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RE: Full Time For Six Months

If it makes you happy and you can afford it, great choice. But why would you need a 35ft travel trailer but only a 30ft motorhome? When you take into consideration the loss from the cockpit, you have a living area of maybe 23-25ft. Also, how do you figure it's "easier"? valhalla Perhaps I wasn't very clear. Originally I was looking at travel trailers and the floorplans that fit my desires were about 35 feet. When I started looking at Class C the biggest floorplans were usually about 35 feet and they would work even though I would loose the driving area. As I think I mentioned one of the things I like about the Class A is the driving area can be used as part of the living area so a 31 foot Class A like mine is about equal to a 35 foot Class C. It still is smaller than a 35 foot trailer, but it feels comfortable to me and fits my budget.
DallasSteve 09/19/20 07:22pm Full-time RVing
Full Time For Six Months

I completed my first six months living in an RV full time about 1 week ago. I will write some thoughts about the experience in case someone wants to hear about it and I will try to answer any questions. I am 64 and I retired 2 years ago because nobody wanted to hire old, expensive programmers in Dallas. I had planned to live in an RV and travel for several years and had read a lot of threads here to gain some knowledge. My goal was to be able to travel and see some new areas of the country to try to pick a better place to retire. I've said it before, Dallas is a nice place to work, but I wouldn't want to live there. I did not follow some of the advice here and I changed my mind drastically on what I wanted in an RV. I believe a truck + bumper pull is the cheapest choice for a large living area. It's me and my wife and I would want something about 35 feet long to be comfortable, which is a lot to pull behind a truck. But as I compared options I decided a Class A motorhome plus toad would be easier and that I could afford it in my retirement budget. I found a model that is about the same price as a Class C of the same size considering the driving area can be used as living space, too. I also decided to go all new, which is not what most recommend for a first RV purchase. I have been happy with my choice. I bought a 2020 Winnebago Intent 30R and I paid $80,499 plus tax. I had to go to Florida to get the best price, but I was out of the country so I just changed my return flight to Florida and rented a car to drive to Jacksonville where I bought it. The Intent 30R was the best floorplan for us and I trust the Winnebago name. It is not perfect, there are a lot of things I wish were different, but I still think it is the best motorhome for me at a reasonable price. The Intent is their economical entry level Class A. There were not many Intent 30R available new or used across the country. I didn't want the hassle of shopping around used vehicles and hiring someone to inspect them. I also didn't want a lot of hidden problems. The new Winnebago hasn't been perfect, but I haven't had many big problems. I bought a new Jeep Wrangler to tow behind it and I was able to install a baseplate by myself, but it wasn't easy and I almost gave up several times. But I got it done, I know it's done right, and I probably saved over $1,000 doing it myself. I can post more about our travels later, if there is enough interest.
DallasSteve 09/18/20 09:44am Full-time RVing
RE: Do You Trust Hitch Locks?

Go to tractor supply and buy D handle pin hitch pin with hole already drilled, makes it very easy to remove if you have too. Then use a pad lock to secure That sounds like a good idea. I've already bought the locking pin and I've used it for about 10 days on the road now with no problems. I understand now that the load is on the pin so the lock doesn't have to pull all that weight and I feel more at ease with it now.
DallasSteve 09/10/20 09:13am Dinghy Towing
RE: Help: Towing A Jeep First Time

When I unhook my Jeep from the motorhome, the first thing I do is unlock the doors, put the transfer case back in High Range, and the transmission in First Gear. THEN, and only then, will I unhook the towbar. I don't even use the parking brake when hooking up. Connect the towbar, put the transfer case in Neutral, the transmission in 6th gear, set the ignition switch, and lock the doors. I never have to worry about not releasing the parking brake, because it isn't set to begin with! It works for me, you do what is right for you. That sounds like a good plan. I'm also concerned I might forget the parking brake and tow the Jeep with the brake on. My parking brake seems to be very strong so I would probably notice, but you never know.
DallasSteve 09/05/20 11:05am Dinghy Towing
RE: Help: Towing A Jeep First Time

Thanks for the replies. The dealer called me and I also got a useful reply on a Jeep forum. The reader said that if the door is open the vehicle will try to shift into Park. I had the door open when I hear that light grinding noise. I tried again with the door closed and everything seems to work as designed. I have been able to tow the Jeep several hours on several days and I haven't heard the grinding noise any more. I did make one bad mistake and I added an item to my checklist. When I was unhooking the Jeep I did not set the parking brake. When I unhooked the hitch pin the Jeep rolled into the RV and damaged some trim. It could've been a lot worse. Now I have that on my checklist.
DallasSteve 09/05/20 09:27am Dinghy Towing
Help: Towing A Jeep First Time

I have a 2020 Jeep Wrangler and it is hooked up behind my motorhome to tow for the first time. I am going through the steps in the owners manual. I shifted the transfer case into Neutral. The dashboard says the transfer case is in Neutral. Then I started the car. They say to shift into Reverse and see if it moves. I think it did move a little. Then to shift into Drive and see if it moves. When I shift into Drive I get a light grinding noise. Now I'm in panic mode. I'm trying to call the dealer. Do you know what I should do next? Did I just break my new Jeep?
DallasSteve 09/01/20 11:59am Dinghy Towing
RE: Turning A Toad

There is advise from manufacturers to try to limit turning the rig at a maximum angle when towing as this puts strain on the tow equipment. Sometimes unavoidable but try to make turns less sharp. As said above, you cannot back up without binding something so always plan ahead to avoid tight roads and use fuel stops that are easy to drive in and out. Thanks for the advice. I read that I'm not supposed to back up with the car attached, but that's the kind of thing I might forget. So I told my wife to help me remember. And it's on my checklist. DO NOT BACK UP WITH TOAD ATTACHED!
DallasSteve 08/29/20 06:59pm Dinghy Towing
Turning A Toad

Next week I'm going to tow my Jeep Wrangler behind my motorhome for the first time. In addition to reading all the guidelines for hooking up correctly (and making a checklist) I'm trying to find advice on turning corners with the Jeep behind me. My biggest concern is probably how to avoid binding the tow bars and doing worse damage to them, the Jeep, or the motorhome. What guidance can you give me on how to turn corners while towing a car behind me?
DallasSteve 08/28/20 04:36pm Dinghy Towing
Best Towns - NW Ark To Texas Panhandle

We are currently in NW Arkansas (near Fayetteville) and we are planning to travel to the Texas Panhandle next. What small cities or parks have you seen in the area between here and that that you recommend we visit? We are planning to first stop at Eureka Springs which is near here. I've read it's beautiful. Then maybe Brannon, Missouri, then start heading towards the Panhandle. We could swing through Kansas or Oklahoma; we haven't seen much of either.
DallasSteve 08/09/20 05:26pm Roads and Routes
I Should've Bought Camping World

I saw a story today that Camping World lost about 20% of its stock price in one day this week. And that is with a great earnings report this week. Analysts guess that was because of investors taking profits. The stock had soared in the last 6 months. Marcus' net worth is probably over a billion now. When the market crashed in March I said to myself I should put some of my money in the stock market, but it rebounded so fast I missed the opportunity. In March Camping World's stock fell to about $3 a share. Today it is over $30. If I had put $100,000 into Camping World back in March I would have $1 million today. In five months time. Oh, that hurts.
DallasSteve 08/08/20 07:38am Camping World RV Sales
RE: Snowbirding - What is typical monthly rent by region?

What are you looking for in the way of amenities and location? In California there are places where $300 a month plus electric will get you a site. There are other places where that $300.00 will pay for a couple of days, max. Same with Florida. Texas and Arizona will have lower rates as a rule in the places you might want to stay. But your wants and needs should come into play. If you want to fish and go to the beach, the Arizona Desert probably isn't going to meet your needs. In one way or another you tend to get what you pay for. I know most of that. It's supply and demand economics. What I don't know is general prices for the regions, but I'm learning. Here's what I'm looking for. As a minimum something no colder than Tampa in the winter but warmer would be better. It looks like far South Texas is about equal to Tampa in temps. Maybe far South California, too. Being near the ocean would be nice, but it's winter anyway so we won't use the beach much even if we are there. So I can take something inland to save money. If the park is well kept and has a few amenities like games to play, great. If we have to run around town to find activities I will have a Jeep and we can do that. So in summary, we don't need much in amenities; it's mainly the weather and the price and that it not be in a dangerous area or far away from a city with some activities. And it's more likely to be Texas if it's not Florida. I'm probably not ready to drive out West this year.
DallasSteve 07/24/20 08:50am Full-time RVing
RE: Snowbirding - What is typical monthly rent by region?

There are many places in Mission, TX for $250 to $400 per month plus electric. Tell me more! Actually, don't do any extra work for me. I can Google and search around there. That may be where I'm headed. I checked rates in Florida around the Fort Myers area and rates start at about $1,000 per month. I can rent an apartment where I am now for $600 per month and they throw in a roof, walls, plumbing, all kinds of extras. I would buy some cheap furniture and do that for a few months before I will pay $1,000 for an RV space (some wanted $3,000 - who do they think I am? Donald Trump?) Anyway, Mission could work and $400 per month is reasonable. Are things reasonably safe in the Rio Grande Valley now? No Mexican cartel violence on our side of the border? I might even be able to accept the Corpus Christi area, but no further North than that. South Texas is also good because I want to keep my Texas citizenship (I think it's called domicile, but I'm a proud Texan). Thanks to everyone, Steve
DallasSteve 07/23/20 09:02pm Full-time RVing
RE: Snowbirding - What is typical monthly rent by region?

We pay about $750/month + metered electric in Tucson, AZ Thanks for that feedback. I need to get busy researching my options. I can rent an apartment for less than that, and I probably will if that's my choice.
DallasSteve 07/21/20 11:28am Full-time RVing
Snowbirding - What is typical monthly rent by region?

I'm still heading North, but I'm starting to plan for heading South in October. The obvious candidates are (left to right) California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida. I don't know about Las Vegas or anywhere else. Maybe? What I'm wondering is how much will it cost to make reservations by month during Winter in those areas - meaning the Southern/warm part of those states and maybe the middle part of Florida - at this late date? I'm new at this and I'm just trying to decide if I should even consider Florida. Cost is not the only factor, but it is a factor. I know there are a lot of variables and a nice park will cost more than a lousy park, but I'm just asking in general. Can anyone who's done this give me a general idea?
DallasSteve 07/20/20 03:15pm Full-time RVing
RE: How To Fix Blue Ox Mistake

As a guy getting ready to buy a towing set up, this is all good info, thanks I will keep all of this in mind when I purchase my outfit. I believe I have read other comments similar to the original post about Blue Ox , but those were just vague comments, nothing I can put my finger on at the moment. Northshore The others may have their problems, too. I don't know. You might want to read the Dinghy Towing Guide. I'll post a link. One other negative comment I have about Blue Ox is their Patriot II brake controller comes with a remote control. I like the idea. The remote control looks like 20 year old technology with a two-tone screen and clunky rubber buttons. If you spend $1,200 on a brake controller I think they shouldn't "cheap out" on the remote. 2020 Dinghy Towing Guide
DallasSteve 06/20/20 02:01pm Dinghy Towing
RE: How To Fix Blue Ox Mistake

I'd go with your option 4. I don't know what you really mean by "strong piece of metal" but 1/8" steel would be many times stronger than needed. That may be the best solution. It doesn't have to support the weight of towing the vehicle. Just sturdy enough that the breakaway switch won't "breakaway" under normal use and resist the tug in a true emergency.
DallasSteve 06/19/20 09:04pm Dinghy Towing
RE: How To Fix Blue Ox Mistake

Take it back and get another brand. You should not have to engineer anything to make it work. I'm pretty sure I could return it. But I already spent about 16 hours installing the baseplate on my Jeep. My original post mentioned that it is installed. I'm not going to take it off, return it, and then install another. I didn't check all the diagrams to be sure it was assembled correctly. I thought Blue Ox did quality control, but I guess not. Lesson learned. At least they didn't mess up a weld that would've caused it to not work. This makes me think of one more possible solution. I could pay somebody to cut off the bad part and weld on a new one correctly. I would do that before I would remove, return, and re-install.
DallasSteve 06/19/20 06:13pm Dinghy Towing
How To Fix Blue Ox Mistake

I installed a new Blue Ox baseplate on my Jeep Wrangler. I also ordered a Blue Ox Patriot II brake controller and it came with a breakaway switch. I looked at the diagram of the baseplate on how to install the switch and the tab on mine extends to the front and not to the back like in the diagram. I would post a photo here, but it has to be online and I don't have the time to put it online right now. The bad part about the mistake is the breakaway switch has the mounting hole at the back so it will extend far out into the air in front of the baseplate. So I wrote Blue Ox and they called me. They admitted it is a one off mistake in the assembly of my baseplate. Their recommendation is to attach it to some part of the frame on the car. Easier said than done. I'm thinking of a few possible solutions: 1 - Mount it in the hole provided, but remove it when I'm not traveling. 2 - Buy some strap to attach to the baseplate that can then hold the switch. 3 - Buy a strap or plate I can attach to the frame and attach the switch to it. 4 - Buy a strong piece of metal with 2 holes and attach it to the existing tab to give me another hole behind the bar where it belongs. This is the second screw up by Blue Ox. When I installed the baseplate it was missing 2 lock washers that I had to buy at OReillys. What does it cost them to put some extra washers, bolts, nuts in with their $500 baseplate? I wish I had picked a different brand. I thought I was buying high quality.
DallasSteve 06/19/20 10:44am Dinghy Towing
RE: How Long For Tow Cables?

That is complicated (the concept of the breakaway activating before the end of the safety cables) but I can see it's very important. Blue Ox provided me both: the safety cables and the breakaway cable (lanyard?). Is it likely that they designed them with the correct lengths to work in the way described? I won't assume that, I will check it, but I hope they designed it that way.
DallasSteve 06/18/20 10:40am Dinghy Towing
RE: Do You Trust Hitch Locks?

The lock keeps some one from (as a prank ???) removing the pin while parked at rest area or at truck stop. Or Walmart? That's where I'm more likely to be parked. But it sounds like I need to re-check all connections when we leave, if we stop to do some shopping along the way.
DallasSteve 06/17/20 11:42pm Dinghy Towing
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