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Old 12-26-2010, 01:58 PM   #1
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,308
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Smile I had a DREAM last night!

I HAD A GREAT DREAM LAST NIGHT....(.between pee trips!)
Downsizing to Live in an AIRSTREAM

No virus was found in this dream --- only the dementia that dreams are made of.

I don't know about your home, but at ours, the truck and car never makes it into the carport and large two-car shop we built, because they are filled with the valuables that just won't fit into the rooms and basement of our home. The idea that we would be able to downsize and make the move from our home and acreage, to our first WIDE BODY Airstream Motorhome was, I think, a somewhat optimistic dream ---------.
--------- I dreamt that SATURDAY was the big garage sale. This stressful event marked the beginning of the end, the downsizing before moving in to the Land Yacht and beyond to the Old Folks home. We decided that we were only going to keep things that had family value. After long consideration, we sold some, but gave away most furniture, portions of my MASSEY HARRIS collection, and an embarrassingly large amount of just basic junk. We also gave away an unbelievable amount of electronics including TVs, radios, old tape players, cameras, computers and associated parfinalia that no one would buy. Couldn't even give some of it away. It is cheaper to buy new electronics in this phase of the economic cycle. There were a few deals we had to cut with each other. I let Heather keep her antique doll collection as long as I could keep the 12 antiquated MASSEY HARRIS lawn mowers that I acquired over the years ( had to have something to waste away the downtime time while in Yuma). But mostly, we thought we got rid of our stuff.
Considerably lighter we excitedly moved into our Land Yacht, our first touring MOTORHOME. We had previously owned only a number of 1/2 ton pickups with canopy/ camper or small trailers. We packed light, the two pairs of shoes allowed each, the weeks supply of undies, shirts and two pairs of pants and shorts, kitchen hardware and groulies. Then came the CD/DVDs, the tools, (half my shop stuff) the cameras and electronics. And there was the quilting frame, the bikes, the two cats, and all of this was before we had even started bringing out the valuables. Where was this stuff going to go?
The beauty of most wide body MHs, however, is that there's actually a whole lot more usable storage space than at first look. Under the couch, cabinets, and below in the basement there are many areas to stow things creatively as well as the usual cubbyholes. On our Clipper, as on most premium model pusher style MHs, there are many areas to customize your unit for additional storage. We even have some excellent storage spaces under the floor area forward of the steering axle.
With a lot of the stuff out of sight we felt confident that we could take what remained. We'd done it! We'd made the move and everything seemed to fit. Sounds too good to be true? ----- It was!
---- We had to add a 28 foot monster Custom Trailer to hold the overload. After adding more air to all the tires, we found the major problem was that we could not find anything when it was needed.
To solve this repetitive searching hassle, Heather configured a program on the laptop that mapped out each storage area on the Clipper and Custom Trailer. Then we carefully documented everything.. We set up a barcode system on the laptop and kept a record of everything as it came in and out. We mounted the reader by the entrance door. This was a great asset and it was a relief to finally be able to find things again.

Now, we had just developed this system and, we knew we probably had a learning curve ahead. However, with the entrance door barcode scanner, and if every item was bar-coded and inventoried and organized from the start, and every storage area was labeled, then this would leave plenty of time to enjoy the other passions of life. We even got barcode tattoos so I could tell how many times Heather went out for a smoke. Also, I thought this system of bar-coding inventory was something Heather could promote and sell at the flee markets of the south while we are snow birding our remaining time away.
After we added some additional storage areas in hard to get at areas for items seldom used in the Airstream, we used our monster 28 foot Custom Trailer just for the items we "might" need, and to enclose the Beetle in the garage it never had. With our 65' overall length we sucked up Wal-Mart parking stalls more efficiently than any Grammas HUMMER unit on the road.

In the trailer, we stacked many inexpensive plastic Island Farms milk baskets of various sizes to fit, and secured them with bungees. These made finding items on the bottom of the 10' high trailer pile far easier. This worked particularly well in the built-in 3 door 30cf backup beer fringe in the tow trailer, so that you didn't have the door open for long and warm all those cold drinks. Heather also insisted on a walk-in closet to accommodate the shopping deals she anticipated to get in Mexico. As time passed, we found that we could make a bit more space if we removed all the packaging. Remember, the more space you have the more you can stow! ( I hear some states allow you to actually tow 2 trailers.?)
After a few months on the road we had the system down to a science------.
----- Time to walk up and return to reality.
Now after analyzing this dream for a couple hours, I'm pretty sure that we will maintain our operating base and actually carry only what we need. On the positive side, I do know now that if I ever win the "LOTTO" and have another shot at collecting, I'd be able to collect even more "stuff" now that I know how to organize it.
Ahhhhhh-------- If only we could start over!!!
No virus was found in this dream --- only the dementia that dreams are made of.
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Old 01-09-2011, 01:25 PM   #2
2 Rivet Member
2008 25' Safari
Newport , Oregon
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Everyone's replies are just great. So many decisions to make. I'm a retired teacher and am used to modifying and adjusting performance indicators.

We don't own our home. We owe about half what I think we can get in the current market minus the fees etc.

Our son and his wife are currently living with us after he was downsized and she also lost her job. They are both semi employed in minimum wage part time jobs. So we have a caretaker, but they can't afford to pay rent.

We probably ought to take advantage of the free house sitters. My wife and I both receive SS, and I have two pensions, one from teaching, and the other a VA disability, so we can afford to travel extensively and still pay then upkeep and mortgage of the home.

When and if I do rent the home, I'll definitely look into a property management firm, and look into the tax ramifications as well.

Thanks so much for all the great advice. It's nice to hear from those who have been there and done that so to speak.
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