How does one go about doing something like this? First you have to read a lot, follow a lot of others who are doing it, take their best ideas and lessons they have learned and apply them. We have decided to go at this carefully, as I like to say, in stages. We took a “test” trip in the Fall of 2012 – Atlanta to Las Vegas in a rented 31’ class C motorhome. 2,400 miles in 9 days was way too much driving, but we realized we liked the “lifestyle” and if we could do it ourselves, we would definitely take more time along the way. We knew what we wanted based on our “test” trip, so that made it a lot easier to focus on our needs. Once we found the right coach, we could then do our first trip summer of 2013 for about 3 ½ months to make sure we really like it and want to continue without getting too far away. As much research as you can do, you will only know if you like it once you get out on the road. Then, if we want to continue – I am sure we will – we will take off for 18-24 months around the country.
We/Mike did a ton of looking for the “right” motorhome, with very specific criteria for our new home on 6 wheels. Then came the big decision; not finding anything locally we had to expand our search to the entire country. Now there were a lot of options out there for us to choose from, and we could get a lot more specific on exactly what we wanted in our motorhome. Then on about Dec. 8th, 2012 we found the one we wanted – in Emory, Texas! We immediately contacted the seller, and it was all but a done deal at that point. We set March 1st as our time to fly down and inspect the coach and make an offer. (It is funny to look at the criteria – we hit almost every item we wanted in our find!) The offer was accepted and it was ours!! What had we done? What had Mike done?! Traci had only seen pictures, Mike went alone to inspect and make the offer, so she had to put a lot of faith in his judgment.
Three weeks later Mike and his brother flew to Texas to drive the MoHo home to Seattle. Note: Traci still had not seen the coach in person! The trip took 4 days, some long 12-14 hour driving days, but they made it home in time for Easter. They did it all along the way – stayed at a rest stop (El Paso, TX), stayed at a nice RV park (Indio, CA), and did the only other thing we all laugh at – slept in the parking lot of the WalMart with 12 other campers/RV’s/trailers (Yreka, CA). They arrived home late Saturday afternoon, and Traci got to finally see her new “home” and was happy with the digs!
The next several weeks would be busy. As I stated before, the motorhome we found has almost everything we could need. But there is still the need for us to make it ours – loading it up for our specific needs and wants. The short list of priorities includes: getting the Satellite TV set up (DirecTV is a nightmare!), getting Traci’s car “tow-able,” practice trips to learn how to connect everything (water, sewer, power and the towed car), learning all the nooks and cranny’s that you can use for storage (we actually removed the basement storage trays to allow for more room – huge difference!), what items do we really need to take, and what can we do without and how many clothing items can we get away with not taking – still have not finished that part. The one thing we have to realize is this – a hard one for Traci – we will surely forget or need something we did not plan on taking, but it will not be the end of the world, we will just make due with what we have or pick it up along the way – more of an adventure, right?
We are two weeks out right now from our first trip departure. I, Mike, can’t wait! We have to still get some of our kitchen items on board, go through our clothes, and probably fine tune on all the little things Mike has been hoarding in case he needed it. But with that said, the planning and prep stage has gone smoothly to this point and soon we will be out on the road for our first trip around the Northwest – Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Alberta, BC, and back to Washington – home just in time for the re-opening of Husky stadium!! GO DAWGS!
We will be following you guys and know you will love it.
Bill and I are happy you are doing this and know you will love it. We are also trying to reach Bill and so far his answering machine just says he is not home. If you know where he is and talk to him, please ask him to call DD…253-854-1032, we are eager to see him.
I like your blog and will follow along with you both..have the time of your lives!