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Author Topic: No RV experinece--Going from ZERO to Fulltime  (Read 1801 times)


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No RV experinece--Going from ZERO to Fulltime
« on: August 04, 2017, 06:24:18 PM »
Hello, everyone!

My wife and I are mid-30s/Early-40s, and we love to travel. We roadtrip via car and motorcycle as often as possible. Our retirement dream has always been to full-time RV.

I have had a job opportunity come up, which will involve 20-30 weeks of travel annually throughout CONUS. We are seriously considering saying why not, and fulltime RVing if this gig comes to fruition (90% liklihood)

Im thinking a 75-100K older DP, such as a Foretravel, Prevost, etc. Using an 8 mile avg MPG at a 3.50/gal average gives me a .44 cent per mile fuel cost. Even  at 2K/ mo with RV payment and fuel, Im at less than 1/3rd take home pay, and about what im spending now on rent/utilities/etc.

The unknown variable, is how many miles between places...and cost per night for parks. Average stay would be minimally a week, likely 2.

I think a 10-15 year old "lightly used" upper end DP would handle the miles and full-time living across multiple seasonal environments better than maybe a "lower tiered" model,  no? Here is one we like: http://motorhomesoftexas.com/coachrv/foretravel/2001--u270--40--C2035

Am I on the right track, or all messed up? The numbers seem to work...and we are already frugal as it is with 4 months living expenses at the current burn rate saved.

What am I missing? Because I have got to be missing something.

Thanks for your input.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 06:28:06 PM by CaseyB »


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Re: No RV experinece--Going from ZERO to Fulltime
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2017, 07:41:50 PM »
Welcome to the forum. Yes the Fortravel is a nice coach. However for a "first" coach and going full time I would absolutely want slideouts. This one has already had a major upgrade to a residential refrigerator.
I would look at ppl.com as they have a large number of coaches come through in your price range.
Let me know if you have any questions.
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-


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Re: No RV experinece--Going from ZERO to Fulltime
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2017, 08:18:50 PM »
I went from zero to fulltime on a ridiculously efficient budget. I've been blogging about it for 8 years.

If I were in your shoes, I would pay cash for a used one, with a view towards upgrading later. That way you can give it a test run and see what you like and don't like about the RV lifestyle.

Once you are under big payments, it makes it very hard to switch around. Or even worse, if you hate he lifestyle, getting out from under the payments can be darn near impossible.

Living, working. playing  in a 1992 Holiday Rambler Imperial 36' 5th Estate, formerly 8 years 24/7 in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.

Arch Hoagland

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Re: No RV experinece--Going from ZERO to Fulltime
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 01:17:49 AM »
Are you going to pull a car? 

You better have a cash reserve because diesels can get mighty expensive to repair and there are more systems on them to go bad.

2004 Monaco La Palma 36 DBD
W22, 8.1 gas,  Allison 1000 Transmission
7.1 MPG over 90,000 miles

2000 Lexus RX300, 4020lb
U.S. Gear Braking System

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: No RV experinece--Going from ZERO to Fulltime
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2017, 07:48:18 AM »
I think you are on the right track, though I don't think you need go all the way to the Prevost/Foretravel class of rig. There are several +near luxury" brands that will provide home-like amenities, high quality interiors and a reliable chassis. Examples include American Coach, high end Monaco and Newmar models, and Country Coach. There are plenty of 12-15 year olds around in your price range and some of them will be in very nice condition.

You will want to tow a car and the set-up for that is expensive (figure $3500-$4000) even if you already have a towable car. Vehicle and collision Insurance on the coach is fairly hefty, and figure another $1000 or so for annual maintenance & repairs.

RV park costs vary widely by region, season and personal tastes, but the kind of places you want to stay in a nice coach probably run $38-$60 per night. Many areas have discounts for longer term stays, but a week is not exactly long term.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Lou Schneider

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Re: No RV experinece--Going from ZERO to Fulltime
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2017, 11:49:43 AM »
If you're full timing, the IRS will classify you as a nomadic worker and you won't be able to deduct your living expenses,  you can only deduct them if you're away from a fixed home base.  Ask if your potential employer will reimburse your expenses instead.

I agree with the others about considering your first RV as a learner ... it's likely you'll want to make a change after you've lived in an RV for a while. Paying cash for your first RV is best, but if you have to take out a loan, don't spend more than you can pay off in the first year or so, or you'll be underwater on the loan payoff vs. the value of the RV when you try to buy another one.

A diesel pusher is nice, but I'd consider a nice, less expensive gas motorhome as your first RV, then pay it down and upgrade after you get some experience living in it. 

Or consider a nice, high quality 5th wheel trailer, where the pickup truck also provides your local transportation eliminating the expense of a tow car.  High quality trailers have several advantages over motorhomes for full time living.  They can have more home-like interiors with higher ceilings and multiple slideouts and can perform better in climate extremes because they don't have that huge expanse of glass up front, nor envelope penetrations for the steering column, controls and engine access.  Insurance costs less, a trailer is usually included in the tow vehicle's liability coverage, meaning you only need whatever extra insurance you choose in case the trailer gets damaged. And you can replace either the truck or trailer without losing your investment in the other half, with a motorhome it's all or nothing.

Weekly rates at RV parks are usually about 6x the daily rate, you get the 7th night free.  Paying for a month at a time is where you can really reduce the cost per night, sometimes it's cheaper to pay for a full month up front than paying for 2-3 weeks at the weekly rate.  There's nothing that says you have to stay the full month but you won't get a refund for unused nights.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 01:00:38 PM by Lou Schneider »