It was the week after our Camping World excursion with my siblings.
John and I were newbies to the RV world- and totally inundated and overwhelmed with information.
Kinda like drinking from a fire hose.
There was SO much information to swallow! We read blogs, devoured RV manufacturer information, combed through national camping organizations, scoured catalogs, and signed up for RV Facebook groups.
We said things like this:
Oh, crap. Are we really going to launch into this lifestyle?
Then we’d say…
Oh, crap. I’m so excited! How are we going to survive the wait till we can live this RV dream?
John and I found ourselves waking at 2 a.m. to stick post-it reminders on our computer screens. You know, important stuff like:
- Check to see if my hair color will stain the shower.
- Decide what food to make for our bon-voyage party.
- Where will the dog kennel fit?
- Buy those cute unbreakable dishes at Pier One.
- Find out what a Domicile is.
So now we were overloaded with information AND sleep deprived.
Even though we had absolutely no experience RVing, we felt cocky.
This will be a breeze, we thought out loud. We were SO SMART!
But then, reality snuck into our conversations. Um…how were we going to afford to do this RV thing?
Mischief in the Madness
Each year we met with Ken Wundrow, our financial advisor and tax planner.
Since 2005 Ken had been spearheading a successful financial strategy for me, and that continued after John and I were married in 2010.
Ken is not just our trusted advisor- he’s a friend, and fun to play jokes on.
For instance: Joke #1: In 2010 I met with Ken and announced I was getting married in May of 2010.
“Whaaat?” Ken exclaimed.
Ken had me pegged as a lifetime single woman. I casually mentioned to Ken that my fiance’s name was John and he’d be meeting him next month.
The day of our meeting we just about gave Ken a heart attack. John Emmerich had been a former client of Ken’s from years back!
One more time!
Joke #2. In 2015 we were ready to spring another whopper on Ken.
We walked into Ken’s office holding three spreadsheet scenarios for when we could launch our RV lifestyle. We carefully laid them out in front of him to see what he’d say.
- Sheet #1 contained our plan to full-time RV in 10 years.
- Sheet #2 contained a plan for 5 years out.
- Sheet #3 contained a plan for 12 months out.
His turn to shock us
Ken meticulously studied the three excel spreadsheets. We sat nervously across from him. His fingers were punching the calculator rapidly.
After 15 minutes he said, “You can do any one of these scenarios, but shoot if I were you, I’d do it right now.”
Did we hear him correctly?!
We freaked out with happiness, thanking him profusely. We flew out of his office to continue our mad plans.
Paralysis in the basement
Now, back home, John and I were tasked with sorting through all our belongings and making decisions about what we would take along in our RV.
- The good news? We were not pack rats.
- The bad news? I suffered from paralysis of the analysis.
There on the couch sat our first blue bin that we were to sort through. It was our camping bin.
John held up some wooden spoons to ‘vote’ on.
Um…. I simply couldn’t decide how many to keep in that blue bin. This was going to take hours, no, correction, weeks! It frightened me how frozen this simple task made me.
Eventually, (thanks to John’s ability to throw stuff in trash cans) we managed to fill up our spare bedroom with the basic items that we knew we would want in the RV.
Estate Sale to the Rescue
To avoid my paralysis of the analysis, we decided to have an estate sale. We interviewed three estate sales companies and decided on Christ Bennett of Bennett & Roelofs Estate Service LLC in Sun Prairie, WI.
Chris’ 11-year-old daughter wanted our turtle, Mr. 11, and so we hired him. I know, not a logical way to choose a company…but hey, it shows you where my mindset was. (BTW, I will be posting a funny blog later on about the number “11”). The sale was scheduled for June 19th, 2015.
It felt fantastic and freeing to have someone else in charge of this huge process.
The Final Plunge
By June of 2015:
- We had sold everything we owned.
- Had a bon-voyage party with over 100 of our dear friends and family.
- Celebrated John’s last day of work.
- Closed on our home.
- Driven a U-Haul 350 miles to Elkhart, Indiana to pick up our new RV!
The checkbook jammed in my back pocket
Remember my story of brother Paul’s checkbook sticking out of his back pocket?
Well, now the laugh was on us.
We were the ones walking into our RV closing signing a check to finalize the purchase of our new RV. But…our honeymoon phase didn’t last long. Check it out here.
Girlfriends, have you been where I was?
Tell me your story! I’d love to hear it. I hope you can learn from our mistakes and blunders.
Oh, and I’d love to have you sign up for my silly little blog. I promise to keep you entertained and maybe edumacated!
Love from your Unlikely RVer,