Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Deciding to enter full time RV living is only the first step.  Now the work begins. 

We are in the process of sorting, selecting and packing.  We are keeping only those things that cannot be replaced; such as photo albums, personal collections (my extensive collection of shot glasses, for instance), art items, gifts from family and friends that are important to us, etc.  We have checked out storage places and discovered that the smallest space available is 5’ by 5’ by 10’ tall.  So I have marked out a 5’ by 5’ area on the floor in the basement and we are placing packing boxes in that area.  It appears that a 5’ by 5’ area will be plenty adequate.  I had a box full of video tapes transferred to DVD’s.   About 25 tapes reduces to 6 DVD’s in a small case about 3/8” thick; our life from about 1985 to about 2003 reduced to a very small space.  Rosie and I have been watching some of the video and we marvel at how many places we have been and how many activities we have enjoyed.  We have also been throwing out stuff that has no resale value, is too big to take along and hasn’t been used by us for years.  I had 2 boxes of 3.5” floppy disks; how long has it been since those have been in use?  We are keeping only 3 items of antique furniture; a table from Grandma Sathe; a chest of drawers from Grandma Doering, and a child’s rocking chair that was mine as a toddler.  Everything else will be sold in a giant moving sale in May.  Anything left over will either go the our church for their annual rummage sale; or get hauled to the dump.  Rosie decided that she really didn’t need to keep her car, so that will be sold; one thing less to worry about storing.  I really admire her for that decision.  Her car was an important symbol of independence for her.

Other decisions have been made as needed.  We are going to maintain Idaho as our State of Residence.  We will get a mailing “address” at the local UPS Store.  I checked with the DMV and we can use that address on our Drivers Licenses.  They said something about an “RV” stamp on the license to identify us as resident RVers (seems a little odd).  The local court system will hold us accountable for jury duty, but if we are called, we can self determine a specific week in the upcoming 12 months when we would be available to show up for jury duty.  We are getting dental work scheduled before we leave that perhaps could have been put off for longer.  E-mail and phone contact on the road will be readily handled by Verizon.  They have a smaller version of an I-Pad that is also a mini-WiFi spot; so we can access both of our laptops to that WiFi and both be on the internet at the same time.

I have been researching Government campgrounds and private campgrounds in the western US.  It is amazing how much BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and Forest Service land is out there where camping is either very low cost or outright free.  Then there are State Parks, County Parks and City Parks that have low cost to free camping.  Anyone interested in those web sites, e-mail me at jimsathe@msn.com and I will send you the links.  Most of the really free or low cost campgrounds don’t have electrical hookups; so we are looking at installing a solar panel system with a partial inverter system to power our electronics, like TV and laptops.  We have a generator and a bank of 4 batteries, so we shouldn’t run out of power and still have a comfortable lifestyle.  We have already redecorated the interior of our camper with new paint, a chair rail wallpaper border and new trim.  We plan to replace the carpeting in March.  We met some new friends that own an RV Service and Repair Shop.  We are really happy to find someone that will do good work on our future home at a reasonable cost.

There is a local private campground that has sites with full hookups for a monthly rate of $425.  We plan to move into a space there in mid-May.  It will take about 4 weeks to leisurely sell all of our stuff and clean up the house before departing stick house living.  That will be an interesting, and probably emotional, experience.  So around mid-June we should start wandering our way east.  I have already made reservations for 6 nights in Custer State Park near Rapid City, SD; which will include the 4th of July Holiday.  July 5th, we will travel from Custer State Park to the family reunion in Colome, SD.   June, July and most of August will be spent in South Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado.  We will return to Idaho Falls area for 3 weeks or so in early September before we head for the Oregon Coast and ultimately wend our way to Ventura County in So. California for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays.  After that, we want to experience Quartzsite, AZ for the annual gathering of RV people.  Then who knows where we will go.

Life is good.


Jim said...

You'll find that selling off everything very liberating. Carrying everything you own behind you is a little frightening, but in time, you'll wonder why you had all that "stuff". We spend the first third of our life wishing for stuff, the next third collecting and enjoying it, and the last third trying to find a place for it. Enjoy Jim & Rosie! PS new site looks great!

The Local Tourist said...

While in this area you will want to visit Rapid City's newly renovated downtown. The Main Street Square event plaza is a sight to see, with a animated water fountain and concerts weekly you will be sure to find that fun night out on the town. Also if you are interested in fly fishing please check out our Rapid City Fly Fishing video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIjYBXjnNkM

michael ultra said...

I can really relate with you guys. I am trying to do the same things and I have to say, it's a lot more of a task than I thought it would be.