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  1. HOLY COW! I was staring at that thing this morning in OUR bedroom and wondering what the heck it was, as I have many many many times before!!! THANK YOU!!!
  2. This is a really good question - we have run into this many times. Frequently, the RV parks have rules that state there is no leaving dogs unattended, period. We have 3 dogs - a small rottweiler, a chihuahua and a jack russell/chihuahua and the little ones tend toward barking. They are not easy to take sightseeing - as everyone knows most places they are not allowed and we're not going to leave them in a hot car. We built up to leaving them alone slowly. All the dogs in the bedroom, door shut, the 2 little ones in their crates, and the blinds closed so the rottie doesn't get all crazy about being protective if someone walks by without us home. We started with just 15-20 minutes (we'd go for a walk) and extended to a meal out, and then a movie, and we've worked up to about 4 hours but we have to do it regularly or they forget to stay quiet and we start over. It's working. After being used to doing things with the dogs all the time, we have to remember to stay on top of getting out and keeping them used to being alone! This was actually our biggest challenge since as fulltimers, we are with them 24-7. Some places have dogsitters available but it seems rare. We don't do things like all day rafting trips because of the dogs - we'd have to have someone watch them and we do hire a sitter once in a while when we know folks where we are. It takes planning and forethought and in our case, some training too.
  3. We winter the early winter in Silver City, New Mexico - a month at an RV Park is only about $330, plus electric. We do mid-late winter in Patagonia, AZ - very sleepy town, eccentric, lots of bird hunters, great produce and (surprisingly) restaurants, very affordable at about $400/month. We found the RV parks in Tucson and Phoenix way too overcrowded and more like huge parking lots. We're thinking of trying out the south Texas region soon. You could also try out Quartzite, AZ - LOTS of snowbirds around there and lots of activities in the winter. Mostly, though - HAVE FUN!!
  4. I'm not familiar with the Gypsy Journal or Escapees - I will check those out - Thank You!
  5. I like this idea a lot. Will attend to it! I am going to up my skills on the people front. THANK YOU!! Someone told me just the other day - GET OUT MORE! - I am laughing because I am seeing it really is that simple. DUH.
  6. Bill I think our rottweiler slows down that kind of thing...she has very good manners, and is clearly capable of ramping it up with a word. Many years ago, a law enforcement detective told me that a hearty dog is the best protection, bar none - because criminal types don't like to risk messing with dogs. The detective told me that even little dogs with big mouths work - it's just more hassle for the criminal - and the criminal will move on to an easier target. (Outside of my belief in good dogs, Life is too sweet and too short to live scared of other humans. My opinion.)
  7. Thank you that is helpful! If they used to hand out 'yes' and 'no' cards at the Rallys, it sounds like this has been a point of wonder for others too - I like that idea quite a bit - I've also noticed folks who set up camp w/ an introduction (names, sometimes origin) staked out front or posted on the rig, that looks inviting. We're new members of FMCA and so we're noticing who's got the little plaque on the rig, that seems more inviting as well. We could also work a little harder at being outside more, rather than hunched over computers inside the rig! We tend to stay at parks that don't have much in the way of social functions - not on purpose necessarily - that's just the way it's worked out so far. We're learning so much full timing! It took most of the year to just get comfortable and tightened up with the rig maintenance. Sheri
  8. We've been full-timing a year this week and enjoy the lifestyle immensely. We work - run a consulting business - in our RV and spend a great deal of time on phone and computers. Our social life suffers unless we are in an area where we know folks in stick houses to play with. One time a woman I knew happened to be in the same RV park. I invited her to visit. I never saw her - and she told me a few days later that she had stood out front of our RV (a 40' coach) and since I didn't appear, she left. Since then, I've wondered about the protocol - do we knock, or do we hover? Also, what is the best way to meet other folks in parks? When we're somewhere long enough, we get to know folks a little ("Nice rig!" "Where you from?") - but in general we're not clear on how folks like to roll with meeting new people. Thanks in advance for any advice and input! Sheri
  9. We just last week shopped around and got a 'full timing' insurance policy on our rig - we spent a year w/o it (ignorant - didn't know!) - but put the toad and the rig on the same policy. Came out to a very reasonable price, considering. David is a through shopper and it only took him about 2 days to narrow it down and make a decision... Sheri
  10. I gotta agree w/ Tom on this one - we're 'younger folks' and don't like to do more than 4 hours of driving or so - and even after a couple of those I need to sit still somewhere - preferably with hookups! - that's a lot of gorgeous country you'll be traversing - I'd say pick your most interesting spot to spend a (day? a few hours?) and plan to do it again in slo mo... Sheri
  11. We were considering attending and am wondering - the seminars posted are both kid-family oriented, and we are curious is this convention GEARED toward traveling families as in, with kids? We are an adult couple with four-legged kids and not so interested in the kid aspect...can anyone give me some info on this? thanks!
  12. We use the 4' high pen from Pet Smart as well - we don't ever leave our dogs outside in it when we are not right with them so 'escaping' hasn't been an issue - we look at it as letting us hang around outside w/o leashing the dogs to our chairs or whatever - some parks do not allow these but most do not have a problem with it, in our experience.
  13. I see that this is an 'older posted' forum but still a lively topic for those of us new to the FMCA - so I'm gonna jump in here. We've been full-timers for a year now, and are a little unusual in that we are not retired. I own a consulting business in the health field and do a lot of travel. The last year before fulltiming, I was only home one solid month out of the entire year! All the travel was taking it's toll on me - the hotels, the restaurants, and not having my dogs with me for extended periods. It was my dream that 'when I'm older' I'd move into a RV full time...but I thought that was years away. Then last June, I went to bed frazzled over travel and woke up the next morning with a clear plan: move into an RV. I knew NOTHING about RV's, had never even been in one - but the RV passion was somehow ignited and my husband decided it was dangerous to ignore it. I went and bought a book on RV's and full-timing ('for dummies'), all the RV related magazines I could find, and pulled up all the internet sites I could find. I researched the **** out of every topic. We decided on a Class A because we knew we'd want some room (still glad we did that...) and started shopping. We got took a bit by the dealer when we bought a used Holiday Rambler Endeavor - there are things I would do different in that transaction - but by July 4 of 2010 we drove away in our new home. The first year we've learned a LOT of lessons that no one can really help you with. A lot of what we learned had to do with working together as a team on the road so that all went smoothly. We watched couples 'have at it' over backing in a rig, and so we figured out how to do our hand signals...things like that. We figured out how to save money - and we're still learning the ins and outs of maintenance. Little things - like buying an air compressor - saves so much stress looking for a gas station that will fit our 40' class A w/ toad to air up tires... We work on the road - so we limit our travels to areas where we know we can get internet (we also have a Verizon air card, but it's not good 'everywhere' - ) and cell service. We love waking up in new scenery, finding new Farmer's Market's for fresh local foods, new hikes and bike rides, and our dogs are much better behaved now that we are with them consistently for training. We see more of the grandchildren. After a year of fulltiming, I can't imagine why we didn't do it earlier. Seriously. This so suits our lifestyle. I also like the lack of sheer 'stuff'. We are still whittling things down, even on board. It's really quite fun. We were warned the first year was the hardest. Now that the first year is almost over, I'll agree with that. I expect things to keep getting easier. SIde note - we thought we would trade in our rig - a 2001 - once we had some time under our belt. You know, trade up. But we really like our rig, it's just right - and so we're remodeling instead to make it more office-space friendly. Also dumped the LazyBoy recliner for an Ekornes stressless recliner....ahhhhhhhh.....
  14. This is great advice! We have a smallish wonderful rottie, a vicious chihuahua and an overly intelligent jackchi. We will look into getting the rottie certified. That would help us a lot. For the park owners, they would know that dog has been trained. (and I don't think anyone should own these powerful breeds without tending to quite a bit of training.) As a side note, our normally sweet tempered rottie once ran out the screen door of our rig and knocked over a gentleman walking by - didn't bark, didn't bite, just knocked him over and waited for us to come running. Turns out he had a gun in his sock. But the point is, you never know what a dog will do, and our pain-in-the-*** chihuahua can't knock anyone down.
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