Full-Timing Discussion at Rally - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-04-2015, 11:47 AM   #1
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Full-Timing Discussion at Rally

There's a new event added to the Green Eggs and Ham Rally in Alabama.

Round Fire Discussion: "Living The Dream"

It will cover considerations of full-timing. If you're a full-timer or have been considering becoming one, then please bring a chair and join us at site #41 on Thursday, March 12th at 12:30p.m.

The discussion has been added to the schedule on the rally website. Please print out a copy of the schedule at:
http://www.borderbrae.com/ge-h/ge-h-sched.pdf
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:02 PM   #2
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While everyone has a unique personality and we all like different things, I recall a wise person may years ago telling me that when your hobby becomes your means of earning a living, it is no longer fun, it is work. How many weekend golfers wish they could be professionals playing on the tour? Most tour players will tell you all the practice and travelling is a grind. The point I would make here is that I am not sure that full-timing is "Living the Dream" for everyone. I enjoy travelling and camping, but if it were a 24-7 thing, I'm not sure I would be jumping for joy or be living a personal dream, as there are so many activities I enjoy to which full timing would not be conducive. But I do understand that those who choose the full timing lifestyle do so because to them, it is a dream.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:09 PM   #3
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Thanks Carl,
Point to be taken in the discussion.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:08 AM   #4
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Want to live in your Scamp full time? Maybe on the move more often? Diversity is a wonderful thing and I sure am happy that there are so many ways to have a "Good Time".

My wife and I are in our 4th month of a National Parks Tour of the US. We have logged about 9,000 miles and are presently in Arizona, taking a southern route back to our home in Michigan. We often remark that we will probably not take another trip of this duration in the future. We think about 5 weeks with a single destination will work best for us in the future.

A 16' Scamp is small. My wife and I often refer to " the dance" as we try to negotiate moving about the trailer. Family and old friends are missed. One size does not fit all and me and the wife are not cut out to be full time campers.

We do very much like the minimalism associated with the Scamp. In 9,000 miles we have averaged 16.7 mpg pulling with a 2013 Ford edge. many of those miles were "unhitched" with sight seeing. We have stopped at many RV parks where we were the smallest trailer there. Our Scamp is a 1997 and it is still giving good service. When we think of the resources that went into it's manufacture and use, we both agree that the Scamp is efficient, took little from the environment and our society compared to all those Big Rigs we see so often. We are glad that trailers like the Scamp are available for all those common folks that live in the USA and yearn to travel. I believe that the median family income in the US is about $51,000/yr and those big rigs just aren't very practical for those folks.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:22 AM   #5
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Not fr all

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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
While everyone has a unique personality and we all like different things, I recall a wise person may years ago telling me that when your hobby becomes your means of earning a living, it is no longer fun, it is work. How many weekend golfers wish they could be professionals playing on the tour? Most tour players will tell you all the practice and travelling is a grind. The point I would make here is that I am not sure that full-timing is "Living the Dream" for everyone. I enjoy travelling and camping, but if it were a 24-7 thing, I'm not sure I would be jumping for joy or be living a personal dream, as there are so many activities I enjoy to which full timing would not be conducive. But I do understand that those who choose the full timing lifestyle do so because to them, it is a dream.
Carl,

Your right, it's not for all. We've traveled about 8 months a year for the last 14 years and when I get excited talking about our adventures she always reminds me it's not for everyone. I know that but the reminder never hurts.

Being a full timer, or almost so, requires a mindset change just as living in a small space requires a mind set change. This is difficult for many people.

For example there are activities I used to do I no longer do. My view of this change is doing a new thing is a live extension, like living more lives. I readily admit we have given up some of the past for a new future.
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Old 03-05-2015, 10:34 AM   #6
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Fulltiming thoughts

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Originally Posted by varmint View Post
Want to live in your Scamp full time? Maybe on the move more often? Diversity is a wonderful thing and I sure am happy that there are so many ways to have a "Good Time".

My wife and I are in our 4th month of a National Parks Tour of the US. We have logged about 9,000 miles and are presently in Arizona, taking a southern route back to our home in Michigan. We often remark that we will probably not take another trip of this duration in the future. We think about 5 weeks with a single destination will work best for us in the future.

A 16' Scamp is small. My wife and I often refer to " the dance" as we try to negotiate moving about the trailer. Family and old friends are missed. One size does not fit all and me and the wife are not cut out to be full time campers."

Ginny and I have never been destination travelers. WE make the trip the adventure, it means that we never travel far in a day and every day are seeking the wonder of travel. One year we made a loop of the USA towing 8,000 miles and it took us 10 months. Of course we drove a lot more miles exploring than the 8,000 towing miles.

We do very much like the minimalism associated with the Scamp. In 9,000 miles we have averaged 16.7 mpg pulling with a 2013 Ford edge. many of those miles were "unhitched" with sight seeing. We have stopped at many RV parks where we were the smallest trailer there. Our Scamp is a 1997 and it is still giving good service. When we think of the resources that went into it's manufacture and use, we both agree that the Scamp is efficient, took little from the environment and our society compared to all those Big Rigs we see so often. We are glad that trailers like the Scamp are available for all those common folks that live in the USA and yearn to travel. I believe that the median family income in the US is about $51,000/yr and those big rigs just aren't very practical for those folks.
We have looped the USA about 6 times, 3 in a motorhome and 3 in a small trailer. The difference in cost is significant but not dramatic. The real difference is in the cost of fuel, 7.5 mpg versus 21 mpg. With teh motorhome we only drove about 8,000 miles, the rest in a super efficient Honda Civic.

People who tow with a big truck and have to take it every where probably average for fuel what we did driving with the Motorhome/Civic combination.

I know the motorhome cost more than our Scamp, Motorhome $35,000 Scamp $6,000 but not dramatically different. Some on this site spend as much as the motorhome to tow their 16 foot trailer.

We have chosen small trailers because it is simply easier to do and allows us to go more out of the way places.

We no longer find our Scamp small, rather cozy. When I dated Ginny there was a corner in their living room fondly called the 'Cozy Corner', thinking about it still makes me feel good.

As I said earlier, fulltiming requires a measure of mindset change.
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Carl,

Your right, it's not for all. We've traveled about 8 months a year for the last 14 years and when I get excited talking about our adventures she always reminds me it's not for everyone. I know that but the reminder never hurts.

Being a full timer, or almost so, requires a mindset change just as living in a small space requires a mind set change. This is difficult for many people.

For example there are activities I used to do I no longer do. My view of this change is doing a new thing is a live extension, like living more lives. I readily admit we have given up some of the past for a new future.
Norm,

You are also correct. I have no doubt I could full time in my FG camper, and someday I may decide to do just that. I like to get away, but I am kind of tied down by a dog right now. Taking a dog along would crimp my style and it wouldn't be fair to the dog. She is 11 years old, so she may or may not be with us for too much longer, although she is very active and seems to be healthy. But I probably wouldn't full time 365. I would most likely leave Florida at the beginning of May and return sometime in October. Being home for Thanksgiving and Christmas is important from the aspect of family. I do have good friends who are originally from Ohio and upon retiring bought a place on South Bass Island so they spend half the year there. While it is a magnificent place to be, summering in the same place every year does not appeal to me. I would find it more interesting to spend 3 months really exploring ________ (fill in the blank) rather than going to the same place year after year. When the time comes, I would probably sell my house, move into an apartment or condo so I wouldn't have to worry about outside maintenance, and then spend 6 months of the year on the road.
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Old 03-05-2015, 02:59 PM   #8
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Carl,

What happened to us...

We began thinking that we might spend 6 months or so on the road... then we wanted to go to Alaska our second year so we made a loop of the USA ending in Washington and stayed there until the spring as a jumping off point to Alaska. We spent the summer in Alaska getting home in September. So ended the six month rule in our second year. We stayed home until after Thanksgiving and left, just beating the snow south.

After that Ginny decided that Thanksgiving was a movable feast, and could occur earlier in the year. It turned out to be a brilliant move on Ginny's part because now we had a Thanksgiving that interfered with no one else's Thanksgiving, actually more wonderful than ever.

Our first year on the road we came home for Christmas, leaving our rig in North Carolina. We drove back to find our Motorhome's batteries discharged. On our way south in our tow vehicle, we realized how busy traditional Christmas was, never our favorite holiday, never as good as Thanksgiving. It was our last trip home for Christmas, finding the peace of Christmas together superior.

Now we have campground Christmas, or just the two of us Christmas. Of course our traveling ability has allowed us to have extended Christmas with distant grandchildren, children and friends.

Pets were always primarily for our children. When we began our travels we recognized that our exploring style of travel would not be good for our travels or good for a pet. Ginny has made it very clear to me and our children that should something happen to me that I need another travel partner, that they should encourage it.

When we travel we are not simply getting away from work and going camping, not ending up in a campsite and sitting around the fire, not simply hiking new trails. We are looking to expand ourselves with no people, with banded ice bergs, with new cultures, by driving to the end of the road where 4 families have clustered together for a century, by climbing a cliff looking for fossils, or walking a trail strewn with whale bones from the 1500's. This is an adventure, still a time to learn at 72, to extend our selves a little, mentally and physically.

The idea of changing your landing point to a condo, a small apartment, ... is solid but almost impossible for some to do. Ginny has finally reached the point, our small beach cottage will go up for sale this year (with much family gnashing of teeth).

It's all a change but it can be fun..... my Doctor will tell you it's saved my life.
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Old 03-05-2015, 08:45 PM   #9
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Well said Norm, and we were happy to finally meet you and Ginny at the Scamp Camp last month.
This is our first year retired and we have been traveling every month so far with most of those trips in our 16' Scamp. We will probably never be full-timers but look forward to the discussions since some of the full-timers problems like mail and grass cutting back home will also affect us on our 2-3 month trips. Our longest trip so far has been 5 weeks to include Acadia and Canada, but we're planning a 2-3 month trip to CA coast and return via Glacier NP.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:52 AM   #10
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Mail and Grass

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Well said Norm, and we were happy to finally meet you and Ginny at the Scamp Camp last month.
This is our first year retired and we have been traveling every month so far with most of those trips in our 16' Scamp. We will probably never be full-timers but look forward to the discussions since some of the full-timers problems like mail and grass cutting back home will also affect us on our 2-3 month trips. Our longest trip so far has been 5 weeks to include Acadia and Canada, but we're planning a 2-3 month trip to CA coast and return via Glacier NP.
As to mail, we have minimized mail over the years. We have eliminated most bill from the mail by doing on-line banking and bill pay. We still control when and how much we pay but get virtually no paper bills. We also have canceled all magazine subscriptions except the Escapee magazine. We have mail forwarded by the post office to the Escapee Mail Center and have it sent to us about once a month when traveling.

Grass is less of an issue for us. We rarely travel in the summer. We usually get home in April and do a spring cut before we leave for Newfoundland. If it grows wildly in June. our neighbor cuts it on the good neighbor policy. (I should say our lawn is 60' x 60'. She also fills our flower boxes, great neighbor.)

If we're gone all summer we hire another neighbor to cut the grass, he normally cuts the grass of the other summer people for a small charge. We have turned our flower gardens into grass.
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:43 PM   #11
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For six months we have been planning to retire and full time RV. We put our house on the market thinking it would take a while and we still had plenty of time to plan. Well it sold in one day and we are closing in a month! This is great except that we now have to make a housing decision in a hurry! We want to stay small and are thinking a fiberglass travel trailer. I visited the Scamp factory and liked them. We have friends selling a large popup trailer and we are considering just taking that on the road for a while until we are more clear about what we want for long term use. Neither of us have ever done anything like this before. We have two small dogs who will be traveling with us. We are registered for the RV-Dreams rally next month. Any thoughts on whether it makes sense to explore for a while with a pop-up or would that be an unfair trial for full-timing? Should we just dive in and buy something before we are sure what we want? Any advice will be appreciated!
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Old 03-15-2015, 05:47 PM   #12
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Rachael -

IMHO -
I would not buy a pop-up to start your adventures.
They are more hassle to set up (especially in the dark and in the rain),
they are less secure (from 2-legged or 4-legged animals), they are not
generally welcome at WalMart or truck stops for free overnight stays
when you just need some rest enroute to your next destination, etc.

I would buy whatever FGRV you think might meet your needs in the
short term and that you can take possession of in a timeframe that
might work for you.
They are more secure, they are more often welcome at WalMarts and
truck stops and they handle foul weather better. Because FGRVs currently
enjoy a high resale value, there should not be a big penalty for a
"less than perfect" decision. Whether you buy new or used, you will
only be risking the amount of money that would be the difference in
initial purchase price and the proceeds from any subsequent resale.

Just my 2 cents worth and maybe not even worth that much. 😉

Good luck on your hunt and your decisions. 😊

Ray


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Old 03-15-2015, 05:50 PM   #13
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I would not go with a popup, mainly because of setup and fold down when moving to another location. We have a popup that we haven't used in a few years. With our Uhaul and Casita we can just park, open the door and step in, and ready to eat or sleep. Plus easier to heat in cold weather. We have no desire to full time it, but do spend close to 4 months as winter snowbirds.
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Old 03-15-2015, 08:29 PM   #14
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Hi Rachael,
Sounds like you are determined to " Take the Plunge". Retirement is a wonderful thing.

Selling your home and having a camper as your only home will be a big change. Throw in 2 dogs and it just gets Better, I hope.

Don't be afraid to to make the wrong choice but try to think ahead. I'm a sailor and a common phrase is, " If you haven't been aground, you haven't been around much".

I agree that the pop-up would not be my first choice. Set - up, convenience, and the fact that I have never met anybody trying to spend extended periods of time in them would scare me off.

My wife and have traveled over 10,000 miles since last Sept. We are retired and a national parks tour was on the Bucket list. We both agree that we will probably never do this again but are glad we did it. We live in Michigan and plan to choose a winter destination for a 5 - 6 week Scamp trip in the future. We would also camp locally, within 300 miles, with friends once or twice a year.

This site is a wealth of information and there are tons of archives. One idea I like is a stand alone tent, maybe 14' X 14', to use as a family room with tv and heater for extended stays of say a week or longer. If you want to stay 14 days someplace it is wise to make a reservation many months in advance, especially along a coast.

We have a 16' Scamp. If I were considering full time I would take a good look at all the 19' Fiberglass trailers out there. Think about what you want to use as your tow vehicle. ours is a 2013 Ford Edge and it is limited to 3500 lbs. Realize title weight and actual weight are not often the same. If you buy something 5 -10 yrs old and spend a week or two researching on the computer, you should come up with a trailer you can sell a year later with little loss.

Good luck and let us know how things are working out.
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