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Old 03-10-2012, 09:55 PM   #15
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Let me play the Devils Advocate here.

I think you are making a big big mistake.

Until you go and spend at least a month together inside an RV you won't know whether or not full timing is for you. And, after renting a rig for a month, you will be armed with more knowledge about what you like and dislike the most.

You can read until you are blue in the face and still not have a clue what RV will be best for you.

If you never rode a bike in your life would you sign on to go on a coast to coast bike ride? Not even knowing how to ride a bike? No.

The same principle applies here.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:29 PM   #16
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Thanking "All" of you... for your input.

Can I say "Wow" here? Thanks guys!!!!!!!!!!
I am truly humbled by all the responses we've received in such a short time. Your comments and advice are very much appreciated and sharing your experience with us is worth it's weight in gold (which is still holding at a pretty decent price). Just so you can relax in your concern for our ability to adapt to a relatively "radical" new lifestyle for the average American (?) We have been living a pretty adventurous life, so to speak, for over 15 years - selling our 4-bedroom tri-level on 3.5 tranquil wooded acres... to, at one point, living in a 1-room "flat" (12' x 16') with 8'x10' kitchen & bath on the 4th floor (with no elevator) for over 5 years... in a former communist country!* And we loved it! It was "zdorova!"
FYI... My husband retired from AT&T after 31 yrs, bought his (first) Honda Goldwing motorcycle and traveled the U.S. & Canada for a few years... which led him to form his own business leading tours there. He met me in '94, married me in '96 (we're still practically newlyweds ). We sold our house in NC in the first 5 years, moved to Russia (*) where we lived like average Russians, until August 8/08. With open minds and willing hearts, we moved to Montana for 9 glorious months (rented a beautiful little 1-bedrm. bungalow in the Helena Valley and took long drives to enjoy the awesome wonder of God's creation more than ever before). Then, almost 2 years ago - this week, we discovered hubby has leukemia, so we came home to NC for cancer care (thanking God daily, that no chemo/radiation is needed). Since that time, we've begun somewhat of a reassessment of our future together... done over a year's worth (and counting) of research on RV living, and a month ago we bought a dually already equipped for a 5th wheel. (I still want to spell it "Dooley" Maybe Tom was an RV'er! He wouldn't come home!)

Today, we went to NC's largest Annual RV Dealer show (where a couple of our friends actually purchased a big 5vr after years of looking). We investigated a few more 5th wheels (actually looking under some of them, feeling inside of the cabinets, snubbing some small showers, and distrusting the salesmen a little more) We even peeked in & walked around inside a few more Class A's (we don't want to end up with buyers remorse... we can always sell the truck). FYI... My husband was born 4 miles from Red Bay, AL... for those who might already be enjoy rolling around in our favorite motorhome (thusfar).

So... thanks again... and please pardon my rambling! I'm just getting more excited! Oh... and keep the advice and encouragement coming!
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by two-niner View Post
Be prepared for severe "buyers remorse".

Once it passes you will be okay. Let us know when the yard sale will be.

Kerry
Thanks for your caution... it's well warranted. We'll be prepared, but hopeful that "buyers remorse won't happen! No regrets... we can always "turn back" to "bricks and sticks... as someone else commented. If we do "go for it" and RVing doesn't work out to be a long-term lifestyle... we are CERTAIN that the time and monetary investment will pay dividends in "life experience... and if we're lucky, some great moments in another adventure together." See my latest post... you'll understand what I mean.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:13 PM   #18
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I started RV'ing in 1957. Parents had an Airstream Excella 500 and a Foretravel MH so I was used to higher quality units. Still made the mistake of buying a Santara that I had to fix cabinets almost every time out.
Our 4th MH a DSDP (Dutch Star diesel pusher) didn't have enough room (only one slide and 39' long) so we traded it after only two years. Now we're going on 10 years with the present DSDP. I keep looking at larger/fancier units but then I realize ours does everything we want and we ordered it the way we wanted so why trade/sell?
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:38 PM   #19
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Mr. Hoagland... thanks for your comments... but what mistake? No purchase has been made yet... plus, we are not in a hurry. We have 2 cars and a pretty cool truck... which can always be used... (or sold)... we live in the country with no debt, no dependent children, and no fear of the future. No worries... as our friend from Australia likes to say. As for the bike ride? We are not totally naive and will not make any decision until we both feel the time is right. BTW... I'll not take your remark personally. I may not have any RVing experience but my husband does, and he's not led me into any "untested waters yet." We only make mutual decisions in matters of great consequence, and I look forward to sacrificing time and money spending more leisure time together seeing more of this great country...and others nearby. If you read my earlier post (it was a lengthy one)... we've lived in a very small space together for over five years and survived with our marriage and our sanity intact.

I've relayed your advice to my husband... I'd love to rent/use both motorhomes and 5th wheels before taking the plunge! My niece has a 5w... maybe I'll ask for a "test run?" Also... we've been offered a free weekend at an RV resort already. 'Just a matter of when to go! Thanks again
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:44 PM   #20
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I had never been in an RV until about a year after I decided I was moving into one. At first I thought I could living in a 12' teardrop towed behind my Volvo. WRONG! I had never been inside of one so I had greatly misjudge how small a 12' teardrop was.

Than I decided I needed a 20' travel trailer and spent 6 months looking at them before anyone told me it was illegal to let pets ride in the trailer while it was moving - they have to ride in the truck; well that's okay if it was just 1 dog or 2 cats, but heck, I've got a bird and 15 cats, no way they are going to fit in the truck!

I crossed all trailers of all types off my list and set out to look at motorhomes next.

When I first started looked for a MH, my first thought was for a Toyota Dolphin. At first Toyota was the only thing I would look at. I "looked" at a bunch of them, before actually setting foot inside of one (a 19 footer). First thing that happened was I hit my head on the door. Than I got inside and had to stand leaning over to avoid hitting my head on the ceiling. Hit my head on the door again, on my way out. I was only in the thing maybe 10 minutes, and I knew right off, no way I was
going to be able to live in something that small. Maybe if I was under 5' tall I could live in it, but I'm not very tall at 5'6" and there was not enough headroom for me to stand up inside without hitting my head, and the entry door must have been only 5'4" because I really had to stoop low to get in and out and I still hit my head both times. I still like them and all, but I'm just too tall to live comfortably inside of something that short on headroom, so they got crossed off my list.

Next I decided a 35' Class A was the thing for me and spent THREE YEARS looking at them, than found one I realy wanted, and almost bought it, but than I did something I had never done before: sat in the driver's seat and turned the key. Uhm...yeah...okay, maybe it's the perfect size to live in, but how the heck am I supposed to drive this thing? YIKES! I never thought of that part before!

I ended up getting a 1975 22' Dodge Sportsman Class C, which with an 11' clearance, has plenty of headroom for me to walk around inside, and being built on a van body wasn't so big that I freaked out sitting behind the wheel of it.

I almost bought a 12' teardrop, a 35' travel trailer, a 19' Toyota, and a 35 Class A...each time I was all set to buy without ever having set foot inside the thing. Each time, it was going inside and walking around in it, that made me realize I had greatly misjudged what I was getting myself into. I am glad I did try before buying, each time, because if I had bought first and tried later, I would have been stuck with something I could not use. It took quiet a few years of looking at RVs of all shapes and sizes, before I finaly realized which one was right for me. But still even after all of that, the first time I ever slept in an RV was not until 5 days after I had bought one!

The lesson I learned was, you can look at and research all you want, but until you actually try it out, none of that research means squat, so always try before you buy!

Me I'm a long time tent camper and love the minimalist lifestyle, so moving into an RV was no problem, seeing as I was moving into a bigger place, not a smaller place. But if you are living in a house, than you'll be moving into a smaller space when you move into your RV and I would imagine that'd take more getting used to, than moving out of an 8' tent into a MH like I did. So, yeah, I agree with what others are saying...rent one for a few days or weeks and see if you can tolerate living in 35 square feet of total house. The average house has 1,500sq' of living space, so dropping down from 1,500 to 35 is a HUGE change, that you may or may not be able to do. My 22' Class C has 12'x8' of actually "house" inside of it once you minus out the bathroom, closet, and stove, which is double what I had in the 8'x6' tent, so I've got twice as much living space now than I did before moving into my MH, so I had no trouble at all adjusting to the "small" square footage. If you have a lot of "things" than it may be even harder for you to adjust because you have to not only move into a home 1/100th the size of your house, but you are moving into it, w/o taking anything with you. It could be a lot harder for you to adjust that you realize, so yeah, I would suggest you rent an RV and live in it for 6 months or so, than see if you still want to adopt this lifestyle or not.

But yeah, if you discover you do in fact like the lifestyle, than yeah, it'll be worth all the wait and "loss".
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:53 PM   #21
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OMG... hey gang! I think that many of you took what I intended to be a "humorous" post way to seriously! I thought all my smiles might "shine a bit of light" that altho all of what I said was true... I wasn't really "stressing out" about it. I was tired when I wrote "Will it be worth it"... and it was general musings. The initial post was on the blog of the forum, and it was moved. I didn't realize that the majority of the posts there were about "trips, adventures, interesting places and people along the way." I'm still new to IRV2. I look forward to the day that I can "blog" some "trail talk." Your site is awesome!
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:00 AM   #22
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Thanks for the fun comment. I think we walked thru that 100th one today at the RV show! I even warned some folks about the "glass bowl" sink in the bathroom after reading a post about one shattering after someone dropped something in it! After so many "tours"... I almost know what I don't want, for sure. I also know what I do want... maybe NEED too... light and at least a small "barrier" (island/peninsula/bar/etc.) to separate the kitchen from the living room area. I like the front LV in some of the 5th wheels, but DH wants a rear one!
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:11 AM   #23
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Too funny... you had lots of experience "shopping" before making up your mind. And how many cats? No way! Does that mean that your life is pretty close to "purrfect"? Thanks for sharing!
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:24 AM   #24
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Thanks Mr_D! You certainly are a life-long RVr! I'm sure you could share a lot of great stories! You must have a wealth of information!

We are looking at higher end pre-owned 5th wheels and motorhomes, but not "too old"... less than 5 years if possible, depending upon the model.
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:38 AM   #25
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I didn't know what your total life experience was when I wrote that advice. Now that you've posted your experiences I think you will handle it just great.
There are people who, in fact, do go and sell their homes and go full timing with no prior knowledge and find out way too late it's not for them. But I think you guys will do fine.
Where did you live in Russia? I was there for a few weeks in 1991. Had the most harrowing airplane ride in my life on Aeroflot.
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:00 AM   #26
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I'm so glad you're okay with it now! We initially lived in Petrozavodsk, in the Republic of Karelia (on the border of Finland). It was wonderful! My husband, Chuck lived there for a year (1995) before we were married in '96. He taught Christian morals and ethics (along with 1700 others in over 72 cities)... on the invitation of the Minister of Education for all of Russia! Russia has such a problem with alcoholism (In 2000... >40% pop. men/>17% women and if I recall correctly >2 million children under the age of 14?) and suicide... that once the curtain fell, a study of the western countries, particularly the US, showed that freedom of religion played a significant part in the overall moral benefit to society. Chuck and I even taught it in the prisons for 2 years! Imagine that! We also taught ESL, to professionals & general public, did orphan ministry, humanitarian aid, childrens' camps, and other direct village ministries. The main reason we are not there today is because of Chuck's health. We gained a "Russian daughter and son" out of the experience (not officially... but heart-held).

Aeroflot!!! That was your first mistake! We never flew "AeroFLOP"... as they were called by our friends who flew them. I'm sure you must remember this: when the plan landed, did the Russians clap? We assumed that's because they were relieved that they made it in one piece! Did you know that at one time, Russia had an average of 55 crashes a year (I think that was the number)?

If you ever go again... fly British Air. The service is great and the food is not bad either Oh... and one other thing... Hoagland! We were friends with a Bob Hoagland when we lived in Charlotte, NC. Any relation?
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Old 03-11-2012, 01:43 AM   #27
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No relation. We were supposed to fly B.A. and the week of the flight Russia banned all airlines other than Aeroflot into Moscow and St Petersburg. Had no choice. The Russians were getting their stuff out of the overhead departments when the wheels weren't on the ground yet. Us Americans were horrified. They served us Sardines for the breakfast meal. Lovely.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:54 AM   #28
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Iv'e read thru this post and all the comments makes me want to jump in! Not sure what my comments will offer but it made me ask exactly what is it that may differ for a full timer and a weekender. I remember when we first started in a tent when our kids were tiny and what we wanted from our camping experience. That was simply to get ourselves out of the house(the daily routine) and closer to nature. We would set up camp on the shore of a nearby lake, light up the campfire and attempt to keep our kids corraled and safe from drowning. We always returned in time for work on monday tired and ready to be back on the job so we could get some needed rest. Since then we have owned pop-ups, pickup campers, 5th wheels, and a couple of Motorhomes and several livaboard sized boats. Nearly 50 years has passed since that first tent! Now we spend nearly 6 months a year in the motorhome and we "never" light a campfire. What we are doing is living our life 1/2 time in smaller quarters that is not attached to one piece of ground. We want a comfortable house on wheels and a spot to park it that offers us 50 amp power, sewer and water connection and a fairly level spot that will not cause us to step in the mud every time we exit! We enjoy our big TV, our recliner's, and the fireplace to keep us toasty on a cool winters eve! That cool winters eve is way south, that I can gaurantee! I wish we hadn't ordered the king sized bed and stayed with the Queen!
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