I am learning new things every day, and yesterday was no exception. I had made plans to look at 5th wheels and had printouts of some I thought I'd like to see. The local post office is closed on Saturday but they had told me they would call early Sat. morning if my package came in, and that I could come pick it up. Sure enough, I got the RV Consumers info and loaded the CD with ratings for the various models. I was completely shocked when each and every model I though was pretty good, and that I could afford in a used model, received a rating for either snowbirding (30-90F temp range) or vacationing. None were rated as suitable for fulltiming, and the few that are so rated are way above my budget.
I then started to read the book that came with the package which goes into detail what to look for and covers every single facet of the RV. I realized then that the models I was so hyped about appealed to me from the standpoint of the floorplan and how I could live with it, but virtually nothing about construction, systems, or the exterior. So while I couldn't have written a check yesterday, I might have made arrangements to hold a rig that would be totally wrong for what I actually need.
I still want to look at some of the units in my stack of printouts. By using the techniques listed in the book for a critical examination of all parts of the RV I may find that one of them is well made and well maintained, and that I would feel comfortable with as a fulltimer. I also feel very strongly that although I undoubtedly will make many mistakes in the future, there is a "Force" out there guiding me and if I pay heed, I won't make any HUGE mistakes. It's a good feeling. And may the Force be with all of you!