Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A Major Shift in Plans

Port Charlotte, FL

This morning, Libby and I bought an RV permanently sited in an RV park.  Based on that, we also decided to go slow on the paint project; and do it right.  Given that, we don't want to hurry to Marathon to get a mooring ball before they are all gone.  Instead, we'll leave Tarwathie on the hard until next spring when we hope to go to the Bahamas with Pat & Walt.

Don't get alarmed.  That does not mean that we are in poor health or that we are giving up cruising. However, I guess it does move us more firmly to the status of part-time cruisers rather than full-time cruisers.

I don't need to explain myself to blog readers, but I will anyhow.  Here's the real story.

  • Recently we visited cruising friends Pat & Walt in Vero Beach.  They mentioned that one reason for buying a house in Vero was financial security.  Pat said, "If all our money is in the stock market, and if the market crashes, we would be screwed."  Owning real estate is a disaster hedge.

    How true. With this RV we will have a place to live at a cost affordable enough that we could survive on Social Security along if all our savings were lost.  It makes sense.

  • Cruising friends Darrrick & Sharon last year bought a trailer in Florida.  They still have their house and boat.  We decided to visit them this weekend, to take a break from painting.

  • Well their place, Olde Mill Stream RV Resort in Umatilla, FL is a jewel.  The same things that appealed to Sharon & Darrick appealed to us.   It is not an RV campground, not a trailer park.  It is restricted so that customers can live there only 8 months per year.  That eliminates permanent residents and 100% of the clients are snowbirds like us.

    The RV park also has lots of amenities.  rec room, pool, a lake, tennis, pickle ball, free storage for small boats & canoes, gated, good security, very affordable, no taxes to pay.
  • Umatilla is in central Florida.  Cracker country.  It is far enough from the maddening crowds of both coasts to be like a time machine looking 50 years in the past.  Nowhere near Umatilla will you ever see a Hillary Clinton yard sign.  But yuppydom is not far away.  The outer fringes of Metropolitan Orlando are only 5-10 miles away.
  • We bought an older RV, a 2000 Franklin Park, 39'.   The price was only as much as a 5 year old used car.  The price also includes a years park fees/rent prepaid.   This is a so-called destination model RV.  It is designed to live in rather than to be mobile.  It sits permanently tied down to the site in the RV park. Don't ask me the difference between this RV and a mobile home.  It is designed to avoid the laws regulating mobile homes.
  • Libby and I look upon this as an experiment.  If this alternate part-time life appeals to us, we'll keep it.  We'll divide the year between visiting the kids, and Tarwathie and the RV.  If we don't like it, we'll drop the idea, sell the RV and we won't loose too much money.

  • In case of financial or medical disaster, we have a backup housing solution, and a very pleasant one indeed.
So meet, ... (we haven't named her yet.  Suggestions welcome.)

    p.s.  To many of you, this trailer looks small.  To boaters like us, it appears HUGE!   For example, all the clothes we own will only fill about 5% of the hanging closet space.

    p.p.s.  I've written before that the thing Libby misses most while cruising on Tarwathie is the lack of her own garden.  I miss most the inability to own a Lazy Boy recliner chair.  Now, we'll have both.


    1. I love it! It looks so nice and you'll have so many options!

    2. Congratulations! I think you made a wise choice. Best wishes.

    3. What a wonderful place for the both of you. You can still sail, drive, and have the comfort of a home on dirt! Congrats! We'll have to visit you soon.


    Type your comments here.