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Author Topic: Where do I start?  (Read 1028 times)

FL RV

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Where do I start?
« on: July 14, 2017, 01:49:50 PM »
A little background about myself. I am single w/ a dog. I was in a bad accident last year and wasn't able to work. Because of that, I lost my apartment. (Need a job to rent) So I traveled a bit for about 6 months. I'm currently living in Florida and renting a RV from my buddy. It's parked on his property; I'm not driving it anywhere. Because of my accident, I am on SSDI. My plan over the next 6-12 months is to trade in my car for a truck and RV. As far as income goes, I have started a freelance writing business. I just started but hopefully in the next 6 months I will have a reliable income stream.

I figured a Class A RV would be too expensive; especially if something happens to the engine. That's why I am leaning towards getting a truck and RV; both used. I'm looking for a RV w/ a bedroom, kitchen, living room, bathroom/shower and a separate area I can call my office. Other than that, I am pretty open to anything.

I have a few starter questions. How expensive is this going to be? I'm not looking for bells and whistles. I won't be staying at Good Sam places because I think they are overrated and too expensive. I rented a cabin at a RV park in Colorado last summer and I remember seeing rates for $300/mo to park the RV. Is that reasonable? It was a nice park and I'd definitely stay there again.

Can you buy an used RV for under $20K? Are the loans considered 5 year loans like cars? Or do they let you finance it over 10 years or something along those lines? What about insurance? How long do RV's typically last? Ideally, I'd like to buy something that I know would last 10 years. I enjoy travelling and I had a blast last summer out west. I've been living in a RV since January so I know it's not "something I need to try out" to see if I'll enjoy the experience.

Any feedback is appreciated! I know I'll have a lot more questions along the way so thanks for any input!

Isaac-1

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2017, 02:27:04 PM »
I can't speak much about towables, but given a budget of $20,000 I would consider a motorhome, here is why.  Most towables will need either a recent model 1/2 ton truck with a HD towing package or a older 3/4 ton truck.  (The most recent F150's with HD option have towing capacities nearly as high as my old 2000 model superduty F250), while there are half ton towable trailers out there, they do tend to be "lite" models which I feel are too flimsy for sustained travel.  This puts all recent model truck options in the $25,000+ ballpark (looking at local used ads for V8 1/2 ton with HD towing or 3/4 ton trucks less than 5 years old), then of course you have to buy a travel trailer.  Compare this to the motorhome market where for $20,000 you can find a nice older gasoline powered coach in this budget range, with some shopping you can find a high quality, well maintained and updated 12-15 year old class a motorhome in the sub 32 foot length range with under 75,000 miles on it, that originally sold in the $100,000+ price range.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Rene T

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2017, 02:37:54 PM »
I rented a cabin at a RV park in Colorado last summer and I remember seeing rates for $300/mo to park the RV. Is that reasonable? It was a nice park and I'd definitely stay there again.

I have never seen a campground with sites for $10.00 a night. Not that they're not out there but I'm sure if there are, I wouldn't want to stay in them. Maybe there are places like that out in the desert.  IMHO, You can probably plan to pay in the $20.00 to $25.00 a day range.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

FL RV

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2017, 02:46:54 PM »
I can't speak much about towables, but given a budget of $20,000 I would consider a motorhome, here is why.  Most towables will need either a recent model 1/2 ton truck with a HD towing package or a older 3/4 ton truck.  (The most recent F150's with HD option have towing capacities nearly as high as my old 2000 model superduty F250), while there are half ton towable trailers out there, they do tend to be "lite" models which I feel are too flimsy for sustained travel.  This puts all recent model truck options in the $25,000+ ballpark (looking at local used ads for V8 1/2 ton with HD towing or 3/4 ton trucks less than 5 years old), then of course you have to buy a travel trailer.  Compare this to the motorhome market where for $20,000 you can find a nice older gasoline powered coach in this budget range, with some shopping you can find a high quality, well maintained and updated 12-15 year old class a motorhome in the sub 32 foot length range with under 75,000 miles on it, that originally sold in the $100,000+ price range.

Good information, thanks! A motor home is definitely an option but I was thinking w/ the extra engine along w/ the car, there can be problems.  I didn't realize I could get a good deal on those. I will check it out. Thanks again.

FL RV

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2017, 02:48:53 PM »
I have never seen a campground with sites for $10.00 a night. Not that they're not out there but I'm sure if there are, I wouldn't want to stay in them. Maybe there are places like that out in the desert.  IMHO, You can probably plan to pay in the $20.00 to $25.00 a day range.

The place I was staying was off the beaten path but it was very nice and clean. Had Wi-Fi, cable, showers, bathrooms and laundry all on site. Maybe it was $300 for 2 weeks. I know when I saw the price, I thought it was a good price.

Stephen S.

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2017, 03:28:52 PM »
Places to stay for less are out there. They don't spend on advertisement, so you just have to stumble across them. Or get word through networking. Ask around.

One I know of near me is $20 a night or $100 a week. The kicker is it's an hour from anything you would want to do. It's just west of Atlanta, GA.

Whether you consider a second engine as "another thing that can fail" or "backup for when the other fails" will factor into your choice of trailer or self-propelled RV. Either way, look at this as shopping for a house, not a vehicle. You will be living in it way more than you will be driving it.

Adding sides to an awning, or getting a 12'x12' screened freestanding awning will expand the living space on the cheap.

I wish you best of luck in your search.
Stephen S.
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'99 Winnebago Chalet
2002 VW Beetle
2007 Yamaha TW200
Home town: Mableton, GA

Isaac-1

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2017, 04:14:01 PM »
Good information, thanks! A motor home is definitely an option but I was thinking w/ the extra engine along w/ the car, there can be problems.  I didn't realize I could get a good deal on those. I will check it out. Thanks again.

The kicker on deals on motorhomes of this vintage is few lending institutions will offer vehicle loans on RV's over about 10-12 years of age, as a result there is a  sharp drop in the depreciation curve around this age, as the number of potential buyers drops to those with cash on hand or alternative financing options.    Having said that some people have been able to get loans, mostly through credit unions where they have established relationships.     I am financing my 2002 Safari Trek through a local bank, paid $20,500 for it (well updated with over $10,000 worth of parts added by the previous owner since 2014), financed for 4 years with 10% down, but it is a local bank that I have a substantial relationship with.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

FL RV

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2017, 04:22:43 PM »
The kicker on deals on motorhomes of this vintage is few lending institutions will offer vehicle loans on RV's over about 10-12 years of age, as a result there is a  sharp drop in the depreciation curve around this age, as the number of potential buyers drops to those with cash on hand or alternative financing options.    Having said that some people have been able to get loans, mostly through credit unions where they have established relationships.     I am financing my 2002 Safari Trek through a local bank, paid $20,500 for it (well updated with over $10,000 worth of parts added by the previous owner since 2014), financed for 4 years with 10% down, but it is a local bank that I have a substantial relationship with.

This is why I joined a local credit union about 3 months ago. After having an account for 6 months, you automatically qualify for a credit card through the credit union. I'm hoping after I am with them for a year or so, they will work with me on getting a loan.

FL RV

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2017, 04:24:26 PM »
Places to stay for less are out there. They don't spend on advertisement, so you just have to stumble across them. Or get word through networking. Ask around.

One I know of near me is $20 a night or $100 a week. The kicker is it's an hour from anything you would want to do. It's just west of Atlanta, GA.

Whether you consider a second engine as "another thing that can fail" or "backup for when the other fails" will factor into your choice of trailer or self-propelled RV. Either way, look at this as shopping for a house, not a vehicle. You will be living in it way more than you will be driving it.

Adding sides to an awning, or getting a 12'x12' screened freestanding awning will expand the living space on the cheap.

I wish you best of luck in your search.

Thanks. One thing I am thinking of doing is buying a cheap parcel of land in Colorado or Wyoming to live in the summer. Then during the colder months, go down to Florida.

Oldgator73

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2017, 05:16:34 PM »
I have never seen a campground with sites for $10.00 a night. Not that they're not out there but I'm sure if there are, I wouldn't want to stay in them. Maybe there are places like that out in the desert.  IMHO, You can probably plan to pay in the $20.00 to $25.00 a day range.

My son pays $500 a month, $16.66 per day, but he has metered electric and pays his own WIFI.
2016 Winnebago Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab
Air Force Retired
It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

Rene T

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2017, 05:22:01 PM »
My son pays $500 a month, $16.66 per day, but he has metered electric and pays his own WIFI.

If the CG provided those amentaties, it would be up in the $20.00  +  Range
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Oldgator73

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2017, 05:59:18 PM »
If the CG provided those amentaties, it would be up in the $20.00  +  Range

Yes it would. Somebody mentioned these parks being in the middle nowhere; my son's IS the middle of nowhere.
2016 Winnebago Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab
Air Force Retired
It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

John From Detroit

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2017, 06:48:43 PM »
While I'm not sure of the relative expense between a Small Class A and a small trailer or medium trailer.

I can tell you thiis

When I drive, as I did to the store, 25-30 MPG on my older Car is quite possible..

Computer said the MH did only 10 (Average) and likely less this AM.

Also, when I am going down the road and feel the need for... A rest area... I'm not getting wet.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

Isaac-1

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2017, 07:24:43 PM »
Thanks. One thing I am thinking of doing is buying a cheap parcel of land in Colorado or Wyoming to live in the summer. Then during the colder months, go down to Florida.

If you are considering this route you may want to consider a small parcel of "winter" property in Texas and establish Texas as your domicile state as there are certain benefits like no state income tax.   It seems most snow bird RV owners opt for the extreme southern tip of Texas for wintering, but there are still any number of places along the Texas gulf coast, and inland 75-100 miles that have fairly mild winter conditions 80-90% of the time most years.  I live in western Louisiana near the Texas state line, about a hundred miles inland and in a typical year we rarely have winter temperatures much below freezing, often with the daytime highs in the 60's or 70's, very rarely hitting 80 between Nov - March.  Snow is this stuff that we see a few flakes of some years, and coats the ground once per decade for a few hours.  The all time record low here is 13F, although the coldest I can remember was 18F or 19F about 15 years ago, and lows in the mid 20's happen a night or two every 2 or 3 years.  By contrast if you find a spot within 20-25 miles of the coast temperatures below freezing are rare and almost never last more than a few hours.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

JoelP

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2017, 07:33:44 PM »
Take a look at RVTrader.com and you will get to see what used RVs might fit your budget.  There are filters there that you can set, e.g. max price $15,000.  I think you will have the most luck finding an older Class C to meet a constrained budget.  As an example, I sold my 2009 31' Coachman Santara Class C (with no slideouts) for ~$12,000 and it was in very serviceable condition.


Good luck!

Joel
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 06:45:50 AM by JoelP »
Joel from San Jose

2010 Itasca Suncruiser 37F
8.1L Chevy Workhorse with Banks PowerPack
2016 CMax Energi Hybrid dinghy

FL RV

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2017, 09:17:05 PM »
Take a look at RVTrader.com and you will get to see what used RVs might fit your budget.  There are filters there that you can set, e.g. max price $15,000.  I think you will have the most luck finding an older Class C to meet a constrained budget.  As an example, I sold my 31' Coachman Santara Class C (with no slideouts) for ~$12,000 and it was in very serviceable condition.


Good luck!

Joel

Sweet. Got another one laying around? LOL.

FL RV

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2017, 09:20:33 PM »
If you are considering this route you may want to consider a small parcel of "winter" property in Texas and establish Texas as your domicile state as there are certain benefits like no state income tax.   It seems most snow bird RV owners opt for the extreme southern tip of Texas for wintering, but there are still any number of places along the Texas gulf coast, and inland 75-100 miles that have fairly mild winter conditions 80-90% of the time most years.  I live in western Louisiana near the Texas state line, about a hundred miles inland and in a typical year we rarely have winter temperatures much below freezing, often with the daytime highs in the 60's or 70's, very rarely hitting 80 between Nov - March.  Snow is this stuff that we see a few flakes of some years, and coats the ground once per decade for a few hours.  The all time record low here is 13F, although the coldest I can remember was 18F or 19F about 15 years ago, and lows in the mid 20's happen a night or two every 2 or 3 years.  By contrast if you find a spot within 20-25 miles of the coast temperatures below freezing are rare and almost never last more than a few hours.

Thanks for the reply. I've lived in Florida the past 10 years. My general plan is CO/WY from April til September then go to the North East and see family up there for the holidays and then down to FL til March/April. It's not set in stone of course but that's the general idea for now.

Oldgator73

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2017, 09:38:37 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I've lived in Florida the past 10 years. My general plan is CO/WY from April til September then go to the North East and see family up there for the holidays and then down to FL til March/April. It's not set in stone of course but that's the general idea for now.

I hope you get to do it. Sounds like fun.
2016 Winnebago Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab
Air Force Retired
It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

FL RV

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2017, 10:27:30 PM »
I hope you get to do it. Sounds like fun.

I see the UF Gator! I'm south of Gainesville in a small town called Reddick.

DWJoyce

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2017, 11:19:23 PM »
You can get what you want in a used truck and used Lance ten foot camper. It's small, but you can drive and park it anywhere you're truck will go.

Oldgator73

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #20 on: July 15, 2017, 12:49:29 AM »
I see the UF Gator! I'm south of Gainesville in a small town called Reddick.

We are actually from Daytona Beach. After I retired from the AF I used my GI Bill and completed a bachelors degree at UF.
2016 Winnebago Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab
Air Force Retired
It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2017, 09:56:44 AM »
Phew! Lot's of different opinions here!  I'll probably add to the confusion...

I would choose truck & trailer over a motorhome for this scenario. Keeping the house and the vehicle separate makes good sense to me in this case.

$20,000 doesn't buy a lot of truck and trailer, but there are certainly some out there. Decent pick-up trucks are in high demand and prices stay high, plus you need a hefty size truck for any but the more modest trailers. A half-ton truck is good for maybe an 8000 lb travel trailer (typical weight for around 26 ft). That much trailer is probably adequate for one person, though doesn't give a lot of room for comfort and a convenient size bath.

A $300/month "nice" campground is probably rare, but in regions where year-around parks are common the monthly price is lower than more seasonal climates.  At $300, you would no doubt pay extra for everything, e.g. electric and internet. $400 begins top get more likely, and often nicer places run $600/month and up if they include the price of power and amenities. Last year we paid $860/month for a lovely spot with all amenities in a popular area. So the range is probably something like $400-$950, with wide variation for region/climate, popularity, and amenities provided.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

FL RV

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2017, 12:25:26 PM »
When you finance a loan, how long are the loans? Is it considered a house (for tax purposes) if you live in it?

Isaac-1

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2017, 03:20:41 PM »
I know RV's can be considered a vacation home for tax write off reasons, not sure what the law is on permanent residence.    On average finance terms are more house like, often in the 10-15 year range, however there are those of us that opt for shorter terms, I am paying off my $20,000 loan over 4 years, which put my payments on par with those financing a $100,000+ RV on longer terms.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

FelineSpirits

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2017, 05:21:21 PM »
Instead of a truck, you might consider a used commercial cargo van as a tow vehicle. 

A cargo van will have the same tow capacity as the comparable chassis truck, but cost substantially less money. Browse Craigslist and Cargurus.com.  Lots of them out there in various configurations, including factory tow packages. Getting one that was fleet maintained, so has all the maintenance records, is also a plus.

Likely won't be as comfortable as truck or have quite as many creature comforts, but is probably more practical in the long run for your situation.
Wandering aimlessly through life...

Isaac-1

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #25 on: July 15, 2017, 07:00:36 PM »
There is always the other way around, get a motorhome and tow a cheap car, almost all manual transmissions cars can be towed 4 wheels down with minimal modification.  $15,000 for the motorhome, and $5,000 for a basic car already set up for towing 4 down (there have been 3 cars set up for towing 4 down listed on the IRV2 classifieds in the last 30 days, and another 3-4 under $6,000, as always asking and selling may not be the same thing)

p.s. I just googled monthly rates for a few places near here, SW LA / SE TX

Place 1, highway side commercial rv park has club house,some cabins, plus some outdoor activities in middle of nowhere east Texas $400 30 amp hookup $450 50 amp (daily is $30 per day) no mention of electric billed separate

Place 2 State ran recreation area in central Louisiana on a lake, ran by the Dept of Agriculture $270 per month electric and water, dump stations at exit, kicker is monthly is only in the winter off season Nov - March, 14 day stay limit the rest of the year, but daily rate starts at $22
« Last Edit: July 15, 2017, 07:12:01 PM by Isaac-1 »
2002 Safari Trek 2830

JoelP

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #26 on: July 15, 2017, 09:31:38 PM »
There is always the other way around, get a motorhome and tow a cheap car, almost all manual transmissions cars can be towed 4 wheels down with minimal modification.  $15,000 for the motorhome, and $5,000 for a basic car already set up for towing 4 down (there have been 3 cars set up for towing 4 down listed on the IRV2 classifieds in the last 30 days, and another 3-4 under $6,000, as always asking and selling may not be the same thing)

p.s. I just googled monthly rates for a few places near here, SW LA / SE TX

Place 1, highway side commercial rv park has club house,some cabins, plus some outdoor activities in middle of nowhere east Texas $400 30 amp hookup $450 50 amp (daily is $30 per day) no mention of electric billed separate

Place 2 State ran recreation area in central Louisiana on a lake, ran by the Dept of Agriculture $270 per month electric and water, dump stations at exit, kicker is monthly is only in the winter off season Nov - March, 14 day stay limit the rest of the year, but daily rate starts at $22

Let's not forget the cost of a tow bar, baseplate installation, and auxiliary brake controller, plus possible sales tax.  You better budget that RV to be closer to $10K that $15K, and that doesn't allow for any other repairs.
Joel from San Jose

2010 Itasca Suncruiser 37F
8.1L Chevy Workhorse with Banks PowerPack
2016 CMax Energi Hybrid dinghy

FL RV

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #27 on: July 15, 2017, 11:53:39 PM »
I already have a car. It's a 2008 Nissan Altima w/ 60K miles on it. All things considered, I'd rather keep it since it already has low mileage for its age.  My biggest concern about a motor home is if something happens to the engine that needs a week or 2 to fix.  That's really the only reason I'm considering trading in the car for a truck and buying the separate RV.

Isaac-1

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2017, 01:20:31 AM »
My only reason for suggesting purchasing a car set up for 4 down towing with a motorhome is that the cost to convert an existing car can be $2,500 or more, plus not all cars can be towed 4 down.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

JoelP

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Re: Where do I start?
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2017, 04:36:45 AM »
Is your car a std transmission?  If not you will likely need a tow dolly.

http://webcontent.goodsam.com/DinghyGuide2008.pdf
Joel from San Jose

2010 Itasca Suncruiser 37F
8.1L Chevy Workhorse with Banks PowerPack
2016 CMax Energi Hybrid dinghy

 

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