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MikeT54

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Joined
Jun 8, 2021
Posts
7
Location
37129
Wife and I are both recently retired and are seriously considering selling our house and buying a Class C to live in full time. Just in the beginning research stage right now so I'm open to any and all suggestions and comments. Thanks!
 

thelazyl

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Posts
504
Location
Molalla, Oregon
Here are some starting questions - How to you plan to use it? Are you staying in one location? Moving from state to state? What kind of climate? Is there a reason why you are first looking at Class C?
 

SpencerPJ

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Posts
3,292
Location
Midwest
RV life is not always as glamourous as it seems. Going from a solid home, to a minimal amount or wheels... I would encourage you maybe to rent one for a couple weeks and explore the option, or buy a gently used one and start out with short trips (maybe a couple months at a time). Some believe that RV life is inexpensive, you certainly are at the right place to spend time on this Forum and see what challenges some are confronted with, and expenses. I once believed I could retire with the lifestyle, after a few years on this site, I no longer think I could. Now travel and visit, sure, but go full in, nope.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,527
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Hi & welcome... we get this sort of inquiry every few days. There are a lot of things to consider, questions of lifestyle, travel plans (or not), personal space needs, purchase budget, operating budget, etc. After considering the many questions, most people revamp their initial plan substantially.

I'll throw out one teaser question: are you aware that even a large class C offers only about 200 sq ft of living space? Including closets and cupboards? Some modern homes have bathrooms that big... I'm not saying you should not or cannot downsize, but do not underestimate the degree of change.

Please understand that everybody here loves their RVs, but most of us had to live through a period of "re-adjustment" when our dreams encountered reality.
 

MikeT54

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2021
Posts
7
Location
37129
We want to travel but not all the time, so I envision us more or less being snowbirds and setting up maybe in Florida in the winter and somewhere up north in the summer, and taking a few weeks now and then to roam the country.
The Class C seems like the best option since it is just the two of us and we are used to traveling pretty light. They seem to have most of the comforts of home without being too unwieldy to drive, especially for my wife who gets a bit nervous driving a larger vehicle.
 

donn

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Posts
4,358
Class C for full timing might work, but its sure not the best option. For starters storage is geared mre to weekenders. A class A will have way more storage. But depending on how you plan to use it any motor home might be a bad decision. Typical motor homers move every few days rarely ataying in one place longer than a week or so. Whereas a trailer can be far cheaper to buy to and keep.
Also please remember full timing is not for everyone. Lots of people had the dream, took the plunge and within a year or so were totally out and back in a S&B somewhere.
 

TheBar

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Posts
1,011
Location
MS
Some Class Cs like mine have full-size pass-through basement compartments like a Class A. Some Class Cs have almost no storage. But generally speaking a Class C cannot handle as much weight as a Class A. For full timing a Class A might be a better option if you have a lot of stuff. For a lot of people giving up their stuff is harder than giving up the house. And remember stuff always expands as time goes by.
 

IBTripping

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 19, 2018
Posts
1,254
Location
Virginia
After setting up camp including leveling the RV and hooking up the electric and city water connections, if you want to go sight seeing, get groceries, etc., you have to disconnect and drive in the RV. Thus, a lot of owners tow a passenger vehicle for those tasks.

Since you are just starting your research, you might consider whether a travel trailer would be more suitable to meet your needs. Of course, you'll need an appropriate tow vehicle. The advantage is you can set up the trailer and use the tow vehicle for sight seeing, visiting restaurants, and getting supplies.

Please keep us informed as you do your research.
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,735
Location
Westminster, Colorado
The advantage is you can set up the trailer and use the tow vehicle for sight seeing, visiting restaurants, and getting supplies.
Or with a motorhome you can tow a car, though you have to be careful in your selection since not all cars can be towed without putting them on a trailer.

I agree with the above that you should first rent a class C for a couple of weeks or so just to get a glimpse of what you're in for.
 

MikeT54

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2021
Posts
7
Location
37129
Hi & welcome... we get this sort of inquiry every few days. There are a lot of things to consider, questions of lifestyle, travel plans (or not), personal space needs, purchase budget, operating budget, etc. After considering the many questions, most people revamp their initial plan substantially.

I'll throw out one teaser question: are you aware that even a large class C offers only about 200 sq ft of living space? Including closets and cupboards? Some modern homes have bathrooms that big... I'm not saying you should not or cannot downsize, but do not underestimate the degree of change.

Please understand that everybody here loves their RVs, but most of us had to live through a period of "re-adjustment" when our dreams encountered reality.
 

MikeT54

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2021
Posts
7
Location
37129
Thanks everyone for the insights. I'm very much aware that I don't know what I don't know, which is why I joined this group. This is definitely not something we are going to rush into, and I appreciate all of you for your expertise and guidance.
 

Ex-Calif

Well-known member
Joined
May 15, 2020
Posts
1,458
I think the trigger for most replies was the "selling our house" part.

Living full time in ~400sq/ft is a huge adjustment. I did it in January and am still adjusting in some ways.

Buy and RV and do the snowbird/travel thing. Then decide if full timing is for you.

I second the votes for a trailer and "good" hauler. You can start with a smaller trailer and move up if live-aboard makes sense.
 

JudyJB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Posts
1,623
I always knew I wanted to travel, so when I went full-time with a new Class C motorhome in 2012, I had no problem "adjusting" to a smaller space at all. However, my C is 32' long with two slides, but I have been perfectly comfortable living alone in this small space for the past 9 years! And I hope to do so for another few years, at least. I have never towed a vehicle, so I take my motorhome with me when I want to sightsee or shop. I have driven 157,000 miles in 9 years, so I keep moving and stay almost entirely in state, national, and county campgrounds. I like the space and privacy in such places, as well as being able to be out in nature, NOT close to towns.

Now, I admit, if I were two people, I would probably be more comfortable in a smaller A because of the cargo carrying capacity and just a bit more space.

The big question on the type of unit to buy is how you plan to full-time.
  1. If you plan to keep on the move, staying a week or two in various national and state parks, as I do, a motorhome is a very good choice for several reasons. It is easier to hook up and unhook, assuming you do not need a towed vehicle. So, within 4 minutes, I can put in my slides, unplug electric, and leave my chairs, etc. outside to make a quick stop at the dump station, then return to my site. Since I have no towed vehicle, backing in is quick and easy. It is also a luxury to pull over at a rest area and fix a sandwich and use the bathroom without going outside. You can also flip on your AC using your built-in generator so can be comfortable. I stop for groceries and such as I travel between campgrounds.
  2. However, you mentioned "settling" in Florida for the winter and also in the north for summer. That means you prefer commercial campgrounds for months at a time. If that is true, you might want to consider pulling a 5th wheel with a pickup truck. (5th wheels have much more storage than trailers, by the way.) Commercial campgrounds, especially in places like Florida, offer pools, hot tubs, and activities, but you are almost always parked within a very few feet of your neighbors, to the point where you can hear conversations and listen to their TVs. (I had to spend 4 months in such a place a couple of years ago to get medical treatment, and I could hear the dogs next door racing back and forth in his trailer! It is easier to make friends that way, if that is what you want to do. You can leave your trailer or 5th wheel sitting in the same spot with full hookups and drive your pickup truck around. But you can still do some traveling if you want to do that as well, but your total rig will be longer when you travel, and it will be a little harder to get into and out of gas stations and campgrounds.
I hope this helps. Some people say they started out in travel mode and then settled into a semi-permanent lifestyle, but maybe you will be like me and prefer to keep on the move. So think seriously about how you want to live "full-time."
 

MikeT54

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2021
Posts
7
Location
37129
Some Class Cs like mine have full-size pass-through basement compartments like a Class A. Some Class Cs have almost no storage. But generally speaking a Class C cannot handle as much weight as a Class A. For full timing a Class A might be a better option if you have a lot of stuff. For a lot of people giving up their stuff is harder than giving up the house. And remember stuff always expands as time goes by.
Actually giving up stuff is not a problem! We realized a couple of years ago that we have way too much stuff that we never use so we have gradually been downsizing. My wife is very much a minimalist and I am becoming that way myself.
 

MikeT54

Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2021
Posts
7
Location
37129
I always knew I wanted to travel, so when I went full-time with a new Class C motorhome in 2012, I had no problem "adjusting" to a smaller space at all. However, my C is 32' long with two slides, but I have been perfectly comfortable living alone in this small space for the past 9 years! And I hope to do so for another few years, at least. I have never towed a vehicle, so I take my motorhome with me when I want to sightsee or shop. I have driven 157,000 miles in 9 years, so I keep moving and stay almost entirely in state, national, and county campgrounds. I like the space and privacy in such places, as well as being able to be out in nature, NOT close to towns.

Now, I admit, if I were two people, I would probably be more comfortable in a smaller A because of the cargo carrying capacity and just a bit more space.

The big question on the type of unit to buy is how you plan to full-time.
  1. If you plan to keep on the move, staying a week or two in various national and state parks, as I do, a motorhome is a very good choice for several reasons. It is easier to hook up and unhook, assuming you do not need a towed vehicle. So, within 4 minutes, I can put in my slides, unplug electric, and leave my chairs, etc. outside to make a quick stop at the dump station, then return to my site. Since I have no towed vehicle, backing in is quick and easy. It is also a luxury to pull over at a rest area and fix a sandwich and use the bathroom without going outside. You can also flip on your AC using your built-in generator so can be comfortable. I stop for groceries and such as I travel between campgrounds.
  2. However, you mentioned "settling" in Florida for the winter and also in the north for summer. That means you prefer commercial campgrounds for months at a time. If that is true, you might want to consider pulling a 5th wheel with a pickup truck. (5th wheels have much more storage than trailers, by the way.) Commercial campgrounds, especially in places like Florida, offer pools, hot tubs, and activities, but you are almost always parked within a very few feet of your neighbors, to the point where you can hear conversations and listen to their TVs. (I had to spend 4 months in such a place a couple of years ago to get medical treatment, and I could hear the dogs next door racing back and forth in his trailer! It is easier to make friends that way, if that is what you want to do. You can leave your trailer or 5th wheel sitting in the same spot with full hookups and drive your pickup truck around. But you can still do some traveling if you want to do that as well, but your total rig will be longer when you travel, and it will be a little harder to get into and out of gas stations and campgrounds.
I hope this helps. Some people say they started out in travel mode and then settled into a semi-permanent lifestyle, but maybe you will be like me and prefer to keep on the move. So think seriously about how you want to live "full-time."
Very helpful insights, thanks!
 

JudyJB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Posts
1,623
I try to be a minimalist, but consider that when you full-time, you will need things you would not need if you were on a several week trip. For example, I need to carry clothing for four seasons. I also carry a suitcase in case I have to fly out somewhere for a family emergency. Ditto for a vacuum cleaner, more cleaning supplies, and more tools than if I were on a two-week summer trip.

I also carry a small hanging folder case for legal documents and receipts and records. I carry the title for my rig, for example, and copies of some original documents for tax purposes, plus instruction booklets for electronics and stuff like my tire minder and my new backup camera. And I admit I have a small printer and some office supplies. It does add up and counts as weight.

A lot of us also carry a couple of dressy suits and shoes, including a funeral outfit. You never know when you might need those things. I also carry extra towels and bedding for the few times I have company.

I do have several plastic bins of family photos and mementos that I store at my son's house. I inherited the family stuff from both of my parents and grandparents on one side of the family. I have given a lot of stuff away to cousins and niece and nephews, but there is still a lot that will just be kept in storage.

Anyway, you see where I am going. Full-timers need more stuff!
 

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