Our Next Life series: Part 2 – Selling almost everything we have

45 thoughts on “Our Next Life series: Part 2 – Selling almost everything we have”

  1. I love the lifestyle of just being able to travel at moments notice and have everything already packed! Mrs. Budgets is a minimalist so if I don’t use it, I will most likely find it posted on Ebay by Mrs. Budges. Look forward to reading about your journey!

    P.s. I do personally like the entourage bus RV types myself but that’s if I was making it big!

    1. Hey Mr. Budgets,

      You and me both, the ability to just pick up and move, but still have all of your life’s possessions with you, definitely appeals to us. My folks were bus RV types. They were hardly roughing it! 🙂

  2. You asked the question where do we start? We have similar paths to you and Courtney in that we wished to move to Sedona and enjoy a camping/travel lifestyle. We too were perplexed on what kind of rig to buy and if it would suit our needs.

    We went to countless RV shows and looked at a bunch of dealers’ lots in California and Arizona. Last December we decided to jump in and buy a truck since we decided the trailer was the way to go. I was at a Ford dealer test driving a used truck when my wife finds one on Craigslist, along with the exact trailer we were looking to own. We drove to Phoenix that day, checked it out, and bought it the next morning. We ended purchasing from a nice couple a one-owner F150 pickup and a 24-ft Jayco Jayflight trailer completely setup and ready to roll.

    Our “start” involved camping as much as we could this year to make sure this is something we want to do. I believe we have camped about 22 nights in the last 9 months. We have met many interesting people camping and learned a lot about this lifestyle very quickly.

    My recommendation is that you buy the rig that you are considering now and do multiple shake down trips before you retire next year. Worst case, if the Airstream is not the way to go, you sell it and buy something else! :)

    1. Hey Bryan,

      We are quickly approaching the point where if we find a truck that we want (probably a 350/3500HD), we will be tempted to pick it up. Like you, we’re convinced that we want a trailer. One of the things that we like about the Airstream is the resale value. They hold their value better than any trailer that we’ve seen. This means a higher buy-in cost, but of course, it also means we can recoup a lot of what we paid.

      It’s gonna be a wild ride! 🙂

      1. When we started this process, an RV dealer gave us a bit of advice: pick the RV before you pick the vehicle to tow it to ensure it’s rated appropriately. Trucks are easy to find, at least in PA, but the right RV to live in…difficult. Garrett wants to continue down the tiny house/truck path for now, but I have a suspicion that there might be a VW van in the back of his mind. 😉

        1. Hey Claudia!

          Yup, we’re definitely taking that advice. We are thinking around 30′, so we can narrow down the vehicle a lot easier now. Also, nothing wrong with a VW van! Keeping costs low with that guy for sure. 🙂

          Thanks for reading.

      2. I think the 350/3500 HD is the way to go for a heavier trailer and full timing. I would definitely go the diesel route too.

        We have the biggest V8 for our F150 and it could use some more power and suspension to haul our 7,000 trailer up the mountain passes. I would also recommend you get the towing package with the oil and transmission coolers!

        1. Hey Bryan,

          Yup, we are definitely looking for a diesel truck to tow the Airstream. I’d love to get a 3500HD diesel with a Hensley hitch. I’ve heard repeatedly that THAT setup basically makes an Airstream pull like a dream.

  3. I was just thinking, this sound like any variation of the tiny house shows! I’m just trying to talk Mrs. SSC into a pop up trailer for the family since it can do so much more than a tent. Since we’re tethered to one spot through the school year, when the kids get that old, we don’t have to deal with the travel so often issues. Probably just a lot during the summer and shorter closer trips during school breaks. Even then I’ve wondered if we have a garden and chickens or even just the dogs we’ll be limited in what we can do. Oh, the trade offs of lifestyle choices. Haha!
    Anyway, I’m excited to see what direction you guys go.

    1. It totally is a variation of the Tiny House show – although we are very, very willing and anxious to downsize and won’t be “surprised” like those on the show are about how little space there is to live. We want that, big time.

      It’s gonna be fun! 🙂

    1. Hey Stockbeard,

      Yeah, kids definitely add an additional element of unknown to this whole idea. That said, we know plenty of full time RVers who bring their kids with them and home-school them. They get to see so many parts of our country this way and, arguably, enter the working world more well rounded. Depends on the child, though, I’m sure. But, it is possible if you decided that you need a house-on-wheels in the next few years. 🙂

  4. Why not even look into getting a Tiny House? Then you can park it somewhere and use your truck or whatever to tool around to other places? Whatever you do I admire the adventure.

    1. Hey Jason!

      We’ve looked into Tiny Houses, but honestly, the Airstream is just an easier way to go at this point. They pull very nicely because they are more aerodynamic than a tiny home would be, and some RV parks and areas don’t consider tiny houses to be “trailers”, making it more difficult in some cases to find a campground that accepts these units. We won’t be staying at traditional campgrounds very often, but we would always like the option, if needed.

      So at this point, an Airstream is the better way to go for us. Once we settle down, though, after our travels are done, a tiny home will definitely be something that we’re probably going to look into.

  5. Love your plan! And having moved my dad out of his packed house about a year ago, I think you’ll be super glad once you’re older that you’ve already done the hard work of downsizing.

    In our RV search, we’ve decided we don’t want any slideouts (too likely to leak or fail), even if we eventually upsize to a class B (class A is probably too much for us — possibly ever), from our planned tiny travel trailer. But we are also seasoned campers for whom a tiny trailer still represents a big step up from a tent, unlike you guys who will be moving into your RV full-time, and comparing it to a house. That’s an important difference!

    There was a time when we were obsessed with Airstreams, before we realized that you have to have a big truck to pull one, and we discovered that Reno Craigslist is a mecca of old Airstreams for cheap. Use that info how you will. 🙂

    1. Thanks guys! Yup, starting now with the whole downsizing activity will definitely benefit us in the future. That will be one less thing that we’ll need to worry about later. Time well spent!

      I will definitely check out Reno Craigslist – appreciate the heads up on that one. 🙂

  6. As you know, I love your plan. I worked at an RV campground for 5 years during HS and college and learned a lot in the process. I also worked with “retirees” who were worker-campers and worked for a small wage and free site for the season. What I learned was that, a heavy-duty truck and a fifth wheel was definitely the most popular by far for the full-timers. One guy I worked with even bought a Freightliner to tow his massive Teton tri-axle fifth wheel. That thing while completely unnecessary and at the same time, completely bad ass. More common was a HD GMC or a F350 to tow a more modest 5th wheel. People loved that they had the space over the bed of the truck (usually for their bed), while keeping the length of the whole rig shorter. Plus if your RV breaks down and needs to be in the shop, where will you sleep? In the mechanics parking lot? I’d rather be at my campsite drinking mojitos while not caring how long it takes for them to fix my diesel engine in my HD truck.

    1. Well said, Fervent! My folks traveled in a motorhome for the last 6 years of their stint as full time RVers and had the whole maintenance thing happen to them, and yes, they slept in the parking lot where their rig was parked.

      I admit that the 5th wheel is tempting, but unless you’re willing to plop down some series coin, I’ve found that 5th wheels just don’t tend to be made like Airstreams are, and definitely don’t hold their value nearly as well.

      But, you never know what we might buy in the future. We’ll start with the Airstream and as we get to know more people and get more involved in the RV community, we’ll start to develop a perspective for what will work best for us. I’m excited to figure all that out, too. 🙂

  7. Been busy so I’m catching up on the adventure but I love the RV style move especially for the amount of travel that you plan to do. I think minimizing your things is something that should be done anyway, so cheers to getting rid of “stuff” I do my best to do the same when I read an article like this:)

    1. Thanks Even Steven. Yup, there is definitely wisdom in downsizing anyway – but when you’re gonna be moving into a 200-ish square foot house on wheels in the near future, it quickly becomes a huge necessity. 🙂

  8. Steve – As a new-ish reader of your blog, I am just coming across this post now. I love the idea and already I’m a bit jealous. I so much want to do the same thing! Maybe someday I will, but it will take a bit more work to convince the wife! 🙂

    At any rate – made me think of this video I came across a while back. Perhaps you’ve seen it already, but if not, I thought you might enjoy. There’s a few characters in it, but an interesting film at any rate.


    Also check out the book “Vagabonding” by Rolff Potts

    1. Hey Freedom! Thanks for the link, I hadn’t seen that one before. I skipped through it a bit and will definitely watch it from start to finish. That’ll be us one day, and I actually do hope to record a similar video along the way as well. 🙂

  9. Kind of a practical question, where do you get your mail if you’re always moving around? I realize that most things can be done online, but you still need a mailing address for certain things (new debit/credit cards, etc). What about filing taxes? What address do you put on that? Not being difficult, just genuinely curious…

    1. Hi Wisdom Junkie – no worries, good question! There are services out there that take care of this for you (the escapees.com organization is one such service). They will forward your mail whenever you want, where ever you want. You file taxes based on your domicile, which is where ever you are sending your mail. Lots of full time RVers choose Texas (which has an escapees presence). There are other services in South Dakota, Nevada and several other states.

      I hope this helps!

  10. I’m only up to Part 2 but I’m already inspired to start writing my own ‘Next Life’ plan. Also love the RV idea, such a great way to enforce minimalism and travel without the stress. I wish I lived in the US, then I’d be totally up for that. New Zealand is too small for long term RV life.

    1. Thanks Emma – appreciate you giving my Our Next Life series a read. Throw me the link if you do create one for yourself – I’m always interested in learning about what others are planning for their early retirement.

  11. Wow! Totally impressed that your parents lived in an RV for 13 years! Talk about inspiration for you guys! My fiance and I considered living in an RV when we early retire. Hoping to be out of the game in just a few short years. Good luck selling everything! We recently downsized and I went Craigslist crazy. Felt good to just get rid of all the stuff!

    1. Thanks Millennial Boss – yup, very inspiring indeed. They were just here to help us do our first “move” to a different campground for the weekend (a vacation?). Downsizing really is a wonderful feeling. Just knowing that you have less stuff to maintain and pay for really is a great, great feeling to have. 🙂

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