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Old 10-23-2015, 06:48 PM   #15
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Old 10-23-2015, 06:48 PM   #16
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Is there anything you would have done differently this year? Any regrets?
As far as set up I think we were okay except for a better converter, a three stage. My battery life stunk. I wish I had LED lights - need to convert soon. I wish we had passports to get in and out of the US when visiting Canada. I wish we were more disciplined in staying fit. I had it going for most of the year but then slipped the last couple months. I remember reading someone who said it was hard to keep up the exercise and I know now he's right. When I paid out for gym fees, I had no problem making use of the equipment. When you're on the road, it's easy to put off a regimen by sightseeing, going out to eat, etc. Obviously it's important to stay fit to ward off nagging illnesses. But I also figure it's important to keep up muscle in order to move the hitch around. I'm from California and so don't trust people enough to leave my hitch on. I guess I could get a locking pin but I just put it in the trailer trunk. It's important for both to keep up the muscle tone to help with balance as we walk up and down the steps. Little stuff like that can help prevent bad scenarios while camping in the sticks. Like my doctor told me, if you want to be healthy in your 60s, better get right in your 50s. (Haha... BoldAdventure, you can skip that last line.)

Watch your tire wear. Near the end of the year I lucked out by replacing my tires in time. We had some pretty old tires off our used AS - more than five years old! I was told that if you sit anywhere for a length of time, any tire will separate on the side wall due to weight alone. Find the date on the sidewall - I think it's a four digit number in a outlined box showing week and year of manufacture.

Hopefully solar in the near future.

Need to learn how to fly fish.
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Old 10-24-2015, 07:31 AM   #17
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Need to learn how to fly fish.
Have you seen Ray Eklunds Wyoming 2016 thread In the Boondocking forum? August 14th meet-up in Laramie....then into the wilds, en masse. He is limiting it to 15 rigs, and we are just a few short of that, so......

This will be a great time, you could see some new places, meet some great folks..... and would learn to fly fish.....and, Lily and I will be there.

I would love to meet you two.

Maggie
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:16 AM   #18
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We hit our second anniversary on 4/5 and have not had any regrets. Our blog is lifeon thebluehighways.com Another AS blog written by full-timers is Watson's Wander. It is a wonderful life to be able to enjoy our beautiful country. Without full-timing we do not feel we could enjoy so many Nat'l Parks and Monuments. Good Luck!
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:18 AM   #19
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Have you seen Ray Eklunds Wyoming 2016 thread In the Boondocking forum? August 14th meet-up in Laramie....then into the wilds, en masse. He is limiting it to 15 rigs, and we are just a few short of that, so......

This will be a great time, you could see some new places, meet some great folks..... and would learn to fly fish.....and, Lily and I will be there.

I would love to meet you two.

Maggie
Wow, I just checked out that thread - it looks fantastic! I have to get back with you 'cuz we had our sights set on going up to Alaska next spring until mid-September or so. Hmm... man this looks fun with the right number of rigs, an experienced host and the two of you. We missed out on Wyoming this past year and we would love to see it. Darn... choices, choices.
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Old 10-24-2015, 01:56 PM   #20
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Well, if Alaska has been beckoning for 2016, then perhaps you must go.

Ray will be doing something else in 2017......if we're all still around.

Do what you must.... if you get to the Wyoming 2016 gig, that would be great.

If not, perhaps another time.

Travel safe,


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Old 10-24-2015, 08:17 PM   #21
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It's fun to dream about being in the Airstream full time. I'm happy you can do it. I look forward to our next trip out.

But alas I don't think full timing would be for me. The Airstream is pretty small. And we all know there can be maintenance problems as there is with any RV. I had to pull the furnace on a cold March day in Denver to get it tested and eventually circuit board replaced. It seems I have some project every trip we take. And I've been stuck in vicious thunderstorms with hail and vicious crosswinds.

I would worry about the bills. Full timing is not cheap. I figure over $3000 a month depending on travel. I needed to get back to the rat race to fund the travels as well as the retirement. Maybe I would enjoy work camping.

I guess I'm just not the full timing type. But you folks make it sound so romantic.

David
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:56 PM   #22
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David, you're right about the realities of full-timing. We just finished our first year and we got lucky - everything went our way. We lucked into camp hosting at our second campground when the previous couple decided to leave at the last minute. We met an experienced full-timing couple who co-hosted with us and we got to park right next to them through the winter. Everything worked on our previously used, 9-year old Airstream right out of the box: the furnace, water pump, refrigerator, and air conditioner. We only had two flats, both on the tow truck and while near a town. The winter wasn't too cold and we avoided the summer heat while up north. I'm sure there will be challenges, hard ones, in the future, and hopefully not deal breakers. I told my wife before we left that if everything went south some day, we would need to take it on the chin and remember why we decided to go for it - we almost had nothing to lose.

Pictures sometimes lie - it hasn't been smooth all the way. We just spent the last year together 24/7 and that's difficult for a lot of couples living in a mansion or an igloo. I was in the doghouse many times and the wife would close the accordion divider, both of them when I really stuck my foot in it, and I'd retreat to the couch. But it never lasted more than one night and open space and schedule quickly reminded us we were very lucky and it would take two of us to make this work.

We will stay put and take on a regular job when we have to - I'm willing to take on most any job and camp hosting was right up our alley. We were able to get by on about $2,000-2,300/month, including our insurance. We have some savings but not enough to not have to worry about finishing our lives subsisting on cat food, which I know is sadly a reality for some. I do think about the future and how I'll handle creaky bones, aches and pains when I'm in my 60s which is right around the corner. Our plan is to do this for another 6-9 years and then pick our small town and a small house or pre-fab, and settle down; there's a good chance we won't last that long. I would never tell people to just go for it and it'll all work out - that would be a disservice. There has to be a plan and a budget. But we've come out on the other end of a year and we're both on board 50-50. We're back in southern California and staying with family to help our son for a month or two. You live in Colorado; we both already know we can't wait to get back out there, away from the traffic, the crowds, and the concrete.

I know what you're saying though - sometimes reality rears its head and one must make ends meet. But until then, if we go back to our old apartment life, we know what lies ahead. If we hit the road again, our future is unwritten.
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Old 10-25-2015, 08:13 AM   #23
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"Pictures sometimes lie - it hasn't been smooth all the way. We just spent the last year together 24/7 and that's difficult for a lot of couples living in a mansion or an igloo. I was in the doghouse many times and the wife would close the accordion divider, both of them when I really stuck my foot in it, and I'd retreat to the couch. But it never lasted more than one night and open space and schedule quickly reminded us we were very lucky and it would take two of us to make this work."

And, you know, that's an upside and a downside to full-timing.

Doug and I didn't full time, but were out for three months routinely....and for over four months at a stretch a couple of times.

There is a whole new level of knowing and understanding your spouse or partner that comes with being together 24/7 for protracted periods of time, and especially in a small space. It is not for the faint of heart, nor for un-bonded couples not absolutely committed to being together.

You have to be best friends, first, and then intent on making it work....in my opinion.

We had relatively few "moments", and learned to let go of things very, very quickly. We had already worked in the same office for years, and lived in a small house, which helped.

It took some work, but we had the time of our lives for 6 1/2 years, doing 47 of the lower 48 states.....and were grateful every day for having had that time and experience together. The gratitude helps tremendously with many things.

It's not for everyone, and many couples who marveled at our travels told us they simply couldn't do it, that they needed their space and/or just weren't close enough as a couple to do what we did successfully. Their relationships worked because they had "space".

We liked being joined at the hip, "a matched pair" as Doug liked to say. It sounds like you two are the same.

I am a big believer in listening to yourself, processing and looking at those indicators our inner beings send us that things are just not right or its time to make a change.

Clarity comes to most things if you let them rise to the surface. Listen, look at them, and pay attention. Then, thoughtfully follow where they lead.

You will know when it is time to do something different.

Until then....enjoy this chapter of your lives.


Maggie
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:04 AM   #24
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As far as set up I think we were okay except for a better converter, a three stage. My battery life stunk. I wish I had LED lights - need to convert soon. I wish we had passports to get in and out of the US when visiting Canada. I wish we were more disciplined in staying fit. I had it going for most of the year but then slipped the last couple months. I remember reading someone who said it was hard to keep up the exercise and I know now he's right. When I paid out for gym fees, I had no problem making use of the equipment. When you're on the road, it's easy to put off a regimen by sightseeing, going out to eat, etc. Obviously it's important to stay fit to ward off nagging illnesses. But I also figure it's important to keep up muscle in order to move the hitch around. I'm from California and so don't trust people enough to leave my hitch on. I guess I could get a locking pin but I just put it in the trailer trunk. It's important for both to keep up the muscle tone to help with balance as we walk up and down the steps. Little stuff like that can help prevent bad scenarios while camping in the sticks. Like my doctor told me, if you want to be healthy in your 60s, better get right in your 50s. (Haha... BoldAdventure, you can skip that last line.)

Watch your tire wear. Near the end of the year I lucked out by replacing my tires in time. We had some pretty old tires off our used AS - more than five years old! I was told that if you sit anywhere for a length of time, any tire will separate on the side wall due to weight alone. Find the date on the sidewall - I think it's a four digit number in a outlined box showing week and year of manufacture.

Hopefully solar in the near future.

Need to learn how to fly fish.
You know I thought I was going to be more fit on the road, we originally set off with the intention that we'd do family walks of at least a mile every day. Ha! That hasn't worked out yet. We do hike, but somehow I've managed to gain 10lbs. So I can relate. I was thinking about getting myself a nice 35lb Kettle Bell to swing around. It was a lot easier going to the gym and lifting weights. Now I have to think about it.

Some of your feedback makes me glad that those were all things I replaced before hitting the road. We replaced our converter, switched to LED's and replaced all our tires with new tires truck and Airstream, the with 16 inch Michelins.

But it sounds like you guys are managing quite nicely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
But alas I don't think full timing would be for me. The Airstream is pretty small. . .

I would worry about the bills. Full timing is not cheap. I figure over $3000 a month depending on travel. I needed to get back to the rat race to fund the travels as well as the retirement. Maybe I would enjoy work camping.

I guess I'm just not the full timing type. But you folks make it sound so romantic.

David
34 feet is too small?

With two kids, we aim not to spend more than 2500 a month. Everyone has their own comfort levels; we enjoy boondocking and the National Forest campgrounds and such. So our costs for camping are relatively low.

I work on the road, and we have company provided insurance that is like a golden goose. And our comfort level is still where it was when we lived in a house. Traveling has allowed me to save 50% of our income each month and invest it. When we want stuff, we buy it.

But it's very easy to over-romanticize it. I've seen this a few times, particularly with younger couples on Instagram who thought this lifestyle was going to be rainbows and unicorns. They had very high unrealistic expectations.

Every day can be an adventure, but not always and it might not be the adventure you're expecting. Exploding tires can be an adventure.

We have seen two couples quit because they felt it was too difficult.

Couples that can't communicate or work together as a team will be put to the test with this lifestyle and you'll end up fighting more than not. I guess I am lucky, as the wife and I are very good communicating with each other and we work well as a team. People think we're insane because we sleep together on a twin. We enjoy each others company. And we're close knit. I think it's an added strength for the lifestyle we chose.

So problems I don't have.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:41 AM   #25
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But it's very easy to over-romanticize it. I've seen this a few times, particularly with younger couples on Instagram who thought this lifestyle was going to be rainbows and unicorns. They had very high unrealistic expectations.
Rainbows follow rain, and sometimes a unicorn is just a goat in a party hat. (-:

I'm really enjoying this thread! I appreciate the forthright reflections of those of you who have tried full-timing.

Grant
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:17 AM   #26
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We are snow birds, half-time Airstreamers just left on our seventh year.

As for equipment there are temptations to always have more and be bigger when in camp, and less and smaller on the road. Our truck becomes our daily driver. So we have mid-size everything and it works very well.

Getting along together we are fortunate. If you have a disagreement, move to something else as quickly as you can and it suddenly doesn't matter.

Travel. That's what the Airstream does best. See the country, meet interesting people, visit history, National Parks, some tourist traps for fun.

Camping variety is beneficial in many ways. Next to the ocean, in the desert, a fancy RV resort. Enjoy them all.

Fitness is essential. Eat healthy food in limited amounts. Walk, hike, bicycle when in the countryside. The RV resorts have it all, gym, swimming, bicycle and hiking trips, volleyball, tennis, pickleball, softball. As well as things for your emotional health, sense of community, friendships, pot lucks, church, dances, photo clubs and hobby shops.

Expenses. Doing it well, travel about the country is not cheap. Repair and replacement of equipment, health care, fuel and fees, entertainment. Incidentals, holidays. It costs more than some people ever imagine. Isolated living in the boondocks seems ideal for awhile, and does beat the hell cities can be, but you may want more from life. Don't move from one prison to another to save a buck.

Sense of purpose. Why are we out here, just to avoid a job I didn't like or a congested city life I hated. Or to see and learn about the country, read books, write books, meet people and make friends, visit finds and relatives. Do good deeds. Read Thoreau, he went to the woods to learn the essentials of life, in two years he was back in town.

Plan for an end of it. It may happen at any time for many reasons. Use the experience to learn how and where you might live well and happy in the future.
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Old 10-25-2015, 11:46 AM   #27
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Nice info. We retired about 18 months ago and travel for about two - three months at a time a couple of times a year. Now with two Labrador Retrievers. We think exercise is key to a number of things. In dog training I ascribe to the theory of Exercise - Discipline - Affection and so we walk four miles every morning with our two dogs. It helps my incurable disease immensely and we along with our specialist believe. Walking also makes the two dogs better travelers, they hit the back seat in the tuck and sleep. We also use those large bands one can buy for overall body conditioning.

As to getting along, we've been together for 50 years, since high school and married almost 48 years, we don't consciously work at it, we just are and consider ourselves blessed. As posted previously we are best friends.

We cannot go full time, I would like to, boss would not, she still needs a home and both our adult children live within 5 miles of us, so we return, work on the AS, work on the house and yard, get together with friends and our kids and head back out.

When we travel we watch what we spend and our biggest expense has been fuel for the truck. We don't consider food or eating out as a travel expense as we do that at home, nor health care for us or the dogs for the same reason. Campgrounds would be the next expense as we like full service campgrounds. We started out in tents and canoes, very remote and gradually worked out way up to motorhome and airstreams, with the purpose of not "roughing" it. We also like campgrounds with dog parks so the two can run and play off leash, although trained off leash unless there is fencing they are not off, simply because those are the rules in 99% of the places we stay.

At some point we realize it will be difficult to travel by AS, but until such time we will continue to travel and hope to see many of you on the road. Next year I am trying work camping as we've never done it before, free campsite for 15 hours a week should help out a bit, plus we love the campground.

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Old 11-02-2015, 05:05 PM   #28
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Wow, the time does fly by when you are having fun. It wasn't that long ago you were deciding between a 2 wheel versus 4 wheel TV.

We, too, aspire to an Alaska adventure and thought 2016 would be the year. Alas, it looks like it may be 2017 before it happens. In the interim, I'm tackling that list of "future to-dos" of conveniences I generated which would make every day life in the trailer better like adding multiple USB outlets, organized shelving inserts, accurate tank monitors, hallway towel hooks for my separate shower stall, outdoor propane outlet, etc.

After a year, are there any items you felt really needed to be added?
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