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RE: Full Time For Six Months

I will give a (not so) quick recap of my travels so far in my first 6 months. I will just add it to this thread because the ones here who expressed an interest in reading about my travels may see it here and the others may not care anyway. I returned to the USA from 6 months abroad on a flight to Florida mid-March 2020. I bought my new motorhome in Jacksonville, Florida. That's funny because tonight I am in Jacksonville, Texas. And, despite his flaws, Andrew Jackson is one of my favorite Presidents because he is the only President who ever paid off the national debt. Lots of them promise to do it. Old Hickory did it. I came back to Dallas quickly to pick up some things from storage. I then headed south and planned to travel around south Texas, but that was in April and the Covid panic was shutting down a lot of state and federal campgrounds. So I rented a spot in a nice campground in Georgetown, Texas. After a month there it started getting warmer so I made plans to head north. I wanted to buy a Jeep Wrangler and flat tow it behind me, but despite the economic crisis Jeep was not discounting their Wranglers much. They said they were great deals, but they really weren't. I ran out of time before I could buy one so I headed north with just the motorhome. We traveled back through Dallas to get a few more things out of storage. I had reserved sites at a number of Oklahoma state parks for our journey to northwest Arkansas. That part of Arkansas besides being beautiful mountain scenery has cooler temps than the surrounding areas. Oklahoma was one of the few states that did not shut down some or all of its state parks. Texas caved in. We stayed there (in Springdale) for over 3 months and it is beautiful and the hottest days were 95 degrees and only about 2 of them compared to 18 100 degree (and up) days in a typical Dallas summer. So I was happy about that. While we were there I bought a Jeep Wrangler and got it set up to tow back south with us in September. That's where we are now. We looped briefly up into Missouri then back into Oklahoma over to Amarillo and then east and south through Dallas and now east Texas. Starting Sunday we will spend about 14 days on the beaches of Texas, but not actually on the sand. I have reserved state and private parks along the beach that have paved roads with electric and water. As I'm traveling I try to keep my driving to about 7 hours per week. I get weary after a couple of hours driving. It's too much like a job for me. We stay at parks for 1 or 2 nights along the way. I usually don't think there is that much to see in one place, but sometimes it is a little rushed. Anyway, the cost of gasoline, the repairs that appear on my to do list faster than they disappear, the parks that have no or poor mobile data (internet), the drudgery of keeping the beast in her lane on the highway, the gray water tank that keeps filling up faster and faster, the rush (sometimes) to unhook and get back on the road, are making me question how much longer I want to do this. I'm going to put off any decisions until March because if I sell this rig I probably won't do it again. I will talk to my wife next year and we will decide if we do this another year or not. I don't regret what we've done so far; I've learned some things about this country, small towns, and me. I'm retired and I wanted to give this a try and I'm glad I did. Almost every park and city has had something beautiful and or interesting to see. By March I may be ready to do it again.
DallasSteve 09/29/20 09:34pm Full-time RVing
RE: Are My Tanks Really Empty?

Interesting ideas. I checked the manual and it says my gray tank is 42 gallons and the black tank 36 gallons. Are those reasonable amounts? I'd love to get 4-5 days and maybe I could do it alone but probably not with me and her. Even 2 days is liveable because when we travel we are usually only 1 or 2 days at a park. In that case I can dump when we leave. I'll see if I can get the wife to take shorter showers and I may look at buying paper plates and plastic cutlery. Thanks everybody.
DallasSteve 09/29/20 08:21pm Tech Issues
RE: Looking For S. Texas Parks

OP.... To answer your questions. Very few RV resorts have golf courses. Most amenities are free or very low cost, but golf may be the exception. Only the larger, higher end parks have all the amenities. Smaller parks just have some amenities and others just a rec hall. Alfred Thanks. That's about what I guessed. I've been in maybe 10 private RV parks so far, but I haven't been to South Texas yet, so I wasn't sure if it was different. The nicest park I've been to was the Big Texan RV Ranch in Amarillo and it was first class, but not a lot of amenities except their indoor pool. I spent a month in one in Georgetown that only had the rec hall. I spent the summer in one in Arkansas that had nothing but nice weather and a good price. :-) I don't have to have a golf course; I don't play often and I can go to a public course.
DallasSteve 09/29/20 08:57am Snowbirds
Are My Tanks Really Empty?

My gray water tank is filling up much faster in September. During the summer I could go 2 days between emptying the tanks. Now in September I have to empty the tanks every day. I just emptied the tanks and I looked at the meter on the wall. It says the black tank is 2/3 full and the gray tank is 1/3 full. Are those accurate? If they really are not empty why would that happen? My hose connection is made of clear plastic so I can watch the water come out. When I dumped the black tank a lot of brown water with some toilet paper flushed out. It seemed like about the normal amount to me. When I dumped the gray tank even more water rushed out under a lot of pressure for what seemed like a long time to me. I didn't time it, but my guess is about 10 seconds, then it slowed and emptied for another 5 or 10 seconds. Could there really still be another 1/3 or 1/2 a tank of gray water (and black water) in the holding tanks or is the problem that we are wasting more water and we need to reduce our water usage? Edit: Last night, after only 12 hours since the last dump, the gray tank was so full there was an inch of water in the shower and the wall meter said it was full. Also, the motorhome is only 6 months old.
DallasSteve 09/29/20 08:38am Tech Issues
RE: Full Time For Six Months

Ford V8 engine? I think mine has a Triton V-10. Maybe the confusion is that Winnebago built this 2020 Intent on a 2019 Ford F-53 chassis. That caused some confusion for my insurance agent, too, when I gave them the VIN. Anyway, the motor gets the job done, but it struggles going uphill. As for posting about our travels, I'll try to put together a summary this week. I've been busy because we are traveling and when we get somewhere new we try to find some time to visit the surroundings so I haven't had a lot of free time this month. Hello Steve, Since I didn't know the particulars of a 2020 Winnebago Intent 30R, I looked it up. This ad said the 2020 Intent had the 7.3L V8. https://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2020-Winnebago-Intent-30R-5013371536 Safe travels and enjoy your new coach! Mark That's what your link says and it may be correct. My rig shows as a 2020 with a 2019 Ford F-53 and the V-10 Triton. Maybe they switched over mid-year or maybe the dealer made a mistake. Tomorrow I will double check my motor.
DallasSteve 09/28/20 11:55pm Full-time RVing
RE: Looking For S. Texas Parks

I thought of another important question: I'm in my 60s. When a park says 55+ can I bring my 40-something wife with me?
DallasSteve 09/28/20 11:08am Snowbirds
RE: Looking For S. Texas Parks

Victoria Palms in Donna and Llano Grande in Mercedes are two of the top parks and have everything you want. VP has a very active bike club.. You should call and ask if they have a first time special. You may need to book for a month to get a good price but do not book for more than a month so you will be able to move if you want to. Thanks for those replies. Llano Grande looks like what I want, and the rates are reasonable in Nov & Dec, but they go up a lot in Jan & Feb. Is there an extra fee for the golf? Do many RV parks have a golf course? Are the other amenities free? Will resorts like that have space if I don't make reservations? Other posters say there are plenty of spaces available. Do a lot of other parks have amenities like that RV track and pickleball courts? AllStays only shows about 100 RV parks in South Texas. Can I find the others searching on Google Maps?
DallasSteve 09/28/20 10:38am Snowbirds
RE: Full Time For Six Months

Ford V8 engine? I think mine has a Triton V-10. Maybe the confusion is that Winnebago built this 2020 Intent on a 2019 Ford F-53 chassis. That caused some confusion for my insurance agent, too, when I gave them the VIN. Anyway, the motor gets the job done, but it struggles going uphill. As for posting about our travels, I'll try to put together a summary this week. I've been busy because we are traveling and when we get somewhere new we try to find some time to visit the surroundings so I haven't had a lot of free time this month.
DallasSteve 09/28/20 10:03am Full-time RVing
Looking For S. Texas Parks

I'm planning to winter down in South Texas, meaning the Harlingen, Brownsville, RGV area. I don't want to spend a fortune or I would probably be in South Florida, but I will spend a little extra for a nice park with some amenities. The amenities that might interest me would be things like pickleball, tennis, shuffleboard, other fun activities. Close to some nice parks with bike trails would be a plus. A park with nice streets and pads would be nice, but that's not a must have. Do some members here know of some parks there that might fit the bill? I see the parks on the AllStays website (there are a lot in the area) and I can research them one by one, but personal recommendations are always a good source.
DallasSteve 09/27/20 09:07pm Snowbirds
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
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