19 and interested in RVing across the country for a year or so

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kjal010

New member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
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3
Hi everyone!

So for starters I have only ever been on an RV trip once for a week with my family but i absolutely loved it and I want to try it on my own. For a little background, I attended the University of Vermont for a year and decided not to go back. I didn't mind the dorm life but I absolutely hated the feeling of staying in the same spot for so long. I'm taking this year off from school to re-center myself and really figure out what I want for my life. To be honest, I've lived a fairly sheltered life in a nice small town and I find that Im almost unable to picture the possibilities for my future since I literally have no idea what might be out there for me to do. I need to see the world, meet new people, and discover new things. I don't think I'll be able to really be satisfied with what I decide to do with my life unless I put myself out there and find out what i've been missing out on.

I'm looking for any sort of advice you guys have to offer! I don't have much money saved up but I really think this is the most convenient time for me to go out and do it so I'm hoping there are some ways to make money on my journey. My friend will most likely be coming with me so we were thinking of buying a used Class B or Class C RV, but I really wanted to ask people with experience what they thought would be best for our living situation. I also wanted to ask if there are any campgrounds that have a minimum age to stay there and what you guys suggest I do if that ends up being an issue.

I'm open to all stories, words of wisdom, and suggestions you guys have!

:)
 

kdbgoat

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Joined
Apr 16, 2014
Posts
6,313
For some inspiration, check this young lady's website. She's not rich, but manages to travel roads on her own terms. She's always impressed me.

https://interstellarorchard.com
 

SeilerBird

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Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
15,797
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
Full time RVing is a great adventure and one of the highlights of my life. There is a problem, money. For two people you better plan on an income of at least $2000 per month. It can be done for less but you won't last long if you don't have at least a minimum income. RVs get less than 10 miles per gallon and you will need to be doing a lot of driving to see the US. Campgrounds are $30 per night average and then there is food.
 

JudyJB

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Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Posts
1,620
Why not look for jobs in national parks?  I know the season is almost ended, but there will be some places in the southern states that hire all year.  In addition, there will also be places where employees have left early to start school in late August, so they need replacements.  And most of the time, they have places for you to live while you are working there.

You might be able to get a job lasting only a couple of months, allowing you to move on to another park.  What skills do you have that you can use to get a job? 

I assume you are living at home, so could you get a job locally and put all your money in the bank?  I had a friend when I was in high school who got a job for the summer working at a post office.  She and a friend did this and then had money for the next summer so they could travel to Europe.

What about spending a semester abroad through your university?  I know you said you did not want to go back, but maybe you could do that in order to travel.  Or how about some volunteer opportunities?     

RVing takes some starter money, and it also can get you into financial trouble if you end up buying something that needs a lot of work, which is likely considering your low budget. Having a friend with you will help with costs, but RVing is still not cheap.  Some campgrounds do have minimum ages because they have had problems with partying kids. 

I think you are making a wise decision not to continue with your education until you know for sure what you want to do with your life.  Nothing like spending four years getting a degree and then finding out you don't want to work in that field!!
 

JudyJB

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1,620
Another thought--how about checking with your university about volunteer opportunities for college students in other states or abroad?  Advising or even the career planning office might have some suggestions.  I am certain the college has had other students who take semesters off for reasons similar to yours. 

One thing is to think about what you really like to do.  Obviously, travel is one thing, but what can you do that you like to finance it?  Talk to your professors, even those you had last semester.  Was there a class you DID like? 

There is also something called informational interviewing where you talk to people about their jobs and what they like or don't like about them.  Maybe you could find a paid internship somewhere in a larger city where you can grow your wings until you are ready to fly.
 

Isaac-1

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Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
4,568
Location
SW Louisiana
While part of me wants to tell you to go for it, another more mature part of me would warn you that RV's are not cheap.  The vast majority of the cheap ones you see listed on craigslist are money pits which really need to be dragged to the junk yard, and likely are not safe to travel in.  In addition to that RV's cost money to maintain, cost of travel is significant, camp grounds cost $25+ per night, often $35+, though some remote areas offer free or low cost ($5-$10) boon dock camping.  Regardless of how you budget things, it is hard to think about RV travel across the country on a budget of under $75-$100 per day, once you consider food, fuel, etc.  Budget on a theory of 30-40 cents per mile operating cost when looking at any RV option, as you will likely be getting somewhat less than 10 mpg either towing or with a motorhome.

Being realistic, your cheapest option is probably a pickup truck and a 20-24 ft travel trailer, in my part of the country a used 10-12 year old pickup truck in good running condition can be bought for around $6,000, and a functional 5-10 year old, though possibly cosmetically challenged 20-22 ft trailer is also in the same $6,000 ballpark.  Sure motorhomes are nice, but finding one that is road worthy for $12,000 can be a challenge, they also cost more to maintain than a pickup truck and a trailer, plus with a pickup truck you get a daily driver vehicle wherever you are.

 

kdbgoat

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Apr 16, 2014
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6,313
No, RV's aren't cheap. I say go for it. I'm 61 years old, and will retire soon. I have always wanted to travel the country, but always felt I didn't have the money. Ok, now I probably have the money. I have had two heart attacks, two strokes, and despite diet, drugs, and exercise, I still can't get out and enjoy what I want to see of this country. Long hikes and backcountry camping are out now. My wife is in worse shape due to health issues that can't be fixed. You're young enough to be able to enjoy the country and as I said earlier, go for it. You're also young enough to bounce back from any set backs you encounter. You're young enough to be able to work as you travel around the country. Enjoy life while you can. You only get one go around. You want to spend it just trying to make as much money as you can spend, or do you actually want to enjoy life? Tomorrow and your health are not guaranteed to you.
 

ChasA

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Mar 21, 2009
Posts
1,953
Join the Navy and travel for free. They'll teach you some skills. You'll get free room and board and health care while you decide what you want to do when you mature a little more.
 

kdbgoat

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Apr 16, 2014
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I was in the Navy. Don't get to see much of the country while on a submarine. ;D 8)
 

HappyWanderer

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Apr 21, 2014
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2,700
As the parent of a kid who took a year off from school to "find himself" let me caution you on the very real possibility that you may never go back to school. He's now 24, still doesn't know what he wants out of life, and struggles at staying interested in more than one class at a time.

His peers are years ahead of him in their careers and relationships, which causes bouts of depression. He constantly regrets his decision to walk away from school.

Sometimes a pipe dream is just that.
 

darsben

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May 30, 2018
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Location
Central NY in summer beautiful Casa Grande AZ in w
On the other hand. I was a high school dropout. Could not stand school and at 14 was told my services as a student were no longer needed. Traveled, worked menial jobs. When I was ready for college I went back. Enjoyed it. I have two degrees. Worked my 30 years at various hospitals and retired at 61. I had a ball. The story is we have to be ready  to learn and know what we want before we can do it.
 

Arch Hoagland

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Jul 11, 2014
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Location
Clovis California
I'd suggest buying a used small trailer...and a used half ton pickup truck. 

You can travel all around an area in the truck while the trailer stays put.

That way if you find jobs along the way, and you will, then you can get back and forth to work.

Trucks and trailers are easier to repair than a class C and cheaper to purchase.

I'm thinking 18 and above for campgrounds and RV parks. You will need a credit card for most of the RV parks and there are some that require cash or check.

Work campers....there are lots of RV parks where you stay for free and they pay you to work there.

You'll need insurance...car for sure.....health...well you're young and probably healthy.

If the truck or trailer has a problem ask the old guys camped around you for help, they all carry tools and spare kitchen sinks. Campers are very friendly,  helpful people.  Somebody will give you a hand.

There are a ton of jobs out here in California, especially in agriculture.  Go west young man, go West.


WOW a job just appeared on here...

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,115907.0/topicseen.html 

 
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