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Old 01-12-2020, 01:12 AM   #1
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Model: A.C.E. 30.2
State: Alaska
Posts: 281
THOR #13770
1st yr fulltiming anniversary this past week!

Well, I made it - with a lot of help from all you ol' timers (& some squared away rookies, too)!!!

I want to thank everyone on this forum who has encouraged me, taught me, forced me to suck it up whenever I felt a bit discouraged or plain overwhelmed with the steep learning curve this past year. Y'all have been great!

I still turn to you each time something goes wrong with my rig . I've had water leaks you helped me diagnose & obtain CW warranty fixes. My propane had a dangerous leak that y'all also helped me stay safe & find warranty help to fix. I've had a couple of generator woes that were finally diagnosed as improper installation at the Phoenix service center.

And some of you have been privy (pun definitely intended!) to my greatest challenges with the ongoing health risks & discomfort during my year long toilet plumbing & warranty battle w/Camping World. That issue was finally resolved by a family-run shop, who found the manufacturing mistake that Camping World denied & which completely blocked all but liquids (yes, human doggy bags mandatory for the duration!) since the first day I drove off on this fulltime odyssey.

There have been other challenges besides Camping World. I had to live on a very tight & fixed budget & still do. That means I can't experience whatever "glamping" means. I stay at Wally Worlds, Cracker Barrels, truck stops & rest stops probably more frequently than most, when I need or want to travel, just to insure the gas money stretches from point A to B.

My hook ups are only available when I can use the gas budget in exchange for one of the more inexpensive Military FamCamps, or when I camp host in exhange for those hook ups. Otherwise I'm stuck relying on my genie & that gets old fast, especially with the cost of gas, when boondocking. That tight budget (combined with my lack of tech skills) means my dreams of tech upgrades & my boondocking solar fantasies have to stay just that - fantasies - for another year most likely.

But despite all that, I have to say I've been happy this year. I think it's been worth every challenge thus far, to experience the freedom & beauty that can be found even on a budget, when fulltiming. I guess I've experienced a real satisfaction in the mere accomplishment of my 1st year goal of fulltiming for twelve full months.

Now I need to establish new goals. I need a plan for the year that is anchored in reality. I hope y'all can help me with that. I don't think I have what I originally thought would be an option of leaving the road life at the end of twelve months if I wanted to (& I'm not sure I will ever want to now). My loan remains upside down & my budget issues won't change in the foreseeable future.

I had thought I'd be in better financial shape before the first year was up. I thought I'd be able to easily change my insurance to fulltime once my "sabbatical" year was through, but that apparently isn't easy. Neither is getting refinanced, which I had counted on to grant more wiggle room in my budget each month & provide for an extended warranty at the end of the first year. Credit scores can really take a beating after a protracted divorce, I don't recommend it to anyone, lol!

I don't have the tech skills I want (not yet) to know which items are most likely to need attention next, or what an extended warranty should really cover & at what cost (I was quoted over $6000). If I could figure that out, maybe I'd know if what they're offering is on the level. But for now, I will have to keep one eye on the sky to watch out for whatever might drop on my head next.

I hope, with your help, to continue growing during this new year & to develop a realistic set of goals & an SOP for achieving them in the months ahead. I hope to continue learning from the many words of wisdom I read on this forum, and rely on your sage advice when things suddenly go wrong. Radar (the Service Dog) & I really appreciate each of you & cannot thank y'all enough for your past assistance, kindness & friendship. Thank you in advance for whatever happens next!Click image for larger version

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Old 01-13-2020, 03:49 PM   #2
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Model: Hurricane 35M
State: California
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THOR #13710
You might consider Good Sam for extended warranty. I used them when we had our 40' DP and they were $1,000 per year and you could pay it quarterly. I checked with a couple of mechanics and they had good things to say about them and don't have to sign a long contract. Check out the Elks, they have RV parking pretty much nationwide and they are inexpensive to park and many have hookups. Of course you need to join the Elks but they are a good organization.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:07 PM   #3
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Model: 2018 24.1 AXISSIXxSIX
State: Arizona
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THOR #13932
I put the solar 'thing' to bed.
I had a great system once.
I didn't pay for it, it was $6500 worth of solar and inverter on a 19ft toy hauler.
It came to me for free upon purchase of the trailer.

I loved it. Top of the line everything in its day. 3000w xantrex and all xantrex solar controllers.

But.

The money for the solar is a waste for me.
Except for a fun talking point, solar at $6500 would never ever ever be anything except for about six to ten times the amount of money a generator uses in ten years.

I am assuming you have a generator and an alternator and coach batteries.
If you don't own a generator the systems come closer to equality in initial outlay and ongoing cost.

Yes you can buy the quiet solar offers. No, you can't buy the quiet on a tight budget.

My view on solar is just a reality based thought which I hope gives you some ease of mind.
And
Check out Boondockers welcome. It's a very good source of free camping, sometimes with hook ups.
Same with harvesthosts.


Good luck in the coming year. Some of us will be here to help at a moments notice.
(we've solved
Warranty
Camping
Erased the solar conundrum) 8-)
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:38 PM   #4
I Think We're Lost!
 
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
Posts: 12,859
THOR #8860
Wow! The time has flown by: hasn't it?
Congratulations on your first year, and I hope that you get to enjoy many, many more!
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:41 PM   #5
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THOR #7035
Lots of VFWs have RV hookups. Forget the extended warranty; too expensive and too much small print they use to get out of covering anything if they possibly can.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:16 PM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: A.C.E. 30.2
State: Alaska
Posts: 281
THOR #13770
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmorris92223 View Post
You might consider Good Sam for extended warranty. I used them when we had our 40' DP and they were $1,000 per year and you could pay it quarterly. I checked with a couple of mechanics and they had good things to say about them and don't have to sign a long contract. Check out the Elks, they have RV parking pretty much nationwide and they are inexpensive to park and many have hookups. Of course you need to join the Elks but they are a good organization.
PM
Thx very much! I will check out both.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:23 PM   #7
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: A.C.E. 30.2
State: Alaska
Posts: 281
THOR #13770
Quote:
Originally Posted by ducksface View Post
I put the solar 'thing' to bed.
I had a great system once.
I didn't pay for it, it was $6500 worth of solar and inverter on a 19ft toy hauler.
It came to me for free upon purchase of the trailer.

I loved it. Top of the line everything in its day. 3000w xantrex and all xantrex solar controllers.

But.

The money for the solar is a waste for me.
Except for a fun talking point, solar at $6500 would never ever ever be anything except for about six to ten times the amount of money a generator uses in ten years.

I am assuming you have a generator and an alternator and coach batteries.
If you don't own a generator the systems come closer to equality in initial outlay and ongoing cost.

Yes you can buy the quiet solar offers. No, you can't buy the quiet on a tight budget.

My view on solar is just a reality based thought which I hope gives you some ease of mind.
And
Check out Boondockers welcome. It's a very good source of free camping, sometimes with hook ups.
Same with harvesthosts.


Good luck in the coming year. Some of us will be here to help at a moments notice.
(we've solved
Warranty
Camping
Erased the solar conundrum) 8-)
Hey Duckface, thank you. I put off solar last year & picked up my toad & equipment. My best investment by far was steering stabilization. Whoo Hoo! A night & day difference from fighting my rig every mile of each travel day. I was extremely impressed. So, yeah, I want that solar for all the reasons people mention - but especially bc I believe in back up systems. No shore power? Go to genie. Not enough gas? Well, then it would be nice to know I have solar picking up the slack for at least some of the electrical. Next year...sigh
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:32 PM   #8
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State: Alaska
Posts: 281
THOR #13770
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Wow! The time has flown by: hasn't it?
Congratulations on your first year, and I hope that you get to enjoy many, many more!
Hey Bob! Remember when y'all were wondering if I was a real girl getting my 1st rig or jus trollin' you guys? I was so overwhelmed those 1st couple of weeks dodging the snowpocalypse, etc, that I didn't get back to y'all after my walk thru. But when I did log on again, it was so much fun to read all the alternate theories about who I was - it was better than reading a rollicking sci-fi or spy novel with all the great twists and turns! You lightened my initial fears, definitely tickled my funny bone & convinced me I needed to keep involved with the forum. You guys are awesome! I never could of got through the year without y'all. Thanks, as always
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:43 PM   #9
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State: Georgia
Posts: 4,024
THOR #11130
You've come and gone from the forum..sometime for months, but we knew you were out there somewhere doing what we dream of. How's your mom? Where are you now and where are you going next? Are you still in California? We'll be full time in PCB within the next 30 days...maybe we'll see you there soon? Probably gonna hit the road to tame the Wild, Wild West by April/May.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:50 PM   #10
I Think We're Lost!
 
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Tiffin Wayfarer 24 BW
State: New York
Posts: 12,859
THOR #8860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soldier Girl View Post
Hey Bob! Remember when y'all were wondering if I was a real girl getting my 1st rig or jus trollin' you guys? I was so overwhelmed those 1st couple of weeks dodging the snowpocalypse, etc, that I didn't get back to y'all after my walk thru. But when I did log on again, it was so much fun to read all the alternate theories about who I was - it was better than reading a rollicking sci-fi or spy novel with all the great twists and turns! You lightened my initial fears, definitely tickled my funny bone & convinced me I needed to keep involved with the forum. You guys are awesome! I never could of got through the year without y'all. Thanks, as always
I still think that you might have been an Alien searching for signs of intelligence on this Planet...
Did you find any??
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Old 01-13-2020, 06:20 PM   #11
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: A.C.E. 30.2
State: Alaska
Posts: 281
THOR #13770
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Gritz Carlton View Post
You've come and gone from the forum..sometime for months, but we knew you were out there somewhere doing what we dream of. How's your mom? Where are you now and where are you going next? Are you still in California? We'll be full time in PCB within the next 30 days...maybe we'll see you there soon? Probably gonna hit the road to tame the Wild, Wild West by April/May.
Hey Gritz! I'd love to see y'all. Yep, dropped off the face of the Earth for about 4 months w/out real internet while hosting at Big Bend. Thanks for asking about my family. My mom is still in a rather fragile condition. I came out here again to spend time w/her, in time for the holidays, but then got somewhat stuck here...

Seems this soldier girl managed to have a heart attack without even feeling it, survived it (Captain Obvious, that's me), & finally found out it happened during a health appt at the VA here.

Soooo, now everyone from family to doctors are runnin around like the proverbial Chicken Little yellin about the sky fallin & making me jump thru all the normal diagnostic hoops. I have jus one more (I think), an echocardiagram, this week.

I hope that's it, because this is a nightmare state to get stuck in fulltiming on a limited budget. Wally Worlds in this area dont permit overnights, same w/Cracker Barrel. Truck stops are few & far between. Street parking is illegal (but I can pitch a tent on someone's front lawn & stay w/impunity for months on end, go figure). Even FamCamps are more expensive here & have more limited stay allowances.

If I get a green light from the VA drs, I have another camp host gig nearby with Corps of Engineers starting around April. That was already set up for this spring, but I had expected to wait out winter in a Quartzite long term campsite or return to do some back country work in Big Bend.

Instead, I'm hanging out mostly at Beale. I'm cutting it close with extended FamCamp stays & once I've used up my allowed stays (or finances, whichever comes 1st), I will be in a fix if the doctors don't want to cut me loose. Whatever happens, though, it's jus another fulltiming happy camper adventure...!
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Old 01-19-2020, 09:44 PM   #12
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THOR #8078
I don't have advice but thanks for your inspiring story. Love your pictures!
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Old 01-19-2020, 10:34 PM   #13
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State: Georgia
Posts: 4,024
THOR #11130
She's tough as a box of rocks and sweeter than honey...all at the same time!
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