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Author Topic: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing  (Read 2770 times)

ganchan

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"Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« on: December 28, 2014, 09:29:58 AM »
I'm making some very early plans for eventually giving up my permanent residence and roaming the U.S. in something like a Scamp. I would want to settle in for long stretches here and there instead of traveling every day or even every week, and i'm thinking I might want to break up the monotony of trailer life as well. It occurs to me that when I hit a city I've always wanted to explore in depth, I could do some research in advance to locate affordable self-storage (for the Scamp) and a room for rent. I could then hunker down in that city for a couple of months, instead of setting up extended camp in an RV park.

What are the pros and cons of this arrangement, versus simply paying monthly rates at an RV park and continuing to live in the trailer? One downside I can see is the fact that I won't be able to keep as close an eye on the trailer. A big upside, though, is the fact that I could simply "un-hitch" from the RV lifestyle for a little while and stop worrying about extreme temperatures, hookups, etc.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2014, 09:31:29 AM by ganchan »

bucks2

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2014, 10:57:28 AM »
Do what you can afford and what you want to do. If you think you want a break from the RV, then try it and see if you like it. You'll still have costs associated with the RV while it's parked, but if it makes you happier to stay in an S&B for a while, do it!

We spend about 7 months a year in our MH, 2-3 months on the boat and the rest of the time in our S&B. The wife likes the bathtub and the dirt under her nails at the house. I like the ever changing scenery of the boat and MH. We're also able to split up for a few weeks at a time while I take my buddies on trips and she stays home where she can putter in the yard. Nothing like a little absence to make the heart grow fonder. It works well for us, it may work well for you too.

Ken

Frizlefrak

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2014, 08:09:33 PM »
We're looking at retiring in a few years.  We want to travel, but want a home base too.  We're looking at going out for a few months at a time, then returning to S&B for a few months.  I think that's a good alternative for most people.
2014 Ram 2500 Cummins
2012 Palomino 30' TT

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2014, 11:07:00 PM »
I've done this a little, I use; http://www.extendedstayamerica.com/?mid=ps-bran-geo-goo-
It's a motel that you get two rooms with two TV's, and a kitchen.  Very few of them have an oven, usually just a stove, microwave, full size refrigerator, coffee machine, pots, pans, plates, and silverware.  If you rent them for the whole month you don't have to pay hotel tax, so it's a real good deal.  Many cities are less than $600 a month.

On the down side, after a month in one place, you kind of move in, so it takes quite a bit of time to remove all your stuff when you're ready to leave.   But before I got the MH that was my favorite way to learn a new area.  If you stay in the trailer, you still can get monthly rates at campgrounds, and you don't have to "move out" at the end of the month.   Just prepare it for travel again to your next destination.   Many of these are less than $400 a month.

My other consideration would be the time I plan on "hanging out."  If you're there to find out about the area,  then you'll only be there to clean up, sleep, and plan the next days adventure. 

Good luck.
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2014, 07:02:19 AM »
We've been half-timing for years, so can enthusiastically endorse your idea. However, we have a modest stix & brix home in central Florida where we take our break (during the winter).

With a small trailer like the Scamp, I can readily see taking a room for awhile to spread out a bit for longer stays. However, if you had a bit larger trailer, it would probably be more practical to stay in the RV in long-term campsites than to rent a room for a month or two. Monthly rates in RV parks are usually very attractive, especially in off-seasons or less popular areas, and storage fees may not be all that cheap anyway. Especially if you want to keep the trailer plugged to shore power (to keep the fridge working or to have enough heat to avoid freeze-ups in wintry climates).

Motels or cabins equipped for extended stays are available in most areas. The addition of a little kitchenette, a tv and a lounge chair makes the basic motel bed & bath quite liable. Bed & breakfast places may offer an attractive deal for an extended stay as well.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

ganchan

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 09:03:14 AM »
I hadn't realized the extended stays were that reasonable, so I'll add that to the list. An occasional family-run B&B might be a nice way to experience a bit of "local color."

I might consider something slightly larger (and/or with a little more headroom) than a Scamp. Mainly I want to get something light enough to mate easily with an ordinary 6-cylinder vehicle like an SUV rather than a massive truck. I'm also assuming that lighter weight means better mileage, as long as the vehicle is strong enough to not be overtaxed. Anything I get will need to be cheap, though -- something several years old, but good-looking enough to be accepted at most RV parks. Also, I'd like to be able to fit the trailer into my parents' garage (more or less) when I visit them on holidays, so they won't get in trouble with the neighbors, housing authority, etc.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 09:06:22 AM by ganchan »

Frizlefrak

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2014, 02:04:24 PM »
Mainly I want to get something light enough to mate easily with an ordinary 6-cylinder vehicle like an SUV rather than a massive truck. I'm also assuming that lighter weight means better mileage, as long as the vehicle is strong enough to not be overtaxed. .

Not necessarily.

My 2500 Cummins pulling an 8000 lbs trailer gets 14 MPG towing in the mountains of NM.  I doubt you're going to get that with a V6 SUV pulling even a Scamp. 

What affects MPG negatively is wind resistance.....more so than weight....and the relative efficiency of the vehicle doing the work.
2014 Ram 2500 Cummins
2012 Palomino 30' TT

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2014, 12:17:59 PM »
Quote
...as long as the vehicle is strong enough to not be overtaxed.

And that's the difficult part. Few truly economical vehicles will have enough reserve power to avoid being overtaxed. And modern larger engines are fairly economical when lightly loaded anyway.

If you go with a Scamp as you suggested, the trailer towing load won't be much anyway. The largest is only around 3000 lbs.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

ganchan

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2014, 12:54:18 PM »
Yeah, it'll most likely be some sort of 13-foot fiberglass egg or teardrop. (Since I'm in Texas, I may end up with a Casita Patriot, for instance.) Very minimal for one-person sleeping, eating, and working on a laptop. I might even choose a minivan as the towing vehicle so I can have lots of extra cargo capacity if/when needed while keeping the trailer as small as possible.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 02:36:03 PM by ganchan »

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2014, 02:39:58 PM »
Most dealers will tell you just about anything to sell you a vehicle for towing.  Yet many transmissions cannot handle the extra stress.  I purchased a Jeep Cherokee many years ago that had a towing package on it, but was low miles.  Soon after I got it problems were starting to show themselves.  At about 55,000 miles I had to have the transmission rebuilt, and the mechanic said that the it probably failed early due to towing excessive weights.  It did have very large tow mirrors on it, I don't know if that brought him to that conclusion or if something inside the transmission led him to that conclusion.  But that's all that shop did, transmission rebuilds. 

I would check with a good transmission shops to find out what would be a good vehicle to tow with, even for a small trailer.  So once you've picked out what you want to tow, and have an idea of what vehicle you want to purchase to tow it with, check with a good transmission mechanic to see if the tow vehicle is really built to handle it.  As the mechanic told me, "a tow package may just be for a once a year tow of a small trailer to the dump, not a weekly trip to the lake with your 28 foot ski boat." 

Many people make the mistake of buying the tow vehicle first.  The best way to buy a tow vehicle is to know exactly what you're going to tow before you get it.   
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

ganchan

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2014, 02:58:47 PM »
Would the trailer manufacturers be able to cite specific vehicles and towing packages that they recommend for their various models?

Frizlefrak

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2014, 04:34:30 PM »

Many people make the mistake of buying the tow vehicle first.  The best way to buy a tow vehicle is to know exactly what you're going to tow before you get it.

Exactly

Would the trailer manufacturers be able to cite specific vehicles and towing packages that they recommend for their various models?

Doubtful.  They will list the "dry" and "gross" weights.  It's up to the purchaser to select a tow vehicle that is properly matched to the load and configuration of the trailer.   
2014 Ram 2500 Cummins
2012 Palomino 30' TT

RodgerS

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2014, 11:09:53 AM »
Sounds like it is just you. I find the issue is that you can only do so much research and vicarious learning, then you have to test your judgments to refine them. I also plan to do extended traveling and keep my grounded home, but I also have a wife I need to consider.

There are guys that just load up a motorcycle and off they go.

Research best boondocking rvs and you get to see various choices, for example:
http://mellomikeswolfcreekcamper.blogspot.com/2012/03/rv-debate-best-rv-for-boondocking.html

By staying short, you don't have to have another vehicle. There are also longer toy rvs that come with garages for small vehicles.

Try not to commit without a series of meaningful trial runs. Renting would be helpful, as well as taking training classes.

For example, I plan to put myself through an off-roading training class before I commit to a jeep wrangler.

An older mercedes benz sprinter might be a great idea for you, but if you are committed to a trailer you can also get a small teardrop and store a lot of stuff in the back of a truck with a shell.

One single guy I know in his 50s. lives in Sac half a year and half a year in San Diego in an rv park with his friends. He move up to a 39 foot class A. My guess is he thinks he can capture a girlfriend more easily that way...only time will tell. There are single rv internet sites.
Gone RVing with Susan
Class B- RV: 2001 Mercedes CLK320 Soft Top

Rstrahan

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2015, 07:16:14 AM »
If you are 55 or over, look at getting a manufactured home in southern Florida.  Site rent will run about $600-700 a month, but the going in cost is as low as....wait for it.....FREE.  Average cost is about $15K for an older unit, but you have families who have inherited these things and just want them gone.  Will give them away.    Most of these MH villages have storage lots where you can park your RV. 
Roger & Paula
Relocated Texans
2002 Coachmen Class C
Enjoying the sunshine and beaches
Port Charlotte, FL

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: "Three-quartering" vs. full-timing
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2015, 07:30:34 AM »
You don't have to live in a MH village, be over 55, or pay lot rent to own a manufactured home in Florida. There are mixed use subdivisions or plain old private residential lots in many areas. We have a doublewide on a half acre in rural central Florida and taxes are under $400/year.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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