Yeah! I guess now, I’m living the ‘camper life’…
Okay, maybe not so fast. Let’s start from the beginning.
In the past three (3) years I have downsized from a jam packed 2200 sf 10 foot ceilinged loft, to a shitty (they claim it was 1000 sf but I think not) apartment and two (2) 10×20 storage spaces, to today, with the two (2) storage spaces in Rhode Island, plus a 10×10 with all of my Etsy shop stock in Virginia, an SUV and a 16 FAN Lee Liner travel trailer, that I am going to refer to from this point forward as a camper.
By this time next year, I plan to be down to one 10 x 20 storage space, the SUV and camper. But time will tell.
Camper life is living small. Not a lot of room in there.
My goal is to live on the road full time for the entire year if 2018 and decide if it’s pure insanity or a life of pure elation. Right now I am in the elated side, but hey… where early in.
Traveling with a 15 year old cattle dog, and mentally deficited, rather skittish cat will be but a small part of this new challenge I’ve put before myself
Dew the cat in our lovely AirBnB Providence Rhode Island
I am tired of being tied down to the limitations of owning or renting a house, especially when I am traveling so much. Yet I am not so naive as to believe this is going to be a free or even inexpensive ride.
The shear expense of upgrading the tow package on he car, readying it and the trailer for the first cross country drive, is not cheap, especially since I’m staying in AirBnBs while the work is completed.
Roadie contemplating camper life
I am still sorting out how to manage my online shops, Renegade Revival and Lightly Sauced Retro on the road. I’ve been temporarily shutting the down and reopening them, with them still surprisingly doing remarkably well. But that cannot work nor last forever. But I’ll figure it out.
Anyway, here I am in Rhode Island, awaiting parts, so Apex can install the beefier tow system into my car, writing about my future camper life.
Lincoln Aviator, with a V8 baby
Perhaps I should talk a moment share some of my experiences and shit I’ve learned up to this very early point.
First thing to know if you too plan to live the camper life (and yeah I know it’s technically a travel trailer, but the point is still the same) is that you really need to gain a great deal of knowledge about tow bars, tow packages, tow capacity, ball hitches, electrical receptacles, brake controllers and well just all kinds of things that I know jack shit about.
Be prepared to learn, ask questions, take notes and if you cannot fix things like this yourself, you better trust the guys you’ve got doing it for you, or you can be seriously screwed.
I have now learned that the 1 1/4 inch hitch that comes standard with my Lincoln Aviator apparently is not sufficient to tow my new (to me) trailer. After 3 different UHaul locations (who were all very nice and accommodating by the way), told me easily 50 different things, that all turned out to be incorrect information, I am back at my tried, true and trusted guys at Apex Tire & Service in Pawtucket Rhode Island, to have what I need installed. (I would have asked them in the first place, but did not realize that they did such things until I had wasted a day and a half with UHaul).
Apex Tire and Service. Pawtucket RI
On top of everything else, the Aviator that I just purchased, needed brakes, coils, spark plugs, new ball joints and arms (thanks a LOT Perry Subaru, you WILL be hearing from me as soon as I am back in Virginia).
Since here I am stuck for a few more days in Rhode Island, I rented a great AirBnB on a lake in Shrewsbury (Mass). I had been staying in a lovely AirBnB in Providence this week, but the AirBnB on the lake is brand new, so they are offering a fantastic deal and after already paying almost a grand for staying here this week and running around trying to get so much shit done… chilling on the lake with some wine, the dog and cat this weekend, while letting everything just be and settle, seemed the best plan. So yeah, not quite living the ‘camper life’ full time just quite yet.
If you have read my story, you will know that I have been in great transition for some time now and am now dedicated on traveling through all of 2018 with no real home base. Now, I guess that has altered a bit since I actually have a home base in this trailer. Although I have no plan for the trailer to be on any particular location for any extended amount of time, it is still a bit of a home base so to speak and I suppose a place that I can call home, when I am on the contiguous US.
Once the SUV is repaired and the trailer hitch installed on Monday, I will then pick up the trailer in Carlisle MA, head from there, through Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware into Virginia. This will be the easily the 20th time I have driven this route and likely the last.
Now, with my Dad gone, there will likely no longer be reason to drive along this particular path any longer, unless I am on one of my ‘camper life’ journeys in the future. It’s a strange, bittersweet feeling.
How did a 50 something woman end up giving up all she owned to live the camper life? Creating in only a few months a life dedicated to traveling and keeping moving on?
Honestly, I do not have much of an answer. I just know, here I am and I am the happiest I have ever been. There is no way to know how this will end up, but worse case scenario, 2019 comes around and I am left right at the place I started, except I will have spent an entire year traveling the world.
With less idea of what is before me and as little as possible concern for what is behind. Being as present and as honest as is possible to everyone and everything, even to myself and present in the moment is all I can do.
Camper life will be for me or it will not. Be it one step forward, six steps back, at least I am taking steps.
Life is the only thing you have and you only have one chance to utilize it to its fullest until it’s over. I may not succeed, but I I do not think that I care. Next week I will be driving in my new (to me) little vintage camper and I guess that then I will truly be my only home. I feel as open to anything and free as ever!