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Old 10-14-2011, 07:17 PM
 
179 posts, read 168,773 times
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I can comment from my perspective of full timing for the last 3 yrs.

I have a class A gasoline 35 footer with 2 slide outs. I find the slide outs very important. It creates a nice open area compared to when I'm slid in. Right now I'm sitting in my coach in Indiana. I tow a Ford Explorer Sport Trak. It is a 4 door pick up truck with a small bed so I have the best of both worlds. I use to travel with a deep freezer that fit in the bed of the truck. I chose to not take it with me this time.

I'm 52 and retired from the military. I tried to just live off my pension but unfortunately could not do it, so I went back to work full time 2 months ago. I don't plan on working much longer thus the reason for staying in the motor home. I mostly camp by the month and get the best deal on sight rent. I also don't move very often which saves on gas. I spend around $350 - $375 a month to camp, paying monthly. This particular park I'm in charges electric by the kilowatt off of the meter. Last 2 winters in Maryland the electric was included and I ran 2 heaters for warmth. This year I'm going with an external propane tamk.

I purchased my RV in June 2007. 11 months later, after taking a leave of absence from work, I drove from Maryland to Anchorage, Alaska. I took 4 weeks to get there. I also carried a 10 foot boat, a 5 horse gas engine for the boat and an electric trolling motor. I spent 4 months in the RV in 2 different campgrounds. The trip of a lifetime.

I didn't return to work upon returning to the lower 48 but I did return to Alaska the following summer. This time as a camp host in 1 of the state parks. I got a small stipend but it really doesn't go very far. Things are a bit pricier but I don't regret the time I spent up there or the money i spent while i was there.

I drove back by myself and I tow my truck with a blue ox and a brake buddy. I have the process down to where I can hook up or disconnect with very little effort. The biggest rub is verifying the turn signals are working. It helps to find someone around to help with that as it really isn't much effort on their part.

I've driven my RV around 20K miles. I've been to 21 states so are and several Canadian provinces. Twice I've been subjected to the vehicle search while entering Canada. I do carry bear spray and declare that with the agents. I try to have it handy to show it to them.

I've camp hosted in 4 different state parks, staying between 3 weeks and 5 months. Best part is no lot rent during that time. I've enjoyed at least electric and water each location.

I use to sleep with bear spray as my 'protection' but imagine if I had to discharge the spray, I would be in an enclosed space and would have to also breath in the fumes. I do take the spray with me when I hike in bear country, but now my onboard protection is a can of wasp and hornet spray. I will admit to having forgot to lock my door a night or 2 when camping but I have never felt threatened, even when camping alone.

I didn't buy my RV as an investment. I realize it's a depreciating asset. I'd rather travel around, doing and seeing things. As opposed to wishing I was doing things. I did get a used motorhome but it was only 2 yrs old when i got it. It had minimal wear at the time.

Campground themselves are pretty interesting places. I'm often the junior member, age wise. They tend to get crowded towards the weekend. You get the campground back on Monday. Lots of people flying our flag. The people tend to be conservative in my opinion. And you will run into a lot of characters. They just add to the allure.

To sum it up, I live in my motorhome full time because it works for me. Now that I've experienced early retirement, I can appreciate what it will take to fully retire again. The biggest hurdles are having your debts under control and only make necessary purchases. Look for deals and enjoy the ride.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:37 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,773 posts, read 37,441,293 times
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Default Personal Safety w/ RV living?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monello View Post
I can comment from my perspective of full timing for the last 3 yrs.

...
To sum it up, I live in my motorhome full time because it works for me. Now that I've experienced early retirement, I can appreciate what it will take to fully retire again. The biggest hurdles are having your debts under control and only make necessary purchases. Look for deals and enjoy the ride.
Thanks for this excellent report, I find it very helpful. & I would like to hear more!... I will PM some ??? (myself an avid traveler / early retiree @ age 49, that went back to work 2 months ago to accumulate some more cash (and healthcare benefits for sick SO)).

The personal safety thing is a bit tough, especially for single gals traveling alone. I am thinking a (big) dog may be necessary (tho burdensome). I really don't like them in campgrounds, but they may be the best deterrent of crime against personal safety. I wonder if someone has invented a 'proximity barker' that you can keep plugged in during the night or when alone in evening. You can be quite vulnerable in a remote campground, with lights on in the evening and the low life boogiemen lurking around.


Guns can easily escalate a situation, tho can be critical to protecting yourself.
A local campground manager had to get a concealed weapon due to the 'visitors' of tenants. (remote, drug 'growing' area). He finally left the job due to encounters with dangerous people. Mind you, it was on a major highway and only 3 miles from Sheriff, BUT criminals do not care about safety.

I am thinking that a premium membership to a gated campground network (Thousand Trails or similar) may be necessary for single gals traveling alone fulltime. You can get the earlier 'platinum' memberships (365 days in park) for a few thousand $$ used. I am not keen on this type of camping, BUT danger is lurking and getting worse and more violent. In General I feel the people in this lifestyle are nice, honest, and helpful, but the opportunities (risks) are greater.

I suppose a good roadservice contract is important too for single gals who are not typically mechanics.

My 20 mpg motorhome is not very cheap to drive (can easily spend $100 / day in fuel). I will concentrate an getting my 52 mpg stationwagon + teardrop camper combo ready for any LONG trips. I will need to add a 'grease-burner' package to the wagon so I can get 'free fuel' at Mexican and Chinese restaurants. I know it will be impossible to 'fulltime' in a teardrop, so if I find a nice locale I want to stay, I will rent a flat for awhile. (furniture optional). I did see 'extended - stay' hotels last week in NM for $160 / week. That would be digestible.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:53 PM
 
179 posts, read 168,773 times
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Default A couple of more tips that work for me while fulltiming

I run my water thru a filter. But any water I drink or cook with goes into a waterwise distiller. You would not believe the gunk left behind after just a gallon of water. Stuff that I'm NOT drinking. You could also use bottled water but it's a bit pricey.

I shower in the showerhouse. I just got in the habit when I was in camps that just offered electric and water. No big deal actually. Just have a toilet kit, shower shoes and a towel. I'm in and out in no time. In the summer there is no humidity in the RV due to moisture from the shower. It also saves the gray water tank. If you are going to stay somewhere a while and do this, just ask to be parked near the bathhouse if possible.

I use a microwave over, toaster oven and electric skillet. Other than that things take up too much space. I have a small blender and a food processor, all electric. I bulk prepare meals and freeze them in zip lock bags. I save my large yogurt containers for leftover storage also.

I have felt that I put over my skylight when the weather is warm and sunny. It keeps out excess light. I velcro the ends so it's easy to remove. When I remove it I just hang it from 2 corners along the wall so it is there when I need it.

When I shop I try to get apple boxes from the produce department. Put the lid inside the bottom. These are great for putting excess items in. I keep 1 on my kitchen table bench seat. I'll store paper plates, napkins, and other items in there.

Get in the habit of putting stuff back in the same place each time you use it. Things like flashlight, long handled lighter, scissors, batteries, and quite a few other items that you don't use a lot but want on hand when you need them.

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few others................
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Old 10-19-2011, 07:52 AM
 
1,477 posts, read 4,736,564 times
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Well the OP started this thread but never replied again but full timing in an RV is easy as long as you do your home work before starting out....I have been full timing for awhile now and can tell you the type of campgrounds, or water filters or guns or any of that other stuff is not that important once you are on the road..These types of things all work out with very little problems.

The biggest things people should think about when wanting to full time is deciding on what state they want to claim as their home state for tax and personal reasons. Things like health insurance policies (when and where you can see a doctor, dentist, get prescriptions filled etc) mail forwarding services, bank accounts, bill pay, road side service etc are things that you will need to be able to deal with almost daily. As long as you have these things in check full timing and traveling the country is no different than living in a stick and brick home

Last edited by rtandc; 10-19-2011 at 08:10 AM..
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:05 PM
 
162 posts, read 246,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtandc View Post
Well the OP started this thread but never replied again but full timing in an RV is easy as long as you do your home work before starting out....I have been full timing for awhile now and can tell you the type of campgrounds, or water filters or guns or any of that other stuff is not that important once you are on the road..These types of things all work out with very little problems.

The biggest things people should think about when wanting to full time is deciding on what state they want to claim as their home state for tax and personal reasons. Things like health insurance policies (when and where you can see a doctor, dentist, get prescriptions filled etc) mail forwarding services, bank accounts, bill pay, road side service etc are things that you will need to be able to deal with almost daily. As long as you have these things in check full timing and traveling the country is no different than living in a stick and brick home

Very good advice
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Old 11-14-2013, 12:58 PM
 
179 posts, read 168,773 times
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I'm back full timing. I did a summer stint in a National Forest as a camp host. Real nice people. I woke up on a 2,500 acre lake every day. There was no development on the lake at all. Very peaceful.

Trying to figure out my next move. It's getting cold now in the mid atlantic region. May be time to head south
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Colorado
2,483 posts, read 3,348,896 times
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I have a 23' Class C and use it a lot with my family. It is too small to full time in, esp. with 4 people. But I dream of getting something a bit bigger someday and going full time. Thanks to all that shared their experiences about that. It will be a while though because my kids are still just 3 and 1 and going full time with little ones would be more challenge than fun I think.
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Old 01-15-2014, 02:47 PM
 
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Sounds like a great change of lifestyle.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:22 PM
 
558 posts, read 813,544 times
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Wow, this has been my dream since I was a teenager! I'm 37 and still dream of doing it. I'm frugal and have been told I'm pretty crafty so I know I could pull it off if I could just save up some $ to get started. You can find a decent class C on craigslist for $5,000. if you don't mind an older model and have some mechanic skills. I do all my own repairs. Someday I'll do it. Hope the OP comes back with an update.
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Old 01-19-2014, 09:57 AM
 
Location: On a peninsula
66 posts, read 163,387 times
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Here's a blog of a 20-something fulltiming, so it can be done Interstellar Orchard | Lessons on the journey to full time RVing
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