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analogphotognomad

New Member - 50 and working on my freedom plan

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Hi, I wanted to say hello to the group here and introduce myself. I will tell you a little about my current situation and future plans and I look forward to sharing and learning from others here.

 

I ultimately decided on a full size 2500 Sprinter with the tall roof for my mobile abode. This gives me 12 feet of living space by 6 feet wide and plenty of head room (about 6'8"). I just turned 50 and all of my kids are grown. I figured now is the time to make this leap while I can and hopefully be afforded many good years ahead. I have had a younger sister and older brother pass away in the last few years and their passing made me realize how important it is to follow your heart and dreams.

 

I enjoy hiking and exploring and I have been traveling to various places for extended periods of time in a previous Sprinter for years. I knew deep in my gut that I no longer wanted all of the things that came along with owning a house and so I bought a new Sprinter at the end of last year knowing that I wanted a vehicle that would last a long time. I have been taking my time and customizing it for my needs and taking trips for a couple weeks at a time.

 

My goal is to sell my home in the prime market next Spring and move to full time status at that time. So, I want to be fully ready and able to start my journey at that time. I am fortunate that I live in an area that is desirable and homes typically sell in less than 60 days at most. I am in the process of working one room at a time (selling, donating, throwing away as appropriate). I feel on track with this and it feels good shedding all of these "things".

 

My approach for RV'ing full time is pretty basic. I am perfectly happy in wilderness with the ability to get to a small town for supplies, a hot shower, and laundry as needed. I know that good rest and eating well is very important. I have built a custom bed in my Sprinter that has a lot of storage place under it. I have a small lazy boy recliner and a desk for working. That is about the extent of my customizations. Everything is stored in Rubbermaid organizers and inventoried so I know where things are when I need them. I have an auxiliary battery setup in the sprinter to run my small refrigerator full time and I also built a 12V deep cycle battery bank that is recharged via solar. I like to have a fan to keep air moving around when it is a little warmer and I need good clean A/C power for my computer equipment. I like to watch a good movie on DVD once in a while too.

 

Next Steps:

  • I am going on this journey alone, hoping at some point to meet someone that wants to live the same way. I am a little concerned about when things like the flu bug comes up, but I am not going to let these types of thoughts hold me back. I am sure I will develop a network of friends over time.
  • I need to get my domicile plan finalized and work through the details associated with needing a physical mailing address. Any tips or advice on the typical places (SD, FL, TX) is welcomed.
  • I need to figure out a better solution for fresh water. Any tips, products or ideas would be appreciated. I don't want or need running water, just access to it for all of life's basics (cleaning, cooking, drinking, etc.). My current solution is four 5 gallon jerry cans which is not going to work long term. I envision a water tank that holds maybe 20 to 30 gallons that has a hose where I can dispense the water into containers, bottles, etc.
  • My initial plan is to follow the fair weather. I don't like extreme temperatures, so one of the benefits of being mobile is to move to a location with better weather. My ideal temperature range is 35 to 75. I plan to start out my journey spending June through September next year exploring the Rocky Mountains, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. Then when winter comes early in this area, I need to head south or southwest. My preference at this point is an area like Moab, Arches National, etc. I am open to ideas and tips for these areas.
  • I am looking for advice here from the group about the viability of RV parks and campgrounds around the areas I mentioned. Since my Sprinter is only 21 feet long, I really don't have any size restrictions. But I do need access to quality WiFi for uploading fairly large files and other remote work related requirements on a somewhat regular basis.

If you have made it this far, I appreciate your time and I look forward to learning from the group here and also helping others as well.

 

Greetings and I look forward to your response.

 

Tim

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to Escapees.

 

There will be no problems getting into ANY resort or campground, including SPs.

 

I would suggest getting an aircard or MiFi device (we have a Verizon Jetpack) for your internet and uploading needs. Most park WiFi is woefully inadequate for up loading and downloading. As the parks fill up, these speeds are even worse.

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Again, Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!

 

For ideas about how to customize your van and meet the challenges of living in a small RV, you might want to checkout the Van Dwellers Website, Cheap RV Living, and Andy Baird"s Website.

 

For information about internet access on the road, there is this recent topic and this one. You can also get a lot of good information from the websites of Jack Mayer and Technomadia.

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  • I need to get my domicile plan finalized and work through the details associated with needing a physical mailing address. Any tips or advice on the typical places (SD, FL, TX) is welcomed.

 

Since you are not yet Medicare age, I would not recommend South Dakota since health insurance for those under age 65 who do not spend at least 6 months per year in the state is next to impossible to get. And, if you can find a policy, it will be very expensive.

 

 

 

  • My initial plan is to follow the fair weather. I don't like extreme temperatures, so one of the benefits of being mobile is to move to a location with better weather. My ideal temperature range is 35 to 75. I plan to start out my journey spending June through September next year exploring the Rocky Mountains, Grand Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. Then when winter comes early in this area, I need to head south or southwest. My preference at this point is an area like Moab, Arches National, etc. I am open to ideas and tips for these areas.

 

Are you talking about the Moab area for the winter? Here's a website that shows the *average* temperatures in Moab...only you can determine whether or not it would be too cold for you during the winter. It certainly would be for us!

 

http://www.utah.com/weather/moab.htm

 

 

 

  • I am looking for advice here from the group about the viability of RV parks and campgrounds around the areas I mentioned. Since my Sprinter is only 21 feet long, I really don't have any size restrictions. But I do need access to quality WiFi for uploading fairly large files and other remote work related requirements on a somewhat regular basis.

 

 

Can't help too much with RV parks since we spend most of our time boondocking or dry camping. The last time we were in Moab, for instance, we stayed at Goose Island Campground on UT-128.

 

I agree with Medico about getting your own way of accessing the Internet...either a smartphone that you can use as a hot spot, or an aircard/MiFi device. Trying to rely on RV parks' WiFi is surely going to be a disappointing experience. If you have not already done so, you might keep track of your monthly data usage so you'll have some idea how much data you'll need to purchase from whatever wireless company you chose to go with (Verizon has the best coverage, followed by AT&T). Having your own way of accessing the Internet also means that you will not be tied to staying at RV parks with WiFi.

Edited by LindaH

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I too want to welcome you to the Escapee forums. Sharing information and supporting each other is what these forums are all about so join in as often as you wish and on any subject. More contributors make for better forums! Thank you for joining us.

 

On the issue of where to call home, I invite you to read this article about choosing a domicile which was published by Escapee's Magazine. It will probably answer some questions that you may have or it may bring to mind some that you need to ask. If you choose to become a Texan, there is a free booklet available from Escapees also. I suggest that you download a copy of How to Become a Real Texan.

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I wanted to thank everyone for your welcome messages and I look forward to learning more about you. I am getting ready to head out to RMNP and Glacier in about 2 weeks, so I am working through some planning details today. Then I need to research a better water solution that I have right now and hopefully give that a trail run during my trip. The current trip is going to be between 3 and 4 weeks, so it will be an opportunity to test some things out and to learn more.

 

Tim

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You might want to consider volunteering. We did a lot of it and it's very gratifying to give something back to places we love. It's also great to be able to live in those places with a free campsite.

 

Volunteers are needed in national and state parks and National Wildlife Refuges. On your time off you can explore on your own.

 

Since you're a photographer who likes to hike there might even be a postion in those lines. Check it out.

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Welcome. Trailertraveler beat me to the punch with links I was going to send so I'll settle for saying welcome.

 

You might also want to consider a wifi booster and/or antenna to extend your coverage but those will show up in Traveltrailer's links as well.

 

Linda Sand

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Excellent advice and idea. I will in fact start that process now, so that by next year when I am full time, I will be ahead of the game and prepared. There is a lot to learn, but it is exciting.

 

Thanks

 

Tim

 

You might want to consider volunteering. We did a lot of it and it's very gratifying to give something back to places we love. It's also great to be able to live in those places with a free campsite.

 

Volunteers are needed in national and state parks and National Wildlife Refuges. On your time off you can explore on your own.

 

Since you're a photographer who likes to hike there might even be a postion in those lines. Check it out.

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Thank you Linda. I checked out your blog and I really like your writing style. I just bookmarked your site!!

 

Tim

 

Welcome. Trailertraveler beat me to the punch with links I was going to send so I'll settle for saying welcome.

 

You might also want to consider a wifi booster and/or antenna to extend your coverage but those will show up in Traveltrailer's links as well.

 

Linda Sand

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Thank you Linda. I checked out your blog and I really like your writing style. I just bookmarked your site!!

 

Tim

 

Thanks for the compliment. You need to go read my old stuff, though, as I seldom add anything new since coming off the road.

 

Linda Sand

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