IF You Ever Considered Full-Timing - Fiberglass RV



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Old 07-12-2019, 04:11 PM   #1
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IF You Ever Considered Full-Timing

If you've ever considered full-timing, what did you decide?

What tipped the scales for you? That is, if you chose to do it, what was your biggest reason(s), and if you chose NOT to do it, what was your biggest reason(s)?

What did you HAVE to keep from your house-bound life...and what were you most glad to offload?

I see people here who travel a lot, some talk about full-timing, and then I see people who move into those tiny houses, some even on wheels to be towed from site to site, I assume not frequently. Fascinating, all of it!

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Old 07-12-2019, 04:23 PM   #2
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People who truly full time will know better than me, but I have some experience. Other people spend the winter in the desert, out on BLM land. I'm very localized, since I have a place-based job.

I love living in small spaces. Fire lookouts, cabins, campers. When I first bought a tiny motorhome, my first thought when I camped the first time was "I'd love to live in here".

Some of the practical considerations which come to mind:

Neighbors. You don't have time to build a relationship, most of the time. I can't tell you how many people think it's ok to be around camp all day, then turn on the generator at 9pm. On for 2 hours, then back on again at 5:45am. Or the guy I run into a few times every summer who never, ever turns off his generator.

Parking on public land in a structure which is very easy to break into. All of my life is in my car and trailer.

Where to leave the trailer if you want to "get away" for a few days?

Then there's the really pessimistic, but realistic side of me that knows this is all temporary. The heyday is now. Boondocking? Good luck. As more and more people crowd public lands, dispersed camping will no longer be allowed. Developed campgrounds for all. "Camping" will consist of what's essentially a youth hostel-style sleeping arrangement, one next to the other, whether in tents or RVs. Then follow the conveyer belt-like line of people along trails to see the sights.

But right now, you can still find a little solitude, still find a small group of people to camp with for the winter out in the desert, away from it all, more or less. Enjoy it! It's going away.

If for you full-timing can mean driving from one RV park to the next, paying $50+ a night, it's still going to be possible for a long time.

Back on topic...I chose to because I love living in small spaces, and I love not paying rent.
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Old 07-12-2019, 05:40 PM   #3
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There was something about having everything we owned right there behind us on the highway. We could go any direction or no direction at all. Having moved around for many years with the military and then requesting transfers with a federal government contractor, it is just impossible to sit still, and we have tried but in 2 years if it doesn't feel like home, time to give it up!

Probably the hardest thing about it, any time you pull up roots, is that some, myself and a few people I have talked to, you can lose "home". You know, when you are really tired or at "the end of your rope", you just want to go home, but it really isn't there anymore. That comes with being mobile for some. It is a trade off though as I wouldn't trade the moving around and the time we spent full-timing (which we are currently debating on returning to again) for the sense of "home" that I lost. They say, "Home is where you park it." - not the warmest fuzziest feeling from that though.

It is nice to just move when you have crappy neighbors, that can be a real bonus!
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:39 PM   #4
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Kai, hope you are feeling better. We've discussed doing this at some point in our lives, but we live in a great neighborhood and are able to travel quite a bit, and inexpensively (with a Casita . Northwest summers, as you know, are awesome, and not to be missed. On the other hand, the rain, well, I don't mind missing that. We have hobbies that would be difficult to continue if we were full-timers. That said, at some point, we'll move into a smaller, simpler place, and I'm hoping to pare down stuff and travel the country for a year in between. I will say, time slows down on the road, and I have such fond memories of our travels.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:47 PM   #5
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I will remind all that you are getting older, and frailer.
You might prefer a house to a trailer.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:49 PM   #6
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I will remind all that you are getting older, and frailer.
You might prefer a house to a trailer.
Eventually, yes. But if you don't do it now, then when?

I think its harder to start full-timing after being settled in a house because a lot of things have accumulated. And if you are thinking about full timing, but haven't yet, you probably already have a house.

I lived full time on my boat for many years, and gradually I began to want more than the boat would allow. I also had a business, so I wasn't completely free to wander. But I was starting with less and moving toward more, so it was a gradual choice to move toward land. Meanwhile, I travelled thousands of miles around coastal California, went to Mexico for six months, and had a wonderful time living in marinas and anchored out.

Now, we have a house that we can leave for months with no problem, so full timing in the trailer could work fine, and be the next interesting chapter. We even bought a new trailer that is well suited to full timing. So, the potential is definitely there. The best solution is to just go until you don't want to go any farther, or any longer. Then come "home" to a place of refuge. Then go again if you want to. It doesn't have to be some absolute definition of "we're full timing!".

We recently met a couple that were out indefinitely in a cute little 15' sticky. She said they were "between Houses". I like that. It might go on for another month, or another year. They had no idea and were not trying to define it. They were just having fun and spending time in their trailer enjoying life. Cool.

I have no intention of giving up our house, but I intend to do lots of traveling. So, for us, I guess it's a mix of of where do you want to go and how long to you want to be gone? As usual, I'll play it be ear. Either way, our dog Gogo is delighted to go.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:25 PM   #7
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I have no intention of giving up our house

Which is a good thing given the twists and turns of life.
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Old 07-13-2019, 06:08 AM   #8
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I keep telling her, if you die first I'm selling the house and going full time in the trailer. But then, I think, wait, how can I survive out there without my table saw?
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:47 AM   #9
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Oh if you have enough bed space in the truck, you don't have to do without!

I have friends who travel the US in the summer doing carpentry projects, then have a small lot in Baja where they park for the winter (and are starting to build a little house for themselves). They have all the tools they need to build a house, or if they don't have it, they rent or borrow. Seems to work for them!

I agree about the hobbies. I see young people (and old, also) living in smaller campers than mine. I've accumulated some skills and hobbies...and they do take up space. I mean I have my x-country skis and poles in my way in the back of my truck right now. Backpacking gear, car camping gear, bread baking gear, musical instruments (the one thing I have stored at a friends house is an upright bass), a canoe, a bike, books and a lot of tools.

There's something very difficult, and very satisfying about getting rid of a bunch of crap you thought you needed, though. In the end, if my camper and truck burned to ground, the only thing I'd hope to get out in time is myself and my dog. As for the rest, good riddance.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:49 AM   #10
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John, when did you buy a sticky? I missed it.
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Old 07-13-2019, 08:10 AM   #11
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I don't fulltime, but do "long time" usually on the road for 6 - 8 months per year.

I won't give up my house - first it is in a great location on the shores of Lake Ontario. Small enough (1200 sq ft) that it isn't all that difficult to keep up, and, not like my brother who over 40 years had an $80,000 house turn into a 1.2 million dollar house (there is an advantage to living on a small, popular island), houses in my upstate NY area have not appreciated that much. I doubt I'd be able to purchase the same house for what mine is worth in many other parts of the country.

I sure understand the problem of accumulating "stuff" living in the same place for 50 years. Last week I filled a 30 yard rolloff with stuff from the basement, attic & barn, and probably could do another one.

The only bad part about the area I live in is the winters - 150" - 200" of snow. My solution is to head to Quartzsite & the southwest. I'm comfortable living in the trailer, and certainly could do it year round, but I have to admit it is nice to have a house in an area that has great summers.
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Old 07-13-2019, 10:02 AM   #12
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John, when did you buy a sticky? I missed it.
Zach,

We ordered a new Black Series HQ19 in June. We'll have it at the end of August. My Oliver sold last week. The next chapter begins!

Not really a sticky, it has an aluminum tube frame for the body, hot dip galvanized frame, independent swing arm suspension with dual shocks per wheel, 12" brakes, full articulating hitch, solar system, inverter charger system with 12V circuit breakers, twin spare tires, etc.

This is one of the Australian trailers that I have been looking at for some time, that are made to venture into the outback, but were not available in the US until recently. They seem to have their manufacturing perfected and are making them in a mirror image for the US market with the doors on our curb side.

Here's a link:
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:41 AM   #13
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I don't see us full timing because we have too good of a group of friends in our current location, and we like stuff too much. We are amateur pickers, buying and fortunately, selling stuff regularly. So part of our travels are buying/sourcing trips.
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Old 07-13-2019, 12:01 PM   #14
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IF You Ever Considered Full-Timing

Since I sense the question is more speculative, I will venture my thoughts.

I love to travel, and Iím looking forward to a season in which we can travel more, but I also love to come home. We have deep roots in our community, and I enjoy gardening. There will eventually come a season in life where RVing is no longer possible, and I donít want to have to start over with buying a home and settling into a new community.

Fortunately my wife and I are like-minded, so for us it will always be both home and travel, never full-timing.

We have a modest, low-maintenance house with no mortgage or HOA and just enough yard for a small garden, but not so much it will be an impediment to more extended travel in the future. A large garage, big enough for a smaller molded trailer, is a huge bonus. Weíre set, I think!
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