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Old 02-01-2019, 06:24 PM   #1
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2016 23' Flying Cloud
Jasper , Georgia
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Getting ready to full-time???

Hello friends,
Anyone else out there getting ready to full-time? We listed our house today, have been purging for months, and are counting down the days until we hit the road. Interested to get some tips from those out there that have gone through this journey as well as those that are in the midst of the process and what to share their excitement with us.
See you on the road, Keri
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:12 PM   #2
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1974 27' Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by great2beadaw View Post
Hello friends,
Anyone else out there getting ready to full-time? We listed our house today, have been purging for months, and are counting down the days until we hit the road. Interested to get some tips from those out there that have gone through this journey as well as those that are in the midst of the process and what to share their excitement with us.
See you on the road, Keri
We've been full timing for a couple of years, though the first bit of that was parked in my in-laws' driveway, so more mooch-docking than anything. Getting rid of all of our stuff was much harder than I expected.

What's your plan for full timing? Are you working? Are you going to be boondocking, or camping in parks, or something else? Any travel goals?
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:45 PM   #3
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Just yesterday while working on my 1975 Overlander, I thought golly, I could live in this thing full time. It has everything I need to be comfortable.

Going full time is a big transition. The thing I don't know much about is establishing a "domicile" according to the laws of our country. Our friendly governments want to know your address so they can send you all kinds of information. So be sure to get that straightened out.

As much as I like my old Overlander, I realize it is an aluminum body with inch and a half wall thickness. Aluminum is an excellent conductor of heat and cold. I consider our Airstream trailers "fair weather campers" and not that great in very hot or very cold temps. Some trailers are designed for "four season living". Big fifth wheels come to mind.

And lastly, I've been in many RV parks and see what I think are extended stay rigs. Many of these are big fifth wheels. We stayed at a luxury RV park in Tucson last spring just to see what a winter there might be like. Finding a spot to stay can be a challenge. And living in the close quarters of a trailer park isn't appealing to me. Full timers need to consider that lifestyle seems to me. I don't see any full timers in our national parks.

Learn from the Greatlys. They do it, and they built their Airstream exactly the way they wanted it for full time living. Exciting lifestyle changes for you coming up.

David
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:22 PM   #4
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One element of full timing that should be addressed is an exit plan. Other than that, I offer sincere condolences for the difficulty of disposing of a lifetime of stuff. The ocean cruising folks say to sell or give away what you don't want and then store the family treasures. That way you can get on with your adventure, while working to pass special items along to family members who will treasure them. When you get down to an inventory that no one wants it's easier to do the final thinning. You also will find that new memories replace old ones and make the process easier.

Travel safe and chase those smiles. Pat
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
I don't see any full timers in our national parks.
We're in a national park right now. About half of the RVers rolling through here this Winter have been full timers. Though, this is the off-season, so I imagine that distorts the ratio quite a bit since fewer people are vacationing in RVs when it's in the 20s.Click image for larger version

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Old 02-02-2019, 07:26 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by great2beadaw View Post
Hello friends,
Anyone else out there getting ready to full-time? We listed our house today, have been purging for months, and are counting down the days until we hit the road. Interested to get some tips from those out there that have gone through this journey as well as those that are in the midst of the process and what to share their excitement with us.
See you on the road, Keri
Best of luck to you. We full-timed for three years and they were the fastest three years of our lives. We sold our Toronto house, I retired from the job, bought a pick-up truck and took possession of our new Airstream all within a few weeks (it was a crazy time). No regrets. We almost exclusively stayed in provincial/state/national/county parks.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:31 AM   #7
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I've been full-timing since June. It really helps to start the journey with a fully-functioning trailer, so be sure to do enough shakedown camps in close proximity to your dealer to declare everything operational. Same with the tow vehicle. Good insurance, roadside assistance plan.
I whittled down all belongings to just those heirloom items I want to pass on, and they are in a UHaul UPod, with instructions to the family on how to get them to their location. For now, I use a UPS Mail box for my "home address" and mail. I call them up once a month with my location and they send my mail box contents to me. Regular Amazon deliveries I make to a campground where I will be more than a week.
I am Medicare aged, but comfortable with my physician and dentist and optometrist. I can get urgent care anywhere, but plan on cruising back to Tennessee annually for physicals and checkups.
I studied this board, and any blog or video of full-timers who have gone before me. There is a wealth of knowledge there. AStreaminLife, LongLongHoneymoon and others come to mind.
I used the KOA chain in my first months of travel to establish my own routines and focus on the trailer and my lifestyle, understanding I could count on consistency in park amenities, reservations were easy and they were numerous. It ran a $41 a night average, so in hindsight, I would not do that again, now comfortable enough to camp anywhere.
I practiced "boondocking" in full hookup sites, disconnecting everything and seeing in my normal routine what was my water, propane and electric consumption.
I used Google Maps, RVParky, Campendium, and RV Trip Wizard for trip planning. What really helped was to look up satellite images of fuel stations and campgrounds on my route for ingress/egress plans.
When I started, I had plastic bins in my tow vehicle with winter clothes and extra food and tools, and as it got colder, would swap clothes from the closet, under the bed and drawers for what is in the TV. I brought way too much food. I brought too many clothes.
After a month or two, I figured out some convenient places for 3M clothes hooks that work for me. I did not need a complete set of knives, or silver, or plates. A trip to Goodwill and Walmart outfitted my kitchen. I use an Instant Pot at least once a week. A Cuisinart electric kettle for hot water for Aeropress coffee.
I carry a real estate lock box in the propane cover with an extra set of keys. I use a SPOT Satellite Transceiver to send daily "OK" status reports and location to family - if I miss a day, they start calling me and the campground. Send me a pm if you need more.
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Old 02-02-2019, 09:39 AM   #8
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Year 6. All good advice above. One thing that takes some effort is that you are no longer in a rush to do anything. Take your time in spots that interest you. 3 weeks is not that long to hang out around places of interest. DC you might want to plan for even longer. Get your senior pass at your first opportunity. Break down a good portion of camp the day before jump day. Don't try and over due how far you need to travel in one jump. Stop when needed to eat, rest and relax. Google maps, Yelp and Gas Buddy for the phone. A good data plan with enough data to suit your needs. Cell signal booster for those places you can't get enough signal. Go paperless for everything and get a mail service till you know what is coming in. Switch your mailing address to one of your kids for the important stuff that cant be done online after about a year. Most of all have fun!
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:21 AM   #9
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2012 30' Classic
Topeka , Kansas
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Full timing

Almost 3 years now. Agreed, all good insights above. One thing we have found indispensable (since we still work full time and need certain things for our jobs) is a 5X8 trailer. My wife pulls it behind her SUV and it is parked just outside our door. We use the trailer as our "garage" for out of season items and emergency equipment such as a generator. I also use this for additional security:

https://www.amazon.com/Trimax-TCL265...ler+wheel+lock
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Old 02-02-2019, 02:23 PM   #10
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1993 34' Excella
Randolph , Vermont
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10 years on the road....

Congrats!
Have limited advice since each person's trail is a unique one.
General comments are:
1 Keep a good journal/diary of your time on the road. Be faithful to it, you will not regret it.
2 Do not rush around. You are not on vacation.
3 Find a doable goal..ie: visit hot springs in each state, presidential libraries, best BBQ joints, something that expands beyond the usual and that you can check off.
4 Spend a summer in Alaska.
5 Have the best tires that you can afford.
6 Have a fire extinguisher in the RV and the tow vehicle.
7 If traveling with a companion, find private times away from each other once in awhile.
8 Try work-camping, it can save you $$$ and is fun.
9 Join Escapees, great mag. good mail service, designed for full timers interests.
Enjoy.
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Old 02-02-2019, 02:24 PM   #11
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We sold our home in California in 2017, moved into our 2016 30ft International Serenity and drove away. We had spent a year sorting and purging, and keep a small storage space, which we visit periodically to drop off or pick up stuff. We both retired at 62. Currently "domiciled" in Texas, because it's cheaper to register vehicles and trailers there. We were both on the same page: we didn't want to wait until we couldn't move around anymore. We wanted to see the country, which I can report is big and Oh, so beautiful. We have a health plan that covers all fifty states, and have had occasion to use emergency rooms anywhere we needed to get to the bottom of health issues that were a step up from urgent care. We come back to California every December to see our doctors at our favorite hospital.We have driven 45,000 miles in almost two full years on the road. Every small town we pass through we eye with one question in mind: "could we live here?" We've become addicted to quiet and dark places, which I am happy to report are abundant. We do a combination of boon docking, mooch docking, state /regional campgrounds, and private, reasonably priced full service campgrounds, depending on our needs at the time. Free campsites.net, Compendium, and instagram are all very helpful resources. Benchmark maps, too. We have "map meetings" during which we decide where to go next and which route to take to get there. Usually we have a waypoint (somewhere we need to be on certain date) and we work from there. I keep a paper calendar, and this is very helpful. All mail gets forwarded at least monthly. Most bills are online. The most important thing is to be flexible, and enjoy the uncertainty of life on the road! Happy trails to you.
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Old 02-02-2019, 03:44 PM   #12
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Jasper , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Thanks for the incredible ideas and feedback. We've already received so many useful tips from all of you.

We're in our early 40s, so we will still be working from the road. We have our own business so at least can dictate our own schedule to an extent, but still require the elusive cell phone and internet connection. Plan to have both Verizon and AT&T to help in that quest.

Only plan to make rez for National Parks. YOSE, CRLA, SEKI are all on the list along with Banff for this summer. I am excited to see what it feels like to be on a trip with no definitive schedule. Part of the downer about the summer trips we have taken in our AS the past 3 years it knowing it will come to an end and that we have to drive home. We toyed around with trading in our travel trailer for an Interstate, but decided to keep what we have until we know a bit more of what we need for full-time living. Maybe what we have will work for us for many years to come.

Hope to meet all of you on the road! Keri
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:42 AM   #13
PCJ
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My Bride and I plan to go Full Time in May with our three dogs, it's a chore getting ready to downsize so far, but we're convinced it'll be worthwhile. Perhaps we'll meet on the road look for Grace and our three dogs and a very happy couple.
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:25 PM   #14
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Hi PCJ; Nice to meet you here. We lived in Shorewood just north of you for 16 years. We have many fond memories, especially the record cold snaps like you just experienced. 30 below zero ain't good Airstream weather.

Wishing you great times in your new adventure full time. We take longer trips with our 86 Limited 34', but haven't considered full timing. Here we are under a lemon tree in Tuscon last spring. This is one of those "snow bird" resorts that folks spend the winter in. It was quite nice. My wife's folks used to spend the winter in the Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc, or TAHI in Zavalla, Texas. They enjoyed about 3 months a year there in the same 86 Limited 34'.

David
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