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  #1  
Old 03-29-2014, 07:19 AM
Tampajohn
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Default Retirement, being the first of the Baby Boomers in a TM

First point is why a TM is so important to us. We have kids in Ohio, Michigan, and Los Angeles and we live in Florida. I do not know how to visit them economically other than camping and since they are so spread out, the TM provides the necessary room along with decent gas mileage. Summer, we will make a big trip north from Florida living 2 months in our TM. Winter we make at least a 3 month trip from Tampa to Los Angeles. Last year, we pulled our TM between 15-20K miles. Doing that in a Class A would be much more expensive with the price of gas. Also looking at the depreciation on a Class A alone would eat our pocket book up. We bought an older TM and the cost of running it is really low except for when you bend an axle a few weeks ago. $2K expense.

Also, I might add a idea for anyone thinking of retirement. I own 3 houses in Sun City Center. They were purchased when I was a real estate agent in 2000. I took a hit on them like everyone else, but now they have come back to what I paid for them. Through this decline, the rental market picked up and I was able to make them cover their expenses through this cycle. We live in one of them and rent it out to snowbirds in Jan, Feb. March + a few weeks. When we rent it out to snowbirds, it pays for all the expenses of owing the house for the year, taxes, insurance, payments (even though it is paid for), HOA, Home Warranty, Repairs, everything and also puts a few bucks in our pocket. We are then able to move back in for 9 months of the year and do our travel in our TM as much as we want. This is a 55+ community where the demand for rentals in the snowbird market is really big. We have a rental agent that takes cares of the property including renting it and the cost is 1/2 month of the rent for the year. Rent is $1700 per month on short term rental furnished.

With the TM and the gas mileage we get with it and by renting our house out while we are gone, we virtually travel for free. We have a golf cart storage next to the house and we put all our personal junk in it while we are gone in the winter.

I have looked at everything I can find, and have not found anything that gives us the living space with the MPG of the TM. With driving as many miles as we do pulling the TM and being able to unhook it, it has really worked out well for our needs.

Hope this is appropriate for the TM site, but it might give some ideas to those thinking of retirement and wanting to keep the expenses down. I am certain, this can be done in any part of the country as long as there is a big snowbird market. Instead of the southeast, wife wants to be in the southwest with the kids are for the winter. We also have friends in Sun City Center that we do not want to leave. Also in the summer, we can take off north for a few months to get away from the heat and spend time with the northern kids. We do not want to move in with the kids when we visit them and this gives our own privacy as well as a vehicle to run around in. We have used Thousand Trails extensively in this endeavor.

I also might note, it has taken some adjustment to live in a tight space for the months we have, but we made it work. Again, we will do the same thing next year with the trips already planned. We will continue this as long as our health holds up.

We also found out that with the TM, some parks were concern when we said pop up, but once they found out there was no canvas and self-contained, no problem. We finally got away for the term pop up and just said trailer.

I will also be writing a thread of summary of our 5 month out trip and maybe tricks that might help out others.

Hope this helps someone. John

Last edited by Tampajohn; 03-29-2014 at 07:44 AM.
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  #2  
Old 03-29-2014, 08:39 AM
scrubjaysnest scrubjaysnest is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Big Bend area, Florida
Posts: 2,123
Default our 3rd year

This is our third year to travel from 6 to 8 months in the TM. Don't have all that John has to keep up with; but we save money vs staying at home. Camping is usually relatively cheap where we stay. The CG we move to tomorrow will be $3 a night, the one after that $1.50 a night and the three after that are freebies. It will cost us half a tank of gas to move from one CG to the next.
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Axis 24.1 E 450 chassis, 6 spd tranny. GVWR 14500# GVCWR 22000 # GW(scales) 12400 #


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“They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2014, 09:18 AM
woodlandcottage woodlandcottage is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 31
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I wish my parents had bought a TM + a smaller house or park model trailer instead of an older class A, full-time use, for retirement. They live on the East Coast, parked in the drive of their old place, which my sister now owns, and we're in CO. My other siblings live in their state, one down south and one midwest. They only take their class A "home" to NC and back because of the expense of moving it.

So even though they specifically bought it and downsized in order to visit all their kids in it, they actually can't afford to do so. We pay for them to fly out instead. We are lucky to have been able to afford a roomy enough house to have spare rooms for them(and their small pup) to stay with us for a month at a time.

And now after almost 3 years of this shuffle, they've about had enough and would prefer everyone visited them. :/ Luckily, our family of five has a TM now. We can take the 3500 mile round trip on less than $1000, far less than plane tickets and car rental for our family of five, even if we are on the road 8 days and need to use up two weeks of vacation time. We took this trip without a TM last year and it cost almost $2K. Hotels are not cheap! And staying in someone elses' guest room(all five of us)and depending on them for every meal and being completely on their schedule isn't nearly as nice as having our own space, small though it may be.
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  #4  
Old 03-29-2014, 01:47 PM
TravelBaum TravelBaum is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Seymour, Tennessee
Posts: 4
Default Right behind you!

Right behind you! Retired from the Air Force after 22 years and realized I couldn’t live on the AF retirement alone. Got a job in higher education and met my DW. Have applied to retire from current job on June 30 and also applied for Social Security to start in July.

Plan A -My DW and I love to travel and have been on mission trips to other countries. We were planning on doing more world travels after retirement until my last trip to Zimbabwe. My body let me know that it can’t handle those long flights any more.

Plan B – Since my DW hasn’t seen much of the US we planned to take trips to different locations around the US. Then my DW heard about Bed Bugs! We haven’t stayed in a motel since.

Plan C – Take our bed with us so we didn’t have to worry about those little bugs.

We’re cheap and a Class A with its initial and continued cost of operation were out of the question. A TT was the best solution but we didn’t want to purchase a TT and the tow vehicle. We have a Chevy Astro with a towing package. A co-working had recently purchased a TrailManor and told me about them. I did my research and we decided that a 3124KB would best suit our needs. Found a 2007 3124KB and drove 800 miles, one way, to pick it up.

We have taken a few trips with it, including a week with 2 children and 2 grandchildren to Disney World, and have enjoyed the TrailManor a lot. We ended up purchasing a new tow vehicle since the Astro has over 160K on it and has been in the shop 4 times in the last year. Already have plans for the Black Hills and Yellowstone this summer. Looking forward to enjoying it to the max and hoping we don’t have to go to Plan D.
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2014, 02:43 PM
Tampajohn
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Scrubjay, I thought I was crazy spending as much time as we do in a TM. You should keep us updated on your travels. Travelbaum, one of the couples in our church has put together some of the campers with the intention of using campgrounds as mission sites. I do not see us participating since our goal is to visit the kids and we do not get to go with them much, but pretty neat. Mentioning a TV, we have a Durango that is NTU waiting for us when we get home. I do say that a TV takes a beating pulling a trailer around the country. We purchased an extended service contract on the new vehicle,but before doing that, read the fine print. I just hope it helps in keeping the cost down since we have replaced two transmissions in the Isuzu in 150,000 miles. A few weeks back, when they replaced the axle, we were stuck in a motel room. At $70 per night, the DW kissed the TM as soon as she got back in it. Here we know who slept the night prior. It might be dirt, but it is our dirt. LOL

My biggest concern is will we have enough money for the rest of our lives. I have seen some pitiful sights and since we do not know the future, we live very conservatively or just plain cheap as some of my friends say. I was raised very conservatively and it is something that is my nature. We get what we want or need and think about what ever we buy. I guess that is the way a farm boy from southern Ohio mind works. Anyway thanks for all the feedback. 80 miles from home.
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2014, 09:45 PM
tarudy
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Default air bnb

Hi TampaJohn, I have enjoyed reading your posts. I think about retirement every day, I am pushing 60 and still working FT. I have been thinking about offering my home on the air bnb site especially now that I have my very first TM. I could stay in it on the far side of my acre lot while guests are using the house. Do you know what air bnb is?

Oh, BTW, I am sitting in the TM now in the John Prince CG in Lake Wales. Today I learned that you don't leave the TM for the entire day with the windows open with out checking the weather first. A front came through and soaked my bedding. The CG laundry facility only takes tokens which you can only buy when the office is open (until 9pm) I called them at 9:10pm and they said, sorry lady but you are too late, even though they were still in there. I got lucky and another camper sold me 2 extra tokens. Live and learn.

Oh, another problem that I have to sold by tomorrow. I arrived just after dark and discovered that my trailer lights weren't working. They worked when I bought it. Should I look for a blown fuse somewhere?

Thanks,
Trudy
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  #7  
Old 03-29-2014, 09:47 PM
tarudy
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I meant solve by tomorrow... typo
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  #8  
Old 03-30-2014, 07:10 AM
scrubjaysnest scrubjaysnest is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Big Bend area, Florida
Posts: 2,123
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarudy View Post
.......................snip

Oh, another problem that I have to sold by tomorrow. I arrived just after dark and discovered that my trailer lights weren't working. They worked when I bought it. Should I look for a blown fuse somewhere?

Thanks,
Trudy
Not sure what you mean by trailer lights. Clearance? Brake?, Turn signals?, or interior lights?

Assuming its the clearance/brake/turn signals check the bargmen (7 pin) connector...sometimes they appear to be plugged in and aren't. After tah it gets more complicated. If interior lights there are separate fuses for each shell in the distribution panel.

TV fuses will also have the tailight's on it out.
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Axis 24.1 E 450 chassis, 6 spd tranny. GVWR 14500# GVCWR 22000 # GW(scales) 12400 #


mods: 2- 100 watt solar panels



“They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin
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  #9  
Old 03-30-2014, 08:07 AM
tarudy
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Hi ScrubJaysNest,

My initial trouble shooting attempt as to while my towing lights on the stern of the TM weren't working at all lead me to a blown fuse in my TV, so I replaced that. Now I have most lights working again except that the right turn signal on the TM is acting up. When I put the right turn signal on, then all the lights on the stern of the TM blink erratically. Left turn is just fine. I removed the right tail lights, there are 2, and looked for any signs of damaged wires, or being filled up with water, no issues seen. I inspected all the wires as far as I could trace them and make sure the 7 pin plug looked ok and was well seated. Couldn't find any obvious issues. I have to drive back to Tampa later today or tomorrow am, sort of hate to do that without properly functioning lights. At least this time I will make sure I travel during the day. When I arrived here to West Palm Beach I found that I had been driving for an hour in the dark on busy I-95 with no stern lights at all on the TM, yikes....I suppose I will have to take the TV and TM to a shop when I get back. Phoooey, hate to spend money...

Trudy
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  #10  
Old 03-30-2014, 02:29 PM
moaboy
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As I plan to spend more time on the road next year, I'd appreciate any suggestions about the various campground clubs forum members have experience using. Clubs that I have come across that may or may not be worth considering: Adventure Outdoor Resorts, Camp Club USA, Coast to Coast, Enjoy America, Happy Camper, Passport America, Recreation USA, Resorts of Distinction, Thousand Trail Resorts, and Western Horizon Resorts.
Some of these clubs cover a limited geography so depending on where one plans to travel may rule some out. Others are more national in scope. My understanding is new memberships can be expensive, but one can buy an existing membership from someone who wants to sell theirs, which apparently happens quite frequently for considerably less money. Lastly, some require "home" sites that may or may not be conveniently located and all have rules that dictate length of stays and scheduling restrictions etc. I wonder if just winging it doesn't make more sense?
Look forward to any feedback.
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