We ordered our Leisure Travel Van Unity FX in September 2018 knowing we were looking at, approximately, an eight month wait. Last week we learned that, due to a production delay, the new expected date for our Unity is September 2019. The news was disappointing because it means we’ll be watching and reading about everyone’s summer adventures while we continue to downsize and prepare the house for sale. It feels a little like being the kid who is home sick on the day of the class field trip. But, once we learned that the delay means we will get a 2020 model with new and better features we started to feel differently, so, we spent a night listing the other ways this could be good news and that is what I want to share today.
First, and most obviously, it means we have more time to continue to downsize and prepare the house for sale. We’ve learned that downsizing needs to be done in stages. Once things start coming out of closets, drawers and cabinets one or more rooms end up looking like a hoarder’s nest until we can work our way through the piles of stuff and sort them to sell, donate or trash. To our dismay it sometimes feels like malicious elves come in at night and refill all the closets, drawers and cabinets, so, we end up clearing places multiple times. But, I am amazed that the longer stuff stays around the less I love it. Things that were once difficult to let go become easier once I see them as an obstacle to progress.
Donating items or taking them to the dump is easy. But, selling items has been harder than we first thought it would be. One reason is you have to let go of what you think something is worth because items never sell for as much as you think they should. Yard sales are humbling in that way, but they are also surprising because more than once items have sold that we thought no one would ever want. We also learned that selling items online has been more time consuming than it first appeared to be. Taking time to photograph and describe each thing, then answer questions from prospective buyers takes time, and if something doesn’t sell, we have to decide if we want to drop the price on it before it gets relisted. It sometimes takes three listing rounds before something sells.
We put higher value items on eBay because eBay’s fees wipe out a chunk of the money made from selling. I learned quickly to never put a reserve price on an auction item because they charge a huge fee to do that, and once it’s done you cannot take the reserve off when the item gets relisted. Facebook Marketplace has been a good place to sell a number of items, but you have to make sure to meet potential buyers in a busy or secure place to complete the sale. The same is true for Let Go which is the newest selling app we’ve tried. An additional frustration with Let Go, however, is that it’s designed to make selling a social experience allowing people to “Favorite” your listing – the equivalent of a Facebook Like. Favorites are filling my In Box but they aren’t clearing things out of our house!
The second positive thing is we have more time to get our cats ready. We have to make the RV a safe, comfortable home for our three furry, OCD homebodies and we will need to take things in stages for them as well. Once the RV arrives, we will scent it with our stuff and plug in a Feliway diffuser which releases a calming pheromone into the air before we bring them into the RV. Then we will let them stay in it while it’s sitting still to get used to the new surroundings before we start driving. In the meantime, knowing that we will need to restrain them on occasion and also let them go outside in a safe controlled way, we purchased a harness and tried it on our most patient cat. She handled it very well, though she did walk funny while she was wearing it. Now, we will introduce it to the other two along with lots of treats and affection, though, I also plan to have the video camera ready because it will make entertaining TV once the hurting stops. We also have to get them used to a different type of litter box with the entrance on top to keep down mess in the RV. They are all older cats who have not had a lot of changes in the lives. Hopefully all these steps will make the transition less stressful for them and for us. We’ll see.
Finally, we realized that it would suck to get our new RV literally weeks before the new model went into production with all of its upgrades. Like animals in an experiment we will get a better treat if we wait. So we are also channeling the frustrated energy into planning our new home. The RV we ordered doesn’t stay on dealer’s lots, so it’s hard to see one in person. We travelled to an RV show where we knew the type of unit we ordered would be so we could spend a long time sitting in it to see if it would be truly comfortable and I also took along a measuring tape to measure ALL of the storage areas, including the pull out pantry. Lord help me, I even built a spreadsheet of all those dimensions! That way we can begin planning how to organize our new space. I’m not planning to within a fraction of an inch – I’ve been through enough construction projects to know measurements can change – but, at least we can start looking at containers we may need and we can plan where to put specific items like clothing, kitchen items, bedding and cat items. (On a side note, while cleaning out some boxes of papers I came across a floorplan my mom drew of her last apartment. It included measurements for all the spaces and the dimensions of her furniture so she could arrange them before she moved in. This apple didn’t fall far from the tree!)
Even though we try to keep looking on the bright side, keeping ourselves motivated is hard. To help with that we read a lot of blogs and watch a lot of YouTube. There are a number of channels that we watch regularly to follow people’s adventures in their RV’s and we are always discovering new ones. On particularly hard days we will (re)watch the Leisure Travel Van video walk-through of our model. By now, we’ve practically memorized it, and, even though we’ve never met Dean from Leisure Travel Vans in person, he’s been invited into our home more than our friends or family have in the last few months. And speaking of our friends and family, I have to take a moment to apologize to all of you that we made sit through the video with us. I’m sure it was just as painful as an overly long vacation slideshow, so, thank you all for playing along and being good sports!
It’s not always easy to keep seeing the glass as half full but we keep trying to do exactly that. Once our unit goes into production we will anxiously wait for any update, but until then we have more than enough to keep us busy and before we know it we will be out on the road.