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Author Topic: How I Became a Fulltimer  (Read 3029 times)


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How I Became a Fulltimer
« on: August 16, 2015, 09:08:20 PM »
A few years back I decided to become a fulltimer. I had previously been a part time live aboard boater and figured trailer life can't be that much different from living on a boat in terms of shore power, 12volt, appliances, creature comforts etc. except
I don't have to be anywhere near as concerned about the weather or land vs water conditions
Its much easier to make repairs & maintenance with a trailer vs boat
Trailers etc are WAAAAYYYY less expensive than any live aboard boat
AND Trailer living has way more options regarding places to go and how to get there.

Now I had spent zero amount of my life in travel trailers etc and didn't really know much about them. I did have extensive experience re towing trailers etc as one of my boats was a 35 footer; a boat that was literally worth more than most peoples houses so it was ALWAYS stressful when dragging it down the road......and I towed it a lot as I never did the marina slip 'floating condo' thing. Spent most of my time 'on the hook' - the boating equivalent of boondocking. haha

I did extensive research and trailer shopping - approximately 2 months before making my decision on which trailer to buy. Also let me add; I didn't want a motorhome. I already owned a 3/4 ton GMC Suburban that was more than paid for that I used to tow my boats but also I use my truck for my work so didn't want anymore engines in my life than necessary.

Having reached the point in life where I never cared to see, experience, work in another Michigan winter I bought my trailer - brand new - in October of a couple years back, planning to be somewhere in a Florida rv park within a mile of the Gulf by the first of January and yes I was!!

I returned to Michigan April first (call me a fool) called my best client and told him after I dewinterized my house and got it cleaned up I want to put it up for sale......... I built the place in 1987 on 40 acres of wooded wilderness but it was time to get rid of it. Along with my boats, my sports cars and everything else I really no longer gave a damn about, didn't need, etc. And thats what I did.

The one thing I didn't count on was that my house & property would sell the first weekend it was on the market (nuther story) but it did! Full asking price! So I found myself in a position where I had to vacate the premises in a reasonably short time. The date was April 23rd last year. I called up a very nice RV park in West Michigan not far from Lake Michigan and told them my situation that I would need a site for the entire season. They booked me and 3 days later I moved in; closed on my house several weeks later. Sold or gave away all my other stuff, junk, materialistic BS, etc; what ever you want to call it.

AND outside of those 3 weex that I prept my former house I've been living full time in the trailer since 1 January 2014.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2015, 09:12:54 PM by INTJohn »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: How I Became a Fulltimer
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2015, 09:02:05 AM »
Thanks for sharing your story, INTJohn. Are you traveling or mostly parked in one place?
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: How I Became a Fulltimer
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2015, 05:21:35 PM »
I am parked in 1 place or travelling between.

8 months of the year I'm boondockin it and 4 months of the year I'm staying in an rv park. My first winter I ended up in Florida for Jan, Feb & March but my original plan was to stay in San Diego; but when I called places in SD area they were already booked for the winter time.

Enter 'Plan B' - Florida panhandle: Years back I had been stationed off & on at/near Penssacola and my undergrad is from FSU so was kinda familiar with that neck of the woods. HAha tho it had been a while. The first park I called in PCB closest to the Gulf had spots available for all winter and I wasted no time in claiming one as it was nearing November. Thats how I ended up in FLA.

When I returned to Mich. and my house sold so fast I again was kinda pressed for time and since there was a preemo RV park about 12 miles from where I lived and it was about 7 miles from Lake Michigan I was all about getting there.

(You see I GOTTA BE BY WATER & SUNSHINE = BEACH! Baybee! - Photons and a coast line is 'My World' - you'll never see me in AZ xcept driving thru on my way to Diego baybee!!)

So by July of 2014 my life was stabilizing from all the chaos with moving so fast & gettin rid of all my stuff; blah blah and my brain began to kik in: Since the rv parks in Mich don't open till LATE APRIL OR MAY 1 and they close mid to late Oct to 1 Nov there was always going to be a couple months or so when I would be boondockin it..........rather than pay 3500$ a season or so for something nice near water I started looking to purchase a little piece of land someplace in my area of self employment where I could park my trailer for the 8 months I'm in Mich; get to the beach; and still accommodate my clients.

By August of 2014 I found a half acre piece of land surrounded essentially by state & national forest property on a paved road that was about 5 miles as the crow flies from where my former house and property was located. I was able to pik this up at tax auction sale from the county as it had reverted back to local govt for nonpayment of taxes.

Purchase price?: 400$ and I had to pay the back summer taxes for 2014 - a whopping $4.53. hahalol. Deed recordation was 22 bux. so basically I got my private wooded rv lot on a paved road surrounded by forest land for 427 bux & change!! haha. Cost me 800 bux to have a culvert put in and I'm good to go!




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Re: How I Became a Fulltimer
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2016, 02:04:24 PM »
Very interesting story you have.  I am not set to retire for several more years.  I had though about buying a boat to live on but after a lot of research found that it was going to be more expensive than I wanted to pay or worry about. 

I still haven't decided what type of RV I want to full time in.  I have researched Motor Homes, TT and 5'vers.  I really don't want to drive a big truck around once I get to a location.  I have lived in Florida for the past 5 years and love it!!!  I like you, love the water.  I am originally from Wisconsin and grew tired of the cold and snow.

Good luck to you in the future.


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Re: How I Became a Fulltimer
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2016, 01:37:30 PM »

I stayed at one of the San Diego rv parks for the month of Dec '15 just to party at the beach clubs at Pacific Beach But then I had to take off and get back out to the Salton Sea; Quartzite; Yuma; El Centro corridor.

It can be hard to choose a vehicle for ones RV Lifestyle on a fulltime/boondock basis if you're initally just jumping right in. I need a truck for my work (when I work) but also don't want anymore engines in my life than necessary.

Also a consideration is the amount of cubic footage you'll require to live in your mobile box. I have a 27' toy hauler with no slides. Its approximately 1675 cubic feet and  me being solitary its a lot more cubic feet of space per person than what many large MH's are on a per person basis because of there being 2 or more persons plus whatever dogs & cats etc included. Also, when I drop the 'garage door' and use it for an enclosed deck I've another approx 500 cubic feet of space increasing length to about 35 feet.

ALOT of space for a solitary low maintence peep like mahself.  8)



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Re: How I Became a Fulltimer
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2016, 03:12:17 PM »
Great story, John. Thanks for sharing your experience.

27 foot TH w/ no slides, huh? That sounds, umm, a bit tight, but I guess living on a boat probably desensitized you too it. In my experience, most full timers are looking for 40'+ with at least 3 slides, but many of them are coming from 2000+ sq ft houses. I'd probably find myself somewhere in the middle if life took me that direction.

INTJ = Briggs Myers type?
Current RV pro, Lifetime RV'er!
Former RVIA Master Certified Technician
Licensed RV Insurance Agent and Finance Professional


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Re: How I Became a Fulltimer
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2016, 10:03:02 PM »

MY toy hauler is not tight at all - its very spacious & roomy - why I bought it; and all I really do in the thing is sleep..........

and like i wrote pre; most peeps are livin as couples complete with dogs and or cats. I have more room per person than most do in larger rigs cause there's two or more of em and I liv in this thing as a fulltime boondoocker. I have an entire continent with which to 'live' - itsa rok! I'm outside most of the time so how much space do i need to ????sleep?????

........and yes INTJ is my myers-briggs; Keirsey type - haha ur the first peep to 'get it' - congrats.   8)