Portland, OR; 21 Mar ‘16

It began with a simple thought . . .

“I wish I had bigger holding tanks” – the holding tanks in my 2005 17’ Escape were very small (8 gal Black; 5 gal bucket for grey).  As I did more and more dry camping, these tank limitations became more and more of an annoyance. 

Then, as I looked at all the new models that Escape offers, I gave in to ‘2 foot-itis’.  Wow, I could have a permanent bed AND a big dinette (perfect for crafts and painting).  I remember deciding to buy my first Escape and confirming all the options took about 90 minutes.  This time, having several months between my deposit and the date my build sheet was due, gave me WAY too much time to second guess, fret, read posts from other folks, and add, add, add options!

Of course, I’d need a new tow vehicle!

As easy as it was to order and receive a perfect new trailer, it was equally difficult to decide on, actually receive and outfit an appropriate tow vehicle!  I would need to do a whole post on the adventure of researching and testing SUV’s with an appropriate tow rating.  Having decided on the new, redesigned  2016 Honda Pilot, I had to wait over 4 months to actually get one!!  Many misunderstandings on what I needed to actually get this great car ready to tow!  Lesson: go with a vehicle where towing is a primary selling point – not one where towing is an afterthought.  I got a lot of misinformation and misdirection resulting (of course) in lost time, hassle and more expense.  Hopefully, by the time I actually hit the road this summer, all the kinks will be worked out – the last issue is having to replace my roof rack system to work with the new redesigned Honda rails (flush mounted now).  It is unclear whether Yakima has anything to fit yet and the Thule offering won’t work with the stuff I need on the roof.

I loved watching my Escape being built!

Getting pictures every few days during the actual build was so fun!!

Looking back towards the rear passenger side - doesn't it look BIG!

Same view: Fridge and cupboards are in!

This is the front; Will be my permanent bed

And here's the permanent bed with an opening underneath for easy access to litter box and file boxes

Great view of the kitchen, HUGE dinette with original style table

Almost ready for pick-up!!!  Shiny, Shiny!!


Portland, OR

Cleaning out for the sale of my house

Life for the last couple of months has been very predictable:  Sort through my 3 bedroom, full basement, and garage placing my belongings into many piles: Sell on Craigslist, Donate to Goodwill, the Rebuilding Center (tools and construction or remodeling things), Habitat for Humanity, Community Warehouse (give household goods for free to people in need), the dump, free to my neighbors, my new storage unit, and last, but not least, jam into my new trailer! 

Then repeat, over and over and over!  Mostly, it wasn't too hard.  I got a niece to take some of the family memorabilia and furniture.  It was odd to find the things I was very attached to - arts and crafts materials with no actual value at all and what things were surprisingly easy to say goodbye to.  I think it helped that my family moved a lot when I was young, so I don't always have strong attachments to things.

Then came just plain cleaning – for the open house.  I hate, hate, hate cleaning!  I was very grateful to have a few friends who came and helped clean!

They said the Portland real estate market was hot – but this surprised even my realtor!

My realtor had a strategy (offer low to get more folks, creating excitement, competing bids, etc).  We had over 100 people at the open house and 28 offers – and the resulting sale price was considerably more than either of us had expected (but strangely, right what my neighbor thought I would get for it!). 

So, I’ve apparently sold my house!  It will close in mid-April.  I moved out shortly before the house went on the market just for convenience – so Fay Wray and I are getting settled into the new trailer in a nearby RV Resort.

I feel free and unburdened!

My friends thought I would feel loss after living in my house for 18 years – longer than I have ever lived anywhere ever.  But, in fact, I mostly just feel relieved.  The house was becoming more of a burden as I travel more, worrying over who I could get to stay in the house while I was away, overwhelmed by the increasing list of maintenance to do, and increasingly hating the rainy PNW weather.

So, while I still have a couple of months in Portland, taking care of details and family matters, I’m feeling remarkably free and happy.  I’m still close enough to visit my old neighbors and friends, enjoy spring in Portland, and look forward to planning my first real trip.

The big Reveal - my new trailer and vehicle

Will be in the next post!