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Old 02-05-2015, 02:00 PM   #1
stillcampin
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New from SW Washington

Why my handle? Read on for the complete story.

I've been enjoying the outdoor experience all my life, starting with tent trips with my parents. As an adult I've tent camped, had an old Apache tent trailer (one of the earlier tent pop ups that really was a tent on a trailer), moved up to an old travel trailer for a while before returning to the tent for years. We did our last sleeping on the ground in 1997, not because I bought some cots (which I did) but because I began thinking about a camping trip to Alaska. There was no way I was going to take that trip while tenting. So, in 1998, I purchased the largest Coleman pop up that I could tow with my Subaru station wagon - an 8' box with 4' beds on each end. My wife, myself & my new Fox Terrier pup spent 6 weeks on that trip to Alaska in the summer of 1999. My wife was envious that I took my pup along so in 2000 I got a larger Coleman pop up and Ranger pickup to tow it (12' box with 6' beds at each end) so her larger dog could go camping with us, too.

The 4 of us enjoyed trips in that rig all over the west for several years until in 2005 we ran across a deal we couldn't refuse on a lightly used (< 5,000 miles) Winnebago Class C 30' motor home. We continued traveling around the western states every summer in that “Minnie Winnie” during vacations from work.

In 2008, after almost 37 years programming computers for the state I announced my plans to retire in early 2009. Thinking of the possibility of full-timing (after all I had been reading many full-time blogs for some time) we began spending more and more time in the motor home, including complete weekends even though it was parked just 20 steps from our front door. Anticipating extended trips, though not snow birding, we invited family to move into the house to take care of things while we were gone. In late November, 2008, they arrived - lock, stock & barrel from Indiana. We were now officially “full timers”. After being snowed into the driveway for a while we finally moved the motor home to a nearby “RV resort” where we had been members for years. I completed my career while commuting from there.

Over the next several years we took extended trips in the motor home, continuing to stay in the west (including Canada), while wintering at our membership resort, near our family, including the surprise grandson that was born about 10 months after the parents moved into our house.

Then, in December, 2012, I was diagnosed with a serious health situation that the doctors did not expect me to survive. This put me in the hospital a few times and caused us to cancel a planned 4 week trip to Hawaii. I lost about 50# and got so weak I had problems getting around. I didn't end up in a wheel chair but it came close. Our family wondered why we continued living in the motor home during this time but the close quarters with a wall or counter always in reach actually helped. One of my medications resulted in severe diarrhea and sometimes nausea and being just a few steps from the toilet certainly didn't hurt.

I couldn't drive the motor home or do the necessary utility hookups. Our membership campground required moving to another campground every 2-3 weeks, depending on the season, and only allowed the extended stays (without moving) during the winter. So we had a friend drive it to a neighbor that was located just a mile or so from our property and had 4 RV sites installed. It wasn't free but quite cheap considering that everything, including electricity, was included.

BUT, I was too stubborn to kick the bucket. Due to the great care I got in the hospital and from my doctors (and not discounting prayer) I started recovering my strength. In late summer & early fall, 2013, I surprised my doctors by walking into their respective offices totally unaided – no walker, no cane, no trekking poles (that was my progression) and I was back to driving my car. I got well enough that we took our delayed trip to Hawaii in April, 2014, staying 6 weeks instead of the originally planned 4 weeks. I got around better on the hiking trails than my wife did (but that is another story).

While in Hawaii I was negotiating with a dealer and financing sources for a new RV. In June, 2014, we took delivery of a new Montana 3900FB fifth wheel and set it up in the little RV park where we had been staying with the motor home. I copied what I had done with the motor home and went even further, making it ready for boon docking (no built-in generator but I've got a little Honda good for charging via stand-alone charger): 600 amps in AGM batteries, 480 watts of solar, 3000 watt Xantrex inverter, TriMetric battery monitor, and automatic generator start capability; and I then went further and added stuff to support shore power: SurgeGuard, Xantrex power management to drop circuits when connected to only 30 amps, and I even have my own power metering device so I know the cumulative amount of power used by day, week, month. The inverter is my battery charger and is automatic for actual inverting so it is “on” all the time but it only runs when power goes out or to support a generator (if I had one). It supports the complete kitchen and entertainment center outlets plus an additional external outlet I had installed.

Unfortunately, I don't have a truck for towing it so we are “stuck” here at the neighbor's. We don't mind. It is a nice place (windy, no shade but a great view out the back window and a very large site). In fact, we've told the landlord that they will have to kick us off to get rid of us.

Are we still full timing? It depends on your interpretation. BUT, don't despair. Two days after the fifth wheel was delivered we also took delivery of a new-to-us Chalet A-frame hard side pop up. These things are as easy as they say to set up and ours even has an electric lift for the roof panels. We use this rig for camping and trips.
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Old 02-05-2015, 02:59 PM   #2
halfwright
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Welcome to the forum!!

Interesting story and well told.

I hope you have as much fun as we do.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:46 PM   #3
Slink
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Welcome to the forum ditto on the story good luck with the new unit glad u r still kicking, been there myself
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:01 PM   #4
DQDick
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Welcome to the forum! Sounds like you've had enough excitement for a while. Hope things go smoothly for you from here on out.
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Old 02-05-2015, 04:08 PM   #5
DarMar
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Welcome to the MOC family.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:20 PM   #6
Bill-N-Donna
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That’s quite a story! Glad everything is working out for the good and welcome to the forum! This is a great place to share and find information about your Montana. Part of the enjoyment of owning a Montana is this forum.
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Old 02-06-2015, 01:35 AM   #7
1retired06
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Welcome to the forum
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Old 02-06-2015, 04:52 AM   #8
commish
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Welcome to the MOC forum. Hope you find the truck you are looking for.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:12 AM   #9
bigskyjimmy
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Welcome to the Forum from a fellow Wa state resident over here not to far away in Ocean Shores,We have passed through Oakville many times when we lived in Tumwater going to the Ocean Via Hwy 12, We also had friends that were staying at the Outback RV Park in Rochester for a while so we know the area well
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Old 02-06-2015, 11:30 AM   #10
Tjscience
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Welcome to the forum. I hope things go well for you from here on...3900FB is a great rig. My wife and I have been enjoying ours since April. We set up a small group on Facebook for other Montana 3900FB Owners. So far, there are 16 of us in the group. Join in if you are interested. Enjoy your Monty!
Tom
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Old 02-07-2015, 12:44 PM   #11
PackerFan
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Welcome to the MOC.
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Old 02-07-2015, 05:02 PM   #12
HOOK
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Welcome!
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Old 02-08-2015, 04:59 PM   #13
stillcampin
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Thanks, everybody, for the welcome. As my story says, I'm new to the Montana but not to RVing so maybe I can answer some questions as well as ask them.

As far as a truck goes, my wife has no interest in moving the Monty since we got the Chalet specifically for camping but I figure I'd like to be prepared so I definitely see a capable truck in my future. Probably in a year or so to be able to build up a decent down payment. At 10% down I don't like the amount of the payment so another year of savings should bring it down to a decent amount.
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Old 02-10-2015, 12:26 PM   #14
Jay Bird
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Welcome to the forum
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Old 02-11-2015, 01:08 PM   #15
stillcampin
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Tjscience

We set up a small group on Facebook for other Montana 3900FB Owners. So far, there are 16 of us in the group. Join in if you are interested.
Tom
Just made my request.
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Old 02-12-2015, 02:58 AM   #16
grampachet
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Welcome to the forum. I am very familiar with the Oakville area. I went to Grand Mound grade school first 6 years then graduated from Rochester in 1963, and my family has drilled many water wells all over the SW Washington area since 1929. When the connector Highway was built from I5 West towards Rochester it went through our 20 acre farm.
We also spent many hours playing on Grand Mound digging tunnels there, the good Lord kept us safe.
skipped school and took a friend's boat up the Chehalis River from Jamestown road to Centralia another time.
Many memories of the area. Swimming in the Chehalis River behing the old "Girls school"
Enough of the memories, welcome aboard we wish you many good days of good health in your Montana,
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:48 AM   #17
Fulltimers almost
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I am new to this site too. Your story has some similarities to mine. We joined this site to share and collaborate with people like you. Stay in tune with regular updates. How do you like your new Montana?
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:01 AM   #18
stillcampin
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We love our Monty.

If interested, check out the Facebook Montana 3900FB group mentioned earlier. I've posted a lot of pics, etc regarding the additions & modifications I've done.
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