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Old 03-27-2018, 09:19 PM   #1
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FIRST-timers and FULL-timers at once! Looking for input

My dad always told me “go big or go home” and my wife and I are doing just that. We have never owned a motorhome. Never rented or camped in a motorhome. I’ve only taken my kids camping a total of 3 times.

BUT

We love the outdoors. We desire a simpler life. We seek to create our own way. We want to show our kids a slower pace of life. We want our kids to see the world. We want to chase our dreams and show our kids what that looks like.

SO.....

We just sold our house. Bought a motorhome. I (Brian) am moving my job to be 100% remote. We are shoving off on (what we hope to be) an epic adventure and plan to full-time around the country for 3-4 years. HERE WE GO!!

We are taking delivery of our used 2018 Tiffin Coach next week and I am not sure where to start. I have already designed and purchase a mobile connectivity system (Cradlepoint + WeBoost + WifiRanger + Unlimited Data Plan) and a RV GPS, but that’s about it.

Here’s where I would love your help. I can’t do everything at once, but please share with me any tips, tricks, ideas and must-have’s that we should be ready for when we shove off in t-minus 35 days! Thank you in advance!!
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Old 03-27-2018, 09:54 PM   #2
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Fun times ahead!!!

What car are you towing behind your coach?
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Old 03-27-2018, 11:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimballFam View Post
My dad always told me “go big or go home” and my wife and I are doing just that. We have never owned a motorhome. Never rented or camped in a motorhome. I’ve only taken my kids camping a total of 3 times.



BUT



We love the outdoors. We desire a simpler life. We seek to create our own way. We want to show our kids a slower pace of life. We want our kids to see the world. We want to chase our dreams and show our kids what that looks like.



SO.....



We just sold our house. Bought a motorhome. I (Brian) am moving my job to be 100% remote. We are shoving off on (what we hope to be) an epic adventure and plan to full-time around the country for 3-4 years. HERE WE GO!!



We are taking delivery of our used 2018 Tiffin Coach next week and I am not sure where to start. I have already designed and purchase a mobile connectivity system (Cradlepoint + WeBoost + WifiRanger + Unlimited Data Plan) and a RV GPS, but that’s about it.



Here’s where I would love your help. I can’t do everything at once, but please share with me any tips, tricks, ideas and must-have’s that we should be ready for when we shove off in t-minus 35 days! Thank you in advance!!


If you want to keep up with news and entertainment keep DIRECTV or Dish and Sirius radio going if you don’t already have it. Also keep one of the many compact and useful tool kits that are sold all over for the simpler fixes that come up. Read the various manuals on the RV systems to become as familiar as possible. Pay particular attention to the electrical, water, and waste water systems on the RV as well as the various campground hookups. Always have a lookout whenever you need to back up anywhere as there are many ways to tangle with unseen obstacles. Of course there will be many more useful tips coming from experienced RVers.
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Old 03-28-2018, 02:15 AM   #4
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Motorhome adventure

Been on the road for 5 years now......One very important thing to always remember is how tall you are....Always be on the lookout for low branches, signs, and any other obstacles, whenever you leave the highway.....Swing wide when pulling into gas stations, and around 90 degree corners....Always back up very carefully.......
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:07 AM   #5
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Following because ultimately my wife and I would like to do the same thing with our family of four.

Best of luck!
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:59 AM   #6
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Seriously, Before setting out on what you expect to be an initial 3-4 years of full timing in your new (and 1st ever) Motor-Home , I'd recommend you take a few short weekend and local outings or jaunts to gain familiarization with actually using the coach and all its systems. For this , you shouldn't have to travel far, just go to a campground nearby, set up and practice. This is likely the best advice anyone could give you.

FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF; Getting to know how everything works (with some practical experience) can be like "drinking from a firehose" at first. Take it slow. What you expect to be an "Epic Adventure" could become an "nightmare" if your not duly prepared for such.

Some additional things you might want to consider:

• DRIVING - Undertake some professional RV Driving Instruction - these are typically 2-day low-cost courses that serve to help you (and your significant other) learn how to properly drive your coach including navigating properly and arm you with the precautions you need to be aware of (i.e. making turns, parking, reversing, etc). Navigating a Class A Motor-Home with a tow vehicle in dense urban traffic particularly in unfamiliar places can and will be at times a bit "daunting", i.e. white-knuckles so knowing what to expect and how to react will greatly benefit you (and your significant other), same applies to narrow roads and or construction zones you will likely encounter. The RVDriving School is a good example of one that offers such training nationwide; https://www.rvschool.com

• WEIGHT - Get your new Coach loaded up beforehand (with everything you plan to carry/haul), then get it weighed so that you learn and know what the correct tire pressures should be (and remain) as well as ensuring your ride height is properly adjusted.

• TOWING - Assuming you plan on pulling a "toad" (tow vehicle), take time to get familiar with doing so. Get practice'd in connecting it, pulling it and disconnecting it. (you can't back up when pulling a tow vehicle so the last place you'll want to learn such is at a tight intersection you under estimated or possibly a fuel stop).

• USE A CHECKLIST - Assemble and Use a Checklist (or better, borrow one from a source such as here in the IRV2 forums). A pre-travel checklist will help you to forego forgetting to unplug a cord, a hose, close a roof top satTV dish or drive off with a basement compartment door open, etc. which can otherwise be costly mistakes.

• MECHANICAL READINESS - Since you've purchased a pre-owned coach, you'll also want to ensure it's truly road-trip ready. Be certain of the status of all serviceable items in the form of all key preventative maintenance having been completed. That may have already been done by the seller but if not, you need to know it and pay attention to such.

• YOUTUBE - take advantage of and watch many of the videos which address various aspects of RV ownership, use, and systems operation as can be found on YouTube. i.e. LazyDays RV is widely known for producing some good "tutorial" type RV'ing videos. https://www.lazydays.com/videos

• IRV2.com - as you've likely already recognized, IRV2.com provides individual and dedicate brand specific Owner's Forums to which you'll want to join in on and leverage the experience from other owner's of Tiffin Motor-Homes like or similar to yours. http://www.irv2.com/forums/f106/

• LASTLY, SLOW DOWN - You mention you plan to pull out in 35-days while still awaiting to take delivery of you new coach a week from now - leaving you basically 4-weeks to prepare for a 3-4 year outing. As you clearly stated, you can't do everything at once so don't push it. One bad experience at the onset of your journey can be stressful and is not a memory you'll want to carry along with you.

Good Luck and Happy Trails.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:49 AM   #7
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rewillia what a great post. You are spot on with your recommendations. I would add to get a good GPS system (Garmin 660 or 770) designed for motorhomes to keep out of trouble of low bridges and bad roads.
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:02 AM   #8
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I love it. You and your wife must have decided to take this on together so you'll manage. Continue to learn at a reasonable pace. Don't stress yourself out. This isn't rocket science IMO. Sure you'll be way more prepared a year from now but your attitude is more important than knowledge.

My only suggestion is to have a plan B for when/if your rig needs extended maintenance or repair. Ex. Have a Disney fund for your backup. Think about it, Rig breaks down you get to go to Disney for two weeks. I guess you might have to worry about the kiddos sabotaging the MH but .....
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:47 AM   #9
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:28 AM   #10
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Take video when they show how things work in the coach, easier than notes
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:21 AM   #11
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You are a braver man than I.

It will be an adventure. Hopefully full of plenty of great memories.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimballFam View Post
My dad always told me “go big or go home” and my wife and I are doing just that. We have never owned a motorhome. Never rented or camped in a motorhome. I’ve only taken my kids camping a total of 3 times.
....right there with you, did the same in early 2014, traded twice between a slightly used 40' Blackwood fifth-wheel bunkhouse and Diesel truck, a new '15 Georgetown XLDS360 ClassA gas, and then to our new '14 Palazzo bunkhouse diesel pusher, adding our toad and 4 bike rack...all within 3 months : )
... never camped or rv's before, sold house, went full-time, works virtually from the coach(Insurance)


BUT

We love the outdoors. We desire a simpler life. We seek to create our own way. We want to show our kids a slower pace of life. We want our kids to see the world. We want to chase our dreams and show our kids what that looks like.

SO.....

We just sold our house. Bought a motorhome. I (Brian) am moving my job to be 100% remote. We are shoving off on (what we hope to be) an epic adventure and plan to full-time around the country for 3-4 years. HERE WE GO!!

We are taking delivery of our used 2018 Tiffin Coach next week and I am not sure where to start. I have already designed and purchase a mobile connectivity system (Cradlepoint + WeBoost + WifiRanger + Unlimited Data Plan) and a RV GPS, but that’s about it.

....we originally purchased and used a WifiRanger successfully for the first several years, then went with AT&T Unlimited Plus on all 4 phones and now only use them, as hot spots for our laptops, devices, and desktop computer(too many to count!)... no need for the WifiRanger anymore(at least not normallY)... even more dependable than rv park wifi. No gps used other than google maps on the phone. Don't like old school gps devices, too restricting.

Here’s where I would love your help. I can’t do everything at once, but please share with me any tips, tricks, ideas and must-have’s that we should be ready for when we shove off in t-minus 35 days! Thank you in advance!!
...we've certainly made many 'updates' to our coach to better meet our needs, some of which include:
changing the front elec bunk limits to provide either a bed, or as storage while traveling,
removed 'sideways' shades for pull down shades for the driver and passenger sides,
removed the bunk folding doors(heavy, and just get in the way...added black curtains for privacy),
moved water pump/water filter/water pipes from passenger side water compartment to driver side wet bay compartment,
hardwired Shore Power cord directly thru DEF bay area where it is also wrapped and stored around the DEF tank versus having to attach it via the outside connector and having to store it separately,
added KingTailgater2 portable Dish antenna and receivers and coax cabling from roof down rear under coach and into wet bay where they attach to interior cables,
and added 200w Solar currently mounted on aluminum rails on mid-roof,
as well as other smaller changes, such as adding awning mounted sun/privacy shade with end mount shades.


Have fun! It won't all happen at once, and you'll want to travel for a while before you realize things that YOU want to change, not necessarily what others have done. : )
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:15 AM   #13
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Howdy!

Welcome to the lifestyle of fulltime RVing where “Every day is a Saturday and your on vacation the rest of your life”.

I would suggest looking in to the Escapees organization. They cater to the fulltime lifestyle. They offer RV boot camp, Escapades, Webinar, forum etc.. to help educate and keep you informed. We also use their mail-forwarding Service.

https://www.escapees.com/
https://www.escapees.com/education/rvers-boot-camp/
https://www.escapees.com/community/national-rally/
https://www.escapees.com/mail-service/

“Happy Trails’
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Old 03-28-2018, 11:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rewillia View Post
Seriously, Before setting out on what you expect to be an initial 3-4 years of full timing in your new (and 1st ever) Motor-Home , I'd recommend you take a few short weekend and local outings or jaunts to gain familiarization with actually using the coach and all its systems. For this , you shouldn't have to travel far, just go to a campground nearby, set up and practice. This is likely the best advice anyone could give you.

FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF; Getting to know how everything works (with some practical experience) can be like "drinking from a firehose" at first. Take it slow. What you expect to be an "Epic Adventure" could become an "nightmare" if your not duly prepared for such.

Some additional things you might want to consider:

• DRIVING - Undertake some professional RV Driving Instruction - these are typically 2-day low-cost courses that serve to help you (and your significant other) learn how to properly drive your coach including navigating properly and arm you with the precautions you need to be aware of (i.e. making turns, parking, reversing, etc). Navigating a Class A Motor-Home with a tow vehicle in dense urban traffic particularly in unfamiliar places can and will be at times a bit "daunting", i.e. white-knuckles so knowing what to expect and how to react will greatly benefit you (and your significant other), same applies to narrow roads and or construction zones you will likely encounter. The RVDriving School is a good example of one that offers such training nationwide; https://www.rvschool.com

• WEIGHT - Get your new Coach loaded up beforehand (with everything you plan to carry/haul), then get it weighed so that you learn and know what the correct tire pressures should be (and remain) as well as ensuring your ride height is properly adjusted.

• TOWING - Assuming you plan on pulling a "toad" (tow vehicle), take time to get familiar with doing so. Get practice'd in connecting it, pulling it and disconnecting it. (you can't back up when pulling a tow vehicle so the last place you'll want to learn such is at a tight intersection you under estimated or possibly a fuel stop).

• USE A CHECKLIST - Assemble and Use a Checklist (or better, borrow one from a source such as here in the IRV2 forums). A pre-travel checklist will help you to forego forgetting to unplug a cord, a hose, close a roof top satTV dish or drive off with a basement compartment door open, etc. which can otherwise be costly mistakes.

• MECHANICAL READINESS - Since you've purchased a pre-owned coach, you'll also want to ensure it's truly road-trip ready. Be certain of the status of all serviceable items in the form of all key preventative maintenance having been completed. That may have already been done by the seller but if not, you need to know it and pay attention to such.

• YOUTUBE - take advantage of and watch many of the videos which address various aspects of RV ownership, use, and systems operation as can be found on YouTube. i.e. LazyDays RV is widely known for producing some good "tutorial" type RV'ing videos. https://www.lazydays.com/videos

• IRV2.com - as you've likely already recognized, IRV2.com provides individual and dedicate brand specific Owner's Forums to which you'll want to join in on and leverage the experience from other owner's of Tiffin Motor-Homes like or similar to yours. http://www.irv2.com/forums/f106/

• LASTLY, SLOW DOWN - You mention you plan to pull out in 35-days while still awaiting to take delivery of you new coach a week from now - leaving you basically 4-weeks to prepare for a 3-4 year outing. As you clearly stated, you can't do everything at once so don't push it. One bad experience at the onset of your journey can be stressful and is not a memory you'll want to carry along with you.

Good Luck and Happy Trails.
Yep, a great post indeed. I would also highly suggest you equip the MH and toad with a TPMS system. Since everything is riding on your tires, being able to glance at the tire pressures or audibly be warned if you start to lose pressure in a tire is a real important safety factor IMO.
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