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Old 06-19-2018, 06:30 PM   #1
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Hello. I have no RV at this point, but have been looking into it. I am an engineer, self-employed contractor, with a nice job network in the Chicago-land area. I am looking at the idea of moving from an Illinois-based house into an RV and then accepting contract work from warmer cities, staying 6 month to a few years at each place. After reading a good dose of RV lifestlye and technical issues, I started looking at maps for RV parks that were, for example, close to my current worksite. I was somewhat shocked that there were so few, as there are 3 nice sites near the house I live in, but nothing much closer to work than where I am now, which is an hour away. I thought maybe Chicagoland jus isn't going to have much, so I looked at a couple random cities, like Phoenix and Austin, which seemed a bit better. Has anyone come across someone living the model I am thinking of where you set up an RV near a high-tech work area and drive the commuter car into work each day, then setup somewhere else when the next 6to24-month contract pops up? I am not sure if price-wise and time-wise it would be as good as staying at Extended Stays and renting a U-Haul to move between them.
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Old 06-19-2018, 08:09 PM   #2
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Welcome and good luck in your decision making. Try renting an RV for a month or so and see how it goes?
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:17 PM   #3
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Glad to have you here in the forum with us. You're gonna love it here.

I think you have to first determine if the RV lifestyle is for you. Some RVs are good year round. Others don't fare well in cold climates during winters. Is is possible you could be in, say Boston in January? Then there is the issue of the rig sitting for months on end. Things go bad over time. Try renting something for a short time (maybe a week) and see if you think it would work for you.

Happy Trails!!!
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:37 PM   #4
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I don’t contract but I have several offices that I am responsible for so I spend time at each through out the year. Before I switched regions Chicago was in my region, terrible place for RV’ing. When I had to visit the Tinley Park Office I stayed in their parking lot or I stayed up in Brookfield, WI at the fairgrounds in the winter and Jellystone in the summer.

I’ve tried hotels and extended stay places. Nothing beats having a bed only you have slept in, a shower only you have used and a well stocked refer 24/7.

I still travel for meetings enough that I’m Diamond with Delta and Spire with IHG. the only good thing about hotels, I don’t have to wipe the shower down when I finish.

Here in Florida there are nice RV parks everywhere. Have to book the nicer ones early for winter but they are everywhere.

I couldn’t imagine being on the road as much as I am if I had to stay at extended stays.
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:55 PM   #5
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Hi


Good luck with your adventure

this place is great

Safe travels
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Old 06-19-2018, 10:58 PM   #6
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In my experience you won’t find RV parks conveniently located near big cities or anywhere that land is at a premium and high priced.

But many times just out of town, often on the “cheap” side of town where you’d find mobile home parks you’re likely to find transient RV parks with lots of “seasonal” or permanent residents - work campers etc.

If you can make your business work in smaller towns you’d find RV parks closer in.
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Old 06-20-2018, 07:15 AM   #7
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Thanks for the welcome, everybody. @sdennislee - your story is exactly on target with the point I am trying to figure out. From the point of view of wanting RVing to work, I am glad you see Chicago as a terrible place for RVing because that is what I saw when looking at maps. If I were simply going to keep working in my current region, and I wanted to RV, I would be able to stay at the all-season park near me. I just happen to live in a sweet-spot of RV parks that are somewhat near Chicago - getting closer in could no happen.

But one of the goals would be to mostly work in warmer climates, so I hope (and seek to confirm) that in the South and the West that parks are more of an option to stay in year round with a reasonable route into the tech work centers.

I have already done a good dose of reading and visiting RV sales centers in person. Have come up with a nominal plan for vehicles. Psychologically and socially, I think things are in decent shape. I know that renting and trying out an RV are good next steps, but I got stuck when I was just recently looking at maps with scenarios of where I would work and where I would camp.

In fact, the nominal equipment plan would be to have something like an E450-based class C around 30 feet with 1 or 2 slideouts pulling (flat) a suitable small car for commuting. I was assuming in that plan that work would not be too far from camping, and my spouse and I could shuffle around the one car between us. But if the work-to-campsite distance is far, the equipment plan "might" have to include a second small car driven separately when moving camp. That creates a bigger footprint at the campground. Does anyone travel with 2 small cars? Since we would not frequently travel to another state, the extra driving seems acceptable, but the footprint at a campground I am not sure about.

If my questions are getting too deep for an "introduce yourself" thread, I would be happy to know where this type of topic would best go.
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:53 AM   #8
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Hope the fulltiming works out for you!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 06-20-2018, 11:25 AM   #9
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I think the moderators will move the thread if they see a problem. Perhaps to general discussion.

The idea is one that floats through here periodically. I'd start by talking to a couple of the national contract houses that place folks with your specialty. They have an interest in you working for them so will be pretty honest about what they have or expect to have for you. They know they have to deliver on a steady basis to keep you a happy employee.

As far as an RV goes I think you might start with a 30 ft range C but will find that a tight fit for two people. It is also a depreciating asset as opposed to a house. Something else to consider. It would give you a way to move around parts of the country for a few years looking for something you like better than a large city metro. You also want to stay in places where winters are not severe to be able to get year around parking. Another culture shift. ;-)

Think that through and come back with more questions.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:02 PM   #10
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:12 PM   #11
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The further south you go the more likely you are to find year round parks, I’ve stayed in them as far north as TN and GA. Keep in mind full year can simply mean their water lines don’t freeze, doesn’t necessarily mean shorts and flip flops.

I have a 31’ class C and a 40’ class A. The class C was just to cramped for me. There are plenty of full timers living in class Cs, just wasn’t right for me. I loaned my C to a friend and he and his family of 4 with 2 Newfoundland hounds were quite happy in it and pulled either their Subaru or the enclosed motorcycle trailer. They did this for 2 years until he got a sweet deal on a class A. To each his own.

I cover the Eastern US, east of the Mississippi from Maine to Florida. I don’t go to Maine in the winter and I have never had trouble finding a nice park with in 30 minutes of any of my offices. I do know to reserve prime FL parks well in advance of the winter snowbird rush. Extremely popular areas like Savannah can be tough during the peak season, no different than you would find at extended stays or hotels, limited availability and higher costs.

Where you may find an issue, some parks have rules about how long you can stay some only 30 days others 1 year. Sometimes these are park rules and sometimes it’s the government. There are also parks where you can buy the lot and stay indefinitely.

Florida has tons of RV ports, a space for your RV with an outbuilding that has everything you would find in an apartment other than a bedroom, rules against living in the cabana. Some just have storage sheds or garages, you can find them inland, on the intercostal with a boat dock, etc... Buy one then when you transfer sell it or rent it out to a snow bird. You will be amazed at just how reasonably priced these ports are, some are downright cheap. I’m paying $550.00 p/mo plus electric where I am now, if I knew where in FL I wanted to live I could easily pay the mortgage with what I’m paying for my site.

Way too many options to list in a thread but what you want to do is very doable. I’ll gladly help by making you a sweet deal on a 31’ class C set up for towing
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