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Old 09-07-2016, 08:49 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
Maybe there is something wrong with me for worrying that I will be lonely on the road. I was wondering if anyone else felt that way. It doesn't seem that many do.
Our dear friend Marshall started his full-time journey after loosing his wife at a young age. He blogs regularly about this issue actually. Being lonely, needing to be alone, and even trying to date on the road.
Family of 5 exploring the USA with a Ram Power Wagon & Airstream in tow.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:22 AM   #62
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RV base and living quarters-full

Thinking about full time or part/fulltime...We have a small piece of property in TX we have been thinking about developing with a metal building, into a small house/living area with RV garage. Our thought is we could use for a home base when in TX seeing the family and close it up with no maintenance when we want to hit the road. My research into metal buildings with living quarters has been very enlightening as to what you can do with these type buildings at a very low cost ($24-$30/sq ft.), depending on build outs. Our thought is to build where we can drive in one end and out the other...with small house under same roof. I have seen this idea where a trailer was inside and used as part of their overall living options. You really only need plumbing, electrical, and sewer hookups, but adding a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom/shower, and lounge area would be nice also. Doesn't have to be big...Here is a site with some ideas. (There are several others if you google.)
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Old 09-08-2016, 08:12 PM   #63
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Excellent topic!

I've been on this site for almost 15 years now, working on my second Airstream renovation, and don't really post much, but this topic is on my mind frequently. I lived in my previous 27' Airstream for over 2 years while renovating the house I now live in. Although I didn't go anywhere in the Airstream at that time, it was a wonderful existence. Minimal things to do, easy to maintain, and having already been a minimalist, I had more than enough space. So I moved up from approx. 175 square feet (72 Overlander) to a 589 square foot bungalow, or as I thought of it at the time... a mansion (by size comparison).

I'm approaching that age where I want to slow down with work and ramp up the fun and travel part. I've seriously thought about full timing and am currently contemplating it alone in my 31' 77 Sovereign... under renovation. I own the property next to me that has an old mobile home on it which is currently gutted and being used as a woodworking shop... and it's paid for. I have water via a well, electricity, septic, and a huge slab for my Airstream and 2 vehicles. Life is good.

So the plan is to sell or rent my bungalow (almost paid for), convert about 150 Square feet of my workshop in to an efficiency apartment, and hit the road from about June to September to get out of the oppressive heat and humidity of Tampa. The reason for the apartment is so that I technically have a residence in a structure on the property. This way I can live between the Airstream in the driveway and the apartment without breaking any laws... and, have the rest of the mobile home as my workshop. Kind of the best of both worlds.

The beauty part about this plan (in my mind) is that I can be in Tampa during the months of beautiful weather; still have plenty of contact with my son, daughter and grandchild that all live here, keep my business going on a scaled down basis and being that my Airstream and home base is paid for (taxes are less than $500/year, electric $40/month, water $0/month) live a totally debt free life, close to friends, family, and in a place that many consider paradise. Oh, and a pretty decent SS check when the time comes. If I decide to hit the road, I just throw the breakers to OFF, have my long time neighbor cut my grass, and I am gone. Home in tow.

I follow a number of video blogs of people living and traveling on the road. Many are pretty honest about the ups and downs of living on wheels. In all my current evaluations of "the plan" I have decided that I need to at times tinker, so that is why I will keep a home base with a workshop, near my kids, in paradise. It may change, but... the only thing that stays the same is change.

This plan is making more and more sense to me as I read and study other's situations as compared to mine. But, nothing is etched in aluminum... yet.
Out in the woods, or in the city, It's all the same to me.
When I'm drivin' free, the world's my home....When I'm mobile.

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Old 09-08-2016, 09:03 PM   #64
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I think that I will want a home base after my adventure.

The topic of this post is " Winterizing a house " I've been struggling, with the upkeep of two houses while I am trying to fix them up for selling. I am always hearing people say " Don't heat them...Drain the pipes "

My country house, and many, affordable home base type houses are in rural areas. No piped in natural gas, no city water, no city sewer. They have wells, well pump, and expansion tanks. ( NOT easy to drain ) Washing machines are not easy to drain, a lot of the newer faucets have loops in their hoses, and need to be unhooked to drain...AND as a few plumbers have told me, is that not many houses have plumbing systems with pipes pitched well enough to drain.

Some full-time/part time friends of mine had their house plumbing blown out with a compressor by professionals, and filled with antifreeze. ( just like many do with their trailer over the winter. )

I have heard different opinions on whether it's bad for houses to be left unheated over the winter. As for the cracking of the seams in my sheet rock, when the " house guest " neglected to heat the house….I don't know if it was freezing temps or a " Homeowner, DIY, Jack of ALL Trades/Master of None " issue.
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Old 09-08-2016, 11:31 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by mandolindave View Post
The topic of this post is " Winterizing a house " I've been struggling, with the upkeep of two houses while I am trying to fix them up for selling. I am always hearing people say " Don't heat them...Drain the pipes "

My country house, and many, affordable home base type houses are in rural areas. No piped in natural gas, no city water, no city sewer. They have wells, well pump, and expansion tanks. ( NOT easy to drain ) Washing machines are not easy to drain, a lot of the newer faucets have loops in their hoses, and need to be unhooked to drain...AND as a few plumbers have told me, is that not many houses have plumbing systems with pipes pitched well enough to drain.
Dave, my family owned a cottage on Seneca Lake in Upstate NY for 30 years. Your description of the layout matches this place perfectly, well, expansion tank (small), large water filter, LP Tank for gas. When we built it we knew it would rarely be used in the winter and built it appropriately. We drained it completely, filled sinks, toilet, tub, and washing machine (one quick cycle) with RV anti-freeze (maybe 3 gallons total), shut down the gas every Oct/Nov depending on the weather and did this every year for thirty years. One year, and one year only we had problems due to a serious screwup by a hired contractor who screwed up the bathroom drain... blew a hole in a copper pipe. Took 1 hour to fix.

Of course we knew going in that this would be the situation and it was a single story 40x60 building, so all the pipes were in the back wall and all sloped towards the outside hose connection and the hot water tank was on the back wall with a port through the wall for the drain outlet.. Total time to close up and then open in the Spring never took more than 1 to 2 hours. It was wonderful.

I actually decided to refit the plumbing in a mobile home I own in the same area in order to do the same, everything slopes towards the outside hose faucet and the hot water tank has a separate secure drain outlet.. Other than city water and sewer the setup is the same as the cottage. I'm presently out in CA but my brother uses the home in the summer and heads to FL every winter (lives on a sailboat there, the lucky stiff).

He drains it every fall using the same procedure we were brought up on, shuts the water off at the street, and opens the outside hose faucet. He had a water problem only once about 4 years ago, a pain to fix, he said, but fixed the slope while he was at it.. He does use air pressure there now just to be absolutely sure, but he says he can still button it up in less than 2 hours. Mobile Homes are a little more sensitive to ground shfting, etc, but we haven't seen a problem with walls or cracks after 6 years of this routine ad some seriously cold weather up there.

It can be done, which is why I mentioned in an earlier post my ideal retirement, a large garage with a bathroom and bedroom, lockable storage section and, maybe, a galley kitchen with the trailer melded in every summer as part of the summer "home" and workshop... I need a place to keep the motorcycles
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:29 AM   #66
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......"This plan is making more and more sense to me as I read and study other's situations as compared to mine. But, nothing is etched in aluminum... yet."

Your plan sounds fabulous! Well thought out, researched, with a back-up plan of your "land home". You will be good to go! Well done.
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:47 AM   #67
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Thanks. I think this plan is doable and gives me all the options I feel I need. I had a brainstorm about one additional component yesterday. AIRBNB. They do vacation rentals. Pretty cool system. My house is 10 minutes from Busch Gardens, close to beaches, easy access to Orlando/Disney/Clearwater/Sarasota, Tampa's downtown, etc., etc. And, it is a way more lucrative way to rent out my bungalow than to have a full time tenant trashing my house.

Lots of options, and everyone's situation is different so a lot of thought needs to go into these decisions.
Out in the woods, or in the city, It's all the same to me.
When I'm drivin' free, the world's my home....When I'm mobile.

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Old 09-11-2016, 07:02 AM   #68
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We have rented our house on AIRBNB for several years while traveling. LOVE IT! Great income vs traditional renting. The only "trouble" we had was a tenant broke one of our glasses, called to tell us and asked where he could get a replacement! Go for it!
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:06 PM   #69
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Just joined this community and this is my first post. HI every!

Great thread running here, I loved reading through all of this. I really do think the life of living in a trailer on the road full time, is a lot about personality and planning. I have been researching this for a few months now, and I have also heard all the ups and downs. Great lessons that others are learning for me. haha.

We are still years away from trying this, but I think it will work out. It all started when my wife wanted to start downsizing, after we left our house and moved into an apartment. Over the past few years, we have downsized a lot. She loves the tiny houses and is all gungho for that. Currently, that is not for us, with a daughter and career etc, but we can still do some downsizing and get even more minimal.

We like the idea of being minimalists and living small. For health reasons though, I do not see myself climbing into a loft bed of a tiny home when I'm in my 70s. But I wanted something sturdy that was built well and held together over time, and could be moved. My research lead me to AS. Just went to the local dealer and walked through a couple and dang, I'm sold. I think once I take my wife over to see one she will be too.

We already rent, and do not plan to buy a house again. If we ever buy again, it will be some small cottage in a mountain area, with 4 seasons. So when it's going to be just the two of, living in the space of an AS seems very feasible and enjoyable to us. With all my research I know it is not meant to reduce living expenses and that is not why we would do it. It would be to live minimal, and be able to take our home around the country and see it. Boondocking at campground and wilderness sounds great to us, but I can see us also spending some time at an RV park with full hookups and enjoying the city life for a while.

So far, the plan is to get the appropriate TV a few years before retiring, and have it paid in full by the time I retire. Then, we have an extra retirement savings that we will use to purchase an AS trailer with, hopefully full outright. Then that leaves my reasonable pension to pay for everything else while on the road. Now my research is looking at things like do we buy new or used for the AS? I have heard pros and cons for both. I realize I still have many years to go yet, so things could change on this front. I'm also trying to narrow down TV options, such as pickup, van, suv.

Currently, we are thinking we would be 100% mobile. However, it is possible that after a few years of moving around, we want to setup a home base. This could be either in a location we find in our travels that is amazing, or maybe wherever our daughter ends up living her adult life at. By then, maybe we can purchase a small bit of land, put in a slab, power, water, sewer and park the AS. Very good points about making sure where we plan to do that, allows that kind of living. Adding that to the checklist.

Loving this forum so far, I have been lurking for a month or so now, and this thread got me to sign up and participate.
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:32 PM   #70
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Welcome, Just G. I just have to say that you certainly cut to the chase. WOW! It's obvious that you have pondered over this. I am certainly no full timer, but best of luck in your quest. Keep us posted.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:39 AM   #71
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Haha, I have been thinking a lot about it and doing a lot of research. Mostly watching the video blogs of full timers, but now finding their written blogging pages and going through that. And now I'm here. Looking forward to being part of the community.
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Old 10-12-2016, 07:27 PM   #72
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Of course it isn't, but we can live with that

Ah, the downsides full-time RVing. We haven’t gone full-timing yet, but we’ve been leaning heavily in that direction for a couple of years. Even after a 3 week trip last year, and a 5 week trip this year in a 31’ aluminum tent with electricity. (And new axles, brakes and tires.) To make it as much like a traveling circus as possible, we included 5 dogs and 4 rabbits this year. (Last year it was just the dogs.) On both trips, nothing ran smoothly 100% percent of the time. Last year it was the gas gage in the 1999 Expedition (since replaced). This year it was the original Armstrong AC. After getting our portable ladder at Menards in Yankton, SD, got lucky to discover the old girl only needed a good cleaning. The last trip in early May meant getting out of Texas during the flooding, only to get invaded by ticks shortly after arriving in South Dakota. Then there were nearly 3 weeks of almost freezing temps, more thunderstorms and plenty of wind. But somewhere in all that, we must have been enjoying ourselves. We were kind of reluctant to come home, and keep dreaming of leaving again.

As others have said, it seems to me the full-time RV lifestyle is fully customizable. For those who are traveling solo, you can be as lonely as you wish. (It’s possible to be in a crowd and still be lonely.) I myself am a dyed-in-the-wool introvert and can go days without interactions outside my own household. I’m also a hard-core project person who keeps plenty busy in my own little world. Fortunately, I have several hobbies which are portable – drawing, painting, photography, graphic design, spinning yarn from the fiber produced by my English Angora rabbits. (A venture I took on after knitting and crocheting for many years.) Many of these activities could earn some extra money for a mobile lifestyle, or I can make things for a charity while I’m in an area. My husband, who is a disabled veteran, was the extrovert and loved being an orchestra director and cello player. But his 22 years of service in the Navy Seabees took their toll. And having to fight for his benefits for seven years after that only made things worse. He’s no longer the happy extrovert I used to know. Some people would probably look at us and say we’re the worst candidates to become full-time RVers, and to a certain extent they may be right. But they don’t define us, WE define us. And if we didn’t have the practical skills and an increasingly ferocious sense of independence, we wouldn’t try it. Unless one has an unlimited budget, I don’t see how you can be a full-time RVer if you can’t take care of yourself. I have yet to experience an emergency that was ever convenient. I’m trying to bring Karl back into the land of the living again, and sometimes it’s nice to be back in civilization. However, we do love solitude. In those places where solitude can be found, it’s possible to see the stars again. We’ve missed them quite a bit living in the big city.

Right now, we’re of the opinion that full-time on the road might not quite suit us. We’re looking at Texas Airstream Harbor Incorporated (TAHI) as a home base once we get the house out of our hair. It’s on the shore of Lake Sam Rayburn. What’s not to like about that?

By the way, while blaming Instagram, make sure you include Pinterest too. I won’t deny I’ve put pictures from 2 blogs (one for our AS) on a few boards. But we refuse to allow any advertising and are not a “Brand”, while I have designed some cutesy graphics for it (Got to keep those design muscles exercised). While we don’t mind showing off the fun stuff, there is nothing sugar-coated either. I have to stop myself from sounding too preachy. (My grown children accuse me of lecturing too much.) The first post we did after getting home? “We Wouldn’t Call It Glamping…” While cleaning muddy prints off our new AS floor, I wondered what idiot coined that word anyway. Viola, inspiration for a post.

P.S. Mandolinedave, if you’ve attended a lot of festivals over the years, it’s possible you’ve encountered a band named “Poker Alice”. My brother-in-law, Owen, has played fiddle/guitar with them for many years. These days, I think they stay mostly in South Dakota, but if you ever feel the need to visit a college town, he plays at Carey’s Bar in Vermillion almost every Friday night. One of our favorite campgrounds is Clay County which is just a few miles southwest of town. Just north of the Missouri River and surrounded by huge cottonwoods. Can be pretty quiet on weekdays. Ask us nicely and we might just tell you how to find it.

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Old 10-12-2016, 07:33 PM   #73
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As a full-timer for about two years now, I can say with certainty that some days it is wonderful, and some days it is awful. The highs are high and the lows are low. Would I do it again knowing what I now know? Yes, but some things I would do differently. If you are a worrier (I am), it can be very stressful, but going with someone that takes everything in stride is a great help. Am I currently building a house? Yes. Am I ever going to hit the road again full time? Possibly. I am so thankful for the experiences I have had and wouldn't trade (most of) them for anything!
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Old 10-12-2016, 09:14 PM   #74
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Welcome aboard. It's usually best to get the RV first (never know what will come along), then a tow vehicle to match you and your rig, and always better to save then buy with cash when you actually need them.

Keep in mind, Airstreams are expensive and tiny with little storage space, and are really about travel. They are hot in summer heat and cold in cold weather, only a three-season RV. So extensive travel would justify buying one, that is their strong suit.
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