People who have lived in RVs for an extended period of time, what was it like?

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Kool

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Posts
8
Hello everyone,,
My SO has posed the option of living out of an RV for a period of time so that we can save up money quickly to move out of our current state. I have my reservations about doing something like this, and I wanted to hear what other peoples' experiences were. Did it save you a lot of money living this way? Was it comfortable?
 

Dreamsend

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Aug 16, 2016
Posts
523
Everyone's situation if different. I've lived full time for 2.5 years, and have I saved money, probably not, because I tend to spend money, others may not. Again, comfortable is a really subjective term, but yes, I'm absolutely comfortable because I purchased a good TT and outfitted it to be that way.

Really need more information, when you state "living out of an RV" where will that RV be located? Are you parking in someone's driveway and using their electricity and bathrooms, or are you gonna be in an RV park that requires $300-500 per month rent plus propane for heating and hot water and electricity? Are you paying cash for the RV, or will you have an ongoing mortgage expense to finance it? Will you have to pay for storage of your household goods that won't fit in the RV - furniture, tools, linens, clothing, etc.?

You can do a budget and get a good idea of what your circumstances would be. Many things are gonna be the same - food, groceries, pet care, medical and vehicle insurance, medication costs, fuel costs to drive/commute to work, your lifestyle's entertainment (movies, streaming TV,) hobbies, gifts, etc. So you can ignore those, and compare what your rent, utilities, insurance, mortgage are now and to the expenses of living in the RV - which are also rent, utilities, insurance, and perhaps financing the RV. Are you gonna need a lot of electricity for air conditioning or propane for heating?

And, there will be expenses for maintaining the RV which could be high ($thousands) or low (hundreds) depending on what breaks - furnaces, hot water heaters, fridges, inverters, TVs, water pump and more can crap out and sometimes require expensive parts to fix. Labor costs to repair RVs are astronomical! What do you do when the roof decides to leak? You may have to replace batteries or tires. Then there is also the investment in equipment to operate the RV such as waste water discharge hoses, fresh water hose, electrical extension cord, portable heater or fan, generator, etc. that can run up to $1000 or more.

There are lots and lots of YouTube videos, the this Forum, that can familiarize you with requirements for living in the type of RV you may get - Class A, camper van, TT, etc. Those will give you more comprehensive ideas of what you'll face so you can estimate a budget for living in an RV. All in all, and without knowing your expenses, if your goal is money to "move" then I would doubt living in an RV is the best way to pay for that move.
 

SeilerBird

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Feb 25, 2012
Posts
15,354
Save money by living in an RV? Pretty difficult. RVs are not cheap to buy, operate or maintain. I have lived in one for almost 20 years now, 10 on the road in a classes A, B and C and now I am parked permanently in a fifth wheel. Lot space us $600 per month including electricity.
 

Laura & Charles

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Jun 10, 2016
Posts
359
Location
Could be anywhere. Originally from Ohio (and still
As said above, there are lots of ways to live in an RV full time. We’re in our fifth year and our style is we have office space set up in the coach and both work full time office hours M-F. We explore where we are evenings and weekends, move ever 2-5 weeks, then do it again. Our budget is a bit higher than it was while living in our house. We stay where we have full service.
This is our second coach. After 3.5 years in our starter rig, we were either going to hang up the keys or upgrade. We’re very comfortable in the current rig.
 

Kool

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2020
Posts
8
Hello everyone,,
My SO has posed the option of living out of an RV for a period of time so that we can save up money quickly to move out of our current state. I have my reservations about doing something like this, and I wanted to hear what other peoples' experiences were . Did it save you a lot of money living this way? Was it comfortable?

Thank you my issue has been solved,...
 
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NY_Dutch

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Nov 22, 2010
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6,379
Location
Where our wheels take us!
There's a big difference between living in an RV because you WANT to and because you HAVE to. We've been long time or full time RV'ing since 2008 and have no plans to hang up the keys until our health makes us because we love the life. As for saving money, I can only say we've adjusted our lifestyle to our available income including setting some aside in "rainy day" investments and savings. Our overall costs are significantly lower than they were in our working days when we owned an 1800 sq ft house with 400 acres of land with all the expenses that go with it. But then our income is also significantly lower since retiring. We favor state and national parks for the maximum 2-week stays, and our cost averages less than $25/night. We keep our engine fuel costs down by picking parks that aren't far apart, and our heat fuel costs down by following the weather, warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. The RV life isn't for everyone, but it's a great life for those of us that have chosen it.
 

Ex-Calif

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Joined
May 15, 2020
Posts
1,001
3 years ago I embarked on a "get out of debt" journey. Happy to say that it worked and as of last August for the first time since 1977 I don't owe anyone a nickel.

Housing is a big consideration. Whether it is an RV or a house there is better stability in renting. When something breaks in a rental place you call the LL. When the roof leaks on a house you are sunk.

It took real sacrifice and living in less than desirable and in uncomfortable situations. I cut my housing expenses in half by making a local move 3 years ago.

If you don't already own an RV, my opinion is that you don't get out of debt (or save money) by spending more money, so I would not buy one.

I became a liveaboard about 1 month ago. First impressions are that it's way different than camping in an RV. When something breaks now, it's more than a vacation inconvenience.

Also I am realizing that 300 odd square feet of living space is pretty limiting in terms of lifestyle. OTOH the rent s $450 a month here including utilities and the RV is paid for. This is (again) about a 2/3 cut on direct living expenses + the cost of keeping the RV systems going.
 

Lou Schneider

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Mar 14, 2005
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10,630
3 years ago I embarked on a "get out of debt" journey. Happy to say that it worked and as of last August for the first time since 1977 I don't owe anyone a nickel.
I did the same thing after my divorce in 2010. After a couple of years living on credit cards while wandering around in the motorhome I got in the divorce settlement, I took a good paying job in Santa Monica (Los Angeles). Being up against the ocean limited the area within reasonable commuting distance, and a one bedroom apartment in a decent neighborhood was $2500 - $3000 a month. Instead, I parked the motorhome in a nice RV park in the San Fernando Valley for $800 a month and used the difference to pay off my credit card debt. Then I started putting the rest into savings.

Five years later I was able to retire with no debt and a nice nest egg.
 

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