We’ve had some major setbacks over the last couple of weeks. If we learned anything our previous renovation experiences, it’s that a delay in the timeline is inevitable, no matter how well you think you’ve planned and coordinated.
On May 25, Chris from Empyreal Solar equipped us with 5 new solar panels and a new transformer. It cost us quite a lot. AND caused some major issues with the unit. The Aladdin module was fried, and although Chris and his Dad tried to fix the issue, and got most things up and working again, we had to drop off the unit at Springbank Truck Repair to have it actually fixed.
It was in the shop for nearly two weeks, so all projects we were working on, ground to a halt.
Instead of stressing over the money it was going to cost us to fix something we’d already paid for – we’re trying to work with Empyreal Solar to get some of the money back but I don’t think that’s going to happen – I focused my energy on ordering outstanding items we need to finish the RV renovation, finished up creating the maple table (how-to coming soon), and sorting out some of the logistics required to move into the RV full-time.
You know the adage, you can’t eat an elephant in one bite? It’s right. But when an elephant is there, ready to be eaten, all you want to do is EAT IT UP AND BE DONE WITH IT! That’s kinda where I’m at right now.
Selling homes, staging homes, moving, storage containers, insurance, mailboxes, etc. It’s a lot. And I’m sure I’m missing a bunch of steps along the way. I’ve been trying to think of areas that need planning, but I’m not too sure of what all we’ll need.
Chances are, we’ll end up moving into the RV and realizing there was some glaring thing that we just didn’t think of. Oh well.
Here’s where I’m at with the planning/prepping stages of making our dream a reality:
Selling the House
We’ve found an awesome realtor that we’re going to work with over the next couple of months to get the house ready to sell.
A big part of that process is removing all the clutter – donating clothes, posting nice things on Kijiji, dropping oodles of books off at the used bookstore in the city, that sort of thing.
We’ve learned that our backyard and upstairs reno was sort of a waste of money and that we’ll have to sell the house for much less than it’s actually worth. Someone is going to get a REALLY nice house for a fraction of the cost we spent fixing it up and making it ours.
It irks me that we can’t get our money back, and I started feeling guilty for spending the money on the house when we’re now turning around and selling it. But my Dad reminded me that life changes, and it’s okay to spend time, energy, and money on things that you end up not wanting a couple of years later. Oh, Dads, they’re the best.
Other than decluttering and staging, we’ll need to clean the carpets, find a CHEAP barn door somewhere to add to Kevin’s office closet, and we should be set. Many of the other real estate agents we “interviewed” told us we had to put even more money into the house in order to sell it. Kevin and I didn’t like that plan, as we’ve already put too much money into the house. So we went with the real estate agent that didn’t want us to spend another dime and was a very clear communicator.
We’re hoping to list the house August 1 and I’m sending it out to the universe that it’ll sell and we’ll be officially non-home owners on October 15.
Full-Time RV Insurance
I called our broker at Westland Insurance this week, and she basically crushed my dreams, telling me what we were trying to do wouldn’t be possible.
You’ll soon learn, that I don’t take “no” for an answer. Like, ever.
So, I Found RV Direct Insurance, based out of Calgary. I called them up and their new business account manager, Ryan, ran through everything and provided us with a quote. Looks like, with $1,000 deductible, $2 million in third party liability, over $15,000 content insurance (clothes, work equipment, etc.), we’d be paying about $1,640 a year. Not bad! And, if we get a Sams Club Membership, and insure our tow-behind with them as well, we’ll save even more money.
In the US, Progressive has a great full-time RV insurance plan here.
Mailbox That’s Not a PO Box
Many places (think: the government, health care, drivers license, etc.) require that you have a physical address, not a PO box. Again, the US has lots of options on this, but we need to have an address in Alberta, so I think we’re going to get a mailbox at UPS, who will provide you with a physical address for $24 a month when you commit to a 12-month mailbox.
Here are the details I collected from our local UPS location:
Personal- small 1yr $220.00 + GST
Business-medium 1yr $280.00 + GST
Corporate-large 1yr $375.00 + GST
On top of that $10.00 + GST set up fee, mailbox key & door key.
For mail forwarding, the service fee is $10.00 plus cost of envelope and stamps (+ GST). All you need to do is provide your credit card information and where you want the package delivered within US or Canada.
For packages/documents that will not fit the mailbox, the UPS will receive it and will inform us and we can decide when to pick it up. They weren’t totally clear on how long they’d hold on to it…
Selling the Cars
We’ve sold the 4Runner and are working on selling my love of all loves, Red (she’s a 2014 Hyundai Veloster Turbo with oodles of upgrades). I bought her used and never looked back. I’m sad to see her go, she’s the best car I’ve ever had but excited for our adventures. She would hate being towed, so she needs a new family.
We’re looking at getting a tow vehicle that can be flat towed/dinghy towed.
- Needs auxiliary brake system – unsure if required on all?
- Less than $20K
- SUV not a truck
- Auto transmission
Choices that are most compatible (using these awesome guides for dinghy towing):
- 2011 to 2015 Jeep Wrangler 4WD (2-door)
- 2012 Escape Hybrid
- 2011 to 2015 Grand Cherokee
- 2015 Grand Cherokee 4WD (best mileage out of jeeps)
Can’t wait to see where we land!