Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It is “Official”, I think!

We got the “paperwork” from GA. Power for our workamping position.  Judy and I will be one of the two host/gate attendants at Blanton Creek Park for the summer season (Mar. to Labor Day.).  It is a contract position. That means we do not work directly for GA. Power, we are independent contractors. This is probably to lessen their liabilities.  We got the stack of  required paperwork (emailed) yesterday and it is due back to them next Monday. So we have been busy getting it completed. The requirements include a background check, drug test, and we have to have a separate umbrella insurance policy.

This will be our first experience as “workampers”. It is a paid position so it will help with some of our expenses.  If you are familiar with the Army Corp of Engineer parks this position is very similar.  Judy and I will rotate with the other couple, one week on – one week off. On the week we are off we will be able to go back home and enjoy Lake Sinclair and keep up the yard work while we try to sell it.

Blanton Creek Park
Blanton Creek Park is located on the east side of Lake Harding (Georgia side) in Harris County. This is a full service campground which provides lake-side camping with sites featuring water hook-ups and electricity, as well as primitive tent sites. Additionally, the park has accommodations for day-use activities including a boat ramp, picnic tables, picnic pavilions, playground, restrooms, and parking. There are 51 sites not counting the “primitive” sites.  The park is close to Pine Mountain, Warm Springs (FDR’s “The Little White House”). Here is a link to Woodall's Review. "Click"

Thanks for stopping by.  The next scheduled post will be Fri.

Friday, January 27, 2012

What is the best RV to live in for extended periods of time?

Thit is another easy question that is asked often. It is an easy question because you can find RVers using them all. Each RVer has to determine which type will meet their needs the best. So the answer to the question is which ever one is chosen.  Of course the price points go from relatively inexpensive to very expensive (even within class). In today’s entry I am going to discuss the three main classes/ types of RVs that are used for extended living (full-timing).

Class A/ Class A diesel pusher

When you hear “motor home” one usually thinks or pictures a Class A rv. Many people up to this point probably didn’t realize it was a “Class A”. These have everything you need to live and they are drivable.  Nothing like saying “honey, would you mind making me a sandwich”, while you are still driving!  Many women like them because you don’t have to stop to go to the restroom! Class A’s come in two versions, gas or diesel. Prices start at about $85K to $400K new. The version that the celebrities have costs much more.   These are better suited for moving often and not sitting in one place for a few months. There are other Pros and Cons to consider.

Fifth Wheel

Fifth Wheel RV’s are the most widely used units by “full-time” RVers.  They require a truck to pull them as they are not motorized.  Like the class A’s they have everything you need to live.  The fiver as the fifth wheel is often called has more available floor plans.  Even though our original plan was to have a "Class A" motor home in the end we decided to go with the fifth wheel. We decided we wanted to have two separate assets instead of just one. One never knows how long this phase will last and we think we could sell a truck and the FW easier than the “Class A” if we had to. The money outlay was less than half of the motor homes we were considering.  There were other pros and cons that we looked at.   This was the best choice for us.  I am not going to discuss travel trailer (TT) separately because they are similar to the FW. You can take a look at the fifth wheel we chose by clicking the LINK ( Cardinal Fifth Wheel) on the right side of the blog.

Class C

The “Class C “RV’s are the smallest of the three. Although the “Super Class C” is pretty impressive.  The “Class C” is the mini version of the “Class A”. These are usually used for shorter stays. Although many folks do use them as full-time units.  They are less complicated and easier to drive than the larger “Class A’s”.

So there it is, a RV primer lesson.  A good place to learn more about the units is a WWW.rv.net.  I have learned a lot by reading the forums. Until next time, have a great weekend.

Next blog: Tue.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How do you get all that stuff into the RV?

The short answer is you don’t!  This is an issue that is faced by almost everyone that becomes a “full-timer”. In fact the inability to “get rid of or part with stuff” is a main cause some people don’t try the RV lifestyle.  They can’t cope with not having a stix and brix home or getting rid of stuff that many haven’t looked at in 20 yrs! Most RV’s have about 400sqft of living space and not nearly enough storage space. So to make the transition to living in a RV successfully one has to be able to downsize. You get the idea.
                                      Judy's stuff before

There are many ways to overcome the “what do I do with my stuff” issue.  One solution is to put it in a storage unit. Some people sell or give the stuff away.  Often siblings or other family members get the chance to come through and pick out what they want.  Judy and I recently went through our main clothes closet and did our first culling out.  We are going to take it to Goodwill.  I thought only Imelda Marcos had so many shoes. I am posting some pics to give you a visual of the process. 
                                     Judy's stuff after 

                                         Jim's stuff before

                                             On the way to Goodwill

Before I forget, let me just say "WELCOME" to everyone who hit the “Follow Button”.  I will be so excited if someone leaves a comment!  We are not nearly through with thinning out our stuff but at least we have started the process.
Next entry Friday.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Why do you want to sell your house and live in an RV?

That is a question that Judy and I have been asked a lot over the past couple of years.  So, I thought I should address the question here.  We seriously started discussing the possibilities of a life on the road about five years ago.

During my Navy career, we had the opportunity to live and travel throughout the US and Europe.  I guess we both had a good dose of wanderlust.  When we left the Navy in 1995, we had never thought of living in a RV.  Travel had always been high on our “things to do list”.

On a mid week camping trip to Appomattox Virginia  State Park in the spring of 1998, we met  a couple from  Wisconsin.  They were the “host” at the park.  During our stay, they explained to us that they were traveling around the country in their older class A and serving in volunteer positions.  As compensation for being the campground host, they didn’t have pay for their camp site.   We certainly had never heard of that.  This chance meeting was probably the origin of our idea to travel and live in an RV.

Judy and I began to seriously think about being full-time RVers in 2007ish. The idea of living and traveling in a RV grew stronger and stronger.  Neither of us looked forward to being  anchored to a house.  We wanted the freedom to go and not worry about a house.  It should be pretty easy to make this happen. Not!  We found out quickly that it would take a lot of planning to reach our goal.  The most important requirement to be a successful full-timer is that each spouse has the same expectations.  I am happy to report Judy and I are in total agreement. 

Making the decision to “sell the house and live in a RV” was pretty easy.   Making it happen is the hard part.  Lots of research has gone into this transition.  We have had to learn about the different RV’s, and figure out how we are going to live in approx 400sqft of living space.  Not to mention getting rid of lots of stuff.  I will address some of these issues in future post.

Next entry will be Tue.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Introduction and purpose of "The Meandering Maddox's" blog.

This blog will be in its developmental stages over the next few months.  After which it will become a weekly blog of the meanderings of Jim and Judy.  We hope to share our travels with family members, friends and visitors. We have no clear cut course of travel but will go where our interest takes us.

Like many people seeking the "RV Lifestyle", our transition has been affected by the economic realities of today.  We planned on having no "stix & brick" simply a "house on wheels".  Well, the "For Sale" sign is still in the yard! After considering various options from waiting until the house sells, to continuing on with our plans, we have decided to leave in Mar. of 2012. That is only about 8 weeks from now. This decision did require some modifications from our original plans due to the continued burden of home ownership.   As they say, this is going to impact our bottom line!  It will also affect the way we travel. On the plus side, we will still have the house as an asset to fall back on. There are worse things than having a home on one of Ga's largest lakes.

One of the most notable consequences of not selling the house will be the need to "workamp" some.  This will help offset the financial impact of not selling the house.  In March, we will start our first workamper assignment.  We will be the "gate attendant" at "Blanton Creek Campground" on Lake Hardy near Columbus, Ga. The assignment will run from mid March til Labor Day. Some of our tasks will be taking reservations, collecting fees and helping visiting campers.  More on this later.

Now for a brief introduction
We are both (Jim & Judy) ready to leave the structured workforce, but are not ready to sit on the couch.  We have been married for 37yrs. Our nest has been empty for about ten years. Our son lives in Portland Oregon.  We have no "roots", as we have traveled constantly. That probably explains our desire to be Full-Timers. 

This is enough for now!. I will try to learn the "ins and outs" of this "blogger". I read many blogs and hope to one day reach their level of "blogging excellence".  In future posts, I will talk about some of the things we have done to prepare for life on the road. Until then ....

Sitx & Brick