Hi, I'm Tofer! - Fiberglass RV


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-31-2020, 04:11 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Tofer
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Texas
Posts: 9
Hi, I'm Tofer!

Hi there! My name is Tofer. I'm a 44 year old web developer who is dead tired of the corporate world.

In September of 2019, I packed up my two dogs (Maggie and Sophie), and we drove 2,000+ miles to Alberta Canada to meet a new friend and enjoy some outdoor time up in the Northern Rockies. All the time during my drive up there and back I would pass through these little towns and wonder, "How do these people do it? How do they live out here next to nothing and still get by?"

I've not been the same since that trip. I'm already an avid backpacker spending days at a time with all that I need to live on my back. The problem with those trips though is that we're generally in such a hurry. We've got to get from point A to point B in a certain amount of time because we're all just using vacation and we've got a limited amount.

Well, at 44 (almost 45)... I've made the decision that I don't want to wait much longer. My folks retired later in life and then didn't really do much with their time. I think they waited too long. I don't have any children, and I've never been married, so I'm not waiting much longer. Just two or three years to pay off my 4Runner, start downsizing my lifestyle, and purchasing my rig. Then I'm gonna put miles in my rear view mirror!

I wanna go where the wind takes me, boondocking my way across the country. Visiting friends I've not seen in ages, meeting new ones, spending as much or as little time in one place as I like, and living as simply (and cheaply) as I can.

I know there's a lot to plan for and consider before I hit the road, but part of that is finding the right rig.

I'm looking at a Casita standard (don't need a bathroom, but don't need the extra bunks either) or maybe a T@B400 (not sure if that qualifies on this here site ). I'm here to learn what I can from those who have small travel trailers. I know a little, but I'm sure I've got tons to learn.

Thanks for readin'!

Here's Maggie


Here's Sophie


Here's me... Cheers!
__________________

toferj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2020, 10:58 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: sharon
Trailer: Scamp
Virginia
Posts: 182
Welcome! Since you have time, shop around, poke your head in REAL eggs (not just showroom samples), talk to owners, and figure out what you can & canít live without. Good luck on your quest!
__________________

sharon_b is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2020, 12:52 PM   #3
Junior Member
 
Name: J.D.
Trailer: 2014 Scamp 16 Layout 6
West Virginia
Posts: 24
Hi Tofer!


I am new here also. One year ago this month (August) I bought an old used stick-built travel trailer and drove from WV to the AZ BLM lands as a snow bird. Great trip and I learned a lot about RV repair...<g>...


I am/was also an avid backpacker and understand what you said. Also have "Hemp" my beloved rescued Border Collie.


My advice: # 1 - Just do it! # 2 - Insurance - get it. # 3 - Get an "egg" vs. the stick built which just fall apart. # 4 - Have fun!


Just bought a 16' Scamp! Haven't taken it out yet...<sigh>... Need to title & get license plate; but, WV DMV is mostly closed b/c of COVID19. Finally got an appointment for 08/11 and then back on the road!
J.D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2020, 01:44 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Name: Arthur
Trailer: Between RV's But Shopping
Mississippi
Posts: 26
.
Quote:
Originally Posted by toferj View Post
Hi there! My name is Tofer. I'm a 44 year old web developer who is dead tired of the corporate world.
Tofer ...

I waited until I was 53 before ditching the corporate world. Kinda
wish I had done it sooner. That was in 2004 and I've never regretted
doing so ... even though I didn't plan ahead and was a quick decision.

Good luck! With this current virus mess, having a bit of time to plan
ahead is definitely in your favor.

.
Arthur II is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2020, 02:02 PM   #5
Junior Member
 
Name: Olivia
Trailer: Oliver
Oklahoma
Posts: 1
Going to rallies are a good way to talk to lots of owners. Owners are so helpful and sharing at the rallies. There are many fiberglass rallies. A good way to find them is by RVcompass.com. Many are cancelled this year, but some will restart in 2021. I used the 2019 map, below.
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...7642619619&z=2
Olivia O is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2020, 02:14 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Name: Lisa
Trailer: 1992 Scamp 13'
California
Posts: 702
Registry
Hello!
I enjoyed your post.

My wonder is, are Maggie and Sophie sleep on the floor dogs, or in your bed dogs?
I ask because that will make a difference on which size bed and/or floor arrangement you need.

My dog Louie, he likes the bed:
__________________
1992 Scamp 13' Standard, 2017 Casita 17' ID,
2008 Scamp 16' Deluxe Layout 4
lisantica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2020, 04:52 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,960
Registry
Speed up the process by cutting lifestyle and eliminating debt as quickly as possible. I retired at 50 almost 14 years ago, could have done it a little earlier (but not 44).

T@B is a different animal and not a molded FG trailer. This forum focuses on the molded trailers.

The thing about 13 footers, with no bath you have room for a separate dinette or gaucho (so called bunks). What either of those allow you to do is leave the bed made up permanently as a bed, no taking it down every morning, then setting it back up every evening. Then the gaucho can be used as a seating area. So don't pass on a gaucho. My Trillium is a gaucho model and I have never set it up with bunks. In fact, I am planning to remove the back pad that makes the upper bunk, making the gaucho larger (top bunk takes up space when in couch mode).

Many here on this forum had traditionally built trailers in the past, with the typical problems they have. We have migrated to the molded FG trailer market to avoid most of those issues. But, molded FG tend to be significantly more expensive for the space provided. Then again, they hold their value much better too.

My largest expense over the last 14 years has been medical insurance. Not cheap, and I have a sky high deductible, no vision, no dental either. If you haven't shopped for medical insurance, start. That could be a surprise. And in my case, each year the insurance has gone up 10% minimum, some years as much as 20%. That means the cost doubles every 6 years! So after 14 years, its over 4 times the cost (Ouch).
thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-01-2020, 06:41 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Name: Tony
Trailer: Scamp
Ohio
Posts: 111
Welcome to the forum. Great people here who will enjoy sharing with you. Sorry you donít like your job.

My only thought to share is a bathroom is handy, especially while boondocking or just stopping for the night while in transit. Make sure you have a plan for all the necessities.
Tony D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 07:59 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
The Mountains of North Carolina
Posts: 2,960
Registry
First test of early retirement viability IMO is living debt free. Just imagine making payments once you stop getting a paycheck. As I explained to one friend, its not the interest rate, its the principal payment. Imagine having a $400 RV payment (or more). Thats an additional $400 in income you will need to live. Avoiding debt is like giving yourself a raise. And debt free = freedom. And if you have the income, great. But its another $400 that can be spent on lifestyle, instead of a vehicle, or a credit card, or a RV.
thrifty bill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 12:30 PM   #10
Junior Member
 
Name: Tofer
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Texas
Posts: 9
Solid advice! Thank you! I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to the day when I can hit the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharon_b View Post
Welcome! Since you have time, shop around, poke your head in REAL eggs (not just showroom samples), talk to owners, and figure out what you can & canít live without. Good luck on your quest!
toferj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 12:36 PM   #11
Junior Member
 
Name: Tofer
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Texas
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
Hi Tofer!
I am/was also an avid backpacker and understand what you said. Also have "Hemp" my beloved rescued Border Collie.
Hi J.D.! That's awsome! I wonder how many of us backpackers end up doing this kind of thing because of the experiences we have backpacking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
My advice: # 1 - Just do it! # 2 - Insurance - get it. # 3 - Get an "egg" vs. the stick built which just fall apart. # 4 - Have fun!
The topic of insurance is something I really need to consider. If there's anywhere on the forums I should look for advice (or if you have any specific advice) I'd love to hear it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.D. View Post
Just bought a 16' Scamp! Haven't taken it out yet...<sigh>... Need to title & get license plate; but, WV DMV is mostly closed b/c of COVID19. Finally got an appointment for 08/11 and then back on the road!
I looked at scamps. I guess I'd have to see one to know that 16' is enough... I don't know what it is about that extra foot that the Casita's offer that is so appealing... But I think I'd be lucky to get a Scamp too.
toferj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 12:58 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Name: Tofer
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Texas
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthur II View Post
.
Tofer ...

I waited until I was 53 before ditching the corporate world. Kinda
wish I had done it sooner. That was in 2004 and I've never regretted
doing so ... even though I didn't plan ahead and was a quick decision.

Good luck! With this current virus mess, having a bit of time to plan
ahead is definitely in your favor.

.
Hi Arthur! Honestly, if I wasn't in debt (I've got a 2018 Toyota 4Runner TRD Pro with about two years left on the note, and about 22K in CC debt), I'd sell my house and everything else I don't need, drive the hour or so down to Rice Texas, buy a Casita and start putting miles behind me.

But it will be smarter to do some planning. I will need health insurance, and it will be a few years before I can start collecting social security. But honestly, I'd be okay with working on the road in campgrounds or wherever. I once backpacked into the Nantahala Outdoor Center in NC, and I spent a day trying to think about how I could maybe live there. Living in a trailer and working at their cafe would be just fine by me at this point.

Anyway, now I'm rambling.
toferj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 01:01 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Name: Tofer
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Texas
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olivia O View Post
Going to rallies are a good way to talk to lots of owners. Owners are so helpful and sharing at the rallies. There are many fiberglass rallies. A good way to find them is by RVcompass.com. Many are cancelled this year, but some will restart in 2021. I used the 2019 map, below.
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...7642619619&z=2
Olivia! Thanks so much for the advice and the link. This virus is a blessing and a curse. The lock down and working from home for the past several months has helped to push me over the line of saying, "Yep. I definitely want to retire.", but it also stands in my way because rallies and such are being canceled (and rightly so).

I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas. There's plenty I need to do before I head out, and it's good that I've got time, but dang it! I want to head out NOW!
toferj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 01:08 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
Name: Tofer
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Texas
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisantica View Post
Hello!
I enjoyed your post.
Awesome! Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisantica View Post
My wonder is, are Maggie and Sophie sleep on the floor dogs, or in your bed dogs?
I ask because that will make a difference on which size bed and/or floor arrangement you need.
They're both comfortable either on the bed or on the floor. I've had both of them in a hammock with me (that was "cozy" to say the least), but they've both slept on the ground under my hammock too. They do like being near me, but as small as some of these trailers are, as long as they feel like they're in the same room with me, they'll be good.

I have only been to one RV dealership (Camping World) to size up some of the smaller trailers, and I took them with me to do that. I'm actually, headed out to another dealer this afternoon and I'm bringing them with me to have a look.

I want to make sure all three of us will fit nicely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lisantica View Post
My dog Louie, he likes the bed:
Awwww!!! Louie is such a sweetheart! I cannot wait to get my girls out on the road again. Having adventures and making memories.
toferj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 01:22 PM   #15
Junior Member
 
Name: Tofer
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Texas
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Speed up the process by cutting lifestyle and eliminating debt as quickly as possible. I retired at 50 almost 14 years ago, could have done it a little earlier (but not 44).
Hi Bill! I am already starting to downsize, and sell or give away unnecessary items (just got rid of a lawnmower today).

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
The thing about 13 footers, with no bath you have room for a separate dinette or gaucho (so called bunks).
I'm basing my knowledge of the extra bunks in place of the wet bath on the floor plans of the Casita trailers. Their factory is only about an hour and twenty minutes from my house... so that already gives them an advantage over the other FG trailer manufacturers: Convenience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
What either of those allow you to do is leave the bed made up permanently as a bed, no taking it down every morning, then setting it back up every evening. Then the gaucho can be used as a seating area. So don't pass on a gaucho.
The word "gaucho" is new to me... I'll need to do a bit of looking into it. My ideal trailer would have a permanent bed, a permanent dinette for me to work at or eat at. Having another place to sit (like a permanent couch area) might be nice too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
My Trillium is a gaucho model and I have never set it up with bunks. In fact, I am planning to remove the back pad that makes the upper bunk, making the gaucho larger (top bunk takes up space when in couch mode).
Is there somewhere I could see some pictures? You pointed me to the Trillium section of the forums, so I'll start looking there, and then maybe on their website.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
My largest expense over the last 14 years has been medical insurance. Not cheap, and I have a sky high deductible, no vision, no dental either. If you haven't shopped for medical insurance, start. That could be a surprise. And in my case, each year the insurance has gone up 10% minimum, some years as much as 20%. That means the cost doubles every 6 years! So after 14 years, its over 4 times the cost (Ouch).
I was just posting in another response, how much the need for medical insurance is weighing on me. I have a need for an ongoing prescription of anti-depressants (though, with a change in lifestyle and more access to nature and fresh air... maybe I won't need that as much... who knows?)

Anyway, the need for medical insurance is definitely on my mind. Any place you suggest I look?

UPDATE: I just realized that Trillium makes Outback trailers. I'm familiar with those from watching Slim Potatoehead's videos on YouTube! I LOVE watching his videos! I think those are only made in Canada right? Wouldn't it be hard to find one of those in the US?
toferj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 01:31 PM   #16
Junior Member
 
Name: Tofer
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Texas
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony D View Post
Welcome to the forum. Great people here who will enjoy sharing with you. Sorry you donít like your job.
Hi Tony!

Thanks, man. I'm just tired of the job. While on the road, I may actually offer up my web development services on a contract basis to earn extra money, but I think I'd rather wait tables, or tend bar, or host at a campground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony D View Post
My only thought to share is a bathroom is handy, especially while boondocking or just stopping for the night while in transit. Make sure you have a plan for all the necessities.
As a backpacker, I'm perfectly comfortable digging cat holes, and for the times when I can't do that, I'm looking at using products from cleanwaste.com. I just do not want to have to deal with black water and dumping. Since I plan to be out in the boonies away from most civilization I figure I can use the outside shower with my dogs.

I know it's probably not a very popular plan. I wonder how many other full-timers do without a wet bath?
toferj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2020, 01:41 PM   #17
Junior Member
 
Name: Tofer
Trailer: Currently Shopping
Texas
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
First test of early retirement viability IMO is living debt free. Just imagine making payments once you stop getting a paycheck. As I explained to one friend, its not the interest rate, its the principal payment. Imagine having a $400 RV payment (or more). Thats an additional $400 in income you will need to live. Avoiding debt is like giving yourself a raise. And debt free = freedom. And if you have the income, great. But its another $400 that can be spent on lifestyle, instead of a vehicle, or a credit card, or a RV.
Absolutely!

I'm not starting until my debts are paid off (except for the house, I'll just sell it). I've been debt free a couple of times in my life. I'm "lucky" in that I'm single with no kids, and I make a pretty good living right now. I should be debt free in roughly two to three years. I could maybe be debt free sooner, but I'm also putting money into a couple of different savings investment accounts.

I have a few options available to me that might be unique:

I've got a friend with some land that she lets other friends of ours park their RVs on and live there. If I were to sell my house while I was still working and moved onto her land in my RV. I could work remotely (which is what I'm doing today), and I'd eliminate a house payment (but replace it with an RV payment).

I could also sell my house, and live with family until the rest of my debt was paid off... or I could rent the extra room in my house.

So far, I've not taken any of these options. I've still got a lot of thinking to do. In the meantime, I don't live on credit. I just have to pay off the debt that I currently have.
toferj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 11:48 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Doctor Harold's Avatar
 
Name: Harold
Trailer: 1975 Scamp, 13-foot
Redding, California
Posts: 377
Registry
Welcome Tofer!

There's already been a lot of great advice here, but I do have a couple of thoughts that may not have occurred to you:

If your job is counter to what you need for personal fulfillment (other than money) it will cause you to have symptoms of depression even though you are not medically depressed. Since most people won't or can't quit their job, doctors hand out antidepressants. I would venture to say that once you are spending your time making yourself happy your need for antidepressants will evaporate.

Realize that it will take time, possibly many months, to adjust and get the effects of working in a toxic environment out of your system. The changes you are contemplating are pretty big, so try to figure out ways to ease into it.

As for the financial aspect of preparing for your escape to freedom, look at the interest rates you are paying on rented money (credit card bills, car loans, and such). If the interest you are getting on savings is equal or less than you are paying on rented money it makes more sense to pay down bills than have it in saving accounts (except for your emergency fund, of course) and always make the extra payments on the highest interest accounts first. (I don't consider a home mortgage as debt, since you can almost always sell it for more than you paid, and you do have to have a place to live.)

You already sound like you have your head screwed on right, and you're a dog lover, so I'm confident you will be fine.

Best of luck!

--Harold
__________________
You cannot have a proud and chivalrous spirit if your conduct is mean and paltry; for whatever a man's actions are, such must be his spirit. --Demosthenes
Doctor Harold is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 12:43 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
honda03842's Avatar
 
Name: Norm and Ginny
Trailer: Scamp 16
Florida
Posts: 7,416
Tofer,

We bought an RV when a friend died. We were 58 and had never RVed and had camped little. If I had known how much fun we would have I definitely would have done it earlier.

We had 5 RVs. We've had our Scamp 16 the longest. (it does have the side bath and I would get it again.) We always buy used. First it saves money and you get to make it your own. If you're going full time you'll want to make it yours anyway. We've made a ton of upgrades to ours.

In all our years of travel in our Scamp we've always found the space adequate.

I'm too old to worry about insurance but my retired son has it figured out. There are tricky ways in the new insurance system here to get what you need. Amazingly to me we have barely used our insurance since RVing but when we have it's paid everything.

Wish you well
__________________
Norm and Ginny

2014 Honda Odyssey
1991 Scamp 16
honda03842 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 01:18 PM   #20
Member
 
Name: Lesley
Trailer: Scamp
New Jersey
Posts: 36
Life is too Short to be Unhappy!!

Tofer, I agree with others that life is too short to be unhappy - but you do have to have a plan and it sounds like you are getting yours in order! There are a lot of Facebook groups where people live in a trailer or van full time and there is a wealth of information about jobs you can do on the road, how to navigate getting adequate insurance, managing/paying off debt, etc. YouTube also has many channels that have great information about the same issues. I know you're watching Slim Potato Head but look for Bob Wells and Creativity RV as both have good info.

There are also tons of videos showing the inside of trailers so you can get a good idea of space of a Casita, Scamp, Escape, and others. Take the time to ease into it as Doctor Harold says - sometimes too much change at once isn't good and could be stressful for you and your dogs. If you could rent an RV and take it out on short trips, you could see how you like it and get your dogs used to the trailer and camping. It will give you time to see what works and what doesn't. Maybe you could take a longer trip and work from the trailer to see if that works - maybe that change will be enough and you'll feel ok about keeping your job longer. Anyway, just some thoughts and wishing you good karma!!
__________________

shrimpscampi is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:03 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
×