Life En Route

Going Full Time

A couple of weeks ago we had a realtor come out to discuss the house, and ended up deciding to list it this month. Many months ago we came up with the idea of spending December in New Mexico and we thought that deadline was missed, but it turns out that with the current plans we’ll be spending Christmas in Tularosa, just a few minutes outside of both Ruidoso and Cloudcroft.

We opted to move out before listing the house – houses move fast here, and our house is a starter home that is going to be on the lower end of the spectrum of prices here in the Austin area, hopefully leading to a quick sell. Most houses in our neighborhood seem to accept offers within a week. With the quickly approaching holidays, we need to move fast, and as such we’ve been spending the last couple of weeks frantically sorting, packing, discarding, donating, repairing and just generally working towards getting out of here.

We rented a 13×35 storage facility about ten miles north of here which we believe will fit all of our belongings – a lot of my garage stuff, for instance, is bulky and will claim a lot of space. We’re also planning to store Kelly’s truck in there. To offset costs, we moved the boat out of the covered storage onto the lot and threw a boat cover over it, as we don’t have time to prep it to sell right now. It didn’t willingly start and run after de-winterizing this year, so it will need some investigation and work to fetch a decent price.

As for the house, we had a trash crew come and fill up a 16x7x4 trailer, and still put over a dozen 45 gallon lawn and leaf bags to the curb. We’ve taken at least three or four truckloads worth of stuff to Goodwill, and sold quite a few things on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. It’s amazing how much clutter you collect over the years and moving into the RV means we’re shedding much of it. Further, we don’t want to come back to things we don’t need and won’t use.

Since we’re actually moving into the RV full time now, we had to do more than just pack. First, we had to figure out mail service.

We’re going to use a service called Scan Mailboxes in Austin. They provide us an address, and we have our mail sent to them. They scan all the envelopes and packages they receive and we can choose to have them opened and scanned, forwarded to an address we provide, or shredded/destroyed accordingly. The service runs $25/mo, plus incidental postage and storage fees if applicable. The service requires the notarization of a couple USPS forms, so that was a small hassle. Once we had all that squared away, we changed our licenses and banks to use the new address, as well as set up forwarding with the post office.

Another major concern is Internet, since we require it for work. We’ve been using a single AT&T unlimited line recently for RV Internet, planning to change that once we go full time and drop the $100/mo cable bill and some other utilities. We arranged to pay $238/mo (expensive, I know) for grandfathered unlimited enterprise Verizon and AT&T contracts – the normal rates being $99/mo and $149/mo, but with a small discount due to ordering them together and using auto pay. The special thing about these plans is that they are not subject to de-prioritization or throttling at any time, which makes them worth the additional cost to us. They’re pretty difficult to come by nowadays. Our net connectivity bill will be about the same each month, once we calculate in all the cell plan changes, dropping utilities from the house, and so forth. Depending on our success with these, we might buy a mobile HughesNet Gen5 setup for around $1200 up-front and $89/mo, if it doesn’t look like these are going to be reliable enough. We also have provisions to use campground WiFi, which is always hit or miss.

Then we have a few remaining small repairs on the RV. We ordered the Anderson Brass Co replacement for their notoriously faulty 200-RV valve and will install that this weekend, and bought some replacement plumbing parts for toilets, etc in case they’re needed on the road. This weekend I expect we’ll probably take a few trips to Home Depot and At Home and other places to find some storage solutions, mainly for the kitchen.

We brought the RV to the house yesterday to begin packing it, and ended up surprisingly happy with the way our wardrobes fit in there. Today we’ll be moving onto the kitchen, where we have some tall vertical cabinets that are not efficiently used because they lack shelves or features to use the upper halves. I’m sure we’ll find something.

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