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Author Topic: Should we or shouldn't we!  (Read 477 times)


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Should we or shouldn't we!
« on: October 01, 2017, 09:03:52 PM »
Assuming I get a good motorhome at a fair price, is purchasing one a good idea with being retired and living on social security? Our house is paid off and we don't have many bills and would like to see more of the country. We would probably take 5 or 6 trips a year with duration depending on how far we travel. Opinions please?
1998 Southwind Storm Chevy powered
Honda Helix Scooter in tow.


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Re: Should we or shouldn't we!
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 11:20:55 PM »
We need to be sitting at the campfire to talk about that one. I look at it as is a person "sustainable". There are a ton of variables. One person gets a used RV and puts a set of tires on it and a water pump and uses it for a good amount of time, the next guy gets one and finds that the engine or trans are trashed when he's in the middle of nowhere.  No matter what you need the resources if you do blow an engine etc.  It also makes a huge difference if you can fix most stuff yourself. 
Only you know how sustainable you are but just like the rest of us you also have the problem of not knowing when you are going to kick the bucket. One way or the other I'd try real hard to get out there and do it. I tell people over and over, watch out for water damage. You can replace a water heater or frig but you are in deep trouble when it feels like your foot could go through the floor. Safe traveling to you


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Re: Should we or shouldn't we!
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2017, 07:12:59 AM »
Thanks, We have savings for emergencies and I'm very handy. I've also learned a lot about what to look out for and believe I have a fairly good checklist before buying.

I learned about water damage with an RV I bought 40 years ago. I didn't know much about RV's then and bought one with what turned out to be severe water damage to the roof and inside ceilings from a air conditioner. I got it fixed but it cost me a fortune. Lesson learned.

You're definitely right about never knowing how much time we have left. That's my main reason I want to do this now while we can still enjoy it.
1998 Southwind Storm Chevy powered
Honda Helix Scooter in tow.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Should we or shouldn't we!
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 07:25:22 AM »
I don't know about it being a "good idea" from a strictly financial viewpoint, but it's a great idea for a way to spend your golden years. RVing is a wonderful way to see the country and make new friends. However, whether you and your wife are suited to it is something only you can determine. If both you and your spouse are enthusiastic about travel, it should be great fun.

There are plenty of excellent used RVs out there, but it takes some cautious shopping cause there are more than a few clunkers as well.  Being handy is a huge plus, because an RV is a house and needs the same sort of routine care and repair, but is exacerbated by the fact that it bounces along the highways on the back of a truck!

You mentioned living an SS.  There is a notion that RVing is a cheap way to travel, but that's true only when viewed strictly relative to hotel & restaurant expenses. The gap between hotel and RV park costs is getting narrower all the time, and once you include RV ownership costs, it becomes somewhat expensive. You should assume that money spent on the RV is essentially gone forever - it is a steadily depreciating asset.  Review your budget carefully!
« Last Edit: October 02, 2017, 07:29:55 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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Re: Should we or shouldn't we!
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2017, 08:16:04 PM »
You specifically mentioned a motorhome.  When getting into RVing you might want to start with a small travel trailer (assuming you have a tow vehicle that can pull it).  Advantages include least expensive way to get into RVing, fits in every campground and when you get to a campground your tow vehicle becomes something you can run errands or see attractions in.  You can always move up from there (although I think we will always tow a travel trailer). However if you go the motorhome route you will have an motorized vehicle that will cost more, be more maintenance, more tires to replace, mandatory insurance, etc.  Consider looking online at RV trader when both new and used RVs are advertised.   
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 08:19:18 PM by biggersm »
Mike and Marcia
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Re: Should we or shouldn't we!
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2017, 07:17:24 AM »
Buy what you can afford.  We love our travel trailer because as we head into retirement next spring, we feel comfortable knowing that our camper is paid for.   It brings more enjoyment if you are not struggling with making payments each month  Just my opinion.  We are really looking forward to retirement and seeing more of this beautiful country!  I tell my husband often, we can sleep when we die!  Enjoy the time we have here.  Good luck.
GMC Sierra 2012
2016 Jayco Jay Flight SLX 264BHW Travel Trailer
sweet home Alabama


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Re: Should we or shouldn't we!
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2017, 06:56:08 PM »
The cost of RVing is contingent on your priorities.  If you want to live in the lap of luxury, stay at upscale RV parks and resorts, and eat out on a regular basis, the cost will be pretty high.  If you want to visit New York, Miami, Los Angeles and other cities with major attractions, an RV park with close proximity will be pretty expensive.   On the other hand, if you want to see the country and are happy making most of your meals, the cost will be significantly less.   Choosing an RV is no different.  If you want a newer high end diesel, you're going to spend a lot more than you will on an older entry level gasser.  You have more risk with the older RV, but you also have more money to have them fixed.  Whether they're new or used, they're going to require maintenance.  Tires, batteries, engine and generator service, roof sealing etc., etc., etc.  The list goes on and on.  Depending on your time frame, do as much research as possible.  Ask a ton of questions.  Great resource here at the RV Forum.  There's never been a question that wasn't answered.  And in my opinion, with enough responses, you'll get enough information to make an informed decision.  Good luck. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


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Re: Should we or shouldn't we!
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2017, 07:31:58 PM »
if you both are getting the max SS and don't have any other bills you can probably do it. As someone said the gap between hotel and RV parks is getting more narrow all the time. When we travel with the RV and we will be on the road several days we do not stay at RV parks. We stop as rest stops, truck stops, Walmart, etc. When we go camping locally (less than a days drive) we usually stay in State or National Parks. It has costs us between $20 and $45 a night at those parks. We stayed at Ft Wilderness at Disney World. That was $75 a day. It all depends on how you plan it out and what you want you to do. We have two house payments and a truck payment, so it sounds like you are way ahead of us. I was looking at our bank statement today and told my wife I thought we had too much money left after I paid the bills. About twenty minutes later I was looking at my email and noticed several Amazon Prime orders that were less than twenty minutes old. Oh well, you can't take it with you.


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Re: Should we or shouldn't we!
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 06:30:40 AM »
We are in the same financial position as you. We've been RVing for 7 years and love it. We usually go on one extended trip of 3, 4 months out west from Florida and a few lesser 2, 3 week trips 1,000 miles (round trip) or less from home. It's always a great experience, but it is also always good to come home.

I maintain the rig myself. The Internet offers all kind of information about how to do that. Doing annual maintenance saves about  $1200 to $1500 annually. For outside work I use a local garage and stay away from dealerships. My rig is going on 7 years old so it was time to replace all the batteries. The tires will be exchanged in January. Look at a motor home as a house on wheels. There is always something that needs attention.

RVing is an expensive hobby, but it's worth every penny.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 06:45:58 AM by thomasamski »
2011 Fleetwood Southwind pulling a 2010 Chevrolet HHR

Charlie 5320

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Re: Should we or shouldn't we!
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 09:12:29 AM »
Remember you DON'T have to spend $50 or $60 thousand dollars to get a decent MH. I bought a 03 Dolphin in March of this year and have about $26,000 in it, and I'd take it anywhere. It had 34,000 miles on it when purchased and has about 38,000 on it now. It is a well built coach, but needed a lot of cleaning, mostly the exterior, but she looks real good now. I like to tinker anyways, so maintenance on it is no big deal to me. First thing I did was to replace the tires, batteries, and replace the caulking on some of the roof where it didn't look too good. It's ready for another oil and filter change, already.  I've upgraded both TVs and a few other things to my liking. I wouldn't be afraid to jump in it and head across this great country tomorrow, and I will in a couple months. Don't matter if you get one 15 years or 4 years old, they all require some maintenance to keep them up. Older quality built coachs are out there every where, you just have to find the one that puts a smile on your face. 
2003 National Dolphin 5320
496  8.1  Workhorse

98 Damon Daybreak 3130
GM Vortech 454  4L80E


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