Part 2: Cha-cha-cha-changes

More “Cha-cha-cha-changes”! Let’s talk about the truck in this post. While the RV dealer in Lewiston offered a good price within the NADA value range, the timing was off. We didn’t have a second car, making it awkward to sell without a trade-in. 

One thing we did know was that our 2016 Ford F-350 a.k.a. “AZ IF the Truck” was filthy and not how we would like to present it for sale or trade-in. Three days after we sold the trailer, Steve had set out all the supplies to clean the exterior of the truck. This 2016 Ford F-350 never saw an automatic car wash due to its size. Steve had committed to a process that worked. Last Tuesday, we went to the manual car wash in Pullman and spent two hours cleaning the exterior and vacuuming the carpet. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, we spent nine hours of added detailing: waxing, spot cleaning a few spots on the carpet, treating the leather upholstery, and cleaning the truck bed, wheels, and tires. 

Our 2016 Ford F-350 a.k.a. AZ IF is beyond filthy. Time for a bath.
Looking good, AZ IF the Truck!
The truck has a nearly spotless interior.
Steve tackles some pine sap on the moon roof.
The SnugTop is windows and screen are cleaned and the Rhino liner looks great.
The truck has a nearly spotless interior.
Looking sharp!
It’s a good looking truck after detailing is done.

Determining Selling and Buying Strategy

Like we did with the trailer, we went to NADA and for vehicles, CarFax, to determine the value range for the truck. Pre-owned heavy duty trucks are in high demand due to low supply. Thankfully, this would work to our advantage. Plus, for a truck that was nearly six years old, it had 57,400 miles, making it a nice selling feature. Having a King Ranch model with a higher SnugTop topper and Rhino Linings bed liner added more selling attributes.

Ford F-350 Super Duty, Lariat, King Ranch
SnugTop topper. We ordered this for our first truck, Bessie. Thankfully, it fit on this truck too.
The truck came with Rhino Linings bed liner.
We will have 57,400 by the time we sell the truck.

On the buyer side of the scenario, we researched towing capacity on various sizes of SUVs. We also wanted the SUV to have a towing package instead of adding it later. We’ve followed Auto Trader and searched dealer websites for SUVs. The local dealerships are Toyota, Ford/Lincoln, Chevy/GMC, and Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep. We’ve had Jess Ford in Pullman service the truck on several occasions as well as our first truck when we were visiting Jeremy and Michelle in 2018. Because we’ve been acquainted with Toyota the longest, we first went to Toyota of Pullman to test drive a new Highlander. Next we went to Jess Ford to drive a pre-owned Explorer. They had no new ones available. Admittedly, both dealers were quite low on inventory; and, we knew that inventory challenges were everywhere. As we weighed our options, we decided to negotiate on a trade-in with Toyota. We were pleased with the resulting price that reflected the NADA range for a trade-in.

On Friday, August 27, we bid the truck farewell and drove away in a 2021 Toyota Highlander that had just 10 miles on the odometer. We are pleased to own Toyota again. The Highlander is our 11th Toyota over a 41-year time span. (Our first was a 1974 Toyota Corolla that we bought in 1977. Our most recent was a 2016 Toyota Rav4, purchased in 2013). Once home, we reorganized the garage so it fits into the garage. We’ve not had a vehicle in a garage since our first home in Denver. 

Fare Thee Well, AZ IF the Truck! In November 2019, it was “AZ IF” we were meant to have you. (Plus the Colorado plates were AZ IF. It seemed fitting.)
Our brand new 2021 Toyota Highlander XLE with 10 miles on the odometer.
First stop after purchasing the Highlander is the Sunshine Road trail access parking lot.
With some moving of things around in the garage, the Highlander has a spot in the garage.

WHEW!

Needless to say, it’s been a head-spinning three weeks following three months of a pace that practically gave us whiplash between looking for our next home to rent, needing to leave the condo on short notice due to mold, taking refuge in the trailer, road tripping to visit family and friends, moving into the townhouse, selling the trailer, and trading in the truck! 

All in all, we are beyond grateful that we had a trusty Ford F-350 that really was a workhorse and towed the Nash 26N without effort up mountain passes. This truck was our second one and purchased when we were stranded in Richfield, Utah. It’s given us nearly 20,000 miles since then. The timing worked out wonderfully for it to become an important part of our full-time RVing and our primary vehicle after those adventures. Now we will enjoy an SUV, riding lower to the ground, and finding it much easier to get in and out of it.

NOTE: The frequency of posts to 12mph.com will likely slow. I really wanted to get our experiences this summer “journaled” onto our blog.

We’re “Living Retirement Life at the Speed of Sanity” taking walks around Pullman, sipping coffee in coffee shop courtyards, and binging on TV series.

Love

Diane & Steve

Part 1: Cha-cha-cha-changes

Okay, I’m really not trying to confuse everyone!  Some may wonder, “What’s with all of the recent posts?” My time has been spent elsewhere, except for writing notes, I’ve not had time to actually sit down and finalize several posts.

Discernment Time

As we approached our one-year milepost in Pullman back in May of this year, we were already having conversations about whether we saw ourselves full-time RVing. We absolutely LOVED our full-time travels, yet we were leaning more towards not resuming them. Our discussion points included:

  • The size of both the truck and trailer.
  • The expense of a large diesel truck, which as our only vehicle, basically was used around town or on a few jaunts.
  • The potential of camping several weeks to a couple of months instead of full-time does sound fun since we have a home base.
  • A large truck and trailer make it difficult to quickly load and go.
  • A smaller vehicle that could tow up to 5,000 pounds might be the route to go. There are lighter and smaller travel trailers that might fit the bill.

On our July 21-22 round-trip to Portland, Oregon to get our IKEA furniture, we created more of a viable strategy based on late summer and the traditional camping season approaching its end.

There has been a very strong demand for RVs since the pandemic began in spring of 2020. Pre-owned supply of RVs is in high demand. How could we step into the pre-owned market as sellers? We were quickly approaching August and it was time to have regular servicing of the trailer. Plus, some surface rust had formed on the trailer tongue that was visually distracting.

The strategy unfolded. Our 2018 Nash 26N was built by Northwood Manufacturing in LeGrande, Oregon. We knew that their products have a strong market in the Pacific Northwest and that their products tend to hold their value. Using Northwood’s website, I searched for Northwood dealers near us. (We had purchased the Nash at D&D RV Center in Helena, Montana, but due to the distance, it was too far to consider). Travelland RV in Lewiston, Idaho is about 45 minutes from Pullman. I scheduled regular service with them, which included packing the wheel bearings and a thorough inspection of all the trailer systems, appliances, chassis, roof, seams, and axles. The thought was perhaps being a Northwood dealer, they may be interested in purchasing our Nash. RV dealers, like auto dealers, have busy service departments, so an appointment was three weeks away.

The Trailer’s Tongue Project “Went Without a Hitch”

In the meantime, we began researching how to clean up the surface rust and apply a rust protector on the tongue. Fortunately, a dear friend works for Rusto-leum and had given us some suggestions. With YouTube, Steve found a good process for tackling the tongue project that didn’t require a Hazmat outfit or extraordinary expense. We supported Pullman Building Supply by purchasing all of the needed sprays, a mouse-pad sander, and various supplies. Keeping an eye on the air quality and high temperature forecasts, we arranged with son Jeremy and daughter-in-love Michelle to pull the trailer onto their driveway for three days. While Steve worked on the tongue project, I tackled some easy projects inside the trailer and finished removing shelf liners.

In the end, the tongue looked like new and provided such a nice first appearance. It’s a bit like the curb-appeal that realtor’s highlight when selling a home. As Steve’s runner, on one of my trips to Pullman Building Supply, I picked up two For Sale signs. My plan included taping them on the inside back window and one side window. We thought even in RV storage, someone might see the For Sale signs and give us a call.

The Nash trailer tongue has some surface rust.
The front of the chassis of the Nash trailer has surface rust.
Right side of the chassis front with surface rust.
Surface rust is located in several areas of the Nash trailer tongue.

Here was the process for addressing the surface rust.

We’re getting situated for Steve to tackle the trailer tongue project.
Steve used a Black and Decker Mouse Detail Sander to sand the surfaces on the trailer tongue, trays for the L.P. tanks and two batteries, and chassis front.
After sanding, we covered the wiring harness, hitch, L.P. lines, and trailer front with newspaper. A tarp and drop cloth were put into place before we unhitched the trailer from the truck.
Steve used Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer over the freshly sanded surfaces.
Steve sprayed Rust-Oleum High Performance Rust Preventative enamel paint over the coat of rust reformer after it dried 24 hours.
At home, Steve rigged up a system to paint the brackets to the hitch system.
Steve put the L.P. tanks and batteries in place plus added the hitch brackets. We’re good to go!
We’ve removed all the newspaper and tape.

Nash Servicing Day Arrives

On August 17, we pulled the trailer to Travelland RV in Lewiston. As we were getting it checked in for service to be done on the 18th, a staff member mentioned that he noticed it was For Sale. He suggested that we request to meet with the Sales Manager when we returned for the trailer. You betcha! The For Sale sign strategy worked!

The Nash has a service appointment at Travelland RV in Lewiston, Idaho.
The “For Sale” signs in the windows have captured attention already!

We’d been following pre-owned RV sales over the summer. Using NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association) website, we established the value range of our Nash. (This is similar to what one does when valuing a truck or car). When we returned on Thursday, August 19, to get the trailer, we met with the Sales Manager. He was very enthusiastic about a Nash trailer and the great condition. He admitted that there was a demand for Nash and yet he had no supply. Then, when we mentioned that we needed to sell the trailer before we could sell the truck, he really perked up. He was out the door in a minute to also check out the truck. We were to look for a text or call the next morning as he would put together a quote for the trailer and also for the trailer and truck as a duo.

Off to Pullman we went. We tucked Tranquility the Trailer back into its spot in RV storage, looked at each other, and wondered if this would be the last time to have it in Pullman. I drove it to Pullman as potentially my last time to tow it.

It’s Decision Time

By 10am on Friday, Steve received the text that we’d been promised. We sat down and reviewed the NADA, our notes from other Nash sales, etc. The decision was pretty easy to make, although we’d appreciate a bit more for the trailer. Steve called the Sales Manager and negotiated on a higher sales price on the Nash. We opted to not sell the truck to Travelland RV. We were good to go. Off to RV storage we went. With Steve behind the driver’s wheel this time, we took our 2018 Nash 26N back to Lewiston.

It’s our final time to retrieve our 2018 Nash 26N a.k.a. Tranquility the Trailer from RV storage.
August 20, 2021 – Farewell trusty travel companion! Our 2018 Nash 26N by Northwood Manufacturing.Thank you Tranquility the Trailer for three years plus of memories traveling around the U.S.

Bittersweet Day

It was a bittersweet drive as Steve towed Tranquility the Trailer to Lewiston. We reminisced and will continue doing so because it’s been an extraordinary adventure! Indeed we are thankful for the 29 states through which Tranquility traveled with us and the 33,000 miles that it provided an abode-on-wheels.

December 14, 2018 – Early morning in time for sunrise. Plomosa Road BLM Campground north of Quartzite, Arizona.
September 21, 2019 – Leaving Theodore Roosevelt National Park, South Unit, Medora, North Dakota

Stay tuned for Part 2, which includes more Cha-cha-cha-changes!

Are we still sane at the Speed of Sanity?

Diane & Steve

Settling into Our Next Home

Wait…this is the second post in one day? Yes, I’ve had this one in draft form for a few weeks also. 🙂

While we were having our last stay at the Pullman RV Park, our July 8 appointment to finalize the lease paperwork on the townhouse that we would begin renting was moved to July 6 on a moment’s notice. Knowing how to roll at the last minute, we quickly shifted gears. The bonus was being able to move things from the trailer before our Saturday, July 10 household move from storage to the townhouse. 

Welcome Home!

We’re grateful for our new-to-us home that we’re renting with 2 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms. There are no signs of mold, mildew, or water issues, which caused our move in May! Yay! The ground level has a bedroom and bathroom behind the garage. This is our office/guest room. In the hallway, there’s a washer and dryer behind two bi-fold doors. Upstairs is the master bedroom, master bathroom, and a half bath. As well, there is the kitchen, dining room, and living room in an open floor plan with a cathedral ceiling and two dormer windows. Off of the dining room there’s a small balcony that is perfect for two people. 

We have wonderful windows on the second floor, which is our primary living space. Much less traffic noise is experienced here. Since our move, we’ve seen nimble foxes scurrying on the nearby hill and heard quail with their comical calls. (Of course, they better heed the swiftness of the foxes). We have no yard, so we will be able to take trips without a need to arrange lawn care.

The front of the townhouse, that is our newest home that we’re renting. We’re between two other units.

The two-car garage sits beneath the second floor and affords space that Steve has organized into bicycles, outdoor gear, trailer camping gear, tools, archive shelves, and project space. Our truck is too tall to fit, yet thankfully just squeezes its length onto the driveway.

AZ IF, our 2016 Ford F-350, just fits on the driveway. It’s too tall and long to fit into the garage.

From July 6-9, we cleaned the house and moved extraneous items from storage that we placed there after the movers moved the household to storage on May 8. We also moved from Tranquility the Trailer and cleared out the pickup bed. Next we cleaned and prepared the trailer for storage once again, and moved it back to RV storage on July 9. 

Steve’s emptying the fresh water system just before we take Tranquility the Trailer back to RV storage.
Teddy’s last ride in Tranquility the Trailer. (Teddy has been on the road with us, visiting 29 states after first coming to our home in 1988 following a surgery that Diane had.)
Teddy rides in AZ IF the Truck bound for our new home in Pullman.

Move-in Day on July 10 was eventful…because, “Why not?” There were heat and air quality advisories . To make it more interesting, we locked ourselves out of the house 30 minutes before Steve was to meet the movers at storage across town. Thankfully, Palouse Locksmith was true to his word that he’d be here within 10 minutes. He even made two extra keys on the spot! Plus, we reached the mover’s team leader, who delayed leaving Moscow, Idaho a few minutes. Whew! It all worked out and Moscow Moving had us moved in three hours’ time. This was the same crew who moved us in May from the condo to the storage unit.

Palouse Locksmith came to our rescue when we locked ourselves out of our new home.
Moscow Moving moved us twice in two months. Condo to storage and storage to townhouse.
Moscow Moving wrapped all of the furniture in plastic wrap to protect it and make it easier to get a good hold of it. This worked especially nice with the larger or heavier pieces of furniture going up the staircase.
There was a little bit left in storage that Steve will bring over, but this and the furniture already upstairs makes the move finished.

When we moved into the condo last year, we made do without a larger dining room table, bookcases, TV stand, and nightstands. Two weeks after we moved into the townhouse, we ordered all but the TV stand from the IKEA in Portland, Oregon. It was cheaper for the fuel and an overnight stay in a budget hotel than it would be to have the furniture shipped to Pullman. 

We left for Portland on July 21. We’ve not been to Portland since our full-time RVing travels took us there in November 2018. We took a route that would divert us from some of the smokier areas of Washington. The Columbia River Basin provided such a pretty drive as Interstate 84 paralleled the Columbia River. We timed our arrival at IKEA for 2pm. It worked pretty slick to have our order ready for pick-up. After we loaded, we decided to go into IKEA just in case they had TV stands and a bench seat/shoe rack. Thankfully those were in stock, so we added to the stack of furniture in the truck bed. (When we visited the IKEA in Denver back in June, many pieces of furniture were temporarily out of stock, likely due to the supply and demand during the pandemic as well as manufacturing and shipping disruptions.) Furniture loaded, we then enjoyed shopping at Target for bed linens and that grabbed an early dinner.

It’s 7:40am and we’ve left Pullman bound for Portland. We actually had some rain this morning.
Mt. Hood makes a beautiful physical presence as we travel Interstate 84 towards Portland.
The Columbia River is gorgeous. The wind is strong and we see whitecaps on the water surface.
IKEA in Portland, Oregon is where we’ll retrieve new furniture.
Steve begins loading the new furniture into the truck.
We’re taking home 11 new pieces of furniture from IKEA in Portland, Oregon.
Wandering the maze of IKEA!

On our trip back to Pullman from Portland, we paused for an hour to take a short hike to the Bridal Veil Falls and the overlook of the Columbia River. To actually be on a trail was marvelous, yet the sound of the falls certainly served as a salve in the midst of our pace. The overlook would afford us a magnificent view of Sand Island in the Columbia River to the west of Bridal Veil Falls.

We stopped on our way home from Portland to enjoy the trails.
Bridal Veil Falls in Oregon.
Sand Island and the Columbia River as seen from the Bridal Veil Falls State Scenic Viewpoint along I-84 in Oregon.

Once back to Pullman, we spent the better part of the next two days assembling furniture. With these added pieces, we felt like we could really unpack. There’s a good amount that has remained in boxes since July 2018 when we placed our Denver household in storage in order to begin our full-time RVing lifestyle.

We have IKEA Lagkapten desks! One for Steve and one for Diane.
We have an IKEA Fjallbo TV Stand. (Yeah, no more using boxes for our TV stand).
We have two IKEA Lack nightstands. Finally a place for our lamps, etc.
We have an IKEA Hemnes bench seat and shoe organizer.
We now have four IKEA Billy bookcases.
We tackled the dining room table together. Yesterday Michelle joined us in assembling the other 10 pieces of furniture.
We have an IKEA Fjallbo TV Stand. (Yeah, no more using boxes for our TV stand).

It’s been a whirlwind summer with two moves! As we continue getting situated, we take advantage of the sidewalks on our hill for our walks. One of our favorite destinations is Military Hill Park, which gives us nice vistas towards Idaho and other parts of Pullman. We walk down our steep hill to the paved Grand Avenue Greenway trail that we walk to downtown Pullman to access Neill Public Library, coffee shops, and eateries. A bus stop is only three minutes uphill and we can connect to other routes at the Pullman Transit Transfer Station.

We took a much needed break from unpacking to hike at Washington State University’s Arboretum (which ironically has very few trees). On the next hill is the university’s organic farm.
Grand Avenue Greenway takes us to additional paved trails as part of a Loop.

Staying in this home for a few years would be ideal. It would be nice to get more involved in the community once the Delta variant of the coronavirus becomes history.

We clean up pretty well.

“Living Life at the Speed of Sanity in the Palouse Region of Eastern Washington”

Diane & Steve