Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Need Help from the Fulltime Experts

We are both very excited that we will hopefully be able to start our RV fulltiming life real soon. We have spent the last year or so preparing. We need to have a few more garage sales and need to pack a few more things for storage. We’ve been so busy preparing that we’re just now getting to a point where we can slow down a bit.

Now that we’ve slowed down, reality is starting to set in. We’re really about to give up nice twenty-four hundred square foot brick house on two acres of land. We’re really going to move into a thirty-three foot fifth wheel and live all over these glorious United States. WOW, that is exciting and also a little scary.

We both love to travel and explore. We’ve worked so hard to get to this point and now that we’re getting closer to making it happen, I’m getting nervous about it. I suppose I am just worried about the unknown. But it is also the unknown that excites me. It is as if I’m excited and nervous to get started.

I suppose this is normal? I’m usually the one that says, it’ll be o.k. We can do this. Now Dawn is the one doing the coaching and reminding me that we can handle it.

I think part of the problem is that neither of us is very mechanically inclined. That means we will have to depend on others when we have mechanical problems. It is true that women really do get taken advantage of when it comes to mechanical repairs but, at the time I know that we’re not total idiots. Besides, I have a grown son that is very mechanical that we can call when we have questions and he’ll guide us in the right direction.

We have a list of things that need to be done before we can hit the road. Our list consist of the following;

Roadside Assistance Policy
We are going to purchase some kind of roadside assistance policy. We would love any kind of suggestions or recommendations.

Fulltimers Insurance Policy
We are going to purchase fulltimers insurance too. The more I read the more confused I get. We could use recommendations

Air Card for Computer
We will purchasing a new laptop before we hit the road and will need to have a good internet source. We could use recommendations.

Camping Clubs
We want to join a camping club that offers discount camping rates
We could use recommendations.

I don’t know what else we will need. We could use recommendations on that too.

We are just hoping that some of you that are already fulltimers can help us out with some recommendations and advice to what we may need that we haven’t thought about. We would greatly appreciate any free advise we could get.

13 comments:

  1. You can find how to fix almost anything on the net.

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  2. We aren't full-time, but sounds like you have it all "doped" out pretty well.Above all, what is the worst thing that could come from full-timing??? You can buy another home ANYWHERE you want,anytime you want...and you should be able to find a nice area from all of your travels...I think of it like I do a bad hair cut..It will grow...So will you..and what travels you will have to tell about!!! I'm jealous!

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  3. I like PassPort America club. It is a half off club and they are pretty much every where. They are not always the nicest of Parks, but usually have full hook_ups, and we usually just use them while going from place to place. Have you ever checked out hitchitch.com or hitchupandgo.com? They both have a lot of sites on them with a lot of information that may be helpful to you. You will get there, but research was a big part of our preperation. Stay safe.

    P.S. As for internet, a lot of the parks now offer free wifi. Speaking from a frugal aspect, it has always worked for me. I have gone very few days in my 3 1/2 years of full timing without it. And, I don't have the monthly bill hanging over my head for an aircard or something else.

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  4. All of the emotions you describe are quite normal! We went through all of the same feelings. It's those final milestones (last day of work, closing on the house sale, packing up the RV) that really hit you and make you want to pause. How could you want something so bad and be so terrified at the same time. Ultimately though, if you follow your heart, everything else will be ok.
    Answers to your questions:
    -Roadside Assistance - Coachnet. We have not had to use it yet, but it seemed like others spoke highly of it
    - Fulltimers Insurance - we went through Millers Insurance (the same one as Howard and Linda and many RV Dreamers). They were easy to work with and very friendly. We haven't had to make a claim yet, so no feedback there.
    -Aircard - we have Verizon cell service and got a USB card through them. It's been great. Tracy just got a droid and if we had done that sooner we could have probably just tethered through that, but now we have a 2-year contract so we'll stick with this for now.
    - Camping Clubs - there are so many. We are members of Escapees, mostly because we use their mail forwarding service. We also joined Passport America which I would highly recommend. In the limited travels, we have more than paid for the annual membership already.
    Feel free to contact me directly if you want more details or have other questions.

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  5. First, relax. Anxiety is normal, and you will get through it. Although, even after 4 years on the road, we still get anxious and make mistakes - but if you're not making mistakes, you're not doing anything. We've found that people are always willing to help, whether it's in person or on line. You are not alone!

    Roadside assistance - we've been happy with our Good Sam coverage, but a lot of people like Coach Net too.

    Fulltimers Policy - we consulted Miller Insurance Agency and they gave us some good options. Escapees commercial directory may have some suggestions too. Just be sure to emphasize the full time part.

    Air card - we're pretty satisfied with Verizon. We have one aircard and a router, but know a lot of people who use Mifi. Lots of opinions out there on this one.

    Camping clubs - there are a lot of them. We've limited ourselves to Passport America, Escapees and Good Sam. There are so many COE parks, State Parks and Escapee parks around, we didn't feel like we needed more formal associations. We've discovered boondocking too, so that gives us even more options.

    Congratulations and - Welcome to the road! Hope to meet you along the way!

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  6. We're having those same thoughts as well. The house is up for sale and we're on a short camping trip. We're wondering if we're making the right decisions...I think this is normal at this stage. Can we handle living in this small space?

    We just joined Passport America for $49. We've already paid for it on one trip. There is aalso a nice little App for it for our Droid phone.

    We're using our Droid phone tethered to the laptop for internet right now and it's working great and also has many other helpful features including wonderful GPS with a satellite view.

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  7. I'm not mechanical either, you learn some things as you go, but the plastic card takes care of those things beyond your abilities. :)

    1. I use Good Sam Roadside assistance. I've only had to use it once, but was very pleased with the service. Others use Coach Net.

    2. GMAC fulltimers insurance is what I use. I've been pleased with it so far. Again, I've only had one claim, but they handled it admirably.

    3. I have a Sprint air card, but will switch to Verizon when my contract is up.

    4. I would recommend Passport America as you start out. Depending on what your lifestyle will be when you are on the road, you may find others to your liking, but PA is a good one to start out with until you know what your style is going to be.

    Hope this helps. :)

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  8. sorry can't really help you with all your questions but can't wait to read all the answers and ride along as you explore the great USA!!..

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  9. Pretty much as others say,

    Coachnet,
    Ins we use Progressive (added on to the regular moho policy
    A verizon aircard
    Passport America.

    Once you get on the road, it will all work out. The tension is from the waiting and not knowing.

    Kate
    http://cholulared.blogspot.com

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  10. Your concerns are normal and valid. It is definitely exciting and scary. Those feelings may also reappear after you have gone full-time. Faced with a potentially high repair bill, my husband was stressed and mentioned that he had worked his whole life to own his home...and then we sold it and bought an RV. He said we should buy another house-he misses the security. He said something could happen to our RV home everytime we get on the road and we could be homeless. I remind him that we have insurance just like we did on our house.

    We use Coach-Net and are very pleased (just had to be towed 50 miles and they arranged everything and paid the bill that we never even saw).

    Insurance will depend on where you claim residency. Ours is thru Allied/Nationwide. No claims yet.

    I have AT&T on my iPhone for Internet access. I also have a Verizon aircard for my laptop. I'm happy with both. Probably would get MiFi if we each used separate computers.

    We joined Escapees, Passport America, Good Sam, and FMCA for our first year. We never used FMCA. Used Good Sam's 10% discount the most. Passport America several times - had some great parks and some so-so parks - membership fee is definitely well worth it. Escapees came in handy when we stayed at one of their own parks. Probably won't renew that membership since their parks are not where we plan to travel next - there are Escapee affiliated parks that give a 15% discount.

    Continue to ask questions and do research - it will give you more confidence and knowledge.

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  11. Asking full timers is a great idea. We've only just begun and when we were having the same anxieties you are it was the full timers blogs and forums that got us through. There are a lot of emotional highs and lows as you get ready. We've been on the road only a couple months now but we wouldn't go back to our S&B. We are still on a learning curve and have our anxious moments but I think that is part of life. As for your questions after lots of research this is how we went:
    Coach.net for roadside assistance (haven't used it yet-yipee)
    Insurance with Miller Insurance-great people who understand full timers
    Belong to Escapees, Passport America, and Good Sam's.
    Just a plug for Escapees. If you travel in the SW it is great to use there parks along the way, not just because of the price but if you need help or advice there are lots of full timers there to help you out.
    Good luck with all those decisions.

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  12. We have been full-timing for almost 3 yrs. We have roadside assistance through our cell phones AT%T. Our insurance is through Nationwide/Allied and it pays really well with no questions asked. We have had 2 RV claims (extensive hail damage and a gust of wind tore off our awning and ripped our roof). We have an aircard through AT&T and have had no issues. I like this b/c we have 2 computers..obviously we use them at different times. We also have another roadside assistance program through Nationwide for a $1 extra providing hotel, money,etc. We are members of Camping World and bought a Good Sam membership combo. We made our money back in one night while traveling to a new location. We typically stay places for 3 months so we use most of discount for supplies (holding taking stuff, etc). I am glad we got the membership as it has saved us money. Totally normal feelings...we had just gotten married, packed everything into storage, and hit the road for work! Its a blast!!!!

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  13. We are RV Summer fulltimmers since 2002,wish we could be REAL fulltimers but live out of the USA and can get staying permit only for 6 months top.
    Any how DW wants to be with the family part of the year and we actually found the right balance for us.
    See you down the road,many happy trails.

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