Not really but sort of semi-full timing... you know... - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-24-2021, 05:51 PM   #1
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Name: Mark
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Not really but sort of semi-full timing... you know...

With retirement not that far away and fully enjoying our 13' Scamp we've tossed around the idea of full timing in a bigger trailer but just are not there.

The alternative that we are now discussing is extended trips (think 2,3,4 months at a time) with a home base. A traditional house and yard would be too much with maintenance, security, etc. so we are thinking condo. Lock it up and go.

The question is how to find out if a condo association will allow a trailer or is there a storage option that caters to RVers? I say 'caters' as it'd be ideal to have a place to take the time to winterize, de-winterize, etc.

As always, looking forward to this group's proven wisdom and explaining things that we aren't even yet aware of. Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-24-2021, 08:18 PM   #2
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We are retired with similar plans. Goal to stay and enjoy each area then move to next location during Then go home in winter. We have winter camped but closer to home with reduced durations 4 to 5 days at a time. Winter camping can be a lot of fun when preparations are made. We live in Canada so furnace and planning for snow are a must but worth the effort. Have camped at -48 c in a tent with 2 small children, had fun but now only with a trailer.
We store the boler in backyard so can not help with storage question.
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Old 05-25-2021, 05:49 AM   #3
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We retired in 2014 and found that we were spending approximately 100 days a year at home. In 2016 we sold our home and moved into a very nice apartment going from 3000 sq. feet, a basement, and a 3 car garage to 1000 sq. feet, no basement, and a one car garage. The apartment management likes to think of themselves as luxury apartments and does not allow storage of trailers. No problem as less than a half mile away is a storage facility to keep our trailer when home.
A big adjustment, but we love it. Lock and Go. No grass to cut, no snow to shovel, no gutters to clean. They clean the pool instead of us. Repairs are quick requiring no more than a phone call.
We spend so little time (Covid 2020 being an exception) at home that our friends ask why we even bother having an apartment. The truth is we do need a home base but our response to their question is usually, "We need someplace to come to to die".
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Old 05-25-2021, 08:15 AM   #4
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We own a small (<1000 sf) home on a very small lot without an HOA. We are working on the house and landscaping to make everything low maintenance in anticipation of retirement in 5-10 years, but for longer trips we will have to pay for some basic services while we’re away. It’s an area with a lot of seasonal homes, so there are local companies that provide comprehensive management of vacant homes.

The way I see it it’s no different than paying rent or monthly HOA/condo fees, but if we take time off from travel, or if declining health ends our travels, we aren’t locked into those fees. When we’re not traveling, I like having a bit of yard and a small garden.

Best of all, we can store our RV at home. There’s a large garage to do repairs and just enough room for an RV “dock” next to the garage with full hookups, including a convenient sewer clean-out.
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Old 05-25-2021, 10:52 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bill in Pittsburgh View Post
We retired in 2014 and found that we were spending approximately 100 days a year at home. In 2016 we sold our home and moved into a very nice apartment going from 3000 sq. feet, a basement, and a 3 car garage to 1000 sq. feet, no basement, and a one car garage. The apartment management likes to think of themselves as luxury apartments and does not allow storage of trailers. No problem as less than a half mile away is a storage facility to keep our trailer when home.
A big adjustment, but we love it. Lock and Go. No grass to cut, no snow to shovel, no gutters to clean. They clean the pool instead of us. Repairs are quick requiring no more than a phone call.
We spend so little time (Covid 2020 being an exception) at home that our friends ask why we even bother having an apartment. The truth is we do need a home base but our response to their question is usually, "We need someplace to come to to die".
Can't get my dw to move any further south than Bradford, Pa. That is where the grand kids are. We have considered a duplex type situation with the son and daughter in law. I refuse to live in a apartment or something with a HOA!!! Been a landlord and want no part of the other side of that! Where we live is in the family homestead area for both of us. We both like our stick built home except for the winter's SNOW which I maintain a dedicated John Deere garden tractor w/snowblower. And I'm mowing about an acre! I could handle South Carolina, but would have to leave dw home!


Love your "The truth is we do need a home base but our response to their question is usually, "We need someplace to come to to die"" There is no room left in either family cemetery plot, so we would have to invest in one. DW wants to be cremated, but I don't like the idea of being burned up. I take a coffin inside a vault thank you. But who is going to take care of that plot after I'm gone??
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Old 05-25-2021, 11:50 AM   #6
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This pandemic has taught all of us a lesson or two. We cannot count on things staying the same. I am in the Toronto area and we are still in a stay-at-home order, the US/Canada borders are closed. There are very few RV sites accepting new clients. My marriage ended and I was using the RV only for occasional visits to the race tracks since my current partner is not interested in RV life. Condo living may sound convenient but remember that you are not in control of the condo fees, especially if there are lots of special amenities, like underground parking, gym and pool. All of these require costly maintenance. Most can't accommodate RV except for short term parking outdoors. My suggestion is find a bungalow with garage and parking for the RV, hopefully near a bank, drugstore and food store within walking distance.
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Old 05-25-2021, 12:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jokra View Post
My suggestion is find a bungalow with garage and parking for the RV, hopefully near a bank, drugstore and food store within walking distance.
That was my thinking exactly. I also wanted a small or mid-sized town with paved roads, water/sewer, and hospital/police/fire nearby, and a sunny meadow location for gardening and future solar.
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Old 05-25-2021, 01:19 PM   #8
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I just sold my Florida condo. Condos can have many problems too. Some mentioned assessments...yes! Management and condo rules can be major issues. Read your condo docs, state laws, minutes for at least the prior year, insurance set up, and esp. the management.

I lived in a condo for 5 years with no acces to beachside balcony for a solid year for balcony repair and since I left the only elevator has been down for 5 months so far. If a lot of new people move in there is the noise of renos.

There are definitely benefits to condo life but please look into age, maintenance record and as noted condo docs and management and the budget!

And fyi, no room to store RV.

Good luck.
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Old 05-25-2021, 07:30 PM   #9
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You can pretty much assume condo association will not allow it unless they have a dedicated RV parking area. And even if the HOA allows it, they can change the rules anytime they want.

Heck, even regular single family homes with HOAs often don’t allow it. I visited a friend in such a community. First mistake I parked on the street. Not allowed. Then I parked in his driveway. Nope, this wasn’t allowed either. I am not talking an RV, I am talking my car. They had to come pick us up. Can you tell I hate HOAs??

And for the price of many HOA fees, you can contract with someone to do the work for you in a single family home for less. We’ve stayed in an Airbnb in Utah, HOA fee was $800 a month! Meanwhile, I pay someone to mow my half acre yard on my in town home $40. Cleaning the gutters is $100. Since mowing is seasonal, I’m barely over the one month HOA fee for a full year’s maintenance...
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Old 05-26-2021, 04:52 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
That was my thinking exactly. I also wanted a small or mid-sized town with paved roads, water/sewer, and hospital/police/fire nearby, and a sunny meadow location for gardening and future solar.
Utopia is difficult to find and this is sometimes not the answer either. Our home (referenced here in thread #3) was on the edge of a small town of four thousand people. No HOAs but lots of rules. RVs were not allowed parked for extended periods of time if visible from the street. If you are away and the people you contracted to shovel snow from your sidewalks and to cut your grass failed to do their job, the town was quick to levy a $300 fine. Our combined real-estate taxes (county, local, & school) exceeded $10K per year which they could and did raise every few years.
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Old 05-26-2021, 07:55 AM   #11
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You’re right, Bill, there is no utopia, and even if you find the right place for you, towns change, neighborhoods change, states change. Rural Arizona remains generally low key in its approach to government regulation and taxation. No guarantees that won’t change.

But the issues you describe can affect any community in which you maintain a permanent home base, whether it’s a condo or a private home. Some people avoid towns and go for more isolated unincorporated areas with less government intrusion, but if one of the points of keeping a home base is to have a place “to come home to die,” having public services is important to me. Like (the other) Bill, I find a private home makes a better RV home port than a condo.

So, a small home in a well-run small town in a rural area of a low-tax, low-regulation state works for me. And hope that it doesn’t change too much before I die.
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Old 05-29-2021, 02:23 PM   #12
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We are doing what you are planning. We opted for paying an HOA fee for security & yard care when we are not home and when we are home. We have secure RV storage as part of our community and an RV group that takes monthly trips. We love the resort living with so much to do as a contrast to our camping life. We are in Leisure World in Mesa, AZ.
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Old 05-29-2021, 05:41 PM   #13
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We are doing what you are planning. We opted for paying an HOA fee for security & yard care when we are not home and when we are home. We have secure RV storage as part of our community and an RV group that takes monthly trips. We love the resort living with so much to do as a contrast to our camping life. We are in Leisure World in Mesa, AZ.
My parents moved into a "Leisure" village, which included parking for boat & travel Trailers. At that time, I owned a 16ft catamaran, and they were kind enough to let me use their space. Over a 5 year period, I had to move that boat several times as the HOA designated new lots for the trailers.

I also know from my own experience with Condos that the HOA fees continually go up and can eventually rival mortgage payments, and the condo BOD can be a real pain.

Even so, my parents loved living in their village. The grounds were very nice, they had access to a variety organized activities, the village had a well organized security force, and my parents made many friends.

I have no idea what your budget is, but if you choose well you can have the best of both worlds. You are embarking on a new life style, but it's always good to be able to "come home" to something positive.
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Old 09-14-2021, 09:11 PM   #14
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Our experience

I and my wife travel for my living, in a state for 9-12 months and then to another state for about the same amount of time. We come home for a weekend about 1x a month. We've been doing this for about 6 years now. We've lived in a larger pull behind and in apartments. It's not that hard to keep your home. We hire a guy to mow the lawn, leaving i t up to him how many times a month he thinks it needs mowed. We are fortunate that we don't have to do snow removal, no sidewalks and our driveway just stays as is until we get home and fire up the snow blower. When we leave we shut off the water at the meter, set the thermostat to 76 in the summer and 65 in the winter so the furnace and A/C run to circulate the air and keep it somewhat conditioned. We've had the power go off once each year for a few hours to a day, but we keep nothing in the refrig or freezer. We have our mail delivered to a mail forwarding company who forwards our mail to us where ever we are at (works better than we thought). We've cancelled our garbage pick-up for the last 6+ years. We have LED bulbs and we leave one on in the living room 24/7 while we're gone. We have no home security systems and have never had our place broken into (knock on wood). We do have anything of value in a fire-proof safe in the home. This has worked great for us and we've had no disadvantages really. Maybe we've just been lucky. I retire next year and we have a Casita 17 SD that we intend to take traveling for 1-2 months at a time. For us it has worked out.
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Old 09-20-2021, 05:28 PM   #15
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Hi Richard,


Which mail forwarding company do you use?


Unless everyone uses the same well-known company that I have heard from multiple folks during extended road-trips, are there other companies that full-timers are very pleased with?


Thank you
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:54 AM   #16
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sort of semi retired but not really

Biker I use iPostal1, and my local office is ottumwa@totalchoiceshipping.com. Guy's name is Dave. I really like it. Cost is based upon the number of pieces you want delivered per year and the minimum is $9.99/year for (I think) 32 pieces. I went with the next step up.
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