Hi, I'm Lyle. I've been officially retired for about a year now, completely retired since May. I don't have any even moderate savings, but I am lucky enough to receive a pension of a couple of thousand/month and will be eligible for Social Security soon (I turn 62 next month, so could start actually receiving SS in Oct.). I do think I will hold off, if possible, to increase the benefits a bit.
Aside from being fortunate in having a pension, My sister and I are in the process of selling a small, but relatively nice house that has been in our family since the early 1970's, so it is long paid for. It is with this eventual money that I hope to buy a small Travel Trailer, and fund the delay in taking SS benefits. I currently have some other debt from remodeling my current home, but nothing outlandish to handle in retirement. My current home should be fully paid for in two or three years. I hope to use this time to try some long term RV Travel before I decide to sell my current home and become a full-time RVer.
Some background on me: I am single, with no dependents (other than two dogs and some fish).
I've been a paramedic for over 35 years, prior to that I managed an Arby's restaurant for a number of years, worked various service jobs off and on, and took a full year out of "life" to backpack across the U.S. with a group called Hikanation, back in 1980-81.
I also took 5 years out of my paramedic career to work for a company called VisionQuest. I had no permanent home during that time. We worked 5 days/week, 24 hours/day. As they said when I hired in, it was a lifestyle, not a career. We would live and sleep with the kids in the program (NOT literally, but within the teepee). These were court placed juvenile delinquents who came into the program for, generally, a year long stay. The lifestyle was generally considered camping full-time. For the last six months of my employment with VisionQuest, I was their treatment director on board the schooner "Bill of Rights" while we sailed up and down the east coast of the U.S. from the Gulf coast of Florida to Maine.
I tell you all of this to let you know that, while much of my life has been conventional, working, buying a house, etc. I have also taken year-plus stints of living very unconventional lifestyles, without any permanent home, and thoroughly enjoyed those stints. I have every confidence that if I do this full-time RV thingy, I will enjoy the experience, at least for a number of years.
So, enough of that for now. What am I interested in getting? While not absolutely, 100% decided to fore go a stick built, the Fiberglass trailers are most appealing to me. I am currently looking seriously at the usual contenders of Scamp
, and Escape
. I have also, recently learned of Eggcamper
, built right here in Michigan. Would be much handier to visit their factory when I get to the serious decision time. I have looked briefly at Oliver
, but they are too costly for me.
I keep fluctuating between interest in a 13 ft, vs 16/17 ft. I would like to have the possibility of some cold climate camping. One question: I have no trailer towing experience. Is there any real life difference between towing/backing a 13ft vs 17ft trailer?
My current tow vehicle will be a low mileage Ford F150, capable of towing 8700lbs. It was a UHaul
rental out of Arizona in it's former life - has a UHaul
The drawbacks to the various trailers in my mind, at this point:
: wooden floors
: carpeted walls/ceiling
: hassle of dealing with Canadian manufacturer for long-term (and short term, getting the bugs out) service
: All electric, both good and bad points in my mind. Anyone have experience with this? (plus they are kinda pricey, worth it?)
Sorry for being so long winded, any comments you could offer a rookie would be appreciated.