SELLING OUR HOUSE AND BUYING A TOY HAULER

May 29, 2020

It was only a few weeks ago that we decided to sell our house, as well as our plane, and return to full-time RV living.  Ever since that decision, life has starting moving at a rapid pace.  Prepping the house and the plane for sale simultaneously, while also searching for an RV to be our next home has been keeping us busy.  An abrupt change of pace from the 6 or so weeks spent sitting at home waiting to see how this pandemic would unfold in our country. 

Choosing a realtor was one of our first big tasks.  We sold our previous house without a realtor, saved thousands because of it, and therefore was not inclined to commit to paying a selling agent a 3% commission without first weighing our options.  We interviewed three agents, a traditional 3 percenter, a discounted rate agent and a flat fee agent.  The flat fee agent was the only one that could provide, in detail, what it was we were getting for our money, so he got the gig.  This untraditional route meant Mark and I would do more of the work and be more participatory in the sale of our house and in exchange we would save several thousand dollars.  Thanks to a bit of experience that we both have with real estate, this was the perfect route for us.

{Above: Cleaning up and photographing the house was a big task and felt good to check off our list}

We’d reached the tail-end of a 3 day sprint to get the house put on the market and were hoping to make it official that afternoon when Mark found a trailer on Craigslist.  Only a couple of days prior, after doing some research, he decided that Desert Fox was the brand of toy hauler we would seek out.  Made by Northwood Manufacturing (the same manufacturer as Arctic Fox, Wolf Creek, Fox Mountain and Nash RVs), Desert Fox is a well-insulated 4 season camper.  They’re heavier but also a heavier duty build, a pro when looking for an RV to live in full-time.  Additionally, we loved the floorplans we were seeing offered by Desert Fox.

This particular trailer that came up on Craigslist checked off a lot of boxes.  Those being…

-21’ box length (we didn’t want to go any bigger than this)
-A built-in generator
-Desert Fox brand
-Used but well cared for
-Tons of storage
-A good floorplan
-A kitchen with lots of counter space
-Beds on a mechanical lift
-Well-priced

At the time, this was the only used Desert Fox toy hauler that came up in any search across the Mountain West.  We hadn’t been looking for long but had reason to believe that these trailers don’t come up for sale often.  This one in particular was in Spokane, an 8 hour drive from our home in Idaho.  Mark called the seller to get all the info he could before committing to the drive.  The seller was kind and helpful, sending us a few dozen photos at our request.  My one condition before making the drive was that Mark talk to the seller on the phone first and determine if he sounds like a decent guy.  We’ve done a couple of deals in the past that we wish we would have walked away from because the seller was disingenuous.  Ever since then we’ve made an effort to only do deals with good people, if anything, because it just feels better.  After Mark got off the phone we decided to pack up the truck and head to Spokane to check it out, hoping the trip wouldn’t be for nothing.

We didn’t get on the road until 4pm and arrived at a BLM campsite an hour outside Spokane at 11:00pm that night.  We woke at 6:30am to someone doing target practice with a handgun 100 yards from where we were parked.  An unusual start to a long, eventful day.  We met Brian at his house at 10am and spent about an hour looking over the trailer and proceeding with the purchase.  For being a 14 year old trailer, it looked to be in good shape.  It would need some upgrades and a bit of TLC to see that all systems were running at maximum efficiency but Mark was willing to put in the time and cost to do so for the price we were getting it for.

{Below: Our soggy campsite outside Spokane}

 {Below: Carefully maneuvering our way out of rather tight quarters}

We were now the new owners of a 2006 Desert Fox 21SW and thus begun the long drive back to Idaho.  First there was the pouring rain, then there was the nearly running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere (which is hard to admit because we have never even come close to running out of fuel before), then the wind that made it difficult to keep the truck and trailer on the road, then more and more and more rain.  It took us 10 hours of not very fun driving to get home that day, though the trailer was stable and we were happy with how it towed.  About half way in to our drive, we found a nice pull-off along the Columbia River where we picnicked inside our new home.  The rain had briefly subsided and we got the chance to imagine what this next chapter will be like.  Honestly, I’m not crazy about the idea of hauling around a trailer of this size, however it’s the trade-off I’m willing to make for having a cozy, spacious home with us wherever we go.

{Below: That truck stop with the $1.89/gallon diesel in the middle of nowhere that we passed the night before, wasn’t nearly as close to Spokane as we thought}

I’m nervous for what the future holds, mostly because all these changes have happened so fast.  But these decisions have come from deep within our gut and when my gut is talking, I know I need to listen.  Although this was the day we bought our new home, I’ll remember it for so much more than that.  It was the first time I’d gone further than 30 minutes from home in two months, thanks to COVID.  It was the first time ever I couldn’t go inside my bank to make a cash withdrawal, thanks again COVID.  It was the first time I felt really self-conscious being in another state and being the only one with out of state plates.  (I believe Washington is more locked down than Idaho and wasn’t sure how our presence would be received.)  It was the first time I didn’t shake the hand of the person I was buying from.  (When we met, I told Brian I was smiling at him from behind my mask, it felt so wrong to not greet this stranger with a smile and a handshake.  And yet, we were in his space, it was important to us to be respectful and cautious.)

It was the first time I realized how important it is for me to start traveling again.  Traveling keeps my heart and my mind open.  Being at home the last two months has made me fearful of leaving the house.  I refuse to live that way.  I believe I can travel and also be mindful of the risks and also responsible in my actions.

Now that we have our new home, we can begin working towards moving in and preparing for a new style of travel.  We’re excited to find out if moving at a slower pace suits us.  Our house went under contract in less than 48 hours so, if all goes well, we’ll be back on the road in a few, short weeks!