Full timing isn't for everyone. That said, it offers a freedom unlike anything I had ever experienced in my adult life. I would simply offer the advice of looking at RV Consumer Group. They rate new and used RVs with regards to safety, economy, and reliability. Some folks don't place much stock in their evaluations. The fact that they've been around for 20+ years is a testament that many find value in their information. It does cost to acquire that information, as they receive no funding from advertisement in the RV industry. But, it's a pittance relative to the overall investment you will be considering.
As an aside; New Horizon and DRV are probably considered "top-of-the-heep" full time 5th wheel manufacturers today due to their offering of semi-custom work and quality. A little lower tier would include Excel, NuWa, Carriage (orphan), and Travel Supreme (orphan), to name a few. Teton, also an orphan, would fit in there as well. Those manufacturers have enjoyed a reasonably good reputation over the years and have been popular amongst full timers. A gently used unit will cost less than new. All will require a stout truck.
You might want to look at some full timer's journals or blogs for your edification. A good one to start with would be RV-Dreams. The Payne's are pretty forthcoming in their lifestyle and expenses as full timers. Of course, yours can vary. Good luck. It's an exciting time for you.
I have a 3 way fridge, ie., a/c, LP, and d/c. The system's "auto" setting is designed to select the most efficient power source available. I don't use the d/c mode during travel, as the truck's alternator isn't large enough to keep up with the drain on the camper's batteries. I learned this early on while boondocking and had to use the generator to bring the batts up.
Should I run out of propane while traveling, the "auto" mode on the fridge would kick into the d/c mode and give me some more time to find a refill station or have one heck of a B*B*Q upon arrival at a dispersed camping spot. Plus, since my onboard generator is LP, it's pretty critical that I don't run out.:B
I've been to both and while I enjoyed the OBX, I prefer Florida's gulf coast, specifically the section referred to as Florida's "Forgotten Coast" along HWY 98. That section boarders on the east from St. Mark's lighthouse, west to Mexico Bch.
Today, it reflects a coastline similar to the way much of the State's coastline appeared 50-60 years ago; a lot of forests, miles and miles of sandy white, relatively uninhabited, beaches; pull over and go for a stroll, drop a line, or take a dip; a small working waterfront keeps the local dives and residents stocked with fresh seafood and gator tail, in season; roadside stands with fresh produce, fruits, gourmet sauces and preserves. One of my favorites is Tupelo Honey, from the White Ogeechee Tupelo, found in NW Florida. Tupelo is a choice table grade honey with a delicious flavor with a delicate distinctive taste. Honey produced from only the White Tupelo is the only honey that will not granulate.
There are several SPs and a city park along that route that offer great camping at a reasonable cost. The pace is slow and the traffic is relatively light. Wakulla Springs State Park is one of the world's largest springs. And while camping isn't permitted, it's a great day trip. Nearby Myron Hodges city park in Sopchoppy, Fl offers camping for $15/nite, 15 FHUs and 13 W&E sites, same price.
Everyone should go to the Keys at least once. I lived in Key West back in the early 60s. A lot less crowded back then.
I agree with Road Runners. Put a piece of electrical tape over the black tank LED indicator and go with the flow. If you aren't dealing with an anal personality now... you will be, trying to keep that sensor accurate. Good luck! :B
If you remember Andy Griffith and Mayberry, Mt Airy, NC would be a notable stop. No SPs in the area, but Mayberry Campground gets good reviews. While there is Mash Creek, a WV SP in Camp Creek, WV just off I-77, there isn't much to do there. Pipestem Resort SP is about 20 mi. N.E. of Camp Creek and is a very nice park.
In Beckley, WV, you'll find the Exhibition Coal Mine and the city has a park with about 17 back-in sites, IIRC. The nearby WV Tamarack is interesting for those who enjoy art and crafts. And that's about the size of it along that stretch, unless you visit the Kanawha State Forest just south of Charleston.
I've heard that some commercial parks have a 10 year rule. Although, I've never come across one. But, my preference lies in government parks that offer a natural ambiance and larger sites. On the rare occasions where I've stayed in private parks, it's either been in a Passport America park for a night or two, or a monthly rate at a "mom and pop" park that meets my needs at the time.
I can see where it might be a hassle for folks with a MH or TC, that may want to drive off site to see something. Guess that is one of the bonuses of having a TT or 5er....you can leave it there....as nobody will second guess that!
Just as an aside... it takes about 10 minutes to offload a TC and lower it to the ground. Then, the truck's pickup is incredible.:W
I know what you mean. There are three holiday weekends over the spring/summer in which I simply stay home and off the roads. I can just piddle around the house, enjoy some B-B-Q and the parade, which is a great source of entertainment. Every year, there's always something interesting... oftentimes hilarious, going on with the new entries.:W
Stop spraying. The number of ants attracted to the Terro can be alarming. Have patience. The Terro will do the job. The more ants totin' the Terro back to the nest, the sooner you will be ant free. Usually, it takes a few days. However, it could take up to a week or so. Just keep the Terro relatively fresh, either with the drops or the traps.
I own a 99 1/2 7.3 Crew Cab Dually. Bought her in mid 04 with 39k on the clock and now showing 253k. The weak link is the auto transmission. Rebuilt mine at 155k and replaced the torque converter. She goes in tomorrow for what I suspect will be some rear end work. She's recently sporting a small rattle like nails are floating in the hub.
I haul a 4k lb. truck camper with a couple of mods, specifically Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks and Ride Rite air bags. Mileage while loaded is between 11.5-13 mpg, depending on terrain. IIRC, it maxes out towing a 13,200 lb. GVWR 5er. While unrefined, it's been a great engine. I should be able to get another 100k + miles out of her if I just keep throwing a few parts her way. By the way, we're both looking a little long in the tooth. But, we shine up pretty good.:B
Sesqui, as it's popularly referred to by locals, is an excellent choice. Big park on the NE side of Columbia. Once inside the park, you forget about being so close to shopping, etc. Close to the base. Enjoy.
Listen to rockhillmanor. A fully self-contained TC is the SUV of RVs... go anywhere at anytime. For heavy travel around the country in practically any kind of weather, you'd be hard pressed to find a better alternative. It fits wherever the truck goes, height considering.
As a full time unit, it's severely lacking. With space at a premium, some highly desirable amenities are sacrificed. That may be ok for a younger guy. However, there's barely adequate room for one f/t person as long as nothing is under foot. Add another person and there will be a lot of "excuse me(s)". With two 40lb. dogs, you'll have to go outside to change your mind. I'd hate to be half asleep and have to navigate to the bathroom at 2 a.m.
A power failure during the summer, particularly in the south, would be a huge concern. While I've camped at government parks 95% of the time, I've come home after work to a sweltering camper in both public and commercial parks. Due to that fact, I won't consider a pet until retirement. These are the musings of an old guy with a lot of TC miles, having been there and done that. Hope the perspective is of help.
Becky is correct. RV Consumer Group rates RVs on Safety, Economy, Reliability and is well respected. Some folks don't put much faith in their evaluations. J.D. Gallant's biases regarding motor homes has been cussed and discussed for many years. However, their 20 plus years in the marketplace is a testament to the fact that many find value in the information provided. That, coupled with information gathered from owners' forum, if available, is advantageous in making the best decision for yourself. Membership will cost, as they accept no outside funding or advertising from any part of the RV industry. That cost is a pittance relative to the overall expense of RV ownership of both new and used units. I used them when I purchased my current camper in 04 and I'll use them again when I begin my search for a retirement rig.
LOL... just imagine what the full timer sees. If you've ever wondered why our entertainment budget drops during the camping season, it's because it's already included in the park's camping fees. And with the "geezer" pass at a C.O.E. or federal park, it's a real bargoony.:B
You might want to look at RV Consumer Group. They've been rating RVs for over 20+ years. While some folks don't place much stock in their evaluations, many do and their continued presence in the market is a testament to that fact. The price of membership is a pittance relative to the overall cost of RV ownership and IMO, well worth the data provided. Especially since all the new brochures applicable to most used units have long left the shelves. That accompanied by additional info gathered from actual owners' forums, if available, will be invaluable. Recognizing each buyer has a budget, the combination will be quite helpful in making a wise choice based on what you have to spend. Good luck.
Yeppers... you'll get around a whole lot easier with the TC. It's the SUV of RVs. If there's one campsite left in a campground, you'll fit. Of course, with two people, there will be a lot of "excuse me(s)"; with three... it's "get the hell out of my way!"; four... and you'll have to go outside just to change your mind. But, they are hard to beat for extensive travel. Enjoy!