Home On Wheels

My wife and I have been trying to decide what we were going to do after our lease ran out on our apartment. We were hoping to buy another home of our own but even after we had cleaned up our credit, we still were below the points necessary to qualify for a new mortgage for another home.
As we always do, we brought our Heavenly Father into our decision as we began to figure out what we were going to do after our lease was coming up and going on a month-to-month basis with the chance of rent going up.
We lived in an apartment when we first got married, and while my wife went back to school and got her master’s degree. After she was able to get her first full-time teaching job, we were able to purchase our first home for the first time. Like most of us that buy our first home we got the feeling that we are finally settling down for the first time and we won’t be moving for awhile or ever. That is what I felt like since all my life that is all I have done, move from place to place. I never really got a feeling that we were going to be in one place for very long. The only time as a child I finally got the feeling that we were going to be settling down was when my parents bought our first home in Florence, Oregon.
After this move and finally moving out on my own, I have been moving from one apartment to another hoping someday I would be in a situation that I would be able to afford to buy my own home. That wouldn’t be until my wife and I moved to Saint Anthony, Idaho when she took on her first teaching job. I learned that a teaching job is not one that will guarantee you have a job for life. My advice to you who are married to a teacher be prepared to be moving a lot of times in your career. Even when you feel that you are doing all you are asked to do to improve your teaching skills to keep your job. When upper management wants you out to fill your position with someone else you just have to do what you can.
I got very comfortable in where we were living that I felt this was our place to be for the rest of our life. This dream would come to an end when my wife would lose her first teaching job. Not anything she had done wrong, they just wanted someone else in her place and found a way to remove her without them looking at fault. This lead my wife to looking for a new job and as she decided what she was going to do after losing her first teaching job she decided to give a shot of selling life insurance with a company that she found online and got hired to work for. After a while she realized that this was not going as she planned it and she decided to go and apply with Walmart and got hired with them. After working with them for a couple of months she realized that she missed teaching and began to look for another teaching job. She couldn’t find any school in Idaho to hire her and she had to go out of the state of Idaho to search for another teaching job.
This brings us to why we were living in another apartment at this time. My wife was offered a first-grade job at an Elementary Academy School. She took the job and she moved first while I stayed back to finish the remodeling that we had started just after we moved into the house. We had to put off the remodeling job when my wife lost her job. My work was as a substitute teacher for the middle and high school in Fremont County School District and I have been on disability since 2008. After my wife started her job she called me and told me that they were looking for a teacher assistant, and substitute position as well. They were also looking for a fourth-grade teacher that I might have had a chance to take over. Yet, I went and applied for the teacher assistant and I got an interview with the school. Soon after the interview I found myself going to work for the same school as a teacher assistant and pushing myself to working on getting my teacher certification to be able to be a teacher here in Utah. As our lease came to an end in January, we were trying to decide what we were going to do after our lease was up. After working with a realtor and a mortgage lender to get pre-qualified to buy another house, we realized that after all the hard work we did to clean up our credit scores it still wouldn’t even get us qualified for a mortgage.
We started to think outside the box and trying to decide what we were going to do after our lease was up since we were done living in apartments. We began thinking about what we had been talking about doing before we moved. At one time my wife and I were talking about going full-time RV living since I can’t really work full time, due to neurological disorders that I have which make it hard for me to deal with an overload of stress. This showed up in my job I am working at now and I have not had any trouble with handling teenagers before. I had a meltdown at work and I had to walk away from the situation to cool down, gather my thoughts and work through the situation with a clear mind. Once I did that, I was able to understand the situation and know that I need to walk away before the situation got as far as it did that day.
Anyway, we started thinking about this opportunity of living in an RV full-time more as we had sold our home on our own and had a decent sum from the sale of the home that we could put a large down on a pre-used RV or a new one. With my wife and I working we could afford the payment. Again, we came up with the same situation with getting approved for a house. Our credit score was getting in our way of getting into a newer RV so we wouldn’t have trouble finding a park that would let us rent a space from. Everything we tried we came up with a dead end and I knew how much my wife and I wanted this rather than staying in the apartment. We decided to find one RV that we could pay cash for and be able to live in a park.
We began to look online for used RVs and we were focused on a Motorhome so that we could pull our new car behind the motorhome when we do some traveling while we still work full-time and until my wife can retire from teaching so we can hit the road full-time RV living. We finally found one. Even though she is a little older than what we wanted to get into, she is 100% ours for now until we can put money away and take this one and trade it in on a newer RV in a couple of years. Our 1989 Pace Arrow made by Fleetwood, she is in fairly good shape for the age she is. Gypsie Rose is her name and our first day living in Gypsie Rose was quite an adventure for the both of us. For me this is my first time owning a fully self-contained RV and setting one up for the first time.
We pulled into Cherry Hill RV Park and found our spot where we wanted to park Gypsie Rose for the rest of the winter months we have. We pulled in and I began to setup the RV by first leveling out the RV. Note this my first time using self-leveling jacks and I started to use them and things seemed to be going pretty good until I realized that the hydraulic jacks works on the battery and I was beginning to lose power to my jacks. I went to start the RV again to charge the batteries while I leveled our RV out. I ended up jump starting the RV to get it started again. Once I finally learned how the jacks worked, I got the RV leveled out and then went to the next step to setting up an RV. This is when you get the extension cord out to hook up the electric to your RV, and this went smoothly. Then came hooking up the water… well remember that there are several valves that must turned off, so you are not filling the water tank up and end up having water shooting out the end of the RV city spot on the other side of the RV. We just decided to leave the water turned off and have my Uncle come and help me out with this problem. Well we went to get the heater started and light the water heater and turn on the refrigerator. This is where our first night in our RV that we just purchased we found out that none of these things worked. We decided to try one more time to go and see if we could get into a new RV and again were told our credit score is too low.
Being at the end of our rope we did not know what to do. I just turned to my wife and told her that we would have to deal with what we have and put our trust in our Heavenly Father to guide us in what we should do. We said a prayer on our way back to Gypsie Rose and left it in the hands of Heavenly Father. I came back again to our RV and tried to see if I could get the heater and the hot water tank and refrigerator to work. Frustrated with not being able to figure out why any of these would not start working I just closed the cupboard door hard. As I did this the hot water tank turned on, then the heater turned on, and the light on the fuse panel lit up. I don’t know what I did but I must have jerked something in the fuse panel.
We were still waiting for our refrigerator to get cold inside. The service manager at Camping World told us that usually it takes 24 hours for the refrigerator to get cold. We came back and turned the refrigerator back on and waited 24 hours. Still didn’t get cold inside. We gave it another 24 hours to see if it would get cold inside and still did not get cold. The refrigerator coils were getting cold but inside the refrigerator was not getting cold still. My wife and I came to conclusion that the refrigerator was broken, and we would need to replace the refrigerator. As we began to look online to see how much we were looking at cost for a new refrigerator we realized that we couldn’t afford to replace the refrigerator with the typical propane and electric refrigerator. My wife and I talked about what options we had to replace the refrigerator and still afford one at the same time. We already had put all the money we had put away for our down payment for our house and we didn’t want to put another $1600 into a new refrigerator. We knew we couldn’t live in an RV without a refrigerator, so we decided the best thing we could do is to buy just an electric refrigerator and do without the gas. We went to Sam’s Club and walked out with a 7.5 cubic inch refrigerator just about the same size as the one we took out. I took and had to add shims to the side and the top of the refrigerator to allow the refrigerator to fit in the same space. I even put down a new bottom to put more support for the new refrigerator. Then I capped off the gas line and put new insulation into the area the refrigerator. I finished up getting the refrigerator put into place and rebuilding the top and the two sides so that the refrigerator would fit snug in its space so that I could seal around it without big gaps between the refrigerator and sides. I walk by the refrigerator now and I am impressed how well the refrigerator looks in the that place it is in. I am afraid to do remodeling anything as I seem to always get something screwed up and cost more money when I keep messing up on projects that I do. I guess this is part of my OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder) that plays with my mind, so that everything I do must be just perfect in my life, and everything that is out of line doesn’t fly with me. Everything I do has to be perfect or it is not right in my eyes. I am trying to work on this, but it is hard to overcome.
Our first week of living in an RV full-time has been quite an experience for us. We both know that the journey of our RV living on wheels has just begun. We know that there will be many more memories to build from this one. The one thing we have learned going from house, to an apartment to 34 foot motorhome named Gypsie Rose is that we have to cut back a lot of what we own and just keep the necessary things that we can live with and we can’t live with. All in all my wife and I are really loving our decision that we have made; it may not be a large beautiful home with a nice green backyard to live in but the views we have out the table window every morning I would give anything for this view. Yes, these are small quarters we live in, but it doesn’t matter how large or how small the space you live in. What matters is the happiness you both can have. What really counts is having each other in your life. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to handle small quarters to live in, but I will not change my decision that I have made with my wife.
We now can pack up our home and move wherever we want to go when we have freedom to do so. During school months our home will be here in Kaysville, Utah and wherever we decide to travel in the summer months off, well that is left to another journey itself. For now it is the Gypsie Rose, my wife and our five wonderful cats living in a 34-foot motorhome for the rest of lives. Gypsie Rose will be replaced some day in the future with a bigger motorhome and a lot newer than she is right now but right now she is our 1989 motorhome all paid for and well taken care of for this time we have her. If you are ever looking into going into full time RV just remember most parks won’t take anything more than 15 years old and make sure she or he fits your budget and fits what you can feel comfortable living in because they become your home on wheels. I hope you who are thinking about this journey do because there are a lot of memories that you both can share together and you are not too old or too young to start the journey, it’s how much you really want this type of living. Come and be among the many of us that have become the full-time RV world today and live your life free from mortgage and upkeep to a house. Instead put your time into upkeeping your house on wheels.

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