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Nu here and would like to know what you would do differently?
Total Views: 2389 - Total Replies: 8
Feb 14 2011, 7:45 pm - By MrsBadAss

Hi all, I am hoping to be on the road by April. I am wondering what you "old timers" would do differently if you were just starting out?
Counting down the days

Feb 14 2011, 8:26 pm - Replied by: Technomadia

About the only thing I would have done differently is being more motivated to sell my house before leaving.  If I had, I could have sold it with a little cash in my pocket - instead of waiting until I was totally sure I was done with it.  Because the market crashed so much while I waited to find my motivation to get aggressive, I ended up taking a substantial amount of money out of savings to make up the loss on what I could actually sell for. 

Still worth it tho :) And don't regret it. 

Everything else.. just lessons learned along the way that you can only learn by living them.  I wouldn't go back and do anything differently, as it's all part of the experience (including, I probably still would haven driven in that downpour that caused us a scary hydroplaning jack-knife spin on the interstate).  

Best wishes on getting on the road.. and welcome!

 - Cherie

Cherie and Chris / Technomads / www.technomadia.com
1961 GM 4106 - Vintage Bus
On the road since 2006 

Feb 15 2011, 3:34 am - Replied by: SL1966

Well, I'm not like the other guys and my socks are too loose.
Feb 15 2011, 2:50 pm - Replied by: blars

 I'm not full timing yet, but I have a blog post on Quartzsite lessions, most of which is learning the limits and quirks of my RV and myself.  The RTR was an excelent place to do so.  While I can say "I shouldn't have done that" to a couple of them, if I hadn't tested the limits I might have had a wourse situation later due to not knowing them.

I'd say attending the RTR was definatly one thing I'm glad I did.

Feb 15 2011, 6:37 pm - Replied by: LiveWorkDream

Fabulous topic!

Whlie we don't like to "should" all over ourselves, there are some things we'd do differently.

  1. Sign up for Passport America. Even though we hardly spend time or money at RV parks, this membership has saved our necks and our wallets several times. There are tons of RV parks in their membership roster, most without tight restrictions, and they cost HALF of what they normally would. Our first year out we spent far too much money on RV parks. Now, I wouldn't travel even halftime without a PA membership.
  2. Join Escapees, become Texans and sign on with their mail fowarding service. Yes, they're a bunch of old timers and some of them are crankypants, but most have great advice. The services we get from Escapees can't be beat. Our first year out we had a family member do our mail for us (they volunteered), but it was a hassle and we felt the weight of obligation. We also would have saved a ton on our residency / vehicle fees had we done it sooner.
  3. Invest in a bigger solar system. We started out knowing we would boondock but we didn't realize the extent of it nor how much it could save us. Our system was adequate for a long-term vacation but not for making a living with. We've slowly upgraded, but when we had the money four years ago we should've started out with a bigger system.
  4. Travel without debt. When we started we had not paid off our rig, even though we had the money. I hated knowing that we had real bills to pay and no real income. So after jumping on the Dave Ramsey bandwagon, we paid off our debt and truly felt the meaning of "freedom." Fulltiming with debt is a real drag on the experience, at least to us it is.
That's about all we can think of. Because we did our RV research ahead of time, we knew what we wanted and unlike most RVers we know, we still have our original rig.

Research is key, and so is planning. Don't hit the road without doing either. Good luck!

Working and Living Our Dream Life
Feb 17 2011, 12:25 am - Replied by: MrsBadAss

Thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it!
Counting down the days

Feb 18 2011, 8:06 am - Replied by: KevsKnight

At the top of my Do-Over List is wishing I would have gotten rid of EVERYTHING before I left. Somehow I thought it would be a good idea to pay to store stuff that I was too stubborn to get rid of. It is almost empty now, but, come on. Been paying to store junk for over 4 years now. That is dumb.

One thing I think we nailed was our choice in motorhomes. We spent a lot of time looking for the right one. It has been very good to us, and the floorplan is perfect for how we live. We like our home :)

Good luck getting everything put together!


I have washboard abs. They are just hidden under 50#s of laundry.
Mar 03 2011, 1:29 am - Replied by: travelfables

One Tip I can share that is an RVers rule that I wish I had paid a bit more attention to is:

  1. "Know Thy Roof".. and
  2. Keep a regular eye on it, regularly get the ladder out and look for anything that could be a tear(especially if you get into branches or tress (even little ones)

Do you have a tin roof? Are you lucky & have an Airstream and Aircraft Aluminium?
If you have a rubber roof like me (and many of the rigs out there), It would have been nice to know what a mess quick-fixes could make of it (like putting silicone caulk on it or around antennas and skylights)... Keep that stuff away from your rubber roof.
Keeping a small fix kit of real EPDM liquid rubber roof (and some small EPDM patches would have been a good investment.
I've been ripping out water damage for a near-spring project. It was caused by tear damage I didn't spot until to late.
I'm lucky that I have some building skills and a shack in the North GA Mtns to do the work at.
It would be hard to do in a park (and it would cost a fortune at an RV repair shop .)Luckily my sins with silicon were not real bad, and wasn't what caused the leak.. Its just a pain to get up. but I would have liked to have known better.
Mar 03 2011, 6:31 pm - Replied by: blars

I'm glad the RV I chose has a fiberglass roof.  Even so the trees tear off the vent cover.  Parking for a 102" wide 12' high monster every three days in LA without trees by the curb is hard to come by.
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