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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-29-2006, 06:54 PM   #21
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

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Originally Posted by perinova
$15-$20 is the lowest I have seen for camping rates but that includes the utilities I believe.* I don't think there a cheaper way that would be comfortable. Of course in transit you don't spend for camping but find a parking spot somewhere.

$540 is not cheap but can one find equivalent rent in a cheap part of the country?
I've read that Wall-Mart allows RVs to park in its lots for free.

Some relatives have traded in the house for an RV and they've been able to work part-time at the camp grounds in exchange for free parking.

With gas at $3 / gallon, moving an RV is pretty darned expensive.

$540 a month is 25% more then I pay in property taxes and probably double the national average - so in that sense, owning a home (rather than a depreciating RV) might be less expensive.
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 12:22 AM   #22
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

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Nords, call me crazy but I would love a trip in a sub.* I just toured the WWII U-boat here in Chicago for easily the 1,000th time and each time I think that I would love to spend maybe a month or so on a sub.
My point was just that my quality-of-life standards are very low.* Submarines are fun, too, but inmates at federal prisons are, by law, guaranteed more living volume than all but the top two officers of a submarine.* And they still have to share a bathroom...

You'd feel right at home on a modern nuclear submarine, too, because a lot of the gear is still similar to the U505!
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 03:32 AM   #23
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

I'm single and when I did the math, apartment living definitely seemed cheaper than itinerant RV'ing. It is a cool lifestyle choice, though. But as others have mentioned, it is also fraught with a lot of maintenance.

One thing I thought of doing to keep costs down is getting a used camper van with a sink and a bathroom and maybe a little solar and extra batteries. As low maintenance as possible. Combine that with your laptop which you can use to watch movies and Verizon high speed wireless internet (and in 2-3 years Wi-Max will be everywhere, too) and maybe even Satellite radio. You can park a van almost anywhere without being noticed (zero camp fees). Maybe shower at the YMCA or 24 hour Fitness or sponge bath yourself and wash your hair in the sink. Or you can stay in a motel every third night, you are not paying campground fees or stay at the campground a couple of times a week and pay a fee or just park there and pay to use the showers. Ok, maybe this is a little Ted Kaczynski-ish but go with the flow . . .

If you don't drive much in your regular life, you could even make your camper van your only vehicle.

This seemed a compromise that allows savings for travel without an expensive RV and/or truck rig and avoiding a lot of motel fees for the budget-minded.

Just some random thoughts . . .

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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 07:07 AM   #24
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

Here you go, Kramer, just for you: http://cheaprvliving.com/Howtoliveinaboxvan.html
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 09:52 AM   #25
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

No question that the cheapest way to do RV living is to volunteer or workkamp at a campground or state/county/federal park for 2 to 4 month stretches at a time. You get free site and utilities, and usually laundry, local phone, etc. Because you are parked for several months, there are no RV gas bills.

There are hour requirements though. Might be 20 hours/week at a public park. For the workkamp positions at commercial parks there is often also a (low) wage. Some National Forest camp host type positions offer a stipend.

A whole lotta seniors use these opportunities to stretch their retirement dollars. Makes a HUGE difference to their annual budget even if they don't get paid any cash.

There does tend to be a big difference between "workamper" and "volunteer". The volunteer positions are usually nicer locations (public parks), fewer hours, some choices in types of "work" you volunteer for, but no extra pay - just free site and utilities/laundry. The workamper positions are usually not a nice a location (commercial parks tend to be more crowded), more hours, you are an "employee" rather than a "volunteer" so you might not have much say in type of work. But you do earn extra money in addition to the free accommodations.

http://www.workamper.com/WorkamperNews/WNIndex.cfm

I think these types of "opportunities" are also very popular with retirees because they get to be part of a "family" for several months. A nice small inclusive social network with other volunteers and park staff. I suspect that's another big reason why retirees keep doing it.

Audrey
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 10:27 AM   #26
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

We always learn alot while out on the road. One time a full-timer who sort of 'worked the nice weather' talked with us for about an hour about his lifestyle. He had a girlfriend with her own MH, and he'd meet up with her in pre-planned locations. They were both older and had their own respective families (and no interest in marriage). He used his daughter's as a home base. She spent a great deal of time visiting her larger family and friends.

As I understood it, he sort of worked the fringes. He stayed at places during the tourism low season, the shoulder seasons. He could usually nab some work if needed. Although he didn't get specific, my gusss was that he was getting by on Social Security and maybe some little extra. His daughter sent him money or forwarded his checks. He said he always wintered at The Slabs, with his girlfriend:

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articl...02/ai_n8936588
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 11:02 AM   #27
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

I've been full timing since July 18; I'm a city boy and never RV'd before this.
My travel traler is only 17' and has everything you need. I'm traveling alone and it is a nice size. If there were two people in this rig they would have to coreograph their movements and you really couldn't get out of eachothers way. But I think it could work if you both were fit!

http://www.casitatraveltrailers.com/home.html

The lifestyle is nice - you just hook up and go to where you want stay as long as you want and have fun. The high gas prices means that all RV parks have spaces.

Cost of my set up is minimal. I didn't have to buy a new tow vehicle; the unit cost about $14K and this one tends to hold it value better than most due to limited availabilty and construction. If you get a large RV then you will most likely need to buy a larger tow vehicle; then your investment is larger and so are some of your costs. Also, you will take a hit when you try to sell both.

I'm estimating all my living expenses at apx 2,200 - 2,500/month. This includes all costs - health ins., storage costs, gas, RV costs everything - I don't have a home or appartment at this time.

So don't RV for financial savings; do it for the lifestyle.

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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 11:12 AM   #28
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

http://www.hopalog.com/articles-of-i...t-information/

This young family of six (4 kids) has been full timing for 2 years, mostly in Mexico and sometimes in the US.* Average monthly expense is around $2,500, excluding wear & tear & depreciation on their new van, and new trailer.
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 02:32 PM   #29
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

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Originally Posted by larry
I've been researching fifth wheelers for a year or so and have determined that regardless of time planned to spend in rv, do not buy an entry level rv. *Something like a Jayco Eagle is the minimum in quality that I would ever purchase.
I've been reading several RV websites lately (thanks for the links, everyone) but I'm having a hard time determining relative quality of the mfgs. It appears Lazy Daze is on the high-quality end, but which other mfgs. do people recommend?
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 02:38 PM   #30
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

Well, my 30 year old Airstream is holding up pretty good, so I'd recommend it for the craftmanship and detail that was available then, don' t know what they look like now.
Like anything, the best way to tell how a MH is put together is to look inside the cabinetry for haphazard, slapped-together workmanship (had a friend with a pop-up and there was a glue line a full 3 inches from the wood piece it was supposed to be under! He calls his camper a monday morning special!).
The finish can tell you a lot about the quality of the things you can't see.

Sarah
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 02:56 PM   #31
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

What was the difference between an Airstream and an Argosy back then? Was the Airstream aluminum and the Argosy fiberglass? Or was the Argosy just painted, while the Airstream was always silver? They're built on a Chevy/GMC chassis, right?
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 03:21 PM   #32
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

Yep, it is a bread truck chassis with a chevy 454 engine. A real workhorse! The only thing we've wimped out on fixing ourselves was a brake problem in the rear (try bleeding 28 feet of brake line!).

The Argosy started out as the first foray for Airstream into motorhomes. They wanted to be able to use panels that weren't perfect enough for the silver bullets, so they created the painted Argosy model. It was in production for most of the 70s, I think.
At some point they started making Argosy trailers as well. Now they make a ton of Airstream motorhomes, but they don't look cool like mine.

Sarah
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 03:46 PM   #33
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheryl
I've been reading several RV websites lately (thanks for the links, everyone) but I'm having a hard time determining relative quality of the mfgs.* It appears Lazy Daze is on the high-quality end, but which other mfgs. do people recommend?
Lazy Daze only make class C RVs.* Other reputable class C manufacturers are Born Free and Big Foot.

About 85% of class C RVs are built on the Ford E-450 chassis.* About 10% are built on Chevy Express chassis.* *When people talk about quality class C, they are referring to the build quality of the coach (the house portion) not the mechanical & drive train (chassis).

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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 04:05 PM   #34
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

$2,500 to $3,000 per month seems to be pretty typical for RV fulltimers who don't do a lot of workamping or volunteer-for-site type stuff. We tend to spend more like twice that amount, so I guess that means we're really "living it up" RV lifestyle-wise.

It's a great lifestyle.

Audrey
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-30-2006, 04:47 PM   #35
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

From all the reading I recently did on this subject and the costs associated with full time RVing. It appears unanamous that the costs are as much (if not more if you do any real traveling) as home ownership.

I really don't think the reason for pursuing this life style should be based on finding a cheaper life style, but rather a different life style.

I had an older RV many years ago used for week end and week long trips. Thoroughly enjoyed it. However, if it were full time for me, I would need a much nicer unit with satalite TV and Internet, which really starts to push your monthly nut right up there. You have all the same expences as you do with owning a home. Your insurance is generally higher, your internet and TV is higher. Your utilities are higher, and if you use nice campgrounds to park, your monthly rent is much higher than your taxes. Then there is the issue of gas and repairs and depreciatioon of your RV.

So if financial reasons are what's motivating you, I think you are ill-informed. But if you are willing to pay the price for the "freedom of exploring and seeing the country" well that's another issue.

There are people who own modest RV's and do mostly boondocking. You do have to pay occational "dump fees" and get water. They don't have many of the creature comforts that we have become accostomed to and really appreciate as we get older. No expensive satalite TV hookups and internet hookups. Little in the way of AC or heat, and very little travel at gas prices today. That's OK for the young, I guess, but for me, I want all the goodies.

If I were to consider it, I would do it by taking my chances on an older unit, in hopes that it just might last at least a couple of years, before I decided if it was the life style for me. If not - after my "trial year", I could probobly sell it without losiing a bundle. And if I liked it, I could sell it, and get a more suitable long term RV that would fulfill more of my needs, and probably make a smarter purchase after experiencing the one year trial living.
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 08-31-2006, 05:03 PM   #36
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

I think some folks can and do live cheaper doing the Full Time (FT) RV lifestyle. For others it is just a way to get away from work or to snowbird out of the snow and slush of the northern half of the country. It can cost you anything you like; just like anything else in life. A top of the line Class A can run you a cool $1.4M while an older but still functional one can be as low as $10k. There are RV resorts where you can purchase a space for $25k and pay $700/month in "fees". You can also boondock and never spend a dime to park your RV. Since you can fix your own food and have your own bed you don't have to use a hotel. Water can be found at any spigot and most businesses would be OK with you "toping off" your fresh water tank. There are thousands of free sewage dumps all around the country and LP and gas or diesel would be your major expenes one the rig is paid for.

I don't plan on being FT, DW would go nuts with that lifestyle but we do plan on doing a lot of land travel over the next several years and this seems to be the best option for us.

You can camp.........or you can RV. They are not the same thing. You can do both but you need to know which one you want to do more before you sink $$$ into a rig. A 40 foot Class A with a 15 foot towed (toad) or a 45 foot 5th wheel will not fit just anywhere. If you want to camp with one of these things you will have to be very careful where you want to go and what you want to do once you get there. Most National parks will we off limits for a rig of that size. I believe the average allowed length of many state parks is around 27 feet.
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 09-01-2006, 06:42 PM   #37
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

Just to add my two cents worth .....

I met an elderly couple a few years back that had an older but sericeable Class A, and towed a small car. They spent their winters in Mexico on the beach at an RV park for very little money and they said they had lots of fun with their friends there. They were on their way north to the Sedonna area of Arizona to spend the summer and take trips from there to visit with the grandkids. They had been doing this trip for years and said they would keep on doing it until health or some other serious problem forced them to stop.

It is mostly what pleases you, what makes you feel good. Try it out with an older but serviceable RV get to know the ropes and if it is for you, you will know and if it isn't put a sign on it and sell it or give it to charity whatever, again pleases you.

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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 09-02-2006, 12:17 AM   #38
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

The company I work for makes/sells components for the RV industry which sometimes break and I get to speak with many unhappy RV'ers. They can be the toughest of all customers, but recently I had a chance to go to some motorhome "rallys" and meet them on better terms and I gotta say, as a group they are lovin the lifestyle making the most of thier experience......makes me sorta jealous!
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 09-02-2006, 01:26 AM   #39
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

I keep trying to justify an RV, but it doesn't make sense for us yet. We travel about 1/3 of the time, but we still spend a lot of time in very remote places where most RV's can't go. For these trips we drive our Dodge RAM with a camper shell. If we are spending a week or more, we set up a tent and a shower as part of the campsite.

We do go places where an RV would provide much greater comfort than our camper shell and tent, but there are fewer of those trips than of the more remote style. I figure as we age we may tip the balance toward the more civilized trips and we'll buy an RV.

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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?
Old 09-02-2006, 10:01 AM   #40
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Re: REduce burn rate with an RV. A used one?

I thought SteveR gave a good summation of the situation..

Since Billy and I fulltimed as part of our 16 years being ER'd, we do have experience and insight.

We bought used. We realized early on that we wanted as few motors and moving parts as possible, which is why we didn't buy a Class A and have a vehicle in tow. We also knew there were limits to the size of RV's especially in State parks,* so we 'made do' with a smaller rig.

To counteract the cost of fuel, we moved sloooowly and didn't try to blaze through hundreds of miles every day. Sometimes we would stay in a location on the beach for a week or so and then move 20 miles down the coast and stay another week. Other times we would stay a month in one location (or longer) to get better rental prices.

A girlfriend of mine in recent months asked my advice on purchasing an RV. The one she had in mind was almost new, had 3 slide outs, a washer and dryer inside, marble countertops, wooden (real wood-read heavy!) cabinets, etc. etc. etc.

Her intention was to be comfortable 'just like home.' In my recommendations I stated Do not underestimate the cost of fuel about 4 times. I also recommended she buy used in case she didn't like the lifestyle, she wouldn't have thousands tied up in a 'brain fart'.

Turns out she cut back the number of slide outs, nixed the washer and dryer, and bought a little older. What was going to cost her $50,000, she cut down to about $20,000.

Smart girl...*

Also, we have a chapter in our book on the RV lifestyle. (see Table of Contents: http://www.retireearlylifestyle.com/...f_contents.htm)

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