For a couple of days, I've been talking around the main question here: Do I keep the Beast and go do the kind of trips I'm learning I like? Or do I spiff it up and sell it?
One major factor is cost: Not so much the direct cost of travel, but a continuous stream of fairly major repair and maintenance expenses. It's a 1999 vehicle, after all. The ones I now know about involve completing the rear axle/differential repairs, and repairing/replacing the air spring(s). Yes, I can change my own oil, but that's not going to save a whole lot of money. I once briefly had a boat, and the saying was true: boats are a hole in the water that you pour money into. RV's, I think, are like that.
There's a long list of items on my Amazon RV wish list. Some of them, like the solar-powered inflatable LED lantern, are things which took my fancy as I browsed or read about them on other blogs, and simply look like fun. Others are more like tools than toys: a nozzle to clean out the holding tanks, for example. A hatchet for those nights when a campfire seems like a good idea and wood must be split. A folding shovel for when "cat-scratch" sanitation is permissible. And others are things which make living in a small box more pleasant and easy: a cover for the stove top to give me more kitchen counter space. And an item which still eludes me: a comfortable, lightweight chair for sitting and reading, inside or outside.
The Verizon hot spot works well, and Verizon has the best network for my purposes. Got that! But do I need a cell phone signal booster? What about a satellite communicator for emergencies when I'm out of cell phone range?
You get the idea. If you're anything of a gadget freak, or enjoy good tools, then you'll really get it. I can treat these as hobby expenses, which they are, and buy them as I can afford them. No, it's the likelihood of major repairs and upgrades which concern me. For example, do I spend $1000 to beef up my solar capacity?
As I list these out, it occurs to me that perhaps I'm not at the decision point I've imagined. The major repairs I know about simply have to be done, keep it or sell it. No decision involved. With the exception of really major upgrades, I can chip away at the little stuff without breaking the bank. And it's fun, dammit, which is the point.
PS: I think I'm done ruminating about the future. Thanks for listening!