We have been at Rustic Barn in Kieler for almost a month now. We have both been experiencing “itchy feet” and are anxious to get on the road. Our cat, Smoke, has adjusted very well to living in the motorhome. He was somewhat restless at first, and kept looking for the “rest of his house”. Joan has been taking him for frequent walks, sometimes twice daily as he wants to go outside and meows pitifully if he hears or sees us outside when he is inside. Smoke is more content as time goes by, friskier than he was the first week or so, and likes to sit on his rug on the front dash of the motorhome-watching the people and activity around our campsite; he gets really excited when birds come close by. We have been leaving him alone in the motorhome when we go on day trips to various locations in the area and he seems to cope well with our absence, although he demands extra attention when we return.
To help pass the time, we visit with other campers, go for long walks, or read books; Joan is doing some drawing with colored pencils; David has done several adjustments on compartment latches outside, rearranging of items in the compartments, and installed a couple of new drawer slides on drawers inside the camper. We enjoy our “day trips” in the tri-state area, doing a little sightseeing, and eat an occasional meal out. Once we get our yearly physicals completed in September, along with any followup tests needed, and get our prescriptions for the year; then we can finally begin the first part of our journey around the United States. We will visit some aunts and uncles on Joan’s mother’s side of the family first; we have gotten very close to them through the years, and want to pay them a visit while we are still in this area. One couple lives in northern Iowa, and the other couple in Minnesota; after a few days visiting, we plan to head for South Dakota and the Black Hills.
We knew that buying a used motorhome meant we would be running the risk of appliances needing to be replaced, as well as any repairs to the motor, transmission, or other components. We saved about 40% off it’s new price by buying our 2004 Damon Intruder used last fall, and were able to pay off the loan after selling our home. Because we don’t have a motorhome payment, we are able to save some money each month for our emergency fund. This is a fund we will use for any repairs, to replace tires, or appliances. We should come out ahead over the years, and have more money for traveling,
We also paid off the loan on our 2009 Jeep Wrangler, and paid several other bills. We had some miscellaneous startup costs: new tires for the front wheels of the motorhome, multiple storage and organizational containers for the compartments and cabinets, a couple of new smaller appliances (crock pot and electric skillet), new dinnerware and frypans, and a few other items. We also paid the yearly premium on the motorhome insurance, changing the policy to one recommended for fulltime RV living. We have the cost of a mailbox service, but are able to check our mailbox every few days due to staying in this general area. Once we are on the road, there will be additional fees for forwarding mail.
We signed up for Medicare supplemental plans with the medical clinic where our doctors are located. They will pay for all medical expenses, whether doctor visits or hospitalization/surgery. The premiums are affordable, and it will be great not to be getting bills for medical treatment. We need to visit their clinics when we are in the area; but emergency treatment is covered throughout the USA, and also in foreign countries (there is a limit to covered amounts and a copay outside the USA). We also obtained prescription drug plans, and will use Walgreen’s pharmacies which are located almost everywhere. We have been making good use of our time while at Rustic Barn, and getting our affairs in order. We have to admit that staying here was a good idea, giving us plenty of time to make all the arrangements for the transition to fulltime RV living. All in all, we are enjoying being retired, having lots of leisure time, and enjoying visits with family and friends.