Originally Posted by healthi
... Ducky, I see a great opportunity for a future thread in the Fulltimers Forum with your help. As you get more time, would you consider sharing the info you found and knowlege you gained in your research for "home base" while full-timing?...
I can do that. Here's how we started:
1. Motivation - Tired of mowing, trimming, painting, shoveling and wasting money paying taxes for lousy city services.
2. Desire to travel. We love to travel. Started out the first year of retirement with a VW Bug Conv't. Lots of fun but too small. Got a 4 wheel drive (Ridgeline). Big enough but paid through the nose for hotels (some nasty) and spent over $4000.00 lodging the pups in one year. I don't think they cared but we missed the little rascals. (They are in the pic in the original post - look under the table) Then came the Bullet TT...
3. First Action - We got lucky and were able to almost even swap the Honda for the F250. Both 2010's with same mileage and color.
4. Next step - We chose the 5er for total cost and servicability over a Class A and toad. We also talked to EVERYBODY we could while we were camping around the country (we have been to 49 of the 50 + the District and Canada)
We did that for an entire year. Next we have to find a 5er.
5. We went to local dealers and looked at new units... Eagle Ridge, Montana, Alpine and Challenger. We looked at used units... Montana, Mobile Suites, Carriage Domani, Artic Fox, Nuwa. The new ones were too pricey and the used ones were mostly abused with delusional pricing as well. Then we went to the on-line sites. We found our Jayco on Craigs List. It was only 5 miles away and had been sitting there for 6 years! Meant to be?
6. Now comes the real research. Finding a place for the winter was first. FL and AZ are the best overall according to the vast majority of snow-birds and full timers. We found prices in those infamous RV "Resorts" to be quite high during the prime months of Jan, Feb and March. We chose FL this year only because of Mom (93 years old) and some other friends within day-trip range.
7. Sell the TT and the house. We're 1/2 way there...
8. Pick a home base. Looks like South Dakota. Why? Taxes, central location and proximity to family. We have not set this in concrete yet but are leaning that way. Some of the resources we are using:
This Forum (Thank You)
A Roundabout Publications book "Choosing Your RV Home Base" 2nd edition. www.travelbooksusa.com
The Keystone Forum (yeah yeah)
Folks we meet. Don't be shy. We have not run into anyone who would not share something with us yet.
State websites. DOR and DMV links are there.
The internet search engines. Webcrawler yields the best results IMHO.
Other things we considered were in no particular order; How we wanted to spend our time and resources. What was important to us. What we could afford. Our health. The final answer is going to be different for everybody and there are no certainties. My suggestion is not to wait. Do it while you can enjoy it. I will try to update this as we make future choices and find the pitfalls. Meanwhile, happy trails and be well...