Wanting Something is Easy

Charlotte and Gavilinda 2014
“Everything is easier said than done. Wanting something is easy. Saying something is easy. The challenge and the reward are in the doing.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience 

I'll be eligible for my full Social Security benefits at 661/2.  My three-year-plan is slowly coming into focus. If I can keep my job for the next three years, I'll be good.

A loose outline of my three-year-plan is:

  1. Elegantly unwind a 30 year marriage. Sell, donate or give away about 90 percent of the stuff we have accumulated. Be ready, if necessary, to easily sell my house in a 30 day window.
  2. Build a luxury, long-distance camper to my personal specifications.
  3. Maintain my job and health.
  4. All other things necessary to retire in April 2024.

For the last 20 years or so Charlotte cared for her horses. The last one, the one she loved the most, Gavilinda, had to be put down February 25, 2020.  If we wanted to go on a vacation or even a weekend getaway for a few days we'd have to find someone to look after those big, dumb animals. It was almost impossible to find someone who was trustworthy and who could come out to our remote farm location twice a day to water, feed and muck stalls. So, in 20 years we almost never went on a vacation together. For 20 years we never left the house together for more then a day on maybe 3 or 4 occasions. 

So, after being cooped up here for so long, the first thing I'd like to do after I retire is travel. I'd like to see all my friends I've made over the years scattered all over the U.S. Many of them have come to visit me, some multiple times, so I owe everyone a visit. I'd like to explore all the natural beauty of our country. As I've seen from my friend's many Facebook posts, the national parks are lovely. As an automobile race fan, there are so many races and tracks I'd like to visit. I'm looking at you Road America.  I'm tired of watching the Indy 500 on TV.  And I need to see my family, who I love dearly. What I need is an RV.

Some of you may have read about my previous project. Why don't I just use the travel trailer I built out of a cargo trailer?  It was designed for 2 people so it's too big. I feel uncomfortable towing it. I just don't like it. Fills me with stress to have that thing behind me. It's OK for short trips but I wouldn't take it on an extended trip. Certainly not from Florida to any western states.

Since Charlotte is gone now, one big part of my three-year-plan is to scale down my life. Get rid of all the clutter. I'm selling, throwing away or giving away so many things now. I'm also getting rid of my camper trailer.

At first I thought I'd like a camper van. I looked at some that are already built out. They're called Class B RVs. Talk about clutter! They cram everything and the kitchen sink into such a tiny area. Then, I thought I might build my own camper van. A great idea because I could build to my own specifications. Make it custom with just the amenities I want. This year I camped at Sebring in my trailer and I realized I really like the room to stand up and move around. I would like a little more room than what you find in a regular van. I did consider those wheelchair vans with the extended roofs and even a box truck. 

I looked at the next size up. Class C RVs. Most of those are 28-31 feet long. Way too big for just one person. Unless you buy new and special order, you have to take the design, appliances, amenities and other details they come with. I even looked at a few Class A motorhomes.  Way too big with complicated infrastructure that would be a nightmare to maintain.  A lot of people bought RVs and took to the highway during the pandemic so there is a bit of an RV shortage now. I'm just not impressed with the build quality. For me the poor workmanship of many RVs is a deal breaker.

I have a pretty specific idea of what I want and nothing off the shelf will be a good fit. I have the skills and desire to make my own RV.  I'm doing it. This is probably the last major construction project I'll ever do.

NEXT POST: Coming soon - Two Fatal Errors