(Wauchula, FL) – The last early morning getting up at 8:00am. We’ve been at Lazy Days RV since Monday getting some warranty work done. They let us stay in our home while parked in the service bay, but we have to be up and out each day by 8am. It’s been nice, but it's time to go. We had breakfast (free) in their cafe, and by the time we were done they'd moved our rig around to the front of the dealer. The temperatures were climbing nicely and we had a great trip back to our site at Little Charlie Creek RV Park in Wauchula. I have to say it was a good experience for us at Lazy Days. Aside from taking longer than we expected, we were treated very well. Everyone there is very friendly. It's the biggest RV dealer in the country. Our service consultant said they have anywhere from 75 to 120 sales people on staff, depending on the season. The whole complex is huge, but we got to know our way around over the three full days we were there. People we talk to who have been there either love the place or hate it. We have nothing but good to say about them.
We got back to the park about 11:00. Jim set up the outside and I did the inside. He was working on the satellite dish while I started the Christmas decorations. I strung lights on some of the windows and decorated our little 2-foot tree. It was all done in an hour.
From the outside (Click on pictures to make larger).
The back window from inside.
These little document clips work very well on the windows. There’s thin edge along the inside of the windows that the clips attach to very easily.
A few of my beaded ornaments
While I was at it, I took pictures of our neighbors coach.
Here’s the clubhouse decorations.
ONE YEAR AGO, we moved permanently into Tumbleweed. It’s been a great journey from selling the condo, moving into an apartment, downsizing along the way, then moving our remaining possessions into the RV. It’s been hard deciding exactly when we classified ourselves as being full timers. We decided it was December 16, 2009, one year ago today. We'd been living in the RV for a few days, but that's the day we turned in our apartment key and had no where else to sleep.
Here’s our thoughts at the one year point in our journey:
We took our time researching and choosing our RV. So many people buy a used RV to see what they like and don't like about the floor plan, then get another unit later. We didn't want to do that. We did enough research that we were confident about what we wanted. We love our layout and wouldn't change a thing.
The options we wouldn't do without:
- Dual pane windows. They add to the insulation r-factor, but their main benefit is noise control. We very rarely hear anything going on outside when the door and windows are closed.
- Fireplace. It really adds to the coziness on cold nights. And it supplements the main furnace.
- Astrofoil insulation. We're not sure how much it adds to the insulation, but every bit helps when it's cold outside.
- Generator. We've used it only once, but it sure was nice to have when we needed it.
Biggest learning curves:
- Climate control, especially last winter in Raleigh when we had two months of snow and freezing temps.
- Holding tank management. The tank gauges are almost useless, so you have to develop "tank sense" to know when they're getting full.
- ALL THE DIFFERENT SYSTEMS!!! Electrical, plumbing, propane, water pump, refrigerator, water heater, generator, etc., etc., etc. Systems that you normally don't worry about in a "stix and brix" home, but you have to really keep an eye on in an RV.
What I don't like:
- Gas stove
- Noisy water pump
- The refrigerator. It's hard to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the fridge. You have to know where to put different foods. When this fridge wears out we're going to replace it with a residential AC-powered unit.
- Stink bugs. Yep, we're still seeing them occasionally.
Types of parks we like and don't like:
- We prefer more open parks, fewer trees, paved roads, hard pads.
- We don't care for "woodsy" parks, such as state parks. We get claustrophobic if we have lots of trees around and on top of us. It feels too much like "camping." :)
- We love to be near water. Our favorite park so far is Pelican's Roost at Mayport Navel Station, near Jacksonville, FL.
We love the social aspects of full timing and meeting many people along the way. We're finding there's very few people that are full time, most can't give up the "stix and brix." For some reason I was surprised at this.
We love the freedom to be where we want, go where we want, and do what we want. And most of all NOT HAVING TO GO TO W***K! We love having a change in scenery, and having our home with us whenever we move. We were in the midwest most of this past summer, but we’ll expand our horizons quite a bit in the years to come. I feel we did very well in getting rid of everything we don’t need on the road. It took us three years to get rid of everything. Amazing what we think we have to have in life but we really don’t.
I’d like to thank all our friends in the RV-Dreams chatroom for their help these past years. It’s wonderful to know there’s so many in the RV family out there that will help. And it's been so great to meet many of you this past year.
Would we do it again? Absolutely! There’s nothing that we would change.
The cold temperatures are gone for now. It's back to the 60's and 70's for the next week at least. We're back to our little piece of paradise the way it’s suppose to be in Florida.