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About SnowGypsy

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  • Birthday 07/28/1954

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    All kinds of crafts, dogs, walking, camping, and travel.

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  1. OK, the group that I am familiar with from the early 90s did do exactly that and gave "star" ratings to the different manufacturers. Maybe they changed, but I am talking nearly 30 years ago to your 10 years. They also rated the RVs as full-timer, vacation, etc. I was already familiar with RVs to a certain extent, watched over the years, and it was my opinion that the smaller manufacturers were more interested in getting the ratings, so were more accepting of the organization, buying of their "products", making "donations"......... I also know how they got that ratings sitting there first hand and watching it happen. When the organization that I was talking about got started it was one man and this is the "group" that I was talking about discussed in this forum in 2004: http://www.irv2.com/forums/f84/rv-consumer-group-ratings-6894.html I have seen this topic come up across the internet. They don't rate every model, and many people are very happy with units that they slam. It is also recommended for those that don't really know anything about RVs, but with the internet, I just don't see making the investment. The manufacturer that I worked for "earned" the 5-star designation. I see they still have it today from RV Consumer Group. I just googled and found the name of the individual that was the manufacturer and his name was J. D. Gallant. I met this man in person. Got a very bad impression of the operation at that time, and I have commented in other forums over the years, probably to include this one, on this group. J. D. Gallant: https://rv.org/pages/about-us Yep, that is him. We did more RV shopping than most being on RV #10. Both new and used RVs having looked at many RV units over the years. We bought our first in 1984. Anyone considering buying into this should search for other opinions on other forums. Gee, imagine that a $40,000 5th wheel isn't as well built as a $150,000 one! Can you full-time in a $40,000 5th wheel? Many people full-time happily in one that even costs less. Most people won't keep a unit for 15 to 20 years anyway. The group may have changed over the years, but it looks like the same one. My vote is "no", first hand accounts are always better than opinions, so if one wants to spend the money, then go for it! Some like it, but there are enough shortcomings that one needs to understand what they buying. OK, maybe it was "donations and buying products" rather than membership, but I didn't like the "business practices" that I saw at that time. A manufacturer with about 25 employees total, including both office/shop. My advice is to go to the owners' forums for the units that one is interested in and read, read, read/ask questions. Go out and look at used units of that manufacturer and see how they held up. Never consider an RV an "investment". There are more buyers for that $40,00 5th wheel when you decide to unload it then the $150,000 one with some time on the road.
  2. Do they still offer memberships to manufacturers? I remember when they first started, and they did have manufacturers that bought memberships. I know some of the manufacturers would not give them the time of day, especially the larger ones who didn't need a "rating" from the organization. I remember the info they first started out with, and it was of some benefit as at that time, there wasn't the wealth of information that is available online now. Even in the beginning, I found the info already outdated as the industry moves along quickly with models, improvements, finding cheaper ways of doing something, etc. I had the benefit of working for a small direct sale manufacturer at that time and watching a visit and really being "the fly on the wall" in this case. I just didn't think much of the whole thing.
  3. I would not use Drano or Liquid Plumber. I usually use hot water, vinegar and maybe baking soda trying one or two of those together. I have a small plunger that I use on the sink drain to speed it up if necessary, so that might be an option. Vinegar usually cuts soapy residue especially with a hot water chaser.
  4. I realize co-ops are different than Rainbow Parks, but because we have the 3rd adult (our son with Down syndrome), I either read the "rules and regulations" if online or called the co-ops (2 that didn't have info readily available online. Both of them danced around it never really saying "yes" or "no", kind of coming up with other issues we might have that would prevent us from joining the co-op. It didn't give me the best feeling, and I understand the choice is entirely theirs. I am arrogant enough to write it off as their loss and not ours! I wish they would have just come out and said "no". Obviously, I'm not going to choose a co-op over our son. We are looking hard at whether we will continue our membership which is due next month. We have looked at activities with the different groups. We, like some others, aren't into potluck and alcohol which can leave one on the "side lines". We often don't "fit" which is fine. I sort of fell in love with the original idea of the Escapees. Many things up close aren't the way they appear from a distance. We have met a handful of really nice people that belong to the Escapees, and really appreciate those like Kirk that work diligently to keep this forum afloat. We were considering attending the Escapade in Wyoming, but it a lot of money to sit on the side lines, so.................. We don't fit in a group which is fine, probably better than fine.
  5. We became interested in Escapees when we were in our 30s, a good 30 years ago. We came here trying to figure out how to go full-time and have jobs. At that time, more than one person said that we needed to "earn" it like they did and wait until we retired. It seemed like every time I asked a question then, I just got some smart remark about not having earned....... I also agree that those with cheaper rigs or lesser funds to buy a rig need to be just as welcome as anyone else. I see so much criticism when someone mentions a rig not considered for "full-time" in their opinion. Having lived full-time among others off and on, I can tell you that I have seen people full-timing in every possible variation of RV imaginable, and it works for them. I have heard that The Ranch has that "spirit" that first interested us in the Escapees. There is so much information and experience that can be shared here, and a warm welcome despite someone's "circumstances" would certainly not hurt! I am afraid that the "spirit" is wilting, but much of that is due to the changes in the world in general. Cheap RV Living has an active forum which is a good resource for those with lesser means, younger ages, etc. Lessons could be learned from their forum. An attitude of tell me your circumstances/what you have to work with and I'll share the knowledge/experience I have to try to help you make it work would show some true "spirit" IMHO. Kirk: I know the "spirit" that you speak of. There still are Escapees out there with that, and I feel sorry for those that don't get what the Escapees "Spirit" is. I read the books and articles about and by the Petersons, and once emailed Kay and got a very nice response. I try to show that "spirit" in my life, a Golden Rule thing for me.
  6. If I had an insurance man that I trusted, I would talk it over with him, since it will not be on your property or in paid storage elsewhere, that would probably require some extra rider or something.
  7. I get tired of people who breaks laws whining when they get caught. Seriously, maybe take the safety of others on the roads that will be traveled into consideration. Once stopped for an infraction of the law, one is opening themselves up to scrutiny, so maybe just check everything and make sure laws are not being broken from the get-go. The things I have seen on the road........... Good website for understanding weights: http://changingears.com/rv-sec-tow-vehicles-understand.shtml I googled to read some articles on this, and what I found was lists of RV forums where people were asking if they would have issues towing overweight. They seem to want reassurance that it will be OK from others doing it. What else I saw was attorneys advertising reference being in an accident with an RV and it turning out to be overweight, so that comes into play. There are a number of accidents that RVs are involved in. I hope they catch and ticket every last person that is towing overweight! As more RVs are on the road, more accidents taking place involving them, others will be demanding that something be done. That is the way it works when people cheat, everyone pays in the end! People seeking reassurance that they can break the law without consequences? I have nothing positive to say about that.
  8. What information are you finding overwhelming? Have you looked at the manufacturers' websites at floor plans, lengths, and weights? I'd look at this: https://www.etrailer.com/question-303461.html as seems a relevant discussion or maybe this: https://www.odyclub.com/threads/whats-the-largest-camper-or-rv-honda-odyssey-2011-can-pull-any-ideas.244497/ How long is the "initial" drive? I am wondering what trailers you have been considering. Some of the manufacturers' websites have "RV Finder" (I have seen them at several sites) where you put in your perimeters, and a list of those that would work comes up. Forest River's RV Finder: https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/rv-finder (not recommending them, but they have the biggest lineup) Good luck!
  9. I think the more one spends, the more they expect, which is reasonable. This does give us "pause" though since we were planning a trip next week to look at GD. We did see another video where a floor area near the bathroom entrance had to be ripped out and replaced, again it was OSB (not a fan of that myself). It was interesting to watch the person dig through that insulation trying to see if there was a leak. One thing I find irritating is that construction details are nearly impossible to get as photos and brochures are mostly fluff: "king size bed", "oven", "stereo system", etc. Roof decking? Roof membrane? Rarely do they tell you exactly what that is. I consider, for the most part, like everything else anymore, "luck of the draw". If someone is only looking at the lifestyle short term (2 to 4 years), I recommend either used or entry level. The good thing about entry level is that there is a market after a couple of years whereas those high dollar ones, tons on the market, especially fifth wheels which do not seem to be in demand as a new one, maybe not of the same quality but all shiny, clean with new appliances, etc., can be bought for less than the used higher end. Spend enough time in a used one to get a feel for any offensive odors as they can be VERY hard to impossible to get rid of. So, thanks for the video and other comments here.
  10. I can beat all of the examples! Someone with a larger dog appeared to have taken up the throw rugs the dog had used for a toilet, big potty, and put them in the washer without shaking them out. It fell on the floor, was in the washer and the dryer. This person also routinely washed his containers with chewing tobacco in. I am currently washing our clothes daily in a Scrubba and using a spin dryer to get them dry enough to dry within a couple of hours after seeing one of the contractor scoop a pile of filthy, greasy clothing from the back of his truck to wash. Another big issue with contractor presence can be tar. It doesn't hurt to carry a container of bleach wipes, always checking before placing anything in the washer or dryer. Sadly, many of the laundry mats are in less than great areas of a city, and in one city, it was the clearinghouse for the illegal drug trade. I agree with the others, check for reviews, but that will probably be limited for some areas.
  11. We use the cheap Camco ones as I just feel better about changing them from time to time. We insulated ours for winter and then just left the insulation on. Used the lengths of pipe insulation, Reflectix and a good tape - that is the standard here. I have heard those cool ones that coil up do not last very long, and they are expensive, and have not heard good things about the ones that come "heated" for winter. In the AZ desert, the water came out of the ground lines very hot! (The freeze line there is not deep at all, but where the freeze line is deeper, the water isn't as hot coming into the hose.) So much depends on location.
  12. Thanks for sharing! I have always wanted to go to Wyoming, so this is one that is more attractive than some of the others to me.
  13. Personally, I would give the Bullet a thumbs down. I have heard that Northwoods isn't what it used to be (of course, none of them are, and yes, kind of junk compared to what they used to be), and I often wonder if their higher price has more to do with the cost of transportation of goods into the state and the higher wages paid there which doesn't add to the value. There was a Cedar Creek by that Outdoor one in the park, and from the outside I saw no remarkable difference for the money. Keep in mind that those that advertise the most pass those costs onto the consumer. We are currently considering, and planning to go out of town to look at a Grand Design Imagine XLS. The insulation sounds really good. We have done 3 winters in central KS in a Hi-Lo, so we know quite a bite about wintering. Will you be in an RV Park? In winter areas, they usually insulate and heat tape their water connections. You can do a DIY insulated water hose. When temps remain below freezing during the day, with or without a wind, it can be very unpleasant. A hairdryer is a nice thing to have for frozen anything, and Reflectix is well worth its cost when it comes to covering windows, even backing cupboards or skirting an area. A lot of contractors are forced to winter here due to current projects. OK, looked at your other post and you plan to put this next to your house while renovating. Keep in mind that RVs depreciate very quickly as to avoid disappointment when you are ready to sell, think "Major" disappointment as you'll probably lose 25% of whatever you pay for it when trying to sell it, and depending on the market, it may be difficult to sell with so many used units on the market although that is area dependent to some degree.
  14. We have always wanted to go to an Escapade, for decades actually. Next year, it will be in Wyoming which is very doable for us. I'm just torn as to whether to plan for it. We have been living full-time in our TT and planning to upgrade and having been stalled by trying to find a residential placement for our adult son with Down syndrome, we have decided it is just do with him or simply give up and return to a house. So, we are in KS and will spend the winter here, so Wyoming will be close, and if we go with full-timing we will have a new RV at that time to test out on the road. Since we are unsure at this point, and tickets are already on sale, I am wondering if we decide late what our options might be as for us, plans are very fluid at this point. We have 10 RVs of different sorts since the mid-80s, so know a LOT about RVing in general, even living full-time in an RV. We are both military veterans, so have traveled and lived in a few different places. I'm wondering if others who have attended an Escapade can tell me what specifically they found enjoyable or valuable to them while attending. I think this might make an interesting conversation for others also. We became interested in the full-timing lifestyle 30 years ago when we lived in the Tucson area, and the lifestyle has morphed quite a bite since that time. (young people, mobile workers, contractors with or without families and some miscellaneous types.)
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