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    SW Florida
  • Interests
    Fishing, shooting, and motorcycle riding.
  • I travel

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  1. Full Timing Annual CG Fees

    We previously did a 2.5 year stretch of full timing in our 39' fiver. I had newly retired for the second time and even though we wintered for 3 or 4 months in Florida we pretty much stayed in vacation mode. In other words, we were putting around 20,000 miles on a year running all over the U.S. trying to see all the highlights as quickly as possible. We never really tried dry camping nor did we consider weekly or monthly rates at campgrounds. We simply planned where we wanted to go next and booked the CGs. Some were $30 a night and some were as much as $70 a night. Annually we probably were spending $12,000 or more. This time around we have a RV that obviously can handle short dry camping periods without any modifications. Currently we are staying put in SW Florida. I am beginning to map out our first several months of desired travels which will begin in April sometime. I have a spot set up for an extended stay in central Illinois to allow us to visit family and friends there. It is only $330 a month including utilities. Other than that I am using RVParky app to find some different dry camping spots. We also have the names/numbers of a couple CGs we will be calling in Alabama that may offer cheap monthly rates. Right now my procedure for searching is to find a possible site, google earth it to see exactly what it looks like, check to see what goes on there, and then if it is a privately owned CG call and get all the information. My question is to other full timing folks with larger coaches and/or longer toads, how do you seek out your CGs? Do you have other publications/apps that get you started? What are some of the deals you find when booking for a week or a month instead of daily? After a while do you just keep using some of the same CGs for extended stays and use your toad for sightseeing from there? My goal is to cut our annual camping fees down to under $9,000 or so.
  2. I am over my MAD

    Mike, I agree with everything you said. Having just joined a few months ago I guess I wasn't as vested so the way the vote turned out didn't "upset" me, it just made me take another hard look at the value and importance for us to continue membership in FMCA. As a full timing retired couple the different local clubs didn't really peak our interest. It was more about belonging to a motor coach only organization that would tailor their benefit/discount programs toward us, and not just RVers in general. We hoped any FMCA publication would be more interesting to what type of RVing we are doing, and not just RVing in general. We live in a world of constant change, 99% of which is driven by dollars. It seems to me that FMCA is no different and has went from a special RV group that had a lot to offer a select group, to just another large catch-all camping group that will have a little something for everyone. In the next few months I think many motor coach members will be trying to determine if that "little something" that FMCA will be offering in the future will be worth the dues.
  3. When we were full time before (2013-2014) we had the MiFi, two I-phones, and I-pad, and a couple laptops. Verizon did not have an "unlimited" plan back then and we would use around 12 to 16 gigs easily. When we were in the RV everything went through the MiFi, including our printer. If we were out and about our phones could still use data from the plan, just not through the MiFi, which stayed in the RV. I guess this is just another way of stating what has already been said?
  4. FMCA Roadside Assistance

    Going good Carl, thanks for asking. Still re-fitting trailer and getting it ready. Have all the cabinets in and will be working on installing a couple windows in it after the holidays. The coach hasn't had any issues to speak of. We have scheduled our first short road trip for next week, just staying in Florida. I'm fortunate that I'm in this CG, there are a couple Ventana owners here and a couple more will be checking in after January 1. I'm sucking all the information I can out of them!
  5. FMCA Roadside Assistance

    Good point Carl. I was still pondering on deciding if I should even sign up for any type of roadside assistance when Good Sams sent me a free 1 year deal. Not sure why they did that but now I have them for a year. My car insurance has it for about $18 a year, my Harley has it for less than that. The Mini Cooper automatically came with it. I've got so much roadside assistance I can't keep it straight.
  6. Options For Washing Motor Homes

    I found this formula on another forum and have been using it to wash my RVs, cars, and Harley for a year now. It works great and maintains the wax that is already present. Both of these ingredients are sold at Walmart: McGuires Gold Car Wash and Turtle Ice Car Wash (mix 50/50). Not sure why is works to good, but I only wax once a year now and all of our stuff sits in the sun 365 days a year.
  7. Richard, this is exactly where we are at. I will give it another few months but I doubt that the membership benefits will not exceed the dues for us. As full timers belonging to GS and Passport are no brainers because you get your dues back in the first month with discounts. About the only discount I am possibly looking at taking advantage of with FMCA is the tire purchasing program, and that won't be for another 3 or 4 years. As new DP owners we will wait and see if the FMCA contributes to any of our other needs or if we find the publications interesting/informative.
  8. RV Navigation App

    This usually turns into one of those "Chevy is better than Ford" debates. We are "planners" when it comes to running around the U.S.A. in a large RV. IMHO there are some pretty good free I-phone apps that can be helpful when you are sitting around planning a destination or looking up some campgrounds or boondocking sites. But when using these apps just keep it in mind that they probably are not considering your height, length, and weight. We use a Trucker's Atlas (available from most Truck Stops or on-line). I can consult it for the next days route to make sure there are no trouble spots for a rig my size. Our actual navigation is currently by using a Truck/RV GPS plus the one that came with our Newmar coach. We like to have one dedicated for the passenger and one just for the driver with the driver's volumn turned off. A Truck/RV GPS generally has a larger screen. You can enter your RV's specifics, like height, weight, length, etc., and it will route you where you are legal. There are a few really good brands on the market and they have gotten pretty cheap.
  9. "I'm hoping to get the coach home to my garage, where I have control over the repairs." I'm just going to toss out a guess, based on an estimate I had years ago on having my 40' boat hauled across country. If hauling that coach 1,000 miles or more is going to cost $5,000 to $8,000 are you sure it is worth it? Are you going to save all of that by having it in your garage for repairs vs having it repaired where it is? What is the issue with it? Are you going to fix it yourself?
  10. Firearms

    It wasn't me on I-40 having a K-9 run through my coach. I think that was Carl. Based on my LEO experience though there could be circumstances where a K-9 could be ran inside a RV on a roadside check point. For example, if the K-9 was ran around the outside of the RV for a "free air sniff" and detected the odor of narcotics, then they may elect to put the dog inside without a warrant. Legally when it comes to search and seizure, an RV is a slippery animal. When you are driving and mobile on the highways it is more or less considered a vehicle. Once you park it off the road for the evening and start fixing a drink it is considered your "home". There are many circumstances where an officer could search a vehicle without a warrant but there are not many circumstances where an officer could search your home without a warrant. Maybe Carl will jump in here and tell us more about his adventure when the K-9 assaulted his RV.
  11. Firearms

    Guess I could have tried a kick, he was so big and drunk I probably would have just broke my foot though. Since it was the middle of the night and there were no other humans around for 20 miles I just stepped back and verbally told him what was about to happen. He must have believed me because he cuffed himself after I tossed the cuffs over.
  12. National Fishing License

    Come on Carl.....I've always trusted my Uncle Sam.....he let me enlist when I was just 17 years old and promised me I would never leave the U.S. Five months later I started to think he may have lied when I found myself frozen in Germany, then 9 months later when I was sunburn in a shithole further away I suspected he wasn't on the up and up after all. But in all fairness he did let me finish in the middle of the scrub in New Mexico!
  13. Black Tire Shade Can Be OK

    I am going to Port Charlotte RV after the holidays and ask them about screen tire covers. I have heard they will custom fabricate them for DP coaches. I would love to have a set made using magnets instead of snaps. Let us know how your project goes!
  14. RV Tire Recommendation

    To each his own, but I wouldn't bend down to wipe 303 on a tire that looked like that let alone drive the coach they were on! That is like driving your rig with the fuel gauge on empty just to see how far it will actually keep going. Not safe IMHO. Back in the day if I stopped a commercial vehicle with steer axle tires like that I would take the vehicle out of service and it would not move until the tires were replaced. But like I said, to each his own, maybe the pic makes it look worse than it is.
  15. Firearms

    Just a word about pepper spray, or any type of defensive spray. Had a rather large drunk individual refuse to cooperate when I told him he was under arrest for DUI. I am 6'1" and he probably went 6'6" and 300 pounds. I almost emptied my pepper spray canister onto his face and head and he just laughed at me! Needless to say it doesn't work on everyone.