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Author Topic: The dream that just wont die...  (Read 2052 times)

bghouse

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  • Posts: 101
The dream that just wont die...
« on: March 23, 2016, 09:21:58 PM »
Greetings again to everyone... Warning... long post ahead ;-)

I went quiet here for a while, when life continued to throw curve balls my way.  I've spent time thinking about settling down in the city I live in now, being "responsible" and buying a house, etc.  And yet I just cant get the idea of living the fulltime RV lifestyle out of my head.

I was reading a book called The Magic of Thinking Big - and was really struck by this part about how if you truly believe you can do something your mind will start finding a creative way to do it.

This winter has been hard on me (I'm in the Seattle area), as I really miss the sunshine and I'm so tired of being cold.  Bought an expensive lamp to try and simulate vitamin D to keep myself from going insane. Found myself in the furniture stores browsing around thinking "why do I feel so out of sorts that I need to buy things"?  Then my poor car ended up in the shop and $4000 later (aaarrrggghhh!)  All I could think was "this can't really be all there is to my life??"

Today I went back up to one of my favorite RV dealers, who is very understanding that I can't make up my mind to save my life and let's me look around - lol.  I looked at motorhomes today (was looking at 5th wheels before), and trying to figure out what the heck I want my life to be.

I'll turn 50 at the end of this year in December, and I really want to make the next chapter of my life epic. I can come up with a thousand reasons holding me back of course, but I'm really trying to think of creative ways to make this work instead..

I'm still completely torn on what type of RV to get.  You would think it wouldn't be this hard and I could pick between towable vs motorhome and some semblance of size.  But wow, it's truly difficult.

Today I looked at the Winnebago Trend and the View. I also looked at some Minnie Winnies. 

I think I need some advice on how to figure out my priorities.  I mean, I realized that nothing is going to have 100% of everything - some compromises must be made.  But I need to narrow myself down to something in order to move this from completely fantasy to possible reality :-)

I'll be traveling alone.  I don't currently have any pets, although that might be nice.  I still work and need internet access (computer software programmer).  I realize that Wifi in parks can be awful, and that wireless is very expensive.  I've thought about maybe going small, like a Class B, so I can sit in a parking lot and piggy back free Wifi - and then realized that I'm gonna hate being that cramped :-)

I want to experience new things. My old corporate job allowed me to travel internationally, and I found I loved exploring new places.  New stores to window shop, new restaurants, a museum, etc - I love these things.  I end up feeling trapped when I'm in the same place over and over again, no matter how much I liked it initially.  I'm into year 3 here in the Pacific Northwest and my feet are completely itchy again.

Money is a concern of course - I wish I had big ole lottery winnings, but nope that's not the case.  I realize this wont be about saving money really - but I can't increase too much from where I am either.  So between realistic budget for gas and needing to work full time still, I would say that I'd try to spend a couple of weeks to a month in an area before moving on. I'm definitely more the "stay in an RV park" type instead of boondocking.  I love looking at nature of course, but when push comes to shove I lean more toward the full hookup life :-)

My car is a Chrysler Crossfire, 59,000 miles, paid in full plus a recent OMG amount of maintenance, and it can be towed 4 wheels down. So it could be a toad if I needed one.  To do a TT or 5th I'd also have to buy the truck.

So, knowing all the above - what elements should take priority as I try to figure out my needs?  As a solo female, should I prioritize a MH from a safety perspective?  Do I have to worry about Diesel engines being more difficult to find places to service them - like the guys said the Mercedes Sprinter on the View could be problematic?  Do I need to make do with less and go smaller and use it as my daily driver, or should I try to learn to tow and have more space.  Can I do a towable without having to have a big honking truck as my car?

Any advice appreciated as I attempt to somehow find the right place to focus, instead of wandering aimlessly through everything.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2016, 09:25:43 PM by bghouse »
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

winona

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Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 09:58:47 PM »
My mother's favorite line: "Life's too short to drink cheap wine."   

I was in similar shoes as you are with your dream, bit the bullet a couple years ago, and bought a Minnie Winnie.  I enjoyed it immensely!  What I thought I would be doing --- camping in my Indiana state parks and also pulling my horse trailer and horse camping didn't turn out.   What I wound up enjoying was heading all over the Midwest and not taking my horse along.  So I traded Miss Winnie for a Trend (smaller and easier to drive) and so far I like it better. 

My point is:  I had done the research and bought what I thought I'd like.  But it turned out to be different after a couple years.  So, make your best choice for what you think you'll like and what you think you'll do.  Maybe you'll hit the nail on the head and maybe after some time goes by, you'll opt for something smaller or larger or different floor plan.

So, time passes no matter how you spend it.
Winnebago Trend
Dorothy and Bailey, my big loveable lab

bghouse

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  • Posts: 101
Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 10:04:09 PM »
@winona - my mom says that also - lol.  On the Trend, I was really tempted.  Which model did you do?  The one thing that kinda scared me a bit was that there seemed to be zero storage outside and limited inside.  That tankless water heater made me say "HELLO BEAUTIFUL!" :-)
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

ArdraF

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Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2016, 11:23:24 PM »
Quote
As a solo female, should I prioritize a MH from a safety perspective?

Personally, I'd go with a motorhome because they're easier to handle (in my opinion) and you don't have to be going inside and outside when you want to go from one to the other.  Think about arriving at your campsite in a pouring rain.  If you're towing a trailer of any kind you have to get out of the truck (yep, it will be a truck) and get soaked going back to the trailer once you get it parked.  With a motorhome you can pull into your site and stay inside - nice and dry - until the weather improves.  But the safety issue is an important consideration.  You might need to make a pit stop or make lunch and pull into a place where you don't feel really safe, whether it's people loitering or just a general rundown appearance.  With a trailer you have no choice but to get out of the truck and walk back to the trailer.  With a motorhome you can stay inside and leave once you've had lunch or whatever.

As to size, I can't imagine full-time living in a really small RV like a van or Class B.  The storage alone would be impossible.  Even a Class C wouldn't have much storage for your purposes.  Remember that as a full-timer you'll want clothing for various seasons, the usual food and cooking utensils, perhaps some hobby items, probably a computer and all it's accompanying items such as wifi connections, paper, printer, scanner, etc., and probably a camera.  Even though we're just long-term travelers we have little plastic bins of "stuff" for cameras, wifi, computers, etc.  In your situation I would look for a smaller Class A.  It will be much more comfortable and have more storage.  Slideouts will provide more space and a feeling of roominess.

Whether to live in an RV fulltime is never an easy decision and it's not for everyone.  Apparently you've never lived in an RV before so take your time in making the decision.  Make all kinds of lists for what you really must have and what you really wouldn't want.  Those are the deal breaker items.  Then there are the might be nice to have items.  Don't be dazzled by things like a tankless water heater.  Instead concentrate on the floor plan and the livability of the unit.  For example, if you're claustrophobic you might want a light-colored interior instead of the "luxurious" dark woods the manufactures seem to love and you might really want large windows that provide cross ventilation.  All of those things are what make RVing either a pleasure or a failure.  If you "settle" for a floor plan you don't really like then you probably won't really like your RV.  It takes a while but you'll know when you find the one you love.  Also, don't believe much of what the sales people tell you.  They are there to sell a RV (commission anyone???) and will tell you what you want to hear, not necessarily what you need to know.  A typical one we often hear is told to trailer buyers - "That truck will pull anything you want it to pull."  Not...

Finally, few first-time RV buyers know what they really need, just their wants which aren't always the same thing.  Many will recommend that you look for a "gently used" motorhome that meets your needs as you know them now.  This means someone else will have taken the sudden depreciation "hit" that happens when the RV is driven off the lot by the new owner.  There are some really good used motorhomes out there if you're patient and willing to make an honest evaluation of a unit.  Try to find someone who knows about RVs (perhaps a qualified RV technician) to help determine if the unit is roadworthy and has any problems you might have to correct.

Have fun making the decision and I wish you luck in finding the right RV at the right price.

ArdraF


ArdraF
:D :D

herekittykitty

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  • Posts: 442
  • Birch Bay, WA
Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2016, 12:12:14 AM »
Hi BG,

Oh, my, you have a lot on your plate!!

First: Seattle.
Get Out Of There.

I left in search of sunshine, and I was only in Portland, much further south than you. I tried so hard to stay on the northern OR coast through the winter, and being a solo person with no local friends and NO CAR/toad, I nearly went insane. I still remember the days/nights it rained, literally, for 72 hours straight. 3 days, 3 nights.

Since mid-December, I have seen exactly 4 days with no sunshine. Even though I'm a CA native, it took leaving it for 16 years to appreciate why there are SO many people here.

I bought a barely-used 32 ft Class C Winnebago with my (now-ex) husband, who bailed on both me and the dream of retiring to our RV. Luckily, we bought one we both felt comfortable driving.

When we were shopping we both sat in the driver's seat of a class A and said, "No effing way!!"
As you've probably already noticed, a 5th wheel, by far, almost always will offer the most livable room, but as it happened, we were shopping one rainy day (Portland, remember?), and he slipped and fell on the steps of one of the 5th wheels we were looking at, right onto the parking lot.

I took that as a sign. Neither of us were getting any younger. (That actually turned out to feel more important as time went by - not a lot of steps, inside or out.)

What helped me/us limit the endless choices was that neither of us wanted to tow, ANYTHING. So, no trailers, and no toads. And then I saw a picture of the inside of the class C we bought, which looked the most like a house inside of any class C I'd seen, complete with hallway, and fell in love.

We would have been pretty cramped together in a 32 ft full time, but other couples have gone even smaller. I'm happy with the size for me, as a single person (although I would have liked to be "happy" with something a little smaller), and am almost always relatively comfortable driving it.

Your 4-wheels-down, paid-for car is a huge factor to consider. I can vouch for the fact that not having a toad is very limiting. So maybe you want to start there: Am I taking the car or aren't I? If you are, then scratch 5th wheels off your list, and make sure whatever else you consider can comfortably tow your car.

You may think that if you pare down your belongings and get yourself into one of those wonderful small Views or those yummy swiss-army-knife Leisure vans, that you'd also use it for your driving vehicle, but once you're hooked up and the stuff-you-had-to-stow-to-drive is taken back out, the thought of reversing everything just to go to the store sounds really unappealing. Of course, YMMV. If you're still considering those small vehicles, it would be nice to hear from some people who are FTing in them.

(I also share your preference for the FHU life.  ;) )

We all know that Storage is King. It can be helpful to look around your current home, decide what really is essential (you can ditch that expensive sun lamp  ;) ), look creatively at what things might do double-duty, and maybe make a list of the general types of things you have in your life and remember how much room they take up.

I have no books (Kindle), no CDs (all digitized), no movies (all digitized). Saves lots of space and weight. A decent amount of storage space was devoted to craft supplies and a monumental needlework project that I (sadly) will probably never finish - if you don't need that stuff, you're ahead of me. I already knew I wasn't planning on providing for any overnight guests if I could help it, so I have only the bare minimum of extra bedding and towels. I'm not a shoehound, my clothes closet is only half-full of actual clothes, and one of the drawers in my bedroom - 3 whole feet from the kitchen - is used for kitchen wraps and baggies. (These are just some things to think about.)

I was SO sure that my Vitamix, which I used so often in my sticks-and-bricks that it was essential equipment, was important that it was the first thing I planned for in kitchen storage space. I've used it once in 11 months. Who knew? You can't predict that -- unless you hate cooking now. If you do, you certainly won't pick it up living FT in an RV, so don't pack a lot of cooking and baking stuff. Here, especially, keep the "double duty" principle in mind.

When looking at storage space, also look at places on walls and inside cabinets where things can be mounted. Command Strips are your friend. That might make you more hopeful about an RV you otherwise think is terrific if only it had more storage space. Also, larger single things (like my mini clothes washer) can just live in the shower. I only move it out when I shower. I have a friend who keeps his dirty laundry basket in his shower.

There is one unequivocal thing I will state about buying any RV: BUY USED. Slightly used, if you can, from a dealer; or have a pro check it out if buying from a private party. A brand new RV includes a lot of depreciation, which you lose the second you drive off the lot. Also, no RV and no RV company is perfect. As far as I know, no one has ever bought a new RV without having to work out some kinks. We got lucky to find exactly the model I wanted, used for less than a year by a couple with money to burn who traded it in for something bigger. They already worked out the kinks for us.

I thought the same way you do about the tankless water heaters at first. The dealer told me it wasn't the big deal I thought it was, and he was right. I get electricity for free, so my 6 gallon water heater is always set on electric, and when I want to be sure to have extra hot water (only on days when I both shower and do laundry in a short period of time), I also turn on the propane switch. Because it's such a small tank, the propane heats up the water pretty quickly. So if I were you, I wouldn't let your interest in a tankless water heater sway your decision one way or the other.

I already replied privately to your query about getting unlimited data, but if you're a programmer, it sounds like you might be in the ideal situation to work remotely? I'm assuming you're already looking for ways to do that.

P.S. Automatic levelers! After having them, absolutely mandatory in my book.
P.P.S. There is a reason why some dreams won't die.
They weren't meant to.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 01:24:32 AM by herekittykitty »
Karen and Teddy-the-Kitty
Mostly stationary for now in a 32' Class C (2013 Winnebago Access Premier)

herekittykitty

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  • Posts: 442
  • Birch Bay, WA
Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2016, 12:15:05 AM »
Personally, I'd go with a motorhome because they're easier to handle (in my opinion) and you don't have to be going inside and outside when you want to go from one to the other.  Think about arriving at your campsite in a pouring rain.
Yeah, what Ardra said.
Although personally I've never had to stop in a pouring rain, and simply won't stop if things look sketchy outside.
But it is nice to know you can do it if you have to.
Karen and Teddy-the-Kitty
Mostly stationary for now in a 32' Class C (2013 Winnebago Access Premier)

bghouse

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Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2016, 10:56:54 AM »
@Ardra - thanks, so much.  I'm so sick of rain - lol

@herekittykitty - thank you for the great information.  I grew up in Florida (20 years) then worked in Los Angeles (22 years).  When I got laid off in 2012 after 15 years,  I lost my cushy 6 figure job and decided I would never again be in the corporate world and taught myself computer programming.  I had to leave my $3000 a month apartment in Malibu (ah... the memories....) and because I need water around me I went up the coast - 18 months in Newport, OR and then up to Gig Harbor, WA.  It allowed me to afford to keep living by the water, but I'm just losing it with the constant gray skies - lol. 

I do keep getting seduced by the romantic dream of those Leisure Vans, the Trend, etc. - but I could totally see the "crap, I'm out of lettuce and need to eat...  I have to do what to go to the store??"

I've acquired crap because I'm in an apartment.  It just kind of happens.  You look at a big empty wall and it's like a compulsion to buy a piece of furniture or artwork to fill it.  I absolutely hate cleaning, so the smaller the better on that front.

I own one of those Panda washing machines and a portable dryer right now, and wondering if I can somehow keep those and make them work for me.  Hmmm

I'm 100% working remotely as a freelancer, so I can do it anywhere but MUST have internet access. I'm trying not to let things become "impossible" and stop me from the dream, but I really need to have this.  It might mean driving into a coffee shop every day if the wifi at the campground didnt cut it - which would kind stink.  I like working from home - lol

I really don't cook, and it isn't on my bucket list to conquer.  I make salads, cook fish from frozen filets, open cans of tuna, and saute veggies.  I have an electric Instant Pot and make lots of soups.  So keeping all the kitchen stuff reasonable I'm sure I can do.  I eat a lot of fresh food though, so that ties back into needing to go to the store more often since the fridge will be tinier than I'm used to.  Makes keeping the car sound like the correct route to take.

There is an RV show happening up here in April during the State Fair, so I plan to go and look there.  We have quite a few dealers around me, but used is definitely not as robust as new.  New is hard because you see a floorplan you like but then no idea where to find a used one...  Are you familiar with West Coast dealers that tend to get more used vehicles?  I haven't yet made my way to the Portland RV dealers - but that's certainly another place I want to go.  It's roughly a 3 hour drive, so I could make a weekend trip.

I also want to look at some customization options.  One thing I hate with a passion is carpet.  Nastly, stinky, always dirty carpet - arghh (yeah, my inner Floridian and Californian are showing - haha).  I'll take cheap linoleum over carpet - haha.  It seems like every time I look at a used motorhome the dang thing has carpet.  Sadly, I'm not that kind of handy person - not that I couldn't learn, but way not there at the moment. 

The one thing I'll be giving up is my dream of a soaking bathtub.  That's about the only S&B dream I've ever had, soaking in the tub.  Although maybe someday I can add a Japanese sitting tub or one of those tiny walk in jacuzzis.  A girl's gotta dream!

P.S. - I can't seem to find your reply in my inbox about the internet stuff.... :-(

« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 11:05:04 AM by bghouse »
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

1275gtsport

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Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2016, 02:45:10 PM »
Not that I plan on going full time and I have never been to the west coast. But I know here on the east coast if you are staying in an RV park for more then a week you can get better rates and in some of the parks long term stays have hard wire cable. with that of course you can get internet from local cable providers. if you plan on staying a month or so at a time that may help fix most of your internet needs.

As for trailer or motorhome. I believe that the motorhome is the best and seeing as you do have a paid for "runabout" then it just makes the argument for a MH even easier. I tow a mini (1976) on a trailer because I race it and the trailer is just the best way to get it home if something gets all tore up at an event.
being able to leave the "camper" set up and take the toad to the store or even just go pick up pizza is fantastic. too me motorhome and toad is the best of both worlds.

the "car" for cheap day to day driving and the "Big rig" for towing. and slides will make it feel more like a house when set up. Just make sure that you can use everything when the slides are in.
nothing worse then stopping at a rest stop to pee and having to level the rig and put the slide out to get to the potty. same goes for making a sandwich. If you can't access the fridge because the couch is up against it..
See how floor plan, floor plan, floor plan is the most important thing in any camper.

happy trails
1977 GMC 26 foot Palm Beach
1976 Austin Mini

herekittykitty

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  • Posts: 442
  • Birch Bay, WA
Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2016, 05:52:46 PM »
Dear BG,

If you need to live near water and have sunshine, now you know that it's going to have to be in CA. (Unless you can stand humidity, which gives you WAY more choices. I can't. :P)

As an aside, you might want to check out this place. By the time you're ready to settle down, you'll be old enough for it. I am now and it's my top possibility: http://www.psmag.com/books-and-culture/how-the-trailer-park-could-save-us-all-55137 and http://www.pismodunestraveltrailerpark.com/.

You'll get used to planning ahead if you end up with no toad, buying your groceries in between parks. So, maybe you don't have fresh food all the time. (Frozen bell peppers and onions! Yeah!) I also discovered that Vons/Safeway would deliver to one of the southern CA parks where I spend a lot of time in the winter - which, besides being a treat, also saved me money because it stopped me from roaming the aisles and finding a lot of interesting-looking junk I didn't really need. Also, more parks than you might think have pizza delivery options - and pizza places sell salads. I've done that, too.

You can totally do a Panda in an RV, and that's one of their primary markets. That portable dryer will take up too much space if it's a heat-dryer. (If you hate hanging out laundry as much as you do cleaning, though, you will find room for it somewhere!) Of course, many of the high-end RVs already come with the built-in uber-expensive Splendide washer/dryer. I've used one and actually prefer my drying method. Even if I had both the cash and the room for one, I wouldn't buy one.

My washer is similar to yours, though it only washes. I have a separate spin dryer, and a dehumidifier that runs all day, every day unless I'm in the desert. I happened to have the floor space for both, though the latter can be stacked on the former if need be, so with the 3 appliances and a fan, I just hang my laundry indoors and it dries over night. (Add a little heat, too, if the inside of your RV is routinely cooler than 70 degrees.)

There's a large Portland RV market as well, but if you decide to buy used, visiting dealers won't make that happen very fast. Since I already knew exactly what I wanted, I used RVTrader.com to search for it. (I predict you will be spending a LOT of time on this website. :D) It just happened that a Eugene dealer had one, but we would have traveled farther if we'd had to.

You're unlikely to find many RVs, new or used, without some carpeting, except a toy hauler. So just make ripping out the carpet part of your budget. Nobody says you have to DIY.

Since we bought ours from the dealer, replacing the flooring became part of our negotiation, because I flatly refused to bring it home with the nauseating carpet and linoleum Winnebago put in there. (I knew I'd have to live with it forever if we did.) It cost us $1,000 out of pocket just for the flooring, about twice what I expected for such a small space! We had to buy it from a nearby flooring dealer because none of Winnebago's options that year were acceptable, IMO.

But the dealer ate the cost of replacing all the flooring as part of our negotiation. It was only once it was done (very professionally, too, since they're an authorized Winnebago dealer) that I realized how labor-intensive a job that really was. That probably saved us $5k.

I sent your personal reply from my gmail address to yours. Please check your spam and other folders? I will resend it if you can't find it. It's an email you really need.

Karen
« Last Edit: March 24, 2016, 06:13:52 PM by herekittykitty »
Karen and Teddy-the-Kitty
Mostly stationary for now in a 32' Class C (2013 Winnebago Access Premier)

bghouse

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  • Posts: 101
Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2016, 06:40:17 PM »
Thanks Karen.  I didn't realize it would go to email, I was checking messages here in the forum.  I got it - thank you so much!

Funny on the dryer, I was actually trying to eyeball someplace to put it today looking at a couple more rigs.  Dang thing is deep - grr, lol. 

Yeah, I spent a while trying to convince myself that I should move back to Florida to be there to take care of my mom when she needs it (not that she's asked, lol).  And while I could probably acclimate again to the humidity by constantly running the A/C and staying in the water non-stop - those damn flying cockroaches are just not something I really want to live with ever again.  I haven't seen a cockroach since moving to LA in 1990 - lol.

I'm not sure I need to have the dealer have a bunch of used models yet - but I need more variety in what I'm seeing to figure out my floorplan needs.  The dealers here are very limited in manufacturers and are heavy trailer and 5th wheel.  Plus the 2 other main dealers here are such jerks that it pains me to even drive to their lots.  Hopefully the Pullayup RV Show next month will help me out, and then a drive to Portland is in order since I a.) have never been and b.) have Powells and Voodoo donuts on my bucket list - hahaha

Today I got much closer in the "just say no to carpet" with the Winnebago Vista LX 27 I looked at and the Winnebago View 24.  There were so many things I loved about the view, including the fact it could tow my existing car and still have 1200 lbs left, but dang there was just zero storage space.  I spent about 2 hours sitting in there racking my brain and just dont see it as a full time for me.  It was so bright and cheery though - and this is in a typical seattle overcast day.  The Vista 27 was much better, although definitely "darker" inside.  That unfortunately was all I could really find on that lot - so I need more places to go.

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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

herekittykitty

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  • Posts: 442
  • Birch Bay, WA
Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2016, 09:52:45 PM »
have Powells and Voodoo donuts on my bucket list.

 ;D Call Voodoo and ask them when their least-busy time is, first.
I'm not sure ANY donut is worth the 1+ hour wait I've seen on a Saturday.

K.
Karen and Teddy-the-Kitty
Mostly stationary for now in a 32' Class C (2013 Winnebago Access Premier)

herekittykitty

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  • Posts: 442
  • Birch Bay, WA
Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2016, 06:45:27 AM »
Oh, also: Remember the "cockpit" for daily storage.  For instance, when I travel, the vacuum cleaner is stowed in the bedroom, but when I'm parked it lives in the passenger seat.
Karen and Teddy-the-Kitty
Mostly stationary for now in a 32' Class C (2013 Winnebago Access Premier)

JudyJB

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  • Posts: 927
Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2016, 11:54:48 PM »
I agree with almost everything the other ladies have said.  One exception is that I manage easily without automatic levelers--just carry around some two foot long 2x10 boards and drive up on them.  Most campsites are fairly level anyway.  Ditto on skipping the instant hot water heater.  My propane 6 gallon water heater can be ready for a shower in 5-10 minutes, which is about the amount of time it takes me to get organized anyway. 

I also strongly agree that a Class B is too small for full-timing. They may seem cozy at first, but I can guarantee you that even in California someday you will be sick or it will be rainy and you will end up stuck inside trying to get comfortable for three-four days in a row.  Not fun.

I have a 32' Class C with two huge slides, which is probably overkill for one person, but I love the living and storage space.  I have a bunkhouse where the bunks convert to a small dinette, so I took the front dinette out and replaced it with my old leather recliner from home!  Yea, for comfort! 

Also, I use an electric bike, but do not tow a vehicle.  I keep on the move and run errands between campgrounds.  I also find parking at most attractions--today was the San Diego Zoo. 

Also, don't limit yourself to looking only at used RVs.  Look at new and when you find one you like, you can look for used of that model. 
« Last Edit: March 28, 2016, 11:56:26 PM by JudyJB »
Full-timing for over five years in a
2012 Fleetwood Tioga Ranger 31N

bghouse

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  • Posts: 101
Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2016, 08:50:28 PM »
Thanks JudyJB and Karen.  Sorry for the delay in responding, been caught in a bunch of personal funk.  I booked myself a last minute trip just to find sunshine and warmth for the weekend :-)

So much to think about. I worry a bit about learning to tow my car, but I want to have the mobility.  I also worry about learning everything, especial black water tanks - hahaha. 

I'll keep looking for sure at the various units.  New units are easier to find to see initially to hopefully find the floor plan I like.

In the Class C or even small Class As - are there particular manufacturers that are better for fulltiming?
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

Jim Fitz

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  • Posts: 99
Re: The dream that just wont die...
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2016, 10:11:24 PM »
This is a great thread.  I can relate to so much of it!  I'm 60, retired AF, and looking to go FT in the next year.  My wife doesn't want to go, so will go solo (long story).  We have had many campers over the years...tent, pop-up, hi-lo, truck camper, 28 foot Jayco trailer (lived in that one with 2 kids for a year in Alabama while going to school).

I agree with Karen.  No 5th wheel...too easy to fall, especially when going in and out of the bathroom (almost always by the steps) in the middle of the night.

So I'm seriously thinking about a 'gently used' Class A....newer model and maybe 32 feet.  The dealer in Eugene (90 min south of Portland) is Guaranty RV.  They are one of the largest in the country, so I might go down there exploring.   I don't really have a time line (maybe in the next year or so) and I don't really have a "plan" for where I want to go, so am spending a lot of time on this forum and also on the "Wheeling It" pages http://wheelingit.us/about/ . They have a lot of good thoughts and ideas.

Like you both, I love the Northwest, but am kind of getting itchy to explore (as if 21+ years in the service didn't give me enough exploring).  So I look forward to following this thread.

Jim
Retired AF Navigator
Camped over many years in pretty much everything.  Just gettin started as a Full Timer....lovin it so far.

 

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