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Legendsk

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About Legendsk

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    Male
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    USA <mostly>
  • Interests
    Electronics (Career)
    Faceting or cutting gem stones
    Knitting

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  1. You're absolutely correct Barbaraok. That was a very poor choice of words on my part and did indeed make it sound like MH repairs always mean a motel stay and the vast majority certainly don't. The main maintenance (and purchase, I suppose) expense difference between having two engines and drive trains versus one is clear. If the maintenance is broken down into broad categories of "vehicle maintenance" and "home maintenance" and to be fair, let's put brakes, tires and wheels into the "home" category since both have those. Then whatever "home" problems there are affect both kinds pretty equally. If one has to spend a week in the shop for something, the other kind would have about the same issue. But engine and drive train problems are limited to the MH, at least in terms of involving my "home". If my pickup has to spend a month in the shop, I still have a home to live in while it is there. Of course some MH service centers will let you live in while it is in the shop and then the problem goes away equally for both kinds of units, even for "home" repairs. I'm probably a little biased from having a friend who bought a new MH, got 50 miles down the road with it and a slide decided to extend while they were cruising down the highway. No problem, they stopped and put it back in and went back to the manufacturer. Who fixed it overnight and the next day they made it 20 miles before it did it again. Back to the manufacturer's where it then spent 3 months being repaired. And now doesn't have any particular problems. Just one of those things, but because of the repair time was pretty inconvenient. Again, my apologies for making it sound like every time a motor vehicle needs maintenance it has to be in the shop for a long time. Even one overnight is rare, although most of us have had the occasional vehicle problem that took more.
  2. When I decided to move from a house to an RV full time I went through the same sort of process to figure out what would work for living in full time. I had a nearly new 1/2 ton pickup (that I really liked and wanted to keep), and went looking for a pull-behind trailer that would work with it. I really hate laundromats and just couldn't stand the thought of going to them for the rest of my life or the expense of having all my laundry done by cleaners. I simply couldn't find a pull-behind travel trailer that had a washer/dryer or was prepped for one and had a floor plan that would work for me. I expanded my search to include class A, B and C motor homes and 5th wheelers. The motor home route would require me to get a vehicle to tow behind as I simply couldn't use the MH for a daily driver, that was nearly a deal killer. Both the expense of 2 vehicles to insure and maintain as well as the idea that every time the MH had to have service, I would generally have to check into a motel for however long the service would take - in some cases there were stories of that taking days, weeks, in some cases - months. Ugh! That led me to 5th wheels. I simply couldn't find one that would work for full timing for the rest of my life that would work with my 1/2 ton. I found units that would work for me as a home and would also be fine with a 3/4 ton SRW pickup. I soon found that the deprecation on them was terrible. But I could buy a gently used trailer that was 10 years old for 25% of the cost of a new one. I found one that was not only really well maintained, but had been upgraded by the single owner with lots of improvements, all of which were perfect for the use I intended. Additionally, it was one of the best manufacturers and not only the top of their line, but also the smallest size they made in that model. Absolutely perfect for me. The only downside was I would have to trade the 1/2 ton pickup for a 3/4 ton. Of all the possibilities I considered, this seemed to be the best fit. I offered them 1/2 of their asking price and they jumped on it. It has been WONDERFUL! I miss my 1/2 ton, (I really liked it better than this 3/4 ton), but the new one is okay. I suspect that with careful management about trailer loading (water tanks, etc.), and I had added air bags to the 1/2 ton, it would really have done the job. I'm sure there will be a lot of flack about pulling a 15,000 # trailer with a 1/2 ton pickup and no doubt the 3/4 ton is really a better match. It handles the trailer beautifully. The trailer has been a delightful home for 3 years and I plan to keep it as long as I last. Probably will have to take it back to the manufacturer every few years for a visit to have stuff maintained, but even that will be a tiny fraction of maintaining that 6 bedroom monster I got out from under. I did move the trailer next to the house and lived in it for a month while the house sale closed, practicing and adjusting the what will I take and what will I leave list. That was a very worthwhile experience. There were lots of cow pies along the way, but I seem to lead a charmed life and avoided them all. No problems with any of this transition. I've been doing the full time RV thing for 3 years now. Have never been happier - life is good! Listen to all the good advice on here and filter it well, apply what works for you and I'm sure you will do well.
  3. Didn't know about not using cast iron on a glass cooktop. We used cast iron skillets, griddle, dutch oven, waffle iron, etc., for years and years without a problem. Obviously they are heavy iron, set them down gently. Now i have induction cook top, so still use them.
  4. Sorry, I missed that someone wanted a copy of my take leave list. Here tis. . . . Take & Leave Items.xlsx
  5. When I went from a stick house to a 5th wheeler, I made a spreadsheet of everything I thought I would want to take with estimated weights. That might remind you of things to include, although I'm sure your list will be different. I'll be happy to send you a copy if you like. As I recall, I set an arbitrary limit at 900# and when finished it was 748#. When estimating weight some items might be a little more or less, but the average was correct enough that the final weight was spot on. Since then I have maintained a policy that if I add something new, then I have to give up something old of about the same size and weight.
  6. I have a German Shepherd 130# who has a pet cat. The dog was 6 months old when I downsized to the trailer and adapted very easily. When the dog was around a year old, he adopted a month old kitten and raised it. I don't really seen any difference between living in a stick house and an RV as far as pets go. They are a responsibility much like having children in the home, but are such a joy to many people, myself included. If you enjoy having a pet, why wait and do without for a period of time? We each only have so many days above ground and need to make the most of them.
  7. I would have been in class '85, but DW wasn't up for it. A few years after she passed away I decided a 6 bedroom house, car AND pickup was crazy and life would be better downsized. Then I remembered I had wanted to go full time RV long ago and now could. So I joined the class of 14 and love it. I originally planned to roam around the country, but got to deep south Texas and like it so much I haven't moved in two years. But it's still nice to have wheels and know that by the end of the day, I could be in a different state.
  8. People and their priorities are so different, it just isn't possible for a one-size-fits-all dwelling. Each of us relating our preferences and why will perhaps remind you of points to consider in deciding what fits you. In my case I decided to go full time in an RV. I quickly narrowed it down to a 5th wheel trailer as a fit for me. Camping for a weekend - a popup tent trailer was great. DW and I went on a 10 day motorcycle trip with pup tent and all the support stuff to camp out along the way. After camping for a couple of nights, then we would spend a night in a motel alternating depending on how hot, dirty, smelly we were and how hard it was raining, snowing, etc. But the original question was about FULL TIMING. I got 2 things out of high school, jock itch and toenail fungus. I shudder at the thought of showering at a truck stop or sponge bathing in a filling station restroom. Most of them I wouldn't even want to sit down in. A bathroom with a shower would be an absolute necessity for me, because I suppose, I lack confidence in other people's behavior. And while we're on that topic. . . I really used to hate waiting around a laundromat for my washing to finish. But the awful part was the people who would place dirty diapers (without even emptying them or rinsing them out) in the washers at the laundromat. And without even looking at them, just move them from the washer to the dryer and burn in the clumps that didn't wash out. Take a flash light and look in a laundromat clothes dryer - it will look like someone scrubbed the inside with Baby Ruth candy bars. A washer dryer was also critical for my full time happy living. In the case of doing it with a pickup camper, they make little 1 or 2 gallon miniature manually (foot or arm) operated washing machines that are light weight, don't take up much space and will wash a couple of shirts or a pair of jeans. Of course you will need to hang them up to dry and water / humidity is not your friend living full time in an RV. So you will pretty much wait to do laundry until you can hang stuff outside to dry. But that is still huge leaps ahead of a public laundromat! Refrigeration? I grew up with out electricity or refrigeration and survived it, but I don't care to go back 80 years to those days. A small refrigerator with freezer would be essential for my happiness. Personally, a little one-cup coffee maker, a toaster oven and a tiny shop-vac to clean up after would complete my essentials list. For me, everything beyond these things would be something else to take care of, clean and maintain. Living in a small footprint makes me happy, but it sure isn't for everyone.
  9. I can't rank the specific units as requested by the op, but for me the points listed above are more significant than how those units rank. When I went full time there were a lot of cow pies to step in. I did a lot of research and then with care and luck seem to have missed them all. I really feel like I'm being paid back for living a good life (well, mostly). In my case, the first research was class A, 5th wheel, pull-behind. For me it quickly resolved to 5th wheel. The deal killer was I have pictures I took of feces layered on the inside of washer and even on the inside of the dryer! I just can't live with putting my clothes in a machine where the previous user overloaded them with unemptied and unrinsed diapers. People take wet diapers to the laundromat and just dry them - already to use again (brown stain in back, yellow stain in front). I had to go to a 5th wheel trailer to avoid dealing with that the rest of my life. Within 5th wheel units, I looked for the smallest one that would meet my needs. Within that range, a floor plan that would work for me. When I found the best combination of that it was a particular make, model and even year - and it was 10 years old. I started looking at those and found they were really good quality, which I hadn't thought about, but was good news. I found one 2,000 miles away, but it sold the day after it was posted and before I could even get there to look at it. The next one was 120 miles away. It was not only everything I wanted, the previous owner added wonderful options and then used it gently and took excellent care of it. I offered 2/3 of their asking price, they took it and I drove away with it. Wonderful benefits I learned after the fact: It had a Splendide w/d combo - not for everyone, but perfect for me as it turns out. I love having the deep freeze that sits on top of it in lieu of separate w & d. It had a generator. Not only has this been a lifesaver multiple times - it runs on propane and I don't have to mess with gasoline. And if it sits for a year before I need it again, it will start on the first try. It has a full cargo slide in the basement that extends out either side. Something else I wouldn't have thought about, but now don't think could live without. The A/C had been replaced with a larger heat-pump. I've never needed the furnace. Me advice mirrors that above - go spend time at shows or dealer lots, pretending that you live in the unit and think about things like, the thing you want weighs 100# and is in the middle of the basement behind 500# of stuff. The slides are in and someone is ill and needs extended bathroom time or we need to prepare and eat 6 meals before the slides go back out. The power fails and won't be back on for at least 72 hours, how do we deal with that - move or start the gen. I surely hope you get as lucky as I did and what you do decide on, turns out to be just perfect for you. But take your time deciding to get the best decision possible. Asking the experienced experts on here is a great start. As your search narrows, check into the on-line forums about the make/model you are zeroing in on.
  10. Insurance (including extended warranty) companies are in the business to make money. They have enough resources to weather any disaster and on an average charge more in premiums than they will pay in claims. Even with sponsoring TV quiz programs with large giveaways, they have enough left over to turn a nice profit. The decision to purchase insurance or not then boils down to: 1) Would the worst, largest potential claim be painful without insurance or would it ruin you? 2) As someone said earlier, if you would sleep better insured and the premiums aren't a hardship for you, that's worth a lot? 3) Are you accident prone, that is, do bad things frequently happen to you, or are you generally lucky - that's pretty subjective, but worth a few points on the decision tree? And then whichever you choose, swear that you will live happily and comfortably with it and the consequences. Life is too short to spend any of it worrying about what-ifs.
  11. @Nomad Hikers I use the same methods to track my spending and I agree with most of your approach, so I surely can't call this a flaw, but there is a basic difference in philosophy between our approaches. I'll try to tell you as briefly as I can, about the eye opening event for me. Around 1980 I had a good job making $75,000 per year and my wife also had a good job earning $25,000 per year salary. We had 5 children, a mortgaged house, 2 cars with car payments, a little credit card debt and all the other usual expenses. Every month we ran out of money by the end of the month, had nothing in savings and always had problems when an unexpected bill like repairs would show up. I worked a part time job/business and banked all earnings from that and built up enough nest egg to perhaps open my own business. I got the family all together and told them that I would like to open my own business because in the long run it would provide more security for the family. The business would not be able to pay me any salary for an estimated 2 years. So for the next 2 years instead of around $70,000 of take-home income we would only have around $20,000. I had worked up a budget including payments, food, clothing, insurance, utilities, etc., etc. It appeared to me that it would be possible to make it, if everyone in the family economized. No more pizza delivered, no going to the movies, no unnecessary car trips, no designer clothes, our standard of living would have to drop drastically. We would have to live on pasta, hamburger helper etc., - did everyone in the family think they could do this, given the future rewards of the family owning a business? I got a resounding YES and all family members insisted they would cease all unnecessary spending without complaint and that we would do this. So I quit my job and started the business and didn't draw any salary from it. But nothing changed in our standard of living. NOTHING! We still had steak as often, the kids still went to movies and bought popcorn and sodas, new clothes nothing changed except $50,000 per year of take-home income disappeared. And there was no indication anywhere of where it went. There was no change at all in the way we lived, we could have been putting that $50,000 into savings or investments all along. It seemed crazy. I really learned from this that you don't have much real control over income. Work hard and earn as much as you can, but what people are willing to pay you for your services or product is up to them, not you. What you actually need to live is also pretty much out of your control. If you need expensive medicine to live and have no insurance, again, you don't really have any control over that. What you do have control over is how much you want. With effective advertising being pushed at you from all sides by very smart capable marketing people, it is very easy to fall into a trap of not being happy without this or that. That is their mission - to make you feel unhappy unless you have the stuff they are selling on the cable channel. If they are more skilled at making you unhappy than you are at relaxing, enjoying life and pursuing happiness, they win. I certainly am not advocating people live at such a miserly level that it makes them unhappy. I am trying to convince you that happiness has nothing to do with acquiring or owning things. Basing a budget on what you have been spending without examining deeply what really makes you happy and what is unimportant to you is, IMHO a mistake. I live full time in a 5th wheeler because I got tired of spending my time, energy and resources maintaining a big house full of stuff. Life is so much better without all that stuff that used to own me. My income is approximately $26,000 per year social security. I have no debt, everything I need, in fact everything I want and wind up saving around $6,000 to $8,000 per year from that income. I spend my time doing whatever I wish, in an attempt to make the world a better place. I can assure you that living in an RV will require less resources than living in a house and therefore money shouldn't be a problem. If you were happy living in the house you sold, you have discovered what makes you happy and living in an RV won't change that. It will, in fact, give you more free time to enjoy being happy.
  12. My used HitchHiker came with an onboard Onan propane fueled generator. I wouldn't have ordered one as an option on a new trailer, but since it was already there . . . . I'm really glad I have it. For my lifestyle it is perfect. Uses a little less than a 14# tank of propane in 24 hours of heavy use. Will run my heat pump just fine and I spent several days at around freezing temperatures. I do have to shut down the heat pump if I want to microwave anything, but that aside, it handles everything I need. It is a little hassle to have to get one of the tanks refilled with propane every day . It is a little loud and I'm sure some neighbors might have a problem with it. My neighbors didn't mind at all, they knew it was temporary and enjoyed watching TV with the extension cord I loaned them while the power was out. If we were all crammed together boon-docking in Muir Woods or some peaceful sacred place, likely a different story.
  13. Particularly because you are familiar with HitchHikers already . . . . 1) I believe the currently manufactured 5th wheelers are not close to the HH in quality (and value) 2) Since you aren't planning to actually buy until next spring, so there is plenty of time 3) Kansas RV continually gets in used HHs and refurbishes them to whatever level you want I suggest giving Kansas RV a call, get them to watch for a particular HH that you would like and get it refurbed as you wish. Also you have lots of time to go shopping on line or through various dealers for used HHs and bargains, which could then be taken to KS RV and made like new again. Get the best of all worlds? Good luck with your adventure. I'm sure loving my version of it.
  14. I facet gemstones for a hobby. Since it's a little messy, I just built my faceting workbench into the driver's side of the closet. http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac258/Legendsk/Trailer/2016-01-25_15-21-29_989_zpsqtwd9p94.jpg http://i905.photobucket.com/albums/ac258/Legendsk/Trailer/2016-01-25_15-26-31_112_zps15k6jx8m.jpg
  15. That's my point, Zulu. If the goal is to be happy, it doesn't have anything to do with money or a budget. If the goal is to have the most (or at least as many as possible) toys when you die, then money will be one of the issues. I suppose there are those who would feel full timing in an RV is one small step up from being homeless and not at all a satisfactory way to live - and they certainly wouldn't be happy doing it. But it is certainly possible below $25,000. Each person will have to figure out what will make them happy. Living in an RV is inexpensive enough compared to living in an S&B to free up a lot of resources for other things.
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