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MystreBengals

New Member To Forum and FMCA

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Hello folks,

My name is Mark and my wife is Karen. We live in League City, TX. and have finally taken the plunge and got our first MH. I watched my father keep trading up with his 5th Wheels every few years until he finally got to the one he really wanted towards the later years of his life. By then he owed much more than it was worth. I figured we would just get what we wanted right out of the gate lol. We couldn't afford a brand new Motorhome but finally found what we hope was a pretty nice buy on a 2009 Monaco Knight. We were very conflicted trying to decide if we wanted a 5th Wheel or a MH. The Monaco Knight seemed to fit our wants enough more to tip the scale in its favor.

Monaco1sm.jpg

We are very much brand new to RV'ing, and are trying to learn as much as we can. We want to get to the point where we are both knowledgeable and confident members of this very neat community around the country. I am not the DIY kind of guy just yet, but want to learn enough to at least maintain the systems well. I am a ravenous reader and have been going through this entire forum picking all of your brains topic by topic, and for that I thank you all.

I was very lucky to notice that Brett, the forum moderator, happens to live almost next door to us in the same small TX community of League City. What a godsend already. I wrote him and he was kind enough to call me right away and we had a nice conversation and set up a time we could meet and he was willing to help start my badly needed education. Thank you so much Brett.

My wife and I breed and show Bengal cats, these are domestic cats that look like little leopards. We have cats all over the country that we raised that are canoe/kyakking cats, most walk on leashes and are more like dogs than the typical cat. We travel to cat shows all around the country which was one reason we wanted to take the plunge and get into an RV.

We started off years ago with a light aircraft (1978 Mooney 201) when we lived in the Northwest but after we had our third son we outgrew it and went to a Bayliner '32 that we traveled all throughout the Puget Sound with. We raised 3 boys, the youngest is now 23. The oldest is 27 and lives with his wife and our two grandchildren in Papua New Guinea as Missionaries translating the Bible.

Crystal_and_Ryan_PNG.jpg

Our middle son is a recent graduate from Officers Candidate School in Rhode Island and is now an Ensign in the US Navy in training for Naval Intelligence. Our youngest is trying to get on the right track (hopefully lol) in a Texas program called Job Corp.

aaron2sm.jpg

My wife is about ready to retire from Department of Defense and has spent the last lots of years as the contracting officer for the Space Shuttle Program. I am retired from working in the car business mostly in the Northwest though we are both from Texas. Also spent a long time in the Navy.

family_web.jpg

I hope very much to meet many of you around the country. We are always willing to help anyone, anytime in anyway we are able. God Bless and thank you for reading my long winded introduction :)

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Welcome to the FMCA Forum!! Brett is very knowledgeable and I had the good fortune to attend one of his seminars at an FMCA convention in 2010. Herman can also be very helpful in pointing you in the right direction. Overall, we have an excellent group involved in the forums and they are more than happy to help with problems and questions.

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Mark and Karen,

Let me add my welcome to motorhoming and the FMCA forum. A very interesting intro, you've done a little of everything. You had my wife at Bengal cats. She thinks they are the cats meow! I just think they are cool cats! Thanks for your service and that of your son as well. I'm sure as you begin your adventures in a motor home you will find plenty of advice and help here. Join in the conversation with your questions. You might also like to begin blogging your adventure as you learn your way into motorhoming. Your perspective as a new owner and traveler would be invaluable to others who are new to motorhoming. Obviously you aren't afraid to write!!! :)

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Thank you all so much for your kind replies and the warm welcome. Mr. Mullins, in addition to Mr. Wolfe, was awesome and invited us to join a Rally in his Chapter; we are very excited to get to meet others as soon as we can. You are very correct, Mr. Butler, I write a lot. (verbose would be an understatment *grin*) I am very active in the cat fancy around the world and mentoring people. I "own" and moderate several large email lists and am a frequent contributor to many publications both in print and online. I also am grateful to have heard from others in Texas like Mr. Sooter. I sure hope I get to meet you all soon. Hope you are all prepared for the excessive questions I am sure I will have for any one of you LOL. I love to learn. Any of you need to put someone to work for you, I am happy to do whatever you need in exchange for helping me learn and to become a welcome member in the RV community. Thank you all.

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My husband and I are just beginning to start our "investigations" into buying an RV (Class A Motorhome) in approximately 4-5 years, with the idea of living in it permanently, and are using the time between now and then to educate ourselves on all aspects of rv life. We have absolutely no experience/knowledge so we need this time to learn.

I hope you can put up with this long winded email, but I thought I should explain my situation to you.

We spent the past weekend at various RV sales locations and found the style/type of motorhome that we think would suit our needs (36" or 38" Class A). When we got home, we started researching the costs to operate/run it and also the costs of staying long-term in campgrounds across the USA, only to have our excitement promptly extinguished when we saw how much the cost of renting campsites with hookups was going to cost us. I have a medical condition that requires me to keep cool, so the air conditioner would be utilized quite a lot (if not constantly) during warmer months. So rather than use fuel/generator and camp "off the grid" so to speak we would need to hook up to powered sites in campgrounds. Obviously the cost to run the generator to keep cool would cost far too much in fuel costs.

So my question to you is: Are you aware of campgrounds across the US that not only allow long-term camping, but have sites with full hookups at a reasonable daily/weekly/monthly rate (eg. less that $20 per night)?

Also, do you have any suggestions as to how we could save on fuel costs/generator if we were to camp "off the grid"?

If there is any information you can give us that would help us to be able to get back on the "excitement track" so we can continue to plan for our future RV life, we would be really grateful.

It feels like that in one weekend we climbed "Excitement Mountain" only to fall of "Disappointment Cliff"!

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Keep the excitement. There many things that you can do.

1. Go rent a coach for a week. If you like it then you will have an idea of what you would like in your coach. But you may find out that an RV is not to your likeing and you are only out the cost of the rental and not the cost of an RV.

2. There are groups out there such as Thousand Trails and several others, that as members you may stay at one of their camp grounds for little or no cost for certain amounts of time.

So take the next 4 to 5 years and check every thing out. Hope you decide to join this wonderful family of RV'ers/

Herman

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Welcome to the FMCA Forum. Nice to meet you. This lifestyle is fantastic and I welcome you to it!

I have found the monthly and or seasonal rates are far easier to swallow than the nightly rates. For example the seasonal rate I'm paying in Western NY (May 2nd to Oct 20th) was $1900 which works out to just over $10 per night for a 173 night stay (I think I calculated the number of nights correctly). Add to this the cost of electricity (most monthly or higher rentals also have to pay their own electric) and maintenance (mowing and trimming grass). The park we are in charge what we consider a high electric rate of $0.20 per KW. Even adding this cost we are still within the $20 you specify.

Monthly rentals are higher than seasonal, but allow a little more flexibility in moving around. I found with my coach, it is more expensive moving around than staying for a while in one place. Plus this gives us much more opportunities in seeing the sites where we are staying.

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We almost always stay for 3 months or more. My wife is a traveling nurse & she uses the motor home as her home away from home with 3 month contracts at hospitals all over the country. We have found that on average we pay $350 month through out the year. This includes going to Fl for the winters & somewhere in the southern eastern states to central states in the spring/summer/fall.

About 1/2 of where we have stayed in the past 4+ years include the electric in the price of rent. The average cost of electric in the places we have stayed is $0.12kwh. We can be very conservative when paying for electricity. Not to say we are wasteful when not. But our electric bills have ranged from $30 to $100 a month depending on climate. It seems ac uses the most. However in your case you could easily travel to the northern states in the summer & southern states in the winter when the ac or heater usage will be less than in other parts of the country.

Sorry to get away from the op's introduction.To the OP welcome to the forum I am new here also, but not new to RVing.

Great looking family & cool cats.

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