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Bison at Antelope Island, Utah State Park 2017

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thanks for all the great responses.

I enjoyed reading them, and will keep what you said in mind as I plan our next life!

Whenever anyone asks Craig what we are going to do after we sell the house, he answers "we are going to get into our RV and drive off into the sunrise". We live only a few miles from the Pacific Ocean and wouldn't get far driving off into the sunset!

When they ask me, I usually say: "north if it is spring, and south if it is fall."

I am pretty sure we will be houseless full timers sometime in the next year, and am looking at some destinations that require advanced reservations. For example, the Bahia Honda State Park in Florida, at the tip of the Keys, takes reservations eleven months in advance. So if we want to be there next winter, we should be making reservations soon. 

My way of planning "trips" has been to make the core reservations as soon as we decide where we wanted to go and make "coming and going" plans as side trips presented themselves.

I'm learning to use a variety of resources to find places to stay. We really have not yet done any BLM camping or boondocking, but I do try to find the best bargains thru Escapees and Passport America. I also use the Good Sam book.

Recently I bought a book called "RV Camping in State Parks" at Camping World.  It lists all state parks in the US that have RV camping, their size restrictions, approximate cost, hook ups, and contact or reservation numbers or web sites. I think it will be a valuable resource.

Of course I like the high-end luxury resorts with their heated pools and hot tubs, and we will go to some of them when we can get a deal or a Passport rate, or perhaps a winter monthly rate, but their regular daily charges are a bit rich for my budget. So far the state and national parks we have stayed in have been great. I find the park atmosphere appealing. That is why I was delighted to find the above-mentioned book.

As I have paged thru it, I am pleased to see that most states have parks with spaces big enough for the Alfa and have hookups. In California, many parks have size limits that are less than 35 feet, and hookups are generally not available. We don't need sewer or water, but an electric hook up in hot or cold weather is a must as far as I'm concerned. I hate to run the generator because of the noise, the smell, and because it disturbs the neighboring campers. We may add solar eventually, but not until we have really come to know our preferences. 

Of course, first we have to get the house sold, but it is fun to dream, and now I know it is just a matter of time. After living in the Alfa for more than four months, we both know we want to do this!

Being away from the house has given Craig some time to look into several upgrades he would like to do (or have done) to the Alfa after we sell the house. A new TV in the front, a satellite system, get fogged windows fixed, new AGM batteries, and eventually four new tires. As he talks about all of this I have to say: "Whoa, we know we are limited to the 36' size by camp driveway, but what if after we go on the road we want to trade up? Shouldn't we be sure we want to keep the Alfa before making these improvements?" 

So on Monday we stopped in at a couple of dealers and looked at the class A diesels they had on their lots. We looked at about ten very nice expensive rigs, both new and pre-owned. All bigger than our Alfa, and all with more luxurious decor. None of them appealed to me. Even the new $225K Tiffin Allegro Red didn't turn me on. 

When we went back to the RV park and I went aboard our Alfa, I knew we had the right rig! The only improvement would be to have a 40' See Ya or Alfa Gold. Our Founder is a 2007. Alfa went out of business in 2008, so there are not many newer than ours. 

All of this is just babble at this time. The house has to sell first. But it is fun to dream.

If you are a full timer, did you trade up after you sold your home?

12 comments:

  1. Thanks Merikay for your thoughts. My wife and I are planning our venture into full timing and are pondering upgrades for our travel trailer. We love what we have but with the expense of solar etc. we are hesitant to do the upgrades now. We can afford to upgrade our rig but do we want to? It is very helpful to read about the process you are going through.
    All the best,
    Barrie

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  2. Isn't it fun...thinking and making plans! What a life!
    That's funny about the RVs you looked at. Our Itasca is a 2008 Lartitude with beautiful wooded rounded cabinets. Like you, we have looked at many new MHs and none compare. So we decided to upgrade it with new counters , tires and just this week we are covering all the cornis boards for a fresh new look!

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  3. Oops...Latitude (by Winnebago) ...sorry!

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  4. We started fulltiming in a 32 foot motorhome, which we intended to use as our fulltime rig. After we sold the house, we had been living in it for about 6 months, and decided a bigger one might be nicer. It is! The bad thing about a large rig is that it limits you as to where you can stay.

    If you plan on staying at Bahia Honda SP, you need to attempt to make reservations ASAP. You can almost never get reservations there from December through March or April. Just ask Sherry and David. We managed to get reservations for last November, at Curry Hammock, but ended up canceling them. Just remember, hurricane season doesn't end until November 30th.

    My new header picture is dedicated to you and Craig!

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  5. Dream on - that's what got you this far. So glad to hear that you are so happy with your home.

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  6. We bought our 27' Lazy Daze in January, 2001 and have lived in it full-time since. It's the only motorhome we've ever lived in and while our live continually changes, it's still exactly what we want. If/when we replace it, we want another one just like it... same size and layout... only "younger".

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  7. As you know, we bought our fifth wheel to be our fulltime rig. Until recently, we were thinking that we would trade it in in a few years to get a newer model with a different floorplan etc. But we've reconsidered that now. We both really do love the floorplan we have and it feels like home. We have the rig set up just the way we want it, and Harry has made so many modifications to it, like the backsplash in the kitchen etc. I look around at all the changes we've made and think to myself, why would we want to trade this in and start all over with a new rig? We do think about someday trading it in and switching to a Class A, but that is way down the road (no pun intended). :)

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  8. Merikay, you might also want to get the book Corps Camping by Jane Kenny. I have the second edition and use it often. You can't beat the price of the sites with the old farts pass.

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  9. You have so much ahead of you! And choices. You probably would want to travel in the Alfa for a while before deciding to upgrade, unless of course you are unhappy with it now (which it sounds like you aren't). Big is good, but there is something about driving down the highway in a giant rig that is less than good...

    What fun to have all these things to think about!

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  10. After five years on the road and going from a fifth wheel to a Class A and back to a fifth wheel, we have finally found what we love. It's older - 2004 but it's home. 30' and I do not want to go any bigger. I like the freedom of being able to park almost anywhere without worrying about whether we will fit or not. But I believe all of that comes about as you travel and live in your rig. You will come to know exactly what you like and are comfortable with. So dream on.

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  11. After living full time in our fifth wheel, we are trading up this spring. I think you guys are on the right track keeping what you have for a while, and actually living in it. You'll soon find out if you want something bigger or other features. Our main reasons for trading up was we wanted a bigger refrigerator, dual pane windows and two airs. Our new one will have all of that and more. Can't wait to get it in April. Have a fun trip! Keeping my fingers crossed your house will sell soon.

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  12. Your RV is relatively new. I definitely recommend living in it for a while. It is also a very nice size. If you go bigger, you will be limiting the places you can easily camp in especially state and national parks. Layout, storage, and weight capacity are often far more important than length. Hope the house sells soon.

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