My First Camper Purchase!

I found my first camper through a group of women who are into vintage camper “glamping”.  This is what I could afford for now.  It’s been redone inside, so everything is fresh.  It’s small inside like a tent, but with a bed off the ground and a lock on the door.  It weighs less than 1,000 pounds because it currently has no appliances or a bathroom inside.  I have a hot plate to use, and a Coleman Stove to cook outside.  For Christmas I gave a list of things I needed to my daughter, and she bought several of the things on my list, so at least I have the basics.  I still have a lot to learn about camping, and I’m not even sure I’ll like it on my own, but I’m going to try.  I’ve never towed a vehicle in my life.  The trailer needs some work, but I can use it the way it is.  At least I will know I did it on my own.

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Front kitchen Before

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Lower kitchen cabinet

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Back Gaucho bed “Before” with two little flip down tables barely visible.

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Gaucho bed with full table

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Mine’s on the right

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It’s Hard Not To Acquire Things!

Thoughts From A Happy Place

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I just stopped myself from ordering a beautiful washable suede coat from The Shopping Channel here in Canada. It’s a gorgeous blazer style, with princess seams, turn-key closures, a multi-colored paisley satin lining, and comes in 5 gorgeous colors: black, emerald, sapphire, caramel, and ruby red. I could have worn it for fall as an outerwear jacket, and in the winter as a blazer under my heavy coat. It would have gone with everything I own. I have all kinds of accessories that I could have worn with it. You see my problem?

I already have a nice 3/4 length fall trench coat in a camel color that I bought last year. I also have a full length trench coat that I bought at the same time, in a camel shade that has a removable lining, and is very warm.

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Yes, it’s not a blazer, but it’s still a multi-function…

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I’ve Started Organizing My Tasks

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I started today with organizing all of my jobs that need to be done. I’m using my Outlook Calendar and booking one thing per day, which has helped me to organize my thoughts and get out of the jumbled mindset I was in. I’m working on an 8 week plan, to have the majority of my extra stuff gone.

Today I took pictures of a big armchair that I have, and listed it on Kijiji. It’s a light red microfiber fabric, and has big rolled arms on it. I have to let it go, even though it’s super comfortable chair to curl up in. I just can’t keep everything, but it does make me sad to sell it.

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I’ve scheduled days to clean out my bathroom cupboards, dresser drawers, bookshelves, night stands, kitchen cupboards, armoires, junk drawers, filing cabinet, desk top, fridge, and drawer under the stove. I’ve also planned days for taking things to Goodwill, and the ladies consignment store to sell some clothing, shoes and handbags.

I’ve also scheduled about a weeks worth of days to photograph and list my jewelry, which I’ll sell on Ebay. I’m a collector of vintage pieces, so I’m hoping to be able to make some good money on them. Now is a good time to list, because the Christmas buying season starts after Labor Day, and ends around the 2nd week of December, which should fit in nicely to my 8 week plan

Organizing And Decluttering Is Stressing Me Out

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Because of my decision to start working toward being a full-time RV’r, I’m going to be selling some of my furniture, and giving things to my daughter in an effort to start downsizing. I hate the thought of having to get rid of my things. I had to give away half of my things already, when I moved into my condo from a house. That was hard enough. What if I regret giving away, or selling the things that I might really need? Where will I store the things I want to keep? If my daughter takes my bookshelves, where will I put all the stuff that on them?

I know I can’t take the furniture with me when I start RV’ing, but I’m not sure how long it will be until I can actually sell my place and buy a motorhome. I need to still be comfortable in my home while I work out the details and organize everything I need to do, before I can commit to becoming a full-timer.

The doubts are keeping me awake at night, and causing me to stress about whether I’m doing the right thing. I know they’re only things, and I’ll enjoy the free space once their gone, but it’s hard to decide what to let go of and what to keep. I also know that getting rid of all the clutter will make me feel good. It’s actually a relief to me when I’m able to get things out of my space. It feels freeing.

I think I’ll use my Outlook calendar, and start planning one task to do each day. That way I can feel I’ve accomplished something every day, which means it was a successful one! That’s good for my morale. It’s almost overwhelming to know where to begin, and I’m sure once I start actually organizing my tasks, it will get easier. I think I’ll make it an 8 week plan, which is a realistic timeline for me. Wish me luck!

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Another Plan Bites The Dust

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I sent an email yesterday to the person who had all of the camping gear for sale at $450. I got a response this morning, and it’s sold!!! I’m so disappointed, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. The Universe must have a different plan for me. Hopefully I’ll find another way of getting together what I need to camp.

There’s a really nice motor home for sale that I’ve been watching. It’s a 1983 C Class Motor Home – 19 foot – GMC Engine & Driveline -150,372 miles – 3 way Fridge — 3 Burner Stove — Water Pressure & Waste Holding System – priced at $1,700. It looks to be in excellent condition inside and out. The exterior paint looks original, and it appears that it’s been stored indoors. I can’t make an offer on it until I get some money together, so I’ll probably see it sold before I am ready to buy. It’s so frustrating, but like I said, sometimes the Universe has other plans for us.

I called my daughter about coming to take any furniture that I want gone. She wants my teak bookcase, and some other things like Christmas decorations. She’ll probably take the pair of topiaries that I have, that have just been sitting on my balcony for 5 years. I’m going to start listing my things on Kijiji and see what I can sell. It’s going to be good to get rid of all the extra knick-knacks, pillows, ottoman cubes, silverware, dishes, bookcases, shelving units, books, DVD’s, crystal, and the list goes on. It’s amazing what we accumulate over a lifetime, and how hard it can be to get rid of things.

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Haircuts Anyone?

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I’m going to start getting rid of my stuff in preparating for becoming a full-time RV’r. All the years of furniture, clothing, accessories, dishes, etc., that I rarely if ever use will have to go.

I’ve decided to start cutting hair as a way to make extra money at home. I can buy a used salon chair for about $150, and a nice big mirror used, for a decent price. I have a 2nd bedroom that I can set up as my ‘salon’. I already have all of the styling things like curling iron, flat irons, rollers, clips, etc. The only thing I can think I’d need to buy would be proper lighting, a cape, and neck coverings.

I am completely self taught, and have cut hair for years, but haven’t pursued it for at least 10. I’ve ordered a “Haircutting for Dummies” book, and another book on hairstyling and cutting techniques. Not that I think I need them particularly, but it’s always good to brush up on the latest styling trends.

If I do one basic cut a day for $10, that would be an extra $300 a month, which would more than cover my park fees if I decide to spend the summer at the lake from May to October. I’ve offered someone $350 for all their camping gear that’s listed on Kijiji for $450. I’m hoping that being the end of the month, they might be a little more willing to negotiate on the price, although even at $450 it’s a great deal. That would start me out next spring with at least the basics. The listing has a lot of extras: two 6 man tents, a dining tent with rain flaps, Coleman propane stove, lantern, Coleman grill, pots and pans, enamel dining set, double air mattress, rechargeable air pump, an axe, Coleman flashlight, 2 water air mattresses, 1 tarp, tent pegs, rope, extra poles, BBQ utensils, plastic water holder, 4 propane cylinders, cups, cooking utensils & more! I’ve been pricing camping gear, and everything is SO expensive if you buy it new, so getting everything in one go at a great price would really be helpful.

Going Crazy – Back and Forth

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I just responded to a post on a blog that I follow called Starstuff: An Unexpected Journey. I thought that my response to her post would be a good blog for the day. She is struggling with the decision to chuck it all in and go on the road, just like I am. We’re both trying to break out of the traditional mindset, and let ourselves be free of the things that tie us down. This was my response to her comments.

>>>>> One minute I’m so excited about selling up and buying an RV, but the next minute I’m thinking about all the reasons why I shouldn’t sell. I worry about not having a sticks’n bricks home when I’m elderly. What will I have to come back to if something goes wrong? What if my pension doesn’t cover my expenses if I have a mechanical breakdown? If I get sick, who will be there for me?

I can’t afford to put my furniture in storage while I “try this out”, so I have to sell everything in order to make the move to an RV lifestyle. I still feel connected to so many things that I own. When I moved to a condo apt from the house that I had, I had to downsize SO much, and ended up giving away a lot of things just to get rid of them. I knew I only had 800 sq. ft. of space, so I couldn’t take half of what I owned.

I had to deal with boxes of Christmas decorations of which there were MANY, my daughters bear collection (which I had been saving for years, but she didn’t even want), my favourite loveseat and chair, my moms dining room set, MY dining room table and chairs (which is in my sister’s basement), awards, certificates, framed pictures, kids toys, a guest bed that I wouldn’t have room for, my good china (which my daughter took), DVD’s, all my extra dishes, silverware, pots and pans that I wouldn’t have room for, baskets, extra linens and pillows, gardening supplies, Tupperware, it was a nightmare! I ended up giving hundreds of dollars worth of stuff to the guy that plowed my driveway, just so he would clear out my garage and basement of what was left. It was so sad for me seeing all of those things I had accumulated over the years, going down the drain. I’m feeling that way about selling my condo, and knowing that I’ll have to let go of basically everything I own. It can be paralyzing, and it stops me in my tracks at times.

Please keep blogging about your experiences. Hopefully we can make this change together. One good thing I thought about yesterday…. I can cut hair while I’m on the road! I could make some extra money at boondocking sites, because I’m sure if there are people around, a lot of them could probably use a trim or a haircut. I’m not sure how if would work in a campground, but when boondocking I think it would be fine. So maybe my brain seems to be accepting the change I want to make, and giving me ideas for how I can do it! >>>>>>

So that’s my mindset right now. I’m feeling conflicted about committing myself to giving up my traditional lifestyle, and trying something completely out of my comfort zone. I’ve always loved small spaces, so I wouldn’t have a problem living in an RV, but it’s the squeezing through the uncomfortable stuff that keeps me stuck. I know that people won’t approve, especially my daughter. Her husband will probably thing I’m nuts. I don’t want to be the crazy mother-in-law!

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I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award!

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My friend K, at pibbsdreamquest has nominated me for a Liebster Award! The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers.

I have to answer 10 questions put to me by K, and nominate 5 other bloggers that I follow, create 10 questions that I would like my nominees to answer, and then notify them on their blogs.

K’s questions are as follows:

1.If you ever wrote a novel–what genre would it be and what would the name of your main character be?

I’d write about a police woman, so that would make it crime/fiction? The name of my main character would be Katherine Holcroft.

2.If you ever wrote a Non-Fiction book–what subject would it be about?

True Crime. I’d love to write about Col. Russell Williams, who is a convicted serial rapist and double murderer, and who was the base commander at the largest Air Force Base in Canada when he committed his crimes.

3.Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever seen one?

I do believe in ghosts or spirits, and yes I have seen one. I woke up one night and there was this little old man standing at the end of my bed, with a peaked cap on. I said “who are you?”, but of course got no reply. It took a good 60 seconds before he faded away, and I never saw him again, but it really scared me half to death!

4.What is your favorite season? List your five favorite things about that season.

Spring: Tulips; everything starts turning green again after a long cold winter; the tree buds are blooming and will soon sprout leaves; you know you’re in for at least 6 months of nice weather ahead; and camping season starts!!

5.If you had one minute to talk to your 17 year old self, what would you say?

Have a lot more fun! You’re not fat, you’re gorgeous!, you’re smart, and you should definitely go for that law degree. Also, start investing now into RRSP’s. The earlier you start, the more the money will compound annually.

6.What song would you choose as your theme song?

“I’m Still Standing” by Elton John

7.If you could witness one event in history, what would it be and why?

The D-Day Invasion – For whatever reason I’ve always felt a connection to WWII, since I was a child. I used to love watching “Combat” with my brothers and dad when I was about 5 or 6. I’ve always loved war movies; they are my constant go-to picks when I’m looking for something to watch. The D-Day Invasion was SO big, and SO devastating, and involved so many countries all acting in concert with one another, that it must have been an overwhelming site to see all of those ships and landing craft, soldiers emptying onto the beaches at Normandy, paratroopers running lost all over France (but ultimately confusing the enemy). I am fascinated by people’s ability to face fear like that, and still do their jobs.

8.Who has been the biggest creative influence in your life?

Patricia Cornwell (Author). Her writing style is very similar to mine, and I enjoy her books immensely.

9.What is your Dream Quest?

To be able to travel as much as I want to, when I want to, and have the money to do it!

10.Have you started it yet?

Yes. I’m building up from nothing, budgeting to hopefully start tent camping, then trailer camping when I have a little more in the budget, and eventually RV/Motorhome travel. I can’t wait to meet all of those free spirited women who are already living the dream.

I’ll have to get back to this later, but wanted to share my excitement with my friends!

I’m Beyond Frustrated!

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I took a week or so off from my search for the perfect camper. To say I’m beyond frustrated would be an understatement.

My first plan was to buy a used travel trailer, park it on a lake north of where I live, and spend the summers there. Little did I know that many parks have age limits on trailers that they let into their spots. I was looking at a beautiful 1982 32′ Terry travel trailer, and the park owner said it was “pretty old”, but as long as it was in good shape it would probably be OK. The park fees are $2,500 payable in advance, so with the cost of buying the trailer, plus the park fees, I couldn’t afford it at this point. The trailer sold before I could even get the money together, so it was on to Plan B.

To save money and get my feet wet, I spent a lot of time researching tent/SUV camping, with the thought of sleeping in the back of my Toyota Highlander and having a tent to put my gear in. I wanted to attend a boondock gathering in Quartzite, AZ in January, but I let some people talk me out of that option, and didn’t have the money to outfit myself with all the things I’d need within 5 months anyway. Everything is so expensive when you buy it new. I’d also need a portable solar power source, which would cost me about $450 and I can’t afford it right now, so I’m stuck.

My daughter was concerned about me traveling alone, so far from home. It’s 2,400 miles one way to Quartzite. She said that she knows how much I need a comfortable bed (I have fibromyalgia and sleep apnea), and she’s worried about my health. What if I have an emergency of some sort? I told her I have CAA/AAA in case of a vehicle emergency, and out-of-country medical insurance for $5 million. I do understand her concerns thought, as she’s seen me through a lot of health issues over the years. I DO need a comfortable bed, but I thought I could be pretty comfortable with an inflatable mattress and foam pad in the back of my SUV. I have to admit that driving that far on my own for the first time, would be an exhilarating experience, half fear, and half excitement. Fear of the unknown, and excitement at being able to travel inexpensively and see parts of the U.S. and Canada that I’ve never seen before.

My next thought was to sell my condo and my Highlander, and buy a used RV. I’d park it here in the summers, and travel through the U.S. south and west during the winter months. That would be a HUGE decision, so I’ve decided to give it a lot of thought. My Toyota has been so reliable, comfortable and cost efficient, that I’m extremely reluctant to sell it, especially for an old RV that may or may not need repairs.

The tent camping with my Highlander would be the ideal, and least expensive way for me to travel, but I’m afraid of the lack of security. At least with a camper, you can close and lock your door, but with the SUV that may not be an option in the warmer climates. I’d buy a tent that attaches to the back of the car with an extra screened in room. That way I could still sleep in the back of my car, but have the extra room of the tent which would allow me to keep the back hatch open. They cost about $400, but if I could boondock it would be a very inexpensive way to travel.

There’s someone in Toronto who has nearly everything needed for camping, for sale at $450.
1 – 6 man tent (3.6 x 2.4m)
1 – 6 man Coleman tent (3.6 x 2.4m)
1 – Screened dining room tent (with rain flaps)
1 – 2 burner Coleman stove (propane)
1 – Coleman lantern (propane)
1 – Coleman grill (propane)
1 – Coleman cooler (with 2 ice packs)
1 – Coleman cooking set (Frying pan, pots and lids)
1 – Coleman enamel dining kit (plates, bowls, mugs, cutlery)
1 – Woods double sized air mattress / bed (with built-in pump)
1 – Woods rechargeable air pump (plugs in auto lighter or electrical outlet)
2 – Folding lawn chairs
Other accessories:
1 – Axe, 1 – Coleman flashlight, 2 – water air mattresses, 1 – tarp, tent pegs, rope, extra poles, BBQ utensils, plastic water holder, 4 propane cylinders, cups, cooking utensils & more.

This lot would certainly outfit me almost completely, but the tents wouldn’t be the type that attach to the SUV. I know that even without the 2 tents, it would still be a great buy. I’ve priced out a lot of the things listed, and it would easily cost me double or more, what this person is asking for all their gear. I’d have to wait until next week when I get paid, to see if it’s still available. I’m also going to find out how much it is to camp in my favourite trailer park, with a tent. Maybe I can try starting out in a campground here, and still have all of September and the first part of October to fiddle with things and get used to what I need, and what I want.