This past February, my husband, Robert, and I flew down to Portland from Anchorage, rented a small SUV and had a road trip to see sights and family for a couple of weeks. We drove down through Oregon, stopping in Klamath Falls, then across the top of Nevada into Elko. While there, we had a nice coffee visit with our friend Steve, whom Robert had previously worked with at Aerometric. Aerometric was an aerial surveying and mapping company where Robert was Director of Missions Operations and Steven was Chief Pilot. Long story short, after the company was acquired by an investment firm, safety was no longer a priority and sensible people felt it prudent to remove themselves therewith. Posthaste. Anyway, we had a nice visit, somewhat nice coffee, and were on our way to Colorado to visit our kids and grandbabies. Afterwards, we made our way down to Texas to visit with Robert’s family and had a wonderful time until it was time to go home, so we headed back to Portland for our flight to Alaska.
Northern Nevada is surprisingly beautiful!
Now, we had been living off of the 401k money, which was being stretched by my income as well as Robert going through and auctioning on Ebay, his massive collection of junk. (Settle down, Robert. When I call your precious belongings “junk”, it’s only in the most respectful and endearing manner. No, really! Okay, junque is better.) Somewhere in the wilds of Utah, Robert suddenly turns to me and says, “You know, Ebay doesn’t care where you send an item from, just as long as the person who won the item receives it in the allotted time frame.” I’m like, okay. That makes sense. Why would Ebay care where it came from, as long as it got there? Then he says something to the effect of, “We could go around the country and buy “junk” and resell it to make a living while driving around having a good time!” That’s what I heard, at any rate. And I’m all for it! What could be better than being on an epic road trip, looking at cool old stuff and getting PAID!?! So, while in Portland, we stop in at Powell’s Books, which is the best and biggest used bookstore ANYWHERE….and I find some research material about RVing and living in your RV full time (called fulltiming). Research then commences, including websites, youtube videos, facebook groups, blogs, vlogs, magazine articles, etc. Fun stuff!
When we feel we have steeped ourselves in enough knowledge to do so, we start looking into buying an RV, or rig, as they’re sometimes referred to. We have a friend who had recently driven from Anchorage to Montana in an older Dodge Travco motorhome, a real retro beauty. He moved down to work at his family’s car dealership and has a viable set up we could acquire rather economically. It’s an older Class C, the kind that looks like a van with the overhanging loft. Plus, it would come with a cargo trailer for our stuff. We seriously consider checking it out for some weeks. But THEN! Our friend Steve…remember him?….he mentions to Robert one day that he has just what we’re looking for, and he wants to give us a good deal since he’s selling his place in Anchorage. Heck ya! We drive over to his house to check it out, but we can’t get into it since he’s still in Nevada. We’ll have to wait a while until he can get back into town for him to show it to us, but it does, indeed, look like what we’re wanting! A 28 foot bumper-pull toy hauler travel trailer and 2002 diesel Ford Excursion. The diesel is a huge plus to Robert, as well as the spacious garage for storing junque in the back of the trailer, and I’m excited by the thought of having a toilet available at any stop. We wave at Steve’s security camera and give him thumbs ups as we get back into our car for the ride back over to our house, and a slightly middle aged couple gets as enthusiastic as teenagers with life plans and adventures forthcoming.
It’s some time until we get to see the inside and by then we’ve decided that this is the very thing we need to make our antiquing dreams come true. We’ve withdrawn almost the very last gasp of savings and kept it separate from everyday living expenses and we’re ready for a walk through of the trailer and test drive of the truck. Things seem to be pretty well taken care of, as Robert knows from working with Steve that he’s a stickler for operational readiness. Actually, what Robert says is that Steve is slightly anal retentive, but no judging here! It’s preferential to buy such things from that kind. The guys go over maintenance issues while I and Steve’s wife go over trailer creature comforts like the mattress and galley storage. I’m not impressed by the stock decor or how impersonal the interior looks, but it’s certainly functional which is the main focus. Money changes hands, we get a lesson in hitching up, and Robert drives the rig to our house while I follow and maintain contact via cell phone. No issues or mishaps later, we back the trailer into our driveway and unhitch it. And that’s when the real work started!