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Old 07-06-2009, 07:48 PM   #1
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Did you always intend to fulltime?

For those of you that fulltime or are getting ready to, did you always plan on fulltiming if you could? I've had my TT for seven years now and thoroughly enjoy every minute I get to go, but really can't see me fulltiming. I'm also 36 and will still be working for at least 30 more years so it's not even on the radar to consider, I'm sure that makes a difference.

I think about selling off everything, going ahead and giving the kids my stuff that they want, and relying on just what I can take with me, and I just can't picture it. Has to be thrilling and terrifying at the same time.

Now traveling six months out of the year with a home base, I could totally see that. Maybe I'm too much of a home body, but I can also see where it would grow on you too.

So did you plan on it from the beginning, or it is something that you decided on only once you got close to being able to?
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:35 PM   #2
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For me it was not a cut-and-dried decision. I definitely evolved into it. Actually, still evolving as I will not be full time until 2012.

It all started with backpacking trips in NM and Colorado in the 70's and 80's, and then car-camping when kids came along in the mid-to-late 80's. We got a pop-up in 2000 and this is when we started coming across literature and people that were talking about this thing called "full-timing". We were intrigued with the idea but had a hard time seeing how it could be done.

But the idea kept tugging at both of us and we sought out things to read. It turns out there is an abundance of information and people actually living this way. Estimates range from 1 million to 4 million folks living this lifestyle right now. I came across a book by Bill and Jan Moeller, Complete Guide to Full-Time RVing Life on the Open Road. This book really helped me crystallize my thinking about full-timing.

So in about 2001 we said "let's do it!". We had a few major life events that needed to be completed first, like getting enough funds saved and getting two kids through college. This put our estimated launch date around mid-year, 2012. This will be well before traditional retirement age.

We started executing our 11 year plan and things were going pretty well until the down-turn in '08. But even then we are not deterred, we are still aiming for 2012. If our nest egg is smaller than planned, so be it, we are going to figure out how to make it work.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:17 PM   #3
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I originally bought the camper for camping and fishing.

Then I got a job in Hillsboro with Intel.

Then I discovered the hard way that trying to commute daily on a poorly planned and deliberately bottle necked highway wasn't going to work (2 hrs to do 50 miles), and so I looked at apartments in the area, ($700 for a one bedroom), ouch.... Look at room rentals... ($400-500 for a bedroom)..... Ouch.... So I hunted around for RV parks, none to be found, lots of mobilehome parks.... All want $500 a month... ouch.... I find one dumpy RV park near the area with a more reasonable rate, $250 a month. Won't rent to a Truck Camper.

So, I take their rent rate, and post a Housing Wanted add looking for a rentable RV pad. I find where I'm currently living, $250 nets me water, electric and grey water service (No main sewer connection, so the black tank gets dumped into a portable roughly once a month) plus Verizon Fios (Wifi and I pay $10 extra for the tuner box for the tv).

I go down to Salem on some weeks to see my wife-to-be and she comes up on some weeks. In another month, providing my contract agency doesn't have another job lined up for me, I'll be heading back to Salem to stay with family till I find out where I'm going to wind up working next.

So, basically Cost of living was what necessitated living in a truck camper. Portland Metro area's a great place to live, so long as your yearly salary is $90,000 and above....
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:37 AM   #4
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We decided many years ago to travel thru-out this great country of ours, on a limited time frame, a couple of months on the road and then back home for a couple of months. We did not feel at that time we were Full-timers, until we saw a little sentence in our insurance policy, "Do you use your RV more than 5 months per calendar year" if yes add Full-timer Rider, at that time we were full-timers.

Now there are many definitions of "Full-Timers", but I will state it the way IMHO as I see it. A full-timer is any person who;
[1.] spends at least 5 months on the road and pays the extra premium as a full-timer to their Insurance Co.
[2.] Has been accepted into a full-timer club or chapter of a National RV Association.
[3.] Does or does not still have a home base other than a RV park.
[4.] The most important one, that person feels they are full-timers.

That was 2006, now we spend between 10-11 months on the road, this year, Sept 08 to Aug 09 on the road and than come back to visit the stick house. The DW said the other day that it maybe time to sell it, so I think in about 2 years she will put it up for sale.

We go out on the road each Sept. and have been circling around the country and each year the circle has gotten bigger. This year we will leave from Northern NJ and head thru the middle of the country to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta and as much of the National Parks in AZ-NM-CO-UT starting from the North and heading South.

So the answer is yes and we are doing it.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:47 AM   #5
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Wife and I have not always planned to full time... I mean we have only been married 30 years... I'd guess we have planned on full timing for at least 25 of them and now... we are doing it.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:20 AM   #6
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I was definitely against full timing. DW wanted to FT from the get go but I still needed a "home base" with shop. It wasn't until last winter when it was the first time I didn't get to see everything or go everywhere I wanted because of calendar restraints that I agreed to give it a try. So this December we plan to be gone at least six or seven months to test the waters. Things just worked out to give us that opportunity.
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Old 07-09-2009, 11:29 AM   #7
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I knew for quite some time that I wanted to fulltime.

As soon as I was able to fulltime, I made the move.
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Old 07-09-2009, 12:29 PM   #8
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My parents full-timed in the 80s, so we knew that we were going to do the same one day. We moved around a lot, so there was no great anchor for us - a house was just a place to stay and getting rid of 'stuff' was very liberating. Now we go visit those few things that we wanted to save, they are at my daughter's, my mother's, or my sister's house!

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Old 07-11-2009, 11:18 AM   #9
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Got back to the stick house the other day and guess what:
1. Had problem sleeping
2. Too much noise
3. Too many lights at night
This morning went to the RV and sat down with cup of coffee and I really felt as I was back home and I was.
Now I know why other full-timers say, "out on the road is the only way to go."
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:57 AM   #10
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We've been full-timing for five years. My wife and I travel with a dog, a cat, and a 22 month-old daughter. We write for a living so it doesn't really matter where we are. Someday, our little girl will get bigger and she'll want to go to school to see other kids. As a result, we'll have to find a house and settle down for a while. I figure that within two months (of settling down), I'll tell my wife that I'm going to the store for some milk. I'll then sneak into the motorhome, start her up, and hit the road again.

Just kidding about that last part...I guess.

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Old 11-13-2009, 07:15 AM   #11
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We had TTs back in the 70s and 80s, but we never even heard of full-timing back then. When our daughter got older and the local campground where we liked to camp closed, we sold our trailer.

After being without an RV for at least a decade, we saw a small, used TT for sale along the road while we were on a long-weekend getaway staying in a motel. We didn't buy that trailer, but it sparked in interest in getting back into RVing, and we ended up buying a new TT in 2000.

We REALLY liked RVing, and we started going to RV shows looking at bigger trailers. We ended up at the PA RV show where my wife bought a book on full-timing. I wasn't interested in the notion of full-timing AT ALL, but it wasn't worth an argument over a $15 book, so I let her buy it.

It took her 4 or 5 months to talk me into reading the book; but when I did, I was hooked. We planned to full-time for about 5 years before it actually happened. We have been full-timing for a little over 3 1/2 years.
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Old 11-17-2009, 09:25 PM   #12
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We spent a month in a campground (Apache hard sided pop-up) with our two daughters and a dog & cat while looking for a place to rent when the kids were preschool. Later David decided to change careers (from construction to sales) and move to TN from SC. Spent 17 months in campgrounds in that same old vintage pop-up. We had to make the decision to either buy a house or get a bigger RV. One of our daughters was adament about getting out of the campgrounds. We ended up buying a house. A decision we have always regretted. After several years my father got ill and really couldn't work. David was out-of-work at the time and when to NC to help my dad with a few jobs until he was well enough to work on his own again (never did get well enough to do heavy work again). While helping my Dad, David got a job remodeling houses for a person with more $$ than brains. Worked for her for several years... me in TN... him in NC (& GA with a few trips to FL). Finally decided that living 200 miles apart simply wasn't working. The kids had graduated from school and were old enough to be on their own. David & I bought an old RV, fixed it up then ran away from home. He still worked for the nutcase. The nutcase had a vacation home in NC and main home in GA. She moved David around on a whim. The RV meant I could be with David & he didn't have to live in hotel rooms. David no longer works for the nutcase (yeah!!!) and we did something we had talked about doing when we first met... we went out west. Right now we are in TX (last month we were in NM). We have a hot dog cart to make $$ with. Sure beats banging nails. If the $$ drop off or the weather gets too cold, too hot, or too wet, we move. And no yards to mow!!!

BTW, we left a 40ft Bluebird school bus in NM at my daughters house. We plan on converting it into an RV & my other daughter (who's with us now) gets our vintage RV for a while. Only downside is it's difficult to rebuild stuff.
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:27 PM   #13
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I'm still in "dream" mode and trying to get the wife in that mode. At least thats a start. lol I'm ready now but will be a while still. Oh Well. Maybe one day.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:07 PM   #14
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We planned for the entire 34 years of our marriage to fulltime at retirement time. We looked at all kinds of RVs over the years before we bought our first a year before I retired. As we actually got there, the DW seemed to have some second thoughts about the prospect. We have now been at it almost 5 years. I would do it forever, perhaps gradually staying in a few particular places for longer periods over the years ... while the DW is more inclined to want a stick house somewhere eventually "to call home" and then do part-time RVing. If she ever figures our where we might want a stick house to be, we may move that direction...
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