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Greetings all! I've just purchased my RV today! I know that the RV needs work, and I do plan to do a shakedown trip next week to some cabin in the middle of the woods in North Florida. I do plan to be Full time by the end of the year, but first I need some work done on it such as upgrading the electric system (Solar, batteries, wires, etc...) I also want to put in a desk and some storage on the main slide out. I ended up with a 2002 Damon Challenger and so far, it is good, a few things do need to be replaced, but nothing major, just upgrades.


I do have a work question, but I'll leave that to another post.


I am looking to go full time in either late December, or Early January. I am following the advice of my mentor and get out of Florida. I do want to pursue a career in computer science and write code as a travel, but I need the education first.


I am heavily considering to leave Florida no later than January, and the question that I have is that too soon to leave when I've just recently purchased a RV? I am new to it, and I'll admit that, but a RV is not the largest vehicle that I've moved around, I regularly drive a fuel truck, but unfortunately, not in traffic. I've had other questions, but for some reason I've just forgot them. Oh well, back to homework.

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welcome to the world of rv. great life. but sometimes it gets $$$.

I WOULD for while make trips like 100-200 miles. just to see how it runs. Get to know what is what. emptying water tanks, keeping drinking water clean,

Is it gas or diesel ?

btw im a computer geek for last 20 yrs. fix um, build websites, maintain them, instruct ppl on how to use there site ect.

I use drupal.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums. I suggest that you start by reading one or two good books on the RV lifestyle so that you understand what you need to do before you hit the road. And as you start to modify the RV and pack your belongings into it, you need to get familiar with all of the weight limits and then weigh the rig as it is so that you understand how much you will be able to safely carry with you and how to properly distribute the weight that you add. There is more to this than just stuffing every storage space to capacity. :)


Weights and Measures 315 ~ 329 ~ 330 ~ 335 ~ 348
..Chassis ....................................W/F*~ W/F*~ W/F* ~W/F*~ W/F*
Wheelbase (in.)~~~~~~~~~~~~ 216.5 ~216.5 ~216.5~ 216.5 ~~228
GVWR (lbs.).......... 18k/20.5k~ 18k/20.5k ~18k/20.5k ~18k/20.5k~ 22k/22k
GCWR (lbs.)........... 21k/26k~~ 21k/26k~~~ 21k/26k~~ 21k/26k~~ 26k/26k
Fresh water system (appx. gal.) 75 ~80~ ~~75~~~~~ ~75~~~~~~~ ~75
Gray water (appx. gal.) ~~ ~ 50
Black water (appx. gal.) ~~~ 50
LP (lbs.) ~~ ~103.5
Sleeping capacity ~~~~~ 4
Std. wt. (appx. lbs.)~14666/15236 15547/16124 15022/15275 15239/15549 16984/16514
Overall height with A/C 11'7" 11'7" 11'7" 11'7" 12'0"/11'9"
Overall length 33'9" 33'9" 34'7" 34'7" 36'0"
Overall width 101" 101" 101" 101" 101"
The weights listed are for units with full fuel tanks and no options.

This taken from the 2002 Damon Challenger brochure...

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My first trip ended up being 75 miles on the way home from the site I picked up the RV, I went out of the way to see how it handled on both large and small roads, and during rush hour too, The first shakedown will be monday, not a long trip, just a overnight at my pops cabin, which his neighbor does have hook-ups that I can use. The next trip I am planning is in late november to go down to Disney for a couple of days since it is at least three hour away. It will at least be late December or early january before I make the trek across the country. Also weight and balance is on top of my mind, the only thing I have a abundance of is movies 1000+.


I do have a couple of projects that I have planned. I do want to install solar power, I am going to start with a 520W system but with an option to upgrade. I have a good deal on a couple of panels, and I also have an electrician to help out too.


The next project is to remove the both the love seat and the booth, and put in a desk for the computers, and possibly a work bench. I don't know, I am still toying around with ideas, but I do like YarrVee's set up.Since I will be going to school for computer science, so I should set up for that.


Thanks for the info wildmandmc, I'll check out drupal when I get a chance. I do not plan to go into web, but I am going to weigh my options when selecting a area I want to pursue, web is one of them, but I am considering desktop applications since I do have a few ideas for aviation use, and I want to make it happen.


I've got a lot of work, and a lot to learn before I make this trip, but these short trips should help to see what needs to get done and what kind of changes I would like to make.

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Sounds like you are moving ahead nicely. We could probably be more helpful if you were to share a bit more about your background and your plans. Am I correct that you plan to live in the RV in a fixed location while in school? Once you begin to travel you will need to have some sort of permanent address and mail service, but that shouldn't be needed while in school. As you replace the things in the slide, do keep weights in mind, although you probably won't add as much as you remove with what you are taking out. Of course the issue there is not only the desk but also whatever equipment you put on and into the desk. It is something that several on the forums have done so advice should be available here on the project, if needed.


When you get to solar, I suggest you start by visiting the website of Jack Mayer as he has a lot of technical information on his site and he has a lot of solar experience. I would also suggest a visit to the site of Mark Nemeth to review what he has posted and also invite you to take a look at my website, when you have the time, although mine is different from the first two. I think that you will find each of those sites will offer some information that will be helpful as you move forward with your plans.


Do share your progress with us here as there are many of us who enjoy watching the progress of other folks as they move ahead with RV plans. It can be a wonderful life!

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Thanks for all of the info, and I will check out those pages.


For now, I plan to park while I am in school with an occasional weekend trip to San Diego to visit family, and also visit other camping spots out in the wilderness.


I will keep you guys posted.

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As you are selecting and installing your desk, consider that your desk will be flying down the road, hitting bumps in the road, swaying back and forth, and coming to an occasional sudden stop. That means you will want a desk with drawers that latch and designed so that things stay put and don't fly off. You might want to find a way to strap down your laptop and a small printer. Might even want a padded base for your laptop to protect it when you hit bumps.


Also, if you don't already have a 12 volt outlet near your desk, you will want to have one installed so you can use it to charge your electronics when you are traveling or parked without electric, like in a parking lot somewhere.


You may spend the first few years parked, but you will eventually be glad you planned for bumpy highways and being able to charge things later on. (I know this because I teach online and my only two 12 volt chargers are not convenient. One is in a closet in my bedroom and another in the hall on a very narrow shelf.)


And some of us are girls, even if we are really old girls!

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yup the world of rving is great, one of those i say to myself , dumbass should of started this yrs ago. but atleast i started doing it.

different ppl you meet. get to enjoy life without the (most of the time) door bell rings, salesman calling, sitting outside with a campfire,

almost like roughing it with modern upgrade , ie electric tv. with fuel prices dropped alot , more ppl are enjoying some lifetime travel times.

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My pops suggested that I should wait until I start building my "office." I should find out what I need first while I live in the RV and then build to suite my need. I might just follow his advice there, but go ahead and upgrade the electrical system a little bit out a time as I save money. I want to build my office for the road and honestly still do not know what I will need, but I do know what I want. My two big concerns that I will have when I build the office will be the PC desktop, and my TV/ Monitor (42"). The PC is liquid cooled, and the monitor is well... big.


As of right now, I am upgrading all of my lights to LED's, and so far, they are looking great. I am using natural white for the living area, and warm white for the bedroom. I am considering adding a couple of RGB strips on the interior for an accent and to allow some light when I don't want to turn the dome's on while I am concentrating on a project or watching films.


I was going to do my shakedown today, but between work, school, and homework. It has been difficult to get things done that I need to get done, and I have class that starts early tuesday morning.


Again thanks for all of the advice, and I still have a ton of reading to do... especially on installing LED strips.

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