By Janet Groene, F47166
Nobody knows exactly how many full-time RVers roam the roads of North America. Still, those who read this column can help one another by sharing information about their full-timing views and experiences.
Please return this survey by July 15, 2004, to Janet Groene, c/o Full-Timer’s Primer, Family Motor Coaching, 8291 Clough Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45244. You do not need to include your name unless you want me to reply to a question or comment, or if you wish to be quoted by name in a future column. If you would like me to reply to your question by e-mail, please provide your e-mail address. Results of this survey will be reported in a future column. Thanks for participating!
1. How many people live in your coach? ______ What are their ages? ___________________________________________
2. Your yearly income is approximately $_____, which (circle one):
(a) is a struggle.
(b) just meets our needs.
(c) allows us to splurge now and then.
3. You are (circle one):
(a) living on retirement income.
(b) retired but work as needed.
(c) still working full-time.
4. How long is your motorhome? _____ feet.
This size is (circle one):
(a) too small.
(b) just right.
(c) too large.
5. How many slideouts does your motorhome have? ______
6. Your next motorhome will have (circle one):
(a) more slideouts.
(b) fewer slideouts.
(c) no slideouts.
(d). same number of slideouts.
7. If the answer above is (c), what do you find to be the main drawback of slideouts? ________________________________________________
8. How old is your motorhome? _____________
9. When do you expect to replace your motorhome? (circle one):
(b) Eventually, when needed.
10. How long have you been full-timing?_________
11. Do you have an exit strategy in the event you want or need to quit full-timing?
12. If the answer above is Yes, please describe your exit strategy.
13. Your next coach will be (circle one):
(a) more dependent on 120-volt-AC power from a generator or shore power.
(b) less dependent on 120-volt-AC power from a generator or shore power.
14. In the future will you rely (circle one):
(a) more on energy from solar, propane, and 12-volt-DC equipment
(b) less on energy from solar, propane, and 12-volt-DC equipment
What is your favorite alternative to AC power? (circle one):
(c) 12-volt generating equipment
15. How often do you travel to new campsites? (circle one):
(b) Every few weeks.
(c) Every few months.
16. In your opinion, full-timing has become (circle one):
(a) less popular.
(b) as popular as when we started.
(c) increasingly more popular.
(d) too popular.
17. If your answer above is (d), why do you say so?
18. Describe your most vexing full-timing problems.
19. Galleys need to be smaller to suit today’s cooking and eating styles. We (circle one):
20. Your motorhome is equipped with (circle one):
(a) a conventional oven.
(b) a microwave or microwave-convection oven.
(c) both (a) and (b).
(d) no oven.
21. Your next major purchase for full-timing will be
22. What items do you expect to eliminate from your full-timing equipment list?
23. You recommend that every full-timer buy a ___________________. (This could include anything from a motorhome to a service to a piece of equipment.)
24. Full-timing would be much more affordable and/or pleasant for you if
25. What state do you recommend as a permanent home base?
Briefly list the pros and cons of this state.
News to use
Free coupons for almost everything can be found at Web sites such as www.valupage.com or www.hotcoupons.com. However, because counterfeiting has occurred, some merchants have been forced to refuse coupons obtained over the Internet and printed on a home printer. Professionally printed coupons are always best. For example, some Web sites offer to mail coupons if you supply a mailing address.
Books for travelers
Bridget Kachur’s Every Woman’s Quick & Easy Car Care ($14.95, Storey Books) is a valuable resource for women “” or men “” who are mystified by the mechanical matters of an automobile. It provides easy-to-understand instructions that can help anyone perform minor maintenance on their automobile.
The book begins with the basics of what things are called and how they work, then shows in words and pictures how to tackle a problem. A troubleshooting section offers advice on identifying and dealing with common on-the-road problems. It may not turn you into a mechanic, but this book will help you better understand what mechanics are charging you for or asking you to do.
The Rummager’s Handbook ($12.95, Storey Books) is for anyone who visits garage sales with the hope of finding items that can be turned into cash. It covers how to build a collection; how to clean your treasures without doing more harm than good (this can be tricky); how to store your finds in small spaces; and how to utilize garage sale finds for fun and profit.
Tips for the Savvy Traveler ($12.95, Storey Books), by Deborah Burns, isn’t written specifically for motorhomers, but it does have enough good travel tips to make it worth a quick read before you gift-wrap it for someone who travels by air, ship, or car. One great tip, for example, is to shop at museum gift shops for local arts and crafts. The items are sure to be authentic and of high quality, and the profits help a good cause. Remember that admission to museum gift shops is free, even if the museum itself charges a fee.
If you enjoy listening to audiobooks, go to www.audible.com where more than 18,000 audiobooks, magazines, newspapers, and radio programs are available for download to your computer or media player at low prices.
Love to videotape your trip but don’t have the equipment or skills? John Holod has done it for you in two VHS productions, “Alaska RV Adventure” and “Baja RV Adventure.” The tone is folksy and informal, just as you would tape the scenery yourself, and the focus is on traveling these areas by motorhome. Order from www.rvadventurevideos.com or call (877) 783-7227.