"Do not be too timid and squeamish. ... All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better." Emerson.
About this time last year we took a chance on "romance" and embarked on a new downsized RV lifestyle. The question going in flashed like Las Vegas marquees, "Is it sustainable?" Well, what is a life lived without risk, anyway? There is no romance worth a pittance without adventure and risk.
So today, in just a few hours, someone is coming over to look at our Chalet. We pulled her from our garage where she has been sleeping all summer long... popped up, and proceeded to rinse layer upon layer of Utah onto our gravel drive. Needless to say, there was a substantial red ring around the "tub" when we were done.
So why, you ask, why give her up? Why not keep the Chalet for those times and places that beckon Back-O-Beyond? That is the twenty thousand dollar question, isn't it... and you'll find the answer hiding out in the question. Based on this past summer's use (not a good amount of data, I know) we tried to project a mental x-y graph. Let's call it the Return On Investment graph, for lack of a better handle, where all the variables are accounted for, tallied, and a summed squared answer is spit into lap, standard deviations and all. We needed something to tell us if said "return" was statistically significant enough to keep Status Quo. I'm speak of variables like pleasure, use frequency, deprecation, comfort, ease of use, and long term compatibility, adventure options... just to mention a few.
We could have, but for some reason, didn't, do what we thought we would do this past summer... that is to take the Chalet and adventure into our own backyard. You want excuses? Ok, I'll give you excuses. Work, for one (which is just another way of saying "money," isn't it?). Given the fact that continued summer employment will be a necessity for, God-only-knows... how ever long it takes for the herniated real-estate market to heal enough for us to sell a house, we wonder about affordability. So we didn't take the time nor go to the effort of packing up Chalet, only to hurry back in time for work. Instead, we donned packs and simply headed out on day trips. We still experienced all the glory of going, without the hassle of camping (yes, camping does become a bit of a hassle if you must break camp in order to hurry home to jobs).
So do we let our 2012 sit in the garage and depreciate, using it once to three times a year for short outings? Or, do we sell it, get as much of our investment back while it can be gotten... use Golden Girl like we use our house in Lovely Ouray... that is to say, as a warm, cozy and comfortable base camp from which to explore our surroundings De Jour?
Well, that will depend on what the Chalet will bring, to some extent. If it will rip our financial hearts out, then no, we'll keep the Chalet rather than take a beating, and put it to its intended use as often as possible. Last summer may have been a fluke. Maybe we will go camping in our own backyard next year... and Back-O-Beyond, too. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of having two RV's, one small, one bigger. It thrills me to think, "we can go anywhere," further, deeper, higher, lighter, cheaper... to be able to choose between "roughing it" and "Motorhome-ing it."
I've always said, one needs at least two places, one for summer; one for winter (a third place by the sea would be nice, too... if one has money). It applies to RV's as well, but not so much for seasonal reasons, but for boondocking/exploring options. My Pen Pal Claudia and her hubby Marc over at Itchy Hitch have two RV's, one big, one small; and they make use of both according to style and need. On our first sojourn we pulled a 26 foot Arctic Fox trailer behind a pickup with a pop-up camper on it so we could disconnect, leave the trailer behind and go farther. Overkill? Indulgent? Conspicuous? Maybe, but life is all about options. The fewer options I have, the more I begin to feel trapped.