to answer the OP's question, I bought tires through the FMCA program at the Les Schwab store in Sutherlin, OR. Not all can do truck tires, but if they do, they can certainly get the tires through the Advantage Program.
After four years of full timing (we're in our 8th now), I sold the handgun. Thirty years on active duty taught me that proficiency was mandatory when owning a weapon; 4 years of retirement taught me that I no longer cared to work on keeping proficient. I've never been in a situation in which I've felt threatened, and among all the full timers I've met volunteering these years, I've never heard of anyone being in a situation that required a weapon. You make the choice - have a weapon and have the responsibility of keeping proficient both physically and mentally, or don't and refuse to worry about it. You can "what if?" to death or relax and enjoy your travels.
We sold it. Mortgage or not, we knew there would always be maintenance and repairs, insurance and yard care. We full time to get away from all that. If we ever come off the road, we'll rent a condo; by then, we'll have no need to build up equity.
We used our central vac in our 40' MH for years, never being real happy with it. When it quit, I chucked it and bought a Shark Navigator - what a difference! The suction is remarkable, and combined with the beater bar it restored our carpet to almost new. It has a two stage filter, and we haven't noticed any dust at all. The Shark Navigator also comes apart and can be carried around like a small canister vacuum. The quality of the construction is also impressive.
It's probably a factor that there are so many parks and so few raters, and as a result many of the GS reviews are outdated. On the Pine Island KOA, for example, older reviews on RVparkreviews.com are not bad, while recent ratings are terrible. For us, with eight years of fulltiming behind us, we never rely on GS or Woodall ratings, only RVParkreviews.com, and then with a grain of salt unless they're all saying the same thing. Too often people give a poor rating because the WiFi doesn't work well enough for them to stream NetFlix....
We've crossed Texas many times and prefer this route; as stated it's an easy drive, fairly scenic compared to I-10, and has some interesting stops. Do try and visit Fort Davis, it's an amazing place and the McDonald Observatory in a must-see. The Fort Davis SP is a great place to spend a night or two. Coming through Marfa, if it's dark you can stop at the viewing center and try to see the "Marfa Mystery Lights". There's not much in Del Rio worth seeing; we prefer to stop at Seminole SP for the night then press through to Clark Springs or Uvalde.
Last thing I read,we are creating roughly 62 new rules/restrictions PER DAY....I am all for American made,and own my own bussiness,but this country penalizes you for having a bussiness here,they will all be leaving,anybody that can't see that is fooling themselves!
I wonder who's supposedly creating all these new rules? Can't be congress, they haven't created anything in years.....
We've towed three different vehicles with a gas and diesel motorhome over eight years of full-timing without any problems; however, I think it depends on a number of factors. The length of the coach behind the rear axle, type of mudflaps, whether it has a full-length mudflap, and even the aerodynamics of the motorhome can make a difference. We've escaped anything other than an occasional chip in the paint, but know others who've had significant problems. All you can do is give it a try and see what happens, but I'd start out without investing any money in additional protection - we've never needed it.
We've been full timing for eight years and get the most use out of Good Sam and Passport America. Escapees discounts are limited but some are better than GS. We also have FMCA but I don't think we've ever used it - if the park has an FMCA discount than they likely have GS also. PA gives us the biggest bang for the buck, but you have to be careful; many of the PA parks are not of the best quality. I'd never invest in the KOA membership, not having children there's no reason for us to pay the higher price for kid stuff.
We visited friends that volunteered there a few years ago (It is the location west of Missoula). They were fairly bored, as not many people stop to see the visitor center, but enjoyed the area and the RV spot. They told the story of how one night, they heard a banging on their bedroom window, and when they opened it, a Black Bear poked his nose through the screen. So obviously there's lots of wildlife in the area (it is off the beaten track). Their only complaint was that at the time, the Forest Service staff wasn't all that friendly, but that may have changed by now. It's a great location if you fish, and Missoula isn't that far away.
Yours is a problem common to the Freightliner chassis of that year-group. My 2006 Itasca Ellipse has the same problem in that the fuel tank vent system is poorly designed. Some owners were able to get FL to fix the problem, but most don't. The fix is to use low-pressure (non-truck) pumps whenever possible, and if you have to use a high-pressure pump, make a wedge from a piece of wood and use it to keep the fuel flow at a low enough rate to continue filling. You'll be at it for a while, I've spent 20 minutes or more filling the tank, so try and find a place that's not busy. You can try putting in the hose handle at different angles, opening both fuel fill caps, etc., but nothing much helps except patience.
When ours did the same, I called Splendide (always great customer service), and was told to try this: pull of the selector knob to access the metal "teeth" that make contact with the timer face. Bend the teeth out to retension them so that they make contact. Put it back together and give it a try. Worked for me.
1 - We chose South Dakota for a number of reasons, but primarily because MH insurance was half of what it would have cost in Texas, and that we would not need a special license to drive a MH. Also we new we'd buy another MH after a few years, and the 3% SD tax vs the near 7% TX tax was an issue.
2 - SD and TX do not tax income, whether earned or pension. Don't know about FL.
3. It's different for everyone, so call an agent and get a quote or get one online. I did all the required "paperwork" over the phone at Progressive's 1-800 number. You will need an address (domicile) or you can just pick one from online, such as Alternative Resources, to get your quote.
4 - We bank with Wells Fargo, primarily because of their benefits to retired military, and it works for us since we generally stay west of the Mississippi. BOA seems like the choice of many full timers.
5 - Again, an individual issue depending on your coverage; you'll have to get the info from your plan administrator.
6 - We set up our mailing service and obtained an address on-line, then drove to SD to obtain driver's licenses, register to vote, and set up banking (took us 1/2 day). The mailing service can also handle your vehicle registration changes once you have a SD DL. It was surprisingly simple.
A good mail service can be very helpful. I'd recommend Alternative Resources if you chose SD, or Escapees if TX.
Hope this helps, best of luck on your new journey!
I've had mine out a number of times, and it's never easy. One thing that helps is to put the "slider" caps, made for furniture, on each rubber leg, and before sliding it back in, spray the cabinet floor with dry silicone spray. It will slide right back in with little effort.
I've had both roof and basement air and prefer the basement. I've never had any problems keeping our 40'/4 slide coach cool, it's less noisy in the lounge area, and I can buy high quality residential a/c filters at Lowe's or any hardware store that are far superior to the roof air foam. Winnebago stopped using them once it became mandatory to install DEF tanks, otherwise they'd still be using them.
We're full timers and tow a 2008 MX5 Miata without any problems. As long as it's a manual transmission, it should be OK. Although Mazda's manual doesn't recommend it, those of us (and there are many) who tow understand that it's a CYA statement by Mazda. The hard part is finding a tow bracket; although Blue Ox advertises one, they didn't have any in stock and said there wasn't enough demand to make more. I managed to find a metal fabricator/hitch installer in Sparks, Nevada that made us a custom bracket which is concealed by the grill when not in use. It was worth the money - the Miata is a great machine!
The problem with the AHCA is that the great majority of people, including me, don't fully understand it. Because of the uncertainly, it's become fodder for all the extreme arguments, left or right - remember the bit about "death squads"? The fact is, we desperately need to restructure health care in this country, and the AHCA is a start. When Lyndon Johnson was able to get his Civil Rights Bill passed, he was told repeatedly, and knew himself, that it was a bad bill. But as he told his critics, the details would be worked out to make it a good bill, but first we have to have a bill to work with. Let's just all relax, take a deep breath and another sip of our favorite beverage, and see what happens before we panic.