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Author Topic: pros and cons of full time RV living?  (Read 15850 times)

Debster1966

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pros and cons of full time RV living?
« on: July 27, 2008, 01:51:26 PM »
Hi, My husband and I are seriously thinking about (and most likely will be) buying a large RV and living in it with our two kids while I intern for nursing school next year.  Its a given that space will be extremely limited in an RV but what are some other Cons and Pros to consider?  We won't be moving around so we are looking at a local KOA to possibly stay at, What about water, waste and solar, other electricity? How are the summers and winters?
Thanks for any and all input!
Debbie & Steve.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2008, 02:07:04 PM by Debster1966 »

Ned

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Re: pros and cons of full time RV living
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2008, 02:08:55 PM »
One of the biggest advantages (and perhaps the only reason to live in an RV) of full timing is the freedom to move around and see all the wonderful places in this country and our neighbors.  You would be better served by buying or renting a park model for the 2 years of school, then consider an RV if you want to travel.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

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jskinner

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Re: pros and cons of full time RV living?
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2008, 07:50:23 PM »
Hi,

We just bought a house after 4 years of full timing.

Pros - Freedom, if you don't like your neighbors, move.  Lot's of fun potlucks, low rent (compared to house) low cost of upkeep.
Cons - High cost of fuel, snobby RV parks, noise: dogs/engines/kids, lower level of privacy, the wife is ALWAYS 8ft away... ;), lack of storage

I would rent a place for the 2 years, then buy an RV... why pay for tires and a motor to sit and get older when you can have a nice apartment/condo/whatever.

We did the snowbird routine between Seattle and Tucson and finally settled in Tucson so my wife can do her last 2 years of under-graduate work, so we understand where you are coming from.

All that being said - our coach is for sale! :)
Jeff & Traci Skinner
Proud Owners of www.RVPartsNOW.com - Parts for RV Appliances
2004 40ft GMC Bus Conversion "Wild Tangent"

Debster1966

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Re: pros and cons of full time RV living?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2008, 09:47:08 PM »
Hi, thanks for the input.  We rent now, and in California it is just too high on one income, our rent for a townhome is 1250.00 a month!  That is why if we could pay cash for an RV and pay the site fees we would be spending less monthly while I am in school.  So you did it for FOUR YEARS??? How was it?  Did you have kids with you?  We just got back from checking out some RV's we saw one new one that was 34 feet and they wanted $88,500 for it.  We are thinking more like $40,000.00 will be our budget and we are hoping to pay like 400.00 per month in fees and the like.  Don't get me wrong, I am sure we will be taking mini vacations here and there, how can we not?  The more we research the more we are liking the idea.  Ofcourse it would also mean a storage space locally for all of our other stuff plus it would be a great time to get rid of a bunch of junk!!! 
Best of luck to you and your wife, I wish her all the best on her Under-grad work!
Debbie
« Last Edit: July 27, 2008, 09:54:06 PM by Debster1966 »

jskinner

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Re: pros and cons of full time RV living?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2008, 10:28:09 PM »
Ah... you forgot to mention CA! :)  That is a dollar figure that the rest of us can understand and its means you can buy a Prevost or 3 (Just kidding).

To answer your question, we loved it and had a very positive experience.  The one thing we learned is to build a network of friends with lots (hookups) and make use of them.  Our place in Tucson has 2 full hookup sites and we are now repaying the kindness of the folks that put us up when we were on the road.

As for $88k for a rig... I took the DIY route (invested$60k over time) and built our own rig http://picasaweb.google.com/TucsonRV and now it is collecting dust so we are selling it for $19k.  There are lots of rigs for sale and the prices are all over the place so look around before buying the first one you see.

Best of luck!

Jeff & Traci Skinner
Proud Owners of www.RVPartsNOW.com - Parts for RV Appliances
2004 40ft GMC Bus Conversion "Wild Tangent"

Buddy Tott

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Re: pros and cons of full time RV living?
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2008, 02:34:14 AM »
I'm not a full-timer, just an RV hobbyist witha Class C Motorhome, but also live in So.Cal. 

Given your budget, you would likely get much more living accommodation with a 5th Wheel or TT than a motorhome (Class A or C).  I have visited numerous camgrounds over the last couple of years where 5th wheels are being sold on site, so you don't even need a tow vehicle.  Most of these 'for sale' units are posted at the campground.  I would locate a campground that would be convenient and see if any units are for sale.  You could also post your own 'wanted' ad.   Some campgrounds also have the ability to move your rig for you (for a fee) from site to storage so if you are absent for any length of time you would pay storage fees and not site fees for an unoccupied unit.  You might also be lucky enough to find the complete package (5th wheel and Tow vehicle).  The 5th wheel will probably show less depreciation than its MH counterpart and you would always have the tow vehicle as transport.

If your intership is also in So. Cal. especially the L.A. area, then full-time campsites may not be that convenient.  Where would you be going to school?

BT
nil-permita illigitemii personae carborundum.

ArdraF

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Re: pros and cons of full time RV living?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2008, 03:33:46 PM »
I'm with Ned in thinking that a park model might better suit your current needs.  With four of you there will be more living space - more like a house.  Having a motorized vehicle sit for two years might cause unanticipated problems.  For example, rubber hoses dry out, tires dry out, an unused engine is more likely to have issues, etc.  In case you don't know about park models, they're basically trailers that are meant to stay put.  There also are some very nice double-wide trailers that again are meant to stay in one place.  For a family of four, I should think one of those options might be better than either a travel trailer or motorhome.

There are also monthly cost differences in where you park.  With motorhomes and travel trailers you would be in some kind of RV park, some of which can be quite costly, especially over a couple of years.  Park models also tend to be in RV parks.  On the other hand, double-wide "trailers" are found more frequently in what we call mobile-home parks.  Some mobile-home parks also accomodate short-term RV visitors, but most RV parks do not accomodate mobile homes, mainly because you don't move a mobile home on a regular basis.  Some of these places are a mish-mash where anything goes.  It kind of depends on what's available in the area you'll be attending school.

ArdraF
« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 03:41:33 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
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Debster1966

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Re: pros and cons of full time RV living?
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2008, 12:21:42 AM »
Wow, thank you so much everyone for the wealth of information.  Sorry I forgot to mention CA (by the way our gas just came down to 3.99 today, sad to be excited about that!)  We live in the foothills of Northern CA so I will be attending school in the Sacramento Area although would love to move to Southern CA but with a junior in HS that is not going to happen.  I like the idea about the park models and I especially like the idea about checking out RV parks in the area and seeing if anything is for sale in there, we will most likely also place an add for that and for using a piece of someones land for monthly rent (does this sound like a good idea?) Sorry to be so naive when it comes to this, we have been "housebound" for so long now it seems this big world is opening up to us.  Thanks again!  I will keep reading the library and other peoples entries and questions.
Have a great weekend!
Debbie

Buddy Tott

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Re: pros and cons of full time RV living?
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2008, 03:05:58 AM »
Debbie

Renting a piece of land may seem like a good idea, but may not be permitted by local code or ordinance.  Aside from the difficult issues of (not) having a water supply,  waste facilities and electricity.  Having lived there, winters in the foothills in Northern CA can be miserable, especially if its a wet winter and even more so in a MH on undeveloped land.  I would look for something in Sacramento, in a paved park, perhaps no further north than Roseville/Rocklin or further east than El Dorado Hills, at least well below typical snow level.  MHs / RVs /Trailers are not as well insulated as traditional 'fixed' homes.  In those times, that $1250 may seem like a real bargain.

BT
nil-permita illigitemii personae carborundum.