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About ToddF

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Burnsville, MN
  • Interests
    Biking, Half Timer, Bichon Frise fan

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  1. Wow, Brian and Barb's blog is filled with great info on TT and a 2019 update that shocks me if it's true. No more zone pass sales after 2019? (That means I'll have to come up with a Plan B). We were camping primarily in the Fall (Sept-Dec) so parks are never full. Makes it so easy to make reservations and the atmosphere is more laid back. We've been as far North as Wells Maine (a really nice park with great staff) and as far South as Punta Gorda (Trails Collection (TC) add on). The park in Punta Gorda is absolutely beautiful. Only stayed there a few nights to get a feel for the area, but the TC add on allowed a free stay. Our average nightly cost has been in the $15-$25 night range taking into account the $425 zone pass fee + $199 (now $214) TC add on. It will be interesting to see what transpires when our zone pass contract expires in Sept 2020. I like the TT system and will buy a lifetime membership if I have to. I am aware of the resale market so will need to "shop around" before buying. When you buy direct from TT, you pay a lot as Barb and Brian point out. But you might get more parks then you would on an older contract.
  2. We signed up in Fall '16 for 4 years (Zone pass 2 zones) for $425. Then added Trails collection when they rolled out that program. My plan is to not renew next Fall and go a year without it. I'm using a "bunching" strategy and cramming in a couple of big trips before this last year runs out. (Unlimited stays!). Will stick mostly around the Midwest for the 20/21 camping season and use Escapee parks. Then will probably buy a Zone pass for the Northwest and Southwest in the Spring of 2021 and explore the West coast. 14 day stays are great, we don't need 21 or 28 nights in one spot, so I'm leaning against buying a lifetime membership when our zone passes expire. The trails collection added over 100 parks to our "menu". It sure has worked out well being able to stay in the NE and SE zone plus all the 55+ parks in Texas and Arizona.
  3. I don't think my tax clients would be too happy if I didn't show up for tax season. 😨
  4. Article in this mornings WSJ citing declining RV sales... https://www.wsj.com/articles/one-countys-rv-industry-points-to-recession-around-the-bend-11566207001?shareToken=staf650b0e33f1463e8a38cfe7ada4cfbc I'm in the camp (pardon the pun) that RV sales have boomed and were bound to settle down. Yes, they're down, but from what numbers? No regrets on buying new in '16. I was well aware that this monster would be a "depreciating asset" as many of the comments suggest. I didn't buy it to make money or build my 401K. Leaving on a 4 month trip on Sept 3 and looking forward to getting a lot of use out of my TT zone pass with trails collection! Bookings for this Fall season have gone well as usual, now that the kiddies are back in school, I don't think the parks are as busy based on past trips. Orlando confirmed for 14 days checking in Oct 16. Trip to start in MN and head out East to the Poconos, Jersey Shore, Lancaster area then down to Orlando and then move West to Phoenix area. (Plan to stay in the Gulf Shores area for a week at the state park, a week at Rainbow Plantation in Summerdale then over to San Antonio at Travelers world.)
  5. Is this still for sale? Can you send me pics and more info.
  6. Timothy Lake South (E Stroudsburg) is a big park. Many of their sites are in an open area without a lot of trees, FHU. There are some narrower winding roads up the mountain, but as long as you are comfortable with that, should be able to do it. The park is very well maintained and secluded yet only a short drive from some of the sites in the area like the Bushkill Falls, Milford area etc. As you approach Milford heading N on 209, there is a NPS falls but you don't want to take your RV in there. (Bushkill is privately owned and worth the admission in my opinion). I lived in Milford for a short time when I was 15, love the area. https://www.visitbushkillfalls.com/ If you head up I-84 through Port Jervis, Thousand Trails has nice parks in Accord NY then 167 miles to Sturbridge, then 130 miles to Moody Beach RV Park in Wells Maine, then 138 miles back South to Gateway to Cape Cod in between Boston and Cape Cod. Most of these parks have sites that can accommodate large rigs, but you'll need to check with each park to make sure. We use the Thousand Trails NE Zone pass to visit this area. Don't miss the parks along the Jersey Shore (there are 3 or 4).
  7. ToddF


    Minnie Winnie 31G worth a look. The bunk beds give 2 folks their own sleeping area, nice layout. Bath has 2 doors. Comfy bed over cab. We have a 31D which could also sleep 6 but they don't make that floorplan anymore.
  8. We'd all be money ahead if we did the same. 🤥
  9. Either way you will have maintenance. I would look around and buy what suits you. Just expect a lot of maintenance the first year or two. In the case of used, you'll be fixing things the previous owner deferred maintenance on or things that just break in time. With new, you work out all the bugs that inevitably come with a new rig. Either way, build it into your plans and you won't be disappointed. May the adventures begin!
  10. Here's a local dealer with a nice inventory of rental units... (Twin Cities MSP MN) https://www.brambillasinc.com/default.asp?page=xRentalInventory The Winnebago 31G has bunk beds and a bed over the cab for the kids. Maybe they have monthly rates, not sure. I would avoid LAX and fly into Minneapolis, it's a beautiful drive out to the parks you want to visit and only takes a couple of days to get out to Yellowstone. Sounds like a fun trip, my parents took us (5) kids on a 6 week camping trip when I was 13...we packed tents and sleeping bags in a station wagon and mixed in a few cabins/motels in between camping.
  11. Some dealers at the upcoming Hershey RV show have units set up for test drives during the show. We went through this process in '16 at the show, I test drove a Ford Transit and was disappointed. It just wasn't what I expected. We ended up buying a new Minnie winnie on Ford E450 which handles great with the rear airbags. Be sure to test drive and head out to Hershey PA in Sept if you are able, it is a big show.
  12. My only suggestion is to give yourself a bigger window (2 years?) to travel and enjoy and explore (as you have laid out) before buying. Once you get going, you'll see how much there is to see out there and you would have more time to experience different areas before settling. We are still working part-time, but started serious rving in Oct '12 and still have no idea where we would settle if we left MN.
  13. With 3 children and part-time work, your income tax liability may be very low to zero. But you will most likely have to file in any state from which you have a W2. What was your health insurance situation in MN prior to making the switch? I travel only a few months per year but decided to sign up for "dial care" which I can use nationwide in conjunction with my short term (3 years) health care policy that became an option on 10-1-18. It is low cost and gets me "in" if I need services and the negotiated rates versus list price. I am happy with it, through United Healthcare. My former coverage through Health Partners was very limited when traveling, and even in MN when I needed to see a dermatologist, they said 6 months wait, so I found my own and only 2 week wait and he was great.
  14. Plan update...we sold our 2nd home 2 weeks ago and banked quite a bit of cash furthering our plans to fully retire at 62. (58/60 now). Reverse mortgages are a good option for those in their late 60's or beyond (my opinion) with no other options. In our case, we are unlikely to ever have to tap the equity in our primary residence which is paid off. Owning 2 homes and an RV became too much of a stretch on many fronts. Financial, maintenance, general hassles of trying to keep everything straight. Got a taste of the freedom many who go full time talk about in terms of getting rid of unwanted and underused possessions, streamlining affairs etc. It is absolutely wonderful! Our primary residence is a town home - very little outside maintenance. We can lock up and go anytime for as long as we like. One of the lessons we are learning pre-retirement is that we like our home base in MN and don't want to relocate or go FT. Our general theme is to simplify and streamline. Seems obvious but boy do we see some doozies...
  15. We rented out our 2nd home as we started rving and weren't using it in the summer months. The wear and tear from good renters was more than I could bare...never again. Place has been sold as we are rving now.
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