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How many of you in Escapees are actually part time? And why?

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I have met many full timers over the years (45) I have been rving, but I have never had a conversation with a full timer that had that attitude. 

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I use my camper for work more or less on short work trips. Can't afford pleasure trips much in time or $$. I used to do more pleasure trips a decade ago. I don't want to be a full timer, but I would like to do more pleasure trips. If I had nothing to do I could go fuill time and enjoy it with a bigger rig. But have to work.

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On 4/20/2019 at 5:39 PM, Kirk W said:

You must read a different forum than I do...    It is true that many here have reacted to your frequent criticism of the lifestyle, but never have I seen the part-time lifestyle criticized. As one who was a part-time RVer for 25+ years, followed by 11+ years of fulltime, then back to part-time again 8 years ago, I have no idea what you want or are asking, other than to try once more to stir up the forums. I suspect the membership here is probably close to half and half, but since the forums are free to everyone and we don't verify who lives in what way, that is only a guess on my part and others may well disagree on the mix and they are just as likely to guess right as I am. Add to that the fact that there is no clear definition for what constitutes fulltime, I really don't get your point. 

I met lots of RV'ers at a show I went to in Pitts. First RV show I've been at. Everyone friendly. Same with RV'ers on the road. But I boondock and seldom go to campsites. RV'ers seem pretty nice from my limited experience over the last 2 decades. But I don't hang with them, busy working. Just short chats. 

Was working in NYC and had to camp in Jersey City. They had a mini Airstream convection. Talked with tons of Airstreamers. Everyone friendly. Some seem to look down on regular campers, but in a joking way, not mean or prejudicial.

BTW, I'd say a full timers is someone that lives in their RV year round that has no house or apartment. But it does not matter how tight the definition is. 

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And is there another level that's "occasional" verus "part time?"  We just do do 1-5 days here and there.  Our trailer is too small to live in for weeks at a time.  But we don't want something large since we like to be able to go to the places where larger rigs can't.  I guess I can say that full-timers just can't know the "true" boondocking experience if they can get there with a full-width, long rig...LOL.  We all have different wants and abilities.  I personally just don't *currently* understand the appeal of living in an RV full time.  Partly because I have hobbies that require space and large tools, partly because I don't feel like I'd be happy being away from my great friends and neighbors who I spend time with several times a week.

 

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Are you assuming all fulltimers drive "big rigs"? Our 34' coach is shorter by several feet than an F-150 towing a 20' TT. And if that truck/trailer combo can get to a remote boondocking spot, there's a good likelihood our coach can as well.

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15 minutes ago, Dutch_12078 said:

Our 34' coach is shorter by several feet than an F-150 towing a 20' TT.

Yeah, that's huge compared to our Jeep towing a 17 footer which is only 7.5' wide.  We just camped at a fantastic spot at a totally sold-out, crowded lake because the turn-around at the top was just barely adequate for the Jeep which turns super tight.  There was also a hill that needed 4WD for our light little rig, no motorhome is going there.  There were four large rigs camped in a crowd at the bottom of the hill.  We took the pinnacle for ourselves because nobody else could get there.

 

Edited by Carlos

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3 hours ago, Carlos said:

Yeah, that's huge compared to our Jeep towing a 17 footer which is only 7.5' wide.  We just camped at a fantastic spot at a totally sold-out, crowded lake because the turn-around at the top was just barely adequate for the Jeep which turns super tight.  There was also a hill that needed 4WD for our light little rig, no motorhome is going there.  There were four large rigs camped in a crowd at the bottom of the hill.  We took the pinnacle for ourselves because nobody else could get there.

Oh, I don't disagree that there are places your setup can get into that mine can't, just as there many places me and my backpack can get into that your Jeep can't. My point was just that being a fulltimer doesn't necessarily limit our boondocking opportunities any more than it does for anyone else. I had a good friend that fulltimed for about 20 years with a mini-van and a teardrop. She absolutely could go places I couldn't go with our coach. Stick the teardrop behind your Jeep, and it could go places your 17 footer can't go. I'm just saying don't categorize us just because we're fulltimers. We're all different with different equipment and different requirements.

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There are the rare fulltimers who do it in something tiny.  I see them in magazines and on web sites.  I've just never met one.  So to me they are unicorns; myths of the RV park spread during campfire stories in between ghost stories.

But note that I added a LOL and "we all have different wants and abilities."  I'm not judging, just looking at it from the average standpoint.

 

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Just now, Carlos said:

There are the rare fulltimers who do it in something tiny.  I see them in magazines and on web sites.  I've just never met one.  So to me they are unicorns; myths of the RV park spread during campfire stories in between ghost stories.

But note that I added a LOL and "we all have different wants and abilities."  I'm not judging, just looking at it from the average standpoint.

 

But that's the whole point when it comes to RV'ers, there IS no "average". ;)

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2 hours ago, Carlos said:

I see them in magazines and on web sites.  I've just never met one.  So to me they are unicorns; myths of the RV park spread during campfire stories in between ghost stories.

We have met a couple who were fulltime in a Casita some years ago, more recently we met a single in a home converted Econoline van fulltime. There aren't many but there are a few. We have gone for as long as 5 consecutive months in our 20' travel trailer, so not fulltime any more but still travel in that same style. 

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A few years ago we met a camper next to us that was full time in a tent.  He had his tent set up for TV and a recliner.  He also had a stove next to his bed so he could start coffee without getting out of bed.  Spent summers in Colorado and winters in Arizona.  We showed him our 5er and he said it was to big but he was contemplating a  small travel trailer.

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We were hosting at Goose Island State Park last fall and met a young woman who was full-timing in a tent, and had been doing so for several years. She drove her small hatchback from park-to-park and set up camp for a week or two at a time. She was very comfortable with what she was doing, but it certainly isn't our cup of tea!!

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Just now, mptjelgin said:

We were hosting at Goose Island State Park last fall and met a young woman who was full-timing in a tent

I do have to say that I met a couple who was full timing in a car and tent.  But they seemed more homeless than choosing it.  And when one came by our camp, it was not a good smell.

 

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20 minutes ago, Carlos said:

I do have to say that I met a couple who was full timing in a car and tent.  But they seemed more homeless than choosing it.  And when one came by our camp, it was not a good smell.

 

This woman came on several of the bird walks that we led and was definitely not homeless. She was previously in the military and had found this alternative lifestyle that suited her well.  She had a very expensive bike that she enjoyed riding daily, as well as quality binoculars and a camera that she birded with. While she was certainly outside of "the norm" she seemed very happy and well adjusted. 

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I have no problem with the question/request for info sharing:)!

I still get a roll of the DW's eyes each time I use it, but I've coined the term 'Permanent Part Time Full Timers' in describing what we're currently doing. 

We have a Vacation home in California, that we visit off and on during the year with times varying from a few weeks, to usually a max of 2 months at a time. With year by year variations of total time visited of 3-5 months. Usually we do a longer visit, and then a shorter visit to the home during the year. Doing the math, we're typically spend a few months in AZ and NM in January - March timeframes. Then we spend a 4-7 months usually somewhere in the Western States:)! 

We also had a site at Park of the Sierras in Coarsegold, CA (Escapee COOP), which we elected to sale when we changed our Domicile to SD as we shifted into retirement. 

We're on the waiting list at Evergreen in Chimacum, WA Escapee COOP. 

We recently bought a deeded lot in Pacific Shores, Newport, OR. 

And we continue to scout out a Arizona or New Mexico location for our Forever Home, or possibly another Escapees COOP with a Park Model - not rushing this, but have it on our radar. 

So add that to the responses from others. To me, 'Full Timer's' - is as much a state of mine, as it is technically 365 Days in a trailer, fiver, B, C, A - whatever... I assure you, our 'State of Mine's', and hearts, are Full Timer's:)! (And yep, OK for others to not see us as such... But hope they allow me to get the roll of the eyes when I say 'Permanent Part Time Full Timer's!'.

Best to all, have fun, be safe,

Smitty

 

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It is obvious from all the different points of view that full time traveling in an RV (without owning a piece of property) is not for everyone.  

I think there are several factors that will influence a couple to do it.  Some people have a stronger draw to travel and see different parts of the country.  They may have done some part time RVing but find that they can never really take their time and see as much as they would like.  

Another factor, or at least for us, is a question of dollars available.  We settled back into a sticknbrick and thought we could simply travel 7 or 8 months out of the year.  Even with cheaper property taxes in Florida we felt like we were wasting so much money by letting our home sit empty.  Plus, we could only afford to travel in a smaller gas motorhome and was unable to have both a vehicle and Harley with us.  

The final factor that probably has a huge influence on folks deciding on selling out and full timing is a generational thing.  I purchased my first home with a VA loan when I was 21 years old.  It was ingrained into me that I had to have a nice residence paid off prior to retiring.  There have been several more homes along the way and I even flipped a couple over the years.  No one could foresee into the future that property taxes in my original home area would end up costing me $600 to $800 a month for that final dream home.  

Once we got past the fact that a sticknbrick is not really a "home", it is just a structure where we keep our stuff, and that our real "home" is where we live and where our family/friends can come and visit us, then it was easy to sell out and walk away from it.

Full time traveling (without owning property) is not for everyone.  It should not be held out as any type of "badge of honor" and anyone doing it should never feel they are special.  It is simply a temporary way to do a lot of traveling the way you want to without the additional financial burdens of property ownership IMHO. 

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1 hour ago, FL-JOE said:

  It should not be held out as any type of "badge of honor" and anyone doing it should never feel they are special. 

This, the thread's opening comments, and the title of the fourth category or sub-forum on this forum's home page have a similar emotional resonance.

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2 hours ago, FL-JOE said:

our real "home" is where we live and where our family/friends can come and visit us

 

That's actually the only reason we have our house.  It's too big for just two people now, and there are other things we could do.  But we are within walking or a super-short drive of our best friends in life, and that means we see them a few times a week.  And our neighbors who aren't close are also valuable acquaintances.  I don't care about the box, but do care about the location.  If we sell we could pay cash for a VERY nice rig.

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1 hour ago, rm.w/aview said:

This, the thread's opening comments, and the title of the fourth category or sub-forum on this forum's home page have a similar emotional resonance.

I think that there is a "kinship" of sorts that develops among those who sell the house and live totally in their RV for several years or longer. It is probably that family-like feeling that triggers post like the first one of this thread. That kinship may well at times be misinterpreted as a feeling of superiority, but I don't really believe that to be what it is. Having been fulltime with no real estate at all and now back to home ownership, I can tell you that there is a sense of freedom that most of us feel once free of real estate ties. I also miss the fact that when we were fulltime we never had to pack or unpack and I never found myself thinking that "I wish I had brought my ______!"

It would seem that the first post didn't achieve the sought after strife since he has been back but hasn't responded at all. 

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2 hours ago, Kirk W said:

I think that there is a "kinship" of sorts that develops among those who sell the house and live totally in their RV for several years or longer.

I'm going to go with Kurt Vonnegut here and say that this kinship is just a granfalloon.

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1 minute ago, Zulu said:

I'm going to go with Kurt Vonnegut here and say that this kinship is just a granfalloon.

We could say that about a lot of things.  I enjoy motorcycles and Jeeps; those are two things that create "artificial" tribes or kinships.  Or are they actually artificial?  In some cases, probably, but there's something that draws people to similar things that comes from a similar way of thinking, also.  I started an online motorcycle forum in 2002 based on a specific motorcycle model.  It's still active today.  The group has had at least two marriages come out of it, one child adoption, and many many extremely close friendships that have helped us through so much over the years.  Artificial?  Clearly not.

What sort of person is a full-timer?  They have nothing in common, or they have a lot in common.  Probably depends on how you look.

 

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20 minutes ago, Carlos said:

What sort of person is a full-timer?  They have nothing in common, or they have a lot in common.  Probably depends on how you look.

Exactly. 

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32 minutes ago, Carlos said:

Probably depends on how you look.

If you wish to examine a granfalloon, just remove the skin of a toy balloon. — Bokonon

 

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