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Old 07-25-2010, 11:09 AM   #21
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DEPRECIATION IS YOUR BIGGEST COST.
What Nwsteve said.

In 2007 we purchased our 2001 motor home from the original owner for $97,500 less than he paid for it new. Depreciation with a capital D.

He left all his paperwork in the motor home and it was interesting to see that he was paying a little over $1,400 per month for something depreciating at about the same rate. Yikes...
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:16 AM   #22
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except for replacing the macerator hose three times, average of 250 each.
Three times? We had ours replaced under warranty (It was split when delivered.) They replaced it with a hose that is incredibly heavy -- I cannot image it ever needing a replacement. I don't know the brand they used but I could probably find out if you need it -- I believe it was sent to the Dealer by Roadtrek.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:11 PM   #23
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Thanks to all those who chimed in.

A few notes:

1) We are looking at Roadtrek RVs, either the 190 or 210 model. They seem to be well made and people seem genuinely satisfied with them. However, when repairs are needed, it looks like the bill can be steep. For example, I read a story where, in order to change the fuel filter, half the bathroom had to be taken apart first in order to get to it. Personally, the upfront and depreciation costs don't scare me. Those are pretty predictable. I am more worried about ongoing expenses that could burden our retirement budget. For example, without a RV, we could always cut back on travel if the market tanks. With an RV, we might still have to pay for maintenance costs (even if it sits in our driveway) and we might not be able to cut our spending as much during a bear market.

2) When I said that a motorhome would allow us to travel on the cheap, I was talking relative to sleeping in hotels and eating restaurant food 3 times a day. Personally, I don't like to eat out that much and I don't like to sleep in cheap motels. I think that the kind of hotel rooms we would be booking would probably go for $100+ a night. Personally, I can't overstate how much I would appreciate to eat homemade food everyday and sleep in my own bed every night while the view from my window keeps changing.

3) A travel trailer would require us to buy a new truck or SUV in order to tow the trailer. Our current vehicles have very low towing capacities.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:31 PM   #24
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However, when repairs are needed, it looks like the bill can be steep. For example, I read a story where, in order to change the fuel filter, half the bathroom had to be taken apart first in order to get to it.
Yikes! Are you sure it wasn't the Fuel Pump that needed changing? That's an expensive proposition even without a house sitting on top of it -- regardless of what kind of vehicle you have now days. I thought the Fuel Filter was an under the hood thing. Nevertheless, this doesn't seem like a "normal" event.

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With an RV, we might still have to pay for maintenance costs (even if it sits in our driveway) and we might not be able to cut our spending as much during a bear market.
I am unsure what maintenance expenses you would have from sitting in the driveway. One of the biggest advantages of a Class B RV is you can use it as the family vehicle so you could "exercise" it periodically. At most, the storage procedure is to simply open a valve and drain all the water and turn off the batteries. (You may have to pay for a jump, I suppose, if left in storage for a great length of time and didn't disconnect the chassis battery.)

Yeah, I agree. Most $100 a night hotels are pretty scary and not something I feel very comfortable in. (And don't get me started on restaurant food.)
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:58 PM   #25
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Yikes! Are you sure it wasn't the Fuel Pump that needed changing? That's an expensive proposition even without a house sitting on top of it -- regardless of what kind of vehicle you have now days. I thought the Fuel Filter was an under the hood thing. Nevertheless, this doesn't seem like a "normal" event.



I am unsure what maintenance expenses you would have from sitting in the driveway. One of the biggest advantages of a Class B RV is you can use it as the family vehicle so you could "exercise" it periodically. At most, the storage procedure is to simply open a valve and drain all the water and turn off the batteries. (You may have to pay for a jump, I suppose, if left in storage for a great length of time and didn't disconnect the chassis battery.)

Yeah, I agree. Most $100 a night hotels are pretty scary and not something I feel very comfortable in. (And don't get me started on restaurant food.)
Good point about the possibility to "exercise" the RV. Even if the market tanks, we should still be able to enjoy the RV, though perhaps we could stay closer to home and keep our trips shorter.

It was indeed the fuel filter that needed changing but it was on an older Roadtrek model, so they might have moved the fuel filter to a more convenient location on newer models.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:25 PM   #26
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Thanks to all those who chimed in.

A few notes:

1) We are looking at Roadtrek RVs, either the 190 or 210 model. They seem to be well made and people seem genuinely satisfied with them. However, when repairs are needed, it looks like the bill can be steep. For example, I read a story where, in order to change the fuel filter, half the bathroom had to be taken apart first in order to get to it. Personally, the upfront and depreciation costs don't scare me. Those are pretty predictable. I am more worried about ongoing expenses that could burden our retirement budget. For example, without a RV, we could always cut back on travel if the market tanks. With an RV, we might still have to pay for maintenance costs (even if it sits in our driveway) and we might not be able to cut our spending as much during a bear market.
If the commode really hit the windmill, I suppose you could just sell the RV. Roadtreks seem to hold their value reasonably well, so you could probably liquidate it without taking too much of a bath.

I know you weren't considering a trailer, but figured I would toss in my data FWIW.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:34 PM   #27
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I know you weren't considering a trailer, but figured I would toss in my data FWIW.
It was appreciated nonetheless. At this point, we haven't really made up our minds yet. The economics of either option will be critical in our decision making process. And owning a trailer definitely has its advantages. As Janet pointed out, the ability to unhook the trailer and go to town with the truck is appealing.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:00 PM   #28
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As Janet pointed out, the ability to unhook the trailer and go to town with the truck is appealing.
Rumor has it Janet is a real "go to town" type...
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:09 PM   #29
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As Janet pointed out, the ability to unhook the trailer and go to town with the truck is appealing.
What would you go into town for? A Class B RV could do anything a truck can do except haul a load of stuff... but what would you do with a "load of stuff" anyway.

This does point out my (only) caution about a Class B RV. They are not ideal for camping more than a few days -- unless you are quite friendly with (and tolerant of) your traveling companion(s). They are for travelers not campers. That means they are ideal for "exploring" -- going off into the woods, for instance, for a long hike without worrying about a long trip to a hotel somewhere at the end of the day. Think of them as if it were a tent with a hard side.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:24 PM   #30
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What would you go into town for? A Class B RV could do anything a truck can do except haul a load of stuff... but what would you do with a "load of stuff" anyway.

This does point out my (only) caution about a Class B RV. They are not ideal for camping more than a few days -- unless you are quite friendly with (and tolerant of) your traveling companion(s). They are for travelers not campers. That means they are ideal for "exploring" -- going off into the woods, for instance, for a long hike without worrying about a long trip to a hotel somewhere at the end of the day. Think of them as if it were a tent with a hard side.
I guess I'd drive into town for groceries or a stop at the ATM. Nothing that a class B RV couldn't handle for sure.

Personally, I can't see myself spending more than a week in a single location, so I think we would definitely be more travelers than campers. Because we will have cats waiting for us at home, I can't imagine traveling more than 1 month at a time, so I think we will have to keep moving to make the most of our trips.

By the way, do any of you RVers travel with pets?
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:35 PM   #31
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Over the years, DW and I have owned a Class C motor home, a travel trailer and a slide-in pick up camper. Only the travel trailer was purchased new. After selling our house last year, we decided to get some type of RV to give us a motel/restaurant alternative during our travels around the western U.S. and because we enjoy the RV lifestyle.

After seeing the prices for good used Class B motor homes (30k +) we decided to indulge in a bare bones, do-it-yourself version. We bought a nice used conversion van, pulled out the extra seats and installed a bed that rivals the one in our house. Cost: $5,500. We also bought a 5' x 8' enclosed cargo trailer that we set up as a kitchen area and organized storage enclosure Cost: $2,500. Is it as nice as a self contained motor home? No way! But most private campgrounds have decent shower and laundry facilities. Is it more work to conduct food prep and other chores? It certainly is! But our investment is small and we are having just as much fun traveling as we did with one of our self contained units.

I guess my point is that RVing can be enjoyable on a modest budget if you get creative and keep things simple.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:43 PM   #32
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One of the biggest benefits is to eat better and more healthy food, when and how you want it.
+1

This can not be over emphasized for someone who's spending a lot of time on the road. Eating every single meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner) out gets old quick.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:47 PM   #33
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But our investment is small and we are having just as much fun traveling as we did with one of our self contained units.

I guess my point is that RVing can be enjoyable on a modest budget if you get creative and keep things simple.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:50 PM   #34
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By the way, do any of you RVers travel with pets?
Absolutely. It's the reason we chose to RV instead of doing something else. We always thought we'd do the first leg of our extended traveling overseas. But that wouldn't work for our two cats(now only one cat ). So we decided to cover North America first and bring the critters along.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:04 PM   #35
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We always thought we'd spend the first leg of our extended traveling overseas. But we couldn't do that as long as we had pets. So we decided to cover North America first.
We are thinking along the same lines. Eventually we would like to spend more time exploring Europe.

Taking the cats along for the ride would make it even more enjoyable and we could extend a bit the length of our trips.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:25 PM   #36
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By the way, do any of you RVers travel with pets?
We don't but... I would venture a guess that more than 75% do... or, at least, that many either have a cat on the dash looking out the window or a man on a leash nearby.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:49 PM   #37
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We are thinking along the same lines. Eventually we would like to spend more time exploring Europe.

Taking the cats along for the ride would make it even more enjoyable and we could extend a bit the length of our trips.
When we head overseas we're thinking about RVing in Europe too. As I understand it, most of the major cities have nearby campgrounds serviced by public transportation. And what better way to see the countryside than with a motor home?

So maybe our North America excursion will end up being a trial run for doing something similar in Europe or even South America. I'm not sure I would try it in Asia or Africa, but who knows.

So much to do, so little time.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:52 PM   #38
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Most all of my vacations have been in the form of camping.
Travel trailers, pop ups, tents, nothing but a sleeping bag in younger days.
Needless to say I love camping more than staying in the nicest hotel.
Probably because I could never relax because of worrying about how much the hotel was costing me.
I could always stay longer and have more fun snorkeling and diving in a State Park camping.
I would say the most important thing I learned about campers is make sure you have a shed to keep them under to protect them from sun/weather damage when not being used..
Dreamer, yo might try picking up a used pop up for your first go at this.
You can pull them with most any car. My only concern would be in some super bear territory because they don't offer very much protection from grizzlies.
The beds are usually big enough and OK, if your better half is reasonable and not super delicate. Hope that's a nice way of putting it. I mean some ladies are just not cut out for camping and then again some love it once they get into it.
I own a 5th wheel at the present time but I just bought a used pop up so I can do easy on the cheap trips using my car to pull it with. I plan to make shorter duration trips with the pop up and the longer/more people in camper stays with the 5th wheel. This wasn't something I really planned but came across a good deal on the pop up.
Anyway, what ever you do plan to cover the unit from the sun.
You will regret it if you don't. Experience speaking here from someone in your climate zone.
Steve
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:00 PM   #39
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When we head overseas we're thinking about RVing in Europe too. As I understand it, most of the major cities have nearby campgrounds serviced by public transportation. And what better way to see the countryside than with a motor home?

So maybe our North America excursion will end up being a trial run for doing something similar in Europe or even South America. I'm not sure I would try it in Asia or Africa, but who knows.

So much to do, so little time.
My old boss, who was nice enough to retire so I could have his job, did Europe (and more) in an RV. He and his DW put all their furniture in storage and leased their home out for a year. They bought what we would classify here as a small Class C motorhome in Belgium (not sure why there) and toured Europe, Scandinavia and parts of North Africa, selling the RV and returning home after a year on the road.

His plan going into it was to write a "how to" travel book. As many of us who are retired can understand, that began to look a lot like work so he abandoned writing and just enjoyed the ride.
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:36 PM   #40
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I would say the most important thing I learned about campers is make sure you have a shed to keep them under to protect them from sun/weather damage when not being used..
Dreamer, yo might try picking up a used pop up for your first go at this.
You can pull them with most any car. My only concern would be in some super bear territory because they don't offer very much protection from grizzlies.
The beds are usually big enough and OK, if your better half is reasonable and not super delicate. Hope that's a nice way of putting it. I mean some ladies are just not cut out for camping and then again some love it once they get into it.
I own a 5th wheel at the present time but I just bought a used pop up so I can do easy on the cheap trips using my car to pull it with. I plan to make shorter duration trips with the pop up and the longer/more people in camper stays with the 5th wheel. This wasn't something I really planned but came across a good deal on the pop up.
Anyway, what ever you do plan to cover the unit from the sun.
You will regret it if you don't. Experience speaking here from someone in your climate zone.
Steve
I am not quite a novice when it comes to RV (lots of avid RVers in my family though none with motorhomes). My parents had a pop-up camper when I was a kid and one thing I do know is that they would be too spartan for my wife's taste. She is not high maintenance, but she does enjoy some basic comforts.

Coincidentally, one of my neighbors is selling his pop up.

Thanks for the tip about protecting the unit from the sun. It sure is very important around here.
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