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Have you, or someone you know quit fulltimeing?


finally03gt

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My wife and I are seriously considering going full time in the next couple of years. We will have the ability to continue our careers, as they are geographically flexible. The other day the comment came up, "I've never heard of anyone who went full time, then bailed and said, nope, not for me." Then it occurred to me, I'm not exactly involved in communities where one would expect to find those people.

 

So here's the question. Barring medical limitations, do you know anyone that has given up the full time lifestyle and why?

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We stopped fulltiming after 12 years. Not because we didn't like it...we loved it and still miss it...but because we were both getting to an age where we felt we should be close to good medical *just in case.* We do still snowbird for about 5 months during the winter.

LindaH
2014 Winnebago Aspect 27K
2011 Kia Soul

 

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Yes several and for various reasons. For some it just did not work for them, For health reasons, family reasons, age and some did what they wanted to do and went off the road.

 

You really can not know ,IMO, if a lifestyle is for you till you try it. If you feel the lifestyle is for

you do it..

Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky

SKP 100137. North Ridgeville, Ohio in the summer, sort of and where ever it is warm in the winter.

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So here's the question. Barring medical limitations, do you know anyone that has given up the full time lifestyle and why?

First let me respond to the second part, then I'll address our situation. I have observed many people join these forums and announce that they are going out full-time RV traveling who went through the process but then disappeared after 2 years or less. In most such cases the people do not return to say what happened to them but it is fairly safe to assume that they are no longer fulltimers. Saying why that happens would be only speculation, but in my opinion it is highly likely that most of them found the space too small or the lifestyle not to their liking, or they missed family and friends, or.................... ? Over many years on these forums, I have come to doubt that any more than about 20% of those who start out to fulltime are still out there after 5 years, but that is nothing more than my best guess. I do, however know several folks who were fulltime for a period of time and are not today and I'll tell you a bit about those I remain in contact with today.

 

The first couple were folks who were Escapees and he was very active on these forums. He went by Boogity and we do still occasionally have contact. The problem for them was mostly that he wanted to go on the road and he convinced her to go along with this. They sold their home and bought a very nice diesel pusher and they actually stayed on the road for about two years, but with many trips back to where the kids still live. Today they are off the road, the motorhome has been sold and Boogity has found other ways to stay busy. He sitll misses the road, she is happy now but never was really satisfied when on the road. His mistake was in talking her into going when she really didn't like the idea.

 

Next is a couple who actually moved into a gas powered class A about a year before they retired and they kept a home-base while on the road. They did both enjoy most things about the lifestyle, but he wanted a diesel pusher in the worst way and a couple years into the life he traded for a new motorhome that proved to be unsatisfactory, then after about 18 months they traded again for a pusher that they were very happy with, but found that they had taken on too much debt and no-longer could afford to travel with it and still meet the payments. We visit these folks on a frequent basis and they still miss their days on the road and dream of buying an RV for seasonal travel once more. He has commented more than once that if they had kept the gas coach they would still be on the road.

 

There is also one couple who we know that bought a very nice, older, high end motorhome to hit the road. They loved the lifestyle and hated to leave but found that the cost of maintenance and of replacement of failing appliances in an older motorhome left them too little excess funds for them to do much in the places their travels took them. They left the road and left the RV forums.

 

We have neighbors who went on the road and stayed out for 16 years, then one day just concluded that they had traveled long enough and that there was nowhere left that they want to see, and so sold the RV and bought a house in an RV community to stay a part of the the RV society.

 

Another couple in our community were on the road for 8 years, then chose to buy a home-base that is close to grandchildren so that they can be a bigger part of the kids lives. They have downsized the RV and they take short trips of a week to a month from time to time.

 

In our community there are probably at least 45 couples/singles who were once fulltime and who no longer are. Most of us have home bases now due to either advancing age or to health reasons that come with increasing age. Several have concluded that they are no longer safe drivers in the larger RVs that were once home and so have fixed homes and now use a much smaller RV, and we happen to be in that group. In winter there are usually at least 50 occupied residences here but in summer it sometimes reaches a point of very few remaining home. With increasing age here, there are more that stay close to home but even last summer at one point only 8 homes were occupied for periods of more than a week and most leave for a month or longer. I believe that the average tenure as fulltimers in our community is somewhere around the 12 years that is true for us. The highest number of years fulltime that I know of here is 23 and the least is 2 years.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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I guess what I'm really hunting for with what question to ask our selves. Some things we have discussed:

 

Close, constant physical proximity to each other

Where to establish "home base" and to store the things we do not intend to sell

Proximity to family

Living space and organization

Areas of Interest to visit

Finances (although they can change a moments notice)

Health issues. We are both fairly young and health, so excepting illness and injury we should be ok there.

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Kirk, thank you for the reply. I was typing my last reply before I saw your post.

 

What started the discussion for my wife and I was differing opinions about where to live when we empty nest in a couple of years. She has always been a bit nomadic, and loves the beach. I HATE the beach. So one day I made the comment, lets just buy a nice 5'er and we'll find a beach destination a couple months during the summer. The idea took off from there. We discovered early, that home base was a must. I like cars and my shop too much, and we are looking after her mom. That seemed to solve a lot of the full time issues I had. I work offshore, so I'm gone about half the year anyway, so living in a small space with few personal item is nothing new to me. I'm honestly more of a home body, and like being near family. But we have 5 daughters and the odds of them all settling locally is slim. I also LOVE the attitudes and personality of the RV community. And there are places I'd like to see. All that said, I decided I could make a run at the full time life style. My wife has been all in since day 1.

 

She is a RN and plans to choose locations and travel contract that suite her travel bug. She also plans to spend 1/2-1/3 of the year at "home base". We plan to just have a plot of land, with a shop, and a place for mom there, and continue living in our RV while there. With both of us working, and not having a big mortgage, we should be able to make a smart purchase and stay in a strong financial position.

 

I suppose I still have a bit of hesitation, but she is ready to go, and I'm certainly not opposed, just still looking for the hiccups. I'd rather solve the problem before it arises than fix it later.

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My wife and I have been fulltiming for three years now... We upfront realized that this may not be our 'final' lifestyle, and made sure that we burned no bridges and had an in place strategy & means to retire from fultiming. Each Fall, we discuss between the two of us, and then purposely 're-decide', whether or not to go back in the coming year to full-timing, or part-timing... or not at all.

 

So far, we love it, and these discussion are short ones... but we do it year-by-year.

2007 Dolphin

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My wife and I have been fulltiming for three years now... We upfront realized that this may not be our 'final' lifestyle, and made sure that we burned no bridges and had an in place strategy & means to retire from fultiming. Each Fall, we discuss between the two of us, and then purposely 're-decide', whether or not to go back in the coming year to full-timing, or part-timing... or not at all.

 

So far, we love it, and these discussion are short ones... but we do it year-by-year.

Great input. Hopefully having the home base will be me the security of "what-if". Seeing as how we plan to begin this adventure so young, I imagine it will not be permanent for us either. But in our discussions, we are digging in for the long haul 5-10 yrs.

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We fulltimed for close to 11 years & only know of one couple who bailed out after two years.

Full timing was her dream & he reluctantly went along with it. Bought a 40' diesel pusher and he was a nervous wreck for a day or two before any travel day. So it is VERY important that it be a joint decision AND the rig they choose be one with whicn they are comfortabe with.

Ron

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We decided to not full-time several years ago. We accepted advice offered here at escapees.com, discussed our future plans in detail-many times. IMO, if BOTH of you are not in complete agreement the odds of failing are high. We should have one unbreakable commitment in life- to our spouse above all others.

 

2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA IN 1SG retired;Good Sam Life member,FMCA ." And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country.  John F. Kennedy 20 Jan 1961

 

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We really like the idea of a Class A and toad, but every time we look at cost vs. function, we end up back at 5'ers. I guess, that's where I am, just making sure I'm on board. For me that is a matter of research, learning, and knowing what to expect as much as possible. Not that I against this. Just my personality to analyze things to death. For her it's "are we on the road yet"..haha.

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We really like the idea of a Class A and toad, but every time we look at cost vs. function, we end up back at 5'ers. I guess, that's where I am, just making sure I'm on board. For me that is a matter of research, learning, and knowing what to expect as much as possible. Not that I against this. Just my personality to analyze things to death. For her it's "are we on the road yet"..haha.

We used to have travel trailers and my wife wanted a 5th wheel in a bad way (lots of storage space), but when we looked at costs and the need for a

new truck to tow a 5th wheel we moved on to a 34 foot Class A MH with a bath & 1/2 and sleeps 7 (we have 4 grandchildren).

 

So yes it does come down to costs. A new diesel truck runs about $60-70K and a decent 5th wheel runs around $40-45K (or more).

 

We also have a lot of camping friends much older than us (we are 67 & 66) who said you will tire of the hitch, unhitch ritual of a TT or

5th wheel.

 

Costs of maintenance come into play. A oil change on a diesel truck runs about $110 at the dealer, same for a V10 class A MH, a diesel

pusher MH oil change runs about $350.

 

Also driving a 4 dr long bed F350 4x4 as I did before got to be a pain for daily use. Look at what is called a parking space at the grocery

store now days. So for our needs we went with the MH and I tow a small 4 dr 4x4 truck behind and that is also my daily driver at home.

Phil & Alberta Saran

2019 Keystone Cougar 30RLS

2012 Dodge Ram 3500 4x4 diesel

Colorado

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We really like the idea of a Class A and toad, but every time we look at cost vs. function, we end up back at 5'ers. I guess, that's where I am, just making sure I'm on board. For me that is a matter of research, learning, and knowing what to expect as much as possible. Not that I against this. Just my personality to analyze things to death. For her it's "are we on the road yet"..haha.

 

We started off with a budgeted amount for our fulltiming rig and started off looking at diesel A's. After a few trips to PPL in Houston we concluded that the rigs that fit our budget weren't what we wanted, so we switched to looking at pickups and 5vers. For us, it was a good choice - we found just want we wanted and even came in under budget.

 

So far as having the F350 as a daily driver, to each his own. We kind of split the difference, keeping our small car for winter when we stay put 4-5 months but leaving it with family the rest of the year. Frankly, I'd rather drive and ride in the pickup. It is more comfortable. These days, with fuel prices what they are, I'm perfectly happy driving the truck around town.

Our "Here and There" Blog

 

2005 Safari Cheetah Motorhome

 

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We've talked about this a lot. A big piece of this is that the TV will also be her transportation to work, when we get to a location. The Class A fits well, and we may find a deal on a used one, who knows. But looking at new, anything less than about $250k and we both start looking at 5'ers again. I have no issue buying a slightly used 1ton, and figure I can get a nicely equipped 2 yr old under 50K miles for probably $50K or less. I also do a lot of my own work and maintenance, so that's not a huge deal. Learning how to do that on a diesel pusher is another story. I have a 96 F350 CCLB SRW, and it's not fun, but I can get it in most places and man it loves the highway. It's still in the air, and the right deal on a pre-owned pusher would probably do it. I have no interest in a gas coach though. We are looking to be about to sleep 2 adults and 2-3 kids occasionally, in addition to ourselves, with out going to a full bunkhouse set up. We even looked at toy haulers and the idea of loading a Smart Car or old jeep, but I don't think that pans out well. We are budgeting for about $125K all in. Both being late 30's I'm not overly concerned about the hitching and stuff. We may start in 5'ers and age to pushers. Lots of options.

 

But first things first, and that is making the final commitment to start moving in that direction. We have couple irons in the fire, that should be sorted by the end of the year. Then we'll need to commit to preparing for this (finding a suitable home base and such), or just put this aside and invest in a stick and brick home. But I appreciate the feed back. Some questions I may not have even thought to ask.

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We were both retired 10 years ago. At the time I had no problem with selling or storing everything and full timing the wife not so much. We were both campers and RV'ers for many years. The compromise was to keep the S&B but go on the road full time our rig was a 1 ton dually Ford Diesel and a 40 foot 5th wheel 4 slides..

 

After the year the mutual consensus was that living in a RV 24/7/365 no matter the size was not our lifestyle. We found we were able to keep the S&B and still meet our goals of travel the USA and keep out of cold weather. We live In our opinion the best of both lifestyles .We are in a warm climate for 6 months and travel during the summer months we may be on the road for 9 months of the year.. When we must change lifestyles again and that time is on the horizon we have a S&B to live in or downsize we are now considering a residence in a warmer area for the winter and downsizing our S&B at our domicle.

 

Take your time and do what is best for you .What we are doing worked for us but may not work for you or anyone else.

Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky

SKP 100137. North Ridgeville, Ohio in the summer, sort of and where ever it is warm in the winter.

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It would not be financially wise for us to maintain the S&B type home we want in our empty nest years and invest significant money in a rig. We can afford a property just out of town with a small home (for mom) and a shop and still have a nice rig. I want to buy pre-owned to avoid getting upside down. If we need to exit, we sell the rig, drag in a mobile home and decide what's next. If we love it, we carry on as planned. When we get to the age or position that we don't want to be on the road as much, we execute the exit strategy. At least that's the plan. We are still in working years, so my wife will need to commit to travel contract, or a perm position locally. If she does the later, getting the time off to travel would be a challenge. We both had kids in our teens. Our desire is to use our remaining youth, combined with current income potential to get out there and play as hard as we work. The best laid plans of mice and men.

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"His mistake was in talking her into going when she really didn't like the idea."


----


I've known two couples that stopped fulltiming, and the reason that Kirk (and a few other posters) gave was the deal breaker. One fellow went the route of thinking that his wife would "get used to it" and eventually buy into the idea, while the woman in the other pair felt the same. None were on the same page from the get-go; expectations and "reservations" abounded, and the whole thing became an unhappy exercise instead of a fun adventure.



If your partner isn't your "best friend", and you don't enjoy being/going/doing together, and don't or can't communicate honestly, any size rig can get real small real fast. Not that you have to joined at the hip; in fact, each should have his/her own interests and/or activities to maintain independence and sense of self. If one of the pair feels put-upon, resentful, or "coerced", or is living life for/through the other, fulltiming is not likely to work out well.



Fulltiming can be a wonderful, "freeing" lifestyle, but if you're a member of a pair, it does take both in harness to pull the plow straight!









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I appreciate that advice. I see the point completely. As stated, she's in, I'm about 90% in. Part of the reason for this thread, is trying to be sure I'm sure. Seeing as she will be working, even while traveling, and my being offshore 1/2 the year, we usually enjoy the time we are together. Our careers have created a good bit of time apart. We joke that, that is what keeps us from getting sick of each other..haha.

 

Am I being naive about the exit strategy if it turns out not to be for us? Meaning, still having a home base, and buying pre-owned so that it could be sold with minimal loss.

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I'd be researching that piece of land first--many have rules that prohibit living in an RV on property even though you own it.

 

I dragged Dave out on the road. He was OK with it for three years but he missed his community a LOT! So after three years we moved back home but into an apartment instead of a house and bought me a conversion van in which I went out each of the next three winters. But, I missed him too much to be gone six months at a time and Minnesota weather does not lend itself well to RVing there for more than the other six months so even my snowbird rig is gone now.

 

We did manage to at least drive through the contiguous 48 states during our three years and saw lots of places of interest during that time. I wish Dave had been happier staying out longer but it is what it is.

 

Linda Sand

Blog: http://sandcastle.sandsys.org/

Former Rigs: Liesure Travel van, Winnebago View 24H, Winnebago Journey 34Y, Sportsmobile Sprinter conversion van

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Fulltiming is not something that should be taken lightly. It doesn't solve any marriage problems and more often than not highlights the differences. You realy have to be a close and compatible couple to make it work well. Living in a 'small' RV can really highlight cabin fever. I know one couple who dreamed the dream for years and years. Bought their dream motorhome. One week and one thousand miles after hitting the road they flew home leaving their dream behind. One week!!! The up side is that we met the folks who purchases their no longer loved motorhome. He was keen but she was still working and didn't want to live in an RV. But she went along with is dream. Well a year later we met them again. Both loved it and they had purchased a bigger motorhome.

The thing is you never never know until you give it a go. But it can be an expensive lesson learned for those it didn't work for. My advice is to always have a plan B. May never need it but have it anyway.

 

We stopped simply for family reasons. Elderly parents. We just couldn't find it in us morally to be away from them as they got old and shaky! Grandkids don't help either. Family can be a great thing but it also can be a huge drag. :wacko:

 

But the years we had in our motorhomes will remain with us for ever. Great memories. Now we just travel less. Use hotels and a tent. Spend 3-4 months a year on the road. Not RVing but a good compromise nonetheless.

 

regards

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I can relate and may have started a similar post a few years ago when we were trying to decide what to do. We have been full time over a year now and the jury is still out. Before we went FT, I would say that I was 95% into it and Cathy was more like 70-80% sure this lifestyle would work for us long term. right now, I would say that I am still at 95%, but Cathy's probably dropped to 60%. I stubbornly remain confident that as time goes by, her appreciation for full timing will increase.

 

I think your logic of buying used, so you can recoup more of the equipment costs is a sound one. That is what we did. Just keep in mind that it will still depreciate in value. We put a lot of upgrades into our rig that I would not expect to get a good return on if we sold out.

 

Here is my take on the Class A vs. 5th wheel, and using pickup as a daily driver discussion....

 

1) If we were going to park in 40 places a year or more, I would probably want a Class A and a toad. It looks like it would be a lot easier to set up and break camp. For some reason, we did not like the interior "feel" of Class A's. I think the layout including TV locations and low ceilings in the ones we worked at contributed to that. I also had intention of full timing long term, and thought the long term cost would be higher than what we did.

 

2) Staying in one place for longer periods, we think the 5th wheel is better for us. We really like our specific 5th wheel, but is is heavy at over 20K lbs.

 

3) We like having the smart car to get around in. It's not much of a car, but it works well for us. It's not nearly as bad as I imagined it would be for space and comfort.

 

4) We went with the HDT over a pickup or MDT for several reasons including safety, comfort, and cost. There are campgrounds we won't fit into, but we have not had problems finding places we do fit in at the places we want to go. We are not the travel light kinda folks, so having lots of storage in the truck is really nice for us. There are lot's of places to get repairs and service on an HDT. When truck was towed for repairs, CoachNet towed the trailer to a campground and we were much less inconvenienced than had we been in a MH. Likewise if the trailer goes in for repairs we can use the truck where we have fridge and microwave.

 

5) Our start up cost for the truck, trailer, and smart car was under the $125K budget you are targeting. We went with older, well made, and gently used equipment.

 

You have a lot to consider in what works best for you.

 

Jim

Volvo+and+Travel+Supreme+400+x+103.jpg

 

2001 Volvo 770, Detroit 60 Series, Gen 2 Autoshift

Passenger assist elevator to enter cab - for when we need it, or sell it?

'05 Travel Supreme Select 40 RLQSO 5th wheel

2016 smart car

 

We started full timing on December 1st 2014

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness - Mark Twain
Not all that wander are lost - J. R. R. Tolkien

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It would not be financially wise for us to maintain the S&B type home we want in our empty nest years and invest significant money in a rig. We can afford a property just out of town with a small home (for mom) and a shop and still have a nice rig. I want to buy pre-owned to avoid getting upside down. If we need to exit, we sell the rig, drag in a mobile home and decide what's next. If we love it, we carry on as planned. When we get to the age or position that we don't want to be on the road as much, we execute the exit strategy. At least that's the plan. We are still in working years, so my wife will need to commit to travel contract, or a perm position locally. If she does the later, getting the time off to travel would be a challenge. We both had kids in our teens. Our desire is to use our remaining youth, combined with current income potential to get out there and play as hard as we work. The best laid plans of mice and men.

You are on the right track.

Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky

SKP 100137. North Ridgeville, Ohio in the summer, sort of and where ever it is warm in the winter.

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Am I being naive about the exit strategy if it turns out not to be for us? Meaning, still having a home base, and buying pre-owned so that it could be sold with minimal loss.

Based upon what you have said thus far, I believe that your way of thinking is probably a very sound one. We have friends who sold their house but he kept his shop building where he built hot-rods and kept his boat. They spent most of the spring and summer at that location, taking a summer vacation trip or two then going south for the winter each year. That was a security blanket for them and both had parents close to the home base. After a time they put up a house and stopped the RV travels and no longer travel today. For them it was a very good plan.

 

This discussion has also left me wondering if you might be well served to take the time to read a book or two, and the same for your wife, about the lifestyle that you are contemplating? We used one back when we were preparing for our life on the road and found it to be very helpful, even though we had many years of RV travel experience and friends guiding us who had been full-time for more than 15 years before us. If you take a look, Amazon has a very good selection and you can also probably find more than one at your local library, probably in the reference section. With it now having been more than 15 years since we did our research, I have not kept current on which books are best so perhaps some of our newer members may have a favorite to suggest.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure

            images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQqFswi_bvvojaMvanTWAI

 

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