Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Some thoughts on The Palms - to sell or not to sell

I've been thinking a lot about The Palms lately. At this point I'm pretty settled in my new house. It's furnished, warm and comfy, and pretty much they way I want it.

So...  what to do about The Palms...

I moved into the house the end of July 2018 and haven't even thought about taking a trip.  As much as I love The Palms and enjoyed traveling and living in her for more than seven years, I think my RVing days are over.

I've loved living in the desert, in the forest, next to the Rio Grande, the Pacific Ocean, and various rivers and lakes.

I've loved getting to know the different birds and checking them off in my bird guide.  I got some GREAT photos.

One of the best parts of RVing off the grid for me was waking up and seeing cattle all around The Palms.  Hearing the MOOOOOing throughout the day.

The horse families, especially after the birth of new foals, walking around the campground at Bluewater Lake State Park in NM were such a gift.  Especially when they were in my campsite.

The sunsets!  Wow, I can't tell you how many gorgeous sunsets I've enjoyed!

And of course, friends I've met on the road.  First meeting I liked you all, second meeting you were friends forever.  Some of you I probably won't ever see again, but you will be in my heart always.  Great friends, great times.  Thank you!

And the independence of living off the grid was something I've wanted to do since I read The Private World of Tasha Tudor years ago. It's such a gorgeous book, her lifestyle just yelled at me, "YOU NEED TO DO THIS, TOO!"

I know that living full-time in a motor home for seven years off grid wasn't the same life that Tasha Tudor lived.  But it was closer than city living in a house.  I'd call it different but somewhat equalish.

Only those people who have full-timed for a while and loved it will understand all that I'm saying here.  It's something I can talk about, but like few other things, you can't possibly understand unless you've done it.  There are so many parts in the puzzle of full-timing, especially if you're boondocking or drycamping.

From parking overnight at Walmart, truck stops or rest areas to getting that perfect place on BLM lands, moving every 14 days, finding the laundromat in a new town. A post office to mail off those bills and cards and ballots.  Getting your TV and Internet access to the point where it always works, no matter where you are.  (If not, I didn't go back, one night and I was back on the road to another place where I could get them.)

And the State Parks in New Mexico are so great!  With my annual pass I could always pull in any day of the week, any time of the day and have a place to live for two weeks.  Maybe by a lake or river dry camping, or if it was super hot or cold - and I was lucky - an electric site miraculously empty when I arrived (I never made reservations). And they had clean restrooms with nice showers!  Bonus!

Learning all the systems in the rig and having checklists/alerts for the motor home maintenance items; knowing all the time how the solar panels are doing, and it wouldn't be a good idea to land in a great campsite on BLM land with full black/grey tanks and no water in the water tank. You have to keep track of that all the time.  And also for the truck.  Watching the gas tank - you don't want to run out of gas in the middle of the desert.

I could go on and on.... it was a great learning experience, a thrilling lifestyle, a very full-fulling seven years in so many ways.  I can't say enough positive things about the whole full-timing lifestyle or about The Palms. 

The Palms has been so good to me. I was lucky to choose the right rig the first time.  My full-timing years would never have been the same in another motor home.  She's a beautiful rig with the perfect floor plan for me.  The original owner bought her with almost all the upgrades available, and then apparently didn't use her.  So she was like a brand new motor home when I bought her.  I really appreciated all the upgrades.

I especially like the large bathroom and the rear kitchen, also the long fold-out couch.  And my dinette is so comfortable that I spent most of my time at the dinette table. The over-the-cab bed was also really comfortable. I never woke up with back pain or any other issues, it just worked for me.  Also the great storage inside the rig.  I guess I really love everything about her.  From the day I bought her, I knew how lucky I was to find the exact motor home I had researched and was looking for.

And the truck has been trouble free, too.  Up hills she's a workhorse - with her big engine I never had issues going the speed limit up any hills.  She just purrs along.  I did have to buy more gas because of that big engine.  I usually got 8 or 9 mpg, but I didn't drive her slow.  If the speed limit was 65 or 70, I drove her 65 or 70 mph.  Another driver's gas mileage might be higher, but since I didn't travel far, just often, it worked for me, even on a small budget.  I planned where to go and when - depending on gas prices like most RVers.

I always felt SO LUCKY! I never had an exit plan.  I figured I'd keep full-timing until I couldn't  anymore or didn't want to anymore.

So, now that I'm settled in a sticks 'n bricks house again, can I REALLY give her up?  For a while I wondered if I'd ever want to use the RV again.  Maybe in the summers when it's so hot here, it would be nice to get out of town for a month or two up in higher elevations. For the last six months I wasn't sure, but I was leaning that way.

But is it a good plan, a good financial idea, to keep her on the side of the house for 10 or 11 months every year and only drive her out of town for a month or so each year?  Not really.  Maybe selling The Palms is my best option.  If I change my mind after she's gone, I can always buy another motor home.  But I'll never find one like The Palms again.  That rear kitchen, the high ceilings, all the upgrades...  I guess that would be okay, because the new rig would be just to get out of town for a while, not to live in 24/7.  And that's if, a big IF, I missed RVing and wanted another motor home.

I ran across this quote and it fits so well with my RVing experiences:

 “Travel isn't always pretty. It isn't always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that's okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind."
~Anthony Bourdain

Of course I had MANY "pretty" times and living in a motor home is VERY comfortable. Meeting great friends, seeing beautiful scenery, camping with large animals close by, feeling so confident driving my home down the road. Living off grid gave me such a feeling of independence. And I was able to live frugally, which I had never really done before. I found I was GOOD at being frugal. I was healthy and happy 99 percent of the time.  

But of course it did sometimes hurt, my heart was broken, traveling in an RV left many marks on my memory, my consciousness, my heart and my body.  I don't know if I left anything good behind, but I sure did take LOTS of good things with me.  It's one of the best experiences in my lifetime.

If I decide to sell her, now is the time.  She's in great shape inside and outside, the exterior has recently been buffed out, decals removed and painted back on by a professional.  There is some normal wear and tear on The Palms, but nothing major.  All her systems are in good working order, mileage is still low and the truck is in good shape.  Everything has been well taken care of and I have all the original manuals, service documentation, and receipts for the upgrades I added.  

And all this is why I'm having so much difficulty coming to a decision about whether to keep The Palms and not use her much, or sell her and let someone else enjoy her as much as I did.   

But I think I've already made my decision - I'm going to sell The Palms. It just makes sense.

I'll post more soon about selling The Palms - with lots of information and photos.  Really sad, right?  But when the new owner drives her down the street, I'll know exactly what they are experiencing and I'll cheer them on.  Because I felt the same way when I bought her.  And every time we took off for a new location. And they will leave me in a puddle of tears, for sure!  

I'll be back soon. 💓

P.S.  If you are interested or know someone who is, check out the video I did of The Palms for Bob Wells - it's at the end of my blog posts. 😉


  1. I am also in the evening of my rving life and trying to decide what I want to do. For now I will be rolling another year but during that rolling I will be accumulating my thoughts for when and how to change. It is not easy but eventually is needed. Best wishes on your choices made but at least we can back track if desired. It is nice to have options.

  2. Hi Barbara, I am in the same phase of life also. Can you elaborate on what made you decide to settle down? I know what a great rig this is and will pass on the info to possibly interested friends. ps...hi Barney!

    1. Hi Chris - I never planned to full-time forever. Lots of people do, but I started out after retirement with an open-ended mindset on RVing. I wanted to try it, I'd never RVed before, and it turned out I loved it. I think in my case it was just time. Seven years - aren't we completely different people every seven years?

      Maybe Katie getting sick and continuing to decline also helped me make the decision to settle down. It was hard to manage her issues on the road. But all in all I lived in The Palms longer than most houses I owned. I was really happy living in her in all the places we visited.

      AND I found the right house! If I hadn't found a house I wanted, I'd still be full-timing. Things just worked out. Good luck to you making your decisions. :)

  3. If you can defer your decision until an entire year has passed since you moved into the house, I would suggest that you might want to do that. The thrill of the house and all it provides will become more commonplace as time goes on, and you may very well wish to see other places in your state for more than a month during the year.

    The key to your decision is how suitable The Palms is for comfortable traveling if/when you want to go away for a couple of weeks or months at a time.

    Since the unit is so perfect for you, you might find yourself wishing to utilize that annual pass to visit other parts of your now-home state in comfort and style for say, a week at a time; just a little break in routine. Since she is right outside your door, the prep and return chores can be spread over a few days.

    Charlie will soon be happy enough to go with you in such a vehicle, and you will be able to show him so many new things. And you will always feel you have a place to be comfortable while getting away from your everyday routine.

    In short . . . please be sure that you will not truly wish you could "get away from it all" once in a while, and have all the comforts of home to enjoy while you do just that.

    What would be your alternative to The Palms if you DID find that you wanted to travel around your state a bit more?

    Virtual hugs,


  4. Sniff... It’s the end of an era, but I'm sure you will make the right decision.

  5. I love The Palms, the rear kitchen was something I would have loved to have. I still get the wander lust and I keep trying to convince myself the little camper can work. But only you know what you need or want. You have so many wonderful memories and gorgeous pictures as I do. Be happy with your choice

  6. We moved into our new house on October 31 and are sure loving it. We haven't had much interest in camping right now, but we know we will when the newness of the house wears off. We decided to buy a small travel trailer so that we wouldn't have another engine to maintain. It is small and easy to tow and fits anywhere. Maybe that would be an option for you at a later date if you feel the urge to travel some. Good luck on the sale of the Palms.

    1. I'm glad you're happy with your decision! Things change, then sometimes they change back. I've thought about a travel trailer and that might be what I choose to do for the same reasons, if I want to continue RVing down the road. I'd love one small enough that I could back into the garage and keep it out of the elements. Your new trailer certainly would fill the bill for me, too. It looks really nice, and I like Forest River. :)

  7. We are in our 13th year full-time and so glad that we actually got to meet you. You can sell her now and when you get that travel itch again purchase another rig. Friends of ours visited yesterday They sold their 45ft class A coach purchased a home in Yuma and a small class B that they call their escape pod for when they want to get our and about. Good luck.

  8. When I looked at your empty spot in La Posa South I knew something was happening. Like you said there comes a time we must all make that decision. Good Luck with the Sale but hope that you keep blogging even short posts. You did leave your mark and hopefully we can say the same.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  9. The longer we sit here in California taking care of Mom, the less we want to travel again. For now, living in our RV makes the most sense, we could never afford a house here in CA. Good luck on your decision to sell. You look so happy!

  10. oh dear, an end of an era, but you said it SO well... Wish you all the best!!
    Grew up with Tasha Tudor.. my mother loved her and her paintings/drawings... so very wonderful!!

  11. Barb, we experienced the feelings you describe as we processed the decision to exit our full-time life in 2016/2017. Settled in our 55+ community since April 2017, we know we made the right decision to sell our rig when it was still in great shape and transition to a new lifestyle. The memories of those 7 years are cherished ones and, boy, do we have stories! We do still take road trips, and I have to say while I enjoyed towing our 5er, it's so much easier without that 40 feet of rig behind us! I know you'll make the best decision for you and Charlie, and I wish you all the best!

  12. I decided in 2016 that it was time to settle into a house so sold the motorhome a week later.Never once have I regretted my decision.The time to sell is when the RV is still running well.There are plenty of choices if you should decide to travel in the future.Best wishes to you & Charlie!

  13. Hi Barb,

    Best of luck in your new house. Would you still be interested in writing about RVing? We would love to have you as a contributor on Do It Yourself RV.

    Please feel free to email me at editor@rvlife.com. Thank you!


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