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Author Topic: Questions for those with full-timing experience  (Read 5177 times)

bhounds

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Questions for those with full-timing experience
« on: February 09, 2014, 03:56:21 PM »
I realize everyone is different as far as rigs, income, expenses, no house, have base-camp .... but I would like to ask some general questions.

1.  What would you feel comfortable with as a minimum amount of savings for emergencies.
2.  How much money per month do you left over at the end of the month (without stating individual income/expense)
3.  Would you ever travel with just enough monthly income to cover monthly expenses?
4.  How often have you had unexpected expenses...per month? Was it more than when you lived in a house?

 8)
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Ned

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2014, 05:41:47 PM »
I would answer all those questions with "the same as when we lived in a house".  The details will vary, but the overall finances are about the same.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2014, 11:10:49 AM »
As Ned says, the rules don't change. Expenses and expenditures follow a similar pattern and are controlled the same way. e.g. you  can elect to live in a mansion or drive a top line motor home, or you can buy a small tract home or a light trailer. The associated costs are dramatically different. You make the decisions  and live with the consequences.

You need to understand your own finances and make the decisions appropriate to your circumstances. None of us can provide answers that are appropriate to your situation without all of the facts ahout your situation?.

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

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rumaco

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 12:11:01 PM »
I realize everyone is different as far as rigs, income, expenses, no house, have base-camp .... but I would like to ask some general questions.

1.  What would you feel comfortable with as a minimum amount of savings for emergencies.
2.  How much money per month do you left over at the end of the month (without stating individual income/expense)
3.  Would you ever travel with just enough monthly income to cover monthly expenses?
4.  How often have you had unexpected expenses...per month? Was it more than when you lived in a house?

 8)

1. NO
2. I have Military retirement/SS/VA disability and no medical expenses.  Enough is left
3. ABSOLUTELY NOT.....breakdown on the road and it becomes a REAL problem
4. Not often and NO

bhounds

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 10:40:19 AM »
rumaco .... thanks for your answers.

1. NO
2. I have Military retirement/SS/VA disability and no medical expenses.  Enough is left
3. ABSOLUTELY NOT.....breakdown on the road and it becomes a REAL problem
4. Not often and NO
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halfwright

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 11:14:24 AM »
I realize everyone is different as far as rigs, income, expenses, no house, have base-camp .... but I would like to ask some general questions.

1.  What would you feel comfortable with as a minimum amount of savings for emergencies.

We have $20000. Would like more, but it is what it is.

2.  How much money per month do you left over at the end of the month (without stating individual income/expense)

None. We try to match outgo with income.


3.  Would you ever travel with just enough monthly income to cover monthly expenses?

No

4.  How often have you had unexpected expenses...per month? Was it more than when you lived in a house?

yes a $4000 transmission.  No,  the trnsmission was less than a new roof.


Jim And Darlene Wright
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and a
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2002 F250 Super duty 7.3 liter

John From Detroit

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 01:15:45 PM »
Let me put it this way.... I agree with Jim, if I break down I'm going to have some tribbles.. Though that said I had two breakdowns last year and covered them both without problems. (The 2nd one... Well $100  bill and I got enough change back to cover lunch).

But, I did a comparison:
House and motor home, both carried a value (new on the MH) roughly equal  Dang near to the dollar in fact.

Taxes on the house over 3,000/year, on the motor home 382/hear
Utilities: ON the house roughly 250/month or more if very hot/cold,  On the motor home: Included in site rental.. With memberships (I have two) Site rental normally runs me 90 dollars summer and 110-130 winter.  Plus Propane (perhaps 10 bucks a month)  That's enough right there to cover the motor home's gasoline appitite.

So Basically it is over 2,000 a year cheaper.. Plus I do not shovel snow, rake leaves, Worry about someone tripping on the front walk or any of that.   If the neighborhood goes to pot (Take that two ways, my next door neigobor in Detroit was in the MJ business) Well.. Click, Wirr, Viroom and I have new neighbors who are NOT in that business.

When my Grandson is born,,,, I will be there.. No planes, trains or buses I will be there.   Parked about six miles from Darling Daughter's residence. (Site arrangement already made).     All in all... I like full timing, financially it was a good decision.

Income consists of my state pension and SS.. and of course I now have to kick back some of that pension, never mind that the retirement aggrement said I did not have to do that (Rozzin, Friggan, Fraggin, Govermanure).
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

bucks2

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2014, 02:43:53 PM »
John, it looks like your memberships are a good deal. No upfront costs and no annual fees? Or did you already roll those into the $90-$130 per month cost?  I'd be interested in memberships like that.

Ken

GR 'Scott' Cundiff

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2014, 03:16:20 PM »
I realize everyone is different as far as rigs, income, expenses, no house, have base-camp .... but I would like to ask some general questions.

1.  What would you feel comfortable with as a minimum amount of savings for emergencies.
2.  How much money per month do you left over at the end of the month (without stating individual income/expense)
3.  Would you ever travel with just enough monthly income to cover monthly expenses?
4.  How often have you had unexpected expenses...per month? Was it more than when you lived in a house?

 8)

Not to avoid your questions, but let me give you a different perspective.  We retired people we have a certain amount of retirement income.  We supplement that with a relatively modest annual withdrawal from our 401b type account.  Obviously, that means we are operating in a completely different manner than you envision.  We aren't setting money aside, instead, we are spending money we set aside for retirement during our 40+ years of employment.  Happily, last year the earnings on that money actually grew beyond our withdrawal.  Our concern isn't how much we are saving, but that we handle our expenditures in such a way that we have sufficient income for life.

We had lots of unexpected expenses last year.  For one thing we ended up buying new tires and batteries for everything we own.   Our repair expenses were greater than my budget.  Still, our overall expenditures were manageable.  At this point, I'd suggest that people figure an unexpected high amount for repairs and then add a bit more to it!  If you come in under count yourself blessed and don't expect it to last!

Good luck with your financial planning.  By the way, if you look at our blog, which is listed in my sig line, and then click on the keyword "budget" you'll be able to see my figures for 2013.
2008 6.4L SRW F-350 Diesel - 2007 Hitchhiker  - http://travel.pastorscott.com

Bob.n.Carolyn

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2014, 09:37:15 PM »
I would answer all those questions with "the same as when we lived in a house".  The details will vary, but the overall finances are about the same.

I agree.  We full-timed for more than two years and ended up spending about the same as if we had stayed home, month over month.  The view out the living room window was better, though.

2006 Beaver Marquis

DearMissMermaid

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2014, 07:17:26 AM »
I realize everyone is different as far as rigs, income, expenses, no house, have base-camp .... but I would like to ask some general questions.

1.  What would you feel comfortable with as a minimum amount of savings for emergencies.
2.  How much money per month do you left over at the end of the month (without stating individual income/expense)
3.  Would you ever travel with just enough monthly income to cover monthly expenses?
4.  How often have you had unexpected expenses...per month? Was it more than when you lived in a house?

My Answers:
(1) The more the merrier... emergencies crop up when you least expect them, that is why they are called emergencies, so you want a chunk of money set aside so that you aren't completely stressed out if and when an emergency pops up. I spent 6 weeks in a park where most of the residents were in broken down RV's with no hope of ever getting on the road again. While a token few were happy enough, others were miserable and grumbling every day about their plight.
(2) There are so many ways to cut costs and squeeze out something leftover every month to keep adding to the savings. If you don't get in the habit of adding to the emergency kitty every month, then if and when you spend it on an emergency, you have no system of replenishing it. No matter what you have set aside, keep adding to it every month. If it's suddenly drained for an emergency, then you have a system in place to keep replenishing it on a monthly basis.
(3) It can be done, but it helps to be super flexible and willing to accept a super simple lifestyle when things go wrong or that your traveling could come to an abrupt halt.
(4) Unexpected costs can crop up at any time, some you can pick and choose, like whether to let the RV fall apart or keep maintaining all systems, some are more critical than others, but once you start letting the repairs pile up for another day, it can become overwhelming to the point you may never catch up again.

Staff edit: Fixed misplaced close quote tag
« Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 07:41:23 AM by Ned »
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John Beard

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2014, 07:40:36 AM »
Very interesting thread. As I read it from those who do full time, the monthly expenses are basically the same for full timing in a motor home as they are for a S&B. As we get ready to spend more time traveling I have started to prepare a traveling budget to compare to our monthly home budget. The monthly fuel costs traveling in a MH are always the highest costs. More than a monthly power bill.

It would be interesting to know what folks pay on average for monthly fuel.
John & Susan
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2005 Jeep Wrangler X, Toad, a little modified
Northwest Las Vegas, NV

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2014, 08:57:16 AM »
We spend more than we would at home. Park rental runs about $1, 000 per month.  Fuel runs $7-800 in the summer months and considerably less in the winter (I figure $0.50 per mile)and maintenance $500 - $1, 000 per year. We could probably do it for half that cost if we had to

Home (storage buildings) expenses while on the road full time run about $3, 000 per year. Other expenses are about the same.

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
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SargeW

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2014, 07:23:09 AM »
Fuel is probably the single biggest monthly expense, but also very controllable.  If you are moving every 2 days and going a significant distance, say 200 to 300 miles, then the fuel bill is huge.  I was over a $1200 last month.  But we are trying to get to Florida to meet up with relatives at Disney World, so we have a dead line to meet. 

After we leave DW we slow down A LOT.  I like staying most places 4 or 5 days minimum, as long as it's not a hole in the wall.  That reduces the fuel bill a whole bunch. 
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John Beard

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2014, 07:36:56 AM »
Fuel is probably the single biggest monthly expense, but also very controllable.  If you are moving every 2 days and going a significant distance, say 200 to 300 miles, then the fuel bill is huge.  I was over a $1200 last month.  But we are trying to get to Florida to meet up with relatives at Disney World, so we have a dead line to meet. 

After we leave DW we slow down A LOT.  I like staying most places 4 or 5 days minimum, as long as it's not a hole in the wall.  That reduces the fuel bill a whole bunch.

That's interesting that you're moving at least once a week or more often on average. In my very limited exposure to the RV lifestyle, I imagined full timers being parked for 14 day or longer intervals. I think I got that number in my head from the NPS.

One of the questions that comes to my mind as I ponder more time on the road is where to go. I have been home bound since I began raising a family that I've misplaced my sense of adventure/direction. I suppose that after you've been on the road for a while choosing someplace to go becomes a fun part of the adventure.



 
John & Susan
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Tourmaster

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2014, 08:56:56 AM »
As Oscar Mike says I have been home bound and working while raising a family and waiting for retirement. Now that retirement is here grandkids are now arriving and leaving home has now taken on a whole new meaning. All those years working and reading forums I have dreamt of all the places in the great US that I want to go and see. I now realize that there is not enough time left in my life time to see and do them all. Our financial outlook is pretty much the same as GR Scott Cundiff. He hit the nail just right. We also had to get new tires and batteries within the last year. My advice is to get out there and do it before it is too late.
John & Carol
2009 Winnebago Tour 40 TD

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #16 on: September 07, 2014, 09:19:37 AM »
We are "long-timers" rather than fulltimers, but the habits are much the same. We used to move around a lot cause there were many new places to see, typically moving on in 3-6 days. Call it wander-lust, if you like.  After 20 years, we've  "been there, done that" a lot, so we don't move around anywhere near as much as before. Advancing age and healthcare needs have also been a factor, though. We tend to settle in and spend 10+ days in a place and get to know the neighborhood better. We also return to a lot of the same places too, cause we like what we have found. And now we routinely [gasp!] spend 2-3 months in one place each travel season, plus several multi-day stops coming and going to the major destination.
Gary
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John Beard

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2014, 10:59:57 AM »
At my current age there is not enough time left in my life, (as Tourmaster said), to see all that I would like to see in the Continental USA. So I am getting a little antsy to get going, not so much with my wife. Outside of two airports I have never been further east than Moab, UT in my adult life, and that was during this year at the Moab Rally. I want to see this great country of ours, 250-300 miles/day.   
John & Susan
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SargeW

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #18 on: September 07, 2014, 05:45:07 PM »
Yep, my opinion is that there is no one right answer.  We have RV'd for 17 years, full timed for 5, and now are part timers for 6-8 months a year.  We have been back and forty across the country about 10 times, to Alaska, and are still not close to being done.  There is a lot we haven't seen yet, and some stuff that we want to go back to. That's why we move every 3-7 days.  We love changing the picture outside the window.   

There is one right answer that I will steal from Nike......  "Just do it".   
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DearMissMermaid

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #19 on: October 03, 2014, 06:00:07 PM »
I don't spend a lot on fuel. I like to stay a week or more in each place, sometimes a whole month. Sometimes I only move 30 miles to the next campground. I don't need to see interstates, I want to see beauty and I often find that in the county, state and national parks I prefer.

I had a friend join me on a trip and they wanted to move every day and after a week, I was just wore out exhausted and the fun had gone by the wayside. We were seeing too much highway and not enough nature, so we changed up the trip to stay longer at each place.

Currently I am traveling alone, my map of my routes (on my blog) and length of overnight stays is shown.
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Living, working. playing  in a Class C, 1994 Tioga Montara, 28'

Pack half the stuff and twice the cash.
http://dearmissmermaid.blogspot.com/

tstumpf

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Re: Questions for those with full-timing experience
« Reply #20 on: October 04, 2014, 09:14:18 AM »
Quote
As I read it from those who do full time, the monthly expenses are basically the same for full timing in a motor home as they are for a S&B.

Except that if you're full-timing, it's like being on vacation all the time. You're able to see more in a year than most will see in their entire lifetime. Think about how much it'd cost to live in a S&B, plus take all the vacations it'd take to see all you're able to see.

Staying in one place for at least a month is the cheapest way to go because you get such a deep discount on the price. You also get to spend more time exploring the area and building friendships with people from all over.

You save cash on the monthly cost of fuel as well if you plan your trips carefully. We rarely travel further than what we can do in a day or two before settling down again for another month.

If you're full-timing and plan to do it for years, there's really no rush.

-Roni

 

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