On June 15th, we decided to make a drastic change in how we lived. My wife and I, along with our three children, ages 12, 11, and 8, would become homeless. No, we weren’t going to live on the streets constantly exposed to the elements.
Instead, we made the conscious choice to buy a 23-foot 1985 Ford Jamboree (yes, it sleeps the five of us comfortably) in which we live, work, and travel. In fact, we purchased the RV on June 18th. Here she is at Torrey Pines State Beach:
Immediately we notified our property manager that we would be vacating the premises by midnight on July 31st and commenced two enormous tasks:
- Although the RV only had a little more than 64,000 miles on it, it had been driven fewer than 4,000 miles during the prior nine years. Additionally, the RV coach itself still had all of its original appliances and features, both interior and exterior. We had a brief window of time in which to find the specialists we needed to diagnose and correct any deficiencies in our new rig. In total, there were four separate contractors we hired to perform the needed work. Jerry at Quality RV in El Cajon, CA serviced our Onan Emerald I Generator and Manny at Precision Tune Auto Care also in El Cajon diagnosed and repaired anything pertaining to the engine. Tommy and Luis at Tommy’s Custom Coach Works fixed and updated a slew of items including the installation of a new Norcold Gas Absorption 3-way Refrigerator, interior and exterior LED lights, a new water pump, new propane fuel lines, and a new central control unit. It’s the brains of the RV itself. Finally, they installed three 100-watt Renogy solar panels on the RV’s roof allowing us to be off the grid more often, and more importantly, not having to pay to stay at an RV site. In addition to the new solar panels, the best decision we made was to have the old awning replaced with a new Dometic Power Patio Awning. Don at RV Tech did a fantastic job of helping us extend our living space with a push of a button.
- Yet the most challenging part of this process was downsizing, radically downsizing. Initially, we were going to sell most of our worldly possessions and secure a storage unit for what remained. But after discussing it further, we could not find much wisdom in paying for storage. That being said, EveElise’s best friend offered to store a carload of sentimental items for us. Nonetheless, from the time we bought the RV, every day we began to sell our personal items on platforms like Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Offer-up, and Autotrader (yes, we’re selling our cars too)! We held four days of moving sales in July, and we have made multiple trips to Goodwill Thrift Stores. Even so, on August 1st, although all our possessions had been removed from the house, we still had a pile of stuff on the property itself.
Now, just over two months after we began this transition, all that remains for us to shed is one of our cars and a bin of school supplies. We are not overly materialistic people, but it amazed even us as to how much stuff we had compiled, and most of it doesn’t even get used much. But we’ll have more to say on that topic later.
As we sit here on the beach, it’s too early to know if all the work and stress has been worth it, although, to be perfectly honest, it’s been really nice not having to pay a mortgage or rent the past few weeks. Unfortunately, saying goodbye to neighbors that we had become close to over the past 16 months was no fun. We very much had begun to form a tight knit community on our street.
… and so, as our next big adventure begins, we invite you to follow us on Instagram @honey_thehive