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Old 07-05-2013, 03:02 PM   #1
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Countdown to Full-Timing

What a whirlwind week it has been. By Monday my husband and I will be the proud new owners of an AS (2011 27FB Int'l. Serenity) - name yet to be determined. Our goal is to full-time...at least for one year (is that considered fulltiming? at least for that duration?). We have a list started of things we need to get done (even somewhere in the Forum's) - not least of which is to decide "where to first"! We're in Sarasota, Florida and all Ron said was that he was planning on getting to I-75 and "making a left". I know we'd both like to go up the Northern Coast, but not contend with any snow driving if avoidable. Any "must see/must do" spots? Suggestions for Campgrounds? It may still be a couple of months before we hit the road - but trying to make some preliminary plans now. Looking forward to hearing some ideas!

Karis, new AS mom
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:34 AM   #2
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Congrats! My wife and soon to be first born are in Clearwater, FL. We have a goal to go full time for at least a year in 2015. We're working towards it.

I've been following a dozen or so folks and their blogs who full time and travel. One of the key things I've seen repeatedly is planning out where they are going and where they are going to stay, and having backups with backups, incase a park is full. Also, if you're considering boondocking it, it's worth knowing those spots too.

I'm originally a native of Virginia, and my wife and I just spent the weekend in Kentucky and then into the Smokies. While I can't recommend specific camp grounds, I can recommend the Shenandoah NP, Skyline NP, The Red River Gorge (Daniel Boone NF), Smokey Mountains NP and some of the surrounding national forests.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:00 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirKar View Post
What a whirlwind week it has been. By Monday my husband and I will be the proud new owners of an AS (2011 27FB Int'l. Serenity) - name yet to be determined. Our goal is to full-time...at least for one year (is that considered fulltiming? at least for that duration?). We have a list started of things we need to get done (even somewhere in the Forum's) - not least of which is to decide "where to first"! We're in Sarasota, Florida and all Ron said was that he was planning on getting to I-75 and "making a left". I know we'd both like to go up the Northern Coast, but not contend with any snow driving if avoidable. Any "must see/must do" spots? Suggestions for Campgrounds? It may still be a couple of months before we hit the road - but trying to make some preliminary plans now. Looking forward to hearing some ideas!

Karis, new AS mom
It's full-timing if your RV is your home. If you still have a house elsewhere, then it's just a long, long trip. My opinion, not anything official. Functionally there's not much difference, except whether you still have bills to pay back home.

I'm not a full-timer, and won't become a full-timer even after I retire, so my advice may be worth less than the usual 2. But here 'tis, anyway.

If you're going to be a whole year, I'd suggest that you go north and inland (maybe even all the way to the West Coast) until late-September so that you're not camping in hurricane-prone areas during hurricane season. Beginning in late-October, start working your way south, to stay ahead of early freezes.

I stayed at DeGray Lake Resort State Park in Arkansas last Thanksgiving; the campground closes after the last weekend of November, but before they close, they put on a great all-you-can-eat Thanksgiving buffet at the lodge that's well worth the price of admission.

By the time December hits, you'll want to be in the south, anywhere from California to Florida. That's where you'll find most of the campgrounds that are open all year. Since snowbirds tend to flock together in Florida and the Southwest, finding places to stay that aren't fully booked may be easier along the Gulf Coast states. Be in the New Orleans area for Mardi Gras, of course, with reservations made early.

After Mardi Gras, campgrounds farther north begin opening up again, so you can again gradually work your way north. The Mississippi, Ohio and Missouri River basins tend to see flooding most often in spring, so as you go north, that's a good time to hit your East Coast destinations until hurricane season.

When hurricane season comes again will be time to head inland once more, maybe around the Great Lakes and upper Great Plains. Or across into Canada, until the onset of cold drives you south again.

Another posible idea is to plan your trip around events, rather than places. For example, if you like Jazz, there are a number of Jazz music festivals in various cities at different times of the year, and you can plan to be in those cities for those festivals, and play it by ear (pun intended) in between.
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Old 07-10-2013, 11:07 AM   #4
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If you decide to come up north to Canada, then Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island are nothing short of spectacular in June, July and August. Campgrounds are plentiful and the provincial parks offer beautiful scenery.

Drive west towards Ontario for September, early October and see the leaves changing, perhaps taking in Algonquin Park, then head south to avoid the onset of the cold.

Cape Breton, the Cabot Trail:







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Old 07-10-2013, 04:04 PM   #5
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Andreasduess - BEAUTIFUL pictures - thank you so much for sharing them! I would very much like to do some travel in Canada. I've only been to Montreal - and I was working at the time, so didn't have much time to explore.

I'm loving the suggestions - especially planning around events. I'm a creative type and hope to be able to sell at craft fairs/shows/festivals ... so that may be a tie-in with our travel. I also love coastal areas and have been a freelance yacht chef for the past two years - so I like being around marina's and will continue to try to pick up work from time to time in that arena...so coastal areas are key. And then of course there's family who all want us to come to them now! That should keep us zigzagging all over the US, including on a barge to Kaua'i someday ;-)

And - we've already been offered 3 Workamping jobs!! WOW is all I can say. Everything is happening so fast.

For now we have to sit tight until Ron's business sells -- depending on how quickly (or slowly) that happens will begin to dictate which direction we head. In the meantime I need to get a larger "dream" notebook for all of these great ideas - keep them coming!

Karis
2011 27FB International Serenity - picking up Monday!
2006 King Ranch Ford F250 - picked up last night!
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:21 PM   #6
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Congratulations, that a beautiful Airstream. Great size for full timing. I to live in Sarasota and own a 25ft 2007 Safari. If for some reason he takes a right instead of a left on I75, check out Sunshine key just south of Marathon in the keys. It has sites on the beach and also a nice marina.


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Baha'i Honda state park is right next door. Kayak through the pass from the marina and check out the huge conch shells in the sea grass. There are numerous small islands to explore via kayaks.
Out next trip is Hillsborough state park just north of Tampa. Not been there before but heard great things. It has a huge pool to keep cool in these summer months.
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:05 PM   #7
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Great pictures Sally! Where in Sarasota are you? We have a neighbor that has an Airstream on the side of the house we've lusted after the 18 months we've lived in Southgate...it helped us decide to go AS, just driving by it regularly! LOL

Ron has kayaked that area before - I've only been to Marathon by yacht while working. We'll definitely spend time down there, especially if we don't get started until the dead of winter...then a right on I-75 is a must :-)
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:00 AM   #8
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We're out on the Key. Not far from you. My 10 year old loves the serenity. He has good taste like you guys.
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:38 AM   #9
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Suggest you add Acadia National Park to your list if you get as far north as Maine. Lots to do for almost everyone in the Bar Harbor area.

The Berkshires of Massachusetts are breathtaking as well, especially while the hills are full of color in the fall. In the summer, Tanglewood always has some interesting performances booked.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:37 AM   #10
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LOUAXTJR: One of our must go to places is Maine. I'd like to see the whole eastern seaboard - never been there before. We'll add those spots to the list.


ILOVESALLY: Ron and I both grew up on Siesta Key - my parents still live there. Small world :-)
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #11
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I think I saw you pull your Serenity into the Buffalo Wild Wings paring lot last week?
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:31 PM   #12
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Wasn't us at Buffalo Wild Wing's - don't pick up our baby until Monday. Though we were there with our new TV last night eating at Valentino's!
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