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Old 11-05-2011, 01:04 PM   #1
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Ready, Set, Go full time!

The house is listed for sale and comes out in the MLS on the 14th. The 5er will be out of the shop by then and we have a site in Ft Myers just waiting for us.
When the house sells (fingers crossed) we will load a pod until we figure out where we want to store the heirlooms. Our research yielded South Dakota as the number one home base choice with TX and FL a distant second. We will work that out in the spring as we head North for the summer. The Bullet just sold so I will fix the signature block shortly;-). Hope to see y'all during our travels.
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Old 11-05-2011, 01:14 PM   #2
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YEA! I have an uncle that lives in North Ft Myers. Next time we fly there, I'll have to look ya up!

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?

Once again, congrats! Have fun FT'ng
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Old 11-05-2011, 02:39 PM   #3
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Full Time Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by healthi View Post
... 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...
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Old 11-05-2011, 03:20 PM   #4
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It sounds like you have researched and planned this adventure well. Go have fun!
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:46 AM   #5
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Update and CIAO

Well I don't know where to start. Sooooo - Day one it a record 88 degrees and the AC is toast. $930 same day at the campground and upgrade to 15K.
60 folks stop by to help. The stories make you feel better.

All is well for the next Month BUT... The Thetford has a riser under it and we're short. Big Jayco dealer 1/2 mile away (I75 Exit 141). Ride my bike over and get a new gasket and water inlet connector. Out with the riser... ahhhh. Next day I'm on the throne and I hear drip drip drip. No water to be seen. Open the pass throough and OMG. Walls and floor soaked. PVC headliner sagging. Quick cut the H2O. Unscrew the the headliner... whoosh.
Good thing it was fresh water. caught two 5 gal buckets... spilled 5 gal more.
Turns out the riser was installed by Knuckes McGirk and he used a hose clamp on the pex where he scabbed in a piece to reach the fitting with the riser on. Bike to the hardware store and it's shark bites to the rescue. Cut out the entire section and sharked in all new. now dry as a bone. Ahhhh.

Next the halogens start blowing as we use them. Looks like the guy that cleaned the trailer pulled them out with his fingers and did not clean them before reinstall. Took me 4 bulbs to figure that out. Lots of camping neighbors with volt meters though. Stories of Fla brown outs too.

Red ants....... off to the box store for bug stop. Battle for a week.

Record temps almost all winter. A/C bill was astronomical. Had to run it when we left the pups in the trailer.

Lots to do. Met many wonderful folks from all walks of life. The park is surrounded by a sketchy neighborhood. No sidewalks, narrow streets with no shoulder. Lots of low riders. Some theft while we were there... 1 car, 2 bikes, one Harley. All near the entrance with the open "locked at sunset" gate. You really do gets what you pays for.

Made it back to home base a couple of weeks ago. Still have the really expensive storage facility so we took the Legacy back to the shop so they could finish the repairs started in September of last year. All fixed and looking good. Then the bug bit. We should not have gone to the Florida RV show. But alas.

So we looked at a new Pinnacle but the they shrunk the shower and I don't
fit. Looked at the KZ Stone Ridge... close but no cigar. Looked at the new Baby DRV and Thor Blackwood... nice but too pricy for us. Looked at the new
Columbus by Palamino... not ready for prime time and to quote a friend " a dressed up Sabre. Looked at the new Cedar Creek - Bingo. Plunked our money down on a 36 CKTS. Soooo we are sitting home baby sitting our boxes until the Pullrite quick connect plate for the Trail Air gets here then we are outta here.

We learned a lot. Made new friends with a lot in common. Happy with our choice.

Sooooo, you can follow our new adventures on the Cedar Creek Owners Forum or find us at Paradise Pointe in Naples mid October with our tail lights under a palm tree.

Happy RV'ing and be safe.
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Old 04-14-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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Great story, Ducky. Congrats on the new Cedar Creek and come back and visit us anytime!
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:28 PM   #7
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jelous I don't even want to think about how long it will be before I could consider that! Enjoy!
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Old 04-30-2012, 07:11 PM   #8
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We too chose SD for our FT domicile. When making arrangements for drivers licenses, keep in mind that they (SD) have satellite offices which are open on Saturdays. We went a few weekends ago to finalize our "new home address" and found the Saturday DMV visit took less than 10 minutes to get our new SD licenses. Good luck!
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