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Post Info TOPIC: Musings, thoughts and lessons from our first nine months of full timing


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Musings, thoughts and lessons from our first nine months of full timing


A few years ago, when we were planning I would visit RV dreams almost daily. I certainly learned a lot and got plenty of information. From the journal and the forum.

But as with much in life, until you do it is when you learn a bit more.

To those planning, perhaps some insight, to those who have been living the life-style longer, perhaps a few chuckles.

 

There Is no one/ right way to full-time. In our rookie year we drive mostly on interstates and stay at privately owned campgrounds.

I'm glad we got a motorhome with full front to back access with slides in. A place to park is a rest stop without having to go outside.

 

Other, in no particular order.

A campground web site will make a place appear to be better than it is. Campendium  and Google reviews are closer to real.

Reserve only if you have to, holidays, or peak season. Our travel plans have sometimes changed several times in one week.

When filling your fresh water tank, have that be the only thing you are doing.

Holding tank gauges are "useless". I don't even trust the fresh water one.

18 wheelers will almost always move over to let you enter, cars will almost always try to cut in front of you.

You will get no courtesy when driving a four door car with FL plates in Denver.

Your mirrors are your friends.

Eventually you will be able to turn around, of course looking at Google satellite ahead of time is a good idea.

We started off with too much stuff, and have forgotten where some of it is. We purged our house, time to purge our new home.

Foil insulation is a great room darkener, and better than no insulation. 

Have a supply of hose washers, or get better ones than I did.

Gorilla tape is far superior to ordinary duct tape. 

When you use up something you purchased in a regional supermarket, you will recall a good time you had in that area.

When following the weather, your money may too.

Be cautious when opening cabinet doors after traveling, even if you secured things.

A closed Y connector makes a good leak stopper on your water filter when not in use, plus then its handy when you hook back up.

You will be able to tow your car with the emergency brake on, the car will still stop during regular use. This should only happen once.

Not everyone gets that you actually live Just in your RV, they wonder when you're going home.

If they do understand it, they either express "jealousy" or still don't get it.

As we are from New York, most people will know that within the first few words of a conversation.

If your ice cream is soft, you waited too long to defrost.

It's a lifestyle, not a vacation.

Once in a while you need to take your life on a vacation.

It's much easier to arrive during daylight.

Drive less, stay more.

If you're going to break down in Wyoming, pick the Cheyenne area.

The motel room will seem very spacious, at first.

Your dog will know which RV is home.

Sometimes, even a simple question or comment will start a debate on this forum.

 

Safe travels,

Bill and Laurie

 

 

 

 



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Wonderful thoughts. Thank you.

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Winnebago TT 2101DS & Tahoe LTZ, 300 watts WindyNation solar-parallel w/MPPT, 2 Trojan T-125s. TALL flag pole. Prefer USFS, COE, BLM, USF&WS, NPS, TVA, state/county campgrounds. 14 year Army vet-11B40 then 11A - old MOS 1542 & 1560.



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After over 11 years on the road, we agree totally. You must be a fulltimer.......

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I'm imagining some interesting stories behind many of those lessons!

Thanks for sharing.



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I especially like the one about the parking brake. I found out one time you can go about 5 miles in a 1974 Ford van with the parking brake on before it starts smoking. Please don't ask how I know. I can also identify with the comment about "...still don't get it." I get the same reaction some times when I tell folks I travel on my motorcycle.

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Nailed it!biggrin



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John & Dawna

Jayco Eagle 321 RSTS 2016

F350 6.7L Diesel 2016

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Thanks for the insight. Especially the part of about the dog knowing which RV is home. We took our dogs on an extended vacation in a rental motorhome. They both seemed to really enjoy it, most likely because "their people" were with them all the time.

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Mark from Missouri

 www.ourfutureinanrv.wordpress.com



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We too are at nine months into our RV adventure and can concur with most of this and add a few thoughts:

I trust the fluid tank gauges more that I trust the TPMS.

Don't get too close to city buses in Las Vegas......bad things can and sometimes do, happen.

Be totally open to changing your plans - stay extra days, go a different direction, leave early....

Traveling every two or three days is hard - slow down and stay longer.

Things break.....accept it, put on a smile and deal with it.

You didn't have to constantly clean the exterior of your S&B house.   

People you probably never would have been friends with in your previous life are usually the nicest ones....

Help is always available - often right next door....

Everything on, or for, an RV is expensive.   

So far, so good - life is great! 

 



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DB


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"Traveling every two or three days is hard - slow down and stay longer."

Though we mostly stay places in weekly and sometimes monthly increments, we don't find traveling that hard. I always wonder why some find it so hard. We know how to set up and tear down camp quickly for short stays. We limit our daily driving to 250 (2 lane) to 325 miles (interstate highways) and do not travel more than two days in a row. When we first started fulltiming in 2003, we would often go many days of single overnights and found that very tiring. We do have two drivers and have many years of experience.

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Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing a 2012 AWD Chevy Equinox
Journal at http://www.sacnoth.com
Full-timing since July 2003



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Flashman

Things break, thanks, I needed that. Our leveling jacks are stuck in the retracted position, but we are headed to an area that has two RV repair shops nearby.


bjoyce, I have found your posts helpful and informative. As far as traveling, some insight to our situation, as you were wondering. I'm the only driver of our motorhome, my DW is a late sleeper, ( insomnia) so the prep is on me. We are almost at our one year mark and while I'm comfortable behind the wheel, I have to give almost all my attention to it, as opposed to a car which I've done for much longer. Then there is finding a place to stay, yes there are many resources available but some research is required. FWIW, we drove from Billings MT to Long Island NY between 7-5 / 7-26. about 225 miles every other day. The reason is in another post.


I take Flashman's thought to be,,,,,especially as a newbie. What's the rush

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Cookie Dough,

Is there a reason your wife can't drive? What happens if you break a leg, for instance? Are you just going to sit for weeks on in? I just couldn't do that, I insist on being involved and do about 1/2 of the driving. And when Dave's back went out, I was able to move us, all by myself, because I have been involved in set up and taking down our operations. Of course when we are doing several day drive we don't put things out, usually just hook up power and use the fresh water tank, we don't put out the big front slide, don't put on the external window/tire covers, etc. Then after 2-4 days of travel, we settle in for a week or more and make ourself at home.

I have always thought that the driver focuses on driving and the navigator focuses on all the other stuff like making sure we have a place to stay each day, etc.

Anyway, the slowing down recommendation is a good one.





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Barb & Dave O'Keeffe

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

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SPK# 90761 FMCA #F337834



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I really don't have any stake in how people travel. We have friends and family who can be very destination oriented and routinely do 500+ mile travel days with overnights at Wal-Mart. We know others that go much more slowly. Some need 50AMP full hookups every night, some can get by with less, including no hookups. We mostly are in between, sometimes going 1000 miles a week across the country and other times moving weekly or longer with less than 200 miles between stops. We all find what works for us and that is great. Just don't try to decide for others what is best, since what works for you might not work for someone else. I have also seen people force themselves into some kind of schedule, either 500 mile days or just moving once a week, and then find the lifestyle isn't working and quit. That is not the lifestyle, the lifestyle is more flexible and allows mixing things up.

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Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing a 2012 AWD Chevy Equinox
Journal at http://www.sacnoth.com
Full-timing since July 2003



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Yes Barbara there is.
I think Bill Joyce sums things up quite well.


Bill Schottler

39 FT 2002 Airstream Land Yacht DP
2016 VW Jetta



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