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J&T1953

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Hi all - I am a first time poster, so forgive me for not knowing the acronyms. My wife an I are planning on retiring within two years. We have been exploring full-time RVing, but have no experience. We are nearly certain we would prefer a fifth wheeler, and are planning on spending winters in the Arizona area, but then travel the country over the five following summers. Based on what we have seen and what we think would work for us, we narrowed down our options mostly to fifth wheelers. Couple of early questions:

1) How can we learn how to dump black water- flush water lines - add propane, (basically survive)? We are thinking one of the Boot Camps, but are not sure...

2) Many people have stated- do not go full-time before trying it - and yet, many of these same posters, say that is exactly what they did - so my question, how to do I do a trial run, without purchasing all of the equipment? Renting a C-Class is expensive and really doesn't prove much, does it?

3) Are we Crazy?

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Hi, what we did was purchase our RV spring of the year prior to going full-time. We parked it at a relative's out in the country - had water and electric to hook up to, although it was not the 50 amp the rig could use. We just were careful how many electric things we ran at once. There was a campground about 5 miles away that we went to dump (paid their fee). We spent weekends there that first summer. Stocked it with things from goodwill so we didn't have to haul things back and forth. Also did this so our dogs could become used to the motorhome. We had no, zero, zip manuals for the motorhome and basically used the internet to learn how to do things. Of course, my DH is very handy and has a basic understanding of plumbing, electrical etc and had no problems. Dumping is easy - pull a valve after connecting the hose in the dump station , first black, then grey to rinse hoses. Disconnect hose from rv, rinse hose with the water hose provided at the dump station while hose is still connected at the dump so the yuk you are rinsing from the hose still goes in the dump - then disconnect dump station end and stow. Of course you are wearing some type of gloves and wash you hands when done. You usually do not get anything on your hands though. After watching my DH a couple of times, I could dump if need be. Just read as much as you can on the forums and google what you don't get answered from reading and asking questions., The internet is a wonderful thing -- oh - if you have manuals, read the manuals, even for appliances, you will find out things just doing that.

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J&T,

Welcome to the forums and fulltime RVing!

 

We fulltimed for 7 years and loved it. The excuse my SH (Significant Harassment) of the last 43 years last Sunday used was caring for our remaining two parents one of which we buried a week ago last Monday. I am glad we did.

 

One thing we did was to join Escapees before we even hit the road. We came off the road in 2003 and let our membership lapse after 2005 when it looked like we weren't getting back on the road anytime soon. Glad it took longer. Our first year of travel was planned along a route that took us to all the Escapees parks and coops from Shreveport I-20 to 10 to 8 to San Diego, then North to swing by all the California SKP coops, and up to the Northenmost, Chimicum in Washington state.

 

The SKPs (Pronounced Escapees) at each park and clubhouse taught us everything we did not figure out ourselves. The SKP magazine will come monthly to give you lots of info the year before you head out.

 

REad read read here. Lots of great folks will help.

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I would agree with others--purchase the equipment at least a year (two would be better) before you plan to go fulltime and use it every chance you have. Try to get out for as long as you can at a time to see what you think. That way you won't burn all your bridges before you at least get a glimse of what the life it like. Many of us loved the lifestyle but there have many that tried it for a year or so and didn't like it.

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No, you are not crazy, perhaps adventuresome. We retired, were healthy, tired of the same old thing at home, our parents died, didn't enjoy Michigan winters, and wanted an adventure. We sold the home in 3 months and during that time identified the fifth wheel and truck that met our needs. The day the house closed we ordered the fifth wheel. When it arrived two of our first stops were Life on Wheels (no longer active) and the Escapees Boot Camp to learn how to spell RV. This was our first one. That was over 8 years ago and we a still enjoying the lifestyle.

Back to your questions.....go to the Escapees Boot Camp now. You will learn more about RVs and choosing the right one for you. You will also start to make new friends who are doing the same as you, you can learn together. We have more and better RV friends than we did when we had a house. If you have some common sense you will be fine.

If you are committed to the full timing adventure you will make it work, the only question is how much will it cost to learn. We just jumped into it, maybe we were lucky it has worked out so well. Greg

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Third or fourth endorsement for 'Boot Camp' You will learn what questions to ask and what features you want in an RV. Then start looking until you think you've found the 'right' unit. If its the right unit it will feel right. If negative thoughts about a few details come up then walk away. As in 'If you can see a problem then living with the problem puts you on the short road to insanity.'

 

Good luck

Bill

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Read these forums daily...you will learn tons of stuff and don't be afraid to ask what something means, or how to do somethin, the folks here are incredibly forgiving when it comes to "newbies" questions. I have asked many and learned much. We had the opportunity to live in a small class A (no slide) last year so we were able to learn from first hand experience. It is truly amazing how much one can fit into a small RV!! We found a much larger class A with a slide and feel like we are living in a penthouse now compared to what we were living in!! The experience of living in one before you go full time is invaluable if you can manage to do it. Best of luck in your adventure, we are also looking forward to doing it full time when we retire!! Most importantly just know that things will arise that you never would have thought of and you will learn how to fix them...don't sweat the small things and enjoy!!!

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Have friends that are full timers. wife miss's real "house". altho myself i do the part time thing, an love every time i set up camp.

but i would think everyday might bring on "im tired of walking from room to room an only walking 10 feet.

Few questions to ask yourself. got enough $$ to substain everyday life, setting up at same spot or traveling, But main thing, buying the 1st unit

is a huge decision . way to many dealers just want to sell you what they can't sell.. an lots of time its way over priced.

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We went cold turkey. But I wouldn't recommend it if you can avoid it.

 

My primary advice is to have a plan b. An exit plan. I've seen way too many dreams turn into nightmares. Just make sure you can return to 'normal' life if things don't go as you expected them to.

 

good luck.

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My wife and I are four years out from semi-retirement (we plan to workcamp at times). We also decided on a fifth wheel which was a process of it's own. We decided a fifth wheel was a better match for our intended style of travel.

 

We just finished taking a 1600 mile trip in a rented class C. We only had it eight days which is not enough time to decide if living on the road works or not. Although we learned several other important things. We only rented a 25' model when we are looking at the longer fifth wheels for our full time rig.

 

I've owned a pop-up camper, moved to a 30' travel trailer after years of tent camping as well. Learning the systems, like dumping the black water tank and more are easy once you have done them a few times. I'd not feel ashamed to ask anyone at a camp site to walk me through any questions I had. Any good dealer or individual selling the rig should do the same. Obviously you can watch some videos on it. Before we rented the class C I watched several videos before we left on the particular model we were renting - helped a bunch.

 

Good luck in your planning and hope to see you on the forums. PS - Your not crazy. This is going to be an awesome journey.

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My primary advice is to have a plan b. An exit plan.

 

The only exit plan we had was selling the house and investing the proceeds. We didn't put a time limit on full-timing we just went and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Not one regret. After 16 years of full-timing the investment grew, we bought another small house in an altogether part of the country than we never dreamed of living and look forward to the next stage in our lives.

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I'm one of the people who just did it. I had no experience driving anything bigger than a minivan when I took delivery of my 32' Class C. I had to drive it to my son's house which was 75 miles, and he dropped me off and then followed me back. I had spent a lot of time online, however, reading about how to drive a big vehicle and did just fine.

 

I also spent a lot of time (over a year) looking at motorhomes at shows and dealers and reading blogs about why people bought what they did. While a lot of people say to buy used to try it out, I have allergies and did not want used because so many people have pets. I am very happy with the floor plan I bought, and it is perfect for me. I took out the front dinette and put in my recliner from home because I have a bad back, so part of my decision on a motorhome was that I could remove the dinette. An important thing is to imagine how you will use whatever you are looking at. Where will you all sit on rainy days? Can you get to everything with slides closed? Where will you put towels and toiletries? Do you fit in the shower without hitting your head??

 

And frankly, fellow campers in campgrounds are very helpful. If you get stuck and don't know how to do something, just wander around to a vehicle that is the same class as yours and ask for help. People helped me at first, and I have helped a lot of puzzled looking newcomers.

 

And I agree about the exit plan. Few of us can live this way when we get really old and infirm, so a Plan B is always a good idea.

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Boot Camp is a great idea. I wish it was available when we started out. We just learned from other Rvers and the usual school of hard knocks.

 

When buying a 5th, floor plan is the first decision, make sure you can live with it, what you need is accessible on the road when all the slides are in. Our requirements were refrigerator and bathroom. We didn't feel a need to eat lunch in the 5th but could put out the slide a bit to access the table.

 

Be adaptable!!!!

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Hi all - I am a first time poster, so forgive me for not knowing the acronyms. My wife an I are planning on retiring within two years. We have been exploring full-time RVing, but have no experience. We are nearly certain we would prefer a fifth wheeler, and are planning on spending winters in the Arizona area, but then travel the country over the five following summers. Based on what we have seen and what we think would work for us, we narrowed down our options mostly to fifth wheelers. Couple of early questions:

1) How can we learn how to dump black water- flush water lines - add propane, (basically survive)? We are thinking one of the Boot Camps, but are not sure...

 

Or...ask at a RV Campground - we are friendly sorts. But, for sure since you are newbies, do consider a boot camp!

 

If you happen to live in Alabama or close by, message me I'd be happy to mentor :)

 

Shoot message me anyway and I'll mentor!

 

2) Many people have stated- do not go full-time before trying it - and yet, many of these same posters, say that is exactly what they did - so my question, how to do I do a trial run, without purchasing all of the equipment? Renting a C-Class is expensive and really doesn't prove much, does it?

 

mmmm Maybe...The Wynns "Gone With The Wynns" and tHoward & Linda Payne of "RV-Dreams.Com" just up and sold everything and went full time without knowing which end of a sewer hose to attach to the RV :rolleyes:

 

Then again there IS something to be said about renting a RV and going on a one week trip. If you do this, I strongly urge you to go out with an experienced RVer - there are things to learn but, like any lifestyle the skill set will become second nature to you in short order.

 

3) Are we Crazy?

 

No. You are sane to want to Escape! We are in the Class of 2017 and DW has been making noises that she might want a early graduatation date :D

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