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Author Topic: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase  (Read 547 times)

kg4rpc

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Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« on: November 09, 2017, 11:09:25 PM »
I realize this is a somewhat subjective question but what is a realistic budget amount for a first time purchase of a Class A RV for fulltiming? What can I expect to spend on purchasing a decent used Class A for a starter rig for fulltiming? We plan on trying out fulltiming for a year then re-evaluating to see if we still want to fulltime before making a nicer purchase. Since I won't be retired yet we probably wont do a lot of traveling and will be mostly stationary just to try out how we like RV living so therefore tip top mechanical shape is not a high priority for this first year trial mainly just to test the waters for RV style living. My concern with fulltiming before full retirement is the inability to move about to stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Since I am still working we will be mostly stationary. My goal is to try it for a year and see if it's doable in something inexpensive. If it's suitable for us we would then upgrade to something nicer I could pay off before retirement. Thanks in advance for any and all input.

Isaac-1

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2017, 01:48:21 AM »
Everyone has different standards, what they consider acceptable size, features, age, etc., but here is my take, On a budget of $20,000 - $25,000 with a bit of shopping you can buy a 12-15 year old higher end 32-35 ft long Gasoline powered class A coach that is in good to very good condition, with few issues that need addressing from a private seller.  This may take some shopping, and assumes you will negotiate the price down a bit from a higher asking price.  Having said that, finding a coach with no issues at all is hard to do so you should expect to spend 25-35% of the purchase price on updates, repairs, etc. the first year.  Each coach will be different, but chances are good that there are features that may be important to you, that were not important to the previous owner, there may be gaps in maintenance that occurred no matter how picky the previous owner was about maintenance, as an example, when I bought my current coach last year the previous owner never drove it at night so a number of the marker lights did not function, though otherwise he seemed to do a good job of keeping up with maintenance and did many upgrades.

Just be wary of the $10,000 money pits that are out there, not to say that there are not also $30,000 money pits.  Sure there may be some $10,000 super bargains out there, but they are few and far between, 95 out of 100 $10,000 coaches you may look at will be money pits.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2017, 03:42:57 AM »
Everyone has different standards, what they consider acceptable size, features, age, etc., but here is my take, On a budget of $20,000 - $25,000 with a bit of shopping you can buy a 12-15 year old higher end 32-35 ft long Gasoline powered class A coach that is in good to very good condition, with few issues that need addressing from a private seller.  This may take some shopping, and assumes you will negotiate the price down a bit from a higher asking price.  Having said that, finding a coach with no issues at all is hard to do so you should expect to spend 25-35% of the purchase price on updates, repairs, etc. the first year.  Each coach will be different, but chances are good that there are features that may be important to you, that were not important to the previous owner, there may be gaps in maintenance that occurred no matter how picky the previous owner was about maintenance, as an example, when I bought my current coach last year the previous owner never drove it at night so a number of the marker lights did not function, though otherwise he seemed to do a good job of keeping up with maintenance and did many upgrades.

Just be wary of the $10,000 money pits that are out there, not to say that there are not also $30,000 money pits.  Sure there may be some $10,000 super bargains out there, but they are few and far between, 95 out of 100 $10,000 coaches you may look at will be money pits.
Isaac gives good advice. The only thing I disagree with is I think it is 100 out of 100 under $10k are money pits. Here is an example of what can be found for around $20k:

https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used-rvs-for-sale/class-a/2004-gulf-stream-ultra-supreme_rv-36180
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2017, 08:37:46 AM »
Well for a first time coach, and one you plan on full timing in, should be at least 34 to 36 ft long with a couple slides. You can find a nice coach like this in the 25K to 35K price range. Just remember they all may need a few thing updated or even replaced in this price range. Most will at least need new tires, because most coachs that are for sale have been sitting for some time being unused, that's why they are for sale. Yea you will find a few that people use for sale, but they are wanting something newer or larger.
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sadixon49

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2017, 09:05:16 AM »
For a stationary coach to try out full timing, I would suggest a 5th wheel trailer. You can even have it moved to your campground of choice, and won't need a truck to pull it.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2017, 11:11:25 AM »
I think you can find one of those nice $25k units if you shop around enough, but if your notion of  buying an RV is the head down to the local dealer lot, you are more likely in the $45-$50k range for a gas chassis motorhome in the 33-37 ft range. You really need to get out and look at several and get a feel for the size and amenities you will find acceptable and the price range for them.

Like Steve, I am a bit skeptical about the "mostly stationary" aspect. A motorhome costs more up front, requires vehicle as well as house maintenance, and also requires vehicle insurance, even though "mostly stationary". If you were will to be fully stationary, you could save a lot of money now and swap later when you can travel more.
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kg4rpc

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2017, 12:05:42 PM »
Great input from everyone, I love this forum thanks for all the help. So what would be a reasonable budget for a fifth wheel to remain stationary for the year vs a Class A? Could I theoretically get more house for the money due to not having to pay for a "motor" home or would the price be about the same just not having the upkeep of the engine and mechanical parts?

SeilerBird

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2017, 12:20:14 PM »
I just bought a 20 year old 5er for $4200 and I have been living in it full time for the last six months and plan on living in it forever. But I don't recommend a beginner to go that cheap. Really nice 5ers started around $10k. Here is a link to one that is 10 years old and $11k. Looks pretty clean to me.

https://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used-rvs-for-sale/fifth-wheel/2007-forest-river-sierra_rv-37148
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kg4rpc

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2017, 12:38:31 PM »
Thanks Seiler, and the links are really helpful as examples, I really appreciate everyone's time!

SeilerBird

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2017, 01:06:39 PM »
Thanks Seiler, and the links are really helpful as examples, I really appreciate everyone's time!
You are welcome. Just remember these are strictly examples. I have no dog in this fight and no financial connections to these examples. It took me four months of shopping to find my current 5er so be prepared to put some time in.
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kg4rpc

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2017, 01:09:23 PM »
Yes Sir, understood but it is a big help to have a visual example, thanks for your time

Isaac-1

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2017, 03:54:25 PM »
I am really surprised you could find a 5'er like that in Texas at the moment with all the people living in  RV's in their driveways after Harvey.   I drove through a small one stop light town in east Texas a couple of weeks ago where every business in town was closed due to flooding (grocery store, 2 dollar stores, and a couple of fast food places).  I also drove by at least one small cookie cutter subdivision with 20-30 houses in it, every house had a pile of debris stacked at the curb, and most had an RV of some type in the driveway.  Who knows perhaps the one listed away was just listed by someone that now has their house habitable again after 2 1/2 months.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2017, 05:04:27 PM »
I am really surprised you could find a 5'er like that in Texas at the moment with all the people living in  RV's in their driveways after Harvey.   I drove through a small one stop light town in east Texas a couple of weeks ago where every business in town was closed due to flooding (grocery store, 2 dollar stores, and a couple of fast food places).  I also drove by at least one small cookie cutter subdivision with 20-30 houses in it, every house had a pile of debris stacked at the curb, and most had an RV of some type in the driveway.  Who knows perhaps the one listed away was just listed by someone that now has their house habitable again after 2 1/2 months.
I thought you would be correct but I searched Craigslist in Houston and found a bunch of trailers and fivers reasonably priced such as this one:

https://houston.craigslist.org/rvs/d/2003-cardinal-5th-wheel/6381917321.html
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Wi1dBill

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2017, 06:25:43 PM »
There is another expense in purchasing an RV whether a MH or 5 wheel or TT or Park model.  Unless you moving out of your Sticks and Bricks where you can move all the plates, flatware, pot, pans, towels, coffee maker, etc to the unit.  All this stuff has to be acquired unless you buy a rig with it all included.  Moving this stuff back and forth is a pain and things are forgotten.

We just outfitted a unit, spent over $3,150.00.  There is more stuff that I/we had several of that went into the rig that isn't in that figure.     Second hand stores like Goodwill, auctions, and garage sales will get you by a lot cheaper if your have the time to look and shop and you can live with "someone else stuff".

Not trying to throw cold water on anybody's plans.  It just that you'll get tried of having to go shopping a WAL MART for something "we forgot".  Also, if you're going to spend 3-4 5-6 months in an RV or full timer why would you want cheap crap that you wouldn't want in your home?


Wi1dBi11



kg4rpc

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Re: Budget amount for first time fulltime RV Purchase
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2017, 07:21:17 PM »
This is true Wildbill, thanks for your input, we are renters not homeowners and will take what we need to the RV. Renting gives me more incentive to do it full time at least we will own something!

 

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