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Author Topic: Need a little advice.  (Read 4516 times)

Torchbearer

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Need a little advice.
« on: August 10, 2009, 03:39:44 PM »
I am 39 years old with a wife and 3 kids 11, 9, and 8.  My wife and I have been working our tail off for the past 15 years to provide for our family.  On a recent trip to New York I got to talking to a couple that had sold everything and started workcamping full time.  They would home school their kids and move around every 6 months or so.  I started thinking about that for our family.  I would love the kids to go to school and I don't think it would be out of the question if I could stay in a location during the school year.  The biggest thing is that I would be leaving everything behind that I have worked for, but I look at it that I would get to spend so much time with the family and the kids would get to see the country.  Do you guys think this is nuts?  I have over $200,000 equity in my house that could be saved, and any money that I earned would go for our essentials.  You guys that do this let me know the draw backs and if you think I am having a melt down even thinking about this.

Rick and Cheryl

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Re: Need a little advice.
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2009, 05:28:34 PM »
I would have to commend you for having 200k in home equity and for all the hard work it takes to get it.  I also dont want to discourage your "workcamping" idea, but at the same time would give you advice that might work out better for your family.  Stay doing what you have been for another ten years. Your youngest should be out of HS, and you still would be only 49, and likely your equity will be higher, and likely you can save back cash as well.  

Disturbing your children by moving every 6 months, may increase the "tension" that usually comes as children reach their teenage years.  You would be doing them and yourself, a favor to allow them to have more stability during their teen years.

Last, workcamping isnt always quite a profitable as you might expect, and moving every 6 months, may not allow you to increase your total assets to the degree you expect.

Once you are empty nesters,,then I'd say go for it,,

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Need a little advice.
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 08:49:23 PM »
Workamping does not provide much income (we did it for several years) and the primary remuneration is the campsite that is usually included in the arrangement. That cuts your costs way down, but doesn't buy a lot of groceries for 4 kids.

You could probably find an area where you could stay for the whole school year, or even the whole year in a few cases. And you would want to come back year after year, so the kids could have some continuity of friendships and activities at school.

You should also consider the impact of having a family of five living in less than 450 sq ft of space. I suspect the living & dining room/ in your house is that large!

I think Rick & Cheryl have the best idea. You can go fulltime in the RV in about 10 years with a solid nest egg. In the meantime, buy a modest priced used trailer or motorhome and take the kids out on weekends and vacations.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

melvonnar

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Re: Need a little advice.
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2009, 10:47:01 AM »
Workamping does not provide much income (we did it for several years) and the primary remuneration is the campsite that is usually included in the arrangement. That cuts your costs way down, but doesn't buy a lot of groceries for 4 kids.

You could probably find an area where you could stay for the whole school year, or even the whole year in a few cases. And you would want to come back year after year, so the kids could have some continuity of friendships and activities at school.

You should also consider the impact of having a family of five living in less than 450 sq ft of space. I suspect the living & dining room/ in your house is that large!

I think Rick & Cheryl have the best idea. You can go fulltime in the RV in about 10 years with a solid nest egg. In the meantime, buy a modest priced used trailer or motorhome and take the kids out on weekends and vacations.
The above is the best advice:
After 6 months living in a trailer or motorhome and your family will be at each others throats;  What do you do if it rains for a week and can't go outside?

[edit]Moderator fixed missing end-quote tag[/edit]
« Last Edit: November 28, 2009, 12:10:16 PM by RV Roamer »

Dar

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Re: Need a little advice.
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2009, 03:04:22 PM »
Torchbearer,

Any possability that you could try it for a summer as an experiment and see how the life style fits your family before you give up everything? I know once our son reached his teenage years it became harder to get out there. Now that we are empty nesters, we get out much more often and hope to be full timers one day.

There are many families doing it and websites specific to the life style such as http://www.familiesontheroad.com/about.html. There's nothing saying that you can't go back either. I have heard many family stories that once their children got older they would set roots back up in a stick home.

Good luck in whatever you decide and have fun!
Dar & Bill
2012 Winnebago Journey 40U
2013 Chevy Avalanche Z71 4X4
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john56camper

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Re: Need a little advice.
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2010, 06:53:19 AM »
Torchbearer,  I am a manager and full time RVer at a RV park in southern AL.  We have a family here with two sons, 15 and 8 and they have been here for a couple of years.  The kids go to local schools and catch the bus on the road at the entrance of the park.  Both Mom and Dad work out in town.  From time to time they help out here at the park and we compensate them by knocking off their electric.  Since there are only four of them in a 35ft fifth wheel, although crowded, they are comfortable.  They have a great couple of kids and seem to be very happy.  They are like family to us. 
     Although the previous posts are good and for the most part right, don't be discouraged my them if this is something you really want to do.  It can be done, and done successfully.  Also with the way the economy is and congress spending like there is no tomorrow, who can say whether in ten years your dream will still be there.  Best of luck.

donn

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Re: Need a little advice.
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2010, 07:38:31 AM »
Workcamping is totally doable for anybody that is willing to get rid of all the "stuff" and live in a 400 sq ft space.  It is not for everyone, but it sure is a way to get to know your family a lot better.
Remember, when you die, then only thing that will remain will be memories.

Flyboy

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Re: Need a little advice.
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2010, 12:00:37 PM »
If you have “been working your tail off” I suspect that you are having a melt down.
I am a believer in the crawl, walk, run theory when it comes to doing something totally new. Have you thought about living in the RV while you keep the same job until you find out if the family can handle it? You don’t have to sell the house, but if you take that step it isn’t traumatic if one understands that you can buy another if living full time, as opposed to work camping full time, in an RV isn’t for you. If it works, then you can go to the walk and run stage. If it doesn’t, then it at least isn’t still an item on the bucket list.

Prior to an early retirement, I got an offer on my house that I couldn’t refuse. I took it, places the things we wanted to keep in storage, and lived for 18 months in the RV while continuing to go to the job. When retirement came, we hit the road for two years. We are back to a house, which by the way is paid for from the equity in the one we sold, and now travel on and off for about half of the year. In essence we went from crawl, to walk, to run and now back to crawl.

I have a buddy that has worked for the last 3 years from his RV for the same national campground management company. He works 5-6 months and then is “off” the rest of the year.  I have another who, along with his wife, teaches specialized continuing education courses at a junior college. They have a lot of time off so whenever the kids are out of school during holidays and vacation they hit the road. They live in a small house and keep expenses to a minimum.

With respect to the other opinions, I think ten years is a very long time. Gas might be $10/gal by then and no one will be able to RV. Having been subjected to the unfortunate experience, I would suggest that as the kids get into the teenage years they would be less flexible with the gypsy life. Now might be the best time to experiment.

donn

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Re: Need a little advice.
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2010, 12:09:57 PM »
The bible teaches that you cannot store up riches here on earth.  Rather you store up your riches in heaven.  The time with your family is your inheritance, not "stuff".  No matter what, this sort of thing is a family decision, and you need to all be on the same page before jumping ship.  One of our favorite camping sites had a camp host couple a few years ago that were younger and had small kids.  They lived all summer here and during the winter (school year) traveled to Texas as camp hosts there.  Kids went to school in Texas.  It can be done, and when you are old and your children are grown the memories will be better than working too many hours a week and having a heart attack at 50. And not knowing your children.

Ned

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Re: Need a little advice.
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2010, 12:18:25 PM »
You probably didn't notice but the original message was posted 7 months ago and the poster hasn't been back here in 6 months.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

 

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