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Class of 2017

Class 2017 Graduating

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#41 Tumbleweed_FT

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:40 PM

Welcome Piedmontexpress and mandolin57. You can be part of our class - we can span two years; a new graduating class concept.

 

It's never too early to start getting ready. The time seems to be flying by this year; maybe it's because I haven't done anything to get ready. The pressure is beginning to build even though we have just over three years to liftoff. So much to think about; so much to get ready for.

 

Piedmontexpress - what kind of 5ver do you have?

 

Dave


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#42 Tumbleweed_FT

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 08:43 PM

James and Tracy:

 

Your trip sounded great. It's making us jealous as we are stuck in this cold snowy winter here in Illinois. The weather has warmed up in just the last several days so the snow is melting rapidly. That is good as our RV comes out of storage in several weeks; the snow needs to be gone.

 

Dave


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#43 Piedmontexpress

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 05:16 AM

Hi Marianne!
Good luck with the 5 er purchase! We will be not far from Hershey in June this year! Making a trip east to see family in Robesonia as well as vacationing along the way and visiting the DRV factory in Howe, IN. If only spring would arrive so we can start re- outfitting Lexi. I am itching to get inside and clean her up.
Nice to meet you!
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#44 Piedmontexpress

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 05:33 AM

Tumbleweed, sounds like we are in same vicinity. We are northeast Illinois. We managed to get our Starcraft Lexion out of the barn BEFORE the melt in prep for Ringo's arrival but Bill and Gregg made some foot deep ruts moving things around this past weekend! The Lexion will not be our fulltime home. She has all the creature comforts and is quite nice inside but for fulltiming we want better quality, durability and a different layout. We have a few years to research yet but are leaning toward DRV, New Horizon or Starcraft (probably used!!!)
Bill and Patti
"RINGO" 2005 VOLVO 670 D12 465hp/Freedomline Transmission 3.42 w/locker and smart car bed.
By Gregg Shields at RVHAULERS

"DINO" 2004 Newmar Mountain Aire 38RLPK

"ABBEY" 2013 smart for-two Passion

"Tilly" Irish Wolfhound/lab mix

#45 Tumbleweed_FT

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 02:54 PM

Piedmontexpress:

 

You are looking at quality fulltime units.

 

I personally like the New Horizon but all are great units.

 

We are in Chicgoland in the western suburbs. It showed this morning and the roads were slippery but it is now 45 F outside.

 

Warmer weather is coming.

 

Dave 


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#46 James and Tracy

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 05:44 PM

James and Tracy:

 

Your trip sounded great. It's making us jealous as we are stuck in this cold snowy winter here in Illinois. The weather has warmed up in just the last several days so the snow is melting rapidly. That is good as our RV comes out of storage in several weeks; the snow needs to be gone.

 

Dave

Hey Dave I spent 3 years near Chicago in the mid 80's when I was in the Navy. I'm a West Coast man so that was quite the experience for me. Though I wouldn't want to live there long time I'm glad I got to experience it.


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#47 Tumbleweed_FT

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 04:59 PM

Our target launch date is May 1, 2017. We have three years to go and have completed our freshman year for fulltiming preparation.

 

I can't say that we accomplished a lot over the last twelve months in getting ready. However, as the time gets closer the higher will be the urgency to get ready.

 

We will be attending the Escapade in Goshen and look forward to the Fulltiming 101 program. 

 

Over the next twelve months we will begin to get our house ready for sale. We will continue to get our RV ready over the next several years. We have certain upgrades planned for our trailer.

 

James & Tracy - I see you lived in the Chicago area for 3 years. We are transplants from New Hampshire. None of our children have settled in Illinois; they have located in other midwest states and one is in California. There is nothing holding us here except jobs.

 

Were excited about meeting other fulltimers at the Escapade.

 

Can't wait.

 

Dave


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#48 sushidog

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 05:24 PM

We start our first shakedown cruise of our new (to us) TV (a week at Big Bend NP and Ft. Davis) a week from today (a little over 2,000 miles). Of course towing our little Aliner won't be a real test of my 08 F-250 6.4, but it will be the fist chance to rest out our load plan for our long bed with our 2 motorbikes on-board that we plan on taking with us when we FT. I think I'm going to need to build a truck topper with enough headroom to ride our little bikes into the back, as I can't find any suitable commercially available ones. I've already built a light weight folding loading ramp that will eventually replace the tailgate. I plan on building a topper that it's light weight, aerodynamic and directs the wind around our yet unpurchased TT we will FT in. Does anyone know of any commercially available, tall aerodynamic truck toppers? If I don't end up buying one, at least I can get some ideas for my own design.

 

Chip



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#49 Stanley P. Miller

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 05:47 PM

A bike carrier setup that I saw and really liked was just a normal camper shell with a solid front that was boosted up on a 2x4 and plywood frame about 18-24 inches. They made a pair of rear doors that were hinged to swing out to the side and clip down above the tailgate and below the shell's window. Glue, screws and a bit of paint and it looked really nice.


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#50 sushidog

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:07 PM

Though that sounds good, it would not be as aerodynamic as I would like. I plan for the topper to rise parallel to the cab on the sides and rising above it by about a foot near the front, ramping up about 2 feet in the rear, and flaring out on the sides a foot or so wider than the bed at the back to deflect air not just over the top of the TT in tow, but on the sides too. I will frame the top out of 1 x 3s and skin it with 1/4" plywood coated with white bed liner to match the truck. I may even add light weight wind deflectors at the back of the topper extending back a couple feet to further deflect the air as long as they don't interfere with turning.

 

Thanks, Stanley

 

Chip



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#51 Tumbleweed_FT

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 07:57 PM

We attended the Escapade last week. Great rally!!!

 

I met Kirk Wood; really great guy.

 

My wife is now much more knowledgeable on the fulltiming lifestyle.

 

The weather wasn't so good but being surrounded by SKP's made up for it.

 

Dave


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#52 Kirk

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Posted 21 May 2014 - 06:59 AM

Dave, it was great meeting you as well as many others we see on the forums! Had it not been for conflicts with other events there would have been several others present and there was at least one member who forgot (Topfuel :wub: ) but it was a great event and won't be the last one. Thank you for attending.


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#53 Tumbleweed_FT

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Posted 07 June 2014 - 08:27 PM

Sushidog:

 

You mentioned that you are planning on buying a trailer to fulltime in. What type of trailer are you planning on - a fifth wheel or a travel trailer?

 

Although it seems like a long way off now, your fulltiming start date will come faster than you think.

 

Dave


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#54 sushidog

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 07:07 AM

Tumbleweed,

 

We plan of purchasing a TT, not a fiver for a couple reasons. First, my DW has problems negotiating stairs - she can do it, but it's painful, so eliminating stairs inside our future home is important to us. We will also need the truck bed to carry our little motorbikes. If I build a rather spacious topper we can use it to carry our bike gear, generator and have some additional storage space that we would lose by not choosing a fiver. Also a TT tends to be a couple feet lower than a fiver, allowing us to get in more places with low hanging branches, low bridges, etc.

 

There are few high quality (read heavy) FT TTs available. Besides, we plan on being snowbirds - moving where the weather fits our clothes, so we're not looking for a 4 season model, trying to avoid freezing weather at all costs. Here's an example of some of the units we are considering: a Skyline Layton 314s, an Open Range Journeyer JT337RLS, a Salem 29FKBS, a Sprinter 300KBS, a Dutchman Denali 287RE, a Coachman 305RKDS, a Puma 30RKSS, or a Gulfstream Conquest 295SBW, the last 2 because of their high CCC and low weight). In realize that these low-end units probably won't last my entire expected retirement, but we'll (hopefully) be forced to buy another to replace it before we eventually expire. Our goal is to buy a gently used, late model (a couple weeks/yr, vacation TT) with at least 3,000 lbs CCC in the $10-$15k range. Of course at this price, we could afford to buy a few if needed (over the rest of our lives) vs what what a much heavier (meaning smaller in our case) FT TT is worth - if we could even find one, as FT TTs are pretty rare compared to fivers. Plus a used FT TT in our price range more than likely has been used extensively FT, making finding a lightly used one we can afford even harder.

 

Chip



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#55 Tumbleweed_FT

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 10:54 AM

Sushidog:

 

I did a lot of studying of the fulltime fifth wheels and concluded that the fulltiming units are very heavy especially if you get over 32'.

 

I'm not very knowledgeable on fulltime travel trailers. I know New Horizons makes them but again very heavy.

 

We will go fulltime in three years with what we have because my wife really like it (she doesn't want a motorhome, fifth wheel, or anything else).

 

Our trailer doesn't have a slide but is very bright because it has lots of windows; good for light but bad for heating and cooling.

 

Every type of unit has its advantages and disadvantages - the trailer is simpler than a motorhome with less to go wrong (at least from a chassis side).

 

Like you we will follow the weather - warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

 

Dave


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#56 sushidog

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Posted 08 June 2014 - 03:17 PM

Cool trailer Tumbleweed. There are many who FT in an Airstream, as they are very durable units. Cared for, they will easily be the last trailer you ever need to buy, though as you say, lacking in space and carrying capacity. Unfortunately the mid to upper five figures a decent used one costs puts one out of consideration for us. I could only dream of a big Airstream with a couple slides and a decent CCC. Shame they don't build such a unit, but if they ever did, I doubt many could afford it. Here's an example: http://www.desertaut...Arizona/641644/

 

The River Forest Avaiator is very Airstreamesque and has a decent CCC, but their slides are small and floorplans limited. http://www.forestriv...loorplanid=4579  The price is considerably less than an Airstream, and though they are beautiful, I assume their resale value/durability will be more akin to others in the River Forest line rather than an Airstream too.

 

Chip



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#57 Tumbleweed_FT

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 07:59 AM

Chip:

 

Airstream stop making trailers with slides several years ago. They made slides for only two models ( the classic 30 and 34) and each only had one slide.

 

It seems like Airstream pricing is getting way too expensive; I don't understand it. It may be a market thing.

 

Around 2010 or 2011 Airstream stop making the 34 with the 31 being the largest now offered.

 

In 2005 Airstream changed the axles on their 30 and 34 models increasing the GVWR. We had our trailer weighted at the Escapade this past May and we have over 3,000 lbs of remaining ccc. I was surprised. My GVWR is 11,500 lbs.

 

We purchased our 34' trailer with the intent of eventually fulltiming in it. Although we are still working I have a philosophy that you  can wait to retirement to start doing fun things because it may be too late by the time we reach retirement. I know of too many people who reached the magic age of retirement only to drop dead shortly after. All of us have entered this world with and expiration date; we just don't know what it is.

 

That is why we purchased our trailer 8 years before our fulltiming launch date. However, we do own an RV site and get to use the trailer most weekends during the camping season even if not traveling to state parks.

 

Dave


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#58 Tumbleweed_FT

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Posted 09 June 2014 - 08:04 AM

Chip:

 

The Forest River Avaiator trailer looks very interesting. The tank capacities are similar to mine.

 

You will find a great trailer as there are lots of them out there.

 

Dave


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#59 Second_Star

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 07:01 AM

This is SOOO exciting!

 

I was on track for a mid-2018 jump off but my situation has changed in the last couple of months and now it looks like I may get to go in mid-2017! Possibly even a bit earlier!

 

Already started emptying out the house and getting some renovation stuff started to get it on the market possibly as early as the middle of 2016. I've also been haunting a bunch RV shows and sales lots in the last year or so with my notebook and camera getting ideas of likes/dislikes in 5er's. Hoping for a truck/trailer purchase right about the time the house sells.

 

Had a 27' TT in my previous life (what I call it) and we spent a great deal of time up & down the east coast, so I'm not totally new to camping. Plan to join Escapees for a bunch of reasons in the not too distant future.

 

I can't wait to get out there and do some park volunteering, lots of boondocking, and maybe even some workcamping. I've told friends/family that I'm going to do a long lap around the US and take 10-15 years to do it and if I feel like doing it all over again when I'm done, so be it! Who knows I might even run into that special lady somewhere!

 

Sorry, I'm rambling on, but I just wish I could get this show on the road today!

 

Russ



#60 Tumbleweed_FT

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Posted 18 June 2014 - 04:07 PM

Russ:

 

Welcome to the class of 2017.

 

The launch date will come faster than we think. We've been planning for ten years, so with less than three years left to launch date the remaining time seems short. As we get close we will kick it into high gear.

 

Dave


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