My husband wants to get a self-contained RV to travel around the country when he retires a year from now. What are some of the things we should watch out for, how large a unit should we consider, what quilting things should I take along, etc., etc, etc, We would keep our house and just travel in the winter months. Would a self contained be better or maybe a pull behind? All comments would be welcomed. I am not sure this is a good idea, but better now while we are younger seniors. Should I start learning how to hand piece and quilt?
I would not want to be without a vehicle, so a pull behind would be a must. Motor homes do need to be serviced and they do break down, even new ones :D
Some areas do not have rental car agencies and the nearest can be over a 100 miles away. So if I chose this route? I would be towing a vehicle behind it :D:D:D
You can take a machine and fabric, maybe cutting up kits in advance? Handquilt finished tops? Finding a place big enough to sandwich a big quilt could be a challenge, although some campgrounds may have a community room you could use :D:D:D
I bought a portable sewing table ( not big but it was sturdy enough) and tried to do most of my cutting at home.. Altho I did some on e the road. I had a foldable cutting board that I laid out on the bed when I needed to cut ( rotory cutters I used the dining table/mat. We had a 45 ft with 2 slides.... gave me alot more room. ( they come with 4 slides now, even 2 bedroom models are available). We always towed a vehicle with us. I've made everything from purses, wedding dresses, bridemaid dresses, quilts, civil war reenactment hoop dresses to crib sheets while traveling.
I bought platic drawer systems to go underneath in the storage bays for my fabric/supples. much easier than unloading totes and searching for the right one... each draw had it's labels for supples ( I did this for Motor home supplies, oil, tools, etc too)I added a velcro strap to the drawers to help hold them closed. If bad weather was pending, I could bring a select cabinet of drawers in, add the wheels and I could sew for days with out concern for weather.. then stored the wheeled plastic cabinet under the dining room table at night.....
U just need to be creative and a bit organized.... but it is VERY doable... I loved every minute of it.... the quilt s shops we found along the way.... sigh.....
We've been RVing for years. We started with a camper on a truck, then a couple of trailers and then motorhomes, first class C (cab over) and then class A, the big ones. We now have a 40 ft motorhome with 3 slides, and we tow a Toyota Highlander behind it. Love the motorhome best because I can get my hubby drinks and snacks. I can also use the restroom or sleep if I want.
We recently retired, but haven't taken any long trips as yet, but plan to. I always take knitting or applique or other hand work to do while we are driving. I plan to take my machine on longer trips (even though my hubby thinks I'm nuts!) . I think precutting projects would be a good idea, but I would still take my cutter, mat, and rulers. The table in our RV is not big enough to pin so I would only do piecing.
We've been full-time RVers for 6 years, and part-time 6 years before that. We have a 5th wheel trailer and use a heavy duty diesel truck to pull it. We prefer to have only one vehicle with a motor (instead of a Motorhome and a towed vehicle)
I have a sewing machine (and a serger) with us. And I stash rulers, cuting board, and a "little" fabric under the bed.
Having said all this, if you've never RVed before, I strongly urge you to get an inexpensive bumper pull travel trailer to use the first year. Make sure you both enjoy the lifestyle before putting a lot of money into a "fancy" rig. Go somewhere for a month. Try it out, make sure you both really enjoy it. That way, if you find you love it, you can "trade up". If you don't like it, you can still use the trailer for short trips and vacations.
Most of all, enjoy your retirement. We feel like we're living a dream!
Definitely good advice to try out RVing first-maybe rent a couple different ones to see if you like one more than another.
I saw where one couple bought a trailer that had a space in the back meant for "toys"...bikes, dune cycles, etc. She set up her quilting studio in there. It was brilliant!!
Some of us can only dream...
We have a bus RV, and I'd give my eye teeth to be able to travel in it as you all are discussing.
Right now I live for my weekend trips :)
We've had 3 motorhomes over the past 15 years (assorted other campers before that). Right before the first motorhome, we had a trailer and needed a heavy duty truck to pull it. That left us having to use the truck for driving around when we were parked in an area for a while. We like having a smaller car to tow behind our motorhome, much more economical for driving around. Our motorhome is 36' and has slides in the living room and bedroom. Since we live in this all winter, the slides make it very liveable. If we were to get another motorhome, I would want one with 2 slides in the living area, as well as one in the bedroom.
For quilting, I keep my sewing machine in its case under the dining table and an assortment of sewing supplies in one of the large drawers beneath a bench seat at the dining table. I also have room for a large plastic drawer in the bedroom for fabric storage. I like using the 2 gallon zip-loc bags for making project "kits", and try to include anything I would need for each project (fabric, thread, any fusible or other notions and pattern.) This does take a bit of pre-planning, but its worth it to have everything you might need to use with you. I try to have some applique or other hand work to do as well as machine work. I have a folding sewing table (with an adjustable platform so my machine sits level with the table surface) that I can set up and use when I have a day when I can keep sewing. Don't forget a small ironing board and a travel iron works well. Keeping your cutting mat and quilting stencils under the mattress keeps them protected and handy. Most beds have space under the bed platform for storing larger projects. (Again, I like to keep these items in larger zip-top bags to keep them clean.)
If you spend any length of time in one area during your travels, many RV parks have craft/sewing/quilting groups, just make sure your DH has something to keep him occupied too. Living in a confined space can get old quickly at times, guess we're doing OK since we're gone from Nov. to April every winter!! Enjoy the RV lifestyle!!
We have a tagalong (35') with one long glide out that we full-timed in for 3 yrs. I sewed. After DH retired again, we reverse snowbirded for 6 months each year for 5 yrs. I sewed. We go visiting periodically now and taking the trailer of course and I sew. I bring my FW, fabric, lots of stash etc. and store it under bed. Oval floor quilting frame is under the couch. I sew on the dining table and use either friends, family or campground floors to baste them. I don't quilt on my FW, I used to tie them in RV. Now I wait till I get home to finish them but I get there with plenty of WIPs unless I hand quilt one.
You might look into getting Good Sam's Road Assistance Ins. It's worth it's weight in gold.
A word tho about visiting your kids....kids want to take you out to eat and then expect dear old Dad to haul out his plastic....it will blow your monthly food budget in one night. LOL
With a tagalong you can park it in a campground and get your vehicle fixed instead of having to go to a motel and restaurant if your Motor Home has to get towed in.
It's a wonderful life....We would have been on the road now if I hadn't broken my back in Feb. but I'm ready to go now. Jacksonville is having their quiltshow in Sept and I'm going to be there.