Planning for Full-Time RV Travel

When we plan a trip, I find the planning is almost as exciting as the trip.  As we count down to our last days at work, I find preparations to move from the house to the RV are exciting but a lot of work. 

During the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to make our plans knowing things may change.  I’m not a religious person, but I think this old Yiddish adage is appropriate: 

Man plans and God laughs

We’ve already done some things to get ourselves positioned for the move, but there is still lots to do.  The big thing, of course, was the purchase of the RV two years ago.

December 2018

Earlier in the year, I sold my motorcycle.  I was sorry to see it go, but there is only so much that we can take with us.  It also makes much more financial sense to only take Al’s bike with us.  Less insurance, less fuel.

My Suzuki Boulevard

A few months back, we rented a bin and purged some of the more obvious items from the house.  In just a few days we filled a ten cubic yard bin.  We also had a large box of papers that we delivered to our local office supply company for shredding.  I am a hoarder of paper.

Last week we made up a list of all the things we need to do before we start our travels.  Some of the items are big, like selling the house; some of them are little, like getting a new library card.

If you’ve moved before, I’m sure you’re familiar with all the usual things that need to be done.  For our move to full-time travel, we’ve found some added things for our list. 

Once we have a closing date for the house, we may need to find a temporary location for us to live in the RV while we finish off our days of working.  Right now, I’m working from home due to COVID, but I’m not sure that will be the case in 6 months.  If we are both going into work, we have 45 minutes to an hour commutes so will likely look for an RV site closer to our work locations.  Fabulous neighbours have offered us their driveways, but the need to dump our black water will probably rule those out.

Al has been doing copious amounts of research on upgrading the solar system for the RV so we can take advantage of more boondocking opportunities.  When we have the RV back from storage in the spring, he will order the parts (e.g., inverter, solar panels, lithium batteries) and do those upgrades.  Thank goodness he is handy!

Another thing that Al has been researching is our options for internet service.  The Canadian options are limited and expensive.  Additionally, the possibilities change quickly.  He’s been closely following the progress of the Starlink system.

Once the borders to the US reopen, we expect that we will spend time in the US as well as Mexico; especially in the winters.  That raises a few more complications for us.

Both of us are on daily medications.  I need to talk to our pharmacist and work out how to go about getting our health care plans to cover more than three months of prescriptions.  There are lots of snowbirds that leave Ontario for six months at a time, so I’m sure it’s not something new to them.  But it’s new to me

We also need to arrange for a US dollar bank account that is based in the US.  Most of the Canadian banks do offer US dollar accounts, but for sometimes that’s not enough.  We’ve investigated signing up for a fuel-saving card in the US, but it will only work if it’s linked to a US bank.  Our financial advisor has given us some advice on which bank to look at, so that’s the next step to resolve this problem.

We need to arrange for an exemption for Ontario health care (OHIP) for the two years that we plan to be out of the province.  As we will be travelling in Canada for the summers, we must keep our OHIP coverage, and this exemption process is the way to do that.

As we won’t be able to get mail regularly, we need to make sure our credit cards and drivers’ licences are valid for the first two years of our travels.  We will also make sure our vehicle permits are good for two years rather than the one year purchase we usually make.

The purging of the house that we started with that first bin rental is continuing.  Some stuff is going directly to the garbage each week; some to the thrift store; some to friends and family; and some we have sold.  Using Facebook Marketplace, we’ve made over $2,000, and the house is still pretty full.

The most time-consuming task I see ahead of me is sorting through all the pictures I have from the pre-digital days.  We are not going to have room to store them as hard copies, but I’m not ready to part with them yet. Once I’ve parred them down, I’m going to send them off to one of the businesses that scan pictures. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what needs to be done before we move but, I hope, most of the ones more specific to moving to our nomadic existence.

Stay safe, be kind.  Plan for your future travels!

Vanessa

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