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Old 04-06-2008, 09:46 PM   #15
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Hi All

Well we are installed at French creek state park in PA. We are based out of the Valley Forge area for a while. Our great start was delayed for a couple of days, mostly due to a last minute concerns about the trailer, nothing major, but I just wanted to be sure before we started rolling down the road.

Right now I'm writing from the front couch of the Airstream (which, for some reason has been named "Simpkins"). Listening to world service and relaxing after an evening of working out things like water heaters, LPG tanks, water pumps etc... The only thing I'm unable to get working is the furnace and its pretty chilly this evening. I think I will get a small blow heater tomorrow, the power is free at this camp site, so it makes sense.

To be honest, the first night has been pretty easy. We don't feel very cramped, or like we have "given up" anything
by moving from the townhouse to the 25x8ft Airstream. If anything, I feels more comfortable to me. The last 3 weeks (or more) have been spent living in a house which is being taken apart around me, which doesn't make for a relaxing life. I think the wife feels the same, though she wants some kind of washing machine (see my washing machine thread).

More to come...
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Old 04-06-2008, 09:56 PM   #16
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Congrats on the new life. We look forward to hearing more about your adventures. We are full timing in a 27 Safari. This is our second go around as full timers and we do not intend to go back to a "conventional" lifestyle. Life on the road is very good.

www.justkeepbreathing.us
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:09 PM   #17
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Pics 1

Here's a pic of the rig, installed at French creek state park
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Old 04-13-2008, 02:50 PM   #18
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1 week of impressions

Hi

Well we have finished our first full week of full timing. To be honest its been going pretty well, though its taken a full week to get to the point that we can actually sit down and do some work and update this thread.

I think its not the fact we have moved into an Airstream that
is the thing that is taking the most getting used to. Its the fact that in 1 month we totally changed our lives, not only where we live, but our jobs and general way of living. We are used to a 9-whenever job at a research lab with lots of (loud) people around and constant crisis mode. We, and myself in particular, have always worked in a urban environment; LA, Cambridge (UK), London etc...

Today, in contrast, we are camped in Intercourse, PA (yes it really is called Intercourse) right in the middle of Amish country. The campsite is almost empty. Sunday in Amish country is, to say the least, quiet.

When trying to imagine what this life would be like, the things we worried about the most have seemed (so far) to be the least difficult. Firstly, the space. To be honest, this has not really been an issue in terms of feeling cramped. The hardest part, for me, was trying to decide what books to part with (or put in storage). I tried to just bring ones we needed for work or books that are really important to us personally. Even so, I think I might have been a tad over optimistic about the storage space. The 100 or so ring binders of papers, notes and graphs were scanned own to no space on my hard drive, thats a massive saving in storage. I may consider looking to Amazon's ebook reader as a solution to some of the book, but I bet its going to be a while until some of the rarer titles will be available. The wife has found the storage space for clothes an issue (of course ). Once we sorted the "what-goes-where" thing, I actually like the small space. We never had much stuff as a family, and our houses always felt kind of bare and "unlived in". The Airstream feels very personal and cozy in comparison. The size of the kitchen, ops sorry "galley", isn't an issue either, I used to work as a chef and spend 12hr shifts on a smaller work station so this is easy in comparison.

The other thing that I worried about, towing and general RV issues I also feel much more comfortable with. The nice thing about Airstreams (and trailers in general) is that they are wonderfully simple. It doesn't take long to work out how everything works and how to fix things that do go wrong. The wiring, for example, is much simpler than a modern house.

Towing, so far, has not been an issue. However, I'm already looking at Veggie Oil or a kerosene mix, rather than pay the 4.50/gal for diesel.

The only thing that worries me is a slight sense of isolation. I haven't really talked to anyone (apart from the wife) all week. While thats fine, I hope I get a chance to meet more people soon. From what I read and my own limited experience I hoped that there were more people just "about". I think our current choice of campground and the time of year means we are living a pretty solitary existence right now.

This week the last few bits we were waiting for will arrive and we will start moving... somewhere. That's the discussion right now, where are we going? We have been so taken up with all the things that need to be done, bits that need fixing, address to be changed etc... that we never really considered where we would head. Here's your chance, tell us where is a good place to be a full timer right now. All we care about is that we need good EVDO coverage (for work), and not too cold. Anyone have any bright ideas?
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Old 04-13-2008, 03:10 PM   #19
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From someone that used to live there, I can tell you Sundays would have to pick up to be considered "quiet".
We are fulltiming also, and I know the seasonal residents (called Snowbirds) are heading North in droves, so you will likely have company within the next 30 days. We will soon be in the same boat you are now, campground virtualy deserted for the season. A good thing about this is you can make mistakes for now and feel like an ID10T for them, but no one will see you.
If you have a topper (or truck cap, camper shell, whatever it is called in your neck of the woods), you can head over to Wal-Mart, or Target, and get several blue snap lid totes to keep your winter clothes in for Summer, and change to storing Summer clothes next fall. You can also use a couple of totes for canned goods and other sealed, non-perishable foods. This will make a lot of room in your coach. You can use this option for the books (we have a tote full of books, and another full of video tapes). I've also converted our home videos to DVD to save room.
Make sure the cap locks, and don't pile the totes up to where the casual passerby can see them just by looking in a window of the topper. Two totes high would be good, it will come up to almost the top edge of the bed.
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Old 04-13-2008, 04:35 PM   #20
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Samsmug (love the monikor) - A good rule of thumb - if you have not seen it, needed it or used it in XX time period, it's out the door. I use a 1 yr. time marker, but I also have a 6-stall horse barn, and no horses anymore, so . . .
I was also thrown into early'ish retirement (from my perspective at least) twice. I took the hint after the 2nd episode and have never looked back. Bought a very small ranchita in the Texas hill country, built a hail-proof shed for the AS, then built the barn a few years later, then the house a year or so after that. The daughter thought my priorities were way outta whack, but she's only 35 and not an Airstreamer (yet), so I feel I have to allow her some latitude. They usually come around, eventually.

As others have said, please do keep posting. Tell us where you are & how the experience is going, for you both. Most of us would enjoy meeting you as you move thru our areas and quite a few have free courtesy parking (mine is only on offer to another Airstreamer - no SOB's on THIS place. I'm also considered by some to be "remote" from civilization. Or to put it another way, there is no Starbucks out here. A sky full of stars, just no overpriced coffee.

Best of luck in your new lives. I commend you on your attitude & the path you both elected to take. Lots of us will live vicariously thru your posts, whether or not we admit it publically.
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Old 04-13-2008, 05:21 PM   #21
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Congratulations. You have to be happy with what you are doing- and it sounds like that job wasn't it.

Enjoy!
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:02 PM   #22
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This a very cool thread. PLEASE keep posting so we can live through you. It's great and scary all at the same time.
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Old 04-20-2008, 02:41 PM   #23
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Samsmug:

You stated:

"The only thing that worries me is a slight sense of isolation. I haven't really talked to anyone (apart from the wife) all week. While thats fine, I hope I get a chance to meet more people soon. From what I read and my own limited experience I hoped that there were more people just "about". "

You may want to look into the Escapees organization Escapees RV Club – the club for all RVers as they are a support organization for fulltimers and the serious RV'er. The have over 60,000 members and many who fulltime.

We joined and we are not fulltimers (yet).

Hope this help.
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Old 06-01-2008, 02:46 PM   #24
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Well, its been a while since I got around to posting on here. We have travelled over 3000 miles and now sat in the 100 degree heat of the Badlands, SD.
Since the last time I posted we travelled through IL, WI, OH, MN and have been pretty busy.

You can track out route on google maps. Google Maps
The blue spots are places we have stayed (disregarding Walmarts), the yellow dots are the places we plan to go.


Things have been really hecktic for about a month. But we are settling into it now. The things that have proved most difficult were first the isolation. When we started out it was the begining of the RV season and we were in cold and nasty PA. Now that the summer has got going and we are more interesting places we are meeting lots of really interesting people, but still no other Airstreamers! In fact I have only seen one other on the road

The only things we have trouble with now is being disciplined enough to get down to work. When you pull into to somewhere new there are always two things that seem to pull you away from work. The first is fixing the various problems with the rig that are certain to happen. Right now I have to go see if I can find some cheap 265 tires, we are nearly down to slicks on our truck. I also need some mud flaps (stones on these south Dakota unpaved roads will knock hell out of the aluminum). The second demand on our time is "making the most of where we are". As I type I'm looking out over the crincled edges of the Badlands. Every part of me wants to jump up and hit the trails. Not 30 miles west is some of the best sport climbing in north america. How can I sit still?

Still we seem to be progressing very slowly, I have got some programming jobs and some websites contracts. I'm writing some software for campground owners too (a free web booking system). Hopefully chasing a couple of other leads as well.

We have a blog (NotEncouraged.com), mostly it has been written by Xiao, but I have a couple of entries, and will try do some more over time.

So hopefuly I will try keep more upto date now. I will try post a couple more post about specific things that might be useful to fulltimers, also some of the experiences we have had. Most of them will be on the above blog (NotEncouraged.com) , but I will post a link here when something Airstream related comes up.
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:02 PM   #25
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Some Pics from WI

Some pictures from WI. I think we spent about 2 weeks there in total. Probably a bit too long.

I've included some general pics, as well as a pic from a canoe trip we did down the Criox river. I'll put a full trip report on the blog (notencouraged.com).

Campsites:
Strum City Campground
Whitetail Campground (Near Rice Lake)
Grantsburg City campground
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Old 06-01-2008, 03:17 PM   #26
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While you are at Badlands I suggest you go see the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Easily the most unusual Historic Site I've ever seen. Ranger led tours fill up early.

mike
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Old 06-01-2008, 04:24 PM   #27
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When trying to imagine what this life would be like, the things we worried about the most have seemed (so far) to be the least difficult. Firstly, the space. To be honest, this has not really been an issue in terms of feeling cramped. The hardest part, for me, was trying to decide what books to part with (or put in storage). I tried to just bring ones we needed for work or books that are really important to us personally.

When, just barely a year ago, I went to buy a new truck it had to have several specs, a long bed among them. What I hadn't considered -- the Leer topper the truck came with (and ribbed plastic bedliner) -- turned out the most useful, as we full-timed for seven months. Most of our items were in storage, and when we returned to Dallas on occasion we'd shuffle stuff around. Big plastic containers with lids fit the bill for, what else, books and clothing. I broke down tools to several dedicated containers: general, electrical, cleaning-related. Towing/Moving supplies (chains, straps, load-locks) went into the very front of the bed (heaviest) and I kept the most used stuff towards the back (tailgate). Several spare ice chests were good for household dry supplies. Etc.

As we live on the Gulf Coast now, in a home that will be remodeled, the topper does double duty for work or evacuations. I'm glad to have it. A tonneau cover would not have been the same.

I admire what you're up to. Keep moving and hope you enjoy every second of it!
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Old 06-01-2008, 05:24 PM   #28
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dear mr.&mrs. mugs,sometimes ya jus gotts ta go away. i hear forth of july a shuttle launch is planned.daytona beach,cocoa,go see the mouse.saint pete beach on the west coast.all nice places to be.but what can compare with intercourse,townwise.nice time to hook -up to the blue ridge parkway,stay bout a month,spend a few more in the adirondacks,watch the leaves change in the fall .follow the leaf change back down the blue ridge again for a completely different view and the holidays in sunny florida. could be habbit forming.i wish all your trails happy and safe .richie rich.
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