Jump to content


Validated Members
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About mptjelgin

  • Rank
    Major Contributor
  • Birthday 05/18/1960

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Medina, Texas and on the road.
  • Interests
    Birding, Photography, Hiking, Disc Golf

Optional Fields

  • SKP#
  • Lifetime Member

Recent Profile Visitors

10,044 profile views
  1. mptjelgin

    How do you feel about depreciation?

    RV's are not investments, they are depreciating assets. If you get a great deal of enjoyment from using your RV it is no worse a financial decision than spending money on cars, boats, restaurants, sports events, or whatever floats your boat. Financing an RV makes it even worse as you are paying interest on something that is rapidly decreasing in value, and as you note you may end up owing more that the item is worse.
  2. mptjelgin

    under glow body lights

    I agree!! We are seeing far too many folks in campgrounds leaving their outside lights on all night long. Why? I'd like to be able to go outside and see the stars, and not the colorful accent lighting that my neighbors (who are inside of their trailer) have decided to leave on all night. I had to step next door recently and ask our neighbor if they wouldn't mind turning off their "scare" light after 10:00 pm. It shined directly into our bedroom window the entire previous night. They were thoughtful enough to apologize and turn it off subsequent nights.
  3. mptjelgin

    Garmin GPS

    I worked for a state DOT and can tell you that the policy was to post clearances that were a couple of inches less than the actual clearances. Obviously they wanted to err on the side of caution. I can imagine that there may have been a few cases where entities may have been lax on keeping clearance signs up to date, but I'd bet that the vast majority of signage is correct. And the overwhelming majority of bridge strikes are by loads that are simply over-height. As far as build-ups, adding significant thickness to a road during a typical road repair would be extremely rare, unless they were building an area that had settled back up to the original grade, which obviously wouldn't reduce the clearance.
  4. mptjelgin

    Garmin GPS

    I don't think that you're missing anything if you are happy with what you've got. The Garmin RV units have some special capabilities regarding inputting the length and height of your trailer so the routing avoids low clearances and narrow/tight roads. The features are optimized for RV towing. I've used my RV760 for many years now and am happy with it, but there are several options for handling navigation.
  5. mptjelgin

    Future Full Timers - We think?

    I'd say that the answer is yes. We started with something just a big bigger than that, and frankly I didn't think we'd care enough for it to stick with it. We bought used and the idea was that if we didn't like it we'd sell it off and move on. We spent a lot of time camping in that trailer over the next 18 months. I learned how to fix a lot of things that are typical on an inexpensive RV, and we eventually moved up knowing a great deal more than we did when we'd started. I think it is the sensible way to go. As I said previously the odds of getting it right the first time (with regards to your RV) are slim. So you might as well try is with something inexpensive and figure it out as you go. If you could find a clean used unit you could save a lot of money as well.
  6. mptjelgin

    Future Full Timers - We think?

    We have happily full-timed for nine years now in a well-built fifth wheel trailer pulled by a single-rear wheel pickup. And until our latest purchase, that truck had a gasoline engine. As long as you watch your weights and purchase accordingly, it can be done safely and reliably. But, I see a tendency to look at bigger and bigger rigs, and wanting to carry more and more stuff, and that works against the notion of a "smaller" truck. You simply can't have it all and then put it behind a 3/4 ton truck. I really would try to figure out how to "experiment" with the RV lifestyle before you go all in. It is very difficult to get everything right the first time. We started with a 26', no slide, travel trailer (used) pulled behind our existing 1/2 ton truck. Did that for 18 months (not full time yet) and learned a ton. If you buy used and get a good price you may well be able to sell if for about what you have in it.
  7. mptjelgin

    Future Full Timers - We think?

    In terms of combined weight rating (weight of truck + trailer + passengers + stuff + etc.) the trucks are rated the same because their drivetrains (engine, transmission, etc.) are essentially the same. But the amount of weight you can put in the bed (think the weight of the fifth-wheel kingpin) is much higher on the 3500 HD than the 2500 HD, even for the single rear wheel (SRW) version. I found numbers for the 2018 Chevy's and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) for the 2500 max's out at 10000 lbs, while the 3500 SRW can go to 11,600 pounds. That extra 1600 pounds makes a big difference with a fifth wheel. Fifth wheel pins tend to be very heavy compared to travel trailer hitch weights, and all of that weight sits squarely over the rear axle. Pretty much the sole advantage of a one-ton SRW over a 3/4 ton SRW is the ability the handle that additional weight on the rear axle. Decent article on difference between SRW 3/4 ton and one-ton You are about to make some expensive purchases and knowing what all of the different weight ratings mean is hugely important. Because I promise you that the RV salesman will tell you that whatever truck you have will work, and often the truck salesmen aren't a heck of a lot better. To be honest, if you are looking at a long toyhauler loaded full of stuff even a SRW one-ton may be overloaded. You may well be creeping into dually (Dual-rear Wheel, DRW) territory.
  8. mptjelgin

    Future Full Timers - We think?

    Friendly advice: Do not buy a 3/4 ton pickup. At this point I'm not sure why they even exist, as a single-rear wheel (SRW) one-ton pickup is only a couple of hundred dollars more expensive and will have significantly more capacity on the rear axle. You'll be shocked at how easy it is to overload the rear axle on a 3/4 ton truck if you do decide to get a fifth wheel.
  9. mptjelgin

    Golf Cart a must or not for Fulltime

    I would say that more than half of the folks in the bigger "Winter Texan" parks have golf carts, but those are folks who stay for months at a time (or are permanent residents) and often have a park model or "fixed" RV that stays at the site. The golf cart typically remains at the site when they are away. Very different in my mind than what the OP described, which is spending 8 months on the road as they travel from Florida west in their Montana Fifth-wheel. The logistics of hauling a golf cart around under those circumstances is hugely different than having one at your "winter place".
  10. mptjelgin

    Majority RV & Retirement

    The average dewpoint through the summer in Abilene is 63 degrees, Austin is around 70 degrees, and Houston is 72-73 degrees. So all things considered, Abilene is pretty dry compared to points east of there.
  11. mptjelgin

    Best Cell Booster

    I haven't conducted any scientific tests, but the answer seems to be "quite close". We are using the "Hershey bar" inside antenna that came with the amp, and I find that having the phone/broadband device within several inches of the antenna is optimal. I have noticed "some" boost at a distance of a few feet but closer is better, for sure. It hasn't been an inconvenience as I usually use a headset with the phone and the broadband router lives right next to the amp anyways.
  12. mptjelgin

    Majority RV & Retirement

    The humidity may well have been 99 percent first thing in the morning, and the high temperature could have been 99 degrees at some point in the afternoon, but they did not occur simultaneously. That would have required a dewpoint of 98 degrees. The highest dewpoint ever recorded in the world was 95 degrees in Saudi Arabia, and the highest ever in the US was 91 degrees in Florida. When trying to get a feel for how humid an area is, looking at dewpoints (the amount of moisture in the air) is more informative than relative humidity which changes throughout the day depending on dewpoint and temperature. Generally speaking, most folks find dewpoints of 60 or less pretty comfortable, 65 starts to feel "sticky", and 70+ is downright uncomfortable in warm weather. Anything over 75 is downright awful. Nashville average dewpoints run in the mid-to-upper 60's during the summer, so it can certainly be a sticky place. As a contrast, Houston, TX averages 71 - 73 degree dewpoints in the summer months, and if you've lived a Houston summer you know how unpleasant that can be. Kerrville, TX (to pick a nice Hill County Town) averages about 65 degree dewpoints during the summer, so is better, and if you really want to be dry head out west to a place like Fort Stockton, TX where the dewpoint averages upper 50's during the summer. I like to use the Weatherbase site to evaluate weather in different parts of the country. It gives useful info like extreme and average highs and lows monthly, precipitation. There is more info on larger towns so if you don't find all of the fields, look for a bigger area nearby.
  13. mptjelgin

    Best Cell Booster

    This is exactly what I do. No need to go up into the roof.
  14. mptjelgin

    Best Cell Booster

    We are currently using the WeBoost Drive 4G-X and it has worked well for us. The phone/broadband device must be quite close to the inside antenna, but it gets us usable signal in areas where otherwise there is none. For instance, we are in the lower campground at Davis Mountains State Park in West Texas right now, a notorious "no cellular" area. We are getting usable broadband and voice service, but only with the amplifier.
  15. We are still using Direct TV SD on a simple, tripod mounted dish. We haven't received any communication from them regarding a need to get new equipment (or anything else for that matter). I'll be following this thread to see what/when/how this is handled.