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Everything posted by Reedhoppa

  1. Leaving Minnesota in two days ... my brother will be tagging along and pulling his own trailer. We have both recently sold our houses. I will tell him that he needs to officially join the class of 2019! Cold weather coming down from Canada is what I’m hearing so we are planning to head down to Albuquerque and then work our way over to southern Utah (to avoid Denver and the higher mountain passes). I think I’m getting out of here just in time. After southern Utah, it will be Arizona, probably Quartzite and all of southern Arizona and New Mexico. Christmas without snow will be a little strange but I think I might just learn to like it. 😊
  2. Pulled the trailer fully loaded today for the first time. The Tundra handled the load with ease. My best guess is that the trailer weighs about 6,500 pounds loaded. I don’t use a checklist but probably would be a good idea to use one during preparation for towing. I didn’t travel very far but I’m feeling great about the way everything handled. Pulled into a friend’s lot and easily backed into my spot with no assistance. Probably the years I spent backing boats into lake access ramps helps me there. I’m happy to report that the magnetic spice containers didn’t move an inch .... in fact not much of anything shifted in the trailer ... with the exception of a few cans of beer that tumbled out of the fridge when I opened it. Have to remember to open the fridge s-l-o-w-l-y after traveling. Honda generator arrived today so will get that started and tested tomorrow. It’s the 2200 watt unit that weighs about 46 pounds. Super easy to move around. House closing is tomorrow. I’m beginning to settle into the rhythm of trailer life. Several short distance trips are planned over the coming weeks. That’s fine with me. Still lots to learn about the camper (which is still nameless, by the way). True story ... I was sitting outside the camper last week soaking up some early morning sun and sipping a cup of coffee. I was surfing the net looking for suggestions for naming a camper. It needs a name, right? So I’m sitting there with my nose buried in my i-phone when a wild black bear wanders out of the woods in my back yard and walks within 30’ of me. It was a yearling searching for something to eat I suppose. I watched him for about five minutes b4 he gave up and wandered back into the woods. Anyway, I think the bear was a clue for what I need to name the camper. So what ... Yogi? Smoky? Or maybe just Bear? Still working on that one. Suggestions are welcome. I’m getting eager to get out on the road and meet others to see how they outfit their rigs ... and what they call them!
  3. Here’s a weird question for you. Wondering if my magnetic spice containers will stay put when I’m on the road (see pic). Guess I will find out tomorrow when I hook up and pull to my first destination.😉
  4. Okay ... maybe it’s working now. I’m about 96 hours away from the closing on my house sale. The house is empty and I’ve managed to cram it’s contents into a 10’x30’ storage unit. I have a jumble of boxes and containers left that are full of what I think I’m going to need for full-timing ... but haven’t had time to organize so of course I can’t find anything. This is such a big change ... amazingly all the pieces seem to be falling into place. I’m finally able to relax outside the Cougar and contemplate my future travel plans. I live in a split-level and must have made a thousand trips with furniture and boxes up and down flights of stairs. My knees took the hit but are slowly coming around. Soon I will begin laying out a travel itinerary including a rally or two ... still counting on boondocking about half the time. That’s about it. Stay positive ... make lists incessantly ... and eventually you will get there. 😊
  5. Having a hard time posting to this thread ... what am I doing wrong?
  6. Very sorry to hear about your property sale dilemma ... I can imagine how frustrating that must be. Good luck and continue to persevere ... you will get there. Maybe a dumb question but would there be an option to remove the concrete and replace the leach field in its current location? Good luck and keep us posted.
  7. I think I’m going to give myself a timeout ... after doing a little research, I see that I have a number of questions to answer about how to size the system. Once I figure that out, I will delve into the technical aspects of the hook-up. I guess I’m wondering though whether a small 250 watt inverter can run off of the trailer’s 12 volt wiring or if I have to run a wire to the battery up in front?
  8. Here’s where the power comes in to the dvd/radio which runs on 12 volt. It’s right next to the tv so I just need to figure out which lines are coming from the battery so I can tap in.
  9. That’s a good suggestion ... so I would either need to run wires all the way to the battery or see if there’s a place near the TV where I can access a 12 volt source for the inverter? I went with the dinette ... i gotta have a big table. I’m tweaking the dinette seating to make it a little more comfortable
  10. So my Renogy 100W suitcase-style solar panel arrived today ... tested and works fine. I want to be able to charge my batteries when dry camping. I’ll use a generator when I need to run the A/C but it would be nice to be able to turn on the TV without the generator running. The TV that came with the trailer runs on 120v wall outlet currently. So would it be easier to install an inverter in the trailer or exchange the TV for a 12V and wire it to run off the battery? Not sure if I asked that right but maybe you get the idea?
  11. I really wanted a topper but opted for this Extang tonneau instead. Not as much cargo space but I like having the visibility. Also the topper folds open either from the front or the rear and it’s keyed to the vehicle key which is kinda neat.
  12. Thanks! Spent the first night camping in the yard last night and all systems appear to be working properly ... I feel out of place inside the house now and prefer to be in the trailer. Maybe a sign that I’m making the mental transition from the house to the trailer. Busy packing up the house today and realized I’d better pack and outfit the trailer first so I don’t have to hunt for things once they are in storage. Duhhhh! I’ve prepped for many trips in the past and am known for my obsession with lists ... this will be a little more involved ... just on a grander scale.
  13. Well, I travelled 700 miles round trip in a little over 24 hours (not something I’d recommend) to pick-up and bring home my prize. Will try to figure out how to take a pic tomorrow that has a smaller file size in order to post it. The walkthrough and inspection went great ... towing went surprisingly well considering I passed through the heart of St. Paul on the way home. Off to bed now and then back out to figure out all the gizmos tomorrow! I have 26 days before I have to be out of my house and will need every one of them to finish moving stuff to storage and outfitting the trailer.
  14. I’m going to officially join the class of 2019 if I may. I’ve been hanging out in the new members forum but I’m less than a month away from Full-timer status. House sale will close on June 2Oth, I pick up my new 26’ Cougar the day after tomorrow and then it’s off to the races. I plan to full-time for a year. If it agrees with me, I will just keep going. I’m retired from a 30 year career in environmental management. My hobby is restoring and selling vintage film cameras. Have been selling on eBay for the past 10 years. I will have to shutter that operation now and will be storing approx. 100 vintage cameras that I never got around to listing. I’m a solo traveler ... empty nester ... a couple friends and my older brother will be joining the caravan with their own rigs, at least for a while, when I head for warmer weather in November or December. Will probably split my time between BLM and national forest boondock locations and park lands. I finally have a little time to work on domicile and other details. Right now I’m just gearing up for the big day on Saturday with checklists in hand. Pics will be forthcoming!
  15. Thanks everyone for making a newbie feel at home. I will be somewhere far south of Minnesota next January and looking to meet up with some of you like-minded folk. I will be driving down to Iowa to pick up the Cougar on Saturday. I have my inspection checklists ready and also some helpful lists of RV essentials. Since I plan to Boondock, seems like a solar panel and second battery would be in order. I know, I’m probably supposed to move on to other forum threads ... but I promise, these are my last questions here. I’m assuming a decent 100W panel with case would handle my initial needs? And should I just go with something like the Renogy deep cycle batteries instead of lead- acid? Thanks in advance!
  16. Congrats on your home sale! Sounds like our houses sold on or about the same day. I’m envious of your 45-days til closing. I have thirty to get my stuff in storage and will also be picking up and outfitting my new travel trailer during this period. Somehow it WILL all get done. I am so looking forward to life after property. Funny, you’re thinking of transitioning to a larger TT ... I’m thinking that the 26-footer I have on order may be too big. Guess we won’t know until the houses are completely out of the picture. I’d say revisit the idea in July. 😊
  17. Hi folks. Just wanted to close the loop on this thread. My journey to the RV lifestyle took two big steps forward in the past week. My house sold (after three days on the market) last week which added pressure for me to finally make a decision on a travel trailer purchase. Over the past 4 months I at different times considered all of the following brands/models: Geo Pro, Scamp, Casita, RPods, Apex Nano, Shadow Cruiser, Heartland North Trail, Rockwood Mini Lites, several Keystone offerings, Jayco, Nash, Outdoors RV, Arctic Fox and a half dozen others. In the end I decided that as much as I would love to own an Outdoors RV or Nash trailer, that will indeed have to be my “2nd RV.” In the end, I found a very good deal on a new 2019 Keystone Cougar 22RBS. I’m impressed with the overall build quality and it should serve me well for the next several years. I have to drive down to Iowa to pick it up next week. Then the fun can begin. At that point, I expect to become a regular on some of the other boards here!
  18. Ouch. Too late. The 10 x 30 space I rented is clean, secure and dry on a concrete slab but definitely not climate controlled. I only plan to use it for one Minnesota season though, but good advice re pallets. I may also opt to put sensitive items like photographs etc in the care of a family member (hmmm ... I may have an unwitting brother I can store things with). If I decide to go full time with the RV life I can always move belongings to better storage. I signed up with a realtor yesterday and something tells me my house will sell fast. I currently have approx. 125 “saved RVs” on the RV Trader App. I continue to do research and have gained lots of great tips from many of you on this site (not to mention somewhere around 500 hours spent watching YouTube Reviews). Is it just me or is Josh the RV nerd somewhat annoying? Just kidding ... I’ve actually gotten good information from his reviews. BUT ... I notice that he doesn’t review the Northwoods Mfg or Outdoors RV trailers. Thanks to folks here for pointing me in that direction. In addition to those two, I remain interested in Nash and Lance products. The manufacturers that are cranking out thousands of units on an assembly line have a knack for making their rigs look polished and more updated. But as someone on this site mentioned, you have to look past the glitz to the ”bones.” I haven’t completely ruled out a few offerings from Coachmen, Keystone and Grand Design. I’m really taking my time with this search. After all, its going to be my home for the foreseeable future. Just when I think I’ve settled on the best rig, some new bit of information arrives to shake things up. Sort of a process of elimination. Once I have an offer on the house, I’ll get real serious in a hurry. I know that the 2020 models are starting to show up on dealer lots and I’ve noticed that 2019 and 2018 model prices continue to fall. I may need to get in on one of those while I still can.
  19. House will go on the market in about 2 weeks. It literally took me 4-months of hard labor to get the place presentable. I can confidently say that I will have no regrets leaving property ownership behind once this place sells. Being footloose will suit me just fine. I’m going to drive to Duluth tomorrow to look at one of the Coachmen Freedom Express Ultralights. I’m wary of buying any Forest River products but this one has the layout and specs I’m looking for so I figure it deserves a look. I’m also very serious about one of the Grand Design models. As much as I’d like to get into a Lance or an Outdoors Recreation or Arctic Fox or Nash, I’m having a hard time convincing myself to spend $30 or $40K before I’m committed to this new lifestyle. Dealers around here are selling the Grand Design and Coachmen units for around $20K. Yes, I continue to watch for used but so far no luck. I hope to post details about my new purchase very soon. Saw another thread here about the “Class of 2019” and maybe just maybe I too will graduate this year! 😊
  20. I appreciate the votes for smaller, lighter units. I’m traveling solo and planning to live in this thing probably 3 to 4 months out of the year max. I want to be nimble and be able to get off the main roads occasionally ... Geo Pro sounds good for that but the trailer has to also serve as a gathering place for my friends on occasional hunting and fishing trips ... so I want the BIG U- dinette. Also want a dedicated bed, heated underbelly and a walkable roof. Fortunately, there are a few out there that check most of the boxes. It will soon be time to stop talking about it and actually buy this thing!
  21. OK ... one more question. I’m going to start looking at several small trailer models that range from 3,500# to about 5,000# dry weight. Some of the lighter units are single axle. The larger units are double axle. Speaking specifically from an axle standpoint, I guess I’m leaning toward a double axle for the peace of mind of having redundant tires in the event of a flat or blowout. Are there any other reasons why I should avoid a single axle if I go with a lighter weight unit? Again, many thanks in advance.
  22. Wow! Great feedback. Super helpful. Headed down on the train right now to watch the Twins take on the Tigers ... about 35 degrees right now. Already looking forward to spring training next year down south with the new rig. I will be digging into your suggestions with more research and follow-up questions I’m sure. This is going to be fun!
  23. Folks. Work with me here. I’m traveling alone. No wife ... no dog ... just me. I don’t need a palace. In fact, I like the whole “Tiny House” concept. I plan to be on the road for 4 months at a time. Then living in a cabin in the north woods the rest of the year. I own a half ton truck that I love. I’m not interested in a 5th wheel although I have nothing against them. Any other thoughts from the peanut gallery?
  24. OK ... not sure about your numbers there. I'm pretty happy with my 9,700# of tow capacity but am still looking for something under (or close to) 4,500 pounds dry. The 22G has a dry weight of 4,678# according to the latest brochure unless I'm reading it wrong. In any event, I wouldn't foresee any issues with those numbers.
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