As I sit here in La Porte, TX awaiting my next load assignment, I thought I’d write a post about the future plans I have rattling in my skull. They may me witty and insightful, or a conundrum of illogical ramblings. We shall soon see!
First Step – Become Debt Free
Like most Americans today, I too have some debt to clean up. So, my first goal is to become debt free. I’m very close though, with only a few big debts left. I follow Dave Ramsey’s podcast and have The Total Money Makeover for a step in the right direction.
Step Two – Buy the Rig
If you read my About Me page, you’ll see I have owned a couple motorhomes in the past, but they didn’t work for what I needed as far as space, durability and possible increase in towing capability. I’ve decided to go the route of a bus conversion. They are usually more expensive to maintain, especially the vintage one I’m looking at, but if kept up well they can last a long time.
So, I found a bus I’d like to convert. I’ve looked at it a few months ago, but the price didn’t fit in my budget, and for what work it needed to get on the road. But, looking through Craigslist the other day, I saw that it was still for sale, and with a lower price. I’m guessing other interested people had the same reservations I did about getting it towed out and repaired. I think if it’s still available when I get home, I’ll see what kind of deal I can strike with the seller. It’ll set back Step One a bit, but if I can get it, I’ll be able to make some other adjustments and still stay on track.
Step Three – Bus Conversion
I want to dedicate a series of posts to the conversion, so I’ll just give you the highlights of what’s planned.
- Acquire bus and tow to a repair shop to have a mechanic go through everything.
- Gut and strip the interior, possibly while at the shop.
- Get all of the body work and rust repair done, including replacing and deleting windows, and replace any stainless panels.
- Install everything that goes on the roof so I can run cables while it’s gutted, including roof vents, a/c units, solar panels, and cell/WiFi boosters.
- Install solar gear, water tanks, plumbing and electrical, and start on the interior framing and insulation.
- Paint exterior and polish stainless.
- Build out the interior. I’m planning a beach cottage/tropical kind of feel, with the vibe of Key West.
- Get the heck outta Dodge!
I’m not planning to spend millions on the build, but I don’t want to cheap out on things just to get on the road sooner. But, that’s not saying I won’t have some used parts and equipment in the mix.
Step Four – Downsize
I admit, I have a ton of things I haven’t used in a long time. I have the “I’ll use it some day” gene. It’s mostly tools, books, DVDs and hobby stuff. As far as tools go, I’ll hang on to them until my bus conversion is done. Books will get reduced to anything I can’t find digitally. DVDs will get burnt to a hard drive starting this year, and anything that I have not watched more than twice will probably get sold or given away. With over 200 movies, this may take a while.
Fortunately, I only rent my house, so I won’t have to worry about selling it, and if my rent goes up dramatically or things stop getting fixed then I’ll move everything in storage for a while. As a trucker that’s out 3-4 weeks at a time, and only home for a few days, it won’t be that bad of a thing. I would miss having a place to sleep that isn’t someone’s couch though 🙂
Step Five – Ramp Up a Side Hustle Income
My only real concern about traveling full time is having an income to support this lifestyle. So, I have a few things I can do in my “skills arsenal” to make money on the road. Again, a subject for another post, but the gist of it is I was raised to learn as much as I can to know how to fix just about anything, and my artistic side has given me the ability to create photos and art someone might like to buy. The challenge for the next 5-10 years is to build that income up to what I’m at now so I can get out of trucking faster. The problem with turning a hobby into an income is that it may not be fun anymore, which in turn hurts the quality of your product.
If something like seasonal Amazon work is still available when I hit the road, I may do that. I hear mixed opinions of the work, but it doesn’t sound much worse than when I was an order filler at a Walmart DC.
And workamping is an option, but I hear being single makes it difficult to get hired, and it’s sometimes hard to find a place that will pay a wage along with a site. Plus, I’m not sure I want to be tied down for weeks or months at a time in one place.
There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to this subject, but I have some time to do the homework.
Step Six – Hit the Road!
At this point, I’d say at least 5 years have passed, maybe 10. It all depends on where I am with my bus conversion. I’d also like to have my kids with me on my travels, but again, another subject for another time.
Now, if by some crazy miracle I’m able to accelerate things, and make the change to a full time RV lifestyle, you’ll see me move like my but is on fire! But, that’s for God to decide. If it isn’t the time, then it isn’t the time.
Well, dinner is ready and my next load came through, so it’s time to sign off and get ready for a short day tomorrow.
Have a great one, and stay safe and warm out there!
–Still no catchy tag line lol–
The photo is from a run through Colorado in 2016.