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Everything posted by kb0zke

  1. Look at all the factors that are important to YOU and make your own decision. We've been SD residents for several years now, and just this year renewed our drivers licenses. Even with the COVID nonsense we were able to easily do the renewal - in person. While we got a lot at The Ranch last year for wintering, we really enjoyed visiting SD for more time this year, and plan to do more there.
  2. Just to add to the confusion, SD full-timers cannot legally buy a new handgun. SD requires a 30-day stay at a permanent address, NOT a State Park, mail forwarding service, etc. We're SD residents, and no go. (Of course, there is a shortage of suitable handguns and ammo now, but that's a different issue.) We're in WY right now, and talked to a retired LEO who works in a sporting goods store.We can legally buy a long gun here as long as we also buy a one-day hunting permit! I guess the State has to make some money somehow.
  3. Some thoughts. They are worth every penny you pay for them. First, how many people and pets in the RV? One adult, no pets, no problem. Two adults, two large dogs, might be a problem. Second, many people look at a Class B as a van, not a motor home. When you need/want to go somewhere you have to pack for travel. With nothing on the site, it may look like it is available to someone else. We know a couple who full-time in a 1973 Dodge van conversion (an early Class B). They have a screen tent that they set up, putting a table, two folding chairs, small fridge, etc. in it. That clearly indicates that their spot is occupied, and that's where they spend the day when they are home. For them, packing up the Dodge to go somewhere doesn't take very long. Third, If that Class B is also your daily driver you will be spending quite a bit on fuel. You could probably tow a lightweight trailer with an SUV and not spend any more on fuel overall. The best moment we had in our research stage was the realization that something would tow something else. Either a truck would tow some sort of trailer or a motor home would tow a car. That realization changed everything.
  4. If it is warm enough to need a/c we run the generator and one or both roof-top units. That, of course, also provides power for the residential refrigerator. If it is cool enough to not need a/c then I turn the inverter on and power the refrigerator that way.
  5. I can attest to the helpfulness of the people in SD. We've been SD residents and full-timers since 2015. This summer we had to renew drivers licenses. Due to the COVID situation then, we couldn't get in in Sioux Falls, where we are officially residents, but when we mentioned that we were heading up to ND, they suggested the Aberdeen office. You can renew up to 180 days before your birthday. We took that to be six months, and showed up a couple of days too soon. No matter, the manager was able to override the computer and get the license issued.
  6. That may be true for some parks, but not all. It depends on what the roads are like and what the campsites are like. Some older parks can't handle anything longer in the campground. Some parks have some natural features that limit vehicle size. Call some that you would be interested in and ask.
  7. Welcome, Kevin. You are wise to start asking questions now. When we were at that stage it seemed that each answered question led to five or six more questions. I'd suggest that you focus your research a bit, so that you can do a couple of things at once. First, get a particular type of RV out of your mind. Instead, get into every one you can, new or used, large or small, and evaluate it for livability (can you "take" a shower, can you"watch" television, can you "cook" a meal, can you "wash" the dishes, etc. This will tell you what floor plans will and won't work for you. While you are doing that, notice how well various brands hold up over the years. There are quite a few of us who are full-timing in coaches that are 25-30 years old, but most of us are in coaches that were at the high end of the scale when they were new. While you are doing the above, you and your wife should spend an hour or so most evenings talking about how you want to travel. You've mentioned boondocking and getting somewhat off of the beaten path, but you haven't actually done that. If you have a vehicle that can tow a small trailer, I'd suggest you buy a used pop-up trailer (or borrow one from a friend) and try it for a night or two. Go out to a State or Federal park and camp without using electricity and just the water you have on board. For a better experience, though, use the hookups provided and learn a bit about camping first. If you can't tow, get a tent, a couple of cots, a portable stove and a cooler and camp that way. Most of us started out that way. You may well decide that you really don't like camping. If so, you haven't spent much money. I'm guessing, though, that you will like it, but want more creature comforts, and that's where the RV come in. We know a couple who full-time in a 1973 (yes, 1973) Dodge van conversion. They aren't small people, but they are minimalists. They set up a screen tent around the picnic table and put some things in there, so that if they take the van away it is obvious that someone is using that spot.
  8. Our story: Back in 2010 Jo Ann and I decided that when I retired in five years we would become full-time RV'ers. We started with some ideas of how we wanted to travel and went from there. We asked LOTS of questions both here and on several other forums. (Kirk is probably still shaking his head about us.) We looked at every RV we could, no matter the price or condition, because we were looking at two things: quality and livability. We worked out a budget (which turned out to be a work of fiction, but that's another story). After a couple of years of research we bought an mpg, a little travel trailer by Heartland, as our learner. We liked it, so after a little more than a year we put it up for sale and started focusing on coaches that would be our full-time home. We visited factories, joined forums, and asked lots of questions. Eventually we had a list of six motor homes that suited us. We went to see the one closest to us, and bought it. That was in 2013. A few months later I retired early, and in 2014 we hit the road. We still have that 1993 Foretravel we bought in 2013. Yes, we've spent quite a bit of money over the past seven years on maintenance and upgrades. It has suited us well. If anyone is interested in more details, pm me and I'll give you the full story. My point in telling this is that doing your research is always the way to start. As I said many times during that process, I'd rather ask a thousand questions before writing a large check than ask one question a thousand times afterward. Figure out what will work for you and go for it. We can share our experiences with you, and, if you ask, we'll share our opinions and suggestions, but only you can make the decision.
  9. Welcome, Carolyn. Rainbow's End, Livingston, is good for East Texas. You could also try Lone Star Corral in Hondo, TX, if you are looking at the Hill Country. Call ahead for both, though, as not all parks are accepting new visitors and I believe that neither park takes reservations. There are quite a few commercial parks in the Corpus Christi area. You don't say what sort of RV you have (if you put that in your signature you can get better help on RV questions), but if you happen to have an Airstream product there is an Airstream-only park in Hillsboro.
  10. Our Foretravel has decent-sized tanks, and we've gotten used to how long we can go before needing to fill/dump. When traveling I plan on dumping and filling when we arrive at a campground. One park we like has only electricity at the sites. You dump and fill at the dump station, which is conveniently located for people leaving, but is still possible for arrivals to get in and out. Why not dump when leaving? I think that everything sloshing around gets it all mixed better, so that more stuff dumps out. Like others, we have a third valve, so the procedure is this: hook up the stinky slinky; open the third valve; open and immediately close the grey valve to check for leaks, poor connection, etc.; if all okay, dump black tank; leave black valve open and dump a bit of grey; repeat as often as necessary until no more brown water; close black valve and finish dumping grey tank. I wear disposable gloves for all of this. When everything is done and cleaned up, I throw the gloves away and hook up the fresh water hose. You will work out your own system. Whatever you settle on, though, follow it every time. Don't let someone distract you while filling and dumping. We can all tell stories of what we've seen others do.
  11. The nominal difference is 3' and the actual difference may be more or less that that. The 43' coach has a tag axle, so that's another two tires and air bags vs a 40' without a tag. We have a 40' MH and tow a Lincoln MKT, so we're about 65' overall length. We generally prefer back-in sites, especially if we are staying several days. We've not had a problem finding sites that suit us. We rarely just show up somewhere and try to get a site. If we don't have planned reservations we'll call ahead and ask. How often do you have all five granddaughters with you, and how old are they? If this is a most-of-the-summer thing, and they are getting to the teen years, yes, the 43' is the way to go. If it is only two or three of them at a time, for a weekend, you could go either way. Since you already have an RV you know about "doing" all the daily activities to see how the floor plan works for you. It sounds like both coaches have been used, which is a good thing. The Phaeton may need tires, while the Allegro Bus may not - yet.
  12. We haven't stopped yet, but are pausing for a time. I've accepted a part-time, temporary position for up to two years. We'll be able to travel some during the summer, so will so some exploring in the general area. Last year we got a lot at The Ranch (Escapees co-op in SE NM), which stood us in good stead this spring. About the time we were scheduled to head out was when everything shut down. This is a discussion that every family needs to have. Sometimes the health of one person dictates a change. Sometimes it is just not as much fun anymore. Whatever the reason, all of us need to have at least some sort of plan for the day when it becomes necessary to slow down our activities. We may not get to follow our plan, but at least some discussion ought to be held prior to the day when a decision must be made.
  13. South Dakota also has an online form to download. As was mentioned above, you will have to mail that form in and then the actual ballot will be mailed to you at the appropriate time. Beware, though, that if you have it sent to your mail service, you will have to let them know to send the mail on to you in a timely manner. We've received our absentee ballots several days AFTER the election. I don't think that the election officials are able to send the ballots to wherever you happen to be. They will send them to your official address (your mailing service) because technically that's where you live.
  14. If you find something, please let the rest of us know. Seriously, you might see if some sort of hoist mechanism could be installed. I suspect that height may be an issue, but maybe going to the 30# tanks would help. They aren't as tall, nor are they as heavy. If you are at a lot that you own/lease (like at an Escapees co-op) you may be able to have the local propane company park a tank on your lot. They will keep it full, and all you will have is a hose that goes to your coach. We have a lot at The Ranch and that's what our neighbors just did.
  15. Since we've kind of strayed to PPL, I've been to two of their three locations. Houston has FAR more rigs than you could want to think about. They are packed in with just enough room to squeeze between one and the next one. As was mentioned above, most of the rigs are just as the seller left them. They do offer an optional clean-up service, but I don't think may sellers take advantage of it. The prices are at the low end of the scale, and they move the inventory quickly. If you are looking for a diamond in the rough, you may find it there. We've also been to the New Braunfels location. Not as many rigs there, and they seemed to be in better condition. MOT has an excellent reputation with the Foretravel people.
  16. I wouldn't say a six-day-old thread was very old. We had a similar experience when we were first starting out. For some reason, don't remember why, I shut the MH off at the end of the driveway. When we got ready to start again, a few minutes later, no start. After some headscratching, meter reading, and a phone call, I disconnected all of the battery connections, cleaned them, and reinstalled them, making sure that everything was good and tight. The Detroit fired up almost before I hit the switch. Lesson learned.
  17. Yesterday we came down from Gering, NE to Limon, CO on hwy 71. The first part was nice. The last half, though, was terrible. The road was very rough, and 50 mph was the best compromise between getting there at a reasonable time and shaking things apart. We did lose one breakable item that was supposedly stowed in a safe place (where it has ridden for six years), but fell to the floor and smashed into lots of little, sharp pieces. Replacement is on order. Tomorrow we go to TX, and we're on US highways, so maybe they aren't as rough.
  18. A private seller is selling the vehicle as is, where is. There is NO guarantee that it will do anything. Offsetting that is the fact that the seller is usually the person who is most familiar with it and can give you a really good instruction time. Private sellers sometimes have no idea of what their rig is worth, so you may have to educate one or two. A reputable dealer (and "reputable" is the key) has a good reputation in the area and wants to keep it. Said dealer has spent some money on the rig before you ever see or hear about it. Some other rig went off the lot at a huge discount because the dealer gave that buyer a trade-in allowance. The dealer has no guarantee that anyone will every want to buy that coach. Offsetting that is the fact that the dealer usually knows exactly what he can get for the coach and factors in his expenses and overhead in making the trade-in offer. The coaches on the lot are generally priced a bit higher than what the dealer expects to get for them because people like to negotiate the price. I said that "reputable" was the key. There are some dealers that only want one reputation - they sell for the lowest price. Those people do the bare minimum to get a rig ready for sale, they know little about their inventory (other than what they are supposed to get for it), and really aren't expecting you to return to them. It still comes down to buyer beware. Do your homework before you go looking. Ask questions, both about the prospective coach and the dealership. Join the owners forums for any brands you are considering, ask lots of questions there, and when you are going to go look at a specific rig, ask about it. Ask that any comments be sent to you privately, not posted publicly on the forum. Sometimes people know things about an owner or rig that they don't want to share publicly.
  19. There are several threads about buying/selling an RV from/to a private party. The biggest issue is one of trust. In your case, are you willing to give a stranger the keys and title to your rig before you know you have his money? Unless the buyer is paying with actual cash, the piece of paper he presents may or may not be worth anything - and that includes "bank" checks. One common method is that the buyer leaves with the keys and a Bill of Sale but no title. When the check clears the title is mailed. If the check doesn't clear the police are notified, as the rig is considered stolen. The buyer should come to you, and will be responsible for doing whatever is necessary to title/license the vehicle in his State. If Texas wants you to turn in the plates and registration in order to get a refund that's on you. Some States do that, and others don't. We just paid the bill to get our MH license plate renewed, and our coach is for sale. I think that SD (our domicile State) doesn't issue any refunds and doesn't transfer plates, so if we sell to someone else who has a SD domicile the State will collect twice on this coach. Oh well, so they get an extra couple hundred dollars. Big deal.
  20. I, too, quit FB several years ago. Interestingly, several of our children/children's spouses have also quit - and they are in their 30's. BTW, this forum is also a social media thing, and anyone can read what you post. They may not be able to get a lot of details about you, but someone with malicious intent toward a specific individual could perhaps glean enough to cause some damage. Read over what you wrote BEFORE clicking the button. Besides catching errors that might make you look foolish you may decide that you have written something that you'd rather not share with the whole world.
  21. Welcome, Emily. Lots of opinions on everything, and as always, the correct answer is, "It depends on you." A diesel pusher will cost you more to buy and maybe to own, but gives you lots of advantages, as mentioned above. Gas is cheaper to buy and maybe to own, as mentioned above. Your choice. Remember that everyone drives a used vehicle. All recreational vehicles depreciate, so you can buy a nicer MH for the same amount of money if you are willing to go a bit older. The one we're in was $350,000 new in 1993. I've got it for sale for 10% of that now. Hurricanes: A visitor to Florida asked an old timer where he should go if a hurricane was coming. The old timer answered, "Michigan." An RV has wheels so it can go elsewhere when that seems like a good idea. Just don't be the last one our of Florida. Covid: There are some great deals to be had now. We're getting to the main travel season, and things are starting to open up. Be careful, but be ready to buy when the right coach comes along.
  22. Welcome, Les and Elaine! My suggestion is always to do a LOT of research before making any major decisions. Start with the type of RV. Have you considered travel trailers, fifth wheels, and class A motor homes before focusing on a class C? That's perhaps the first place to start. How will you use your RV? Are you looking at a full-time coach, a long-time vacation coach, a vacation coach, a few times a year coach? Are you minimalists or do you plan on taking everything possible with you? As you talk about your proposed plans you should look at every single RV you can get into, no matter the cost or condition. You are looking at two things: quality and floor plan. It won't take very long for you to figure out what floor plans will work for you and what brands have the quality you are looking for. As was mentioned above, "do" your regular activities ("cook" an meal, "watch" television, "take" a shower, "use" the bathroom, etc.). Class C motor homes originally (50 years ago) were a combination of a pickup camper attached to a cargo van chassis. They have grown considerably since then. Like some class A motor homes, some have quite a bit of coach behind the rear axle. That can create some driving problems if you don't pay attention to how you are loading and how you are driving. Some years ago there were quite a few class C rigs that were near their maximum allowable weight with only full fuel and a driver aboard. Be sure to check the weight information on anything you are considering. This advice applies to ANY RV you are looking at, not just a class C. Remember that most people will tow something with something else. Those who choose a travel trailer, popup trailer, or fifth wheel will tow it with a car, truck, van, etc. Those who choose a class A or B will often tow a car, motorcycle, truck, etc. behind it. The reason is that the towed vehicle can be used to go sightseeing, shopping, etc. without having to take the entire rig. Remember that when the RV moves, everything has to be stowed for travel - even if you are just going to the dump station. Spend some time talking with owners of various types of RVs. Don't ask them why they chose that particular coach; ask them why they chose that TYPE of rig.
  23. I believe that many, if not most, co-ops require you to visit BEFORE getting on the waiting list. The listing by 2gypsies, above, is interesting, but reflects THEIR priorities, which may or may not match yours. You can, however, use the information there to put the list in an order that reflects your interests. We're not interested in swimming pools, so we'd probably put those places at the bottom of our interest list. We had visited two co-ops before we put our names on a waiting list. Both were interesting to us, so we chose the one that we thought would be the best fit. We had a wait of several years before we got to the top of the list, so even though we expressed interest in certain lots, we were too far down the list to get one. As we were waiting we started looking at actual driving mileage from each co-op to family. It turned out that the place where we were on the waiting list was FARTHER away than the other place (we thought it was the other way around, but that was just guessing). As it turned out, a lot that was pretty much what we wanted was available at the other co-op, so we asked for our deposit back from the first co-op and signed the papers at the one that was actually our first choice - The Ranch. BTW, some people have lots at more than one co-op. It may be that one of the southern ones would be a good winter headquarters for you, and one of the northern ones might be a good summer headquarters. I'd suggest that you look at each one's website and plan a visit to those that look interesting to you.
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