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Old 07-08-2018, 06:21 PM   #1
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Full timers?

Would like to here from some Full timers. Wife and I are aggressively considering it. Would like to here some pros and cons, things to consider, realistic 5th wheel size and any additional valuable input.

Thanks
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:31 PM   #2
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Same here, this is something my wife and I are looking to do in our 377, so if anyone has input that would be awesome.
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Old 07-17-2018, 05:47 PM   #3
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Been doing it for over a year now, any specific concerns? I’m more than happy to give advise, needed or not lol. Just remember, the bigger the 5er the les amount of places you can fit. On the flip side, the smaller the 5er, the more you’ll be in each other’s faces. I don’t care how much your family loves each other, alone time is paramount too.
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Old 07-17-2018, 06:33 PM   #4
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What do you do with batteries when connected to power all the time? Does the charger stop off after fully charging or do you need to disconnect them when on shore power for say months at a time?
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:01 PM   #5
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What do you do with batteries when connected to power all the time? Does the charger stop off after fully charging or do you need to disconnect them when on shore power for say months at a time?
I don't know anything about full-timing, but couldn't you just flip the "converter" breaker and your batteries would sit just fine? Or disconnect them too, I guess.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:15 AM   #6
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What do you do with batteries when connected to power all the time? Does the charger stop off after fully charging or do you need to disconnect them when on shore power for say months at a time?
You leave the batteries hooked up. Unless you have a faulty converter it should just keep the batteries floated once they are 100% charged. There are better converters out there than the stock ones that are smarter and charge faster but your stock one will work fine. There are instances with malfunctioning converters dumping juice into batteries and “cooking them dry” but that’s few and far between. Also remember that batteries can freeze, but a charging battery shouldn’t. So if full timing and it’s cold, keep your batteries warm or plugged in or both.
When I’m not on the move my campers are plugged in 24-7. This way I know they are good to go and nothing has slowly drained the batteries dead. I also have a reminder set to check the water in my batteries every month (flooded batteries). If any of them look low I just add a bit, easy peasy preventative maintenance. Take care of your batteries, they are your campers lifeblood if fulltiming and there is no guarantee of shore power day to day.
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Old 07-18-2018, 07:39 AM   #7
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We have full timed for 5 years so far and love it. It does have its draw backs as no garage for me and the DW has to find that space to make it fit, but when we sold the stick and brick, we down sized to a 30 foot cargo trailer, so that became the garage. And we just down sized again as my DW found out she dosent need all the nick nacks and we find that having less is more. So the cargo trailer has my tools and a work bench with a vise, her christmas stuff and such and the extra things that you can live with not having in the rv. We recommend Rv living highly as how to much space do you really need to live. We have a 40' 5ver with 2 lazy boys and the usual furniture, 40" TV, Washer dryer (Recommended), a big bath with a king bed, and much cheaper to live than the house and thats it. If you have any questions please ask and we will try at answer if we can. And the battery we just stay hooked up 24/7 and after 5 years had to change it out just a few months ago.
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Old 07-18-2018, 09:18 AM   #8
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Would like to here from some Full timers. Wife and I are aggressively considering it. Would like to here some pros and cons, things to consider, realistic 5th wheel size and any additional valuable input.

Thanks
Well, if you want some hints and tips from someone who JUST started the full time journey, feel free to ask me any questions. We just closed on the house last Friday and are officially full timing now so the process to get there is very fresh in our heads.

One thing I would suggest is talking to someone who recently went through the change and to someone who has been doing it for a while. The one who is recent will be able to share hints and tips to get out of your house and the one who has been doing it for a while will offer tips and hints on things that they have learned over the years to keep them on the road. We talked to both and learned a LOT of info that has helped us on the transition so far.

As for Pros and Cons it really varies from person to person and it all depends on what you value in a house vs a trailer. Some really miss the garage (see a few posts up) while others really miss other things. For me the biggest con is that I will not be able to be around my family for the winter holidays (Wisconsin winters are not too friendly to campers). That being said, we could hop on a chat and after getting to know you a little more it would be easier to offer some input.

Same for the 5er size. It really depends on what you are looking for. Again after talking for a bit I could definitely offer some suggestions as there would be some questions I would have to ask first as to what features you are looking for, what kind of campgrounds you would look to get into, what can your Tow vehicle handle (or would you upgrade your TV), etc.

If you are interested, feel free to send me a PM and we can discuss further.
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Old 07-23-2018, 03:07 PM   #9
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Sorry for the long post.

Well, we are about to go from FT to a stick house again. Whether or not you enjoy it depends a lot on why you are doing it and what you expect it to be like. Are you recently retired? Kids recently moved away. Any 'extra' major life changes will complicate the situation.

Our 'adventure' was mostly to see where in the country we wanted to live and that was accomplished after a 18 months. We thought it would take a lot longer but having the fifth wheel made the decision easier as we could live in the prospective areas for a while to see what they were really like.

Before you go, have you ever lived in very close quarters with your wife for long periods of time? It will aggravate any 'discrepancies' that you two have with each other. It is more difficult to have separate quiet time/lives. What do you do in your free time and will the trailer support it. We selected a bunkhouse model so we could still pursue our hobbies. It was still not that easy since only one of us could be in there at a time. The floorplan is probably the MOST important part of choosing an RV. If it is not right you will come to resent the small things. We went through that with a prior RV.

You will also find out a lot about yourself and each other and you will pobably change a bit as you go along. Be prepared for some very emotional times.

Cost. It is not as inexpensive as you might think depending on where you choose to park. Daily rates, especially near popular locations, will be in the $50/day range, and can be higher. Monthly rates are quite a bit less, but, some RV parks have limited monthly rate spots. Our son lives in Seattle area. Only three RV sites nearby. One has no monthly sites and the other two are full (full time residents). Cost for us to stay in that area is about $1500/month. Don't get me wrong, if you are careful you can get by for a lot less if you are willing to stay in the less expensive parks. And, if you boondock stays are 'free'. If you do plan to boondock I highly recommend a genset installed in the RV, sized to run at least two AC units.

Pros: You can travel whenever you want and stay in any area you want as long as you want. You can 'live' in many places where you probably could not afford to live in an apt or stick house. For someone who likes to see the sights it is an ideal lifestyle.

Cons: A lot depends on your hobbies and interests. Some hobbies are incompatible or difficult with a mobile lifestyle.
One hazard is internet service. If you require very high speed then it will be costly or even impossible. Regular surfing and such is doable with just a cell phone connection. Large documents or streaming of video is limited.
If you need good TV service then budget in a good satellite ant and service.
Flooplan. Choose one that suits your interests.
Travel. The larger the RV, the more difficult it is to travel. When we started we thought, 'we can finally stop at all those small towns we used to pass.' Well, that didn't quite happen. Most of those small towns had not parking area big enough for our rig and no campground or RV park to stay in. So drive down the road and not find anyplace for over an hour. Yes, you can stay somewhere and then drive around to sightsee. Our life was complicated by our dog so that created another issue to deal with when going out for the day.
We also thought we might do some old fashioned camping. The length of the rig made that very difficlt. Not very many places where we could drag a 35ft 11,000lb trailer. The old saying is, the bigger the rig, the less 'camping' you do. For us 35ft meant no more 'camping' (I define camping as not being in a full hookup site).
Planning. Larger rigs do not fit in many gas stations. If you have a diesel rig then plan on using truck stop pumps (or the Flying J RV islands). We also thought that most rural areas would have diesel pumps. Not always true. We found that many rural areas in the SE would not have very many diesel pumps that we could put the rig into. Then there are the roads themselves. Longer rigs mean being a bit careful about where you go. There are many 'traps' where you cannot turn around. At first I found the plannning a challenge and part of the life. Now I find it a PITA and it affected my enjoyment of the trip.

Last. Vacation. Basically this is a positive and negative. When you go you have all your own stuff with you and your own bed. On the neg side, even on vacation you are still at 'home'. Can't explain it much better. We solved the problem by going to hotels every now and then for a getaway. It meant finding a kennel for the dog, but, at least we felt like we were on vacation. Adds a lot to the cost of the lifestyle.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:13 AM   #10
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Forgot one. A base camp. The location for this one was deemed not important to us at first. We became Escapees and had out permanent residency in Livingston, TX. Very easy to set up and that group is wonderful. Mail service is excellent.

After about 6 months it became more of an issue, mentally. Where are you from? is one of the common questions you get to figure out. You are no longer 'from' anywhere. Military families have an advantage in this area as they are used to that aspect.

What we found was that we needed a 'base'. Somewhere to go to when we were not 'traveling'. We found that place in southern NM, which was also where my wife's family was located. We changed residency to NM. Yes, they have state taxes, but, it suited us to do it this way.

That brings up 'stuff'. We got rid of anything that did not fit in the trailer. Yep a 2700sq ft house and shop full of tools, furniture, clothing, etc, etc. Took us about a year, most of that dealing with sentimental things. This is extremely emotional as well. We were prepared for this but it was still not easy.

If you have any doubts, then get a storage unit to keep stuff from the house that you may want again. Store it properly as there will probably be rodents in there. Stuffed furniture does not do well in storage.

Sorry for all this but going FT is not as simple as it may seem at first. Lots of stuff involved and most of it is mental, which can make things very difficult. Like laundry. Going to the laundramat may seem like a small thing but to us it was not. And, no, those washer/dryers made for RVs just do not do well. They take a long time to do a small amount of laundry.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:32 PM   #11
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I agree with the HQ concept. We began FT over a year ago to shed all the excess things in our lives and explore the country. The idea was to relocate somewhere more desirable, and become debt free, but I donít think you know a place until youíve visited for more than a couple weeks more likely months. Full timing will allow us to hopefully find a place to call home we enjoy and be an HQ as we further our adventure. I love travel and I love being completely mobile but there are limitations that exist. Ideally once we find our new piece of land somewhere it will serve as a place to rest, repair and then hit the road again. I donít miss the big house, big payments, and mediocre surroundings in the least. I just miss having somewhere that is mine to do what I want with when I want. Give me some acreage in an amazing place, a shop that the camper docks into with full hook ups, and the good health to travel and Iím golden. I cannot imagine a big ole sticks and bricks money pit that the bank owns ever again. Weíve seen a lot of the country that we couldnít have before already. Weíve learned that being stuck in the same place your whole life seems odd now. Weíve learned most people think we are crazy and they are half right probably. Itís a crazy feeling knowing you can pretty much go anywhere you want and all it takes is pointing the truck that direction and driving. Good luck on your adventure and ask away if needed!
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Old 07-25-2018, 02:43 PM   #12
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Size is pretty important for full-timing. We are upgrading from a 29' to 43'. One bad thing in our 29' is the single bathroom and no real place for the two older children (we weren't planning on full-time when purchased). After 2.5 years in a 29' RV we will be upgrading to a 43' with two bedrooms and two full bathrooms. The NP 379 dbhs will have a residential fridge, double pane windows (moisture control), 6 v batteries, generator package, sani-con and heat pump. Something I didn't know at the time, but RV beds can be a different size than what most people are used to.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:45 PM   #13
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Cool A differant way to full time

The wife and I did it a little different than most. We have been full time for 4 months now in a small 30 foot toy hauler. Just a little background: We are living in Las Vegas. Sold my 3200 Sq. foot 5 bedroom home as the Kids have grown and all the other 'tenants' have moved on. I am 58 and unfortunately never thought I would make it to retirement. (Another long story) Therefore We never 'planed' our retirement like we should have. So it was time for drastic measures. My wife worked at a "range" out here and found out they have a host program. She now is a host at the range and I continue to work my local job. The host program is great. We have a large covered pad to park on. Comes with a cement picnic table, a charcoal BBQ. Full hookups, A laundry room, a break room. All I pay for is the propane, Internet and cell phones. We are 5 minutes from our old home and the girls both live within 10 minutes of us.
So here was our plan.We sold the house. Got rid of 90% of our stuff and stored the rest with my daughters until we get our new trailer. Ordered a 2019 Jayco Pinnacle 36KPTS. That should arrive within the next 1 1/2 months. As of TONIGHT I just paid off my LAST bill! We are now debt free! We are paying cash for the trailer and right now life is pretty good! I have 7 years before retirement. So no house payment, electric, gas, water ect ect. I sure think I will now pack the retirement cash away. When I retire the plan is to travel the US. When we come back around in the winter months we will stop and host again like others do.

Different people have different ways of full timing. This is my story and so far so good! Scared us to death when we started to plan this but now that it is done we are happy we did it. Very tight in a 30 foot toy hauler with no slides but we deal with it. I have been married to my lovely bride for 36 years. Yup it is a little tight but heck when we get cramped we head out to a nice dinner! And when the new trailer comes this one will be my 'MAN CAVE"
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:16 PM   #14
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I wanted to full time but elderly in-laws have put the plan on hold. I will likely be to old to even do it when we are free to start. In the meanwhile we take lots of short trips.

Healthcare is another factor to consider. Who, when and where. Is your insurance plan mobile as you want to be?

Anyone contemplating the lifestyle should try it before buying a big rv and selling the house. It's like marriage, harder to get out than to get in.

If you can't be around your spouse for extended periods, you can expect times to be unpleasant. Once you get in a full time mode, any time you buy something, you have to weigh it and get rid of that amount from what you already have.
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:57 PM   #15
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Once you get in a full time mode, any time you buy something, you have to weigh it and get rid of that amount from what you already have.
ROFLMAO. Yep. Space and weight. One of my wife's biggest compromises was clothes. She went from a walk in closet and huge dresser to about 3ft length of hanger bar and three shelves. I lost count of the pairs of boots she got rid of (we would not be living in snow country again ). But, she has been great about it. She sees something she likes and weighs that against what she has to get rid of for it to fit in the storage space.

And, now that we have our hobbies expanding we have hit the weight limit of the trailer. Something I never thought of before.

For those of you who FT with kids, I don't know how you do it. My hat is off to you.
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:23 AM   #16
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I've been full timing for almost 10yrs now.

1) Age is something to consider;
- Discounts for people over 62 is great

2) Generally the more you like it the larger the RV becomes.
- Were now considered to be glampers by our grandkids.

3) Diesel with dual's are better.
- Better gas millage
- Pulls larger RVs


4) Seasonal vs state/Core parks;
- Fuel is a budgeting factor

Finally "Family" one can not ever say enough about this one when considering full time camping. Whether you Seasonal camp in Texas with family in Chicago it seams we are always chasing the 70 degree weather.

"Living the dream"..
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:25 AM   #17
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We have thought about it but had many reservations...we would truly miss our grandkids ball games, our church and church family, our friends and neighbors, our doctors and our grown children. Like Norty1 my wife’s parents are still kicking and currently limits our travels. My parents are both gone.

When we crunched the numbers it seemed more expensive than most mention. What about the cost of vehicle and RV replacement? These don't last and need replacing. Living in a RV that is built for occasional use will mean replacement is needed in ____years? Vehicles about the same. Cost of RV's and vehicles has gotten more expensive over the years and would mean a larger cash outlay when replaced in the future. When we considered how many years we might be doing this it didn't look so good. Even if we kept the vehicle and RV as long as possible the maintenance cost would surely go up. How much? Who knows as RV systems are an expensive breed.

What happens if you have something physical that limits your mobility or driving ability? If you don't have a home to go back to I guess your going to an old folks home.

I know many do it and it works for them. I’m not trying to take anything away from them here. Just adding our 2 cents which doesn’t even buy a cup of coffee.

No...full time is not for us at least for now. We are RV'ers that like to vacation. We bought ours to get away and see the sights. We enjoy our travels but it sure is always nice to get back home again to our normal lives.
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:20 PM   #18
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I think we have finalized our plans to hit the road in 2019 hopefully March/April time frame.

We have a 14 year old son which we have been home schooling the last 2 years who will be 15 by March 2019.

My wife is an ER Nurse and we are thinking she will travel nurse on the road. Each assignment will for would be 13 weeks. She would receive a housing stipend which would cover almost our whole mortgage on our house, which we will plan to keep so we have an HQ to return to. The plan would be after each assignment we would return home for a 2 or 3 months, then she will take another aassignment another city/stste for 13 weeks. This will give us a feel to see if we will even like traveling for long periods of time in the RV. I liked the idea of having a home base as mentioned in some of the posts here. I will keep my current job as well which is 90% work from home and travel back by rental car or plane to Houston when required for a few days at a time.

Also if we feel it is not working out we can always just return to our home and all out stuff.
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