Can I get what I want within budget?

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I should warn you in advance. Full timing is not as great as it sounds. It is one hell of a lot better. Almost every full timer I have known claims it is the best decision they ever made. If you have not seen The Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone or most all of the other western National Parks you are in for a huge surprise. There are great reasons why they are National Parks. Photos and descriptions just don't explain the awesomeness of these special places. And there are over 50 NPs in the lower 48.
I haven't seen any of those. Closest I came was the Grand Canyon one time, but timing didn't work out. There was an ice storm and they closed the park while I was in Phoenix one winter. It's encouraging to hear how great it could be, it only motivates me more to figure out a way to make it work.

Maybe it's a midlife crisis lol, but as I'm getting older I realize how fast life passes by and I want do a few things in life while I can. Tomorrow isn't promised to anyone. I can't, at this point in my life, be a true full timer. But maybe I can be a short time full timer :)
 
Joined
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Posts
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Kansas City
A few comments on your detailed budget, first motorhomes get about 8 mpg, assume you are going to be paying at least $3 per gallon, and will travel somewhere between 200-350 miles per travel day (or in other words $40 in fuel for every 100 miles of travel) plan out your route and multiple. As to the rest, I am paying less for insurance, but my coach is a bit older (will turn 20 this year), paying $62 per month with Allstate for fairly basic coverage, plus glass breakage with $250 deductible (class A windshields are expensive so get glass coverage) of course that does not include a TOAD car. RV park cost can be all over the place, using Passport America discount program (50% off, but often with restrictions, like 1 night only, weekdays only, off season only, etc. terms vary by park) I have paid as little as $17 per night for full hookups at reasonably nice commercial RV parks (say the RV equivelent of Comfort Inn, or Hampton Inn), though $35-$40 per night is more typical, higher in tourist areas. Water and electric only public campgrounds at State parks, COE campgrounds, etc, are often in the $20 per night range in my part of the country, and I have stayed at local municipal parks, town rec centers with RV spaces, etc. for as little as $10 per night with water and electric when traveling (in Kansas, etc.) Then of course there is free overnight parking, or boondocking, either Wal-Mart, Cracker Barrel, Flying J parking lots, for overnighting on travel days, or BLM or National Forest land for more remote camping. So $750 per month is certainly possible for RV site cost, though will likely not be full hookups every night.

p.s. keep in mind many western National parks have few campground sites that will accept motorhomes over about 32 ft long, leaving you limited to nearby commercial campgrounds and higher nightly rates.
Another great post for me to absorb, thank you.
 
Joined
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Kansas City
I can not offer much advise except, have any motorhome you intend to purchase professionally inspected. Being a newbie, some things could be easily overlooked that a professional might pick up.
Absolutely. My original thought was to meet someone local and pay them $100 (or whatever) to look over whatever MH I'd look seriously at. Now it sounds like I should take it into a shop. Hopefully I just won't take it to the sellers "regular" shop. They could be friends and I may get a less than 100% honest inspection. I would hope not, but you never really know.
 

IBTripping

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Sep 19, 2018
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Virginia
I didn't see where anyone noted the driving range. Figure about 250 to 300 miles a day. You'll find that you average 50-55 miles per hour. With gas and rest stops you can use up 8 hours of drive time. Also, typically, driving an RV is more tiring than a car or pickup truck. But, looks like you and your family are going to have a wonderful adventure.
 

Isaac-1

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Dec 3, 2016
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SW Louisiana
A typical RV inspection for a class A coach from an NRVIA certified level 2 inspector will cost somewhere in the $700 ballpark, maybe more depending on region and options (oil analysis, etc.)
 

prnebs

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FOCO CO
Welcome to the forum. You are doing some great planning & research. Have you thought about where you're going to put a booster & car seat for the kids? Are you going to have 2 sets, one set in the motorhome and the other in your towed car or switch them back & forth? Have you considered a unit with bunk beds so the kids aren't trying to sleep in the same place Mom & Dad are trying to wind down or have that 1st cup of coffee in the a.m.?
If I were at your stage in life and looking for my first RV, I'd consider a 5th wheel about 35' long with a couple of slides and a bunk "room" for the kids. When you're traveling they would be tucked comfy in the back seat of the truck instead of awkwardly on the couch. (When you look at a class A, check to see if the couch already has seat belts). I think, don't quote me on this, that there wouldn't be as high of cost of maintenance. If resources aren't a consideration, then no issue. If resources weren't an issue for me, I'd get a toy hauler, modify the garage for the kids to play and have a little patio to hang out on.
I realize there are trade offs. With a 5th wheel you can't access the kitchen or bathroom without stopping. But when our kids were young and we travel distances, we'd stop frequently anyway.
I know there are class a's with bunks, but I haven't see any with actual bunk rooms. I may be wrong, probably am.
I love our motorhome. We have stuffed grandkids on couches & on the floor and had a great time, but that wasn't full time. I'm sure whatever you get you'll make it work for the family. Just wanted to put my 2 cents in!
Good luck & safe travels.
 

SeilerBird

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Feb 25, 2012
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15,570
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
A few comments on your detailed budget, first motorhomes get about 8 mpg, assume you are going to be paying at least $3 per gallon, and will travel somewhere between 200-350 miles per travel day (or in other words $40 in fuel for every 100 miles of travel) plan out your route and multiple. As to the rest, I am paying less for insurance, but my coach is a bit older (will turn 20 this year), paying $62 per month with Allstate for fairly basic coverage, plus glass breakage with $250 deductible (class A windshields are expensive so get glass coverage) of course that does not include a TOAD car. RV park cost can be all over the place, using Passport America discount program (50% off, but often with restrictions, like 1 night only, weekdays only, off season only, etc. terms vary by park) I have paid as little as $17 per night for full hookups at reasonably nice commercial RV parks (say the RV equivelent of Comfort Inn, or Hampton Inn), though $35-$40 per night is more typical, higher in tourist areas. Water and electric only public campgrounds at State parks, COE campgrounds, etc, are often in the $20 per night range in my part of the country, and I have stayed at local municipal parks, town rec centers with RV spaces, etc. for as little as $10 per night with water and electric when traveling (in Kansas, etc.) Then of course there is free overnight parking, or boondocking, either Wal-Mart, Cracker Barrel, Flying J parking lots, for overnighting on travel days, or BLM or National Forest land for more remote camping. So $750 per month is certainly possible for RV site cost, though will likely not be full hookups every night.

p.s. keep in mind many western National parks have few campground sites that will accept motorhomes over about 32 ft long, leaving you limited to nearby commercial campgrounds and higher nightly rates.
Isaac is correct. I should add that most RV parks offer rates like the following: $35 a night, 250 a week or $450 a month. It is much cheaper to drive to a place and spend a week rather than driving every day.
 
Joined
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A typical RV inspection for a class A coach from an NRVIA certified level 2 inspector will cost somewhere in the $700 ballpark, maybe more depending on region and options (oil analysis, etc.)
Good to know. Still well worth it to get a little peace of mind and/or negotiating power before purchase.

Welcome to the forum. You are doing some great planning & research. Have you thought about where you're going to put a booster & car seat for the kids? Not a whole lot at this point to be honest. Are you going to have 2 sets, one set in the motorhome and the other in your towed car or switch them back & forth? Haven't thought a lot about this either, but I'm thinking one set. It would be a hassle to move, but less space occupied by "stuff". Have you considered a unit with bunk beds so the kids aren't trying to sleep in the same place Mom & Dad are trying to wind down or have that 1st cup of coffee in the a.m.? As I've browsed MHs online, the bunk beds have jumped out at me as something I'd really like. It's on the list for things I'd want in order to purchase.
If I were at your stage in life and looking for my first RV, I'd consider a 5th wheel about 35' long with a couple of slides and a bunk "room" for the kids. When you're traveling they would be tucked comfy in the back seat of the truck instead of awkwardly on the couch. (When you look at a class A, check to see if the couch already has seat belts). I think, don't quote me on this, that there wouldn't be as high of cost of maintenance. If resources aren't a consideration, then no issue. If resources weren't an issue for me, I'd get a toy hauler, modify the garage for the kids to play and have a little patio to hang out on.
I realize there are trade offs. With a 5th wheel you can't access the kitchen or bathroom without stopping. But when our kids were young and we travel distances, we'd stop frequently anyway.
I know there are class a's with bunks, but I haven't see any with actual bunk rooms. I may be wrong, probably am.
I love our motorhome. We have stuffed grandkids on couches & on the floor and had a great time, but that wasn't full time. I'm sure whatever you get you'll make it work for the family. Just wanted to put my 2 cents in!
Good luck & safe travels. A trailer is not off the table by any means. A couple things have me leaning towards a MH. One is that I only have an older half ton truck. Definitely not something good enough to pull a trailer like that. So I'd need to buy a truck, which we all know are really high right now. Not sure I'd be able to stay in my purchase budget to get a truck and a decent trailer. The second thing is the dog. Without the dog, I might even be leaning towards a truck and trailer. Having 4 people and even a small dog in a truck might feel a bit cramped.
Mine in bold. Thanks for the input!
Isaac is correct. I should add that most RV parks offer rates like the following: $35 a night, 250 a week or $450 a month. It is much cheaper to drive to a place and spend a week rather than driving every day.
If we can do swing it, it'll probably be a little of both. We definitely don't want to be driving off every day. Some places will warrant the extra time. Some places may not. And yet others will warrant it, but we'll need to cut it short. I'd rather see something briefly than never see it at all.

Side note: when I was 19, my friend and I went to Woodstock '99 up by Rome, NY. Besides the riots, it was a fun time and all, but we were pretty wore out by 3 days of heat, concerts, and a fair amount of "partying". Anyway, on the way back we were passing pretty close to Niagara Falls. From what I know, the US side isn't as pretty, but nonetheless we. were. right. there. What did we do? Drive on by. We were tired. We were young. We thought there would always be more opportunities to do whatever we wanted. Niagara Falls will be one of our stops on this trip.
 

SeilerBird

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Location
St Cloud Florida USA
Side note: when I was 19, my friend and I went to Woodstock '99 up by Rome, NY. Besides the riots, it was a fun time and all, but we were pretty wore out by 3 days of heat, concerts, and a fair amount of "partying". Anyway, on the way back we were passing pretty close to Niagara Falls. From what I know, the US side isn't as pretty, but nonetheless we. were. right. there. What did we do? Drive on by. We were tired. We were young. We thought there would always be more opportunities to do whatever we wanted. Niagara Falls will be one of our stops on this trip.
I have heard that most people who live in Arizona have never seen the Grand Canyon. I sure have seen it, I spent months there. Still wasn't enough time to see it all.
 

Old_Crow

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Mammoth Lakes, California
I have heard that most people who live in Arizona have never seen the Grand Canyon. I sure have seen it, I spent months there. Still wasn't enough time to see it all.
Lynn and I spent two years hosting at the North Rim. I've been thinking about going back. Only thing that keeps me from it is that if I stay in the Bishop, CA area where I'm working now, I can see my two boys who live in Yosemite.
 

SeilerBird

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St Cloud Florida USA
Lynn and I spent two years hosting at the North Rim. I've been thinking about going back. Only thing that keeps me from it is that if I stay in the Bishop, CA area where I'm working now, I can see my two boys who live in Yosemite.
i spent months living at the south rim and never made it to the north rim.
 

Old_Crow

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We lived in both Phoenix and Flagstaff in the past, so I've been to the South Rim numerous times.
The first time was in '72 when a friend and I decided it would be a good idea to ride motorcycles to the Canyon over the President's day holiday. Probably the coldest I've ever been on a motorcycle.
I just prefer the pine forests and smaller crowds of the North. Sort of afraid to go back on my own, though. Lots of memories there. It was actually the last place my wife and I boondocked for any extended time.
 

Ex-Calif

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If I were at your stage in life and looking for my first RV, I'd consider a 5th wheel about 35' long with a couple of slides and a bunk "room" for the kids.
Are you planning to sell on later or keep the RV.

I have fallen into the trailer camp because if you do a lot of house mods and then sell on, you lose all your house customizations. With a trailer you can periodically replace the towing vehicle without penalizing the house.

If I were keeping I would seriously consider a TT or 5th wheel. There is also a lot to be said for multiple bunk rooms. I am an early riser and am living with a late riser. I gave him the master berth so I don't disturb him in the morning.

Don't underestimate the adults need for privacy, especially after you put the kids to bed.
 

prnebs

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309
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FOCO CO
We lived in both Phoenix and Flagstaff in the past, so I've been to the South Rim numerous times.
The first time was in '72 when a friend and I decided it would be a good idea to ride motorcycles to the Canyon over the President's day holiday. Probably the coldest I've ever been on a motorcycle.
I just prefer the pine forests and smaller crowds of the North. Sort of afraid to go back on my own, though. Lots of memories there. It was actually the last place my wife and I boondocked for any extended time.
There isn't a hug icon, but hugs.
 
Joined
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Kansas City
Are you planning to sell on later or keep the RV.

I have fallen into the trailer camp because if you do a lot of house mods and then sell on, you lose all your house customizations. With a trailer you can periodically replace the towing vehicle without penalizing the house.

If I were keeping I would seriously consider a TT or 5th wheel. There is also a lot to be said for multiple bunk rooms. I am an early riser and am living with a late riser. I gave him the master berth so I don't disturb him in the morning.

Don't underestimate the adults need for privacy, especially after you put the kids to bed.
We'll sell after the trip. For a bit, I was leaning towards the truck and trailer. I *think* a truck and trailer will be more expensive, but maybe the bigger issue is 2 kids, a dog, and us all in a truck. Doable, but would feel cramped I think. It's not off the table though.
 

Charlie 5320

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Central IL.
Check PPL for used coachs. They don't have as many older coachs now that everybody thinks their coachs are made of GOLD. You can still find an older coach that fits you budget and below. I'd stay with a gas coach, just because they cost less to buy and less to repair. Look at an older coach, and get it inspected. Plenty of older coachs out there to do what you want to do.
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2021
Posts
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Location
Kansas City
Check PPL for used coachs. They don't have as many older coachs now that everybody thinks their coachs are made of GOLD. You can still find an older coach that fits you budget and below. I'd stay with a gas coach, just because they cost less to buy and less to repair. Look at an older coach, and get it inspected. Plenty of older coachs out there to do what you want to do.
Thanks, that's comforting to know. I'm not familiar with PPL...what does it mean?
 
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