Musings on Bad Luck and Probability

musings-on-bad-luck-and-probabilityAnd we’re back in business! The problem with my laptop was a dying hard drive, replaced to the tune of $216 (a drop in the bucket compared to the truck repairs).

Several readers have pointed out that I seem to be having a string of bad luck lately. If you look at the past 12 months, I’ve had major failures of the four most expensive things I own: truck, trailer, phone, and now computer.

Curiosity made me question why I’ve had such problems with my essential equipment, and here’s my theory. Next time you experience something similar and start wondering if the world is out to get you, consider this:

All of these things I bought around the same time, 4-5 years ago, as I was preparing to hit the road. All have been used heavily since that time and performed trouble-free, day after day, for years. Modern electronics are designed to have a short life, to encourage consumers to upgrade to the latest and greatest frequently. One would expect a new truck or RV to go longer than 4-5 years before experiencing a catastrophic fault, but remember I bought used and Bertha and Cas are 15 and 17 years old respectively. (Technically, the loss of the fridge in the Casita was not a catastrophic fault since the trailer was still functional other than the loss of refrigeration, but the fridge is the single most expensive thing that can fail on a Casita, so I feel the term fits).

In short, as my equipment aged the likelihood of something going wrong increased every time I booted up my computer or started the truck. And since I bought everything at about the same time, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s all failing at about the same time. I’ve kept up on routine maintenance and take good care of my belongings, and while that’s the number one thing you can do to keep things in good working order, it won’t catch or stop all problems.

Electronics and machines wear out. I’m not “unlucky” or somehow jinxed, I just lost the probability game. That’s all.

So now that everything has been repaired, am I good for the next 3-4 years? Probably not. Math was never my strongest subject so I’m not sure how to explain this with formulas or concrete numbers (if it’s even possible) but new things still have a chance of failing, it’s just a lower chance than older things. Plus there are still plenty of older components in my truck, trailer, and computer (I replaced my phone remember) that are continuing to age – they could reach their expiration date at any time.

Which brings me to another point, that complexity also plays a roll in the chance of a failure. The more complex and greater the number of parts there are to an object, the higher the risk of something going wrong at any given time. RVs, trucks, computers, and smartphones are all pretty complex.

It’ll be interesting to see what my cost of living ends up being for 2016. It’ll certainly be higher than last year with a greater percentage dedicated to the maintenance and repair category, and last year that category already counted for 25% of my total expenses which seems rather excessive. For those of you full-timing, I’d be curious to hear what percentage of your yearly expenses go into maintenance and repair.

* * *

With the new hard drive, my laptop is responding faster than it has in years, but it’s been a pain getting it all set up again. I’m still in the process of re-downloading all my programs, and sadly my old Photoshop disc (circa 2002) has bit the dust, forcing me to switch over to a new photo editing program. You’ll have to excuse me if the photo quality or quantity is a bit lacking for a while while I learn this new one (GIMP). It took a good ten minutes this evening just figuring out how to crop today’s photo into a square and then get it sized (this is a photo from Salida, CO last month).

Not much has happened in the time I’ve been away. Amazon is going fine, no overtime this week which was good, otherwise I may not have been capable of updating the blog today. For those missing my travelogues with the arrival of Amazon season (I know I’ve been missing getting out and exploring) I’m intending on spending my last day off tomorrow visiting a nearby state park, expect to hear about that next time.

Meanwhile what’s been going on in your lives? Without my laptop I’ve been feeling disconnected and now that it’s working again I’d love to hear about what you all have been up to.

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Becky

At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.

65 Comments

  1. Vanholio! on October 24, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Budgeting for average expenses is one thing. But “averages” in everyday life bounce up and down a lot from month to month. Even with a deep emergency savings, it’s nerve wracking.
    Vanholio! recently posted..Greenhouse for Winter Van Life WarmthMy Profile



    • Becky on October 24, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      It sure is. September will probably go down as my most expensive month on the road to date.



  2. Ernesto Quintero on October 23, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Becky, I think Mr. Murphy’s Law is stalking you. 😉



    • Becky on October 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Such is life. 🙂



  3. Sherry on the road to Florida on October 23, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    It is my experience and I’ve heard from others, full timers like me and just regular folks, that this year has been one of bad luck for lots of people. At least it wasn’t health problems is what I always think. We too have older vehicles – 12 year old rig and 16 year old car both of which have had issues. Glad you have the right attitude about it all. Everything gets taken care of and it really is only money that can and will be replaced. Life is to be lived!!
    Sherry on the road to Florida recently posted..A Fantastic Bookshop and a WaterFall BustMy Profile



    • Becky on October 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Overall it’s been a pretty good year for me, I mean I’m making enough from my writing where I didn’t have to work this summer and got to boondock around the west for 9 months straight which was fantastic. I’ll agree it’s been costly money-wise though.

      Sorry your vehicles had troubles and hopefully this will be all for a while!



  4. Debbie in VA on October 21, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Hopefully this will be the last of your troubles for a while. I totally agree with your “more parts, more repairs” motto. I just had to have one of my slides fixed to the tune of 2k, ouch! Yesterday, I ran across the you tube video you did with Bob over at cheaprvliving.com. Thank you for doing that, I enjoyed being able to see the inside of a Casita. If I didn’t need to accommodate 4 or 5 people on long outings, that might be an option I’d use. I could see myself living in it :-). I also enjoyed being able to put a voice with a face that I’ve been following for a while now. Take care and may your days feel short at Amazon!
    Debbie in VA recently posted..How Do You Drive That Thing?My Profile



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      Yikes Debbie! I’ve had three other friends this year who needed slide repairs. I admit this is one of the reasons I shopped for a trailer without them, but I know for many people the extra space is well worth it.

      I’m glad you enjoyed that video I did with Bob, it was a lot of fun getting to show off the inside of my Casita (for those of you reading the comments wondering what this video is, you can find it in the “Videos” tab at the top of my blog).

      Thanks, I’m already counting down the weeks until Amazon is over and I’m hoping it goes quickly too, haha.



  5. Cletus on October 21, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Becky, Let’s hope the rest of the year treats you well.

    We are on the move from Northern Minnesota to the Coastal Bend of Texas. We take about two weeks to make the trip stopping to see friends and family along the way, sleeping in the truck camper in their driveway or at our favorite Cracker Barrel along the way. Currently in Sulphur OK but expect to be passing by Haslet tomorrow (Saturday) on our way to Georgetown for a few days. Should be near Helotes on Monday for a few more days with good friends then on to Rockport for the winter. We’ll wave when we drive by the Haslet area!

    If you happen to somehow end up on the Texas coast before spring we could take you sailing. There are some nice beach boondocking areas on the coast from Port Lavaca down to North or South Padre Island and further south. Although we stay in a private park we take time now and then for a short boondocking stay on the beach.

    Keep on Keeping on!



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      Thanks Cletus.

      I love staying at Cracker Barrels! Good food and dedicated RV spots, hard to go wrong. If you came through Haslet proper today we were probably quite close to each other as I was at work. I hope the rest of your trip goes well and that you enjoy coastal Texas – I have friends who stay at South Padre all winter and really like it. Sadly I need to scoot west as soon as CamperForce is over this year, need to pick a friend up in Phoenix on the 30th. Take care!



  6. Tom Moore on October 21, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I feel your pain.

    Just replaced my 2016 f150 after it was totaled two weeks ago when I was hit from behind. 3200 miles on it…made me sick. No one was hurt more that scrapes a bruise or two.

    Now it’s off to pick up the Minnie Winnie trailer in east Texas next week and then out on the road.

    You are one of my full time RVing heroes. Keep up the great blog.



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:52 pm

      So sorry to hear about your truck Tom, although I’m relieved that no one was seriously hurt.

      I’m glad IO has inspired you, thanks for reading!



  7. Gary Brooks on October 21, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Becky, thanks for the updates. Hope things continue to settle down with the “unexpected” but not unplanned equipment failures. It’s so important to have the funds set aside to deal with the things you know will happen, but don’t know when. I (as I am writing this) have my 16′ Casita out at Lake Casitas. It’s a little on the warm side here, middle 90’s, but it’s supposed to cool off starting tomorrow. This rally is put on by the Fiberglass RV group and there are quite a few Casitas as well as a bunch of Escapes and a couple of Bolers. Again thanks for sharing all of your experiences, both the good and the bad. Take care.



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:51 pm

      You’re welcome Gary. Lake Casitas… how perfect haha. If it’s dry heat mid-90’s is tolerable, it’s humidity that really annoys me when camping. I experienced my first fiberglass RV rally (was a mix too) in Quartzsite last January and it was a lot of fun. Hope you enjoy the rest of this one.



  8. MnDreamer on October 21, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Glad to see that your computer is up and running again– I’ve missed you! It looks like things are going well for you at Amazon, too, and those paychecks will help you build the emergency fund back up again. Your positive attitude is always refreshing!
    Fall is setting in, in the upper midwest. My bestie and I went to beautiful Crex Meadows Wildlife Area in western WI to observe the sandhill crane migration at sunrise today– breathtaking! A lot of the fall color is peaking or past peak, and I’m steeling myself for the cold and the dark of winter—-so looking forward to being able to follow the sun in my own Casita, in a couple of years! 🙂



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:48 pm

      Thanks Mn, it’s good to be back.

      Yes the Sandhills are really something. having grown up in Wisconsin I’m very familiar with their route. Winter up there can be harsh, I can’t say I’m not happy to have escaped it and I hope you get to as well someday soon! 🙂



  9. JR Thornton on October 21, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    Hey Becky. My wife and I have been following your trip this summer. We were in Durango when you were on the other side in Leadville. We were both in Lubbock at the same time and both arrived in Haslet at the same time. Our daughter lives in Haslet so that was our reason for the Colorado, New Mexico, Texas migration. We then stopped in to the Escapees HQ in Livingston for a week as that is where our current address is. We thought we should at least see where our physical address really is. Currently we are in the Houston area for some sight seeing i.e.NASA, museums, etc then back to Haslet for Thanksgiving. Next will be a slow migration to Quartzsite. As newbies this will be our rite of passage. We enjoy the news of your travels. The good times we are happy for you and the bad/sad events we feel your pain. We wait for more updates from the newly refurbished computer.



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:46 pm

      Quartzsite is something every RVer should experience at least once, in my opinion. Last year was my first time there and I had an absolute blast – I hope you do too!

      Colorado blew me away, just loved the mountains. I’ll have to go back again for sure.

      Have a good holiday season and have a good time with your daughter.



  10. Gary Clark on October 21, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Becky,

    We went through the post-processing software options lately ourselves. Finally happened on FastStone after trying GIMP, Picassa and others. I have settled on FastStone, simple, powerful and free! Also has a tutorial to download that is very helpful.

    Travel Safe,

    Gary



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Glad FastStone is working well for you Gary. Take care.



  11. Joe Aro on October 21, 2016 at 11:55 am

    Sorry you’ve had such a run of failures. Your logic is sound. The most important part is having a rainy day fund. Good advice for every one.

    Wife and I are now serious about going full time. We’re shopping for a Class A, 30 feet or so. We’ve rented up to now and ownership is a serious consideration for us.

    I’ll be working my online business as we travel. Your posts are a big help. Our departure date is early March. Seems like a long time away. But with all we have to do to unplug from our stationary life I’m sure the days will go by too fast.

    Here’s hoping you have a smoother rest of the year and all of 2017.



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:43 pm

      Thanks Joe, and best of luck to you two on hitting the road. If I were traveling with someone instead of alone, 30 feet is probably what I’d be looking for – enough for both people to have their own space but still short enough to get into most state and national parks.

      Yes, March will be here before you know it. The last month especially will fly by and be hectic and you’ll probably wish you had more time. it seems to work that way for every full-timer I’ve ever talked to. 😛 Take care.



  12. Bobby on October 21, 2016 at 11:39 am

    Yes, it happened to me during Trans America Trail for 6 months. I have 1999 Chevrolet Suburban Z71 lifted. I had put few new parts before goes on trip. (Upper ball joints, u-joints, tune-up, lights, few others). When I was camping in Ozark national forest for 3 weeks near Oark, Arkansas and before I planned to leave while I get money from SSD. I had to buy new mud tires, All-Terrain tires getting worn out but it would good for around 4-5,000 miles and I rather to get better traction in next trails also I keep 2 old tires as spare. Next 2 days, in the morning at Pryor Creek, Oklahoma, I was driving on road and I noticed the steering loosely when curving then I had turned around back to town to find the shop. I waited entire day and they replaced pitarm and idler arm also found front axle seal leaking. I paid for 3 repairs. It goes good weeks and great time till I get to Moab, Utah and camping there for 2 weeks. 3 days before departure Moab, I found my rear spring leaf holder bracket broken and fuel pump quit. I went to shop to repair and paid. Reach California, had no problems till time to heading to Phoenix Arizona, it would not start then it finally run after few tries. Then I suspect it is fuel injection system. At driving its fine, only problem it would not start at first and I had to spray the starting fluid. Now I’m back home. Haven’t taken my SUV to shop yet. I have to pay the credit first nearly $3,000 in repairs cost. Now I’m planning to upgrade performance in Suburban before travel in northern states next 2 years. Hopeful will be trouble-free. Yes I know it is not easy to have trouble-free forever. Some stuffs will pop up in whenever the trouble comes.



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:40 pm

      Hope you enjoyed your trip despite the repairs Bobby. From what I hear the general rule for repairs is once repairs cost more than the vehicle is worth, time to replace. Next time Bertha needs a major repair like that, I’ll be replacing.



  13. Mike on October 21, 2016 at 11:34 am

    Thanks for the update.
    I am two years in to full timing and I have already upgraded all 5 tires, 4 new shocks and replaced the microwave. Sometimes I forget that I am living in something all the time that was never designed for full time living.
    Still the best living decision I ever made. Thanks in part to you and your blog.

    –Mike



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:37 pm

      You’re welcome Mike and I’m glad you’re enjoying IO. I replaced most of my tires last year, the last 2 on the truck this year. Luckily with my smaller rig the tires aren’t a huge expense.

      Glad you’re enjoying full-timing, take care!



  14. Jose on October 21, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Hello Becky, my sister and i decided to take my mom to Yosemite, this was my moms first time there. October turned out to be an amazing day to see the beautiful autumn colors. I had been to Yosemite in February, so i got to see snow all over the place. i saw your interview with Bob for the second time. i really enjoyed it. i’m not a full time RVr, but i will be when i’m ready



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      I visited Yosemite in early October a couple years ago and it was beautiful, although the color hadn’t started quite yet. Glad you had a good time!



  15. Vicki L Cook on October 21, 2016 at 9:20 am

    Hey Becky, Been there done that….I bought my 1995 Fleetwood motorhome 5 years ago and of course all the appliances started to bite the dust, one at a time. The first to go was the refrigerator, but the good thing is I had a built in icemaker which I was able to use as a freezer to go along with a apartment size frig that I bought at Walmart. The combination worked really well until my icemaker died. I removed the old frig and bought another frig with freezer from Home Depot. The next thing to go was water heater. I took the old one out and replaced it with an on demand unit and that actually worked better. I wasn’t constantly keeping a pilot light on so no propane consumption and instant hot water, with very little electricity used. All in all the total cost of all these appliances was approximately $450. No labor cost, because I’ve learned to do alot of things myself.

    You’re so right, things are going to wear out so that just needs to be built in to your savings. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have problems with a newer RV or truck, because I have many friends on the road who have experienced problems, just different ones. Like….slideouts that don’t go back in, for example.

    Vicki October 21, 2016



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      I like my new fridge better than my old one, I really couldn’t say about the water heater (which I also replaced) because I practically never use it.

      And yeah, I never regret buying a relatively simple RV. In fact, I intend on going smaller and simpler one day.



  16. Jim on October 21, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Slowly working my way down to Mexico to winter there. Currently hanging out at a RV park in Rosamond, Cali, which is basically the desert. And next week on to the Salton Sea to soak up some sunshine for a week or two and then into Baja for the winter. I like warmth, but not necessarily heat.

    You are correct about the failure of equipment, but things that also play into the equation is quality of components, care and skill of the workers that put it together, and frequency of use.

    It’s always best to spend as much time as possible researching any major purchase, and then spend time lurking on forums pertaining to that brand…if applicable. So you’re prepared for ‘typical’ failures for that item and perhaps able to get ahead of the curve.

    When it comes to my field, computers, when clients asked me which laptop would give them the longest life, for years I’d recommend based on price, suggesting they buy a brand name they recognise, and at a price in the middle. That’s usually where you find your best value point.

    I’ve tried to like Gimp, but it’s just not intuitive enough for me. Now, instead of using a photo editing program, I shrink my photos in the OS (Win10 or Ubuntu), by right clicking them in their folder and choosing ‘Resize’. To crop, I just upload the photo to WordPress, and crop there. Easy. In Win7, you can just rgt click and choose ‘Edit’ and the photo opens in Paint.
    Jim recently posted..Drive around…My Profile



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Have a good time in Baja Jim, I have several friends who’ve done it and really enjoyed it.

      I love advanced tools and filters too much for just paint. Photoshop was pretty complex too, it’s just re-learning where the tools I want are located and what they’re called.



  17. Mike Fryman on October 21, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Becky you have had a year……..you are inspirational. My wife and I have been out for about a month in our 28ft bumper pull…….thru taos, grand canyon, southern California and now southern Arizona……….blow out on the trailer, wave on the beach got my wife’s phone…………..am working on getting back to Denver before snow flys……..really want to see Georgia O’keefe’s museum in santa fe…………love reading your blog. Keep trucking girl…………frydad



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      Glad you’re enjoying IO and hope you had a good time despite the setbacks Mike, safe travels and happy trails.



  18. Alan Belisle on October 21, 2016 at 7:54 am

    We just had our car, Gypsy, into the shop. The low tire pressure indicator kept coming on, even after a few shop had already “fixed” it. After a thorough exam, it turned out Gypsy needed a new ball joint, wheel alignment, a transmission seal, and brake pads. $1,700 later, we are on the road again. It stings, but it is kind of our home and we depend on it so we have to take care of it. And, if you think about it, for every thousand miles you travel, little explosions drive those pistons up and down millions of time. Those tires run over everything imaginable and stay firm. All of the little subsystems keep operating despite the vibration and environmental influences. These are incredibly durable machines. Usually.
    Alan Belisle recently posted..Hershey and Gettysburg, PennsylvaniaMy Profile



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      Hopefully that’ll be all for a while Alan and yes, modern technology is really quite amazing.



  19. Jodee Gravel on October 21, 2016 at 7:48 am

    We’ve survived the “shake down” phase of owning a new rig and fortunately most everything we’ve needed repaired has been covered. But we gave up finding someone who could figure out what was wrong with the Cherokee and buying the new Wrangler was a big hit to our finances. Still, we love driving it and just cut back elsewhere. I’m a strong believer in getting back what we put out there, rather than good or bad luck. A broken machine really isn’t personal :-))) And as you wisely pointed out, timing is everything and stuff is bound to wear out. We’re heading south next week, our time in New England has been beautiful.
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..More Solo TimeMy Profile



    • Becky on October 22, 2016 at 7:25 pm

      Glad the Wrangler has been working out Jodee, I’ll have to get up to New England myself someday.



  20. Onestep on October 21, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Hi Becky. Long time reader, first time commenter. I must say that your string of ‘bad luck’ is a life lesson as to why it is so important to have an emergency fund. Stuff happens. No getting around that. I’ve been living debt free for decades. My emergency fund has bailed me out a time or two (or more). So build yours back up (pay yourself first) and keep living your dream!



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:39 am

      Yeah Onestep, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been harping on the importance of having an emergency fund in a lot of my recent posts, haha.

      Glad you decided to come out of the woodwork and comment.



  21. Cheryl Kline on October 21, 2016 at 6:14 am

    Glad to hear that you are back up and running. The expense part of it all is never Pleasant. I am not full time in yet but I am retired and do go out for four and five days at a time. Recently I was out and the regulator on my propane tanks died which meant I had no hot water for the hot water heater. Had to replace that while I was at the campground to the tune of $93. That was not in the budget for the weekend! I’m sure that when I go full-time next year I will experience some of the same issues the more you use it the quicker it seems to die. Look forward to your post I always enjoy your travels! Stay safe. Cheryl



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:37 am

      On the plus side at least you weren’t in the middle of nowhere and were able to buy the part you needed Cheryl.

      In my experience, some minor problem happens in the Casita every 1,000 miles or so that I travel. It’s become so commonplace now that I don’t really bring it up in travelogues anymore although I did in the beginning. Something spilling in the fridge, losing the propane tank cover, having a valence fall, it’s always something. But rarely does it impact my travels.

      Hope you had a good weekend anyway, and best of luck on hitting the road full-time next year!



  22. Ron on October 21, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Great to see you back and things working for now, hope you have a profitable Amazon season to replenish reserves.



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:32 am

      Thanks Ron.



  23. Arkansas Sue on October 21, 2016 at 4:53 am

    When problems arise, “attitude” pays off!



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:31 am

      Yes Sue, a good attitude makes a world of difference.



  24. RGupnorth on October 21, 2016 at 4:46 am

    They always things happen in 3’s. Your being pretty realistic when you look at how old the things are that broke down. Hopefully you are set for a few years on major expenses, but I suspect you should be planning on replacing your tow vehicle in the next few years.



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Yep RG, I mentioned last month that next time Bertha needs major repair, I plan on replacing her.



  25. joni on October 21, 2016 at 4:34 am

    I respect and admire your positive outlook when life throws situations at you that are not what you would choose, like the mechanical breakdowns you have experienced in the past year. Focusing on your blessings, which you have outlined in this article, is my antidote to having a “pity party” when things go wrong.
    I am a stay at home gal, enjoying caring for my new grandson. My newest thrill is taking a motorcycle riding class and contemplating buying one.
    I vicariously enjoy travel through your website. You are a great writer and photographer. When I was your age (I am 62) I wish I would have done what you are doing. I was fearful and insecure during my 20’s and 30’s and even 40’s. Now I am braver, and you may someday meet me at one of your boondocking festivals…..



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:28 am

      A person is never too old to change their life in my opinion Joni, and if going RVing is something that’s calling to you I hope you do jump on it, I’d love to meet you out on the road someday.

      And yes, I call it “practicing thankfulness”: we all have so much more going right in our lives than we realize, and focusing on the good things makes the bad events easier to get over.

      I hope your motorcycle class goes well, enjoy your grandson and take care!



  26. Martha Goudey on October 21, 2016 at 3:33 am

    Reading about things breaking before we are even on the road to full-timing is oddly comforting at 2 am. I awoke in a panic–all the last minute stuff to get done, the emotional letting go of the house juxtaposed with the frustrating extensions on the house closing–so for the past hour I’ve been finding things to keep my brain busy with prayer, your blog, a banana (well, my mouth busy too). Thanks for your informative posts.



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:21 am

      You’re welcome Martha and I’m glad you found this helpful. It’s very common for soon-to-be full-timers to experience overwhelm and anxiety as the date approaches, I sure did when I was at that stage – you’ve probably already seen my recent blog post on the subject: https://interstellarorchard.com/2016/09/09/an-open-letter-to-new-full-timers-about-fear/

      Take care and hang in there, easier days are coming!



      • Martha Goudey on October 21, 2016 at 2:29 pm

        Thanks Becky. I had read the article on fear and read it again and may read it several more times. You nailed it.

        Also your experience with the truck was a real-life example of you handling delays, extra costs, etc. Thanks again.



  27. Jerry on October 20, 2016 at 11:06 pm

    If you liked Photoshop (seems that you did since you kept it for so long), you might want to try Photoshop Elements 15. It’s available for less than $100, works like photoshop and does most of everything a user needs.



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Yeah I researched it Jerry, thanks. Going to see if I can do without paying for one first as I’ve had to spend so much this year already.



  28. Jerry Minchey on October 20, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    Two and a half years ago my 12-year-old refrigerator died and it cost me $1,800 to get a new one installed. Two months ago the new one died. It was 2 and a half years old the warranty was for only two years.

    The good news is that I go the factory to give me a new cooling unit at no charge and a tech installed it for $190. I feel like I dodged a bullet. I was afraid I was going to have to spend another $1,800.

    Other than the refrigerator problem, I haven’t had any maintenance expenses in the last few years. I will be buying tires next year.

    It’s all part of the RVing life.



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:14 am

      I guess it must have had a flaw of some sort to fail that quickly after being replaced Jerry, sorry you had to go through that but it’s good that the factory stood behind their product and took care of you.

      RV tires can be really expensive, hopefully yours aren’t too bad. I’m happy that my Casita doesn’t need expensive ones, I think they were about $125 a peace and I only needed 3 (replaced the spare too).



  29. Joe McGerald on October 20, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Glad you’re back up and running Becky. You’re correct about the timing I believe.

    I “semi full time.” This year I’ll spend a total of about 10 months CG Hosting for California State Parks. Using basically a recreational trailer for that many months each year pushes it beyond its design parameters, particularly on the appliances. I just got back from a six month stint in our mountains and had about $700 in maintenance to do before leaving on 11/1 for a beach CG.

    Hope you’ve finished with the repairs for a while!

    Joe



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:10 am

      I hope so too Joe, thanks.

      California has a lot of beautiful parks, I bet you had a good time doing that. And yeah, I’ve discussed how most RVs aren’t built for full-timing before, it makes having an emergency fund to cope with the inevitable repairs crucial.



  30. Bonnie on October 20, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    You might try Picasa for photo editing. Yes, it’s not being supported going forward but its a powerful picture program and interfaces with Google photos. I like it and Geeks on Tour rave about it.



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Yep that’s the other I hear about quite a bit. I’ll see how GIMP works out and switch if I need to.



  31. Lara on October 20, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I’m glad the computer is back up and running! I’ve used Gimp a little before for design. It is awesome yet also a steep learning curve IMO and I prefer much easier programs.
    I would venture to say that maintenance and a new fridge were a good portion of my expenses this year too. Not as high as yours, from what I’ve read. I like to do a lot of things myself so definitely saved hundreds of dollars in doing so(going off of quotes I got.) Some off the top of my head are I put in a new resistor for my dash AC/heat, rewired my backup camera, resealed some windows, put in a new breaker when my house battery wasn’t charging, and probably more. Some things I bring to the shop (like my new fridge, which I’m lined up for a fix for soon and very excited about the solution this shop came up with!)
    The learning by doing is part of the excitement and fun in fulltiming, at least for me.
    Thankfully I am visiting family and can stay with them while the repairs are done.
    I’m glad things are going well with Amazon too and hope the park is awesome!
    Lara recently posted..Ashland, WI and Starting On the Mural Brick RoadMy Profile



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 11:06 am

      I have several friends who use GIMP, which is why I picked that one of the various free options out there. I’ll have people to get tips and ideas from.

      Glad your repairs haven’t been as bad Lara and that you have people to stay with. I am not mechanically inclined and have a natural dislike for fix-it projects which definitely raises my costs – although I did do 15 hours of caulking on the Casita in March, that didn’t require much skill. I hate to think of what a RV place would have charged for that in labor.

      My fridge cost $1,800 to replace, the truck was $3,746, that’s over $5,500 right there and I had several smaller bills too, when last year my cost of living was about $15,500 for the year: that’s already over 1/3 of the money I spent total last year, just on those two things!

      Thanks and I’ll be leaving for the park soon, take care.



  32. Ernesto T on October 20, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    You are right, I think…….
    “Tools” , like a car, camper, laptop, phone.or whatever, are built, for moderate use.

    Photoshop, and more, if I say vpn and torrent, you get it?

    I used GIMP on Linux, brrrrrrrrrr…..still love Irfanview here on win 7.

    No I am not, yet, rv-ing/sailing………Living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, in a 5 room appartment for under $ 1000 a month, totall, also my food, rent, water, etc……

    x ET.



    • Becky on October 21, 2016 at 10:59 am

      My data was saved Ernesto, the programs that open/read them were not, hence all the downloads. Besides Photoshop I needed Open Office to write these posts, iTunes for my music, VLC media player, Calibre to organize ebooks, a couple others.

      Torrent programs are not real practical for me, as usually I live on only 5 gb of data a month, which isn’t enough to download big files or stream videos, I’m not sure what vpn is. I’m rather lucky this happened here at Amazon because the campground I’m staying in has moderately useful WiFi if I take my computer to the lobby.

      Sounds like a good price to me, at least by standards here in the USA.



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