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Old 08-22-2011, 02:51 AM   #1
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Smile Wannabe FTRV Seeking Friendship and Sage Advice

Greetings from east of the Chesapeake Bay. We have been reading forums and researching the fulltime RV lifestyle for about 2 years. We plan on jumping into fulltiming in about 2 years. Wife and family have extensive 5th wheel and motor home experience. I grew up tenting on camping trips.

We would very much appreciate your experienced thoughts about good approaches for fulltime RV living, and any thoughts about our current thinking; thank you!

Our RV target has evolved from 5th wheel trailers, now onto a small motorhome with a tow vehicle. We want to keep things as small as practical so we will have increased access to a wide variety of campgrounds. We also think we will want to do plenty of boondocking along the way.

I read a few recent posts about poor RV industry quality and that has me imagining nightmare situations. Obviously something moving over the road is taking harsh punishment and even the best materials and quality are subject to failure, adjustment and repair.

Currently I am convinced that the main thing is seeing new people, places and things, and much less about comfort and convenience. So my thought is minimize the fancy systems, look for solid chassis which may lessen failures and repairs and enjoy the ride. We are trying to pay careful attention to all the loading/pulling weights, measures, and capacity ratings.

In addition to a tow vehicle, we are considering a small (P/U) with a small cargo trailer as a sort of mobile garage. Are any of our newbie FT thoughts reasonable or misguided? Thank you again and hope to meet you down the road.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:01 AM   #2
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4Star4Now;

Welcome to iRV2. I am sorry I can not be much help with your questions. I never full timed nor do I plan on it. Many of our members do or have and should be able to help you. I encourage you to browse the forums that interest you and don't be afraid to ask questions. I wish you great success on your planed adventure.

Don
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:31 AM   #3
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My wife and I have fulltimed since 2005, 5 years in a 29-foot 5th wheel, the last year and a half in a 36 foot class A. Here are my philosophical thoughts on fulltiming: 1) whatever you think it will be, it'll be different. Not better, not worse, just different. It's impossible to know what it will really be like until you do it. 2) it's not 'camping', it's 'living'. It took me two years to figure out that I'm not 'camping' - I live here. 3) the cost will be... whatever you've got. Two of the biggest expenses will be fuel and campgrounds. By traveling more or less you can control your fuel costs. You can reduce camping costs by boondocking, paying monthly rates instead of daily rates, by volunteering in exchange for a free campsite, or by work-camping. And last, but not least, we love it! It's not for everybody, but it works for us. Good luck!
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:51 AM   #4
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4star4now:

WELCOME to the iRV2 gang. Glad to have ya along.

So, are you planning to tow the cargo trailer (mobile garage) with that pick-up inside or am I misunderstanding?? We run a motorhome towing a small car and have been full timing since 05. Works well for us. We can put our two bikes standing up inside the car (an 05 Honda Element.....ugly !), with our canoe on carriers atop the car and away we go. After traveling all over the country (even Alaska, maritime provinces, and all over the Southern tier states) we're pretty convinced that the key is to keep your set up as simple as possible. Towing a mobile trailer, AND a tow vehicle, gets to be a bit of a hassle. Even though ya might run a shorter motorhome (mh) we've observed many travelers having a )heck of time setting up and breaking camp as they try to find spots to park the trailer (or tow dolly). If ya can, minimize the "stuff" you plan to haul along so ya can keep it down to just the mh and a 4-down tow vehicle, you'll be pretty much ahead of the game.

Oh, also, whatever rig ya get, consider getting enough horsepower and the best torque producer ya can to pull those grades in the mountain states. ALSO, and more importantly, be sure it's equipped with a jake/engine braking system. Ya won't regret it when decending those long, long and steep, downgrades. If ya get the right set up from the git-go, traveling is ALOT more enjoyable.

Anyway, WELCOME again.

Steve & Lynette
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:09 AM   #5
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Hi folks! Welcome to IRV2! Good luck on going full-time!
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:35 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum and congrats on your plans to FT!

Some good advice so far. I really like the point about needing to realize that "you're not camping... you're living here". It's reall true.

I too am confused about your plans for a tow vehicle AND an enclosed trailer so could you expand on your thinking there?

The size of the rig you choose is key to meeting your objectives and is always a balance and compromise. We FT in a 40 DP and it's true that we cannot fit into many state and national parks... but we have LOTs of storage space and the living area has a feel which is more like a condo than a camper. For us, that's important if we're going to live in it full time.

Best of luck to you both...

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Old 08-23-2011, 08:09 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the very warm welcome and great experiences and ideas. All the wisdom and kindness definitely gave me the warm fuzzies. Sorry about my mixed message on the tow vehicles, seems I mixed two ideas; 1) tow a small vehicle; 2) drive a separate small P/U pulling a small cargo trailer. Wife says no to driving two vehicles, so we're back to Class C and a tow vehicle. Thinking of towing a small P/U and use the truck bed with a poptop cover as the garage.... can probably keep our canoe on the roof of the P/U too. Found a Gulfstream Silverbullet Class C that has 10K towing capacity, Dodge 5500 chassis, Cummins 6.1L diesel. Does anyone have any experience with Gulfstream? or their Silverbullet Class C? Thanks for all your kind help.
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