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Old 03-06-2016, 05:01 PM   #1
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Full Timers

I was just wandering how many full timers are on the forum and if they would share some of the pro's and con's of it. My wife and I are talking of this lifestyle when we retire. Would like to hear your input.

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Old 03-06-2016, 08:57 PM   #2
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Grunt, check out the "Fulltiming, Snowbird" section of the Forum. Lot's of info there.

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Old 03-06-2016, 08:58 PM   #3
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Well, my wife and I along with our 9 year old daughter plan on full-timing later this year, so unfortunately all I could give are theoretical pro's and con's. :-)

Lot's of great info from the members here I'm sure, but if you haven't already, you can also check out the escapees forum as many of them are full-timers.

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Old 03-07-2016, 07:22 AM   #4
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I've been full timing for the last few years. As far as pros and cons go, I guess it depends on what a person feels makes for a satisfying lifestyle.

Pros for me include the ability to travel the country and live in different environments (desert, forest, plains, near saltwater, etc.), to be able to move north, south, east or west to place myself in the most comfortable climates, living a life without dealing with a lot of "stuff" to complicate things, and knowing that if I get bored with a place that I can go wherever I want.

Cons include things like not being closer to my kids families as much as I like (too cold and wet in Seattle much of the year for me), not having ready access to some tools and equipment (I would like to have some woodworking equipment, but weight would be an issue- however, I've thought about getting into wood carving, which would require minimal equipment), sometimes experiencing "iffy" or lacking connection to cell service (I like boondocking in remote places at times).

It's a different kind of life, requiring a person to adopt and accept a unique routine. Things like dumping waste tanks, filling fresh water tanks, running a generator once or twice a day (if you don't have solar, or spend most of your time in RV parks with utilities) become a part of life. Some, like me, enjoy doing those things. Others might feel it's a hassle not worth dealing with.

It's important to try to be as self sufficient as possible, and to be prepared for the worst. For instance, last week my generator quit working. Getting it repaired at a shop wasn't an option, because I need the generator daily. I made a 200 mile round trip to buy new Honda the day after mine broke down. A couple days later, I was able to fix the old one (it was simply a couple of broken wires).

Your water pump might go out and you'll have to live out water jugs for a while. Your furnace might quit working, or your refrigerator could die. Batteries can go bad, the roof can start leaking, propane can quit flowing, pipes can freeze and crack, tires/bearings/brakes can fail- a lot can go wrong.

The more problems a person can fix/repair/deal with, the easier it is to fulltime. If a person has to call a traveling technician, or go to a shop every time there's a problem, they'd potentially be spending a lot of down time from camping, not to mention the expense while the rig's being repaired (hotels, etc)

That's my take on fulltiming. Hope it's helpful.
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Old 03-07-2016, 09:03 AM   #5
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Thumbs up Full-timing for 1-1/2 years


Making the decision to go "Full Time" is not one to be made rashly! There are a myriad of complications; but there are also a myriad of joys! If you sell your "stick-n-brick" home, you'll have to establish a domicile for drivers' license, vehicle registration & insurance, health insurance, voting, mail, etc. While technically not legal, many people use the address of a relative or trusted neighbor. Keep in mind, though, that that address will influence your insurance rates. So if that person lives in a "high crime" or "high traffic" area, your vehicle insurance could soar. And what happens if that person moves? And will your health insurance cover doctor visits and (heaven forbid) emergency surgeries at your temporary location? Or will you have to return to your domicile location for services?

If full-timing for you means taking your rig to a permanent location, you'll use that location as you domicile. If not, (fortunately) there are several mail forwarding services that can help to provide you with these services. "Americas Mail Box" and "Escapees RV Club" are two that come to mind, but there a others.

Also fortunately, the internet has certainly made full-timing easier! I do all my banking, Social Security transactions, credit card & insurance payments, and most of my communications on line.

Now for the joys!

I can travel virtually anywhere in North America with my RV. I can spend the beautiful spring, summer, and fall in Michigan (my former home), and winters in the warmer and milder south. I've spent the last two winters in the Texas Hill Country. And I've had the opportunity to visit many friends and relatives all over the country while in transit. Campgrounds and fuel will be your two largest continuing expenses. But you can conserve on both by staying in one place for extended periods of time. Most private campgrounds offer reduced rates for stays of a month or more. I prefer Michigan State Parks, but the maximum stay at those is 15 days. So I stay at one for 2 weeks, then move on to the "next closest" park for another 2 weeks. I use my TV (many full-timers use their "toad") for day trips to nearby attractions. Fortunately, I've been able to land several month-long "Campground Host" positions, that provide a free campsite for 30 hours/week of light work. Many folks - like EdAtlanta - get "workcamping" positions. which may provide a free campsite plus wages. Fortunately, also, fuel prices have been "halved" over the last two years. Unfortunately, that probably won't last forever.

Finally, pick your RV wisely. While most RVrs select their rig for 2-10 day outings during the summer, you need to select yours for full timing. That means much more storage space - particularly for clothes. And pick one with a floor plan that meets your needs and has enough space so that you, your significant other, and any pets won't be constantly tripping over each other.

That's my best advice. Hope it helps. Good luck with your full-time prep!
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