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Post Info TOPIC: Store household goods or purge all

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Store household goods or purge all

We just ended our full time experience after 3.5 years on the road. What a great experience. When we began planning, we debated the store/purge decision. We purged a good bit and stored some in Alabama.  We paid $200 per month ($8400 total) for one 10X20 uncontrolled and one 10X10 controlled storage units.  How did that work out?  

We could not have replaced our household goods for $8400.  I estimate it would have cost $12,000 to replace everything and there is an emotional attachment to some things.  Tough decision.  Had we fulltimed 5 years, we could have bought all new stuff. Oh, and those “can’t replace” items, yeah, they are out there in various antique stores, flea markets, and estate sales. 

Controlled storage items were pristine. I literally took business attire out of the wardrobe boxes and wore them to work.  

Uncontrolled storage was problematic.  Mice and ****roaches made home in several boxes. It appeared they liked boxes with fabric items in them.  Spiders made homes in open areas of furniture.  Mold grew inside and on most wood furniture.  We spent considerable time cleaning up stuff and only trashed a few items. 

Its a personal choice and you must keep emotions in checK when making these decisions.  If we do it again, we will probably keep a small amount of stuff in controlled storage and purge the rest. I admire those who purge all. When you go the storage route, you can’t help but think “I’m paying how much for that stuff in storage? Why did we want to keep that stuff?”

I hope this helps someone in their decision process.  


USAF Retired 2010. Began full timing June 2015, ended Dec 2018. 2007 Allegro Bus 40QSP with 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland TOAD. Our blog: keepingupwiththejonesrv.blogspot.com. 

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thank you for posting this. It is good to hear about actual experiences. It is also good to know the controlled storage does make a difference. Good luck on your current path.


John & Sama


2018 DRV Mobile Suites 44 Sante Fe

2018 RAM 5500 with Utility Bodywerks hauler bed

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Well, I'm in the purge mode right now. Fortunately we have a rental property where we can store some stuff, especially tools for the rental property. That said, as far as personal stuff goes we have storage closets in the hallways of our rental property that should be for the tenants. They won't be, at least not one of them. We will appropriate it to store those thing that really are irreplaceable, pictures, family heirlooms that I don't want to give to my sisters and some things like that. This will be a very few things. The closet is only 30 inches wide and deep by 8 feet high so it's not much. As to the non-climate controlled storage, if it's padded furniture it won't work, fine woodwork not too good either as the heat, cool, moisture cycles won't do the finishes any good. However for certain stuff it's probably fine, especially if it's in some kind of tote that critters and bugs can't get into. Just my two cents.


RV-Dreams Family Member

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That is a dilemma my wife and I will be facing soon.  It was nice to hear your perspective.  Thanks.


2017 Starcraft 26BHS Autumn Ridge TT,  2019 Chevrolet 3500 SRW Duramax 6.6 4WD TV 

Plan to retire/full-time in 2021. Favorite place to camp; Texas State Parks.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness..  Mark Twain 

Steve, Julie and Ethan

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Here's a somewhat philosophical perspective on "stuff", we all own things that make our lives easier or more enjoyable. We have one thing that does that, our motorhome. Yes of course many accessories, a portable BBQ, an extra door step, a patio mat, a tow dolly and a car. You get the idea. After 30 plus years of marriage our furniture was old, except two comfortable dining room chairs. They are at the table in our RV. The stuff we are lugging around are photographs and memories. I know, it can be scanned.
Within months of starting our new lifestyle it became time for my Mom to move into assisted living. We had to empty out another house, got about $800 from an "estate" sale and another $300 from the guy who would take the rest away. All nice stuff, when my parents got it 20 years ago. Hardly anybody is interested in those things now. Just some of her bedroom furniture got moved to her new place.
She got a new recliner and said "what more do I need?" Mom is in good physical shape, with mild dementia. She had a reverse mortgage and lived comfortably. The house went to the bank.

In contrast, my mother-in-law still lives in her house. With the help of home health aides. 90 year old Nanny is sharp as a tack, but her body is worn out. Her eye sight and hearing very diminished. She has all her stuff. When her time comes each of her four daughters will get 1 fourth of the houses value.

We read on this forum that the regret of most was not starting sooner. I retired at 59.5 and by 60 we were on the road. That was a year and a half ago.

So do what you want with your stuff, you can't take it with you. We didn't. (not counting two chairs )

Just my thoughts.



Bill and Laurie

2002 Airstream Land Yacht 39ft DP

2019 VW Jetta, toad

FT since 9-17-17

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Gpndavid wrote:

... If we do it again, we will probably keep a small amount of stuff in controlled storage and purge the rest. 

This is what we did starting out - and haven't regretted it a bit. We visit the storage unit once or twice a year as we're passing through to drop off something or pick something up. Lately, as we do that, we've wondered why we kept some of the things that are in there. I'm sure we'll enjoy seeing some of our favorite possessions when we come off the road and start over (in a much smaller home than we had before we hit the road full-time).



2012 F350 DRW Lariat 6.7

PullRite OE 18K, Demco Glide Ride pinbox

2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes, solar, DP windows

Full-time as of 8/2015



RV-Dreams Family Member

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My vote is to purge it all, except for what you are taking with you. We have begun the process, and it was hard at first, but it much easier once you you start letting go of things. What have we accumulated over the years on some things has become things we have gotten used to, but if we were to do it again... well frankly... our tastes have changed. It is certainly possible they will change more by the time we are ready to exit this lifestyle. We can't justify coughing up 100-150 dollars a month for years only to decide that we want something different when we would pull it out of storage. I did that in the military... never again.  Our experience... your mileage may vary.


Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)
Currently operating a 2003 StixenBrix with 2 toads.

2017 RAM 3500 Laramie 4x4 CCLB, CTD, Aisin, B&W hitch, dually
2020 Keystone Montana Legacy 3813MS w/FBP  ...
no Mor/ryde IS, no solar  YET!

RV-Dreams Community Member

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X2 on a small controlled unit. We have pictures and mementos stored in an environmentally controlled unit, but no furniture. But if possible, I agree with Biggarview’s perspective of get rid of it all.


Mike and Joan

  • Full-Timers
  • 2006 Volvo 780 
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  • 1999 Chevy Suburban
  • 2001 Honda XR650R
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RV-Dreams Family Member

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We went with getting rid of it all, except for what we wanted in the RV.  Neither of our sons were interested in much of what we had, so once the selling to family and friends was done, garage sales were done, all the rest was donated.  Even if we do sell our RV and move into an apartment, there isn't much we need in the way of furniture or appliances, so nothing like that was needed.  Besides, we couldn't have afforded climate controlled storage, so any furniture would have been subject to rotting or destruction from mice.  After all, most everything in life is stuff because one can't take a U-Haul to the cemetery.

A funny side comment with regards to moving into an RV, the wife kept saying that she thought that we were going to be too heavy with "all the stuff she was taking to the RV."  I told her to put in what we wanted, and before taking the RV to our first "home site," I would get it weighed and if necessary, we could purge some more.  Got a contract on the house and property, so I hooked up the RV and headed for our new site, by way of a feed store in town.

I was almost afraid to tell her that she still had capacity for another 760 pounds in the trailer.



Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2019 Ford Expedition Max as Tag-along or Scout

Our photos on Smugmug

RV-Dreams Family Member

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We just went through "the purge" and feel so liberated by doing so. It's as if the weight of the world has been lifted of our shoulders.

My advise:



-- Edited by Sushidog on Sunday 27th of January 2019 08:29:52 PM


1999 National Tropical Class A gasser

Toad - 2.4l Chevy Cobalt SS with 400k miles and counting.

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks for passing along your experience and everyone else's take on it as well. We are taking off full time as late as October of this year so are still in the downsizing process.

We plan to take a small box of expensive items to our daughter's because it's safer than leaving it in a storage unit. We plan to start off paying for a 5x5 or 5x10 climate controlled storage unit. No furniture or large items will be stored; just boxes of keepsakes and items that are hard to replace such as artwork it took years to put together and a few other collectables. If we stay on the road long the cost would be hard to justify but worth it to us.  We will also use the small storage unit to keep a few items we are not yet sure if we will need on the road. I could see if we go with a 5x10 that we would downsize that at some point.

-- Edited by mds1 on Friday 1st of February 2019 11:17:23 PM


Mark from Missouri


2018 Ram 3500 Laramie Dually LB 6.7L HO Diesel Aisin Transmission 4x4 3.73 Gears 

2019 Vanleigh Vilano 320GK 35’ fifth wheel 16,000-pound GVWR

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