Sunday, January 16, 2011

Progress and Practice

My carpenter/handyman friend, Eric, has been terribly ill, so progress has been delayed on rebuilding the interior of my gutted Toyota Dolphin. He's getting better, though, and is back on the project. We're meeting tomorrow morning to go over the drawings before he begins actually building. Then, as soon as the reglazed windows are installed, he can put down the floor and build my dinette, counter with storage, and ladder/bedrail.

I've had to come to grips with the fact that this is not happening on my schedule. I had hoped to have the motorhome back by now, so I could start getting it packed up and ready to go. It may be that the end of the month will roll around and I'll still be dealing with things that need to happen before I can leave. This would be disappointing, but it's not the end of the world. There are things I could do...put my stuff in storage and couchsurf for a little while, for instance. Go up to Seattle and get my remaining dental work done by my old dentist. Head out to the Coast and camp in a rental yurt for a few nights. Lots of choices. None of them is as good as heading south in my refurbished RV, but, then again, none is the end of the world, either.

In the meantime, I continue to get rid of stuff. I have a few more things to list on eBay today. A friend is coming tomorrow to pick up a couple of bookcases from me. A second-hand furniture shop is coming later in the week to take my big queen bed and a few other pieces off my hands. My antique dealer friend is coming later in the month to take whatever is left at that time. By month end, even if I'm not able to live in my Dolphin yet, I will be down to just the stuff that I'll be taking with me when I travel.

Also, in the meantime, I am practicing a few things that I'll be doing once I live in my motorhome. I'm not planning to have a fancy phone with Internet access--I'll be using wifi wherever I can find it along the way, at coffee shops, rest areas, libraries, whatever. So last week, I took my laptop to McDonald's and got my 75 cent Senior Coffee and went online there for a couple of hours. It worked great!

I've also been simplifying my cooking in the past few days, now that my kid has moved out and I'm just cooking for myself. One hot item for dinner is enough--no need to keep doing the traditional protein and two veg meal. Last night I cooked a delicious pork chop (something my kid would never eat!) and had some good olive bread and a blood orange. Wonderful meal!

Today I'm going to work on electronics. I gave my kid my big laser printer and bought a much smaller portable printer, so I'll try that out. I'm also debating whether to replace my old pre-digital TV (which requires a converter box and rabbit ears) and ancient DVD player with a tiny 15" Toshiba flatscreen with a built-in DVD player. It would take up a lot less space. On the other hand, how much TV will I actually watch while I'm on the road? I'm not sure about that at all. If I'm boondocking out in the middle of nowhere, it won't matter which TV I have, because I won't be able to pick up any reception, anyway. If I'm stealth camping in a city or hooked up at a regular campground, then I'd probably really enjoy a little TV. So hard to say, since I'm not yet on the road.


  1. Sounds like you are making some progress. Too bad your handyman has been sick. It will all work out.

    Travel Safe
    Dawn & Denise

  2. Thanks, Dawn & Denise! I needed some encouragement.

  3. How did I miss that you were redoing a Toyhouse? My last rig before Taj was an 87 Dolphin which I did a ton of work to. I have lots of experience fiddling with and using those rigs :) Let me know if you have questions I can ever help with!

    On the subject of the TV, Heidi and I bought a 12 volt 13.3" Skyworth flatscreen with the DVD which works very well. There are larger versions of it, but that size worked well in the van for us. It is a very efficient little TV, barely noticeable battery usage.

    I went the WiFi route for many years just using hotspots like that and was fine with it. Now that we do more remote boondocking and Heidi likes being online while I am driving, the Verizon 3G is a better option for us. At $60 a month though, WiFi certainly makes more sense if you don't need as much connectivity.

    Sounds like you are approaching things in a very wise way and making good progress! Well done!

    97 Roadtrek 170P "Taj Ma Trek"

  4. Get the little TV - that way you can run to a library, borrow a DVD OR watch tv if you choose. That's my two cents worth:-)

  5. What kind of printer did you get? I've still got a laughably large HP that I haul out of its storage a few times a week.

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  7. I got a small Lexmark printer from Recently I realized I could get all of my technology stuff--laptop, printer, speakers, various wires and battery rechargers and so forth--into one vintage hardside suitcase. Yay!