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Solo18

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  1. Part of the problem is knowing how you plan to use your rig while you are full-timing. The bigger the RV, the more of a pain it is to move it and find a camping spot big enough to hold it. Also more of a pain to drive it. Need to ask yourself the following: Are you planning to stay several months at a time in a commercial campground? Or are you planning to keep on the move and stay only a few days at a time in each place you visit? If your answer is positive to the first item, then a super-big RV makes sense. I could see you leaving such a rig in an RV resort for several months. However, if you plan to do a lot of moving around, you probably ought to consider a lot smaller rig. Just getting into and out of gas stations is going to be very difficult. And a lot of campgrounds or even "RV resorts" are not going to have spaces big enough for you with such a large rig. Pulling it through a large, or even a small city, is going to be really difficult. One thing you do not mention is how many people will be traveling with you. Do you need all that sleeping space for a large family? A lot of us make the mistake of assuming we will be taking along grandkids and company a lot of the time, and then find out that does not really happen that often. (That is how my aunt and uncle, who had no children, ended up with a house with five bedrooms and three full and two partial bathrooms!) I also agree about the steps up to the kitchen. You are going to be going up and down every time you want something from the refrigerator. That could get old quickly.
  2. The other interesting place in the Detroit area is Belle Isle. It is on the opposite side of the city from Dearborn, but it is basically an island in the middle of the Detroit River. It is now a state park and has an entrance fee, but once you are on it, you can visit the Dossin Great Lakes Museum, the Scripps Conservatory, an aquarium, and the Nature Center. You can also picnic there and just park along the river and watch the big lake freighters go by. Best to go on a weekday, by the way, to avoid crowds. Turn right as soon as you go over the bridge and drive all the way around the island on the outside circle drive. Also, the island was in horrible shape until the state leased it for a state park in 2014. Thousands of Detroiters got involved, and volunteers did most of the cleanup to make this place shine again!! https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?type=SPRK&id=736 The island was settled by French colonists and has a great, long history, which is described here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_Isle_Park_(Michigan) And, yes, I admit to being born in Detroit and lived in the area almost all of my life. Other great places to visit are the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Motown Museum, Eastern Market near downtown, and the downtown riverfront parks, especially if there is an ethnic festival going on. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g42139-Activities-Detroit_Michigan.html
  3. If you visit Greenfield Village and The Henry Ford museum, you might also want to take the assembly plant tour offered at the Henry Ford Museum. These are three separate places and three separate charges, but all are worth the money. One of my favorite things in the museum is the "camper" that Henry Ford used when he and his friends, Thomas Edison, John Burroughs, and Harvey Firestone took when they went camping. They called themselves the Vagabonds, but what is often left out is the detail that the group also took along several heavy vehicles containing camping equipment, a full kitchen, and several servants to cook and manage the trip! They also took a team of photographers, of course!! https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-resources/popular-topics/the-vagabonds The best tour is the Rouge tour where you can see F-150s being made. https://www.thehenryford.org/visit/ford-rouge-factory-tour/ (Check ahead to make sure the factory is working on the day you want to tour.)
  4. Just spent March - early May in NM. First, the northern part is indeed VERY cold in winter--think skiing on snow! So you will have to spent the coldest part of the winter in the very southern part of NM. Daytimes had highs of 60-70 and nights were downright cold--close to freezing many nights. One advantage is that there is a non-resident annual camping pass that costs about $225. With that, you only have to pay $4 per night for electric sites. However, a warning that most NM state parks have dirt roads and can be dusty. There are some wonderful exceptions, however, among them is Oliver Lee and some of the camping areas around Elephant Butte. One of my favorite places is Cochiti Lake, but it is COE and a little too far north for most of the winter.
  5. I drive anywhere from 10,000 to 18,000 miles per year, but that does not count a quick flight to visit grandkids the week after Christmas. They live in a snowy climate, so I would not want to drive my motorhome there anyway. Total miles over last 9 years is 158,000.
  6. You are writing about "campgrounds" to be used as full-time, permanent locations near big cities. That is a very narrow use of that term and limits the places that are open to you to commercial RV parks that squeeze in as many units as possible because real estate is expensive. And you are right that that kind of living tends to be expensive and not very pleasant. However, most of us who are retired or who work online jobs do not stay for months and years in a single place, nor do we stay in "campgrounds" close to big cities. I hope that if you choose to live full time in an RV that you can find a job where you can truly work remotely and thus can travel and choose places that are far away from cities and offer you more privacy and better scenery. You are lucky to work in IT, so if you possibly can, maybe you can be looking for that job that allows you to choose where you live that isn't nearby where you work.
  7. There is a big difference between people who are staying in a commercial campground and using their internet or have cable at their sites, and people like me who travel and use mobile hotspots for internet connections. It would cost me a fortune to buy enough gigs of data to stream TV as much as I wanted to. So for me, satellite TV is much more cost-effective and reliable, especially since i stay almost entirely in state and national parks.
  8. I was at Trailer Village last fall--October 22-26, and about froze to death! First couple of days were chilly, but got snow on last day. The shuttles around Trailer Village were shut down, so I rode my electric bike to the visitor center and main area, and then ended up riding my bike on the road in both directions to the ends. Temps were as follows: Oct 22 73-27 Oct 23 70-30 Oct 24 69-31 Oct 25 64-35 Oct 26 35-21 !!!! If I had to do it again, I would go in late September or early October, although you just can't trust the weather completely to be pleasant, as evidenced by the last day of my visit, per Weather.com. Even though the first few days were sunny and mild, I had to run my electric heater and furnace all night every single night to try to stay warm. By the way, because of the drought, the elk were and are extremely thirsty. One nosed up within 4" of my hose as I was filling my water tank. I could have petted her, I am sure, as long as I gave her water. I had no bucket, but since i had not hooked up my sewer and the cap was on it, I walked around to the other side of my rig, rinsed it off thoroughly and filled the depression several times so she could drink. If I had had a large dog bowl, I would have left it out and kept it filled. These elk were introduced in the 1920's and really do not belong there because there are no streams or water sources for them. They have learned how to turn on campground faucets and water fill station faucets, but of course, do not turn them off!! Frankly, all the wild (or not so wild) animals are having problems with the drought--getting food and water.
  9. Do you have electric or water bills that you pay by check? Those can count as credit, but the credit agencies may not know about them. Does anyone know how he could use these bills as credit information??
  10. I drive a 32' motorhome, and the plate fell out because I had stopped at a rest area to heat food up for lunch. My error was not making sure the microwave door was thoroughly latched when I was done. (I always check cabinet doors and such before I head out in the morning.) However, even when it is latched, the plate has often bounced around inside to the point where it is no longer sitting on the middle pin correctly. My recliner does not move, but anything on my kitchen counter does move, especially if I am on a highway with lots of small chuckholes.
  11. Also, you will need to be careful how the microwave vents. Many home microwaves vent on the sides, but at least the one I have in my motorhome vents in the back, so it is hard to find a replacement. And you do have to make sure it is securely fastened down so it does not go flying during a hard stop!! Big tip: Before you drive, always make sure your microwave door is shut securely. If not, glass plate will fly out and break into a million pieces. And I know from experience they are VERY hard to replace just the glass plate. Luckily, I found an RV dealer who always kept the plates and the turntable plastic things when he had to trash a microwave!! He had a whole box of them.
  12. On two-lane mostly back roads in Oregon, there are weigh scales that are in a pullover, and never manned. To my knowledge, they are open every day, 24 hours a day. In fact, there is no booth for someone to sit or stand in. If you see such a weigh station, just pull in slowly and put your front tires on the metal plate and look at the number that will display on the pole in front of you. Then pull forward and do the same thing with your rear tires. Obviously, there is no charge for this as there is no one to take money! These are NOT the big ones on the freeways that truckers are required to stop at!! I think they are intended for logging trucks, but i am not sure. Here is a listing and a map. https://www.allstays.com/c/weigh-scales-oregon-locations-map.htm
  13. That's weird. They closed Abiquiu Lake, but opened Cochiti Lake, which was closed for the last several months!! Maybe they are short of staff? The camp host I met driving through Abiquiu Lake said he could not understand why they were requiring three days advance reservations. Also, COE parks are divided into regions. Both Abiquiu Lake and Cochiti Lake are part of the Albuquerque District. It covers New Mexico, and parts of Texas and Colorado. https://www.spa.usace.army.mil/About/District-Map/ The national site has a map of districts, and rules do vary: https://www.usace.army.mil/Locations.aspx
  14. The suggestion was made to take a photo of the trail map at the start of the trail. In the case of the trail I was on, there was no trail map at the entrance to the trail or anywhere. That was part of my complaint to the head ranger. I don't expect a paved trail, but I do expect simple things like accurate descriptions of trails and a map at the entrance, possibly with information about elevation changes.
  15. Sorry - I should have said COE campgrounds in New Mexico required three days advance reservations. Abiquiu Lake was where I tried to stop by and get in. The place was almost empty but camp host told me no drop-ins and needed to make reservations three days in advance.
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