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Post Info TOPIC: Full Time RV Living


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Full Time RV Living


I have always thought I would never sell my house to full time.  The thought of not having a home base with all the things I find comfortable scares me.  But after upgrading to a MH from a pop-up and spending several weeks going from Kansas to the east coast I did not want the vacation to end.  When we got home the house AC was off so we just stayed in the RV until I needed to return to work.  The following weekend we were back out to our local festival in the RV.  We have made plans for another week at Table Rock Lake in a few weeks.  The more time we spend in the RV the more attractive full timing seems.  I know we are in the vacation mode, that would all change with full timing.  What would I miss not having a house?  Does the longer you live in the RV make it easier or tougher to continue the lifestyle?  In not too many more years we could make the change.

 

Thanks,

Mark & Becky



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LifeBeganInaWinnebago wrote:

...Does the longer you live in the RV make it easier or tougher to continue the lifestyle? ... 


 I suspect that the answer has nothing to do with how long you live in the RV, but rather your attitude and ability(emotionally, intellectually and financially) to adapt to new ways of doing things and new routines.

Add in your sense of adventure, your other comments from your OP and I think you already know the answer to that question. smile

 



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What we DON'T miss about owning a house:

1) Maintenance and repair (you will still have maintenance and repair on the RV, but I'm not willing to have the burden of being liable for both).

2) Property taxes (very high tax rates where we were living).

3) Worrying about an unoccupied house when we're away in the RV... and God didn't program me to be a landlord.

4) All the "stuff" - especially the stuff stored in the basement and attic that we never looked at or used.

5) The three extra bedrooms and dining room that we never used.


What we do miss about owning the house:

Other than the great view we had out the back windows, I can't think of much - and we can exchange any number of great views in the RV!

I think Brian and Cindi stated it correctly about suitability for the lifestyle. If your finances are such that you don't have to worry about that aspect (and there are folks who are full-timing on very limited budgets) and you can work out the health care aspects, you are only limited by your imagination and sense of adventure. There WILL be bumps in the road - but if you're not experiencing the occasional bump, you're not alive, anyway.

Rob



-- Edited by Second Chance on Monday 20th of June 2016 10:40:33 AM

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That's a amen on that for us too. Very well put. We no longer want to set at home and grow old. We drove 17000 miles and toured 17 states in the process and when it came time to head back we were not ready to go home and clean and mow and paint and fix. RV living is our new life. Look forward to the day we sell our home and sign the papers. Happy Trails ya'll

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LifeBeganInaWinnebago wrote:

 What would I miss not having a house?  Does the longer you live in the RV make it easier or tougher to continue the lifestyle?  

Thanks,

Mark & Becky


 I miss having a bathtub....that's about it.  The second question is interesting.  I guess I would say easier at least for us.  The longer we are in it the more acclimated we become.  We didn't RV prior to going full time so we had quite the initial learning curve.

 

Tracy



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Tracey wrote:

I miss having a bathtub....


Heather too misses the tub. 

We have it on our list of wants and desires for our next Motorhome.

For now, about every four to six weeks, we head out for a weekend to some destination near where we have set up shop. We locate a reasonably priced hotel, and see the sights. She gets the tub (and an endless hot shower), and we both experience a little bit more of the region that we would have normally.

With respect to selling, renting or letting the house sit - do what you feel works best for you. You have all the time in the world to decide which direction fits your life best. No need to allow that decision from preventing you from doing that which you already know you love to do - travel with your RV!

We still own our home - mainly because we haven't decided what to do with it just yet. Heather has used it a few times when returning to Tucson to visit family. We may rent it. We may sell it. We may let it sit for another year, and then rent or sell it. When the time is right, we will make the right decision - as will you.

Good travels to you all.



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After 9+ years of fulltiming we bought a park model in an RV park in Mesa that we enjoy. We have the motorhome for summer travel, and in the winter spread out just a little more in the park model. We enjoy all of the things the park has to offer in the winter, especially heated pools & spas, the concerts in the Phoenix area, the restaurants, shopping, trips out into the desert, and when it starts to get hot - we move into the motorhome and head north for the summer. We know that someday we will no longer be able to handle the motorhome, but for now this works for us. Added plus is having work done on the coach while we are in the park model, not living in a service center parking lot!

 

Barb



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Coming up on 4 years fulltime for us and whenever I feel that we MIGHT be ok with another little chunk of land we just go visit our friends that get tied down by having stuff and the lawns that really own THEM and we are done with the notion.

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We're back in our previous "home turf" location right now, just had dinner with our old neighbors who spent all of last summer redoing all their landscape and plan to spend much of this summer continuing the project and I must say I DO NOT miss yard work at all and really don't miss the old house at all.

What I do miss is my old craft area, I'm still an avid scrapbooker and with all the wonderful photos I take during our travels, I have lot to scrapbook, but much more limited time and space.

We've had multiple break downs over the past 16 months, 2 that left us stranded for a while and 1 that was intermittent and had us in an out of the same shop in Mesa AZ 3 times in one month. As a result of those issues, we've considered the route Barbara mentioned, getting a park model or condo or parking the 5th wheel permanently and having a second smaller, travel rig, but still can't decide where we would want a primary location. We've kicked around several different ideas, but just can't decide where we would want to be for more than 1 or 2 months at a time. So to answer the second question, we're finding it easier and less expensive to just continue FT RV'ing despite the challenges of occasionally having to get a hotel while the RV is in the shop so we can continue to work while the RV is being repaired.

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks for all the advice. Not having the responsibility of maintaining the house would be nice. I think Barb's park model would be a good trade off. Someplace you could still call home but smaller and less maintenance
As for the tub, the RV does have a small tub and Becky has already put it to use. We went to Kansas City for a half marathon. After the race Becky and I stayed in the RV while the girls went shopping. She was quiet in the back of the RV, I assumed she was asleep. I found her in the tub quite content with herself soaking sore muscles. It also serves as a gray water overflow in a pinch.
I think having the option of selling the house with the plan of possible getting a park model when we wanted a place to stay for awhile makes the transition more appealing.

Thanks Again,
Mark

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We been full time since 2008. We use a 5ther for the very reason ya'll are having to have a different place to stay at times. Never spent a night out of our "home". Never been in a shop either. If the tow vehicle needs service I still have my "home". This is the main reason we never wanted a MH.

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Glenn West: The only times we have been kicked out of our motorhome for the night were for "house" issues, not engine issues. A 5th wheel owner would have been kicked out for the same reason, the living area was unusable for the night. We have had some noisy nights getting engine issues fixed, but stayed the night in the motorhome. We have been fulltiming in a motorhome since 2003.
Your 5th wheel has been amazingly reliable, since we have friends who have had to stay in motels while getting their 5th wheel fixed.

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I don't buy "low cost" rvs. I can also do most anything to a fifth wheel. I research, research, research before choosing a unit. Trucks, motors have to be serviced and fluids is taboo in rv parks. You have to take a MH somewhere for service. If you are not full time and have a home base you could do all your service at home. But we are full time. So we choose a 5ther for these reasons. We have never spent a night in a hotel since we went full time. Can you MH owners say the same? Not trying to be critical just stating my reasoning.

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Opinions and experiences vary.  No need to stir the pot...



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There are pluses either way to owning a 5th wheel vs a MH. We could go on for ever comparing issues, but it just comes down to personal preference. We started off years ago with a class A and always wanted to return to a class A. We looked at 5th wheels and there are some really beautiful ones but we always returned to looking at the class A. I do almost all of my own maintenance on everything we have, house and cars. I work for a drug company maintaining, troubleshooting, and designing control systems. I have done all the work on our cars from replacing motors to rebuilding wrecks that have been totaled, (four daughters can be tough on cars). I have already repaired a few things on this RV in the last year. One main issue we had with the 5th wheel was the need to purchase a truck big enough to comfortable tow it. trying to find a low mileage diesel at a reasonable price is not easy. Big DPs with low mileage are abundant. We also love the view and ride of the DP. There is no right or wrong RV. I'm sure we would be just as happy if we would have chose a 5th wheel. The class A just seems right for us.

Mark & Becky



-- Edited by LifeBeganInaWinnebago on Thursday 30th of June 2016 04:49:18 PM

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Nicely put Mark & Becky :) We moved from a 5er to a Class A 13 years ago and the way we move and travel often "it suits us". Had to have engine totally replaced couple years or so back and spent a week in Pocatello and still lived in the RV. They pulled it partially into the bay each day and rolled it out each night providing us with water and electric hook up as required. Just like Bill, we've never had to "move out" of our home on wheels when in for any repairs. Bottom line for us is, if they can't accommodate us and our needs, we'll find someone that will and appreciates the business! After all, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

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Glenn -

Regarding being able to live it in while it's in the shop, I could certainly see being able to stay in it overnight while in the shop, but for those of us still working, sometimes that's just not possible during the day. Our last repair was related to a hydraulic issue. When they were testing things, moving slides in / out, levelers up and down, and just the noise level at the shop itself, well, that's not a conducive work environment for me and I am unwilling to use vacation days for RV repairs.

We have used mobile techs when possible, we have had repairs done a couple of times by shops that had limited Saturday hours, etc. in an effort to avoid staying in a hotel. I honestly don't think it would have mattered if it were a MH or 5ver, having to maintain a reasonable work environment while the rig is in the shop is not always feasible.

Like you, we didn't buy a cheap rig, but that doesn't mean we haven't had repairs that were beyond our skillset to handle. Maybe when we're retired we'll find a better alternative during the day time shop hours, but for now, I will go to a hotel when necessary so I can maintain my job. It's a compromise we make to continue living this lifestyle, and yes, it's something that is in our budget.

Each situation is unique.

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I work full time also.

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Well said (as usual) Ruth. One thing to consider is your age and if one of you got ill would you want to return to your current home. There are so many alternatives out there and the best I've ever seen is buying a lot in a co-op like Jojoba Hills in SoCal. Many folks leave their RV's there in the summer and travel in smaller RV's in the summer. Free fenced parking for your second vehicle there too.

My husband was completely healthy and active until he got his Dx at age 70. We hadn't been full-timing for a year. We continued on and off ended up by coincidence buying back the same house we sold 10 months earlier. So we started part-time, went to a rally and got hooked, then upgraded and went full time then back to the house. I miss the road so I bought something I think I can handle myself even at my advanced age 😄!

We did have to stay in a hotel once when our rig caught fire for fiberglass repairs and painting.

Sherry



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I think the 5th wheel vs Class A is the first decision that needs to be made ... there are other choices, but these two are most similar in size and features. I can't argue against either but I can only explain my decision. I've owned several boats, so a truck towing something seems very normal to me. The inside of the new diesel trucks (ours is a Ford F-350) is very nice, roomy and quiet ... as nice as anything out there. The silverware is rattling, the plates, pots and pans, creaking panels and slides (I assume) are all gong on in the trailer, but not inside the truck. So that (for me) trumps the get up and walk around thing in a bus. The other biggie for me was the ability to back up. I'm not completely sure of how all the different towed car connections work, but they don't look like backing up is possible (at least not with my skill set). So we chose a 5th wheel, but I totally get how many would be attracted to the Class A diesel route. I think they are both pretty cool, but when I'm parked, I still get to drive my big truck ... maybe I failed to mention that we're TEXANS, and we do like our trucks😎.

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There are three disadvantages of driving that big truck when not towing that I can think of off hand.

1. Its physical size restricts where you can park, especially when down town in major cities where there are very narrow parking spaces.
2. It's much more expensive to operate a big diesel truck than a small toad.
3. It's easier for us old folks to enter and exit a small car than climb into a tall truck.

I bought an 08 F-250 6.4l that I was going to use to tow a TT for full-time use when I retire in a couple years. Though well maintained (which was very expensive) the engine died when one of the lifters failed, to the tune of $15k+ in repairs. This was more than my truck was worth, so I sold it for salvage and decided to save for a used class A gasser instead, towing my little Chevy Cobalt for around town shopping and daily use. I now have over 335,000 miles on my little 4 cyl. car, (I replaced the automatic transmission at about 300,000 miles but the engine is original) and when the engine finally gives up the ghost, I'll simply replace the engine with a good used one, which can be purchased and installed for around $2K (under $4k for a gas engine in a MH). Most of the minor repairs I can do myself, unlike a diesel truck. Even replacing a gas engine in a Class A can be done for maybe a third the price of a diesel in a pick-up. So from a cost of ownership perspective, I think I will be much further ahead choosing a class A. Plus operating a toad when not towing (which will be the bulk of my mileage) will only cost me about 1/3 what my diesel truck did to operate on a cost per mile basis, all things considered.

Also when you stop for the night, (or just to use the potty or make a sandwich) your living area is already the correct temperature for occupancy. In inclement weather, you don't have to exit the truck and go outside before entering your home (or the reverse when leaving) if traveling in a MH. This may also be a security issue if you find yourself stopping in less safe areas. If there is a perceived security threat in a MH you can simply drive away, minimizing any exposure to risk as well as exposure to the elements.

There are pros and cons of every decision which should all be weighed carefully to decide what works best for your individual needs.

Chip



-- Edited by Sushidog on Thursday 7th of July 2016 08:28:53 AM



-- Edited by Sushidog on Thursday 7th of July 2016 08:35:10 AM

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I don't drive that Freightliner except when towing or I just want to run it. Carry my car on bed and hitch is on rear of bed for camper. I assume that post was directed at me. Unless you have ever rode in one you don't know what you missing compared to a ldt.

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I think routine use of an HDT for groceries is mostly what you get used to. I spend so much time in one, parking isn't a problem, except for some downtown areas and places built for much smaller vehicles. In city traffic, like Los Angeles, I am more comfortable in the big truck.

Fifth wheel vs class A for me personally is a wash. The wife prefers the fiver. Even if I were moving everyday the fiver is no more trouble than a class A. But, I tow a 53' all the time with the axles close to the rear. Pulling 40' fiver with the axles in the middle is easy in comparison, especially in tight situations. Backing, even parallel parking, the fiver is just another maneuver. I dang sure ain't smarter or better, just more practiced. I could have any one of you backing up like a pro with a little instruction and six months of practice. It ain't rocket science, just foreign. Operating in traffic is the same principal. The more you do it the less you worry about stuff. The RV specific stuff is the same. Sewer, water, electricity, slides, leveling, all the same. Having said all that, it is a personal choice. We started out looking at class A's. Then I bought the big truck for work and since it was paid for, our focus changed to fivers.

I am satisfied with our choice but for me it all comes down to spending time with the DW. Wether a cardboard box or a palace, I'm happiest when we're together. The big truck is all about toys and testosterone.

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Nobody likes an "I told you so" Glenn. We have been stuck in a truck repair facility for 2 weeks trying to resolve some electrical issues. Fortunately we have 30 amp service, and we are fulfilling our state park volunteer job ( mainly to have something to do while the motorhome gets fixed). No fun, but we will get through this, and I would still choose our motorhome for a variety of reasons (2007 Monaco Dynasty towing a Jeep Wrangler). We have only been fulltiming for 3 months so this is a bit of a rude awakening! Thank goodness for our extended warranty ( but I am expecting a fight on the final bill!).

Happy trails, Mike & Theresa Wyant

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Most everyone wants their choice to be the "right" one. In this case there is no such thing. All of the choices are "right" for the people who make them. Jack Mayer (the Champion of HD truck 5th wheel towing) ALWAYS starts his position statements with some version of "a HDT is not for everyone, but this is why I like them" ... that is as balanced a point of view as you can have. Sushi dog thinks driving a big truck around is a problem (and for him it probably is) ... for me it's what I prefer. I've driven 4WD pickups for the last 20 years (long before a 5th wheel entered the equation) and really don't want to drive anything else ... but that's just me. I totally get people who drive Smart Cars ... not for me, but it works for them, so have at it. I'll spin Jack's disclaimer ... a Smart Car isn't for everybody ... enjoy what you have chosen and respect the choices of others. For me, I wish fewer people wanted to RV ... the parks wouldn't be so crowded 😎 Safe travels!!



-- Edited by RonC on Wednesday 2nd of November 2016 07:49:46 PM

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I think the biggest thing I miss about having a house is a big kitchen to cook in with lots of room for gadgets. :)

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2riker2go wrote:

I think the biggest thing I miss about having a house is a big kitchen to cook in with lots of room for gadgets. :)


 That's for dadgum sure…I had to give up so much stuff when we moved out of the house. I still cook gourmet but had to get rid of stuff like the bread maker and espresso machine that didn't get used very much…along with a lot of the larger pots/roasting pans…but then we don't have an oven and are only cooking for 2 now so that's not much of a problem.

We do grill a lot more than when we lived in the house…and it was at least twice a week back then…more now. The only things we've really bought kitchen wise since hitting the road is an Aeropress for coffee when our Mr. Coffee died…we only drink 1 cup each every day and even making 1 cup at a time the Aero makes 2 cups quicker than the Mr. Coffee brewed it…and one of those Anova Sous Vide things. It fits nicely into the one large pasta pot I brought and is great for that sort of cooking…although one still needs to either grill or saute the meat a minute or two after it's done to get the Malliard reaction going for all the nice brown bits. Straight out of the sous vide process the meat is sort of grayish instead of that more pleasing color.

 



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LifeBeganInaWinnebago wrote:

  What would I miss not having a house?  Does the longer you live in the RV make it easier or tougher to continue the lifestyle?  In not too many more years we could make the change.

 

Thanks,

Mark & Becky


 

The only thing I miss about my house is my bathtub.  I love not paying utilities or taxes.  I love when I don't like my neighbors I can usually move on.  Towards the end I really felt like the house was a millstone around my neck and now that is all gone.  Two years in, I don't miss it in the slightest, but I will say in all fairness it wasn't my dream house.  That might have been harder to give up. 

 

Trace



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