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Post Info TOPIC: If you are thinking of fulltiming.....

RV-Dreams Family Member

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If you are thinking of fulltiming.....

My husband and I were fulltimers for 8 years.  We started in 2009 but were stationary that year due to still being employed.  We retired and hit the road in February 2010.  We came off the road fulltime in December 2016 when we bought a house.

Below are things to think about.....  from our experience.   

What to do with your "stuff".     Many divest themselves of most of their accumulations.  Many rent storage units.    We did something a little different.  We purchased a 16 foot utility trailer at a cost of (if I remember right) $4,200.  We kept items we suspected we would need in the future.   Bedroom set, dining set, miscellaneous tables, linens, saddles, pictures, crocks, lamps, decorative items,  kitchen items, tools, etc. etc.  We did not keep mattresses or cloth sofa and chairs.   We parked the trailer on a relatives property.  Are we glad we took this route.   Again settling in a house is very expensive.   We spent over $11,000 on stuff we needed.  Everyone would not spend that much but we have 4 acres and purchased a John Deere Zero Turn Mower.    Imagine if we did not keep lots of stuff..  Oh, and we sold the utility trailer for $2,900.    So the true cost to store our "stuff" was $1,300 for those 8 years minus the cost of new tires we thought best to buy for the trailer before we towed it from Louisiana to our new home in Alabama.  

Upgrading to your "Dream Rig".   We started full-timing with a 2009 Montana Fifth-wheel.  We never had a problem with.  Never.  But after 5 years of living with an RV fridge we thought we needed a rig with a Residential Fridge.  So we traded up to a 2014 Cedar Creek.  We had leveling issues with this rig.  Spent over $5,000 to upgrade the axles.  We found we really did not like this rig.  So in April 2016 we bought a 2016 Open Range Roamer.  43 feet long.  Lots of room.  Shoddily made.  Many issues that we are now about to confront the manufacturer about.  Only months after buying this rig, we became tired of the breakdowns, etc.  And we again wanted roots.  Hence buying a house.  My thoughts.  It seems the newer built RVs are not as well built.  What we should have done.............  have a residential fridge installed in the Montana.  We would have about $80,000 more in the bank.  Really think twice, three times, four even. before trading in a unit that gives you no problems because you see something prettier.   Save your money.  

Take advantage of the various discount clubs, etc.  We are members of Escapees.  In fact, we are at one of there parks now.  (BTW... NEVER visit Branson during a summer holiday unless you really like crowds.  Enough said).    Escapees have great parks at a great bargain. Worth the $40. a year.   We also belong to Passport America.  We were just in SD at a park in Mitchell that accepts it for the entire length of stay.  Saved us $116.00.  That alone pays for almost 4 years of memberships.  Get the book Casino Camping.  In Illinois we stayed at a Casino that had 50 amp electric for free.  In Kansas last week we stayed at one with full hook ups for $5.00 a night.   For those of us over 62, The Federal Golden Pass is the worlds biggest bargain.  We love Corps of Engineers Parks.  The pass gives us 50% off their already inexpensive rate.  And you get into Federal Parks at no cost. Last week we paid $7.00 a night, two weeks ago $12.00 a night.  The pass is now $10.00 and good for the rest of your life. I understand the cost increases to $80.00 next month.  Do your homework, it can be fun to find those bargains and save you big money.


We still plan to RV.  In fact, we have been on the road since June 15.  We will arrive back in Alabama next week.  Not being full time we do not need a 43 foot long rig.  We will get a much smaller travel trailer for those times we just want to get away. 


Expect breakdowns.... they will happen.    It happens to us all.   But expect to see things and meet people you would not have ever seen or met if not for living "on the road".   


Phyllis and Leonard

2016  Open Range  430RLS  /  2011 F350 King Ranch Dually




RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 1540

Excellent points to consider. 



Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 811

Great advice from your experience. Based on your comment about having $80K more if you had just kept the Montana ... I assume you were paying cash for new rigs ... cash is good, but depreciation is painful. Like you, we paid cash for a new rig (2017) and I have seen several others that I thought were as nice or nicer than what we have, but there is that depreciation thing. In my head, money in MY bank is better than money in the DEALER'S bank ... so we're keeping our rig. We thought about storing things in a shed on my son's property, but without climate control, we were concerned that it might mildew or get critters infesting it, so we opted for a climate controlled storage facility.

Believe me, we all learn from our experiences and would do a better job if we got a "do over" ... such is life. Thank you for sharing your experience and lessons learned.

-- Edited by RonC on Wednesday 5th of July 2017 07:09:04 PM


Ron and Janice


2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 K-Z Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016

RV-Dreams Family Member

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Posts: 973

Yup, we've looked at the new ones during the past 12 yrs. Every time we come to the conclusion that it is better to stay with the devil we know and keep her running. We've now reach the point where we know that we only have a few years left before hanging up the keys to the RV - not so much because of the driving, but because all of the set up/take down get harder and harder as the arthritis in the joints gets worse, plus other aliments that come along because of the number of birthdays we've enjoy. biggrin


Barb & Dave O'Keeffe

2002 Alpine 36 MDDS (Figment II), 2004 Subaru Forester toad (Mischief)

Blog:  http://www.barbanddave.net

SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834

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