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mds1

Class of 2019

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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

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17 hours ago, mds1 said:

We currently live on the north side of Kansas City Missouri.

You might want to consider attending the next Escapade which will be at the MO state fairgrounds in Sedalia the last week of May 2018.

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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.

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Actually, there are always some people who attend that do not own an RV and who stay in a motel or hotel nearby. And you do not have to be a member of Escapees, but do pay more to attend if you are not, and the vast majority of attendees are also Escapees. 

A very popular thing with new members and with those who are getting ready to buy an RV is to attend the Escapee Boot Camp that takes place just before the Escapade begins. It is a good way to learn before you buy and you could then stay over and participate in the rally as well. 

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ok we will sign up for 2019 class. My husband retires in Jan. 2019 planning putting home up for sale spring of 2019 and hopefully it will sell by summer then we are off on our adventure !  We too did the tent camping for years then on to pop-ups then to a 25 ft. TT then in 2015 we bought our 2015 Grand Design Reflection 337RL 5th Wheel and a 2014  3500HD Chevy Silverado.  Figured better get it then so we could have it close to being paid off by the time we fulltime. We are excited, but sometimes getting everything lined up seems a bit overwhelming and our 2 sons which are both married and yes we have grand babies are just a little unsure of our decision. This will be great knowing people that will be going thru the preparation around the same time! Great idea! Thanks TJ

 

 

 

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I might as well join the class of 2019.  DW and I retired  in our 50's... in 2008. I've been reading this site (and many others) since 2007. We are hoping to put the house on the market spring of 2019.  Gotta huge amount of work to do on the house before then.....but are determined to plow thru it.

We both had jobs in the transportation industry...I had a delivery area in 5 states and my wife is a retired railroad conductor. We love seeing whats over the next hill and are excited about 2019.

We have tent camped, backpacked and rented motorhomes in the past. We are planning on purchasing a class A in late 2018/ early 2019.

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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

 

Edited by mds1

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Mark, I live in SW Washington state...about 35  miles north of Portland, OR. Real estate prices started going insane here about 16 months ago. I'm hoping it'll still be a sellers market in spring of 2019.

The falls rains should start here soon...so that means about 40-50 inches of rain .....between Oct to April. It's green year round...but ya sure pay for it. The summers can be wonderful ..I only used my AC in the house ...about 7 days this year.

We plan on chasing 70 degree weather when we fulltime. We're not as tough as you Kansas people...when it comes to heat/humidity

If you've never been out this way....you should put it on your list. Lots of mountains, streams and the ocean is only about 90 minutes away. If you want to experience temps in the 70's in August... the Washington coast would be the place to be.  I'm starting to sound like I work for the state vistors bureau. Take care......

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You can add my wife and I to this Class of 2019.  I'll be retiring in the summer of 2019. 523 days , but who's counting! Hopefully we'll be off and running in the RV shortly thereafter.  We're heading to FLA this summer to purchase a place for snow birding. We've had our 40' DP for 5 years now and we so look forward to full-timing in it.  Currently here in NH, the RV in storage (sad face), and counting the days until we can take her on our first 2018 trip.  Over the winter I have been (not quite finished yet) installing 1300w of solar and 600ah of lithium batt, and associated chargers/inverters, etc.  it's been an exciting project so far. BLM here we come!

We'll need to put the townhouse on the market in early summer, but the market is good up here at the moment, so not to worried.

-Mike

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5 minutes ago, CigarBoy said:

  We're heading to FLA this summer to purchase a place for snow birding. We've had our 40' DP for 5 years now and we so look forward to full-timing in it.

-Mike

Congratulations on making the decision. It's a wonderful lifestyle!  I don't understand though why you will purchase something already. There are great states to investigate rather than going to the same place all the time.  Just wondering....

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Hi 2gypsies, thanks for the feedback.

we had decided earlier to 'domicile' with FLA, and as we discussed more, DW felt she didn't want to "live in the desert" for 2 or 3 winter months, but would rather have a small place such as a manufactured home, with the RV port right out the side door.  A place for the kids to come spend the Christmas Holidays, a place to be 'ours' when we get to me too old (no IDEA what that age is yet) to fulltime RV. Who knows, we may love SOOO much to be in the RV 365 days, that we never use the place.

Plus I have family in FLA, and nearby GA and SC.

But great question, thank you for putting that thought out there!

-mike

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Just reporting back after my last post about seven months ago. We are still on schedule to purchase our truck sometime this summer or early fall. Maybe the fifth wheel in September or perhaps holding off until spring as we would not use it much the first winter.  We have narrowed down our list of fifth wheels to a common rear living room and the shorter floor plans (35' to 37') are most attractive. We have our top five trailers picked out and a few are separating from the pack. We feel comfortable buying the truck first because it will be a dually diesel and we know the weights of the trailers we are interested in.  Will be using the truck early while downsizing and fixing up the house.  We will be trading in or selling off at least one of our two family cars with the truck. Once the wife gets used to the truck we may sell off her car. Work provides a take-home car for me so that's an advantage should be decide to downsize to just the truck.

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8 hours ago, mds1 said:

Just reporting back after my last post about seven months ago.

Thanks for the update! I enjoy hearing of other's experiences as it helps me relive my own.  :)

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Hello Class of 2019. Just joined site and this is the first post. Not much of a joiner, but I have been following forum and thought I might pipe in. Here is our short story:

We retired in 2016, sold everything and moved to Mexico. Although living here is great, we decided to start a new chapter in life by full timing and seeing the US before age catches up on driving ability. We "plan" on going to Texas in January, buy a used mid-length, mid-range fifth wheel along with appropriate tow vehicle. From there who knows? Originally from Florida, I'm sure we will do some long term stays there, visiting family. Also have family in Alabama, Virginia, Kansas, and California. Hope to make a few loops of the US. Have been studying forums for some time and getting insightful info. Thanks to the contributors and hope to meet some of you in the future.

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Hello all! Me and herself are new to The RV lifestyle....sort of. A long time ago in a galaxy far far away... (2006 to be precise) we decided to take our dream vacation to Alaska. Hmmm how to do it? Well rent an RV of course. Now I had never even been in an RV much less slept/lived in one. But what the heck, how hard could it be to live/drive one around Alaska for 5 weeks? So I did some research and Made reservations to rent one from Great Alaskan Vacations.

We flew into Anchorage and they picked us up at the airport gave us an orientation video and the keys to a brand new 29' Winne Chalet class C (no slides). And off we went!

I'll just say it was the most excellent vacation of our lives! I made no reservations except for the ferry to Sitka and 3 nights at the Teklanika campground in Denali. Other than that we just winged it. Again did I say it was the most excellent vacation in our lives! Went to the Yukon, Dawson City, Whitehorse, Traveled the Top of the World Highway to Chicken. Haines, Haines Junction, Skagway, Tok, Fairbanks, Chena hot springs, Homer, Seward, and everywhere in between!

After we got back I could not get over what an excellent time we had living in the RV. The lifestyle for that 5 weeks was great. So now 12 years later its almost time to leave the work a day world and plan the rest of our lives or the next part of our lives and fulltiming in an RV is the the plan. Still doing research on the RV....Too many to choose from!

Great forums here and am learning a lot! I'm sure I will have many many questions and hoping that you experienced folks will make this transition as smooth as possible. Or as smooth as changing your way of life can be. [emoticon]

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Welcome to the forum Grizz1. Your Alaska trip sounded wonderful. Way to go getting out there and just taking the leap, renting an RV and taking off!

There really are to many brands of RVs out there. Confusing stuff to pick one out.  I've come to believe in general you get what you pay for. Keep us posted on your hunt.

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Thanks for the welcome Mark! Well I think I have at least narrowed it down to a Motorhome,  DP in the 40' range.  Still on the fence between new and used, slightly leaning new. I agree you do get what you pay for....but what to pay for is the question! :)

Craig

 

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Add us to the Class of 2019!  Our goal is to be FT by January 2019 if all goes according to plan.  We are in the process now of trying to sell our stuff.  I am finding that selling our stuff is harder than I originally envisioned it would be.  The house goes up for sale in mid August.  Hoping the real estate market here stays hot between now and then.  The process of downsizing is more complicated than I thought it would be but we will get it done eventually. 

Edited by Macky Bailey

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We are joining the Class of '19.  Originally we were going to partly retire and not RV full time until 2021.  Last month we decided to go now.  For years we have run a law office.  I practice law and Jinx does everything else.  We stopped taking new cases and are finishing the existing cases.  We expect to have them all done by August 31, 2019.  The house is on the market.

We have a 2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ and a 2017 F350 diesel dually.  Starting in May we will move into the RV at a site on a pond nearby.  Around October 1 or before we will start moving south.  We will stop to see the grandkids in MD and then on to FL to establish domicile.  In January we will go to the Rio Grande Valley to stay until spring.  Then we are off touring western North America.  November 2019 should find us in FL again.  Tentatively, we are touring eastern NA in 2020.

Our RV experience is limited.  We took one three weeks trip last year.  We completed the RV driving school.  We spent weekends and vacation in it from May to October. 

For hobbies I hunt birds (with Raven the Lab) and play golf.  Jinx plays golf and quilts.  Raven does not play golf.

This is our last Maine winter!

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Welcome Wayne...hope everything goes smooth in your transition to full time rv life. I worked with a guy who owned a Carri-Lite. He gave me a tour of it about 8 years ago...what a beautiful, well built rig!

I'm in the midst of doing a ton of work on the house. I won't be able to put it up for sale until spring 2019. I wish I was outta here 7-8 years ago.  I know what you mean about winter...I want to find 70 degrees.and sunny for the rest of my life.

Take care & keep us informed on your progress.

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Skeet,

Thank you.  I know what you mean about work on the house; today I paint and clean.  

I guess technically we are 2018, but in reality our full freedom date is 1/1/19.  That's when we are tumbleweeds. Before that is the process of getting there.

How are the plans for the Class A purchase coming along? Jinx and I debated Class A/5th wheel for a long time.  While we settled on a fiver for now, that may change over time.  Why are you choosing a Class A?

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Hello all, good to see more joining along on the thread.  

Anyone else researching trucks?  We are looking into one ton dual wheel trucks, most likely a Ford or Ram. Our intention is to buy one this year after I sell off a motorcycle and one of our two cars.  I'm forcing myself to get those sold off before buying the truck as a motivator to get on with downsizing.

So much to consider regarding the truck. I know Ram is planning on introducing their new one ton for the 2020 model year. I'm assuming the design and cab will be in line with their all new 2019 1500.  Given we are buying before the new 2020 comes out, I'd have to make the decision if buying the last year of a body style is the thing to do or not? But then again, we are considering a lightly used truck as well. Ford updated their truck in 2017 which might be a good option for a used truck.

So far I've not had the time to test drive any but have friends with Chevys/GMC/Ram and Ford. So I've been bugging them for the details. Last weekend a friend bought a new 2018 Ford dually, upgrading from a 2016 Ford F250. He says the ride is nice and it's very quiet inside the cab.  I'll hopefully have a drive in his truck soon. 

At last weeks car show I was able to sit in the 2018 Fords and Rams. I preferred the Ram interior and seats.  But wonder if that Cummins engine is louder inside the cab?  The electronics in the Ford were awesome, especially the available blind spot warning. The Ford towing mirrors I'd prefer. 

Also was able to come up with a short list of three body colors I liked, two are lighter colored and I suspect would not show as much dirt.

Mark

 

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Mark,

We did our truck research in 2016, and ordered a 2017 F350 Lariat supercab diesel dually long bed that was delivered in Jan 2017.  I cannot say much about comparisons to Dodge or Chevy/GMC.  I haven't driven any of those but for a couple of test drives.  I can go over some of the stuff I learned along the way.  You probably know most of it.

I also want to disclose that we are relatively new to RVing.  I've only driven a few thousand miles.

First and foremost, look at what you will be towing. What is the weight? What is the pin weight loaded?  You need to know what you will be towing to get the right truck for the job.  I subscribe to the theory that more truck is better than not enough truck.

There is more to truck capacity than towing capacity.  What is the net payload of the truck?  Remember that net payload is the total payload less the truck and everything in it, including people, dog, fuel and snacks.  I wanted an auxiliary tank because the F350 only has a 34 gallon fuel tank.  At 10.5 MPG when towing I would be stopping for fuel too often without the auxiliary tank. So that added 500+lbs.  

What are the axle weight ratings, particularly the rear axle?  Will you be under the maximum with a fully loaded truck when you have the RV (fully loaded) and hooked up?

My experience is that truck and RV salespeople don't know or don't care about these things.  When we went looking for an RV we  really liked a 37-foot fiver with a GVWR or 16,830 lbs.  The truck salesman at the first Ford dealership we visited to said a diesel F250 would be just fine because the fiver trailer weight would be under 17,400 lbs fiver towing maximum.  Then I looked at the net payload.  Under 3,200 lbs in the short cab short bed model.  Much less in supercab long bed.  With a loaded pin weight of right around 3000 lbs, we were going to have to stay home and let the truck take the RV by itself.  We changed dealerships.  The next one told us the F350 SRW would do the job.  He was sort of right.  The payload was sufficient if I didn't want the auxiliary tank and put us both on a diet.  The rear axle was marginal.  So we got the dually.  We also got the 37 foot fiver.

Things about the F350.  The blind spot and approaching traffic warnings are great, but they do not operate with a fifth wheel.  I'm not sure if they work with a TT.  The computerized bar code trailer system only works with TT's, not fivers.  The tow/haul computer system is wonderful.  We drove moderate mountains last year (Blue Ridge and Shenandoah) and both up and down grade driving was a snap.  Plenty of power and the exhaust and transmission brakes worked fine and were well integrated.  The controls are pretty handy for the most part.  Like any vehicle you have to get used to where they are and how they work.

We bought luxury interior because we will be spending a lot of time in the cab.  The ten-way seats are great.  The seat heater is great.  The seat cooler makes us both feel like we wet our pants.  Maybe it will be better in the desert.  Watch out for the automatic tire pressure monitoring.  Three of the valves/caps tended to leak.  I replaced one set (under warranty) but one of the six is still leaking. I will get that fixed before we start full timing.

The dually is a big truck.  We had to widen the garage to use it regularly.  Normal width garage doors have about 4.5 inches of clearance on either side.  But I would not trade the dually for SRW.  Stability wise it is wonderful.  I like knowing I have double the traction for towing and braking, and some handling insurance in the event of a blowout.

We bought the long bed because we wanted the full agility of being able to turn the fiver to 90+ degrees without hitting the cab.  I really appreciated that in RV driving school where I discovered I could make a U-turn with my 54-foot rig on a two-lane road. We bought the supercab instead of the crew cab to save length with the long bed.

For an auxiliary tank I added a 50 gal Transfer Flow.  It works flawlessly except the installer forgot to tighten a clamp and the first fill put diesel all over the ground.  There is an internal monitor for both tanks on the dash and the fuel transfer works automatically.  Transfer Flow is a pump tank rather than gravity feed.

I added a BakFlip MAX4 tonneau.  Having the locking bed is a great help when not towing.  If I had it to do over again I would look for one that can be driven halfway open rather than having to have it either fully closed or fully open.  That would give me a little more covered area when towing.  When not towing I got about another 1 mpg with the tonneau.  That won't pay for it in most cases.  For us the covered/locked bed is worth it.  We can haul groceries in the rain with the dog in the back seat.  Raven is a good girl but a bag of groceries with carrots sticking out might be too much to resist.

RV driving school is well worth the money.    Jinx discovered she can back it up, drive in and out of store and fast food parking lots (not the drive through), and drive just fine on the highway.  Although i still do most of the driving it is great that there is someone when I am tired or don't feel like it.  We plan to take the school again this fall when we start out.  We also got a good discount on the insurance because of the school.  Our instructor was Charlie McLeod in SC.  

Tells how your shopping goes.

Edited by Jinx & Wayne

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