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Author Topic: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE  (Read 596 times)

Redheadangel37

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  • Ginger and the Warrior
Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« on: June 28, 2017, 01:07:24 PM »
My husband and I have decided to jump start our retirement dreams of full timing, and as soon as our car is paid off we are going to purchase a used Class C, or new if we can get a GREAT deal, and every darn chance we get we are going to hit the road until we can retire and full time in a Class A.

I just have one question about those Class C's.....My husband is tall 6'6" and when we first started looking at RV's we couldn't find a Class C with enough head room so he didn't have to sit in the cockpit with his head tilted to the side.

Are there any big fellas out there that can give us some model recommendations or pointers so we can look for the right style? We are still fairly new to this whole idea and we have about 4.5 years before we will make our purchase, but it's going to go fast!

Other questions we have-

Can you use a Class C as a trade in for a large Class A?
If we start with a Class C will the things we learn transfer to a Class A?
Can you park Class C RV's on public streets or do they have to be stored?

Thank you and we are SO EXCITED to do this!!!

Red
Pursuing Our Dreams of Adventure :-)
Future owner of a Minnie Winnie (4.5 Years from now and counting)
Future owner of a Itasca Class A (16 years from now and counting)

OutdoorFT

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2017, 01:47:40 PM »
Ill start off with a question...why not start off with a Class A? If thats your ultimate goal, why not? Have you seen prices of brand new class Cs? you can get Class As sane length as class Cs.

At 6'6, Class A would be better.

For your questions, I dont see why not. If you go C first, then you can always upgrade. Just like vehicles. Cs arent much different than As other thab the cab and other minor things. Depends on city ordinances will dictate street parking. If you have HOA thatll also determine it.
Future Fulltimer

2011 F350 Lariat CCLB SRW
No RV yet!!

blw2

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2017, 01:51:38 PM »
All I can say that in my C built on a 2013 E-450 chassis,
because there is a wall behind the drivers seat becasue of the slide there, the seat travel rearward is limited and it will not recline. I'm 5-9-1/2, and with the seat full back i fit ok.  If it were wide open I'd probably push back one more click.
so
you'd need to find one that does not have a slide right behind the driver.

that said....
if you don't have kids I see no reason really to look at class C's....unless maybe if you're looking at super c's
I am a fan of the class C.  In many ways I prefer it..... but even with that I see C's a niche primarily good for more than two people and better generally for shorter weekend warrior trips
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

Redheadangel37

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  • Ginger and the Warrior
Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2017, 02:01:05 PM »
OutdoorFT, thank you for the reply!

We are still quite a ways out from fulltiming, 16 years actually. I have a great government job that we just aren't willing to leave early because of the pension...so it's all about coasting to that finish line now.

However,  we recently discovered that tent camping at 50 isn't so fun anymore. We could barely move after all the lugging and setting up. So we decided maybe we should jump in with something smaller than the Class A and get our feet wet, so that we have some experience under our belts when we go fulltime. We want to be able to park the motorhome in our complex, and they won't allow Class A's but a Class C they will, go figure. Plus we aren't ready to trade in our new car and get something that will work as a toad so we are trying something different.

We do realize a Class A is best for height, but this would be our weekend fun and not something he couldn't handle for a few days at a time. For the long haul we absolutely will be getting a Class A, that's why I was wondering about the trade in.

Basically we are looking for reasons that might make this a bad choice overall. So basically we don't want to buy a Class A based on the Ford Escape we just purchased (and LOVE) because it may or may not make a good toad option. Plus we aren't able to live in it full time yet given my job, so we need something more comfortable than a tent, that we don't have to tow, like a pop up or trailer, and that we can park in our complex. Voila the Class C came to mind. A van conversion and Class B are completely out of the question due to interior height.

I guess we want our cake and we want to take it on the road to eat it.  ;)
Pursuing Our Dreams of Adventure :-)
Future owner of a Minnie Winnie (4.5 Years from now and counting)
Future owner of a Itasca Class A (16 years from now and counting)

Redheadangel37

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  • Ginger and the Warrior
Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2017, 02:06:10 PM »
blw2, thanks for the reply!

We are empty nesters (YAY!) and so it's just me, my tall hubby and our furbaby, who weighs 43 lbs. We can just do the weekend and vacation type trips now, I have many years yet before we can put this town in our rearview mirror, but we are so excited and anxious to start doing and learning we thought the Class C would be a great starting point. We do realize that my husband's height is our biggest barrier and we hope by asking tons of questions and shopping around we can find something that won't make him feel like it was built around him.

Thank you for your input!!!

Red
Pursuing Our Dreams of Adventure :-)
Future owner of a Minnie Winnie (4.5 Years from now and counting)
Future owner of a Itasca Class A (16 years from now and counting)

Tom Hoffman

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 02:28:45 PM »
I am 6'5" and my wife is 6' we have a TT and love it has the head room in the trailer is fine everywhere except the slides.  But the living room slide is where we watch TV and have our recliners.  So we are sitting down.  We have full timed since 2012.  We have been in friends As and Cs and 5th wheels.  In my view 5th wheels have the tallest overall head room. 

The biggest problem with As and Cs is that you need a secondary car, jeep, scooter or Motor Cycle to just go to the store when you are at home in the Campground for a day or week or month. 

A nice TT or 5th wheels used can be had for very reasonable price, you will still learn all the things for you to go full time later.  Along with these choices you will need a Tow vehicle.  Pickup, SUV etc.  Once in the campground you are set to come and go as needed as you have the RV set up and only have to do it once. Where we camp you very rarely see someone with a C or A disconnect to go the grocery store or a restaurant.  The people that we see with no secondary transportation are most times living on a shoestring and walk or bicycle to the store.

Just my .02...
Wife said to me. "What cha doin' today?"  "Nothin'" says I.  "Ya did that yestiday!" Says she.  "I didn't get done!" says I

2003 F-350 Super Duty Lariat Dually 7.3 Diesel
2008 34' Sunny Brook, Brookside

JudyJB

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2017, 02:39:00 PM »
I love my C, but I am 5'1" so the cab fits me very well, other than my having to sit on a cushion to see out!

However, I agree that a small A might be better for your husband.  I believe all cabs are going to be the same height.  Is there anyway you could have a custom driver's seat installed?  That would help height, but again, when in motion, he may not be able to push the seat far enough back to be comfortable.  Make sure when you are looking that you try things out with all slides closed and your husband in the driver's seat in a comfortable driving positiion.

Also, I love my shower, but it is on a platform so my 6'3" son has trouble with hitting his head on the ceiling.  Luckily, he does not travel with me very often. I also have a short queen, so it fits me fine even though my feet sometimes hang over, but it would NOT fit your husband.  (It is only 68" long.)  His feet would hit the dresser on the opposite side of the small aisle at the end of the bed!!

Just make sure whatever you buy fits both of you physically.  Make sure you both sit on the toilet to see where your knees go, stand in the shower, lay on the bed, etc.  Otherwise, you are going to be absolutely miserable, even on short trips. 

Also, I have full-timed for five years WITHOUT a towed vehicle and driven my motorhome 101,000 miles in that time.  It is very easy to unhook electric and maybe water, put my slides in, and go shopping or touring attractions.  Takes less than 5 minutes.  So you do NOT need a toad, unless you want one.  I tend to take my motorhome out every 2-3 days while at a campsite.  (Going to Breckenridge tomorrow for the day.) I like not having the burden of a second vehicle and have no desire to get one. My 32' motorhome fits into grocery stores and museum parking lots, among other places. 

And I am NOT living on a shoestring.  I am a half-time college professor teaching online while I travel, so my income is enough to pay for my travels without digging into savings.  I tend to stay at state, COE, or national parks, and move every few days, staying up to two weeks occasionally.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 02:48:31 PM by JudyJB »
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

ArdraF

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2017, 02:53:37 PM »
I can't answer the interior height questions but can make other comments.  Yes, you can trade in a C or an A or anything else just like a car.  Of course it depends on how much the dealer wants your vehicle (cleanliness, well maintained, strange modifications, etc.).  Yes, whatever you learn about a C is transferable to an A as long as they're both gas.  Things like hookups are pretty much the same except maybe 30-amp vs. 50-amp and their plugs.  If you trade up to a diesel you'll have to learn more about the engine, transmission, and chassis but that's no big deal.  Parking is up to local ordinances and CC&Rs if you're in an HOA.  It's best if you can avoid parking on streets primarily because it upsets neighbors, some of whom simply do not want to look at a behemoth parked across from their home or if it restricts visibility pulling in and out of their driveway.  In our previous community we had a person on the city council who wanted to ban ALL RVs and ALL trucks (yep, pickups too) from our city streets.  He proposed some draconian rules and was un-elected at the next election.  The man simply didn't want to look at anything on our streets that wasn't a sedan or perhaps a van!  Because you live in a restricted area I would want to talk to my neighbors well before buying anything.  How do they feel about the size of RV you're thinking about?  HOAs have a nasty habit of changing the rules and you don't want to get stuck having to pay storage when you thought you could park on the street.  Storage can be expensive depending on your locale.  I think the last place we had to pay storage was $140/month and it was outdoors under huge power lines and in a flood zone (San Francisco peninsula).

Now that we know more about your timeline and how far in the future you'll be able to start full-timing, I think you would be just fine getting a Class C (assuming you can find one that fits your needs).  We started in 1972 with a 19-foot Class C, moved up to a 22-foot Class C, moved up again to a 30-foot Class C and finally in 1999 to a 34-foot Class A diesel pusher.  Those three Class Cs took us many miles including to Alaska, Mexico, and Newfoundland.  Some of the trips were a couple of months in length and we were quite comfortable in all of them.  Even our first 19-footer was comfortable even though we had no TV, no microwave, and no fancy electronics.  Our first trip was 2.5 months long and we traveled 15,000 miles including to western Canada, New England, Key West and back to California.  My advice is to get the RV you can afford (and that will fit hubby's height) and get out there and start enjoying the RVing lifestyle.  A lot can happen in the years before you can fulltime so make the most of them in the meantime.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Larry N.

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2017, 03:27:39 PM »
Ardra hit it on the head. For your purposes a class C will work fine, so long as it fits you. And take JudyJB's advice about trying to fit in various parts of the rig. Imagine you're cooped up in the rain for four days, imagine various scenarios that you can think of, including boondocking (no hookups, basically) for a few days, plus what it will take to go to the store without a toad (just fine in the smaller ones).

And I'll second the other thing Ardra said: "...get out there and start enjoying the RVing lifestyle.  A lot can happen in the years before you can fulltime so make the most of them in the meantime."

Good luck.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL
  de N8GGG

larrypowellnc

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2017, 03:39:01 PM »
A Class C cab should be no problem if there is no slide wall behind the driver.  Your decision should be based on floor plan and use.  We use our Class C for traveling not camping.  It is a place to overnight on long trips and a place to crash after a day of touring or visiting friends.  Since we use our C for traveling repairs were high on my list.  Ours is on a Ford E350 chassis and power train repairs can be made at any Ford dealer.  After 5 years and several cross country trips (we live in NC so almost every trip is cross country) we haven't needed any repairs but if we do I know a Ford dealer will be close by.  If we were camping for weeks at a time as most full timers do a class A would be my choice.  Happy RVing everyone.

Redheadangel37

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  • Ginger and the Warrior
Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2017, 03:58:18 PM »
Everyone Thank YOU!!!!

@Tom Hoffman - I hear you on the TT's but I have had both campers and trailers before and we are just not tt folks. I do hear you about the up and go easier, but we are not goers and when we are out, we want to just STAY...soooo I think we are sticking with the Class C/A option. I have seen some amazing trailers though!!! Thank you so much!!

@JudyJB - Your advice is dead on with what we are doing. We have been "trying on" rv's for about 3 years now, testing and checking. Given our home is also geared to his height, we aim to make sure he can fit I can always use a stool to get places. I however never thought about the try on the toilet's and bed etc. That's great advice so thank you!

@ArdaF - You get it! We just want to start and get into this and do all that it entails. We don't want to wait 16 years for me to retire, 4.5 after we pay off our car is so much quicker and we can finally get started!! You are absolutely right a lot can happen and we don't want to get to a point where the one thing we both dream of is suddenly not an option. So thank you for getting to the heart of where we are so quickly. Thank you!

@Larry N - I agree and appreciate your input. Thank you!

@larrypowellNC - looking for something without a slide is a great idea, and it makes me think of leg room in a new way for him. Maybe I need to be the driver on our adventures?!?! Nope...I get to caught up watching things. lol Thank you!!!

To each of you, your advice, input and assistance in helping us achieve our dreams is simply invaluable to us!! Thank you!!
Pursuing Our Dreams of Adventure :-)
Future owner of a Minnie Winnie (4.5 Years from now and counting)
Future owner of a Itasca Class A (16 years from now and counting)

JudyJB

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2017, 08:24:38 PM »
My slide is on the driver's side, so the seat does not slide back as far as it could.  However, the passenger seat has no limitations.  You might look for something with the slide on the passenger's side.  That is less common because of the side door, but there are some.  Slides really do give you so much more room and the lack of them means that people on the couch sometimes have to move their legs as people walk past them.   

Trying things out is important because some people will accept a smaller inside living space thinking that they will be spending a lot of time outdoors.  Most of us can attest, however, to those several rainy days in a row.  If you do not have comfortable indoor living space, you will be at each other's throats at the end of those rainy days.

Also, things overall are smaller in an RV, so most people do not notice that the "queen" bed is really not a full queen size because it is in proportion to other stuff.  Take along a measuring tape, and you might be surprised. 

And as several have pointed out, you need to buy something for right now.  In 16 years, you will want something else. 
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

HappyWanderer

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2017, 12:14:46 AM »
I wouldn't be so quick to rule out a slide. They make a huge difference in making the camper more livable.

The only thing to do is look at some campers and try them out for size.
I don't have gray hair. I have wisdom highlights.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2017, 09:24:34 AM »
Quote
Can you use a Class C as a trade in for a large Class A?
Sure. RV dealers deal in RVs, and often in other types of vehicles as well.

Quote
If we start with a Class C will the things we learn transfer to a Class A?
Mostly.

Quote
Can you park Class C RV's on public streets or do they have to be stored?
Depends on local laws and maybe HOA/Condo rules. It's a vehicle and subject to vehicle regulations, plus there are typically limits on how long a vehicle can be parked on the streets. An RV is also living quarters and there may be additional restrictions in your area because of that.


Class C vs A: For a given size and equipment level, an A and a C cost pretty much the same. Newcomers tend to think A = Huge, but there are Class A coaches as small as 26 ft.  The driver position & cab area of a C  give newbies a warm fuzzy, but there are room, capacity and drivability advantages to an A. You just have to get over the initial familiarization curve.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Redheadangel37

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  • Ginger and the Warrior
Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2017, 11:06:09 AM »
@Gary RV_Wizard - What!?!?! I thought the smallest Class A was the 32 ft. Now that is some fantastic news! Thank you so much!
Pursuing Our Dreams of Adventure :-)
Future owner of a Minnie Winnie (4.5 Years from now and counting)
Future owner of a Itasca Class A (16 years from now and counting)

OutdoorFT

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2017, 11:34:18 AM »
@Gary RV_Wizard - What!?!?! I thought the smallest Class A was the 32 ft. Now that is some fantastic news! Thank you so much!
The more you know!

for me, I actually preferred the layout of the shorter As to the longer ones. You may not agree. its personal preference of course. you may not have as much living space, but if you can get one with a slide, thatl help. I just feel that some have too much empty floor. Im not doing yogo or anything so its more of a waste for me than good.
Future Fulltimer

2011 F350 Lariat CCLB SRW
No RV yet!!

Molaker

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  • We don't camp. We tour.
    • Pumpkin and Us
Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2017, 11:51:50 AM »
If you wind up deciding on a used class C, it is VERY important to closely inspect the front cabover bunk area for any signs of a leak.  Look for staining or delamination of the interior wall covering.  Class C's have a unique structure that tends to trap leaked water under the bunk and cause rotting and eventual structural damage before any other sign is noted.  I would not avoid a nice class C because of this potential problem, but just be aware of it and go shopping armed with this knowledge.


In case you are wondering, I bought a class C with a teenie tiny little stain in the front left corner.  The roof looked good, no obvious leaks.  The next year I was rebuilding the entire front end.  Here's that story.
Tom & Joyce and Ditto the "don't tell her she's a dog" Westie
U.S. Navy (Ret)
2014 Winnebago ERA 70X 24' class B Sprinter chassis

FunSteak

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2017, 12:46:03 PM »
I can tell you that I'm 6'-5", and I fit in our class C Minnie Winnie just fine.  Driver's seat is all the way back, but I have plenty of headroom.  Living area has a height of around 6'-8", I believe.  Bedroom is a bit shorter, but I still don't hit anything.  Even our shower works for me, although my head is an inch or so into the "skylight" bubble.  That's an issue in about every coach we looked at, but much worse on some.

Try a bunch out and see.  We had a ball doing that. 
JP & Karen
2017 Minnie Winnie 26a

Redheadangel37

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  • Ginger and the Warrior
Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2017, 02:42:53 PM »
@OutdoorFT - My husband and I have been "downsizing" for several years already to prep for this lifestyle. We currently live in a tiny 1 bedroom that's less than 500 feet WITH our dog. So far so good but this is exactly the type of info a newbie won't get. Thank you! P.S. we aren't into yoga either so I get it!

@Molaker - OMG! I am so glad you brought that topic up and showed me the work you did on Pumpkin! Neither of us are that good at repairs so we really needed to hear and see that. Thank you!

@FunSteak - Finally a close to home response that "fits". We love the Minnie's! We have also discovered that he needs to "shower" with his head in the bubble. Funny story- the very first rv we looked at he got into the shower...(We are truly shopping based on his size. I fit if he does- and at our house everything is BIG for him, I just run and leap or step stool to get to things.) so back to the story, he got into the shower and his knees were bent, his hips were bent, and his head was sideways. I swear he looked like he was a shower burrito! I have to shamedly admit I fell on the bed and laughed for a few minutes. It was that funny looking. Thank you so much for you advice and close to home measurements. We were so concerned we wouldn't be able to do a Minnie and now we have some new hope!
Pursuing Our Dreams of Adventure :-)
Future owner of a Minnie Winnie (4.5 Years from now and counting)
Future owner of a Itasca Class A (16 years from now and counting)

Redheadangel37

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  • Ginger and the Warrior
Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2017, 03:15:52 PM »
@FunSteak - Which class C Minnie Winnie do you have? I love the 22R but am concerned getting in and out of the bed would be well awkward for him. Also there's no room for feet to hang over the edge, which he may need. If you are willing to share I'd appreciate it. Thank you!!
Pursuing Our Dreams of Adventure :-)
Future owner of a Minnie Winnie (4.5 Years from now and counting)
Future owner of a Itasca Class A (16 years from now and counting)

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2017, 11:16:24 AM »
Check out Winnebago Vista & Itasca Sunstar. Starting at 26 ft

https://winnebagoind.com/products/class-a-gas/2017/vista/specifications
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Redheadangel37

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  • Ginger and the Warrior
Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2017, 04:03:16 PM »
@Gary RV_Wizard - Gracious I think I just found the perfect rig!! Thank you!!!
Pursuing Our Dreams of Adventure :-)
Future owner of a Minnie Winnie (4.5 Years from now and counting)
Future owner of a Itasca Class A (16 years from now and counting)

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2017, 11:11:39 AM »
Wow! Hope it works out for you!
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

OutdoorFT

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Re: Starting out - Class C for now POINTERS PLEASE
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2017, 11:38:13 AM »
@OutdoorFT - My husband and I have been "downsizing" for several years already to prep for this lifestyle. We currently live in a tiny 1 bedroom that's less than 500 feet WITH our dog. So far so good but this is exactly the type of info a newbie won't get. Thank you! P.S. we aren't into yoga either so I get it!
My wife and I are in similar situation. Our apartment is 500sq ft or less, 5 cats. and we still have wasted space. and due to windows and heater, we only have so many options for positions of bed and where to put modem/router. Best of luck in your decision making. Its fun but hard to pick. I want them all  ;D
Future Fulltimer

2011 F350 Lariat CCLB SRW
No RV yet!!

 

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