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Old 04-26-2017, 12:37 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2017
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New Member - solo w/kids

Hi -

My name is Carolyn and I'm from Northern California. I've got two boys, and soon we'll have (at least) one dog. My house is on the market and, with any luck, will be sold by the beginning of June. I've got tenants in it now who have until then to move out.

Our dream is to travel. I'm still working through what kind of rig will be best for us. Initially I was going with a short TT. I realized very fast that I do not want to tow anything - that includes a toad. So, a short Class C seemed the next logical option. I wasn't finding much of what I wanted in the price range I'll be able to afford, so my thoughts turned to getting a Suburban and camping/truck camping. Thankfully, I know myself well and realized quickly that we'd end up in more cheap hotels than a hooker if we took that route and would end up spending more money than I want. That line of thinking took me to a truck and truck camper. A 1 ton diesel dually is something I could see myself driving. The camper would be smallish, but not impossible if I could get the right floor plan. The price though - could get beyond my budget. The length also. I'd want a bigger truck camper which would mean a long bed truck and over hang from the camper. Well, if I'm going to be 22-24 feet, why not circle back around to the Class C? The boys would have space stretch out while we're traveling, it's still small enough to get around in a new town, everyone would have their own space... Seems like the best option. Hit up craigslist and rv trader again and this time I found quite a few Class Cs in that length range well under my budget.

I'm currently working as a private in-home healthcare provider. Translated: I take care of my ex-mother-in-law's mom who has Alzheimer's. The initial time frame for the job has come and gone and now I'm here until 1. she passes, 2. gets to the point where she needs medical care, or 3. the insurance money paying me runs out. After that, we're out of here!!

Are there any other single parents out there? I'd love to connect with some and just chat. Find out the challenges, the tricks, the experiences, the changes, etc.

My boys and I are super excited to get started on this next chapter of our lives!

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Old 04-26-2017, 12:41 PM   #2
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Hi Carolyn! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Hope you find the perfect rig for your needs!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!

Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:54 PM   #3
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Don't sell yourself short on the space. Myself, wife and little one travel full-time in a 35' class A which sometimes feels crowded and I'm glad we didn't get anything smaller. If you get a smaller unit, class C or similar, think about features like an awning and cargo bays, you will need plenty of space for storage and exterior room to spend your time.

And a hitch for bikes also. Good luck with your adventures!!
07 Newmar Canyon Star 3410 - 34' 11 FT WH W22 Chassis 8.1L 75K, 2013 Honda Fit Toad, Full Time Family
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:21 PM   #4
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Welcome Carolyn. You've got some decisions to make. I personally wouldn't go too small because what might seem adequate now will be crowded once you move in and start using it. We have a 32 foot A with 2 slides and it's perfect for us and also adequate when the G-kiddos are with us. Not so big that we can't fit into the various campgrounds and easy to drive. What part of No. CA are you in? We're in the Modesto area. I wish you luck in finding the best rig for you and the boys. Happy travels.
John & Marilyn
2004 Dolphin Heritage LX, 32 ft
Modesto/Ceres CA
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:41 PM   #5
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We trekked across the US when I was 14, son of a single Mom. That was about 50 years ago. I still remember just about every day, lasting memories. A few years later we did Europe.

Make sure you get something your comfortable handling. The kids will adapt.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:48 PM   #6
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We might be able to suggest more options knowing a bit more about your situation. How old are the boys? How big a breed is the dog ? What is your budget? Do you have any abilities for DIY or mechanic work? How far and how often will you be driving? Will you always be staying in warm weather? You don't want to try to heat an RV in a very cold climate for the winter.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:19 PM   #7
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Hi Carolyn

Glad to have you here in the forum with us.

It sounds good at the present but down the road a bit you will find a truck camper too small for a family. Especially during inclement weather. Even a small class C while better is not going to be comfortable.
I'm also waiting on answers to questions asked in the previous post.

Happy Trails!!!
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
Newmar Dutch Star 4320, Spartan MM Chassis, Cat C9, 2018 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Blue Ox Aventa LX, and AF1. TST 507 TPMS
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:44 AM   #8
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Thank you, all, for your warm welcome!

Here's a bit more information...
I already know I do not want to tow anything. I marked that off the list very early on.
I do not want slide outs. Yes, they equal more room, but they also malfunction.
Which leads to a question that was asked: No, I don't have the diy/mechanics know-how. I can diy the inside with paint, curtains, and organizational things, but anything more than adding oil or changing a tire is beyond my realm of knowledge.
We will be staying in temperate climates. I will not drive in snow! (Ok, I realize I might time something wrong and HAVE to drive in snow, but I really, really, really, don't want to drive in snow!!!) I'm hoping to be able to plan well enough that we hit regions/states of the US when the weather is warmer vs. colder.
My boys are 13 and 9. They'll likely be 14 and 10 before we get out on the road. Chris, my 13 year old, is already as tall as me, and Jon is only about a foot shorter than us.
I do understand bigger is nicer for more room and comfort, but I do need to stick with what I'm comfortable with. I've driven transit bus in the past and am comfortable with around 24 feet.
I'd LOVE to travel full time and just keep going forever, but unless I'm able to find a job that I can do on the road, we'll have to come 'home' so I can work and save so we can go out again. The sale of my house will give us the funds to be able to go out for, I'm guessing, 6 months or so. How long we're gone for our first go 'round will really depend on what time of year it is when this job ends. If it's winter time, we'd stick around until after the holidays and maybe mosey across the southern part of the US, though I do hear of ice across I-40. So, how long we're gone and where we go initially all depends on when my job ends.
The dog. We don't have one yet. My boys have been begging me for one, but I won't get one while we're in our apartment. The apartment complex wants too much money as a pet charge. We'll likely go to the pound or a shelter to get our dog. I've already told the boys that whatever we get will need to be medium to big - a protector, rather than a cute little yap-yap dog. They said huskie. I said too much hair. They said German shepherd. I said maybe. It'll depend on what's available when we look and what feels right for us.
My budget is $25,000. I'd LOVE to stay around $20,000. I'll be buying used, for sure.
Last question, I believe, I'm in Woodland. So not too far from Modesto. We drove through there last weekend heading over to Yosemite.
Oh wait, one more - we'll definitely have to figure out a bike rack!

I appreciate all advise and opinions!!! Although I've read a lot, watched youtube videos, and looked a quite a few different rvs, I know that I still have TONS to learn!!!

In the end, it's important for me that I feel comfortable driving whatever we get. The boys will adjust. We've gone from a 4 bed/2 bath house, to 1/1 apt, to 3/2 house, to 2/1 apt. The rv will be a place to sleep and cook. Our lives will be spent outside exploring this amazing country of ours!
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Old 04-28-2017, 07:09 AM   #9
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Here is one possibility....

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Old 04-28-2017, 07:13 AM   #10
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Wow, Carolyn, I'm impressed with all your forethought. I'm rooting for you to find the perfect rig for your family. Good idea on the dog breed vs. fur in a smaller rig. German shepherds fall in the furry/shed category, but would be an excellent protector. Good point on slides. Have you checked into being a camp host? I don't know much about it, but I've heard good things and the perks might benefit your ideas. Best of travels to your family. Keep us posted on your progress.

John & Marilyn
2004 Dolphin Heritage LX, 32 ft
Modesto/Ceres CA
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