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Old 12-10-2016, 03:09 PM   #1
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Selling all you have to travel full-time

We sold 98% of our possessions to travel full-time in our 2001 30' Excella.

If you got rid of everything, how did you manage it?

We just posted a blog post on how we got rid of everything

https://livinginbeauty.net/2016/12/09/the-clearing/
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Old 12-10-2016, 05:46 PM   #2
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Our downsizing is going to be a breeze compared to yours. Our house is filled with my Mom's 20-30yr furniture which will be easy to depart with. The only furniture we have is our bedroom furniture and oak dining kitchen table so off it will go. Poor Mom, who has dementia and used to live with us, recently took a fall, broke her leg, had surgery and is now in a skill care nursing home as her care is beyond our expertise. When its time to full time the only stuff we want to keep are my father's water color paintings, my 8mm home movies from the 60's which I should get converted to DVD, and miscellaneous keepsakes. Hopefully my wife's sister can store this stuff in her basement when we hit the road. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Kelvin
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Old 12-10-2016, 07:54 PM   #3
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We only kept a small amount of family “heirlooms”, all that could fit in a 6X6 climate-controlled storage unit and had an estate sale (folks came in and ran it), for everything else. After some initial shock of selling things we'd collected over the years, it felt like an anchor had been lifted from our shoulders. The sale lasted two days.

We actually had to move quickly with the estate sale as when we put the house up for sale, we thought we’d have several months to sell it... had an offer in 2 weeks and were supposed to close a week or two afterwords...

That was in 2010. Haven’t regretted it one bit.
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Old 12-10-2016, 10:35 PM   #4
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Our process was pretty straightforward, mainly because we were able to park our coach literally right outside the front door of our S&B. We gradually moved into the coach, taking in and putting away things we knew (or thought we knew) we would need. Then we had the kids go through everything else, claiming whatever they wanted. Since none of them had a large house at the time, most of that went into a joint storage unit. The rest went to the burn pile (more than you would think), was given away, or sold on an auction. We lived in the coach for a few months, just using the house for the bathroom. We did keep a few things against the day when we get off the road, but those are few in number.

Since then our son has purchased a larger house, so everything that was in the storage unit is now in his basement. We've also moved several more tubs of stuff out of the coach and into his basement. I can't understand how, but the space that was taken up by that stuff has managed to fill up again. Something funny must be going on when we're not looking.
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:19 PM   #5
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We had 3 garage sales then sold our house. Moved all of our precious memory stuff into a 5x5 storage unit.

We have found that what we have left in our trailer is really all we need to live and travel. I did keep a large plastic storage box full of tools in the back of our tow vehicle.

You can really survive and thrive with a lot less than you think.
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:26 PM   #6
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We agree w/ TxDave.

After it's all gone you realize that what you have is sufficient to live a simpler life.

We went the auction and lawn sale, donations and gifts to family route. We still have a small storage we use for Summer / Winter change outs. This works for us.
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:37 PM   #7
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I have a 6 X 12 enclosed cargo trailer for winter storage, easier for me to move as needed.
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Old 12-11-2016, 01:42 PM   #8
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What do you folks who go full time do about mail, bills and bill payment etc?
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Old 12-11-2016, 02:08 PM   #9
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22 years from now, I will be homeless too. It is one of my goals. I prefer homeless vs full timing term.

Good luck and I will keep an eye out for your blog.
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Old 12-11-2016, 02:32 PM   #10
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I applaud all full timers. You are in inspiration. I too will be retiring in 20 years. And I look forward to joining the ranks.


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Old 12-11-2016, 03:15 PM   #11
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We moved from a big house to a small condo. That was a preview. We really liked the change.

I'm not sure I could completely give up my 70" TV. Maybe in 10 years.
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Old 12-11-2016, 03:30 PM   #12
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We are thinking very seriously about going the estate sale route. We really can't fathom doing multiple garage sales. We are about 1 1/2 years out from retirement and have been looking at estate sale companies on the internet. Wow, pretty overwhelming! How did you go about choosing a company? And, looking back, would you do anything different? As for the things we will be storing, we are debating between Pods, Two Men and a Truck or a national moving company. Right now it all seems a bit daunting, but, it will all be worth it when we ar fully on the road in our Airstream!
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Old 12-11-2016, 03:33 PM   #13
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Selling all you have to travel full-time

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBBeaubeaux View Post
We sold 98% of our possessions to travel full-time in our 2001 30' Excella.

If you got rid of everything, how did you manage it?

We just posted a blog post on how we got rid of everything

https://livinginbeauty.net/2016/12/09/the-clearing/

Other threads on this subject are worth the read if you haven't.

Enjoyed reading yours. And pics.

Which leads to a disquisition on a full timing subject per my experience, some years down the road. (Skip this as it's long; for that crowd).

The eye-opener for those of us without a National Trust estate, or that we keep the lesser Titians in the basement, is that most other folks would pay little for our "possessions". Our children would walk past most of them if they had been mind-wiped their parents had owned those things.

The example of a fire is a good one. Very little is valuable in the true sense. The rest should have been insured.

The RV irony is that the Erma Bombeck rule still applies: stuff accumulates to fill space available. And our kids still won't want it. Unless the RV is included.

Travel full time, and clearing out the RV storage spaces still has meaning. Acquisitive monkeys. The first few years are worst.

One learns, though, that "simplicity" isn't always intuitive, although I do think it's personal. Thus,

Case in point: Clothing. What's "simpler" than cotton? Now, besides the fact that no one has looked other than a fool in a tee shirt and blue jeans since they were nineteen, cotton clothing and RVng really don't go together. Hot in summer and cold in winter. Terrible in rain. Hard to launder, and let's include bedding and bath towels. Mildews. Short life. Takes up too much space to pack or hang efficiently. Etc.

Quite a few advances in synthetic fabrics in the past quarter century. Outdoorsman, military and law enforcement. Ive been transitioning over to such (work, in main, as I no longer need FR clothing) and the ease of laundering, very low space requirements (I'm 6'2" 200# and my clothes are big and long; plus that I must have four season gear to work outside; RV closets are small), very long life, unaffected by humidity and insect resistance really makes them a winner. For me. Retirement is years away.

I use that as preface as this trailer came already equipped with the optional Splendide washer/dryer. A good brand, but RV-sized usually means low performance. Especially drying times. I just figured I'd remove the thing as I've never found using a laundromat an inconvenience. Convert the space to another use.

Then a thread on this forum by a family of seven or eight having installed a dishwasher caught my attention. There's no lack of willing hands. What I hadn't considered was water usage. Storage for a service of six and used less water than washing by hand. Good reliability by those who've posted on same.

Then I got to thinking about an ice maker. I certainly get tired of buying more ice during that long season. It never seems to be a walk, but a drive. Buying yet another ice chest isn't attractive.

So those two things weighed on me: Having to drive to replenish a perishable before anything else was needed (bad type of vehicle wear: cold start and short trip), plus time away from where I'd rather be. And constant use of disposable dining items not quite right.

So the thoughts about the washer/dryer changed as well. This trailer also (not surprisingly) has the optional 95-gl fresh water set of tanks.

So why not use it?

I can't ever say I love time at the laundromat. Longest 2-3 hours x 2 in a month.

Easier to continue converting fabrics (towels and bedding; see marine supply and others) to those which will work well with that Splendide.

And though a built-in dishwasher and ice maker are fairly far down the list of things needing doing, I won't lose any significant space or pay any weight penalties of note. Easy to incorporate. An upgrade to the water heater (which already needs replacing) and a "big" water pump plus accumulator tank are easy to do. Enough that I could also add an external hose outlet for washing truck, trailer, what-have-you.

Same for adding extensive water filtration and softening.

("Huh, I think I just increased the attractiveness of this Silver Streak were I to sell it").

I sold myself on the idea that In needing a cabinet maker to install those appliances, I could finish it off with a drinks cabinet. I'd also no longer need a double sink. More counter space, which I really could use.

So, to the OP, don't be surprised that a few years down the road if "simplicity" is a bit different than where the thing started, ha!

At this point simplicity to me means I want functionality built-in. But it follows that an original interior is preferable. The more modifications, it's not uncommon to find compromises. Most restorations/renovations that are personalized miss the difficult choices done by full time OEM design staff. Easy to make mistakes. (A balancing act). What's great today isn't in five years.

Understand, though, that all this also must fit into what I consider to be genuinely important. Overarching. And that is maximizing dry camping ability. Big as my trailer is, two weeks is pretty easy (given short sleeve weather). A month, and one has to start making lists and testing. What is possible? Add in "hot" weather (needs AC) or "cold" (increased propane consumption; trailer skirting, tank heat, interior storm windows, etc), and it starts to become interesting as sub-sets of problems.

Having started and run three businesses I know none of this is surprising to you. Problems and their sub-sets. So I'd like to recommend a broad view of how an RV can be used. Not just as it first appears. Where you are now. How you "think" you will use it.

I'm third generation with these trailers going back more than fifty years. But my use is different than those ancestors. It's more important to me, for example, that I be able to "run the trailer" on propane OR 12V DC or 120V-AC. The most from each. Losing no functions. (Solar dead last as propane is rarely maximized).

The full panoply while parked with full hookups. Close to it with at least sewer. And maximize what is possible with nothing at all in the way of services when parked.

Call it redundancy.

As I said, my idea of simplicity is personal. As will be yours. But I'd sure like to emphasize large guiding concept over a narrow approach. I believe we all start from something narrow, to be generous.

I cast no aspersions in noting that many wish to have television and Internet access wherever and whenever. Many threads to this effect. No matter how outdoorsy one is, an illness and/or bad weather mean confinement. Don't skimp. Same for a full set of awnings.

I'm not in favor of carrying liquid fuel (generators) except what is already built in; safety primarily. What isn't integral -- or can't be made to be -- starts a downhill slope. Again, in my opinion. As simplicity determines.

One of the latest things is a smaller than normal "inverter " generator that with a solar electric system of a given size can run an AC unit. Lighter generator and less fuel. (This is advocacy for this forum. Some decent tech heads).

The folks who overwinter at Quartzite are inspiration for many ideas.

Hope you have fun with this use of concept as guidance and others as they occur to you. There are those who give up full timing after a few years. Seen all the national parks and visited all the relatives sort of thing. Every bucket list golf course.

AIR is a pretty decent enthusiast forum. More depth than at first glance. (The first couple of years). The itch to have a home returns prior to its need. Plan that, sure, as it's not good to fail on an exit. Always a sad story, that.

It's a whole new Forum when "new" is over. Is the recommendation.

Good luck.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:28 PM   #14
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Agreed

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Our downsizing is going to be a breeze compared to yours. Our house is filled with my Mom's 20-30yr furniture which will be easy to depart with. The only furniture we have is our bedroom furniture and oak dining kitchen table so off it will go. Poor Mom, who has dementia and used to live with us, recently took a fall, broke her leg, had surgery and is now in a skill care nursing home as her care is beyond our expertise. When its time to full time the only stuff we want to keep are my father's water color paintings, my 8mm home movies from the 60's which I should get converted to DVD, and miscellaneous keepsakes. Hopefully my wife's sister can store this stuff in her basement when we hit the road. Thanks for sharing your journey.

Kelvin
Glad to hear your downsizing in going easier than ours. We took 2 years. Sorry to hear about your mom. Look forward to meeting you on the road.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:30 PM   #15
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6 years!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxon View Post
We only kept a small amount of family “heirlooms”, all that could fit in a 6X6 climate-controlled storage unit and had an estate sale (folks came in and ran it), for everything else. After some initial shock of selling things we'd collected over the years, it felt like an anchor had been lifted from our shoulders. The sale lasted two days.

We actually had to move quickly with the estate sale as when we put the house up for sale, we thought we’d have several months to sell it... had an offer in 2 weeks and were supposed to close a week or two afterwords...

That was in 2010. Haven’t regretted it one bit.
.
Bill and Kim, wow....6 years on the road...and you had only 2 days of yard sales. We had many over many months. And our property in Coronado California took a year to sell.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:35 PM   #16
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Having the AS close by would have been wonderful

Quote:
Originally Posted by kb0zke View Post
Our process was pretty straightforward, mainly because we were able to park our coach literally right outside the front door of our S&B. We gradually moved into the coach, taking in and putting away things we knew (or thought we knew) we would need. Then we had the kids go through everything else, claiming whatever they wanted. Since none of them had a large house at the time, most of that went into a joint storage unit. The rest went to the burn pile (more than you would think), was given away, or sold on an auction. We lived in the coach for a few months, just using the house for the bathroom. We did keep a few things against the day when we get off the road, but those are few in number.

Since then our son has purchased a larger house, so everything that was in the storage unit is now in his basement. We've also moved several more tubs of stuff out of the coach and into his basement. I can't understand how, but the space that was taken up by that stuff has managed to fill up again. Something funny must be going on when we're not looking.
David, we had to park the Airstream about a block away to load it up and then only for 48 hours, as our Coronado community has very strict rules about RVs. We did that right before escrow closed and it was a lot of work to do in such a short time. We stored the Airstream 8 miles away while to liquidated stuff. We have been living full-time since April and we too are still tossing stuff we thought we would want or need.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:37 PM   #17
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We do need a lot less than we think

Quote:
Originally Posted by TxDave View Post
We had 3 garage sales then sold our house. Moved all of our precious memory stuff into a 5x5 storage unit.

We have found that what we have left in our trailer is really all we need to live and travel. I did keep a large plastic storage box full of tools in the back of our tow vehicle.

You can really survive and thrive with a lot less than you think.
Dave, we totally agree with you how little one needs to survive and be happy.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:41 PM   #18
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Simpler life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sphere Guy View Post
We agree w/ TxDave.

After it's all gone you realize that what you have is sufficient to live a simpler life.

We went the auction and lawn sale, donations and gifts to family route. We still have a small storage we use for Summer / Winter change outs. This works for us.
We do love owning so little.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:42 PM   #19
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We thought about that

Quote:
Originally Posted by CDONA View Post
I have a 6 X 12 enclosed cargo trailer for winter storage, easier for me to move as needed.
We thought about that option, but in San Diego, storage is expensive, so we got rid of everything.
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Old 12-13-2016, 07:44 PM   #20
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Snail mail

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What do you folks who go full time do about mail, bills and bill payment etc?
We use https://ipostal1.com that is a mail service in 40 states and starts at $10 a month for 30 letters. That allowed us to keep our San Diego address for mail and residency for taxes and health insurance.
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