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Old 07-31-2009, 04:18 PM   #81
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I still contend that retirees can pay to have someone mow in the blistering heat of summer, and shovel snow on grey, cold wintery days.
I already DO pay someone to mow for me. Still doesn't mean I can enjoy myself in retirement when it's 105 outside. I plan on staying in the temperate climate, following around the area where it's 75 for the high. If I ever see 90+ outdoors, it means I'm too far south!
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:14 PM   #82
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I already DO pay someone to mow for me. Still doesn't mean I can enjoy myself in retirement when it's 105 outside. I plan on staying in the temperate climate, following around the area where it's 75 for the high. If I ever see 90+ outdoors, it means I'm too far south!
Yes, like Seattle for instance. We are practically border rats down here.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:24 PM   #83
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On the Today Show with Al Roker it was stated that you could SAVE as much as 61% by RVing. This was today or yesterday's show (I forget as my computer totally crashed, and all time has been suspended). That is quite different from what I heard from real life RVers. Anyone believe this? Anyone?
I do, but I suspect that's only if you RV full time. I can definitely see how living in a motor home or 5th wheel could be significantly less expensive than living in a sticks an brick home. Saving money by RV'ing plus maintaining a home? - highly doubtful.
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:10 PM   #84
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It's hard to convince people that RVing costs a lot of money. Wish it weren't so.

There is an argument to be made if you disregard the initial purchase price, but that makes no sense. Like a boat or a Harley or a vacation home, it's an investment in a leisure lifestyle or hobby. Generally one pays dearly for such things, though there are a wide range of options between bare bones and luxury.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:11 PM   #85
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Sure, but they may not want to feel like Mother Nature is keeping them under house arrest until the brutal cold/hot season is over. Some people like being outdoors, and it can feel like a prison sentence when the weather doesn't allow it for months at a time. And there are a lot of people out here who are going stir crazy and exhibiting signs of cabin fever until it cools off...
I can relate to this during my winter months. Cabin fever is almost a formal team sport up here!
However, with good planning and seasonal balancing, there's plenty of indoor sports and projects to keep busy.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:27 PM   #86
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I think there should be time share RV's or partial ownership RV's . I know I would enjoy RV ing but not enough to pay for an RV . I would enjoy it for a week or two a year but not enough to make all my vacations ( Not sure if they are vacations since I do not work ) Rv trips . My SO's son just bought a used RV so we may be able to rent his out occasionally which would suit us and hopefully him since he will not be able to use it much during the shool year .
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:31 PM   #87
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I think there should be time share RV's or partial ownership RV's .
Here ya go:

RV Timeshare with CoachShare - RV Timeshare Vs Fractional Ownership
CareFree RV - RV time share and RV rentals

It's still expensive.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:10 PM   #88
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My wife said to me last week . . . "why don't we get a motorhome and RV full time?"

. . . Yrs to Go is now starting to look more like . . . Months to Go.

Could be on the road by spring 2010 if we actually have the cojones to cut the cord.
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:05 PM   #89
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According to this couple who have been full timing since 2005, their 2005-2008 averaged $2300 a month including everything. Note that they did work for 12 months out of those three years in RV camps, so for those not looking to work at all, your expenses will be slightly higher.

The way I look at full timing RVing vs. a condo or a house is that there are $50,000 RVs that I'd be happy to live in, but there are very few $50,000 condo or house I'd be happy to live in here in the U.S. I'm sure there are decent $50,000 houses in South Dakota, but I don't want to live in South Dakota.

Our 2005 - 2008 Full-time RVing Expense Averages
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Old 07-31-2009, 10:14 PM   #90
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Interesting idea. Checked it out, did the math. Turns out to be over $200 per night, not including the cost of capital. Assuming an initial price of $85,000 for a 30' gasser as is shown in Coachshare, 80% depreciation 7 years of use, $1200 per year for small maintenance issues (no idea here, really), then 11 weeks per year would be about $157 per night. Still expensive. We still may go that route. I like the idea of keeping the RV ready to go, waking up in the morning, and just saying to DW, "hey, why don't we drive up to {fill-in-the-blank}" and just get in and go. But, when you look at the cost, and compare to Comfort Inn or Holiday Inn, the hotel is way cheaper.

On the other hand, if you got a small to medium travel trailer ($20k), used the same assumptions and 11 weeks per year, then you are in the $60 per night range. None of the above includes the RV park or campground fees.

If we had an RV, I'm guessing we would get about 8-10 weeks per year of usage. I think it would be a little less for a trailer, maybe 4-6 weeks, judging that for the longer hauls we would stay in not-too-expensive hotels instead of the trailer.

REWahoo, how many weeks/nights do you and your DW use your rig per year? Others, chime in please. (Audrey, I kjnow you guys are 365 days a year). Dex, you've been out and about for a while, how about you?

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Old 07-31-2009, 10:37 PM   #91
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REWahoo, how many weeks/nights do you and your DW use your rig per year?
In the first two years of ownership, we've averaged a measly 38 nights/year.

It's like this - when we bought the motor home, DW wasn't as enthusiastic about extended trips as yours truly. Thankfully she has warmed considerably to spending more time on the road and our utilization was on the increase this year. We had plans for a 5 week summer trip until we had to cancel due a family illness. That situation has kept us parked at home for the past three months.

I continue to have high hopes of hitting the road for several weeks a couple of times each year. Someday...
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Old 08-03-2009, 09:51 PM   #92
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It's hard to convince people that RVing costs a lot of money. Wish it weren't so.

There is an argument to be made if you disregard the initial purchase price, but that makes no sense. Like a boat or a Harley or a vacation home, it's an investment in a leisure lifestyle or hobby. Generally one pays dearly for such things, though there are a wide range of options between bare bones and luxury.
Rich is right.

However I do know some folks who were smart buyers of a used motorhome and were able to live very frugally by RVing and had a wonderful time. They did a lot of volunteer stints at different state and federal parks for the free camping/utilities/laundry bennies. When they were ready to come off the road (medical issues) they were able to trade their motorhome for a park model on a fixed lot. This kind of frugal lifestyle can be turned into a high art! Oh yeah - before fulltime RVing they did 20 years as ERs living on a sailboat cruising central America!

We are different. Yes, we save a HUGE amount of $$$ by not also owning/maintaining/paying taxes on a house. But we also spent a great deal on the motorhome which is a depreciating, high-maintenance asset, and over a 10 year period I seriously doubt we will save more money than if we had kept the house and traveled in more conventional ways. Our annual living expenses (including travel) dropped 18.5% on average after we moved into the motorhome, but that still will probably not cover the initial RV cost/depreciation even after 10 years!

It's all about lifestyle/travelstyle.

Audrey
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Love our Rv, hate hotels
Old 08-06-2009, 09:40 AM   #93
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Love our Rv, hate hotels

I just got back from a week long adventure with my girlfriends and kids (3 moms and 3 girls for 2700 miles). Had a great time and altogether we spent about $1500 for gas, tolls, overnight lodging, and food.

We figured it was probably a wash financially if we had done the budget hotel/ budget meal thing, but I had my own bed (the bed bug thing at hotels has me totally grossed out), ate healthy (I am very picky about my food), and I never had to pack/unpack my clothes even though we stayed in a different place every night.

We recently traded up to a class A "bus" motorhome and the set up/ break down from each campsite was about 15 minutes once we all got into a routine.

The nicest campground we stayed in was the Indiana Dunes State Park, which was $17/night but only had electricity. We were 1/4 mile hike to Lake Michigan and the beach.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:51 AM   #94
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We have toyed with the idea of getting an RV, but the "toad" thing has always been a stumbling block for us. It sounds like a lot of trouble, but I suspect there are tricks that we don't know about. What is involved in towing a car? Are some cars better than others for towing?
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:05 AM   #95
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We have toyed with the idea of getting an RV, but the "toad" thing has always been a stumbling block for us. It sounds like a lot of trouble, but I suspect there are tricks that we don't know about. What is involved in towing a car? Are some cars better than others for towing?
Towing a car or a "toad" takes a little getting used to, but it's not a big deal. We did our research and spent a little more getting set up for safety and convenience. We purchased an all-terrain tow bar $750, and a tow bar for my jeep was ~$450 installed. An additional cost was a tow brake by US Tow. Not required in every state but a necessity in my book. ~$1100 installed, the brake allows the jeeps brakes to slow the RV down if the RV has brake failure, also includes break-away safety features to stop the jeep if it breaks from the RV.

The hardest part of the toad is the fact that you can't back up if you are towing the car 4 wheels down. Hook up/ take apart about 5 minutes; DH and I do it together to save time, but I can do it by myself. I think I amaze a lot of guys because I can drive the RV and do all the "blue" jobs myself
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:09 AM   #96
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We have toyed with the idea of getting an RV, but the "toad" thing has always been a stumbling block for us. It sounds like a lot of trouble, but I suspect there are tricks that we don't know about. What is involved in towing a car? Are some cars better than others for towing?
Based on my experience, towing a car "4 down" (all 4 wheels on the ground, no tow dolly/trailer) is very easy to do - just don't try to back up. I tow a 2004 Chevy Malibu Maxx and would not know it was attached were it not for the back up camera and monitor. Towing this way eliminates having to wrestle with a tow dolly once you get to your destination and solves the "where do I store it?" question.

Unfortunately relatively few cars/suvs can be towed 4 down without some sort of modification to the drive train/transmission, especially those with automatic transmissions. Motorhome Magazine publishes an annual list of towable vehicles - scroll down and look for the "Dinghy Guide" in the right column.

Like virtually everything else involved with non-bare bones RVing, there are costs involved to set up your vehicle to tow. You need a tow bar, a base plate for the vehicle along with some sort of supplemental braking device. Purchasing all three of these new can run in the $2-3K range, especially if you have someone else install the base plate and braking device for you.

EDIT: Cross-posted with Amy...what she said.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:24 AM   #97
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REWahoo and Amy, thanks for the info. Unfortunately, our Honda Civic doesn't seem to be easily towable.

We had to laugh at the Dinghy Guide. Our last dinghy was inflatable!

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Old 08-06-2009, 10:40 AM   #98
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I suspect the "dinghy" term came from the fact they are towed by land yachts...
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:45 AM   #99
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Unfortunately relatively few cars/suvs can be towed 4 down without some sort of modification to the drive train/transmission, especially those with automatic transmissions.
This is a good point. The whole reason I bought my Jeep is that all I have to do to disconnect the drive train is to put it in "neutral". I thought Hondas did, too. Maybe it was just the CRV I looked at? I know Explorer's need a modification that runs ~$300
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:15 AM   #100
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We just got back from a vacation--total cost for airfare, rental car, gas for car, transportation to/from airport and lodging in reasonably priced B&Bs and small cutesy inns was $1784 for 7 days for two people.

I think an RV rental could be comparable--if it could be rented for 7 days at $131/day, that's $917, leaving $800+ for gas and site rentals.
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