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Old 01-30-2017, 03:35 PM   #1
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Hello - intro

Hi I'm Kate. I've been lurking for a while now and decided to jump in with both feet and finally introduce myself. Bear with me as I get to the point...

In a nutshell, my life has worked out so that I live what most would consider the American Dream and yet I'm miserable. I really hate professional, upper-middle class suburbia. Can I say that here without the pitchforks coming out? I mean no offence to those that aspire to the upper middle class, soccer mom, minivan lifestyle but I feel like my soul is slowly dying trying to keep up with the Joneses - the house, the yard, the cars, the jobs, the clothes, the socializing, the clubs and memberships, organic, non-gmo, SAVE THE EARTH... That darn Heifer International catalog says I haven't donated enough cows to starving third world villagers lately. Three hundred other charities have the same opinion, regardless of how much we actually give. I feel like I might just be in the target market for Gwyneth Paltrow's Jade Vagina eggs. (Don't Google it!) Seriously, God bless capitalism, but can I jump off this burning ship? I say all this as an intro because I know some of you can relate to this feeling. Though nothing is truly wrong and I have a good life by any reasonable standard, I am a misfit in my current circumstances and no matter how much I've attempted to change my attitude, I'm truly unhappy with this lifestyle. I am an artist and a nomad at heart and I am just about ready to pack a bag and run away from home. So last July, I suggested to my fiance that we sell the house and take up RVing full time. To my surprise, he was 100% on-board from day one.

So I've been in full-time research mode for the last six months. I was initially thinking we'd just buy an RV and hit the road, but I'm too cheap to spend a hundred grand or more on a home that will lose a third of it's value or more just driving off the lot. After touring hundreds of models of pre-built RVs, going to RV shows, reading blogs and forums, and watching countless hours of youtube videos by names you'd all recognize, we've finally decided on doing a custom Skoolie conversion instead. And so that's how we find ourselves here at skoolie.net among you fine folks.

The other half works from home and so as long as there is internet and power, we are golden for income. My deepest desire right now is to go hide in nature far away from human contact and so we plan to do a significant amount of boondocking until humans become tolerable again. We may be out there a long time I've got the basics down for what we need to boondock successfully for long periods - large fresh/grey tanks, solar power, sawdust toilet, redundant internet options. We already employ green living techniques in our sticks and bricks home, and my mother has lived off-grid for years as an example, so we're well-equipped for that part. He's designing the solar system and is planning on a 48 volt LiFePO. I have no idea what a LiFePO is: Electricity is not my thing so I'm trusting him here. We plan to also pull down the ceiling and wall panels in order to insulate the interior with spray foam, which we have prior experience with in our home. I've put my foot down on his desire to raise the roof though as that is far more work than I am interested in. Since we're both short people 5'9" and under, I don't see the point. Someone here suggested banning people over 6' from the bus and that seems as good a solution as raising the roof!

We are moving to Florida as part of our plan, partly to make domicile issues easier once we hit the road, partly because our current location is regulated into the next century and we'd never get away with doing a bus conversion in our lovely little HOA-restricted piece of suburban hell. The house is going on the market in three months. We're hoping to be moved state and ready to purchase a bus by August with the conversion completed in 6 months. If I've learned anything about bus buying from this forum, it is that busses in Florida are overpriced junkers and I'm probably looking forward to a trip to Utah for a great deal on a good quality bus with little rust. Amiright?

I've spent a great deal of time learning about RVs and full-timing in general and now I'm at the stage now of learning as much as possible about bus models, engines/tranny, air brakes, rust abatement, window replacements, etc. I've got another 6 or 8 months to get all that down before we will making a purchase.

Brevity is not my strong suit, sorry

I don't know that I'm looking for any specific advice or have any burning questions right at this point but I figured I've been lurking long enough and should introduce myself before posting elsewhere on the forum. Friendly advice and suggestions are always welcome.
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:01 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by LPKKate View Post
Hi I'm Kate. I've been lurking for a while now and decided to jump in with both feet and finally introduce myself. Bear with me as I get to the point...

In a nutshell, my life has worked out so that I live what most would consider the American Dream and yet I'm miserable. I really hate professional, upper-middle class suburbia. Can I say that here without the pitchforks coming out? I mean no offence to those that aspire to the upper middle class, soccer mom, minivan lifestyle but I feel like my soul is slowly dying trying to keep up with the Joneses - the house, the yard, the cars, the jobs, the clothes, the socializing, the clubs and memberships, organic, non-gmo, SAVE THE EARTH... That darn Heifer International catalog says I haven't donated enough cows to starving third world villagers lately. Three hundred other charities have the same opinion, regardless of how much we actually give. I feel like I might just be in the target market for Gwyneth Paltrow's Jade Vagina eggs. (Don't Google it!) Seriously, God bless capitalism, but can I jump off this burning ship? I say all this as an intro because I know some of you can relate to this feeling. Though nothing is truly wrong and I have a good life by any reasonable standard, I am a misfit in my current circumstances and no matter how much I've attempted to change my attitude, I'm truly unhappy with this lifestyle. I am an artist and a nomad at heart and I am just about ready to pack a bag and run away from home. So last July, I suggested to my fiance that we sell the house and take up RVing full time. To my surprise, he was 100% on-board from day one.

So I've been in full-time research mode for the last six months. I was initially thinking we'd just buy an RV and hit the road, but I'm too cheap to spend a hundred grand or more on a home that will lose a third of it's value or more just driving off the lot. After touring hundreds of models of pre-built RVs, going to RV shows, reading blogs and forums, and watching countless hours of youtube videos by names you'd all recognize, we've finally decided on doing a custom Skoolie conversion instead. And so that's how we find ourselves here at skoolie.net among you fine folks.

The other half works from home and so as long as there is internet and power, we are golden for income. My deepest desire right now is to go hide in nature far away from human contact and so we plan to do a significant amount of boondocking until humans become tolerable again. We may be out there a long time I've got the basics down for what we need to boondock successfully for long periods - large fresh/grey tanks, solar power, sawdust toilet, redundant internet options. We already employ green living techniques in our sticks and bricks home, and my mother has lived off-grid for years as an example, so we're well-equipped for that part. He's designing the solar system and is planning on a 48 volt LiFePO. I have no idea what a LiFePO is: Electricity is not my thing so I'm trusting him here. We plan to also pull down the ceiling and wall panels in order to insulate the interior with spray foam, which we have prior experience with in our home. I've put my foot down on his desire to raise the roof though as that is far more work than I am interested in. Since we're both short people 5'9" and under, I don't see the point. Someone here suggested banning people over 6' from the bus and that seems as good a solution as raising the roof!

We are moving to Florida as part of our plan, partly to make domicile issues easier once we hit the road, partly because our current location is regulated into the next century and we'd never get away with doing a bus conversion in our lovely little HOA-restricted piece of suburban hell. The house is going on the market in three months. We're hoping to be moved state and ready to purchase a bus by August with the conversion completed in 6 months. If I've learned anything about bus buying from this forum, it is that busses in Florida are overpriced junkers and I'm probably looking forward to a trip to Utah for a great deal on a good quality bus with little rust. Amiright?

I've spent a great deal of time learning about RVs and full-timing in general and now I'm at the stage now of learning as much as possible about bus models, engines/tranny, air brakes, rust abatement, window replacements, etc. I've got another 6 or 8 months to get all that down before we will making a purchase.

Brevity is not my strong suit, sorry

I don't know that I'm looking for any specific advice or have any burning questions right at this point but I figured I've been lurking long enough and should introduce myself before posting elsewhere on the forum. Friendly advice and suggestions are always welcome.
Well Kate, I understand totally about keeping up with the Joneses. But honestly it is not really our problem about keeping up with them. It is about that we are a little different and we like doing things a little different. One thing for sure, the only thing permanent is change. Just about the time you've got it all figured out, you're ten years older and it all changes. Kudos for having the courage to make the leap. If you've never done anything like this, it will cost you more than you realize. Don't despair. Most of us don't give a damn because we love doing it. Has nothing to do with saving money. WE ARE ALL CRAZY AS A LOON !!!!!!
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:18 PM   #3
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Well Kate, I understand totally about keeping up with the Joneses. But honestly it is not really our problem about keeping up with them. It is about that we are a little different and we like doing things a little different. One thing for sure, the only thing permanent is change. Just about the time you've got it all figured out, you're ten years older and it all changes. Kudos for having the courage to make the leap. If you've never done anything like this, it will cost you more than you realize. Don't despair. Most of us don't give a damn because we love doing it. Has nothing to do with saving money. WE ARE ALL CRAZY AS A LOON !!!!!!
For brevity's sake, I left out that my grandparents full-timed in a 30' travel trailer pulled by a 1936 Oldsmobile with four kids for seven years in the 1950's. I guess compared to that, few things seem crazy to me!

It does help that my people have done this before. I have a roadmap to follow. My grandparents full-timed again for over a decade in the 1980's in their early retirement. My aunts and uncles are all part-time RVers. The only thing I'm doing different is the school bus part. Granddad passed a long time ago, but I'm lucky I got to share my plans with my grandmother this fall before she passed away. She spent two full days telling me about their travels with the kids, working on the road, crises, etc. I've got some recordings of her from that weekend. She'll be with us in spirit.
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Old 01-30-2017, 07:19 PM   #4
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That's great you were about to get some of grandmas stories recorded. I know mine is dearly missed. She also contributed much to my free spirit and wanderlust. I think you found the right site here, you'll find just the people you need to help. Good luck, and welcome!! ��
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:58 PM   #5
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Welcome, Kate

This is one of the kindest Boards I've seen in a while, and I used to host BBS, back in the pre-Internet days...

Be patient, be picky, be selective, but when she comes along- pay the extra $500 or whatever to get her. Now, don't shell out large coin just because of attachment or feelings, but you know.

Less is more. You will endure ridicule, eyebrows, etc..., but Carry On !


There is a HUGE sense of satisfaction lying in the driveway while it's snowing with fuel dripping on your face...I think. The sweat and toil of filling construction trash bags with smelly floor rubber is unparalleled in any Yoga class.

Diesel, lockup trans, minimal rust... K.I.S.S. Keep It Simply Stupendous.

Check w/ HOA or use your network to secure a safe spot for your obsession.

Welcome.

oh--, put what State you live in. Helps.
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:12 AM   #6
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Thank you all for reading my rant and also for the warm welcome!
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:32 AM   #7
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Welcome!
What part of FL do you plan on heading to?
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Old 01-31-2017, 10:12 AM   #8
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Welcome!
What part of FL do you plan on heading to?
We haven't given a huge amount of thought to exact location but probably north-central-ish Florida, though it will mostly depend on what is available to rent when we move. Wherever we can find a laid-back landlord out in the sticks that is friendly to our conversion plans - ideally a property with a garage. I've previously lived in the Lake City-Gainesville I-75 corridor and also just outside of The Villages. I have family near Ocala and that could play into our location.
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:28 AM   #9
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I grew up right next to the Villages in Lady Lake.
Check out the Paisley area for cheap, hassle free land.
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Old 01-31-2017, 12:00 PM   #10
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I grew up right next to the Villages in Lady Lake.
Check out the Paisley area for cheap, hassle free land.
I'm familiar with Lady Lake! I lived in Belleview. I'll check out Paisley - thanks!
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