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Post Info TOPIC: Our Cost of Owning a Motorhome


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Our Cost of Owning a Motorhome


The Rangers are at the end of an era.  We are moving from our gas powered motorhome to a diesel pusher.  We have been perfectly happy with our Monaco LaPalma 34SBD but after owning it for six years it's time for a change.  Yes, I got "RV envy" when my brother-in-law got a diesel pusher.  I want to be clear that there was nothing wrong with our Ford V-10 powered motorhome and I can only hope that the Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40PDT serves us as well as the LaPalma.

Now that we are at the end of this chapter I would like to pass along the financial costs we have had over the last 6 years.  But first I should tell you how we approached buying our first motorhome.  We had no idea if we would like RV'ing when we began, so our decision was to buy a well used Class A and see if we liked RV'ing.  It turned out that we loved RV'ing and so as retirement approached the decision was made to sell the house/stuff and begin our RV/Mexico adventure.  I don't think we thought that we would keep the LaPalma for 6 years, but we were happy and comfortable in it.

So here are the numbers:

Purchase Price of the 2000 LaPalma  -  $29,000

Selling/Trade-In Price  -  $13,000

Total Depreciation in 6 years  -  $16,000

Major Expenses during 6 years  -  $12,910

Optional Expenses during 6 years  -  $2,939

Total Cost of Ownership  -  $31,849    ($5,308 annually) or ($443 per month)

Major Expenses included:  Transmission Rebuild - 4970    Brake Rebuild - 1946    New Michelin Tires - 2682    Furnace - 501   Transfer Switch - 377    Batteries - 560    Norcold Repairs - 265    Annual Service and Fluid changes - 900  Total:  $12,910

Optional Expenses include:  New couch, New carpeting, New hardwood flooring, Redo valances, LED lighting, New Plumbing Fixtures, New Microwave, New TV and HD  Total Optional Costs:  $2,939

Many times the question is asked if it is less expensive to live in an RV than a sticks & bricks?  For us it is a resounding "YES".  And on top of that we love our lifestyle.  I know that everyones experience will be different, but I wanted to share ours as we end a chapter.

Life is Good.



-- Edited by Russ Ranger on Tuesday 19th of September 2017 02:17:03 PM

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Russ & Terri Ranger

5 months (Winters) in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months wandering in the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDT Motorhome

1 month visiting different countries (16 countries in the last two years) 

http://grandbanksruss.blogspot.com



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Wonderful write up Russ and thanks for sharing :)


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Breathtaking Alberta. Her Mountains Draw You But Her People Bring You Back


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hi there---nice post   acouple of questions    is the trany rebuild an expected item for the ford powerplant at so many miles or was just an issue for you guys?.  why mexico?  mwe mare 1 to 3 years from retiring and want to do the fulltimer thing.  BUT  am nervous about the costs.  just bought our lfirst RV  a 32 foot winnie ITASKA class c with the ford v10  we're hooked and the shorter horizon is looking good to me  but gotta nail the costs down  your brief description makes it alittle more real for me and affordable



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srjones


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First question:  The transmission rebuild was not a planned event.  We had a repair fund set aside to cover unexpected repairs, so when the reverse on the transmission acted up we scheduled a rebuild.  We took the RV into the shop and then caught a flight to Hawaii and spent 2 weeks in paradise while the repairs were being done. The perfect solution for a tough situation.

Next question:  Why Mexico?  A hundred good reasons for us.  Economically it is a very cheap place to spend a nice warm Winter.  Great food.  Great culture.  Great people.  Large expat community in Mazatlan.  The Sea of Cortez is like a warm bathtub.  Beautiful sunsets.  Good doctors and dentists.  Amazing music 7 days a week.  Sun every day.  Shrimp!!!

After spending Winter in Mazatlan we always have built-up our savings (because of low cost of living).  This helps finance our RV travels and other travels around the world (16 countries in the last 2 years).

Our plan for early retirement is working well as we enter our fifth Winter living in Mazatlan.  

The best advice I could give you is to plan for unexpected expenses by having a strong contingency fund.  Cash can solve many problems that come up while on the road.  Like you, we began with an inexpensive motorhome as our starter RV.  It has been a good plan as I look back.  Our goal was to start our adventure with no debt and very low fixed expenses.  That combination has worked well for us.

Life is good.



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Russ & Terri Ranger

5 months (Winters) in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months wandering in the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDT Motorhome

1 month visiting different countries (16 countries in the last two years) 

http://grandbanksruss.blogspot.com



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks Russ,

A few questions if I may....

What, if any, hoops to jump through for crossing the border? What advice would you offer to someone having not driven across the border for an extended period? Any 'hoops' coming back?

Lastly, word on the street has it that the Mexican government and the cartels create a hostile environment for tourists, especially folks from north of their border. What's been your experience(s) relative to safety and security?

Thanks again in advance!

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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X2 on having a strong contingency fund. It is absolutely one of the smartest things you can do... as long as you only tap it for the unplanned expenses and not run of the mill ones that should already be a part of your budget. Funding and maintaining a contingency fund should be a habit and part of your budget planning.

Brian



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Brian, Cindi & Josie (our fur baby)



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Border crossing into Mexico is simple.  We only use a tourist visa which allows us to stay for 180 days.  You must pay a refundable deposit that gets a permit for your car.  It is returned to our credit card a few days after we leave Mexico. ( It is Mexico's way of assuring that you don't intend to sell you American plated car while there.)  We put our USA auto insurance on hold for the time we are in Mexico and take out a Mexican insurance plan for 6 months.  The cost is slightly less than our policy in the US.

In the 12 years we have been visiting Mexico and the 9 years we have owned a home in Mazatlan we have not had or seen any negative effects that the cartels have on expats.  In our day to day lives the Mexican people have been kind and gracious to us.  The cartels are in the business of dealing drugs, so we have no interest in them or them with us.  There are 25,000 expats living in Mazatlan and the statistics show that we are safer living in Mazatlan than we would be at home in the states.  The first 7 years we owned our home in Mazatlan there were zero (as is NONE) deaths in the expat community.  The last two years there were 2 deaths, each having been caused by love gone wrong.  They had nothing to do with cartels.

The fact is that young men who are involved with drugs and the cartel are killing each other.  The young men have good aim and seem to only want to kill each other.   We gray haired old people are safe.  

The government and 99% of the Mexican people love and appreciate that expats are here and that we are spending our money and supporting their economy.

Don't believe everything you read on the internet or see on the news channels.  It might not be true.

Life is good in sunny Mazatlan, we are driving south in the RV, headed for another warm winter in Mexico.



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Russ & Terri Ranger

5 months (Winters) in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months wandering in the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDT Motorhome

1 month visiting different countries (16 countries in the last two years) 

http://grandbanksruss.blogspot.com



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Nice write up Russ

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My Dreams...............Her Nightmares.

 



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks Russ - glad to hear Mazatlán isn't anything like Nueve Laredo. We may have to re-look Mexico

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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The border towns on both sides (US & Mexico) are a little sketchy because they are ground zero for the drug trade.  Once you are inland or on the Sea of Cortez the picture changes to normal/average towns, villages and cities.  At this time of the year 1,000's of RV'ers are heading South for their favorite locations to spend a great winter enjoying their time in the sun.  Within a few miles of our home in Mazatlan there are 5 RV parks, most will be full by the end of November or early December.  The nicest RV park I have ever seen anywhere (US included) sits on a peninsula overlooking the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez.

Mexico might not be for everyone but this year they expect 12 million tourists to visit.



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Russ & Terri Ranger

5 months (Winters) in sunny Mazatlan, Mexico

6 months wandering in the USA in our Holiday Rambler Endeavor 40 PDT Motorhome

1 month visiting different countries (16 countries in the last two years) 

http://grandbanksruss.blogspot.com



RV-Dreams Family Member

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Russ’s report seems very fair and balanced and parallels the experience several of my friends have told me about. As Russ points out, Mexico is not for everyone, but if you like visiting Mexico, you might like living there as well. Russ ... glad you’ve found what makes you happy ... good for you!


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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 3.73's, 4x4, CC, 6.7 Powerstroke, remote control air lift system

2017 K-Z Durango Gold 381REF (41 ft, 5 slides), MORryde IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 26,760 lbs CGVW

Full Timers class of 2016

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