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Old 05-18-2016, 07:26 AM   #1
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Newly Retired and Ready to Travel!

I retired on January 1st after 40 years working for the federal government (20 years in the U.S. Air Force and 20 years as a civilian government employee).

During my career, I lived and worked around the world, mostly in Europe and the Middle East, and now I want to see as much as the USA as I can, one campground at a time.

I grew up in the mountains of western Maryland and was always a camper. I was a Boy Scout and spent whole summers camping when I could. As an adult, I also camped quite a bit and was a Boy Scout leader for many years.

I most recently owned a tent trailer. It's not a pop-up. It's a very sturdy tent with poles and hooks instead of stakes that mount to the metal mesh trailer. I very much enjoyed using it, but as I got older I found I wanted the convenience of indoor plumbing and the ability to easily go out in colder weather.

I've was planning to buy a hardside trailer next year, but a recent experience with my tent camper prompted me to buy it earlier (and I got my wife's permission). :-)

I go to a woodworking school in Indiana each year for a week or two and I usually camp at a National Guard base not far from the school because it's secure and inexpensive ($20 a night for full hook-ups and other nice facilities).

I usually go in the summer but this year I was interested in classes that were being taught in early April. I took my tent trailer, with reflectix panels in the windows and a small space heater and I thought I was prepared.

Then, a large windstorm lasting several days hit from Chicago to the East Coast. On the day I arrived, the gusts were 50-60 mph and I couldn't even set up the tent on the trailer. I opted that night to go to the base billeting office and get a room on base for the night (only $8 more a night than the campsite). The next morning, it was cold but calm and I set up my tent with no problem. That night, the winds were back in force -- sustained 40 mph winds -- and after laying awake in bed thinking that either the fly would be torn away from the tent or the whole rig would flip over. As it turned out, the side wings where the beds are were being lifted an inch or two with each gust and could have collapsed.

At 2AM I packed it up (badly, but at least it was packed) and I went to the billeting office and ended up booking a room for the entire two week visit.

When I got home, my wife and I decided it was time for me to get the hardside trailer now.

I found a 2015 JayFlight SLX 154BH on Craigslist for a very good price. As it turned out, the owner was an Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who was an acquaintance from work and was only selling it because he was being transferred to Hawaii and would not need it there. He also through in all the basic equipment that he had bought, along with a brand new cover and a hitch with sway control bars.

I've taken it on one trip so far. I spent a week in my hometown in western Maryland volunteering at a Habitat for Humanity "blitz build" and lived out of my trailer. It was very comfortable.

I'll be back out for Memorial Day weekend, back to western Maryland, and in July I will spend the entire month as a Camp Host at a U.S. Forest Service campground in West Virginia. It will be my first time to do that and I'm looking forward to it.

I look forward to learning what I can from those who have had trailers for years and I hope I'll be able to contribute to the forum as well.
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:13 AM   #2
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Congrats and safe travelling.
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:47 AM   #3
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Thank you for your service, Congrats and safe travels!
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:04 AM   #4
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Thank you for your service.

Congratulations on the great trailer find and welcome to the JOF.
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Old 05-18-2016, 11:43 AM   #5
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Congrats on your retirement! I retired nearly two years ago and haven't looked back. Since then, all the pretty colors on my little maps shown in my signature and profile have been attained. I have no doubt you will have a blast. Happy camping and safe travels!
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:07 PM   #6
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CONGRATULATIONS on the JAYCO!!!

...and WELCOME TO JOF!!! The members here are GREAT!!! There is a lot of GREAT information to be found here. I am sure that you will have information and pictures to share with us... so please do!!

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Old 05-18-2016, 07:21 PM   #7
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Congrats on retirement and the new to you Jayco. I enjoyed time @ Lackland early '75
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Old 05-18-2016, 09:44 PM   #8
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Welcome aboard and congrats on rig. Thank you for your service...
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:16 PM   #9
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CONGRATS and WELCOME To JOF!
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Old 05-24-2016, 10:20 PM   #10
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Congrats! I grew up outside of Reisterstown... now happily I am out west.

Enjoy the new to you toy!
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