I NEED YOUR INPUT ; - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-19-2003, 05:01 PM   #1
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I NEED YOUR INPUT ;

GREETINGS FOLKS ; BEFOR I PUT THIS QUESTION TO YOU .LET ME GIVE YOU A LITTLE BACKGROUND ABOUT MYSELF. RVING IS NOT NEW TO MY WIFE AND I .I HAVE TOWED MANY KINDS OF RVS. IN 1982 WHEN I RETIRED , WE HAD A 31 FT , 9850 LB AIRSTREAM, AND USED A F250 FORD P/U FOR TOWING. WE WENT " FULL TIMING " UNTILL 1983, COVERING THE USA EVERY WHICH WAY .IN 1995 MY WIFE ABOUT PASSED AWAY ( GOD WANTED HER IN THE WORST WAY , AND SO DID I ,AND I WON ) AT THAT TIME WE WERE SURE OUR RVING DAYS WERE OVER SO SOLD THE BIG RIG. NOW IN 2003 WE GOT CABIN FEVOR AND WANT TO DO SOME LOCAL RVING AGAIN, WANTING TO GET A CONSITA 16 FT. WE DONT PLAN ANY LONG DISTANT TRIPS , JUST THE FINE PARKS HERE IN FLORIDA. NOW -- HERE IS MY QUESTION FOR YOUR INPUT. MY WIFE IS 78 AND I AM 80 YEARS YOUNG. I AM IN GOOD HEALTH , READ THE NEWSPAPER WITH OUT GLASSES , PLAY THE ORGAN ( KEYBOARD )I WALK A MILE OR SO EVERY DAY , DO ALL MY YARD WORK ANSWER THIS FOR ME , SHOULD WE GO AHEAD AND GET THE CASITA , DO JUST ONE OR TWO , MAYBE THREE NIGHT TRIPS HERE IN FLA, OR SHOULD I FORGET ABOUT RVING AND BUY A COMFORTABLE ROCKING CHAIR ? WOULD YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE KNOWING THAT AN 80YEAR OLD WAS DRIVING THAT RIG YOU WERE ABOUT TO PASS ON THE FREEWAY >NOTE ; IN FLORIDA , THE DMV REQUIRES A COMPLETE EYE EXAM , DRIVING TEST , AND EVALUATION FOR THOSE OVER 80 STARTING THIS NEXT YEAR. HMMMMMMM.
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Old 07-19-2003, 05:21 PM   #2
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If you want an RV again - then get it. I'd be comfortable knowing you were on the road - if you felt safe in all aspects - and the DMV said you could. Go for it Frank!

Being 80 has nothing to do with it. I know people of all ages who should not be on the road much less towing an RV.

Heck you are problably one of those older gents like my wife's dad who still think he's 18 and actually pulls it off. :o



:wave
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Old 07-19-2003, 05:47 PM   #3
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Excellent Question & Well Formulated.

Frank, here are my quick thoughts:

1. From your description of your physical capabilities I'd say
you'd have no problem with a Casita, hitching and driving etc. You've
full-timed and you've got loads of experience with a much heavier trailer. You could probably give seminars at Casita Rallies.

2. Nothing keeps us as young and healthy as activity. Your mind and
body will get a wonderful workout. But you already obviously know
this, you're 80 and using the web!

3. You're obviously self-reflective. You don't go into something half-cocked and full of yourself. This trait alone will keep you from doing something unsafe.

4. You say: IN FLORIDA , THE DMV REQUIRES A COMPLETE EYE EXAM , DRIVING TEST , AND EVALUATION FOR THOSE OVER 80 STARTING THIS NEXT YEAR. HMMMMMMM. This seems the only hurdle.
Can you possibly just present yourself at the DMV and ask for an
examination now? Then you'll know.

5. If you do get a 16' Casita (Great Choice!) and you use it for a year
or two and then find your health no longer allows you to tow it you can be confident that you can sell it and only lose maybe $500 per
year of ownership. So the financial risk with a Casita is not that great.
You will of course have spent money on hitch, brake controller, and wiring. But then your vacation costs will be so cheap that it all will
balance out. I have no idea what your residence is, but I have a house
and even if I could never tow my Casita again I'd still keep it because
it's a fantastic guest room, office, playroom, meditation space etc.

The whole issue of driving and age is evolving. The fact that Florida has just enacted new legislation attests to this. My only hope is that legislators and advocacy groups such as AARP (American Association
of Retired Persons) will be both cooperative and creative in working out solutions. I hope that common ground is reached. Rather than
a simple "You can drive" or "You Can't Drive" approach I'd rather see
specific conditions introduced, such as okay to drive everywhere except freeways, or okay except when dark, or okay except during morning and evening rush hours.

Keep us posted on what you decide. I'm sure lots of people will
give you lots of great advice here!
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Old 07-19-2003, 05:51 PM   #4
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Experience counts.

:wave I would feel more comfortable passing a rig driven by an experienced 80 year old than an inexperienced younger driver.

If the DMV is happy, and you feel confident go for it!:thumb

You know yourself better than anyone else.
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Old 07-19-2003, 06:35 PM   #5
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I admire you for asking this question. You sound sensible. I thoroughly agree that getting out and enjoying life is healthy. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 07-19-2003, 06:35 PM   #6
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Free advice is worth just what you pay for it.

Mark, my hat goes off to you. I encourage you to go ahead with your dream ofd RV'ing again. You will accumulate a wealth of memories, meet a host of wonderful people, make a huge flock of new friends and inspire a number of us younger folks to get off of our A**e* and do what makes us happy while we still have the health. By the way you sound a lot healthier that many of us.:
CHEERS :ola
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Old 07-19-2003, 07:13 PM   #7
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Use that rocking chair as fuel for a nice campfire!

I say go for it! Using brain and body is the best thing you can do for yourself and those who care for you. Be sensible about your capabilities re driving et al but DON'T stop doing and striving.

Personally in your situation I would opt for the 17' Casita and not the 16' but you should do what you're comfortable with.

Hope to see you on the road someday!
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Old 07-19-2003, 08:11 PM   #8
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ROCKING CHAIRS ARE FOR CATS TO NAP ON

Frank...

As long as you're able to keep it between the lines... go for it! After a full and wonderful life why would you even consider wasting away in some stupid rocking chair when there is so much more to see and do out there!

You mentioned that you were full timing back in the early 80's. Do you have any idea how much knowledge your carrying around in that head of yours? I could see you at one of the Fiberglass Fests talking about RVing now vs. then, things to consider as you get older and want to RV, medical issues for full timers, etc. Personally speaking I would welcome listening to the things you have to say from your experiences!

I don't understand why Florida, or any state for that matter would implement driving tests for someone over a certain age. I'm 40, have 20 years of safe driving (age 16-20 we will not discuss... ahem:nono ), but have to admit I would have a problem passing a road test (some bad habits, mainly lead footing:steer ) I think everyone should be tested periodically, if for nothing mroe than to remind us of what we're supposed to be doing vs. what we do.

Sorry for going off on a tangent... Anyway... Frank, get your Casita, load it up, give your wife a map, and hit the road!
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Old 07-20-2003, 09:43 AM   #9
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To buy or not

I agree with everything everyone else has said, and would never discourage ANYONE from purchasing a fiberglass RV. BUT (and isn't there always a BUT), you need to consider what you get for the purchase. It is an asset, not only in dollars but in the fun you can have. You should balance (by doing Pros and Cons) whether this is a good fit. The plus side could include items such as the freedom to go where you want, when you want. The negative side could include how long you will be able to use it. Rather than thinking if you don't purchase a trailer you'll just stay home, how about doing the motel route (cringe). I know, I know..but with owning a trailer comes costs like maintenance, gas mileage drop, insurance, etc. etc. If you'll only have the trailer for a couple of years, maybe for you and your wife, spending your money on motels and not on a trailer MAY BE a better fit.

Whatever decision you make, it will be the right one for you..and it really has nothing to do with being capable of towing a rig...you've demonstrated that ability for years.

Best of luck, and please let us all know what decision you make.:sunny
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Old 07-20-2003, 10:03 AM   #10
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No thinking about it.

... just do it!

You've got the experience. You've got the good sense to camp close by with no plans for long runs.

You've thought about it long enough. Just do it.
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Old 07-20-2003, 10:08 AM   #11
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Frank ...if you can safely drive an SUV or pick-up, you can safely pull a Casita ... or any other small molded fiberglass rv.

Compared to your old Airstream experience, you will not know the small fiberglass trailer is even behind you.

No need for larger mirrors to see behind you. No need for 150 foot open area to make a turn. Easy to pull into any gas station.

I agree with Donna that you have to examine costs. But I will also say this ... unlike any other traditional RV ... if you buy a molded fiberglass trailer (used or new) and decide you don't like it ... or god forbid, your health declines ... you'll be able to sell the trailer for very close to what you paid for it.

Little molded fiberglass rigs just don't depreciate like traditional RV's.

One tip ... and to be honest with you, I do this a lot myself. It's a lot more fun ... and a whole lot less stress ... to stay off the 75 mph expressways and travel on the back roads.

Since you're only planning short trips, to local RV parks, I'd say go for it!
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Old 07-20-2003, 05:26 PM   #12
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Rocking Chairs

According to my mother (85), rocking chairs are bad for your health.
She lives life at 100 mph each and every second.

Casita's (and other smallish FG units) are reported to be quite good for your health. Stress reduction, a stepping stone to sights and places not always available or close at hand, to name just a couple.

Go for it!

Bill H
The K-Bears
:sunny S.E. Colorado
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Old 07-21-2003, 12:46 PM   #13
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Last week's tragedy in the pedestrian mall has brought this very question to the forefront of the American mind -- how old is too old to drive? Honestly, I know people ranging from 16 to 95 who shouldn't be driving, and most of them are under age 20. Most of the rest are 20 - 60. A few are older. As you age, the time will almost certainly come when your faculties are reduced enough that towing, and even driving, becomes unsafe. But, if you continue as you are now doing -- seeking and listening to input from other people, you'll know when to quit. In the meantime, you may have one, two, or 15 good years ahead where you could really enjoy the camper. Enjoy it while you can, be honest with yourself, and quit when you first realize you should.

Sometimes with age, people lose night vision, or find high-activity situations confusing (shoot -- that one happens to me!). So, if that is the case with you, limit the towing to daytime, and avoid interstates and metro areas as much as possible. Make sure your tow vehicle has the weight and stopping power to compensate for slower reflexes. Double the distance between you and the vehicle in front.

Based on what you've said, I think you should go for it. I really hope you do. BTW, I'm 38.
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Old 07-21-2003, 02:01 PM   #14
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go for it

Every day on my way home from school I have to drive by a high school. The kids that have stayed a little late are leaving, mostly the jocks and such. They are the WORST drivers -- totally unaware of what they are doing, all over the road, driving too fast, running up on people, cutting them off.

I'd much rather share the road with an 80 year old who followed the traffic laws and took a little time to get where they were going then share it with 18 and under crowd!!! He he he, why don't they have a separate planet for them? I guess we need high schoolers to bag groceries at the store, but they sure are danergous behind the wheels of a car!

Go for it -- you must know how to drive by now.

Jane
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