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Old 02-19-2006, 05:29 AM   #1
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After years of talking about it, we're finally going to enter the growing ranks of the fulltime RV community.

We put our Gainesville, FL home on the market February 1st. By the 16th we had a contract for more than 3 times what we paid in 1991!

I've been downsizing my financial planning practice for a few years to the point where I specialize in one product line for the RV community. Last year I became an FMCA vendor and I'm satisfied with my progress, so far.

One of my clients has organized and conducted estate sales for 16 years. So, she'll sell off everything we don't want to store. (see my ad for our Saturn SC2 in the Classifieds.)

If all proceeds as planned, we close on the house sale on April 19th and hit the road.

We'll summer in Pigeon Forge, TN where we'll work all summer at Dollywood. I'll probably conduct a few campground seminars on my days off. Then it's off to Long Island, MA and VT before we head south again.

I have selected a mail forwarding service, St. Brendons Isle, located in Green Cove Springs, Florida as I need to maintain Florida residency for my insurance license.

We're already paying our bills online and we each have a cell phone.

We just joined Escapees and have been FMCA and Good Sam members since '99.

The coach is satellite ready, so I'm going to start to research dishes and services.

Any words of wisom from the fulltime community would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-19-2006, 05:29 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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After years of talking about it, we're finally going to enter the growing ranks of the fulltime RV community.

We put our Gainesville, FL home on the market February 1st. By the 16th we had a contract for more than 3 times what we paid in 1991!

I've been downsizing my financial planning practice for a few years to the point where I specialize in one product line for the RV community. Last year I became an FMCA vendor and I'm satisfied with my progress, so far.

One of my clients has organized and conducted estate sales for 16 years. So, she'll sell off everything we don't want to store. (see my ad for our Saturn SC2 in the Classifieds.)

If all proceeds as planned, we close on the house sale on April 19th and hit the road.

We'll summer in Pigeon Forge, TN where we'll work all summer at Dollywood. I'll probably conduct a few campground seminars on my days off. Then it's off to Long Island, MA and VT before we head south again.

I have selected a mail forwarding service, St. Brendons Isle, located in Green Cove Springs, Florida as I need to maintain Florida residency for my insurance license.

We're already paying our bills online and we each have a cell phone.

We just joined Escapees and have been FMCA and Good Sam members since '99.

The coach is satellite ready, so I'm going to start to research dishes and services.

Any words of wisom from the fulltime community would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-19-2006, 06:50 AM   #3
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Welcome aboard the fulltime lifestyle Lew.
Words of wisdom you ask? well you'll most likely find that you don't need all the stuff that you think you do now. We started out with every small appliance known to man and had a yard sale a year later to get rid of most of it.
Same story with clothes, way to much at the start.
The one thing I wish we had done sooner was install our MotoSat DataStorm for our internet needs, couldn't live without it now.
Good luck and enjoy the adventure.
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:35 AM   #4
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Matt,

I've seen the Datastorm units at RV rallies. Today they cost about $4,600 plus service fees. Does Datastorm provide your high speed ISP? Or, do you find your own?

Do you also receive your satellite TV signal through the Datastorm? Do you use Direct TV, Dish Network or something else?
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Old 02-19-2006, 07:59 AM   #5
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Lew, you have some options on a ISP, however it makes a lot of sense to use MotoSat. Better to be dealing with only one company rather than have one blame the other for whatever problem you may be experiencing.
Yes you can use it for TV by installing a bracket called a BOW (bird on a wire)
There is an excellent forum that should be able to answer all your questions at www.datastormusers.com
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:02 AM   #6
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Lew,welcome to the fulltime lifstyle. If you enjoy it half as much as we do you'll have a ball. We are in our sixth year and enjoy it more and more. Just remember go slow,no need to hurry like when on vacation.
Be prepared to get hot working at Dollywood.
Lot of great people there. We worked there for 3 summers.

Joe

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Old 02-20-2006, 09:47 AM   #7
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Joe,

Thanks for your comments. We solved the "hot" at Dollywood: we're both working inside the Emporium!

We're so used to long weekend RV trips that it will be interesting to see how we feel about staying put for 3 months in one place.
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Old 02-21-2006, 02:24 PM   #8
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Hey Lew,
Best of luck to you and your wife! Fulltiming sounds like a great lifestyle, as of now my wife does not think she wants to do it, but then again I have two years before I retire, so time will tell!! Maybe we will see you this summer when we go to Dollywood, while at the Nationl Rally!! Again best of luck!!
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:50 PM   #9
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Al,

Thanks for your comments. Fulltiming isn't for everyone. And, that's okay. Otherwise, it would be hard to find a site in a campground!

Our first rig was '97 Infinity from Four Winds. No slides.
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:27 PM   #10
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Welcome to our lifestyle. I hope we cross paths on the road someday.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:47 AM   #11
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Digital Boy,

You and I are in the same ranks of newbee full timers. The DW and I are just about there. The house is all but sold, our personal property auction is at the end of this month, and just about all our affairs are in order.
We plan on doing some traveling at first but want to do a combination of volunteering and workamping. We've been planning this for several years and am ready for the lifestyle change.
Here's good luck aimed at you (+)!!!!!

UPDATE: Our estate sale was two weeks ago. We have some items left for our creature comforts. We have a tentative closing date on our house of June 20th. Then it's into the MH. WOW!!! Never thought we'd do this but it's here. Got butterflies for sure.
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:47 PM   #12
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Thanks for the comments. On the 7th and 8th an "estate sale" was conducted at our house. We spent a lot of time looking out of our coach window at our belongings walking out the door with strangers.

But, when it was over everything had been sold!

Today, Tuesday, we left our Gainesville home for the last time. We're now parked on a friends 5 acre homestead on the northeast side of Gainesville with full hookups! On the 23rd we're off to Jacksonville, then Pigeon Forge.

The adventure begins!
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Old 05-23-2006, 02:55 PM   #13
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Hey Digital Boy,

How's it going? How the heck are you and yours? How 'bout an update on your plans and how things are going for you?

The DW and I have a date now...July 10. It's on a Monday. So we will have one last weekend to spend in our home of almost 20 years.

We made a good decision to have the "estate sale" several weeks ago. The timing worked out really well for us. We don't have anything to speak of to store and what we do have, family and friends have agreed to keep for us for what ever time.

We won't have a homebase for a while. We have property in two locations and might build a house sometime or other. For now, the Tennessee Pearl will be our home.

BTW: We live not far from Pigeon Forge. As a matter of fact me and my realtor where there today so he could get a contract signed.

We hope all is well with you and yours. Best regards.

Dana
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:06 PM   #14
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Dana,

After spending 2 weeks behind a friend's house in Gainesville, we moved up to Flamingo Lakes CG off I-295 in Jacksonville. We stayed their about 10 days. A member couple of our NKK chapter were there and another couple from our NKK chapter live about 20 minutes away. We all got together every day.

On May 4th we headed north on I-95 to SC where we took a left onto I-26. We spent the night at the Barnyard RV Park in Columbia, SC. In the morning we headed up I-26 to I-40. At exit 407 we picked up Route 66 through Kodak, Sevierville and into Pigeon Forge.

We made camp at our reserved site (#20) at King's Holly Haven RV Park and began to enjoy the area.

A few days later we completed our Dollywood Orientation and Training. A few days after that we began working at the Emporium.

I spent the last 30+ years behind a desk. Standing on my feet for 8 hours took a toll on my feet the first 2 days. By day 3 the pain was subsiding.

We are thuroughly enjoying ourselves here in Pigeon Forge. There are so many attractions to see (and Dollywood employees get in free) I don't know if we'll get them all in this summer.

Now, to answer you question . . . we really enjoy fulltiming. Without the costs associated with home ownership and business marketing expense, our financial requirements are greatly reduced.

Nevertheless, my financial planning background required me to "do the numbers" carefully before making the leap to fulltiming. I'm 58, my wife is 60. We are too young to receive Social security. I'm too young to tap my Keogh account and we don't want to start drawing down our IRAs. So, unless I sell a few annuities during the year (and I'm not trying to) then we have to workcamp to round out our income needs.

Our non pension investments and income sources provide for about 78% of our income goals, which include plenty of money to play. All the net proceeds from our home sale are earning 5%+ in a CD providing us with additional cashflow. And, of course, we have adequate funds in our money market earning 4%+.

I can't stress enough the importance of knowing whether or not you can afford to fulltime before you actually begin fulltiming.

Anyway, I'm sure you'll enjoy the lifestyle as much as we are.

We sure hope that we'll meet iRV2 members who attend the big rally this summer.

Over & Out.
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