(Formally "Plan V: A Van Dwelling Blog", when I lived in a 1978 Dodge Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome van)

Monday, October 10, 2016

Going back on the road? Looks like it!

Well, after two and a half years of being mostly idle (besides 2 road trips), I'm sick of it. I've been pretty bored, depressed and quite unhappy in many ways. Socially, it's been no better for me here than anywhere else. So, I am in the early stages of getting rid of stuff again so I can return to the road, in my car this time. I realize that "running away", as some people put it, won't fix things but at least I won't be (as) bored.

I got a used Yakima roof rack (specifically for my car) and roof box for extra cargo space. The biggest problem with the Xplorer was the fuel consumption. This car gets 3 to 5 times the fuel economy as the van did. The van got about 5-10mpg. The car with the roof box gets about 24-30. HUUUUGE difference in terms of how far I can go per gallon!

Sure, it lacks a bathroom and kitchen, but camping gear can make up for that. Restrooms aren't THAT hard to find. Nor are showers, really. Truck stops like Pilot/Flying J have nice showers for about $10. Most developed campgrounds have showers too. Once in a while, I can always splurge on a motel room if I feel the need to sleep in an honest to goodness bed for a night or two.

I'm considering a trailer hitch and hitch mounted cargo carrier as well. One can never have enough storage. I'd like to keep the inside of the car free of excess cargo I don't need in a pinch. A change of clothes in an emergency (without having to access the cargo box), sleeping pads/bags, food, tiny single burner camp stove, tools and not much more.

My initial plan is to haul a load of stuff I don't want to get rid of (in addition to everything that will go with me traveling) back to Arkansas where climate controlled self storage is CHEAP compared to the PNW. I can get a 3x5 unit for $30/mo, or a 5x5 for $40/mo. Up here, it costs 2-3 times as much. Yes, it sounds like a big hassle, and it is, to haul a carload of belongs 2/3 of the ways across the country to store it all, especially when I will probably bring it all back to the PNW some day. But it's either that or get rid of the stuff. Some of it is hard to replace, so I'd rather keep it. Depending on how long it ends up in storage, the hassle VS cost is probably worth it.

I won't take 2 years to get ready this time. More likely, a few months at most. I can't have yard sales in an apartment, so I'm having to give away, donate or try to sell stuff on Craigslist. Most will end up donated or given away, though. I don't have as much as I did before, nor do I have the loose ends to tie up as before. I might have to wait until February or March, though. I'm not 100% sure yet. I'd rather not if I can help it.

Oh by the way, I have a traveling companion now! A few months ago I adopted a pit bull mix from the local shelter, who I have dubbed "Lucy". As you can see below, she's already getting in the mood.

The only phrase that gets her excited more than the word "food" is "Wanna go for a ride?" She loves to get in the car and go places, especially dog parks where she can visit and play with other dogs. Sometimes when I take her outside for a walk, she tries to drag me to the car. She's got more motivation to hit the road than even I do, ha!

So there you have it. I'm itching to go again... so I may as well. I have little to lose, besides this apartment. But what good is a nice apartment if you feel like you're imprisoned in it, to some degree? Being a drifter is in my blood, I guess. I'll probably never want to stay anywhere for very long, for as long as I live.