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RE: My Coach Net experience tonight.

If I can't count on Coachnet when I am in a jam, why even have roadside assistance? Why pay if I end up on my own anyway? I think roadside assistance was more relevant back before everybody had the entire internet in their hands at all times. Back then it would have been a big PITA find a tow on your own, and being able to make one call and get it coordinated by someone else was a big benefit. The roadside assistance companies were a middleman who made your life easier--you just had to make one call, which very well would have been at a pay phone some distance away. The alternative was to get to a pay phone and hope there's a phone book and start calling each tow company in the yellow pages. But nowadays, it might be better to cut out the middleman, because you can locate and contact local tow companies while sitting in the driver's seat, and when you call them you can quiz them yourself about whether they know what they're doing, and if they can't do what you need, they might know someone who can. Obviously Coach Net's (and all the other roadside assistance companies--they all do the same thing) business model isn't getting their customers the quickest tow possible; what they do is put out a bid to see if anyone will accept the job at that price, without even knowing whether the tow company can actually do it. It's doubtful you'll get worse service doing it yourself than that. It'll cost you more, but maybe actually not if you're not paying Coach Net premiums and are mentally pocketing them toward future towing. Not to mention the mental anguish of paying someone to do something for you and having them fail. I have roadside assistance on my insurance policy, for $21/year. I have $21 worth of expectations from it, and will suffer only the mildest mental anguish if I end up having to do everything myself anyway, including paying for the tow myself if they refuse to reimburse it. Then again, I haven't had to do that, so my tune might change when paying an enormous towing bill. But putting a mental $249/year into my towing fund will go a long way toward defraying that.
Rice 09/30/22 05:52pm General RVing Issues
RE: Beginning RVer: Is this Scenario Doable?

I am just beginning my research process into RVing full-time. My plan is to live in Wisconsin half the year and in Arizona during the winter traveling between the two a couple times a year. This isn't related to your question about financing, but since it appears that you are young, you should be aware that in parts of Arizona, it can be tough for people under 55 to find a place to stay for extended periods. In the Phoenix area, the vast majority of RV parks where people snowbird are age-restricted. Those parks are allowed (but not required) to let a limited number of under-55 people stay, but I would assume they're less likely to make an exception for someone who's 50 than someone who's 30. In the whole Phoenix area, among the dozens (hundreds?) of private RV parks, there are only about five that aren't age restricted. I think the ratio is a little better in Tucson, but Tucson doesn't have all that many RV parks--certainly nothing like Phoenix. And some of the big ones are age-restricted. State and regional parks are obviously open to anyone, but they generally have two-week limits, and weekends get reserved way in advance, so it's hard to rely on those without significant planning and reservations in advance. Plus they are usually electric-only, which will be less of a disadvantage if you have to leave after 14 days anyway, but still something to take into account. And age is not an issue if you're planning to boondock on BLM land, but that presents a whole other slate of issues. Just throwing that out there in case you're not aware of the possible challenges down there for someone who's under 55.
Rice 05/23/22 12:03pm Beginning RVing
RE: Santa Fe-Taos and Flagstaff suggestions please

I may have been one of the last to stay there without cost or reservations. There is one small ray of hope: Maybe this applies to ski season ? ? ? and not to Summer ? ? ? Well it was great while it lasted.I just checked and it's for the summer, too.
Rice 05/12/22 02:19pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Overnight stop in CT, NY, or NJ? Suggestions needed.

Cabelas Hartford CT The OP specified he wants electricity.
Rice 05/12/22 02:08pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Not for us

Very interesting insight. Question: Are you still full-timing today?Yes. I say I'd be willing to stop if I found a place to live, but wonder if I'd waver if it really happened. Having things breaking on a 20-year-old motorhome is beyond annoying, but I find a lot of psychological comfort in knowing that if I can't stand my neighbor's barking dog any more, I can just move. And I still really like going to places I wouldn't bother to go to on purpose, like if I had two or three weeks to travel somewhere and had to prioritize. I would really miss that. How many miles have you logged in those 20 years?I just checked the odometer. About 100,000. The last two years were only 2,000 each because of Covid, but otherwise, the miles per year ranged from 3,000 to 8,000.
Rice 03/04/22 10:02am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Not for us

Great post ^^^^^^^ RiceThanks. You prompted me to re-read it, and I noticed a grammar error and fixed it, so it's even better now. :)
Rice 03/03/22 08:24am Class A Motorhomes
RE: Not for us

It seems that you dove into full timing right off the bat. Many here that eventually went full time were first weekend warriors (for lack of a better term) for many years prior to going full time. Not us! Almost 20 years ago, we decided to start traveling fulltime, put our houses up for sale, and flew halfway across the country to pick up and drive home our first (and still only) RV--a 40-foot motorhome. But 20 years ago, you had to come up with the idea yourself, and figure out how to get information about the nuts and bolts. Forums like this were invaluable, and there weren't bloggers and youtubers who had a financial interest in promoting the lifestyle. And by the time that year was over, we'd put together a massive amount of knowledge. It was kind of like going to a library and researching compared to looking at a newsfeed. These days people just kind of fall into the lifestyle--certainly the idea and very much the execution as well. Back then you had to really want it because figuring out how to make it happen was a lot of work. Nowadays there are very few barriers to entry, which can have bad results. Plus, there's the terminology issue. Especially after the big recession, a lot of people moved into RVs as a (hopefully) cheaper alternative to a house or apartment, and called it fulltiming. Because they live fulltime in an RV. And that's what the OP ended up doing--he said he'd paid his site rent through November, with options for two more years. I'd say (and I know people will push back) that that's not fulltiming as most people traditionally understood it. But it gets lumped in with the fulltime travel lifestyle, when it might more appropriate to be lumped in with living in a trailer park or mobile home park lifestyle--small dwellings that don't move and are cheaper than a house or apartment. And people who aren't steeped in knowledge don't necessarily know the difference. That's not to say that people who started fulltiming in 2003 didn't get it wrong. But I think a lot more people these days are getting it wrong because they didn't have to put in a lot of work to understand exactly what it is, and to let it marinate in their brains.
Rice 03/02/22 04:15pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Santa Fe-Taos and Flagstaff suggestions please

I guess an "overnight stay," even for 7 nights in a row, isn't the same as "living/residing." It seems to me that staying in an RV site is the same as residing in the RV site, but I guess not.
Rice 03/02/22 10:07am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Santa Fe-Taos and Flagstaff suggestions please

I may have been one of the last to stay there without cost or reservations. There is one small ray of hope: Maybe this applies to ski season ? ? ? and not to Summer ? ? ? I thought of that as well. Their reservation site shows nothing available after closing date for the ski area. We'll have to see whether that means it goes back to being FCFS free, or they're going to have a different structure for the summer that isn't incorporated in the website yet, or you can't do it at all. What I find weird about the whole thing is this statement: "Overnight stays are limited to a seven (7) night stay in our lots. National Forest rules expressly forbid living/residing in the National Forest which includes the Taos Ski Valley parking lots." If the rules expressly prohibit it, how are they allowing it?
Rice 03/01/22 03:58pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Florida domicile people do you stay 6 months there?

Might not be right place for question but… Have friend in WA state that’s on state insurance guess like Medicaid when she needs it. She is a Gold Star widow and decided to buy RV, truck and full time. Sold home. Military wife doesn’t work. Read somewhere can’t use insurance out of state except for FL allows it. Could that be true? It's not the state that allows or disallows it--it's the insurance plan. The Florida ACA (Obamacare) Exchange has some Florida Blue plans that provide access to Blue Cross's nationwide network. That's what you hear about fulltimers using. The Florida ACA Exchange also has plans from other companies (and some different plans from Florida Blue) that do not offer access to Blue Cross's nationwide network. As I said, it depends on the plan. In your friend's case, it doesn't sound like she has health insurance but instead is covered by some sort of state program. If it's Medicaid, she definitely can't use it outside the state (unless it's an emergency). Medicaid is a state-based program, for residents of that state, and with providers in that state. If she has something else, for example based on her husband's military service, I don't know anything about those. But she should definitely do a deep dive if she intends to use it outside the state.
Rice 02/26/22 05:04pm Full-time RVing
RE: Santa Fe-Taos and Flagstaff suggestions please

If you boondock you can stay up at the Taos Ski Valley for free--on the parking lot. Not any more. It's now $25/night plus tax with no hookups or showers, in designated sites that have a 36' maximum length. They want you to make reservation. https://www.skitaos.com/plan-your-visit/rv-parking Another one bites the dust.
Rice 02/26/22 04:56pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Dog attack in Lancaster CA

As for headlines are they ever accurate? But you're the one who chose to post the version of the story that had that headline. You could have found one with a more accurate headline, like the one from the CBS affiliate: "Man Dies Following Dog Attack At Lancaster Homeless Encampment." https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2022/02/23/dog-attack-leaves-four-wounded-in-lancaster/
Rice 02/26/22 03:40pm General RVing Issues
RE: Not for us

This $12,000 is basically the same as if we rented an apartment for 6 months so, in my mind, we spent $2000 a month “renting” our motor home instead of renting the house we were in and learning a life lesson about what we thought we might like and didn’t. It appears you rode the wave of increasing RV prices perfectly. You really lucked out. We've been fulltiming for 18 years, happily until the last couple of years. We sat still for Covid, and for that period dealt only with the hassles of living in an RV and didn't derive any of the benefits of travel that make up for it. It was eye opening. It sounds like your experience is pretty much the same as our Covid experience--living in the confined space and dealing with the hassles of an RV, with no benefit that you wouldn't have in an apartment or house. So I completely understand why you'd be dissatisfied. Also, when we began fulltiming, I was 41 and my boyfriend was 31, so I very much understand your not feeling like you have a lot in common with the majority of residents in a Casa Grande RV park. Even now, the most I can come up with is that older people tend to be quieter than younger people, and I like that. But that's merely coexistence, and most people want something deeper. Perhaps you could have done more research, but I'm not sure that would have helped because so much of the information these days has an agenda. Back in 2002, anything on the internet was there just because someone wanted to share, and not to make money. There was a lot less information, but it was more transparent and reliable. Shoot--we had to come up with even the idea of selling our houses and traveling around in an RV, and then go looking for information about it. Had never heard of such a thing. Is there anybody these days who's not at least aware that the lifestyle exists? And since that awareness comes from lifestyle blogs and youtube channels, it comes with a curated portrayal of the lifestyle. Are you going to make a bunch of youtube videos about how and why it didn't work out for you? I doubt it. They'd probably be really useful information, but they wouldn't be popular because people gravitate to upbeat aspirational content, with maybe an occasional (and no doubt portrayed as ultimately amusing) setback. And sure, you could have done a deep dive into workcamping and found out that it very often involves cleaning toilets, but that's certainly not how it's pimped. Instead, the focus is on getting a full hookup site for free in exchange for a few hours of work around the campground. Details, details. And details aren't what draw eyes to websites. Again, I'm glad you were able to get out of this relatively unscathed. And perhaps in the future, when your wife doesn't need or want to be working any more, you can experience fulltiming in what I consider the "classic" way--traveling all around in a way that you can't really do as standalone vacations. Maybe by then, the pressure on campgrounds will have alleviated, and you could experience the gold standard of fulltiming that is increasingly hard these days--traveling around without making reservations or even having an agenda. (Assuming that would even appeal to you, of course.) Regardless, thanks for sharing your story. It's a useful counterpoint to all the rah rah rah-ing that's out there.
Rice 02/26/22 03:25pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: Not for us

I fully respect your decision, but I'm just curious about one thing. Why would you have to empty your black tank every four days if you're stationary in an RV resort?I hope you're not advocating that people leave their black tanks open when stationary. But I agree--a 50-gallon black tank shouldn't be anywhere near 2/3 full after 4 days. I know people always emphasize using lots and lots of water when flushing, but there's a balance to be had between using a lot of water and having to dump the tank constantly. I'm not sure how your RV task list compares to your home task list, but as a home owner and 40' DP owner myself, I can't believe it takes more work to keep the RV going. A perfect example is dealing human waste. In a house, you just flush the toilet and never have to think about it again. That's not the case in an RV. And even gray water--in an RV, it's best to avoid putting grease or food particles in the gray tank, or through the gray tank if you leave it open when stationary (which a lot of people recommend you not do even though it doesn't present the same risk as leaving your black tank open). Of course toilets and pipes in houses can clog, but that's an issue that's dealt with when it happens, not something that is dealt with on a constant basis, like the black tank in an RV.
Rice 02/26/22 02:45pm Class A Motorhomes
RE: INCREASING lpg capacity ?

Ok, I'll rephrase the question. What is the cost to refill a tank in the same area where the exchange is still $20? That's actually a tricky question because some places refill cylinders by the gallon, and some places refill them for a flat fee regardless of how much is still in there, and some of the flat-fee places don't fill them all the way. So you can't always compare $19.99 to $19.99. At Menard's (big midwest Home Depot-type chain), an exchange is $17.99, and it has the usual 15 pounds of propane found at exchange places (Blue Rhino). Most other exchanges are around $20. Some Menard's locations refill cylinders (not exchange). For a 20-pound cylinder, it's a flat rate of $17.99; they fill only to 18.5 pounds, which is better than the 15 pounds at an exchange, but still not full. At a CVS not far from this Menard's, the exchange is $24.99. The closest place I could find where you can get a cylinder completely filled and pay only for what you get is a U-Haul, and that's $3.59/gallon. For the OP: An onboard tank can be a PITA to get filled, but it can be cheaper because you'll never suffer from a flat-fee fill, but also, I've encountered places that, if you do the math, charge more per gallon for filling cylinders than onboard tanks. There's a propane place (the kind that people use for home delivery) that charges $2.95/gallon if you fill an onboard tank, but they have a flat fee for cylinders that works out to $4.78/gallon if the cylinder is dead empty. The Menard's that does propane by the gallon does the same thing--if you fill an onboard thank there, it's $3.45/gallon. The cylinder refill works out to over $4/gallon.
Rice 01/28/22 01:24pm Class A Motorhomes
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