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kb0zke

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About kb0zke

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  1. kb0zke

    Ollie

    X2 on Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park. We've stayed there several times and hosted there once. Great park! Keep in mind that none of the sites there are FHU. Most have 30A electric. A few have 50A. None have water at the site, but some sites are close enough that you can fill the tank from your site. No, you can't leave the hose connected, but it isn't all that hard to fill and then put the hose away. Another good park is Lakeside 370 in St. Peters. A little more expensive than Babler, and fewer trees, but easier in and out. ALL sites are FHU. Either way, make reservations.
  2. Every RV used full-time is used during all four seasons. The question really should be about how well a particular RV handles the extremes that the OWNER expects to encounter. If the lowest temperature expected is 40* and the highest is 90* most RVs can handle that. We handled -8* for two nights without any difficulties, but that isn't what we normally plan for. Some people call full-timing "chasing 70." If the temperature isn't around 70, go somewhere else where it is.
  3. "There comes a time that they shouldn't be able to get flood insurance,..." I doubt that a State would have any commercial insurance. Government entities are generally self-insured, so rebuilding the park would be up to the State of Missouri. Big Lake SP has eight camper cabins that can be moved, and I'm pretty sure that they were all taken to high ground well before the flood came. Most of the campsites are electric-only, with maybe 20 basic (non-electric) sites. The only FHU sites are the host sites. I'm guessing that they have ways to shut off the electricity and the water hydrants scattered around the park. The office area is the highest part of the park, and in 2012 they only had water in the basement. Don't know how this flood compares to that one.
  4. Welcome! Take a deep breath and relax. You will learn a lot from experience, so start learning. <grin> I'm assuming (and we both know what that means) that you are at least somewhat familiar with your rig, meaning that you can drive it, park it in the campsite, and can operate things. If not, that's your first task. Budgets ought to be filed as works of fiction. You have some idea of how much money is coming in, and fixed expenses such as insurance, loans, etc. Eating out is much more expensive than fixing your own meals. Luxury RV parks are more expensive than State parks. The biggest bit of advice I can give you is to SLOW DOWN. Just because the speed limit is 75 mph doesn't mean that you can, or even should, drive that fast. Many people suggest that you limit driving to 2-300 miles per day and that you plan on staying 2-3 days. There will be times when you really need to move cross-country quickly, but most of the time you can slow down and take it easy. We generally make reservations, but not always. Holidays fill up quickly, so you ought to be figuring out where you want to be for Memorial Day weekend and make reservations soon. During off-season times you may well be able to show up at a park and get in. Be aware that some parks close for the winter, or only have limited services available. You WILL start out with far too much stuff. As you travel you will figure out that you don't need certain things. You can then get rid of them (give them to the kids, store them with the kids, sell them, give them away, throw them away). You will find that things you hadn't thought of are needed. That's what Wal-Mart and Lowe's are for.
  5. kb0zke

    Co-op questions

    We're on the waiting lists at The Ranch and Lone Star Corral. At this point we don't plan to actually use our lot for more than a few months during the winter. Even then, we'll probably be in and out during that time. At some point, though, we may find ourselves staying there for longer periods of time. Question: At what point will each State say that we are residents of that State and want us to register the vehicles and get new drivers licenses? I spent some time trying to find what New Mexico's rules are, since that's where we are right now, with no success. I see vehicles with plates from all over here, but I don't know which are leaseholders and which are visitors. It would seem to me that the co-op parks would be targets for those who want to make sure that the State is getting every penny they can. Do the co-ops have to keep a record of who the leaseholders are and share that with the authorities whenever they ask? It would seem that it would be easy for NM, for example, to figure out which leaseholders are here more than X days and then tell those people that they must become NM residents and pay NM taxes.
  6. We're SD residents and we make an effort to find out what the statewide issues are, such as Constitutional Amendments or referendums. We look at the local issues on the ballot but frequently don't vote on those.
  7. We hosted at Big Lake SP in NW MO last year and planned to visit there again this summer. They have been completely flooded. The last time that happened there was talk about closing the park. It was rebuilt then, but this time may be a different story. Since the park and town are literally IN the Missouri River, will the taxpayers stand for two rebuilds in seven years? SHOULD it be rebuilt? Those questions aren't for us to answer, but I'm sure that many people who are asking them WILL have to answer them. If we can't stay at Big Lake we'll find another place to go. Be sure to check the State department of transportation website for road closures and call or email any campgrounds you are interested in far enough in advance to allow you to look at Plans B, C, D, E and F.
  8. Why are you focused on a Class B? Have you done some initial research that leads you in that direction, or is it just because it is a smaller vehicle? What sort of travel plans do you have? How many people and pets? Do any of them have mobility or health issues? How often will you be traveling, and how long will you stay in one place? Are you going to have some other means of transportation (other than your own two feet) for shopping, sightseeing, etc? Unless you are fine with packing up in order to go to the store, you will want to have something else for that. Are you going to be full-timing, or is this just for weekends and short vacations? Have you thought about what you will do when the weather is bad and you can't go outside?
  9. We've been full-timing in a 1993 Foretravel for five years now. Yes, we've had some problems, but nothing that we couldn't handle. Condition and history are everything. If you haven't already done so, find the owners forum for that brand and ask about known issues for that model. There may be people there that can do an initial inspection for you. If not, find someone to do one for you. Spending a couple hundred dollars for an inspection can save you thousands in repairs. Initial quality may be a factor. The more expensive the coach was when new, the more likely it will have been well cared for. Yes, there are exceptions, but those are rare. Find a similar model at PPL to get an idea of the low end of the price range.
  10. Check the owner's manual first. Many Ford products are towable four-down, but not all. If you are buying (or have) a vehicle with a warranty, go by the manual or you risk voiding the warranty. If no warranty is involved, REMCO is a good source. Most of the time the manual and REMCO will agree, but not always. As I recall, the Lincoln MKX and Ford Edge are the same car. Our neighbor is towing an MKX and says he has had no problems. We're towing an MKT with no problems. My manual says to run the car in D, R, and N for a minute each, then shut off, shift to neutral, and "key" to accessory. Speed when towing is limited to 65 mph and we're supposed to run the engine every 300 miles. I never go over 65 anyway, and 250 miles is a long travel day. I, too, have the extra charge line, so the next time I travel I may not switch to accessory and see what happens.
  11. Our coach insurance is with Progressive. A few years ago we had the navigator's side windshield break. Duncan handles that for Progressive. Within a few days they had a new windshield and gasket. Turned out they didn't need the gasket, but it was better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Of course the new windshield was installed in a shadeless campground on the hottest day of the year. We provided the two workers with plenty of cold water and the front a/c was on max and pointed to the front. That was a few years ago, so I don't remember what, if anything, we had to pay. Haven't seen any great increase in our rates.
  12. We're domiciled in South Dakota, so that's what our drivers licenses say, that's what the license plates on the Foretravel and Lincoln say, that's where we vote and where our mail goes. The mail is held there until we tell them to send it somewhere. We thought about using one of our children's addresses, but quickly realized that for two of the three, we would have to pay income tax and the third has so much going on that mail would be forwarded on a hit-or-miss basis. Another argument against using family members' addresses is that if that family member moves, you "move" too. Now, if the family member is firmly tied to a particular address AND they are willing, it may work for you.
  13. If you haven't done so already, spend some time looking at everything you can - no matter the price or condition. In a fairly short period of time you will know what floor plans will and won't work for you. Then you can start looking for something to buy. Since you are leaning toward a fifth wheel you will need a truck. If you already have a truck you can take the VIN to the dealer and find out the actual axle weight ratings and the Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating. Then load the kids, dog, beer, and everything else that will be in the truck when towing (don't forget full fuel) and weigh both axles. That will give you the information you need to figure out what trailer you can tow. If you are going to get the truck later, just use the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating for the heaviest trailer. Figure 25% of that number will be what's riding on the rear axle of the truck.
  14. Just to toss out another thing or two to think about, and that is school. With your lifestyle, you would be perfect homeschoolers. Your kids will know FAR more than others just because they have actually been to various places. Also, consider where you are domiciled. The big three are Florida, South Dakota, and Texas because all three have no income tax and let your mail forwarding address serve as your license address, with no requirement that you have any other sort of residential address. If health insurance is provided for you, regardless of where you are domiciled, you are fine there. You will just have to check on homeschooling laws. If you provide your own health insurance that will also be a factor in which State you domicile. Consider starting a blog and keeping us updated on your adventures that way. You are about to do what we wish we could have done with our kids.
  15. Welcome. The right rig is the one that best suits your needs and wants. For some people, that is a 45' motorhome with four slides. For others it is a van conversion. You are wise to start your researching now, so that in a couple of years you will be ready to buy what seems best. To start with, you and your wife should begin discussing what you want to do as full-timers. Some people want to visit every national park. Others want to follow certain historical routes (Oregon Trail, Route 66, etc.). What sort of health or mobility issues do you have? Are you going to spend long periods of time in one place, or will you travel more frequently? Do you have any RV experience? Those discussions can take several months, and the answers may change as you talk about it. That's fine. Even when you think you have things nailed down, things change. Unless you are really minimalists (like our friends who full-time in a 1973 Dodge van conversion), get used to the idea of something towing something else. A motor home uses quite a bit of fuel when it is moving, but it only needs to move from one campground to the next (with a stop for fuel). It can tow another vehicle for the running around. Should the towing capacity be great enough, that other vehicle can be a pickup that can carry a 4-wheeler or motorcycle in the bed. It can also be as small as a Smart Car. We tow a Lincoln MKT. A fifth wheel requires a fairly hefty truck. Some people use a converted semi as the tow vehicle, with a Smart Car mounted on the bed. Like the motor home, the big truck only goes from one campground to the next. Others use something like an F350 or F450 to tow the fifth wheel, and that truck is also the daily driver. A few people have the second person driving another vehicle, so that the second vehicle can be a scout car enroute and provide a second vehicle should the necessity arise. A travel trailer can usually be towed by a smaller truck, F250 or F350. The advantage of the travel trailer is that the bed of the truck is empty, leaving room for the 4-wheeler or motorcycle. Of course, the weight of those things may bump you up to a stouter truck (F250 to F350, F350 to F450). The advantage of the MH is that the interior is always at a comfortable temperature, since you can run heat or a/c as needed while traveling. That can't be done with towables. Also, most motor homes have generators, many of which run on the same diesel tank as the engine. They are plumbed so that you can't run out of fuel, so if the generator runs out you still can start the engine and go get fuel. Motor homes usually have larger tanks than the others, which means that you can live self-contained for longer. They are expensive to maintain, as the engine, transmission, and tires are all the same ones that semi trucks use, and you will be going to the big truck shops for service. The advantage of the towables (fifth wheel and travel trailer) is that you can take the truck to the dealership or any mechanic and get it serviced. The disadvantage, as I mentioned above, is that you can't have heat or a/c going while traveling. There is generally more work to setting up a towable at the campsite than a MH, but not a whole lot more. Should we arrive at a campsite in a pouring rainstorm, I don't have to go outside until the storm is over. I can level from inside (my coach uses the air bags for leveling) and the generator will provide power. Hooking up and unhooking take about the same amount of time whether you are dealing with a towed or a towable. Spend some time looking at every RV you can, regardless of type, age, or price. You are looking at the floor plan. After a fairly short time you will know which arrangements will work for you. Don't be afraid of the size of a motor home or fifth wheel. It will only take you a few hours of driving to get comfortable with them. There are also RV driving schools. Again, welcome, and ask lots of questions here. We've all been there and done that.
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