« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2012, 07:05:19 AM »

I do believe women sacrifice a lot more than the men when it come to full timing,there is no way I could ask my wife to give up her sewing equipment to go on the road that was the thing she missed most for the 6 months we tried.

There would be no way I could make room or tow a trailer to carry all the stuff lol and selling it she would get pennies on the dollar and that would not happen with her so I don't even think about full timing 


She did shock me by selling Van 2 of her machines so she may would give some up but a woman who knows
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« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2012, 07:19:18 AM »

Boy Clifford that machine works so well I am suprised she let it go lol
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2012, 07:20:35 AM »

We did more or less what Tom did - instead of a trailer I bought an 18' cube van.  We loaded books and a few special antiques into that along with some tools and spare clothing.  It became storage on wheels for close to 2 years.  We finally decided that insurance for true Canadian full timers was just too complicated so we bought a small place in rural SK.  That's our official residence now for insurance, tax and voting purposes - and its really good storage space.  I still have the cube van if anybody needs one - its got a pretty tired Powerstroke but it runs and the van is in good shape.  Its hard to believe but we've been doing this for over 5 years now - bus in the summer and boat in the winter.  There's no way we'd even consider going back.  And Clifford, in our case Marilyn had to make some sacrifices but she gets to live with me so that makes up for a lot.

 Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2012, 08:04:31 AM »

We have not gone full timing yet.  We plan to downsize and give it a try in a couple years.  We plan to downsize to the things we just can't part with and put those in storage.  Must disagree with who wants to keep the most.  I could fit all my stuff on the dining room table.  Don would never part with his shop full of tools. 

Even full timers will come to the point when they will have to settle down.  I wouldn't get rid of those things that are really hard to replace until being on the road for at least a year.

Cary
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« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2012, 09:01:23 AM »

Clifford. My wife sews too probably doesn't have as much as your wife, but quite a bit. She was happy to pare it down and I built her a 30"x 6' wood table with the folding metal legs. It slides into the bay against the ceiling and i just slide it out when she wants to sew. We pull out the awning and have exterior plugs on the side of the Bus, Wa-LA.

Also something we learned the hard way. If someone gets hurt and can't get into the bus you better have a friend or somewhere you can go that the injured person can access without have to climb stairs.

We luckily had a friend with a 3 acre ranch with a mobile home at the back and a place where we can store the bus and work on it (which saved us storage of 280.00 a month for the bus) and I work on the ranch in exchange for the mobile with a wheel chair ramp.
This is really something you need to have is a backup plan just in-case.

The biggest problem we have is having a 10 month taste of full-timing and loving it so much we can't wait to get out there again.

I like Paul, lost my work as a Building Contractor and we short sold our house, sold my Tundra, bought the bus and rebuilt the inside as we were waiting for the house to close. Got rid of all our stuff, moved into the bus and went to work at a campground by the river for 6 months and an inland one for 4 more months. Life was good and will be again.

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« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2012, 04:57:29 PM »

Moving into a bus was an easy part of our journey - when we started out full timing nearly 7 years ago it was in a 16' travel trailer!  Now that's downscaling!  When we moved into the bus, we had to buy stuff to fill it Smiley

And I disagree with Clifford - in our case, it was a lot harder for Chris than me. Chris is more of a hoarder by nature and still has a storage unit full of crap because he just couldn't get rid of it. And he's far more likely to end up with a pile of extra stuff on his desk than I am. Me - I have little attachment to stuff and am quick to Deep-6 it - inside of 6 weeks I purged most my stuff down to a small drawer full of clothing and a duffle bag of stuff I thought I needed, put the house up for sale and off we went.

To tackle the purging process, I came up with a system - go through things in manageable stages so you feel the progress. I did a combination of selling on eBay & Amazon & Criaglist, donating to charities and gifting to friends.  The funnest part was hosting a 'House Cooling Party' - where we invited friends over for socializing, but the rule was they had to leave with something of ours. It was a great way to get rid of that stuff too sentimental to sell to strangers and too valuable to donate. And now, when we visit friends we get to see our old art in their homes.

Here's a blog post I made about the purging process that may be helpful:
http://www.technomadia.com/2012/01/excuses-stuff-2

 - Best wishes,
- Cherie

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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2012, 05:34:51 PM »

We planned on fulltiming 7 years ago, but bought a house in Prescott, AZ instead.  Moved out of California, which was the big motivating factor.  Now I have a nice house with a big RV/shop, plenty of room for the dogs to run around in the back yard. And no full-timing money left!

At this point I could not give up my dream shop.  I could live in the bus-- I've done it for weeks at a time and fully enjoy the way I converted my bus and wouldn't change a thing as far as the bus goes.  But I spend most of my time in my shop and working part-time, and the dogs have a yard to run around in-- something you don't get while traveling.  If we go fulltime, I wouldn't sell my house and shop, so I guess the best I could do is part-time fulltiming.

--Geoff
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« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2012, 05:38:17 PM »

After the real estate sold about 12 years ago, we held an auction and what didn't go was donated. When we moved from a large 5ver into the bus, we discovered that we were accumulating things again because of all the storage downstairs. Now I have to go through the bays and clean house again before we head out of here for the winter. I still have to do the fall coat of wax one of these days too. Couldn't imagine living in a stick and brick again. I like auto maint much more than house maint. but that's just me, Will
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2012, 04:27:11 AM »

We planned on fulltiming 7 years ago, but bought a house in Prescott, AZ instead.  Moved out of California, which was the big motivating factor.  Now I have a nice house with a big RV/shop, plenty of room for the dogs to run around in the back yard. And no full-timing money left!

At this point I could not give up my dream shop.  I could live in the bus-- I've done it for weeks at a time and fully enjoy the way I converted my bus and wouldn't change a thing as far as the bus goes.  But I spend most of my time in my shop and working part-time, and the dogs have a yard to run around in-- something you don't get while traveling.  If we go fulltime, I wouldn't sell my house and shop, so I guess the best I could do is part-time fulltiming.

--Geoff

There is a guy on the Wanderlodge board that owns a house & shop also. He fixed his shop with a full hookup & rented the house out. Uses the money from the rent to travel & race cars. When he is home, he works on his coach & race cars. It's a pretty nice setup.

TOM
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2012, 04:46:28 AM »

This may or may not apply.  We have one rule and that rule is:  "Bring something in, take something out." 

You cannot carry it all with you, just isn't practical.

We no longer full time but have instead opted for a nice shop and a small house in the country.

BCO
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« Reply #19 on: November 05, 2012, 06:10:46 AM »

When we started full timing in 2003 we sold everything except for me woodworking tools and some things my wife could not part with.I bought a 8x16 trailer and stored it at a friends.We were on the road for seven years and loved it.We when decided to build a spec house in the Phx.area which was not a smart move.We could not sell it for a profit so we moved into it and travel for 6 months.We cant wait until we can sell it and start full timing again.This time we will rent a storage unit instead of selling everything again and sell the trailer.The only thing my wife would like is a slide,but that not going to happen.
          Don
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« Reply #20 on: November 05, 2012, 07:29:43 AM »

Where about in Phoenix area is the house a 1200 sf house built in the 50's are selling for 300 to 400 grand in the Arcadia area fwiw and there are not many bargains in the Scottsdale area either ours go up in price about every day  
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« Reply #21 on: November 05, 2012, 10:05:21 AM »

My house is 3500 sq.ft. located in north Surprise sitting on 5 acres
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« Reply #22 on: November 05, 2012, 10:13:31 AM »

That one may take awhile being that far from Phoenix,we have a place in Peoria it's taking a while for it to move also 

good luck
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« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2012, 08:17:36 AM »

Old Coot -

We are in the process of downsizing.  Fortunately we have had a lot of time to prepare. Here are some of the things we have done that might help you out.

1. Furniture Foster program - We had about 5 pieces of furniture that we had collected over the years that we just didn't really want to sell: our bedroom set, kids bunk beds, our dining room table and a few other small pieces.  We also did not want to pay 100/month to store this stuff. (over 2 years it would cost the same to just spend $2400 for new/used furniture as it would to pay to store it)  So we asked family and friends if they wanted to "foster" care for our furniture with the assumption that when we come back (if we ever do) that they would return it to us at that time.  We would give them 6 months notice so they could find something to replace.  We had a great response and now all except our dining room table and my wifes craft table have been adopted. 

2. Trailer & Storage - Alot of people had posted about trailer storage.  This is almost a must.  Even if you cannot take it with you it will be way cheaper to pay for storage for the trailer than a 10 x 10' storage space.  If you have stuff that doesn't need to be in air-conditioned storage, buy the trailer, pack it and then park it in a RV storage place.  Our RV storage (for our bus) is 45/month.  The trailer would be about 30/month.  A 10x10 with no AC is 100/month.  And when you are done traveling you can almost always get about 80-90% back of what you paid for the trailer if you buy it used.

3. Go Naked - Well...not really but as Scott mentioned, get rid of as many clothes as you can.  We are down to about 1-2 weeks worth of clothes for each of us (2 adults & 4 kids).  We have created a lot of space by getting rid of clothes we don't wear every week.

4. Junk the trinkets - Anything that doesn't serve a purpose - goes.  No decorations, no vases, no figurines.  The best way to deal with this (if you have time) is to box up the house like you are moving, completely.  And then live out of the boxes for 6 months.  Any box that you didn't have to open in that 6 month period gets sold or donated. 

5. Everything in its place and a place for everything - As we plan on moving into this bus this has become my new motto.  If it doesn't have a place to go, then build it a place.  If there is no room to build it then we don't need it.  Or as BCO mentioned - "Bring something in, take something out."  This has helped my Wife and I get through some heavy discussions on what we need to take and what we don't need.  And it has also forced us to be very creative on how we use space.

The hardest thing is that everything seems to have a value (monetary or personal or some use in the future) and when you can get yourself to "let go" of that value it becomes easier to get rid of.  I had a hard time with this at first because everything had a monetary value, I wanted to sell everything.  Wifey easily gave everything away but I just couldn't let go of the fact that we were selling stuff too cheap or giving away stuff (stuff that I could use when I finally got to the project I had in mind when I acquired the stuff).  I went through a period of about 6 months trying to sell everything and went through some mental and spiritual processing to get me to a place where it is easier for me to just give it away at this point.  Now, we are sleeping on the floors and have clothes in boxes in the closets but we still have A LOT of stuff to get rid of.

Good luck with your adventure!

-Sean
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« Reply #24 on: November 07, 2012, 09:12:39 AM »

The hardest thing is that everything seems to have a value (monetary or personal or some use in the future) and when you can get yourself to "let go" of that value it becomes easier to get rid of.  I had a hard time with this at first because everything had a monetary value, I wanted to sell everything. 

One of the best moves we made was to befriend a young woman who had just moved to town.  She was setting up housekeeping so we were able to give her several large appliances, some beds and some chests of drawers as well as cutlery, dishes and small appliances.  That felt really good & I'm sure was a big help to her as she got established in a foreign community.  We also were fortunate in that we lived on a major highway so I made a sign that said "Free stuff - help yourself" and we just piled everything at the end of the lane.  I think the only thing we couldn't give away was a cat litter box.  Marilyn put stuff out there that I'd have sent straight to the dump and somebody hauled it all away.
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« Reply #25 on: November 07, 2012, 09:19:47 AM »

Marilyn put stuff out there that I'd have sent straight to the dump and somebody hauled it all away.

"One man's junk is another man's treasure!"

 Wink
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« Reply #26 on: November 07, 2012, 10:49:03 AM »

We like to donate to people who were having a hard time,kids, Women, families or church families etc. We found when we just put it on the street and put up a sign free, yes it was taken but then found out that most were coming around each day to see if there was more stuff and the same ones.

In California because there were so many foreclosures these groups would send collector's around with trailers pickup and resell the stuff for big profits. Just didn't seem right when we could give to someone that really needed it.

Dave5Cs
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« Reply #27 on: November 07, 2012, 01:23:11 PM »

I'm not going into full timing or even part timing, but I have similar issues with too darn much stuff and not wanting to get rid of it.  I've only had my own house for eleven years and I haven't been able to park in the garage for least 6 years.  The strange thing is my garage is full, but my house is pretty empty with not much furniture and no knick-nacks.

I have the classic problem of not wanting to get rid of stuff on the off chance I might use it in the future.  I go through stuff and think it has $X value so why would I want to get rid of it?  I also go through stuff and realize I forgot I had that and think I will use it down the road.  When I do need the item I again forget I have it packed away or I can't find it so I buy another one.  I haven't used a pencil in years yet I have a dozen in a box somewhere that I won't get rid of.  I do have a bunch of bus stuff I will never get rid of because Dina parts are so rare and finding another one down the road could be impossible at any price.

I've been doing some cleaning this past summer and finally getting rid of stuff I now realize I will never use.  A big fault of mine is lack of organization.  I can never find anything due to the lack of organization.
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« Reply #28 on: November 07, 2012, 06:42:45 PM »

Each has to do what works for them, for me, I enjoyed the MCI7 for many years 20+, and then purchased a Foretravel 36' with the ISM450 Cummins, and a slide, with the slide, there is more useable space than the 40' MCI7. DW does not travel with me very often, only to visit her family in upstate NY.   I travel and enjoy many parts of the country.
Built a 40 X 60 very fine commercial garage 12 yrs ago, the home for the coach and nice shop, my play house.
The thought of selling the bricks is unthinkable, as the wife would not go with that scheme. We bought this 108' long bfick ranch 29 years ago. too many memories etc to sell it.   We are over 70 and also have to think about the next events, full timing and me passing on, does not seem right way to treat the DW afterwards.
She will stay in the house for another 30 years and I am not saving anything for her next OM, hope the Foretravel is 100% wore out when he moves in.  Grin
Cheers
Dave
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« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2012, 05:43:41 PM »

Life is about making memories, not living in them,,,,, Smiley
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Uglydog56
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« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2012, 10:29:13 AM »

My wife has a horse and I have a racecar, and we both wanted to keep them.  Here's what we're doing:  I bought a place in North Carolina that has a house and a mother-in-law apt above a separate 3 car garage.  I put my mother in the house and we are taking the apt.  We have a place to store stuff now, and someone to feed the horse while we're traveling.  I suppose we are going to be some-timer's not full-timers, but the wife needed a home base.  I'm not done yet, but I have full-timed before and I am pretty sure this will work.  Last time I had an enclosed car trailer to do mechanical work/storage in and that worked pretty good.
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« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2012, 05:42:05 PM »

PP,   Life is about making memories, not living in them,,,,, Smiley



What is that suppose to mean? Are you for fulltiming or against it.

Dave5Cs Huh
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« Reply #32 on: November 12, 2012, 11:45:20 AM »

Dave5Cs,
I am not advocating for or against fulltiming. It works for us, but I know it doesn't work for most. I was referring to the 'stuff' that you have to leave behind when you down size as memories. Maybe not the best play on words, but I tried,
Will Cheesy
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TheHollands!
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« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2012, 12:27:29 PM »

We didn't keep things in storage, my wife loves shopping so figures it will be pretty exciting if we ever settle down again. We initially tried to sell everything in garage sales but had a string of bad weather and events clashing so ended up having a donation sale. We put everything we owned out and a bowl for people to put a donation in. i didn't want to know what individually people were paying for my stuff. Had to check my heart with the idea that someone might take advantage of an opportunity like this. Some folks put in too much money and some maybe not enough. Anything that didn't go went to the thrift store. At the end of the day I felt good that my stuff was gone and maybe it ended up in the right hands. We still have been off loading things from the bus a year in. We hope if we ever settle down again that we will hold to things loosely. Craig
 
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The Hollands!
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« Reply #34 on: November 13, 2012, 07:43:30 PM »

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We didn't keep things in storage, my wife loves shopping so figures it will be pretty exciting if we ever settle down again."

Great outlook, Craig, I will have to remember that Grin
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« Reply #35 on: November 14, 2012, 06:22:32 PM »

we kept going on the road more and more, finally rented the house out for a year to try it.  since it was family, we rented it furnished, almost like a house watcher since they paid way less than normal.  Anyway, the year went by well, so we sold the house, auctioned off most if not all, bought a trailer to put some stuff in for when we're too old to drive.  We've gradually cut down on some things like clothes.  We pile summer uniforms in there for the winter, pile winter clothes in there for the summer.  We leave some stuff with family when we don't think we need it for 5 months.
Life is good.  I don't miss a home base at all, Fran's happy we have parking in a couple places as well as our own private campground for us and friends, when we need it, away from all.
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Tom
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Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
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