Thursday, December 16, 2010

Back to Wauchula – Special Anniversary – Christmas Decorations

(Wauchula, FL) – The last early morning getting up at 8:00am. We’ve been at Lazy Days RV since Monday getting some warranty work done.  They let us stay in our home while parked in the service bay, but we have to be up and out each day by 8am.  It’s been nice, but it's time to go.  We had breakfast (free) in their cafe, and by the time we were done they'd moved our rig around to the front of the dealer.  The temperatures were climbing nicely and we had a great trip back to our site at Little Charlie Creek RV Park in Wauchula.  I have to say it was a good experience for us at Lazy Days.  Aside from taking longer than we expected, we were treated very well.  Everyone there is very friendly.  It's the biggest RV dealer in the country.  Our service consultant said they have anywhere from 75 to 120 sales people on staff, depending on the season.  The whole complex is huge, but we got to know our way around over the three full days we were there.  People we talk to who have been there either love the place or hate it.  We have nothing but good to say about them.

We got back to the park about 11:00.  Jim set up the outside and I did the inside.  He was working on the satellite dish while I started the Christmas decorations.  I strung lights on some of the windows and decorated our little 2-foot tree.  It was all done in an hour.

From the outside (Click on pictures to make larger).
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The back window from inside.
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These little document clips work very well on the windows. There’s thin edge along the inside of the windows that the clips attach to very easily.
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A few of my beaded ornaments
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While I was at it, I took pictures of our neighbors coach.
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Here’s the clubhouse decorations.
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ONE YEAR AGO, we moved permanently into Tumbleweed.   It’s been a great journey from selling the condo, moving into an apartment, downsizing along the way, then moving our remaining possessions into the RV.  It’s been hard deciding exactly when we classified ourselves as being full timers.  We decided it was December 16, 2009, one year ago today.  We'd been living in the RV for a few days, but that's the day we turned in our apartment key and had no where else to sleep.

Here’s our thoughts at the one year point in our journey:
 
We took our time researching and choosing our RV.  So many people buy a used RV to see what they like and don't like about the floor plan, then get another unit later.  We didn't want to do that.  We did enough research that we were confident about what we wanted.  We love our layout and wouldn't change a thing.

The options we wouldn't do without:
- Dual pane windows.  They add to the insulation r-factor, but their main benefit is noise control.  We very rarely hear anything going on outside when the door and windows are closed.
- Fireplace.  It really adds to the coziness on cold nights.  And it supplements the main furnace.
- Astrofoil insulation.  We're not sure how much it adds to the insulation, but every bit helps when it's cold outside.
- Generator.  We've used it only once, but it sure was nice to have when we needed it.

Biggest learning curves:
- Climate control, especially last winter in Raleigh when we had two months of snow and freezing temps.
- Holding tank management.  The tank gauges are almost useless, so you have to develop "tank sense" to know when they're getting full.
- ALL   THE   DIFFERENT   SYSTEMS!!!  Electrical, plumbing, propane, water pump, refrigerator, water heater, generator, etc., etc., etc.  Systems that you normally don't worry about in a "stix and brix" home, but you have to really keep an eye on in an RV.
 
What I don't like:
- Gas stove
- Noisy water pump
- The refrigerator.  It's hard to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the fridge.  You have to know where to put different foods.  When this fridge wears out we're going to replace it with a residential AC-powered unit.
- Stink bugs.  Yep, we're still seeing them occasionally.


Types of parks we like and don't like:
- We prefer more open parks, fewer trees, paved roads, hard pads.
- We don't care for "woodsy" parks, such as state parks.  We get claustrophobic if we have lots of trees around and on top of us.  It feels too much like "camping."  :)
- We love to be near water.  Our favorite park so far is Pelican's Roost at Mayport Navel Station, near Jacksonville, FL.

We love the social aspects of full timing and meeting many people along the way. We're finding there's very few people that are full time, most can't give up the "stix and brix."  For some reason I was surprised at this.

We love the freedom to be where we want, go where we want, and do what we want.  And most of all NOT HAVING TO GO TO W***K!  We love having a change in scenery, and having our home with us whenever we move.  We were in the midwest most of this past summer, but we’ll expand our horizons quite a bit in the years to come.  I feel we did very well in getting rid of everything we don’t need on the road.  It took us three years to get rid of everything.  Amazing what we think we have to have in life but we really don’t.

I’d like to thank all our friends in the RV-Dreams chatroom for their help these past years.  It’s wonderful to know there’s so many in the RV family out there that will help.  And it's been so great to meet many of you this past year. 

Would we do it again?  Absolutely!  There’s nothing that we would change.

The cold temperatures are gone for now.  It's back to the 60's and 70's for the next week at least.  We're back to our little piece of paradise the way it’s suppose to be in Florida.

12 comments:

Sandra said...

Congratulations again on your one year anniversary!

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

Nice recap of your first year on the road, it's a great encouragment to us soon-to-be full timers.

Glad you had a good experence at Lazy Days, nice to have the peace of mind that your home is 100%. You spent so much time there, you should have been put on their payroll! ;c)

The Gypsy G-Mas said...

Congratulations on your anniversary! It's amazing how quickly time flies by. One year ago today we were still owners of a stix n brix, itching to get through the holidays so that we could put it on the market. It seems a lifetime ago. I've been following you for all of your first year and it sounds like it's been a great one. Here's to many more!!

Gail and Rick said...

Nice post Dee. Your rig looks so festive now. Good idea with those little clips. I used little suction cup hooks right on the windshield and that worked well too.

Congrats on the anniversary and wishing you many, many more.

Kimberly and Jerry Peterson said...

Always nice to look back and see all you have learned. The greatest part of it, is that the learning continues...

Nancy and Bill said...

Congratulations on your FIRST Anniversary!!

We enjoyed reading your post and can't wait to join you among the ranks of the full-timers. You have found your DREAM and we are happy for you both!!

Margie and Roger said...

Wow, where did the time go! Congrats on one year. Good post...summed up a lot of your thoughts. Our thoughts are almost identical to yours. Still hoping to get down that way to see you after the holidays. If you ever head north on I-27 towards Davenport, feel free to stop and visit.

Gin and Syl said...

Congratulations on the anniversary and on the rv work! Very nice informative post. There are many different ways to get to fulltiming. Whatever works. Retirement is big plus in my book!

Syl

Jeff & Barbie said...

Happy 1 Year Anniversary !

Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

We have always laughed that we don't CAMP! When we go motorhoming we are not attracted to the woods or state park experience, unless our kids are out there. Then, Loyce will do almost anything to be with her grandkids. We too seem to be attracted to the hard surface resort with a concrete patio and a nice laundry room. 50 amp king and queens!

Mike and Terri said...

Congratulations on your first year anniversary! Great post for all of us "soon-to-be's." We were so happy to get to spend some time with you this summer and hope our paths will cross again once we get on the road.

John and Carol said...

Congratulations! We have just started our full time journey. We are in Raleigh right now trying to adjust to the winter temps :)

There is a bit of a learning curve with this lifestyle but we are very happy with our decision too. It is comforting to read your words and appreciated your thoughtful one year summaary. Happy Trails!