Howdy from Texas...considering full-time RV living

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Carruth17

New member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Posts
2
Location
Frisco, TX
Hello everyone! My name is Stephanie and my husband is Adam. We may be crazy, but we are really considering moving into a 5th wheel full-time. We are newlyweds, early 30s, no kids yet, living in north Dallas, and we are both on board with exploring this option.

If we do purchase an RV, we would have the luxury of parking it permanently in the back of my dad's lot, which already has RV hook-ups for power and water. We would still have a lot of the comforts of a home, just across the drive way :), but we would have our own place.  Our vision is that we will probably do full-time for no more than 2 years while we save money to buy a home, then we will keep our RV and use it to make awesome memories with our children. Although this would be a totally new experience for us, my mom & step-dad recently lived full-time in a travel trailer for 2 1/2 years, so we have a lot of good insight from them.

We are trying learn as much as we can before jumping into this crazy, fun, and a little scary plan. We welcome any advice and direction given.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,434
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Doesn't sound scary to me - many people live in their RVs for 10-20 years and travel much of the time.  Using an RV as a your private apartment at Dad's place should be relatively straight-forward. A great way to have some privacy while still having family and some extra amenities handy.

That said, There are some things you need to be aware of concerning RVs.

1. You didn't mention a sewer hook-up.  Disposing of black (toilet) and gray (sink/shower) waste water is a bigger problem than power and fresh water.

2. RVs are generally not very suitable for winter weather (difficult & expensive to heat) and some aren't easy to cool either.  Much of Texas has extremes of both hot and cold!  If that site is wide open to sun and wind, expect to use a lot of power for heating & cooling, and maybe less than comfortable living as well. The better quality (more expensive) brands do better, but few are what you would call good.

3.  You seem to expect saving money this way, but what are you comparing it to?  Apartment rental? Buying an smaller/older house for the short term? Living with Dad?  I'm not asking you to answer this, except to yourself.  Just trying to caution you about the "savings", cause RVs and RVing isn't inexpensive.

4. When the time comes to get your own fixed site home, making the RV mobile for recreation will probably be expensive. A truck capable of safely traveling with a good sized trailer is an expensive vehicle.
 

Carruth17

New member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Posts
2
Location
Frisco, TX
Thank you Gary!

There is not a sewer hook-up, but we are researching other options for dumping our black and gray waste without having to move the RV.  It is also an option to use the restroom inside of my dad's house at times in order to limit the use of the RV bathroom. As much as we are at work, we mainly use the restroom away from home too.

Thanks for the advice on the heating and cooling. We are definitely taking that into account.

I'm glad you mentioned 'saving money'...we do not want to do this if it does not save us a decent amount of money, so I definitely want to investigate this further. Our current expenses:

$1400/mo - We rent a home (already have renters insurance)
$300 - July electric bill (approx. $90-120 in cooler months)
$40 - Gas bill (about $90-100 in winter)
$90 - City water bill
$75 - Lawn care

We have looked into apartments or renting a smaller and/or older house, but everything is SO expensive in north Dallas. We have also looked at buying, but we just don't have the money to put down yet. We are trying to pay off debt and student loans, so we haven't been saving what we'd like to for a house downpayment.

If we buy a 5th wheel, we will be buying pre-owned, and intend to stay under $40,000, hopefully much less.  We have also considered downsizing to a smaller travel trailer once we stop living full-time in it.  We definitely don't want to buy new, because we know it would depreciate too much and downsizing would not be a smart decision if that's the case. This is something else I am trying to get educated on.

Thank you so much for your time and insight! Please don't hesitate to tell me more! :)
 

SeilerBird

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
15,785
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
I live full time in a 33 foot fifth wheel that is 20 years old and it cost me $4200. I have put a few grand into fixing it up the last year, new roof, wood flooring, residential toilet, etc.

$1400/mo - We rent a home (already have renters insurance)
$300 - July electric bill (approx. $90-120 in cooler months)
$40 - Gas bill (about $90-100 in winter)
$90 - City water bill
$75 - Lawn care

I live in a mid priced RV park in Orlando about 25 miles from Disney World. Here are my expenses:

$385/mo rent for site includes water and lawn care.
$40 - $80 per month electricity
$15 - per month for one tank of propane

I run my A/C all day long and the house is always comfortable. I have the most beautiful spot in the park on a lovely lagoon.
 

SeilerBird

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 25, 2012
Posts
15,785
Location
St Cloud Florida USA
breezie said:
I would love to see posts and pics of all your renovations.
http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,114252.msg1032242.html#msg1032242

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,112289.msg1013649.html#msg1013649
 
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