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Old 04-30-2011, 11:30 PM   #43
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In an effort to exit NY state after retirement I needed an inexpensive way to tour the country to see where I might like to settle. Hotels and motels were not in my travel budget. I stumbled on the idea after reading the book by Jan and Bill Muller "Full Time RVing."

I re-read the book and was hooked on the idea. Here I am full timing and still touring the country since 7/06 and loving every minute.
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Old 02-28-2012, 08:53 AM   #44
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No. I never intended to become a fulltimer. Until 3 years ago I had never heard the word before. It was a lifestyle that was thrown on me curtsey of Hurricane Katrina.

The flood/hurricane took our house when I was 30. I lived in a tent for 3 years, a car for 6 years (over-lapping some of the tent years) and was 36 when I bought my MH.

I didn't have to worry about selling everything or finding a place to store stuff, because a hurricane took care of all that for me. It came through, leveled the house, trashed everything inside, and left me with absolutly nothing.

Originally I had planned to go back to living in a house, but 6 years without a house, I kind of can't see myself ever going back to a house now. I'll explain. See there was a short while, where I moved out of the tent and into an apartment. I moved in, thinking "At last, I'm back in a house!" Only, it wasn't that great. I couldn't sleep - I had gotten used to sleeping on the beach in a tent, listening to the waves and gulls. I got used to falling asleep as soon as it got dark and getting up at 4AM with the sun. I got used to cooking over an open fire. I got used to sleeping in a sleeping bag. I could not readjust to beds, stoves, or having a roof over my head and walls all around me. I found myself getting all clastrophobic over the idea of roof and walls! I felt like a wild animal trapped in a cage and all I wanted to do was escape and get back outside to my tent! It freaked me out, because here I was, I had spent 3 years doing nothing but "wanting" to get back in a house and when I finally got back in one I couldn't stand it because I missed the close connection I had developed with living outdoors with nature.

So I moved out of the apartment and into my car while I tried to figure what the heck I was going to do next. I knew I could not continue living in a tent full time because, well after 3 blizzards in a tent, if I had learned one thing it was that Maine is damn cold in the winter and I at least needed a way to get out of the rain and wind.

It was shortly after that I was visiting my dad and he wanted me to watch this "wicked funny dvd" he had found. It was "RV" staring Robin Williams. I watched it and it was like a light went off in my head, I was all "OMG that's it! That the answer! I'm buying a motorhome! I can have the best of both worlds, my close connection with nature, sleeping in a tent, cooking outside, and still have a place to get out of the snow and rain!

So I spent the next 3 years living in my car while searching high and low for "the perfect" (for me) motorhome. I found her 2 years in when I found a 1975 Dodge Class C, unfortunatly the owner disagreed with me and insisted she was his pride and joy and he would never sell her. So I spent another year searching and trying out motorhomes, but couldn't find one, because in the back of my head I had this old Dodge stuck in my brain. Than after last week I was doing my usual Craisglist search, and there she was: the 1975 Dodge he "would never sell". Knowing where it was, I immediatly drove all the way to his house and bought it on the spot, without seeing the inside, test driving her, or even knowing wether or not I could drive her home or would she need to be towed! LOL!

Now I have my MH and am glad I choice this life. Funny looking back though, because I was perfectly happy living in a house all those years and the thought of living in a tent, car, or rv never would have occurred to me. When the flood first happened I thought it was a bad thing, but looking back today, I'm glad it happened because it opened up a whole new lifestyle for me that I never would have considered otherwise.


I'm going to copy and paste the blog post I wrote the day I bought my motorhome:


No Hurry
or
How I Came To Live in a Motorhome


May 9, 2006 started like any other day. It was warmer and wetter than usual, seeing that a hurricane was currently trapped in the Gulf of Maine and spending the week flooding rivers, washing out sand dunes, and uprooting trees. May 9th was the first day of no rain in more than a week. My first chance to go out in the garden and examine the damage. I had no idea that when I stepped outside of the house that day, I would never step inside it ever again. The house was in one corner of the farm, and the garden was in the opposite corner, over a steep hill and across a dangerously swollen brook. The farm being boarded by beach on one side and swamp on the other, with a brook crossing though it, meant even without the hurricane we live in a very wet area. The swamp could no longer be seen, as the flood waters had risen over the top of the grass, making it look like a small lake had surrounded us. I had been examining the damage in the garden less than 3 minutes when my 14 year old brother came running down the hill and across the bridge, his eyes wild with terror as he said: “There’s something wrong with Daddy and the house is full of water!” The rest of the day was a blur of police, EMTs, and ambulances. Daddy was in a coma and the house which had stood there only minutes ago, was a pile of rumble, crushed by a flash flood which had came and went in only seconds.

What we did not know was Daddy had taken out a “reversed mortgage” on the house, which stipulated, he could live there until he died or was unable to take care of it. Daddy had only been in a coma a few days when the bank came to us and told us the farm was theirs, by being in the hospital over a certain amount of days my dad had forfeited the loan, and me, my mom, my 3 teenaged brothers, 2 dogs, 3 birds, and 9 cats suddenly found ourselves not only houseless, but now landless as well.

It would be another 2 months before Daddy would be pulled off life support, because his medical insurance said they refused to pay another day of the $13,000 a day machine my dad was hooked up to. We were not given a choice, we were simple told one day by the doctors: “We took him off life support last night, because his insurance was cut.” By some miracle he continued breathing on his own, and would be in the hospital another 6 months. Nearly a year after the flood, he was sent home and found out what had happened. Now disabled, barely able to talk or walk, my dad, a life long poultry farmer, suddenly found himself crippled and living in his car.

Meanwhile, my mom had gotten a divorce, remarried and left taking my 3 little brothers with her. Me? I have Autism. I was 30 years old. I had never been to school, never driven a car, never really had contact with humans outside of my family, and had barely spoken a word most of those years. I had been removed from school at age 8, told I was too retarded to be worth teaching anything to, told I would never amount to anything, never drive a car, never have a job, and college was out of the question. No one attempted to teach me any of those things and my childhood, teen and young adult years, had been spent gardening, and rescuing animals.

Fortunately we still owned part of the land, as my dad had divided it up before taking out a mortgage. Here stood the last remaining barn and enough land for me to pitch a tent, only I had no money and no idea how to get any. The concept of a job had never been taught to me. I built a tent out of a 8x6 tarp, and that is where I would live for the next 6 years, including through 3 blizzards and 5 more hurricanes. I was alone for the first time in my life. My dad was in the hospital and who knows where my mom had run off to. By October 2006 I had my first job, at age 31. By December I had my car, a $900 1992 Volvo 240GL, which I have since found out was so cheap because it has a bad habit of falling apart, usually while driving down the road. Though I had the car, I was not yet able to drive it, but it was a place to live in on days it was too cold or wet to stay under the tarp.

I discovered that if I had a college degree, I could get a better job, so college became my next goal, though to jump from Grade 3 to college 27 years later, with no schooling since I was 8 years old, meant I had a huge challenge to hurdle here. Math was than and still is, my biggest challenge, but I finally received my GED in December 2010 and my driver’s licence August 2011. September 2011 I started my first semester of college at YCCC. I transferred to SMCC in the Spring 2012. I had now completed nearly everything the psychologists had said someone with my kind of Autism would never do: I had a job, I had and was driving a car, and I was in college. The last step was to be able to live on my own, in a place of my own, without the help of shelters, soup kitchens, and food pantries. I had to move out from under the tarp and find a place to live. This has troubled me for the past 6 years. See, while I can work, my Autism limits what I am able to do, and also limits who is willing to hire me. The result is I make $7.75 a hour for only 14 hours a week, which barely pays the $40 a week gas I need to get to college, not to mention the constant repairs needed to keep my car running. Thankfully I can eat at the college for only $5 a meal, otherwise I’d still be eating only 1 or 2 skimpy meals a week at soup kitchens. I can barely afford to eat and drive to college, how can I afford an apartment when prices are more per week than my income is per month? After searching high and low for a solution, a solution presented itself one day when visiting a relative and watching Robin Williams (than) latest movie: “RV”. My tarp-tent is pitched on the boarder of The Powderhorn Campground. I spend each summer surrounded by thousands of RVs in all shapes and sizes, but I never once thought of them as anything but vacation vehicles. I had never been inside one, and I had no idea that nearly 20 million Americans live in them full time. I could not afford a house. I could not afford an apartment. I could however, if I saved enough money, eventually afford an old motorhome. It took me three years to do it, but I finally saved up $4,000 and set out to find myself a motorhome.

Yesterday, February 21, 2012 was a very big day for me. A milestone. Yesterday I bought a 22 foot 1975 Dodge Sportsman F40 Class C Motorhome. Her previous owner, a race car driver, had used her as a rally car, and painted her to match his race car, a Sublime Green 1970 Dodge Charger. He called her “No Hurry” because she moved so slow and never seemed in a hurry to get any place. She is bright fluorescent, metallic lime green, with flat black racing stripes, and covered sides and back with race car sponsor stickers. Inside she has NASCAR decor and a 2 inch thick shag carpet. And now for the first time, I am at school today, as a person who is no longer homeless. My house may be small, just 22 ft long by 9 ft wide, and it may be on wheels, but it’s a house, none the less. Once again I have a bed and a toilet, a full kitchen, a dinning room, there’s even a bath tub (a rare thing to find in an RV), a bright 1970’s mustard yellow bath tub surrounded by green shag carpet, but a bathtub never the less. A place to wash, a place to eat, a place to sleep, and for the first time since I started college, I can do my homework at home, no more coming to college early and staying late, trying to get all my homework done all in one day! And more importantly it’s warm and dry. Everything is small of course and being 40 years old it has it’s problems, but still, it’s a house and for the first time in 6 years, I can finally say, I am no longer homeless.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:12 AM   #45
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EelKat, very interesting story. Sorry for your loss a few years back, but you certianly have turned what could have been a very bad situation into a good one.

I like the colors of that 75 Dodge, always did like that color on the Cuda & Charger. The 64 Dodge, another classic. Very Nice.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:49 AM   #46
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Short answer.. YES..

Longer answer: Well, Actually not "ALWAYS".. I mean, first I got Married, then wife presented me with a daughter in the due course of time (18 months least anyone thing shotgun) then a few years after that we decided on Full Timing when we retired, Finally about 30 years later, we are doing it.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:29 AM   #47
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There was no hurricane that struck Maine in 2006. And Katrina was New Orleans.

Sorry, but something doesn't add up here.

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Old 03-03-2012, 08:21 AM   #48
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Barb you need to do your research before posting a claim of somones post. First you are correct, no hurricane hit NE in 2006. However in 2005 August 31 remnants of Katrina hit NE with appx 4" of rain & strong winds.
June 2006 tropical storm hits NE.
Possibly the poster had the wrong date or/and the wrong storm.
Not trying to start an argument, just stating some facts.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:11 AM   #49
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Old 03-04-2012, 04:59 AM   #50
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Quote:

Sorry, but something doesn't add up here.
Obviously, it pays to read and research her entire story before speaking out. ALL of her blogs at various Internet sites state basically the same information.

I think she has accomplished a lot under the circumstances she has been dealt with. I admire her and commend her for her tenacity and convictions.

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Old 03-04-2012, 09:42 AM   #51
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Yes, I have read them, and seen her posts on other forums. But there are discrepancies that jump right out. I know people who lost everything in Katrina, we ran a shelter on our campus for victims, etc. Just pointing out that there is something that doesn't add up.

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