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LHH 08-12-2011 11:28 AM

Hi, I'm New...and...Am I Crazy....?
I've been visiting is great community and decided to come out of the woodwork today. I'm hoping to gather some information and perhaps, if I may, ask a few questions to help me make some decisions. I just plumb crazy to even entertain the idea of going FT in a fiberglass RV at the, umm, "mature" age of almost retirement? there anything you know now that you wished you had known before you started doing camping in a FGRV? steep is the learning curve to be able to maintain a 12-14' rig? much upper-body strength does someone need to hook up/unhook a unit by themselves?

A bit of my thinking/planning to date:

I have watched friends and family members grow old having regrets of not doing something they loved. I don't want to do that. I want to be able to pick up and go as I want, take in some natural beauty and meet some great people along the way.

It would be just me and the cat, with my sister as a part-time sidekick. I have my condo on the market. If it doesn't sell (what? in this market?), I will rent it. I plan on divesting myself of stuff, putting only a few things in storage, buying a RV, plus something to tow it with.

I have been looking at RVs and very much like what I'm seeing on the Lil Snoozy. It looks about right for me. I read that a few of the group members have purchased one and I'll be interested to see what their overall impression is, having an opportunity to test it over the next months. I will also continue to research other units as well.

If anyone has advice for me, I certainly would be grateful for your help. THANK YOU. Great to be here!

jen b 08-12-2011 11:29 AM

I'll just answer the first question and leave the others to the more experienced folks.

Are you crazy? Yes! But there's nothing wrong with crazy.

Night Sailor 08-12-2011 11:37 AM

Jen, there is nothing difficult about it. A screw jack makes it easy to hook up a trailer. There are little poles you can use to line it up when you want to hook up. All the work on these campers is relatively easy, and cheap if you chose to hire it out. I think you will find satisfaction with getting out in the world. Good luck.

cpaharley2008 08-12-2011 11:51 AM

" there anything you know now that you wished you had known before you started doing camping in a FGRV?"

Why did I not do this sooner.....

Bill Reilly 08-12-2011 01:06 PM

Crazy ?
No - Lor - you're not crazy to get into this wonderful travel/vacation mode.

We purchased our first fiberglass trailer just 2 weeks after my 77th birthday in 2009. In 2010 we took our Trillium to Alaska and had a super vacation trip. This year we went to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and spent some time in the Adirondacks.

In concert with another trip to northern Alberta and British Columbia in 2012 we plan to celebrate my 80th birthday somewhere along the road

All in the way of saying 'you are certainly not too old for this stuff '.

Being a little crazy does help however !

Bill Reilly
Picton, Ontario

Wallo 08-12-2011 01:59 PM

No, your not crazy to want to try something new and different. One word of caution....If you want to divest of many things, and live life simply....DON'T GO TO CAMPING WORLD!!!!! haha

Frederick L. Simson 08-12-2011 03:47 PM


Originally Posted by LHH (Post 264510) I just plumb crazy to even entertain the idea of going FT in a fiberglass RV at the, umm, "mature" age of almost retirement? there anything you know now that you wished you had known before you started doing camping in a FGRV? steep is the learning curve to be able to maintain a 12-14' rig? much upper-body strength does someone need to hook up/unhook a unit by themselves?

  1. The largest demographic of FGRV owners in general, and those who "full-time" in particular, is of mature age. You are in good company!
  2. I wish I had been given a guided tour of all the separate systems that make up a trailer BEFORE the final exam. Yes, there is a test!
    • Axles, wheels, tires, brakes, hitches.
    • Vehicle lights: Stop/Turn/Running/Back-up
    • Interior lights: 12 volt electrical / converters
    • propane: refrigeration/cooking/space-heating/water-heating
    • Water: supply tanks & pumps/holding tanks & dump valves
    • orifices: windows/vents/hatches
  3. On your own? Mount Everest. With a little help? Kansas.
  4. Very little if you have the right technology.

honda03842 08-12-2011 04:44 PM

Like you, we did not discover RVing until we retired. We had hardly ever camped, let alone RVed. It's never too late to start an adventure.

In my life I've done many exciting things in my many careers, thinking I might die early. None have been as good as RVing. We are entering our 11 year traveling 7 months of the year.

Not much physical strength is required to handle a small RV. My wife who is not really strong can do everything to connect, dump, drive and setup our rig, a Scamp 16.

Our rule when we began RVing was to buy something used because we were unsure if we'd like RVing. I would suggest that you try to see as many different rigs as possible, get some real experience by seeing other rigs.

One nice thing about RVs is the Internet and the qualtiy of people who RV. Where ever you go there will be someone willing to help you and there is a tremendous resouce of information on this and other sites.

I don't know where you live in New England, but we're in southern NH. I'd be happy to let you see our Scamp 16 and/or our son's Casita 16, two representative trailers.

An another alternative is to visit one of the fiberglass rallies where you could see just about everything made. At the PEI rally last month there was just about everything except an Oliver. If you're interested in a tour, simply send me a Personal Message and I'll give you directions to our home.

Wishing you well and particularly safe travels,

Norm and Ginny

Roger C H 08-12-2011 09:52 PM

Our experience
Welcome to FGRV! :-)
This is our story:
We tent camped for years and were slowly getting out of it because of the difficulty of it.
Then we saw a FGRV on our last tenting trip. We knew we had to have one.
Not knowing anything, we searched the internet. We purchased our Trillium largely because of their relative proximity to our house. We lucked out on that in that I feel we have the best FGRV made.
We elected to do without a refrigerator, a head wasn't an option at the time, which I am now glad of. Something we have that I would not have is an on board water system, tank, pump, etc just because of the problems associated with freezing water, not to mention carting gallons of water around. Drinking water is easy to buy anywhere by the gallon, and potable water to wash dishes is available many places. We like the stove and sink. You would have an easy time in a 13'. You could leave the rear table set up as a bed and use the front table for eating, etc. While porta potti activities are not my favorite thing to do, I have emptied at rest stop toilets, whereas an on board head requires a dump site not to mention the "Stinky Slinky" and, again, freezing.
For full timing, most camp sites with facilities have showers.
I retired in 2002, we bought our "Homelet" in 2008 and my wife retired in 2009. We have spent six weeks in Homelet and I don't see any problem with spending more. Of course, your anvil collection would have to go.
I enjoy astounding my neighboring campers watching us set up or tear down by just moving Homelet by hand.

Mary F 08-13-2011 09:21 AM

:wave Hi, Lor. I don't think fulltiming is something I would ever want to do, in any kind of RV, but plenty of people disagree... which is why we set up a forum just for people like you. Check out Fulltiming in a Molded Fiberglass Trailer. :aplas

And, welcome to our community!

LHH 08-14-2011 07:44 AM

Thank you all for welcoming me to your group and for making me feel "not so" crazy after all.

Thanks, Jen B !

Night Sailor 08-15-2011 06:42 AM

You might want to consider "Stealth Camping". This is what I've done for many years. It involves using a common vehicle that would not attract attention and that people would not suspect you are living in. In my case, I used it only for occasional over night stealth camping.

I used a 1983 K5 Blazer (diesel) with the rear seat removed with a futon in the back. More recently I've used a longbed Silverado, and a 240 Volvo wagon. I use a Jetboil stove and frypan for cooking and various other things.

I have friends that full-time stealth camp. One uses "Box Van", another, a standard looking van, and the third uses an expensive Road Trek--which is not all the stealthy.

The advantage to stealth camping is you don't burn up a lot of money paying for camp sites. But you can still use campsites. And you can slealth camp in cities where there are no campsites. This is boondocking, when you are not in the boondocks.

There are lots of interesting resources and information on this web site.

Mike Magee 08-15-2011 12:56 PM

LHH, there's a saying, "crazy like a fox". ;) As long as you aren't hung up on having too much 'stuff' with you (more than will fit in the rig), you should find the experience liberating and exhilarating.

Some folks fulltime in monster Class A motor homes or 35' trailers. They need the extra room for all the belongings and amenities they feel they need. Like maybe a built in washer and dryer, tons of closets, open floor space, etc. Most of us on this forum don't feel the need for all that.

Only you know what you will be happy with... and unhappy without.

LHH 08-16-2011 05:29 AM

Thanks, Mike....

I hear you. I figure the less stuff I have, the less there is to take care of. Makes me feel "lighter"... Love it.

Take care...Lor

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