Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Full Time Living Recap (Almost 1 Year)
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 > Full Time Living Recap (Almost 1 Year)

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DallasSteve

Texas

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Posted: 03/18/21 12:19pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am making this post in part for my own benefit and in part for others. I have posted and read here for at least 5 years in preparation to try living in an RV full time. My goal was to see other parts of the country in retirement. I did this for 11 months from March 2020 - February 2021. That's basically the height of the pandemic. Terrible timing, which is the story of my life, in a lot of ways. But I don't regret the experience, which is the theme of this message.

I had planned to buy a truck and travel trailer, but after considering my budget and the different options I decided to get a motor home and pull a Jeep Wrangler. I went new with both because I wanted to avoid repairs as much as possible. I wanted the smallest RV that would be comfortable for me and my wife. I picked the Winnebago Intent 30R, which is about 31 feet long and has 2 slideouts.

The reasons I got out were as follows:

We wanted to see other places where we could live and my wife could work (she's not retired). She found a place she liked so we decided to rent a place and stay here for at least a year.

I was tired of living in the small area of an RV. Our new rental house is like a mansion in comparison and I feel much more relaxed.

The stress of planning a cross country trip and then driving this big vehicle and now paying much more for gas and probably some minor repairs/maintenance were taking the fun out of this.

After you've seen one state or COE park, you've basically seen them all, in my opinion, with a few variations.

In summary, for me, an RV is not good choice for year round living in the same place because of the season changes. Here in South Texas the A/C would be droning on the roof almost 24/7 during the summer. So it was either sell it or store it. Prices appear to be good right now due in part to the pandemic so I wanted to "get while the getting's good". I calculate that I didn't spend much more in total during our time in the RV, including depreciation, compared to living in Dallas in an apartment for the last year. So it didn't damage my retirement finances. In fact, if we miss the RV lifestyle we could do it again some day when my wife doesn't want to work any more.





valhalla360

No paticular place.

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Posted: 03/18/21 02:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brand new for a year, there shouldn't be any significant maintenance. If there is something major, it should either be warranty or insurance covered.

You might want to try it again in the future during normal times. Lots of sites are closed or limited access. While it's great to hit a nice forested state park periodically, just sitting in a random wooded lot gets boring fairly quickly unless there is more to see and do.

Not sure what the stress of planning is...unlike a vacation, you don't need to hammer out 500mile days with advance reservations when you full time. We just turned north from Florida a week ago and expect to reach Michigan sometime late April. A side benefit of traveling slow is fuel costs are less of a concern.

That said, it's not for everyone.


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Old-Biscuit

Verde Valley

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Posted: 03/18/21 02:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WE Went FT to TRAVEL...NOT park and live in an 350Sq/Ft RV

We TRAVELED for 7 YRS moving weekly/bi-monthly to see the USA, experience small town USA and explore/adventure

Sorry it didn't work out for you.
Especially when you bought NEW

To US FTng is all about the travel place to place NOT parking for months on end
It was never about the Campground ---it was about the area/locale


Is it time for your medication or mine?


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2g's

Arizona

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Joined: 02/13/2021

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Posted: 03/18/21 04:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DallasSteve wrote:



I decided to get a motor home and pull a Jeep Wrangler.

I wanted the smallest RV that would be comfortable for me and my wife.

I was tired of living in the small area of an RV.

The stress of planning a cross country trip and then driving this big vehicle and now paying much more for gas and probably some minor repairs/maintenance were taking the fun out of this.

After you've seen one state or COE park, you've basically seen them all, in my opinion, with a few variations.

In summary, for me, an RV is not good choice for year round living in the same place because of the season changes.



The above statements by you are signaled out. I'm sorry it didn't work for you.

You were after a different reason to full-time than most others. You were looking for a place for your wife to work and stay stationary year-round. That rules out many of the best places.

You picked the smallest RV and then you state you're tired of living in a small RV.

There shouldn't be stress in planning. That was a fun thing for us to do. However, we didn't plan far ahead... just from place to place. We meandered the secondary roads and stopped when the spot looked interesting. Then we explored the area fully. Then we moved on .... perhaps only 100 mi. or up to 300 mi. We stayed off interstates as much as possible. That's where the stress is. We stayed away from big cities. Some of our 16 yr. of full-timing was a whole season spent in one state.

Stress in driving the RV? We found it relaxing. We both drove so the other could do some viewing. On our trips to Alaska we took turns every day.

Did you ever get to use your Jeep on some of the awesome western Jeeping trails? That was a big part of our entertainment.

Some seasons we volunteered in national and state parks which was an awesome experience. A few times we were campground hosts but most of the time we worked in interpretation such as giving lighthouse tours. This gave us a feeling of truly helping out in the parks we liked to visit and it gave us a purpose. How many are so fortunate as to be able to actually live in a national park? The rangers became friends and we were often included in their activities and shared meals.

Finally, your statement "after you've seen one state park or COE park you've basically seen them all" definitely isn't the case with most of us RVers. Each park and area are unique. That's why the parks are there - so others can share the experience of that park and it's surroundings.

Again, sorry it wasn't for you.

LouLawrence

Traveling the US!

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Posted: 03/18/21 04:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Everyone makes mistakes and it sounds like you made several decisions without the correct information about the results.
We took off full time in a medium RV and were happy for 3 years. We loved it and decided we loved it enough to buy an even larger RV. We have been living AND TRAVELING full time in our 40' RV (no slides) since 2000 and we could not be happier and we see no end in sight. We even sold our 40' no slide coach and bought another 40' no slide coach last year. The size and amenities are just perfect for us. If our plans change and we want to go somewhere to stay for 6+ month or a year we would not do that in an RV. We would drive where we wanted to stay, rent a house and then do it again if we wanted to move 6 months or a year later. We find new and unique destination everywhere we go despite the 100's of thousands of miles we have driven. Everything everywhere is pretty much the same?? Yeah, no!!

bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 03/18/21 04:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While I don't agree with your comments I am glad you found out the camping life isn't for you before you got in too deep. Now you are free to move on to another endeavor in which I hope you are happier.

We thoroughly enjoy travel and camping but realize full time is not for us.

Sjm9911

New Jersey

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Posted: 03/18/21 05:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Props to you for giving it a go. I wouldn't ever want to rv full time. I get what your saying. Good for you and congrats on the new location.


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Lwiddis

Monterey, California

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Posted: 03/18/21 06:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad to hear you might resume the RV life when your wife retires. Our beautiful country has many more wonderful places to see for you and me.


Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2020 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, 300 watt solar-parallel & MPPT, Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist14 yr. Army vet-11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad


Dutch_12078

Winters south, summers north

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Posted: 03/18/21 06:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There's no question that fulltiming isn't for everyone, but for those of us that love it, it's a great way to experience life to the fullest. We've only been fulltiming since 2008, but we are starting to acknowledge that we may have to hang up the keys as we approach our 80's. Maybe in another 5 years or so. Our current 34' single super slide gasser has served us well with minimal maintenance needs, and we're quite happy with the space we have. Several years ago I asked my wife what she'd like to see changed in our coach, and the only thing she could came up with was a new shower door to replace the old pleated one that had gotten hard to clean. About a week later I installed a Nautilus RV retractable shower door and she still likes it. We move fairly often since we favor state and national park campgrounds that typically have 14 day limits. As far as the "seen one, seen them all" comment, I couldn't disagree more. Every park we visit and revisit has its own character and special features that we find enjoyable. It might be as simple as watching the daily deer "parade" at Ft Clinch SP, FL or Ft McAllister SP, GA or watching the ships passing in and out of the St Lawrence Seaway's Eisenhower Lock at Robert Moses SP in upstate NY while sitting in our coach or under the awning, but each one is unique in its own way. We also have a private lakeside site in the southern Adirondacks where we sometimes stay for a month or two at a time while visiting family nearby and catching up on some medical appointments. As said, its not for everyone, but some of us wouldn't have it any other way...


Dutch
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n0arp

FT

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Posted: 03/18/21 06:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Put bluntly, if you spent 11 months out there, you didn't see anything. We could spend a year in most states and still not see everything on our list in those states.

It reads to me like you hardly gave it a real chance. Since your goal was simply to find a new place to live, and it sounds like you found one, you got what you needed out of it... even if the experience could have been much more enjoyable for you with a different rig and a different mindset.

Going park to park isn't for everyone, especially not us -- but I think calling all parks the same is a gross exaggeration.

* This post was last edited 03/18/21 08:06pm by an administrator/moderator *   View edit history


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