Hello fellow full-timers!
Greetings from freezing New Mexico. I started out this fall looking for a warm climate to winter. 1300 miles later here I am freezing my bippy off in the desert. Must have taken a wrong turn some where. LOL!
This has been my first year of living in my RV full-time, and boondocking 99% of the time. Now folks I am retired and living my dream. This summer I traveled some 12000 miles and lived on just $728 a month, that's for food, maintenance, and gas. I have a bet going that I could do it, so far I am winning. However, it should be noted that I have a 20' Trans-Van, so while gas mileage ain't the best, 10 miles/gal, it's a matter of calculating how far I can go on my allotted gas budget each month. There are three key elements to my success: 1. Wal-Marts - I really got to send them an e-mail thanking them for their generous policy of allowing RVers stay in their parking lot. 2. A good GPS to help calculate distances and to find services along the way. 3. Sure helps to have some good basic mechanical skills to make minor repairs. For major repairs play the "old-man" card.
Man are those bus RV's purdy and nice, WOW! But my smaller RV allows me an infinite number of options, ease of handling in tight spots, park anywhere there's a conventional parking place, and if you love getting in the back country and cozy up to a river or stream, I tell ya folks smaller is better.
I love rolling into a town and park on main street and go to the libraries, museums, or just stroll along 'til I find something interesting. Then return to my home and have lunch while watching all the people go by.
So, for those who are just getting the hang of full-time RVing consider these things I have said, find a nice comfortable rig that's easy to handle and cheap to run, and the money you save you can enjoy the places you visit much better. Put your money in the things that are going to help you the most, wireless technology (phones, internet) and a good GPS.
Now while I was up in Oregon I stopped in a RV center there just to see what might be new and helpful. I spent a $100 on a fantastic gizzmo to dump the holding tank. What was the most unpleasant job about RVing just became a whole lot more pleasant. "SewerSoulution Model V" you can Google it. This is amazing! Now I am not selling these, so webmaster don't get your shirt in a knot <G>, but you connect the gizzmo to the end of your sewer pipe, then connect the water hose from the tap to the device (it has a neat quick-connect) then turn on the water. Now the hose that goes to the ground sewer is just one and a quarter inch in diameter. On the end of that is an adjustable fitting to accommodate any dump-station sewer pipe, no more weighting down with rocks. So when you got it all hooked up, turn the water on and open yer sewer valve and relax. Inside the gizzmo is a powerful water jet that breaks up all the crap and TP and flushes it through the small hose into the sewer. This creates a siphon effect that suctions out your holding tank. Wait! The best part, when the tank has emptied turn the lever and it directs the powerful jet up the sewer pipe on your holding tank and flushes it. In the end your holding tank is clean, no spills, no leaks, no messes, no smells, very simple to operate. One last thing that is so cool about this. The discharge hose you can add to it's length up to 50 feet! That's right, and it will go uphill, no need for you RV to be above the dump station. When I stay at my friends houses, I just open their sewer clean-out and drop my little hose in there.
Now here's my idea of a perfect RV station. Imagine, you pull in to a station and there is the gas pump, water, propane, and dump-station all on one island. You hand the attendant your card and drive away. (well of coarse don't forget your card, duh) I just don't understand why they make it so difficult for RVers. Don't we spend enough money? Hello! And my complaint against the RV parks for today, you are over priced and discriminate against older RV's, that's very poor business.
Happy trails everyone!