2021 RV-Dreams Spring Educational Rally - April 26 - May 2, 2021 - Sevierville/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee


Registration Is Now Open for Our 20th & FINAL Educational Rally!!


Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Share Your RVing Stories - Extended Timer or Full Timer And Why One Over The Other?


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 218
Date:
Share Your RVing Stories - Extended Timer or Full Timer And Why One Over The Other?


We'll go first and hope that this might be of interest to many coming behind us.   Some might even find a chuckle somewhere in it all and I'm sure as hopefully this thread grows, there'll be some readers nodding or shaking their heads but what the heck .......   Here goes.

Our love for RVing started several years after we emigrated from the UK with two very young children.   The first few years we embraced everything about our province and neighbouring next door provinces, spent every weekend in the winter in the Rockie mountains skiing (snowboarding wasn't the fad then!) and eventually decided it was time to embrace the great outdoors in back countries in the summer months.

We eventually bought our first RV in Spring 1999 - boy oh boy was that an experience speaking with dealers and negotiating the heavy pushy commission sales paid folks = remember we came from the UK where salaried not commissioned wages were the norm then!    We bought our Ford F350 truck first (hubby in construction so dual purpose), and then our 34ft 5th Wheel.   Oh My!   I remember the day we picked it up some hour half from where we live and brought her home -  Wow, that first time driving such a beast was hair raising to say the least.   We had manual jacks, two slides, island kitchen, hook ups for a washer dryer we never installed and it came with hydraulic slides.   We had a blast visiting provincial parks (back then $5 or $7 a night dry camping), fishing, seadooing, rafting, kayaking and everything in-between.    Eventually with our long winters we decided where is the warmest place to us at Easter, and that's when our annual jaunt every Easter to Vegas and surrounds started - for sadly only 10 days, but we made it happen during our working years albeit visiting tons of places in a blur but nonetheless we did that "warrior" thing.   The worst thing with our 5er was when our bedroom slide got stuck out and no matter how many bottles of hydraulic fluid we added and so did the campground host trying to help, it wouldn't come in and fluid seemed to keep disappearing - eventually going into the bedroom in bare feet I felt wet carpet when we discovered they'd put the line under the bedroom slide and over time with it going in and out it had wore a hole in it = bad manufacturing point!!

After much discussions and pleading by hubby wanting a coach, in Spring 2003 we bought a Fleetwood Southwind 36ft with central vac, washer dryer combo and those little extras we'd not had before.   As much as hubby ideally wanted and still does a Diesel pusher we were still of working years and the C$100,000+ extra cost then, I couldn't justify (still struggling on that one today LOL).   We sourced this one through a wonderful brother and sister team in Langley BC.   So off we trot with our 5er in tow and two friends to pick it up, so they could drive our F350 back while we would the new coach.   Oh Heavens Help Us!   Driving that now huge and different beast up the Coquihalla I spent as the passenger the whole time, shouting at hubby to "move over, move over".   The edge to the huge drop ravines/canyons below caused me to need to change underwear a dozen or more times!  (not really but you get the idea eh?).

Over time that coach has taken us to 45 states (plus we've done Hawaii flying), each and every province and territory in Canada and as years have gone on we've started doing more and more extended trips for several weeks/months at a time when we've been able to make them happen.   This year we completed our last province of Newfoundland and Labrador and across Canada and up through New England, New York State both sides of the great Lakes back home to just outside Calgary where we have our home base = late April we left hitting couple snowstorms, had no water in tanks for couple weeks, and returned earlier than expected of planned November arriving home end August.    Wow what a trip but sadly our 6th trip across Canada we have to say we were disgusted by the conditions of the roads compared to back in the earlier years = they've got worse and worse and worse and that's caused us to now say never again across.   We just don't know how they plan to encourage tourism.   Not just the Transcanada in most parts but even around cities.   New Brunswick had for us some of the best roads we found.  Just saying for anyone interested and reading this for such a trip.

So ....... for many years pre 2010 I dreamed and so did hubby of going full time in our RV.   For sure we are tired of the maintenance, property tax and insurance huge double and triple even one year increases, but ironically the more and more we've travelled longer and longer at a time the more now we are feeling we need to keep that home base in one form or another.   Our youngest daughter and partner of 7 years were supposed to get married in 2017 and take over the acreage so we'd have someone to come back to park as a bonus which would have been ideal.   Alas the wedding got called off (right thing so all's good), so here we sit now ironically with the best of both worlds "for us!" in many aspects - the previous comments aside as they still bug me.   We sold all our revenue properties, our Florida home in preparation to go FT but like I say ironically for us this drawn out timing has seen us take on a totally different perspective about Fting.

As always to each their own, and YES for sure if things had been different and we weren't as close knit to our children as we are, we would for sure have been FTing now, but as I always say "there's a reason for the seasons".

Does this mean we will continue just extended travelling for the future?   Not necessarily, as everything will depend on how things develop with our youngest daughter and her work/relationship future.   In the meantime, someone has to keep her horses and dog in the manner in which they've become accustomed to eh?

Happy travels you all.   I for one am looking forward to reading your stories and how you got to where you are today in your RVing lifestyle or even if you are now onto the next phase.

Thanks in advance to all those that share for hopefully the benefit of many others and of course the enjoyment.

SD (Helen).

 

PS:   Phew, that should have been the first chapter of a book me thinks!

PPS:  A huge thanks to folks like Bill and Kelly (Odessy)  Trace & Lee (Campers Chronical)  Dave & Diane (HDRider) for always taking the time to provide useful info and synopsis on their year by year up to date travels/expenses and so on.   Many many folks I personally know that don't tend to comment have found reading this info fantastic.

 



-- Edited by Someday on Sunday 26th of January 2020 12:59:41 PM



-- Edited by Someday on Sunday 26th of January 2020 01:00:18 PM

__________________
Breathtaking Alberta. Her Mountains Draw You But Her People Bring You Back


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 396
Date:

OK... most folks like to talk or write about themselves - and I'm no different. Here goes.

I grew up outdoors - mostly in the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico - hunting and fishing with my father. At that time, camping was rolling up in a couple of Army surplus blankets and a tarp - under the truck if it was raining. Cooking was done out of a chuck box in the truck bed or the back of the Studebaker station wagon (a hand-me-down from my grandparents) over open fires. We thought this was normal. Nowadays, I think folks call it "roughing it."

In 1974, my late wife and I bought a brand new VW Westfalia pop-top camper van. It seemed like the Ritz to us, then! That lasted a few years and then we got into sailing. The next 20 - 25 years were spent "camping" on the sailboats, including with the kids when they were small. We had a Coleman pop-up for a few years after the last boat was sold, but didn't use it much because of things going on with the kids.

I was widowed early in 2008 and remarried later that year. After a few years, Laura and I started looking for a way to get out of town and away from everyday routines. In 2013 we purchased a 25' TT and started spending long weekends around the Southeast (mostly the Carolinas, Virginia, and Tennessee). As I neared my second retirement (1st retirement was from the Army), Laura and I started thinking about what our retirement years would look like. We loved the home we were in, but we didn't have much to tie us to the local community. About a year before R-Day, I brought up the idea of full-timing. Laura wasn't immediately sold. She loved our home and had the Kroc Center 15 minutes away for yoga and water aerobics. I told her I wasn't suited to be a landlord nor leave a house unattended for extended periods, so extended part-timing wasn't in the cards for me. Then we attended the 2105 RV-Dreams spring rally. When we got home from the rally, Laura contacted USAA about realtors (without telling me) and the next thing I knew, I was getting calls from realtors saying that USAA had asked them to contact me!

To make matters even more exciting, we were told by the realtor we chose that average time on the market in our area was 4 - 5 months. Plenty of time to prepare and do "the purge," right? I provided professional photos (used to do some of that and still had the equipment) for a preliminary MLS listing. Two weeks later, the house was under contract! We didn't even have our full-time rig, yet (but we knew what we wanted and the dealer had it on the lot). Six weeks after closing, we were on the road.

In the 4-1/2 years since then, we've had some wonderful adventures and have been able to spend extended times near family scattered all over the country (I wrote about these things in a recent post). Last year, we made the decision to continue this lifestyle as long as health and circumstances permit. It's likely that, in 3 - 5 years, we'll split our time between a couple of Escapees co-op parks with a couple of two to three month trips in between. I still consider that mobile.

Rob

__________________

2012 F350 DRW Lariat 6.7

PullRite OE 18K, Demco Glide Ride pinbox

2020 Solitude 310GK-R, MORryde IS, disc brakes, solar, DP windows

Full-time as of 8/2015

 

 



RV-Dreams Community Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 6
Date:

Wow. I would have expected more participation. Well here is mine.

I have a neighbor who has been camping for over thirty years, who kept bugging me to go to an RV show. My response was "I can't afford an RV". Now I have been lusting after motorhomes for over 30 years, at the time. I just could not figure out how to make enough money to afford one. S, one day he takes me to a dealership. Needless to say, my heart is pounding, and I am thinking, maybe I could some days swing a small class C. Of course now he has fueled my lust, so I went to a dealership with a better service reputation and looked at trailers, since I already had a vehicle capable of towing. They had one 25 ft trailer that was nearly perfect for me and it was on sale. I bit.

I camped in it in the late fall and again in the spring. I decided, I really wanted a MH. After talking with my financial advisor and receiving some money after my father passed away, we decided now ids the time. Dad only had 20 years between retirement and his passing. Boy, was that a eye opener. Now I always wanted a class A. However there was still this small matter of money. I test drove two entry level (cheap, in every sense of the word) A's. The experience was horrid. I knew beforehand that they had drivability issues, but I have driven rental large straight trucks which were much more stable on the road.Needless to say, I wasn't buying one of those. Now, looking back, and knowing what I know now, I am overjoyed that I did not buy one. Well, after driving a class C, I was sold one one of these. The problem was, I hated that overhang over the cab. I knew they habitually leaked and it just did not seem like logical engineering. The dealer just happened to have a GTS model - no overhang with cabinets over the cab. I instantly fell in love. I bought it and have enjoyed it immensely over the last five years - with the exception of the multiple roof leaks, mold in the ceiling, etc. Fortunately, the factory fixed it all at their cost. I change the torture jack knife couch to theater seating , added custom seat covers, etc. There have been many mods. It is now nearly perfect.

Now the irony. Not having a toad, I bought a bicycle, which I carry on the back hitch. This means, while on the road, I cannot extend the rear slide to go to bed. Having developed back issues over the last two years, this makes trips with multiple overnights challenging. Now, keep in mind my life dream is to own a class A. I was hoping to save and buy one in 5-7 years.

As I was ending last years camping season, I got a call from the wife of a very close fri9end stating the they needed me to visit him. He had cancer, but was doing really well when I left. Anyhow, He died last October. This was my third best friend to go in 5 years. Two others friends passed away last summer, which I did not know about until my return. At that time, I decided that if I kept waiting, I too might run out of time. So, ordered an A in November. I hope it will be trouble free and that I will out live it. Parting with the C, with all of its issues solve and starting again is kind of scary, but hopefully, I will have this for a long time. This is the second time the market took a dive right after I bought. I hope this will all turn out well. It is a little nerve racking.

For now, anyhow, I live in the MH 90% of the summer. My wife does not like anything about the camping experience, so, except for one or two weeks, I am a solo camper. I could not see part with the S & B, but I cannot get enough camping and RV living - at least as long as I can keep everything working properly.


__________________


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 218
Date:

Rob, as always love reading your write ups and AbdRahim, like you we've had too many friends and family members, in their late 40's and 50's pass with Cancer or Heart attacks, and that in and of itself, made us realize long before retirement age, that we needed to grab life by the horns and make things happen.

It was important to us to have our children experience as much travels around this fantastic continent as we could and create tons of family memories for them as well as ourselves. Too many folks we knew during our working years, bought RV's seeing how enthused we were about our travels but sadly they rarely used them. The excuses were generally, they were too tired after working all week to pack up or it was all just too much effort. Well, we were in the same boat, if not working many more hours than them due to our 3 businesses, but we made sure we were set up to go each and every spring, and with the same 24hours in our days, we just juggled, accepted some loss of income and made it happen on several warrior trips each season. Heck we even boondocked in our 5er one January weekend in Rocky Mountain House Alberta waking up to quarter inch thick ice inside our windows, and our hands (plus one idiot husbands tongue!) stuck to the metal handle of the hot tub. But they are times we and our children will cherish.

Now we are enjoying the luxury of doing it all again, well as long as we can, just on our own mainly and a lot lot slower whilst finding those little small hidden gems we'd bypassed a decade and two ago. Also not quite all the physical activities as we did a couple decades ago!

Hope some others might join in and share their stories, it's always awesome to read and gives many others food for thought in the process often.

__________________
Breathtaking Alberta. Her Mountains Draw You But Her People Bring You Back


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 5374
Date:

With us, my family was always camping, even if it was only one week a year and weekends at a nearby lake or two.  Wife and I married in 1969, but our first camper didn't come about until 1976.  We had two different travel trailers until we moved from the Panhandle of Oklahoma to the Oklahoma City area.  We decided to get back to camping in 2003 and bought a 26-foot travel trailer.  Wife had wanted to get a fifth wheel, but at the time we had a pickup and a Ford Excursion, so I wanted something that either vehicle could pull.  That's about the time she decided to trade the Excursion, so a couple of years later, we traded the travel trailer for a 26-foot fifth wheel.

A couple of years of that (and her complaining that the camper sat parked for 51 weeks of the year), we were going home from work when she said, "Let's stop by the RV show at the fairgrounds."  My thought was that she would want to up-size from a 26-footer to maybe a 30 or 32-footer.  We get into the show and she immediately starts going into 36-foot and 40-foot fifth wheels and motorhomes.  So, I stopped her and asked what she was thinking about.  She replied that she had thought about selling our house and everything in it and buying an RV, and after we retired, we could then travel the country.

Thus began the research and finding RV Dreams and Suites Owners Travel Club, which gave us tons of information on RV'ing and on DRV Suites models.  We researched for two years and in 2009, we spent two weeks in Colorado in the 26-foot fifth wheel.  That experience confirmed to us that the living in that small of a camper just didn't cut it.  Ordered our Mobile Suites in February of 2010 and took possession in May.  Got the house sold in the Spring of 2011 and moved into the Mobile Suites.  Our research got us informed enough that we decided that when we traveled, we would spend more time in each area rather than move every couple of weeks or so.  That way, we could see more of an area before moving on.

After retirement in July 2014, we spent 20 months in the Colorado Springs area (wife got in a bunch of sister time because her sisters were up there), 17 months in SW Oregon volunteering on a retreat and reunion center, and then 9 months in SW Utah, working at a small RV park in Kanab, UT.  Youngest son needed surgery, and since he isn't married and having someone to help him recover, we moved back to Oklahoma to help him out.  We've been here about 2 years, with a part time working gig surveying roads in Indiana last year and plans to do another few months in Indiana this year.

As it stands now, we plan on hooking up to the RV again next Spring and going up to Idaho to visit with cousins and see more of that state and take trips into Eastern Washington and Oregon, Western Montana and Wyoming, and Northern Utah and Nevada.  After some months up there, we plan to go back to Southern Utah somewhere and explore more of that area.

Camera time is really calling to me.

Terry



__________________

Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2019 Ford Expedition Max as Tag-along or Scout

Our photos on Smugmug



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 653
Date:

Thanks for the shout-out Helen! Bill and I still bring up our quick visit with you two - what a fun evening that was!

Bill and I have camped with our kids since 1993 when we purchased our first camper, a 22’ Citation Travel Trailer. We pulled it with our Dodge Ram conversion van. We joined a camping club and went out at least every other weekend, and week or two each summer. We spent a lot of time down the Jersey Shore (where we lived) with the extended trips to New England, Panama City Beach, Gaitlenberg/Pigeon Forge area, etc.

When the kids got to the age that they didn’t want to camp with us anymore (teenagers) we sold the camper to one of Bill’s employees and she put it on a seasonal site. We sold the van to a young family who pulled a pop-up with it.

After a few years and the kids had moved out - we purchased a Class C and took it on a few trips, including FL and our life-changing trip out west in 2010. It was on that trip that we talked about the possibility of being full-time RVers, after meeting a couple in Williams AZ who lived in their Montana 5th Wheel.

Our dream became a reality in August 2014 when we closed on our house. Since then we’ve visited many places, including our amazing dream-come-true summer in Alaska. It was on our way back out that we met Helen and her husband Pat, when they generously invited us to stay the night on their driveway and cooked us a delicious baked ziti dinner. We talked well into the night - as if we had been friends forever!

Which brings me to my last point - one of the most influential things we’ve done related to our full-time life was attend the Spring 2014 rally. We met so so many awesome people, most of whom are still some of our favorite people in the whole wide world (outside of family) They are our tribe and while I’m hesitant to say we couldn’t have done it without them, if we had it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. We wouldn’t have had nearly the support. We love them all and cannot imagine our lives without them.

So, there it is - our story - in a very condensed version. Those who know me well will be proud of how short I’ve kept this as I’m known for not knowing the short version of any story, especially my own. For more details, check out our blog Bill and Kelly’s American Odyssey.

__________________

Bill & Kelly - with Callie along the ride.  

2011 Ford F350 Diesel Dually 4x4 

2014 Heartland Landmark, Grand Canyon 

"All those who wander are not lost" Tolkien

 BLOG:  http://bkamericanodyssey.com/



RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 218
Date:

Hey Kelly & Bill, us too, often chat about you and I fill Pat in with how yer rolling and where from reading your blog. Driveway and door (post COVID-19) always open to you both any time, complete with more hugs, food and a glass of your fancy - maybe yer next trip back up to Alaska ;) :)

One of the other posters commented in a different thread a while back about how quiet RV-dreams had become on postings, so I just thought I'd try and start a thread in the spirit, it might be fun for many to read what led others into RVing Full-time/Part Time/Extended Timers etc and hopefully add to = hence why I started this. It's been surely slow going though LOL. Alas, likewise I've become a little tardy at checking in on things here as consistently as I used to for many previous years, like many others as it became quieter and quieter.

Seems we are tuning into more Youtubers lately, and of course a lot of those we started following years and years ago blog wise and on forums have slowly dwindled away as many have started a different phase in their lives = boating/settling into a Stix n Bricks or similar set up as travelling has slowed down for them. Then of course there's this "new normal" as governments are telling us and that's really put the cat among the pigeons. This too shall pass, but unless it becomes for monetary reasons sooner, something told me back in mid March to prep for this going on well into the Fall not 14 days. I so hope I'm very very wrong, but when others in 2014 said the oil crash would end by spring 2015 I said no it feels different, be prepared for at least 3 to 5 years and how wrong was I now some 6 years later we're suffering so badly. Enough on that - Hugs to both you proud grandparents now!

Terry and Jo - awesome you took the time to share your story, and THANK YOU for all you've done over the years here. Here's hoping many others will share their stories as well for our enjoyments.

Stay safe everyone, keep distance but don't not get exercise/walking each and every day when you can. Five weeks isolated at our home base now, and daughter won't even let us oldies get out for groceries!

SD







__________________
Breathtaking Alberta. Her Mountains Draw You But Her People Bring You Back


RV-Dreams Family Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 5374
Date:

Speaking of YouTube, I've been spending a good bit of time on there as well, but in my case, it is more for educational and entertainment rather than following RV'ers.

Beyond that, I've now got a "channel" on YouTube where I have posted some short videos of some of the places we visited.  However, since I only got a DSLR in 2018 that can do videos, I haven't got a lot that can be shown.  Plus, not being a videographer, they are definitely not professional.  In fact, if one wants to view them, one should turn the volume down.  Wind noise isn't a good thing.  Anyway, besides my link below to my Smugmug site, the following is my YouTube channel.  Click on "Videos" to see the whole list together.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHA1iWWiy7jSjaUbyLXVOnQ

Terry



__________________

Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2019 Ford Expedition Max as Tag-along or Scout

Our photos on Smugmug

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us