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About mds1

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    Kansas City Missouri

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  1. Cedar Creek vs Montana 5th wheel

    EverywhereMan, Both those trailers are in our top 6. Do you have any idea if Keystone changed the Legacy in 2018.5, dropping the MorRyde pin and 4100 suspension? A video showed the 3560 without them but it was not a legacy. The non-legacy package Montana used to have the MorRyde pin and 3000 suspension. As a side not, Keystone bought Redwood. The 340/3401RL might be a good replacement for the Keystone Big Sky they used to build. But with 8,000 axles, H rated tires, nice pin and the larger drum brakes with disc option. Sorry, don't mean to take the thread off topic. You and I appear to be shopping in the same price point. And a loaded Montana is in the same price point as the Redwood 340RL. But, it remains to be seen if Keystone does anything with the Redwood brand. I'm hoping they don't drop it like they did the Big Sky.
  2. Best RV Park - Texas Gulf Coast

    Thanks for the lead on Drifters Resort. We will be leaving from Missouri our first winter on the road and am leaning heavily towards southern Texas for that first winter.
  3. Thanks again for the replies. I told my wife one thing we should avoid once we come off the road is making a one time large withdrawal from our 401K plan for the purpose of buying a new home. For one, that would increase the portion of social security that is taxed that year. So whatever we decide to keep in savings for a new home would preferably be a solid decision we plan to stick with.
  4. Excellent replies - thank you, We are not yet full time but hope to make it at least a six year journey. We have ideas what we will do at the end of it all. So, after our stick and bricks sells we are placing some of the proceeds in savings/investments. Selling the truck and fifth wheel would be added to those funds. If we had to make the decision today we would most likely rent something (near a lake) to avoid the maintenance needs. We should be able to pay the rent from then current income. But if we decided to buy a new sticks and bricks: To fund this we have a idea of what money we would have available six years from now. We looked at current real estate adds to find out what that money would buy today, less inflation, to make sure we could live in something similar. We also included what we thought we might need for furnishings and a new daily driver. As a previous poster stated, we will make the decision if and when it comes. Personally, we are hoping to just replace the rig if necessary to stay on the road and decide later what to do. One area I've not figured out is a withdrawal schedule for tax deferred investments as that effects taxes. But that's another topic. Also have been keeping a list of what others did when they came off the road for ideas!
  5. My wife and I are saving to go full time in an RV. For the sake of discussion, we are planning to stay on the road for at least six years. We know the time will come when we have to decide to move back into a sticks and bricks home, rent something or hopefully replace our RV. What plan did you guys follow knowing you might be faced with maybe buying another home or a replacement RV in the future?
  6. Interesting article, thanks for posting it. As the original poster's thread is titled When to Take Social Security, Another Consideration I suppose it's okay to add another detail which my wife and I considered. She is older than me. Even at age 65 her social security benefit is less than mine at age 62. If I was to die before her, she would take my benefit because of the higher payment. So she took hers at 62. I'll decide later if I take mine before full retirement age. We can use the extra money now as we are saving for my own retirement. If we did not need her social security as part of our financial plan she probably would have still taken hers at 62, although the 8% (or whatever it is) that her payment would have grown per year if she delayed taking the benefit is attractive. The way I understand social security is the government has a formula where they consider life expectancy. The intention is to pay out the same total amount regardless if you take social security at 62 or not. If I did the math correctly, it takes about 12 years, after full retirement age, to see any net "benefit" of having waited until full retirement age. For me, should I die before age 79 then it would not have been a good idea to delay taking social security later than age 62. Few males in my family make it into the 80's. However, my wife's family has better longevity and it would be nice to leave her with a higher benefit if she uses mine after death. Then again, she is older than me so might be a mute point. The article does bring up a good point, in my humble opinion, in terms of taking money from investments (stocks) at the wrong time rather than taking social security. But it seems like the stock market is getting harder to understand when comparing it to historical data, such as what a stock is trading at compared to earnings per share. Over-valued stock markets seem to not scare a lot of people. It scares me and my financial guy who is still waiting for a market correction with about 40% available investment money now sitting in cash. Sucks because we are missing out on the current growth trend in the market. But sure will not suck when the correction does come and he is able to buy stock with that 40% at a better price. One also has to consider the tax consequences of withdrawing 401K/IRA assets as well as the consequences of having to pay taxes on at least a portion of social security depending on what your gross earned income is each year.
  7. Class of 2019

    Well Skeet, it's you, tjsmiles and me in the 2019 group so far. We appear to be in the same boat as we are also fixing up the house and purchasing our rig in late 2018 or early 2019. Got some vacation time to burn up so we will be using the fifth wheel for that before going fulltime before the winter of 2019. We had thought about selling the house early as they are selling fast here in Kansas City. But, the house is paid off this year so an apartment would be more expensive on a monthly bases. We decided to do our best to get the house ready to sell by the spring of 2019 and maybe stay in the fifth wheel. Hope to hear from you here on the forum as you get closer to getting things done. Mark
  8. Brakes in 35'-42' 5r

    We looked at a Redwood 3401RL which has a gross weight capacity of 17,900 pounds. The trailer is 37' long. Sales Manager at the dealership said it has larger drum brakes than what comes standard on others. You can order the disc brakes as an option but they are not Kodiak's. I know disc brakes are preferred but wonder if they are less a concern in a 16,500 trailer compared to one at 20,000 pounds?
  9. CLASS OF 2016

    Rav, Where did you purchase your Bighorn? Hope the warranty repairs did not take two months? I appreciated your point that plans are just ideas. Suppose a big part of the RV lifestyle is developing the habit of just letting them come as they will and make adjustments.
  10. Quality VS Speed

    Awesome story Lou! Wonder why the company folded? I'm going to look that up. Suppose the values after the owner left did not continue on. - Update: Found this article on Mr. Perch and many others. Founder of what became the world's largest RV company. According to the article. They eventually sold the business to another it would appear.
  11. Quality VS Speed

    When we toured the factory at Augusta RV last year I found out they pay their workers by the hour. According to the company representative we visited with, Augusta sometimes has a hard time finding employees at an hourly rate because the piece workers earn more. After reading the Reuters article I'm now wondering what percentage of Augusta's employees are those that no longer want the stress on their bodies. And if those are the more experienced employees? The company representative we met with said she had worked for one of those companies (Forest River) who paid by the piece and she was glad to be away from it. On a side note, the representative said they have a check list as the unit is built so they know which employee installed what in the event of issues. They encourage employees to take the time to build it correctly. Not sure if that is working out for them or not. I understand New Horizons pays by the hour as well. The article mentions a move by LCI away from work paid by the piece: "Southern’s employer, LCI, is one of the industry players taking steps to try to make the work more appealing. Nick Fletcher, chief human resources officer, says when he arrived four years ago, turnover at the company was over 100 percent. It’s now less than 40 percent, and he expects it to continue falling. Fletcher has been on a campaign to end the piece rate system, which “doesn’t incentivize workers to be safe or produce high quality,” he says. More than 75 percent of the company’s workers are now on fixed hourly pay, averaging about $17.50, he says." LCI is Lippert is it not? I understand Lippert owns a lot of the patents in the RV industry. Now I'm wondering how many of their parts, to include frames, are now being built by hourly employees. Maybe an employee at an RV assembly plant can now more easily move to an hourly job with a parts vendor. That would create more competition for employees and maybe force employers into better working conditions. This all starts with the top management. One has to wonder where their hearts are at. It would be easy to assume they are just after profit. They sure switch out key management a lot it seems. Especially as relatively speaking, these RV companies are not old. An example are the Keystone founders who left to create Grand Design only to sell out to Winnebago a short time later. They can build a better product at a lower cost. They just have to think it's important. Dr. Deming showed the Japanese how to do it after World War II in the auto industry. That forced the US auto industry to change their ways. Quality is Job One - that's the logo Ford Motor came up with after Deming turned them around. Quality means striving for zero imperfections and eliminating waste, especially employees time rebuilding something that is faulty. The concept may go against the ways of some executives who seem to care less. That may hurt their long-term survivability. Really an interesting article despite the political points. Thank you to the original poster for letting us know about it.
  12. Class of 2017

    Congratulations Eric!!! I have always wondered if moving into a new 5th wheel is similar to moving into a new sticks and bricks where it takes 6 months before it feels like home? Although going full time, downsizing and moving around the country adds a few new dynamics. I trust what others say which is after the first year or so it all becomes more second nature.
  13. mickeleit, I cannot answer your question directly, but have been considering medical coverage over the past two years or so. Nationwide coverage is on it's way out for us who are not Medicare eligible. My own situation is my wife will be Medicare eligible within 9 months of us hitting the road. I'm not sure but am considering using a COBRA benefit for that 9 month period after I leave my job. I have been building up our health savings account as well, hoping to have a stash of cash there for future expenses. For myself, I'll be providing my own health insurance for several years. I'm considering several options right now. One is to start seeing a doctor in my current home state who does not except insurance. This Direct Medical Care plan is an example. As we plan to travel "home" at least twice a year I could see the doctor there for more routine services which are sharply discounted. The doctor also offers medical care online through video chatting. Maybe I could then enroll in a high deductible "catastrophic" plan for more extreme needs. We are looking at Texas as well for coverage, but from what I've been reading Florida is the most likely place to find a possible nationwide coverage plan. I do however worry about handling emergencies and what each plan might offer. Right now, with a lack of nationwide plan coverage options, there is risk here. Not so much for my wife but for me who will have no Medicare coverage. Personally, I'm not going to let that risk stop me from going full time in an RV. For me, it is not an answer to just say work until I'm 65. Fortunately I am healthy today. I suppose if that changes in the next two years before we leave full time, then I might reconsider. Some of the best reading regarding full timer health care can be found on the Wheelingit blog. This would be a good time to get with your state senator as they review the current healthcare bill. Some already are aware there is a very big cap in the plan for those wishing to retire early. I'm not meaning to get political here. We are considering Texas as a domical for many reasons which include it being close to our home state of Missouri where many of our family members live. I'll let you know if I find a plan with nationwide coverage - but doubt that will happen any time soon. I'm making a list of alternatives which include the above mentioned as well as discounted ways for medications, what Mexico offers for dental and vision, what other doctors are out there in Texas (or wherever) who don't except insurance but discount their rates. I'm also considering a plan B in the event of a medical emergency until I could return to my local health care coverage. Frankly, I do not care to donate a life savings to a doctor or a hospital. But would like to be stabilized before returning home. Regardless, it's going to be expensive and a risk in this life style. It's a big topic. Sorry I can't answer about Texas or South Dakota. It will most likely change anyway in the next year.
  14. Class of 2019

    Kirk, a friend also suggested attending the Escapade rally in Sedalia Missouri. How does that work should we not own the RV by then? I assume we would have to also decide to become members of Escapees which is most likely in our future anyway. We just don't have a reason to take advantage of the benefits of membership in full until we start to travel more frequently.
  15. Class of 2019

    Thought I would get a Class of 2019 thread up and running. Come along and join. It will be interesting to compare each other’s preparations and share in your successes leading to 2019. Here is Karen’s and my story so far; We stated planning in September of 2014 and found the Escapees forum shortly thereafter. We figured moving full time to an RV would be the best way to see the country. We never planned to retire in our current home which we will likely sell in the spring of 2019. My separation date from my current employer is no later than November 2019 or as early as July of that year. Karen has already “retired.” We both enjoy the outdoors, having considerable time under our belts tent camping. Owned a popup camper then a 30’ travel trailer which we sold some time ago. After much consideration, we have decided on a fifth wheel towed by a dually truck. Or plan is to purchase the rig well before we leave full time and burn up weeks of vacation getting used to it. After traveling around for a while, we plan on workamping or volunteering. So far, we have not set a domicile state but the Escapees location in Livingston Texas sure looks promising. We currently live on the north side of Kansas City Missouri. Mark and Karen