My ex-travel trailer. That’s another almost $200 in my pocket every month!

I’ve been attempting to declutter my life for the last year or so.  One of the major areas I focused on was vehicles.  Not just cars, but everything with wheels and/or an engine.  Why?  Partly because I wasn’t using the stuff, even after I retired I wasn’t using the stuff, and partly because most of it is more trouble than it’s worth (you can read parts one and two here and here).  I’m reminded of a line from the song “Between Angels and Insects” by Papa Roach, “The things you own, own you.”  Yes, I listen to that kind of music.

The entire song is about how we pursue money at the expense of other probably more important things.  It’s an angry song, just the kind I like, but worth a listen.  The line above, “The things you own, own you,” is true in many ways.  My vehicles were like that.  They demanded things from me that I just didn’t want to give anymore.  My time, money and effort were all sacrificed in order to enjoy these things sparingly at best.

This update concerns my travel trailer.  We finally sold it about a month ago.  A nice couple who lived nearby bought it and I think they might actually use it.  They were on their way up the camping ladder.  You know, tent becomes a tent trailer becomes a travel trailer becomes a class A diesel pusher.  We enjoy camping, or whatever you call it when you haul a 25 foot house out to the woods, but just didn’t have the time with the boy’s schedules.  This couple has grand kids and they go camping at a nearby lake quite often.

For those of you that don’t know what a pontoon boat looks like, here she is.

We “only” lost $800 in the deal.  We’ll make that back in five months by not having the payment anymore, not to mention our insurance went down.  We also no longer have to register it each year.  Like I said, we weren’t using it so why own it.  That’s pretty expensive yard art.  Now I’m down to one old boat that I paid a hundred bucks for when I used to enjoy refurbishing old boats, a quad that needs a hundred bucks in ignition parts (I hope that’s all it is), my $1000 pontoon boat for fly fishing, my 1984 Jeep CJ-7 restoration project and, of course, my truck.

I’ll give the old boat away if I have too.  The quad is old and well-used and once my son’s and I get it running, I’ll probably sell it for what I can get to recover some garage space.  The pontoon boat is up for sale on Craigslist as we speak and will be replaced with a smaller high-end float tube that is easier to transport and store.  The truck goes on Craigslist next weekend to be replaced with a small SUV or midsized car.  The Jeep project?  Who knows.  I might part it out.  I’d probably make more money that way anyway.

And of course, my big Dodge Ram. Great truck, just don’t need anything like that anymore.  And that’s my running Jeep trying to hide behind the side mirror.

Some of that I “need” and actually use.  The truck is our second vehicle and considering how far away from civilization we live, two vehicles are as close to a necessity as you get.  We don’t need a truck, however, and a smaller, easier and cheaper to maintain vehicle with better gas mileage makes more sense.  The pontoon is something I use, especially now with my back preventing me from fishing streams and rivers.  It’s too big for anything but a truck to carry though.  Something smaller is in order.

But even those things, both of which I own outright along with my running ’98 Jeep, require something from me.  The pontoon is 10 feet long and takes up a ton of real estate in my garage.  I had it stored on a pulley system up against the ceiling but it was so hard to take down and put back up, I didn’t use it.  The truck is expensive.  It needs tires in the fall.  Those cost me a a thousand bucks!  Oil changes are $100.  It’s a great truck, but why do I need a 3/4 ton diesel pickup with nothing to tow?  I don’t!

The rest of the stuff demands more from me than I’ll ever get out of it.  Money for repairs and maintenance, space in my garage, and the work to keep it running or to fix it, not to mention the money I have tied up in the stuff.  That’s what that line from that song means.  The stuff you own, does own you sometimes.  Some stuff is worth the effort.  Winterizing your mower and getting the blades sharpened once a year is worth the effort because it makes mowing your lawn so much easier.  The money, time and effort you put into that boat/RV/car/whatever that you use once a year isn’t.  That thing owns you.

So, one more piece of the fleet gone and working on two others.  It is a daunting task sometimes when I take in the whole of it.  I need to focus on one thing at a time of I get overwhelmed.  This isn’t just an exercise either.  Jen and I plan to sell the house in as little as three years and go RVing within four or five years.  We need to get rid of this stuff and I’d rather do it now than in a mad rush at the end.  Plus, I just want my garage back and not to refill with more junk.  Maybe I can get those American Picker guys to come here…