Care to share any fulltimer tips? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-02-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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Hey all you fulltimers!

I was wondering if any of you were willing to share your little tricks that you've learned over the years. I'm going to be living out of my trailer for 6 months and was hoping that you guys would be able to give a few pointers on...well, anything! ie. how to do things on a dime, what you do for electricity when not at a campground, where do you park if in a city, etc. Anything would be appreciated. Ohh, if there are any special items that you have found come in handy while fulltiming, suggestions would be appreciated too!

Thanks,

Steve (and his boler)
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Old 03-03-2009, 03:04 AM   #2
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My first tip would be to go back to the first post in this FullTimer Forum and read them all, esp the ones about properly establishing a home base/state -- Since you only intend to do it for six months (one lady I know was going to do it for a year, but that became longer -- She finally bought a log house in Tennessee and lived in trailer beside it while fixing it up -- She lasted two weeks in the finished place before she moved back into trailer, rented the log house and hit the road again, where she still is!).

You will have to set up some way of getting your mail -- You can do a lot nowadays between internet and 1-800, but sometimes the mail is needed. Best way is family picking it up and then sending it in a priority box or Tyvek envelope to General Delivery at a small PO where you will be IF you check first about GD -- The small ones are less likely to lose your mail, esp if you have come in to introduce yourself first and ask about GD (Not all POs do GD, and the big ones are more likely to drop your mail in a dark corner -- Lost almost a week at Denali NP in Alaska because I made the mistake of using the PO in the park where there were large numbers of summer workers getting GD! Package #2 of 2 was sitting right there next to #1 of 2 but they didn't see it for almost a week -- Wasn't really the delay, because I found plenty to do in the area, but the uncertainty of where the mail was).

BTW, some Natl Parks/Monuments will accept GD or "Camper" mail in their PO so you don't have to leave the park to get it.

Another big tip is to learn to do without shore power electricity ALL the time, not just occasionally, with an occasional plug-in of your battery charger for a full charge and some desulphation -- By taking 'unimproved site', you will come to realize how much money is being charged for a couple of decimal KW to pay off all that underground cabling, pedestals and whatnot . Change your habits and lifestyle to not need a reefer, for example -- Learn which drinks are good cool without being iced -- Use powdered milk if you need milk (It's really just skim or no-fat milk), for example -- Learn that we Americans are super cautious when it comes to Use By dates and stuf like bacon and eggs keep longer than we are led to believe -- Eat fresh stuf, don't just store it -- Spend the money saved on hookups on good food!

If you aren't washing dishes or you, you don't have much need for a hot water heater, so without reefer or WH, you don't need much LP.

Consider a Sun Shower if you just can't go without the daily rinse (also consider that you will be generating gray water on the ground...) -- You don't need a shower enclosure if you have a bathing suit.

Get the drains off your battery -- Ditch the electrical water pump and save energy, save fresh water and generate less gray water -- Put water into a squeeze bottle for rinsing stuf -- Get rid of dishes and use paper plates but keep the paper plate consumption down by eating out of the pot (stays warm longer, depending on pot) -- I reduced my gray water to an amount that would fit in my laundry jug Gray Water tank (empty in CG toilet in morning, along with other Yellow Water tank laundry jug).

If you must have an entertainment center, make it your laptop and run it off an inverter (I used my truck battery so the next time I drove the truck only, the battery would be recharged) -- Get a good pair of earphones for listening to those rental DVDs, better sound and won't bother neighbors.

Use CG toilets so you aren't constantly hunting for black water dump -- Have a porta-potty but try to get so it's difficult to remember when you last used it.

Haunt the Escapees and RV.NET forums for lots of full time tips, plus read a few books, starting with "Blue Highways" and "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", then browse the book rack in Camping World.

Learn to answer "What do you do all day when you full time?" with "Pretty much what anchored-home people do all day except the parts about mowing grass and shoveling snow".

Look for library book sales and garage sales, as well as Leave One - Take One boxes at RV parks and host sites.

Get gregarious at the CGs, esp with the other full-timers, and listen.

Don't change CGs on Summer weekends, esp holidays, except on Sunday (lots of people leave then even if the holiday is Monday) -- Stay away from waterfront sites on weekends because that's where the party hearty crowd gathers, even if it is just a wet spot like the tiny spring and runoff in Texas Springs CG in Death Valley NP.
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:58 PM   #3
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Read The Complete Guide to Full Time RVing by Jan and Bill Moeller. http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Complete-...4798532/?itm=16 or their Complete Book of Boondock RVing. Both are available at Barnes and Noble and are excellent resources.
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Old 03-06-2009, 09:43 PM   #4
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Also found in the book rack at Camping World.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:56 PM   #5
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Cheap RV Living

The Zen of Urban Stealth Parking

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Some fun, entertaining and informative information.... enjoy!
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:48 AM   #6
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For what it's worth, here's a site to assist in calculating boondocking power needs:
RV Boondocking News
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:54 PM   #7
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Just remember that 1 gallon of water weights 8.3 pounds.........start multipling people.....weight uses more gas....everytime that me and that wife go camping and we use the 6 gallon tank for potable water that we have....we replenish it to the top even if we use an ounce....if youre tow vehicle over heats....you got water all the time....stop and take and break and use the facilities at supermarkets ot fast food places until you get to the next campground....and use what is free and use it alot...it is easier to ask for forgivness that to ask for permission......
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Old 08-23-2009, 07:34 PM   #8
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Ummmmm!

Seems to me that full timing doesn't equate to minimalist.

I've been thinking about full timing and have been doing a lot of plotting. There's lots of expense that I won't have when full timing that I do have with a home. So why would I be a miinimalist. I'll have more money to blow not less. I've been thinking about how much time I might spend being hooked up utilizing State Parks, that is if I'm not out in the boonies in the Nat'l Forest. I'm not taking my fridge, a/c etc out of my Scamp. I got my generator to handle that.

Now if you still have your regular expenses and you're just out for several months then that's another story. But don't remove your appliances, just don't use them.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:37 PM   #9
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Ummmmm!

Seems to me that full timing doesn't equate to minimalist.

I've been thinking about full timing and have been doing a lot of plotting. There's lots of expense that I won't have when full timing that I do have with a home. So why would I be a miinimalist. I'll have more money to blow not less. I've been thinking about how much time I might spend being hooked up utilizing State Parks, that is if I'm not out in the boonies in the Nat'l Forest. I'm not taking my fridge, a/c etc out of my Scamp. I got my generator to handle that.

Now if you still have your regular expenses and you're just out for several months then that's another story. But don't remove your appliances, just don't use them.

You make a good point. However in my opinion it is always best to live slightly below your means. Doing that over a lifetime has rewarded me handsomely.

We don't full-time but each fall/winter we spend two to three months in our Scamp. We are not restaurant folks, so we prepare all our meals in the Scamp. We boondock extensively, but also do spend time in parks. Our Scamp has nothing to hook up, except for 110 vac to operate a ten amp automatic battery charger.

Our greatest challenge has been to provide comfortable seating for those cool rainy days and evenings that often beset us at the time of year we normally travel.
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:48 PM   #10
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How Save $ on Gas

Some tips for saving money on gas:
- Avoid idling, skip the drive through, check traffic reports
- Only use AC on highway, using AC while going slow use more energy (8+% of your tank)
- Make sure your gas cap has a good seal, other wise gasoline evaporates out, especially in the sun.
- Don't use roof rack as an attic, don't haul bikes and other things, that aren't needed, they create drag using more fuel.
- Always keep good air pressure in the tires, replace air filters, spark plugs and oil when needed.

Another gas tip/story:
I've carried a product called "extra fuel" around in my storage for 5 years without thinking about it. Two weeks ago I ran out of gas in the middle of the Adirondacks, no cell phone reception, pouring rain, 3+hr walk to nearest gas stations. I put in the "extra fuel" and the truck started right up and I was able to make it to the gas station without a problem. I would def recommend carrying this at all times. It's some sort of non-flammable gas that works in all gas engine types. It says its biodegradable and completely safe to carry around. You can learn more about it on the Best Small Camper Blog Post. It's not cheap, around $25 for a half gal container, so it's for emergencies only, but when the time comes, the $25 is totally worth it. I saw listed cheapest on amazon.
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:49 PM   #11
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Biggest tip I can think of came from a good friend here on FiberglassRV.

It's not how much money you make, it's how much money you SPEND.

Kinda sound advice to me.
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