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Author Topic: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice  (Read 4103 times)

bghouse

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Well, as it tends to happen - life has thrown me another curve ball.  If you had told me my years between 45 and 50 would be this tumultuous, I would have never believed it.   

I was given a surprise last Friday with a $300 a month rent increase!!  To say I cant afford this would be an understatement.  So, I can no longer sit in limbo and just coast along, I must make a change.

I was downsized from my corporate job a few years ago, and I've been working to build my own business.  I need to be able to focus on that without the drama and worrying about making ends meet all the time.  This requires me staying in place for a while, and requires good internet access (I'm a web developer).

At this point, I'm pretty sold on purchasing a lightweight travel trailer and putting it in an RV park that accepts fulltime and provides for internet at the site.  I'm looking at a lightweight TT so that when I am ready to travel, I can purchase a smaller 1/2 ton truck.  For now though, I will have the dealer deliver and setup.

I realize that this will offend some people's sensibilities, and they'll wonder why I would purchase an RV and not immediately take off on the road.  I get it, but I have my reasons, and no - there are no mobile homes available around me that I could afford or that are in places I would feel secure enough to live in alone.

What I need is recommendations on the TT manufacturers that are constructed well enough to be full time without moving and can handle the winters in Washington State or the Oregon Coast (I haven't decided which will be my home yet, checking out RV parks). 

I have so far looked at the Highland RV models at a dealer near me.  I believe Jayco models would also be okay??

I'm going to be on the Oregon coast for 2 weeks and was planning to go to GuarantyRV.  They seem to carry Heartland, Coachman, Northwood and Cruiser RV as their main TTs.  I'm starting to research them online, but if anyone has some advice on their suitability it would be very helpful.

Thanks in advance!
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

kdbgoat

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2016, 11:27:54 AM »
Northwoods would be the best of what you have listed. If you decide to go that route, you may also consider skirting around the trailer. That is probably one of the best ways to help you out during freezing weather.
Also-Welcome to the site! There's lots of great folks here to help. It would be advised to look through the "library" and "resources" tabs above. There is a lot of good information there.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
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2016 Leprechaun 319DS

bghouse

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2016, 11:40:40 AM »
Thanks kdbgoat.  I've been reading and watching videos on the Northwoods - wow!

Off to the library here for more reading :-)
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

UTTransplant

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2016, 12:18:27 PM »
Also Outdoors RV. some general family as Northwoods, but different floor plans.
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halfwright

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2016, 01:41:44 PM »
[
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John From Detroit

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2016, 02:49:45 PM »
Why purchase a TT or 5ER today and plan on using it for retirement in 5-10 years?
Well.. Unlike a class A TT's don't mind sitting for long periods of time.. Oh the tires dry rot, and you have to re-pack the bearings before you hit the road again but frankly.. this is all routine maintenance.

But the class A the motor sizes up, gas goes bad, Diesel grows algae. and you have a mess.. In addition to dry rot tires and bearing repacks (like I said those last 2 are routine mantanence).

I think the folks calling you crazy are the ones who are crazy.   You are the sane one.
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bghouse

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2016, 02:51:37 PM »
Thanks John - needed to hear that for sure :-)

Now if I can find a long term park ....
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

Moebius

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2016, 07:28:15 PM »
Are you really going to be saving money by buying a TT and then paying rent in a RV park? I am not asking you to give us your financials, but RVing may not be less expensive when you factor in rent and metered electric. And some parks have you pay for your cable and internet through the provider.

Just food for thought.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 07:31:12 PM by Moebius »
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bghouse

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2016, 08:53:42 PM »
Hi Moebius,

Yes, buying the trailer it definitely cheaper.  My month rent is now $1300 a month, plus another $100 for electricity and another $75 for internet.

The RV parks I am looking at are $400 - $500 a month, separate electricity and separate internet.  Substantial savings for me this route for sure.

I've been searching from the Canada border down to the California border on the coast, and the best I'm finding for rent without going into completely unsafe areas is about $975 a month base rent for a 1bd.  I save even if I stay in Washington and move to the RV, even more if I go back to Oregon. 
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

bghouse

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 10:18:03 PM »
Question:  How do I determine if I need a 4 seasons trailer? 

I'm planning to either be in Western Washington or on the Oregon Coast.  I have seen snow in both places, barely - lol.   Lots of rain.  Highs up to the 90's experienced in Washington, not on the Oregon Coast.  Lowest winter temps have been dipping just low enough for some snow - hahaha.

So, do I need to spend the extra for these All Seasons / 4 Season construction packages?
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

legrandnormand

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2016, 10:27:19 PM »
Sorry to say NO, any RV is built for 3 seasons, forget about living in them in freezing weather.
You might look at mobile homes that are built for 4 seasons and you can get a 50-60 footer for the price of a 30 foot trailer.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2016, 10:29:48 PM by legrandnormand »
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Jim Fitz

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2016, 10:59:10 PM »
Watch prices at Guaranty.  I have looked over the past year, and compared with other places (not in Oregon)...they are way high.  Even if you buy elsewhere, you can pay someone to haul it to wherever you want to set up.
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Camped over many years in pretty much everything.  Just gettin started as a Full Timer....lovin it so far.

kdbgoat

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2016, 06:10:21 AM »
Question:  How do I determine if I need a 4 seasons trailer? 

I'm planning to either be in Western Washington or on the Oregon Coast.  I have seen snow in both places, barely - lol.   Lots of rain.  Highs up to the 90's experienced in Washington, not on the Oregon Coast.  Lowest winter temps have been dipping just low enough for some snow - hahaha.

So, do I need to spend the extra for these All Seasons / 4 Season construction packages?

Just about anytime one uses an RV out of the spring and fall seasons, the supposed 4 seasons RV's will be an advantage. The extra insulation that helps with the heating load also helps when running the A/C in hot weather. There just isn't an RV that is insulated and sealed as well as a house, it's just the nature of the beast. I think what people want to to realize is costs quite a bit to heat an RV during spells of cold weather. If it's above freezing, one can heat with electric heaters or supplemental heat only which is probably cheaper than using the factory installed furnace. The factory installed furnace is notoriously inefficient, blowing as much heat outside as in. In freezing weather, the factory furnace must be used as that is what helps keep your water system from freezing. People live in RV's during freezing weather all the time, but you just need to be aware of what you are up against. Also the "4 seasons package" isn't the same from brand to brand, so research to see exactly what you are getting in that package. And don't believe what fluff the salesman is handing you either. Do your own research.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2016, 08:31:34 AM »
Quote
do I need to spend the extra for these All Seasons / 4 Season construction packages?

Depends on the price for the option, but I think it is probably worthwhile, in both winter and summer.  You generally find this option on low end models that are designed strictly for summer use in moderate climates. Mid & upper grade models usually have better insulation, dual pane glass, etc. anyway.

Winter living in any RV is not easy, but in the NW coastal area winters are probably mild. Even the best made RVs are rarely as comfortable as a stick house in cold weather. The reasons are numerous and largely inherent in the fact it is an RV: walls are thin, there is a lot of glass vs wall space, every wall in a cold exterior wall and close to the occupants, the underside is wide open, seals around slides leak chilly air, etc. etc. etc.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
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utahclaimjumper

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2016, 01:26:39 PM »
  Also DON'T re lie on RV park wifi for any useful purpose, it will usually be weak, overloaded,  or throttled to prevent streaming and so forth .>>>Dan
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donn

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2016, 01:33:10 PM »
Light weight trailers pose two major problems.  One is quality/durability over the long term.  The second is heating and cooling issues.  During the winter even on the coast you will hurn a lot of BTUs to keep warm.  Light weight trailers tend to have less insulation, smaller appliances like furnaces, so you will be using a lot of something trying to keep warm.  Start looking at a 2500/3500 series truck and pick a decent quality trailer.  Northwood would be one of my first choices.  But they are heavy and all buy their smallest models will require at least a 2500 series truck to pull them.

bghouse

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2016, 02:45:11 PM »
Thank you so much for all the great advice. 

Does anyone know how I can ballpark my insurance?  I've tried to see if I can do this online and get some ballparks, but everyone needs specifics first.

Is going through Good Sam Club for insurance a good idea?

Am I looking at $50 a month or $500 a month - I have no frame of reference :-)
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

Tom and Margi

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #17 on: August 04, 2016, 03:26:04 PM »
While doing your research, you might check on Artic Fox trailers.  We see a lot of them here in Oregon.

SargeW

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #18 on: August 04, 2016, 03:30:53 PM »
A TT is going to be relatively cheap to insure. A motorized unit is a lot more. I am currently insuring a 40' Jayco Bungalow for about $65 a month from Progressive.  They just don't cost as much to replace as a RV sitting on an automotive chassis.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2016, 03:50:05 PM »
Quote
Is going through Good Sam Club for insurance a good idea?

Not especially - they are just one of many agencies that handle RV insurance, and they only deal with one insurer (National General, last I knew). Think about the coverages you want. i.e. collision damage, comprehensive fire & theft, personal property (all your belongings will be in the RV!, and maybe some personal liability coverage in case somebody gets injured as a result of your negligence.  Then get multiple quotes from various insurers. Most major vehicle insurers offer RV policies, but rates vary widely on an individual basis.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

bghouse

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2016, 09:46:27 AM »
Thanks for the great advice again :-)

Are there any insurance carriers that are more friendly to living full time in the RV?

And the Arctic Fox is definitely on my list - just need to see them in person. 

Thanks for the warning about Guaranty RV prices.  I know they have the Arctic Fox trailers in stock, so a big reason I want to go there.

As for hauling where I want, I thought I had to at least be in the same state to get the unit delivered and setup.  Could I really purchase up here in Washington and have someone pull it down to the Oregon coast and setup for me?  If so, that's really interesting in terms of opportunities for more dealerships.
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

donn

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2016, 12:37:03 PM »
Thunder RV in LaGrande is about as close to the factory as you can get.  Their prices aremusually about the best around.  But Apache camping centers are a real close second. Thunder usually has a pretty large inventory to look at.

Tom and Margi

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2016, 02:06:51 PM »
I-5 RV in Sutherlin carries Arctic Fox.  Might be a good source to price check vs. Guaranty RV.  We've had repairs done at I-5 and have bought supplies there.  Have never purchased an RV from them so don't know if they're competitive on sale price.

Roadhappy

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2016, 10:59:10 PM »
I'm wondering why you are looking at new TT's.  There are tons of used travel trailers out there that are very clean...  Save even more money.

Robin
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bghouse

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #24 on: August 06, 2016, 09:50:44 AM »
Thank you, I'll definitely check out those dealers.

As for why I'm looking at new, I'm not limiting myself new or used.  If I had a long time to make this decision and could afford to go lots of different places hunting down used RVs, then yes it would save me money.  But saving money for me is not just about the cost of the trailer - there are monetary ramifications to continuing to stay where I am and also the money lost while I'm not working and hunting down RVs.

Dealers are also a good way to see lots of units at once to get an idea of what floorplans really work for me.  Since I am not traveling, and living in this full time, and work from home so need to make an office space - getting the right floorplan is crucial.

I'd love it if a late model slightly used rig with the exact floorplan I need would appear in the next 4 weeks within a 2 - 4 hour driving distance that saved me oodles of money.  But it's probably prudent to have a backup plan in case the universe cant quite make that happen :-)
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Barbara
current location:  Baja California, Mexico
RV status: Still trying to launch!

Rene T

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #25 on: August 06, 2016, 10:56:20 AM »
I'd love it if a late model slightly used rig with the exact floorplan I need would appear in the next 4 weeks within a 2 - 4 hour driving distance that saved me oodles of money.  But it's probably prudent to have a backup plan in case the universe cant quite make that happen :-)

I would guess that if you went to 4 or 5 big dealers in your area, you'd probably find a used one that would be perfect for you. There are so many used one's out there. Also, it's getting close to winter (YUK) coming around and you may start seeing good deals on a used one because they want to move them before winter.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #26 on: August 06, 2016, 03:08:33 PM »
This is house-hunting - you need to see what is out there.  Just get out and look at as many as you can, without regard to brand or type or new vs sued. Figure out that will work well for your needs and buy it.  Don't grab the first one you see that looks OK, either. There is always an even better one down the road a piece.

One piece of advice: most newcomers to RVs buy too small. It's really impressive how much stuff is packed into a small space, but that compactness gets old in a hurry when you endure it 24/7/365.  Especially if you want space to work as well as live.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Trivet

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #27 on: August 07, 2016, 12:35:43 PM »
You need to get fulltimer's insurance, not just RV insurance.  It includes the sort of liability insurance that usually comes with homeowner's or renter's insurance.  And be mindful of how much personal property is covered.  It adds up really fast, and there are limits on individual items (the personal property coverage on my policy doesn't cover anything that is worth over $500, and it's not that they won't pay anything over $500--that item simply isn't included and has to be insured separately, which isn't expensive but a trap for the unwary).

There are only a few companies that offer fulltimer's, and it depends on what state the RV is registered in.  Miller Insurance in Lake Oswego, Oregon, is a popular broker, although I left after two separate pretty bad customer service incidents.  Geico and Progressive offer fulltimer's insurance.  I'm currently using Thum Insurance, with a policy by Blue Sky.  So far all they've done is take my money and issue my policy and all if good (but that's really all I was wanting from Miller, come to think of it, and they fell short). 

I would guess that you're more in the $100-$200/month than $500/month territory, but it definitely varies.  As far as I know, the insurance on the RV itself is based on the value of the RV, but I can't say for sure.  I do know that when the value of my RV went down due to depreciation, my premium went down.

I've been fulltiming since 2003 and spent two winters in the Pacific Northwest.  Yes, the temperatures don't dip very low in the winter, but they never get very high, and you don't get any warming from the sun.  (I've also spent winters in Denver, and even when it was in the 40s outside, I'd have to open the windows because it got so hot in here from the sun beating on the windshield of my motorhome--that never happened in Portland or Seattle.)

I have a 40-foot motorhome with allegedly good insulation and double-pane windows and I don't think it ever felt cozy in the winter up there.  When I'd run the propane furnace, I'd get a blast of hot air, and when it cycled off, it would be drafty within minutes.  For that reason, I prefer using several small electric heaters, but it adds up quickly if you're paying for electricity.  (And I'd have to make sure to have one near the water pump and water lines in the basement if it was going to be below freezing for any length of time.)

I can't believe that it will be any better in a travel trailer. 

The good news is that in Washington, especially, electricity is relatively cheap per kilowatt hour.  But you'll be using a lot of those kwhs--way more than in an apartment or possibly even a house.  I'm serious.

And I agree with others who cautioned about relying on an RV park's wifi if you're using it for work.  If you're staying long term, the park might have it set up so you can get your own connection, but of course you'll have to pay for it.

I don't know...between the increased electricity costs that come with living in a travel trailer and the additional insurance, and accounting for possible repairs to the trailer you'll have to pay for, you're getting on up there toward what it would cost you to live in a 1-bedroom apartment.  Since you're staying put for a while anyway, I think it's a pretty close call.




Mandaid

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2016, 10:54:16 AM »
My wife and I camp through the winter in an Arctic Fox, it did just fine the few times the temp got to around -5. The big difference is research. You can save a lot of headaches just by checking out forums/ YouTube and skip the hard way learning curve. RV park wifi seams always spotty at best. Service through a cable would be the way to go if you need consistency and bandwidth.

We are very pleased with Northwoods manufacturing and are probably going to buy a Nash25C. Best of luck.

Oldelevatorman

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Re: Unexpected Life hiccup - must make change asap and need advice
« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2016, 12:56:18 AM »
Do yourself a favor and buy the Travel Trailer & Fifth Wheel Comparison Guide by Randall Eaton. $70 but well worth it. He rates every manufacturer currently building trailers and fifth wheels back 10 years and he covers everything like construction, dependability, customer satisfaction, payload ratings, design & style, dealer ratings and many other things. Best $70 I ever spent!
Jim & Linda Kelly
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Want to fulltime again sometime in 2017

 

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