Hi Everyone. Well, after 15 years the RV-Dreams Community Forum is coming to an end. Since it began in August 2005, we've had 58 Million page views, 124,000 posts, and we've spent about $15,000 to keep this valuable resource for RVers free and open. But since we are now off the road and have settled down for the next chapter of our lives, we are taking the Forum down effective June 30, 2021. It has been a tough decision, but it is now time.


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Post Info TOPIC: FullTiming with nothing!!......Dont be afraid to plan for it!!!!!


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FullTiming with nothing!!......Dont be afraid to plan for it!!!!!


I thought I would start this thread because some come to the forum and say they cant afford to do it....or are so down and out that this is a last resort , but all they see is People talking about spending big bucks to get out here..

Well I'm A realist!!...........yes you Can... you can pull out of your driveway or pull yourself out of your rut for under 5k........(it can be done for under 1k if your a durable survivalist)

The nice part of RVing is it can be anywhere from survival to the perfect retirement!!!.... you just have to do it within your budget and use your head

at 5k your not pulling out in a state of the art unit....but you can head to a better life and support it if you have an open mind.

 

so to start this thread I'll start with the unit itself

Class A. & C...the old ugly duckling......plenty around, yup its gonna need work..(most can be done while your moving) I see good moving ones a thousand and up.......Be aware some coach's will keep you in the " boondock and yes officer mode " permanently if you buy a total piece of crap!!

Seasonal 5ver & TT......there are more than plenty of these sitting in back yards and campgrounds across america , and some are actually free just to get them off the property.....some will tell you you cant put alot of weight in them , but if your reading this your probably going to have to sell everything you have to get this far and leave ,so weight wont be a problem.

If you cant afford a campground...Dont go to one.....almost all units are self contained , you dont really need a park but once a week to dump and take on water!!!

There are a million ways to make a daily living on the road if you just look!!!.......you dont really need a job...A job is just working for someone elses pocket change because they are just a little more motivated than you and got you to do the hard part

Workamping

Fleamarkets

Temp labor

Simple self employment....(Get your hussle on)

online.......Online.......online ( you would be amazed if you just looked)

So let the Questions and fun Begin.........I will be more than happy to share what I know with all of you and if your shy Please PM me...we can keep it between me and you until your ready to pay it forward!!!

 



-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Thursday 5th of December 2013 04:12:25 PM

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My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Mike: Two thumbs up on this thread. I was just at another website where someone was, well, sort of making fun of a couple that were full-timing in a pop-up until someone else brought up that they knew of a couple full-timing with a motorcycle and a tent that were going to AK! And, if you visit the other forums, many are dominated by the absolute necessities that have to be in place like type of RV, size of RV, amount of money you need monthly being at least $3,000 a month and on and on not to mention that the lifestyle is really just met for those with a retirement income that have earned the right to live it. I've seen a lot of people just curl up and crawl away after the attacks they endured on other websites. So, I'm anxious to see this thread take off. A little encouragement can go a long way. "Planning" is the key though.






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Good Job Mike!

One of the things I really like about this lifestyle and this forum in particular is everyone is welcome and there is room for all lifestyles!

Sherry

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when I first became disabled I lost Everything but a sleeping bag and a bridge abutment...They got my possessions but not my pride and gumption   ...So I'm more than happy to share what Ive learned and practiced first hand , not to mention the wisdom of those that taught it to me!!!!!

Simple common sense and a positive attitude goes a long way!!!!!

There is no such thing as failure......failure is for quitters and handouts!!!......I dont deal with those types , but if someone wants the knowledge and a hand -up and doesnt care what someone else has or thinks , I can help !!



-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Thursday 5th of December 2013 01:38:45 PM

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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How frugal can you be? Since we tend to spend what we have, this is a question we don't often ask ourselves. There is a segment of our readers that could care less that I bought a new fifth wheel but are really interested in, what it really costs to live fulltime. There are ends of that spectrum that we really don't discuss much. The typical answer is, well about $20 to $30 a night, when it really should be, that depends. I don't know how cheaply one could get by in this lifestyle and in fact, it really depends on what one needs. It might cost you $1500 a month in green fees alone. That is not a realistic cost when you are more concerned with where tonight's beans are coming from.

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I guess we didn't start out with nothing but we only have a little (very little). We do have to work, so far work camping jobs (with pay) has provided for us and we use the jobs as a way to enjoy and spend extended time in a nice area. We would love to find and are still looking for our own little "niche" in the world where we can make our own $$'s and not have to depend on finding a job.
One thing I find funny is that when you tell people you are a full time RVer they assume you are just merrily traveling around on a permanent vacation. I guess some people do that, moving every few days and chewing up the miles like there is no tomorrow. For us that is not even remotely possible, we would be broke and hungry in less then 6 months. Although we do get to travel some it is more for the purpose of getting to our next work camping job or, after working all season, heading back for a visit with family before heading out for another gig. We are certainly not living everyone's dream but it sure is our dream and we're enjoying every minute of it.

Phil

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Phil & mark You hit the nail......its not over extending yourself or your means to do it.....working from point A to Point B and getting there without Basic worries................if you have a full Tank of fuel and you drive until its empty without the means to refill it you would be in trouble......but if you planned to stop at a half tank you would be in good shape.......

I could name a dozen ways to make 100 dollars a day and use them myself......thats an average of 2500 a month , using different methods gives you a more universal way to stack your bank.

there are over 1 million fulltime RV's out here.....and less than 20 percent are working.....that leaves one very large customer base and add partimers and weekenders and it triples!!

Im not selling miracle products or services......Im not Scamming customers.....just using my head and providing different services that HAVE to be done.......and customers are willing to pay for!!


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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Thank you thank you thank you for this thread. Was thinking maybe we shouldn't do this (3 yrs 5 months and 6 days away) because I was worried about finances and such. But looking at the big picture I don't think I can afford not to. I have hope again.

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Vanessa


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I have to add in my thanks as well, Mike (as I've said before, "you're the bestest!") I wonder if you had me in mind when you wrote this? LOL

I truly am starting to get excited now -- back in dream mode. After 3 years of planning, I guess I wasn't ready to face that it really may be happening. And I certainly am flexible enough to realize that I may not be able to buy the fancy rig I wanted, but as long as it works, doesn't fall apart out of the driveway and require thousands of $$ to fix, it's ok if I need to change my floorplan requirements (I may even be hiring you to help fix it up!). Everything can be done if we put our minds to it.

Thanks again for being such a great inspiration to us all!

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(well, not new any more! Full timing since 6/25/14)

2008 DRV MS 36TKBS3 (the CoW: Castle on Wheels), 2005 Ford F550 hauler (the Bull)

My blog is http://mitcheryl-rv-journey.blogspot.com/

My business: www.AZAdminSolutions.com



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I actually started the work camping gig in the Summer of 1998. My brother and I traveled from Central Florida to Waterford; Mi. in the Classs C i live in now, where I worked at a day use recreation area until Labor day. I had the chance to visit my daughter and grands in Grand Rapids a few times. I bought an old truck pop-up camper and cleaned and painted it. We then went to the Adirondacks of NY u ntil Nov. Went back to Fl. found a local job delivering auto glass and I live in the truck camper. Did some swapping an ended up with a 17.5' tag-a-long needing more repairs and beautifying. I then bought a 1975 GMC CL/C 21' that I did major renovation to and completed in the Spring of 2000. Found work at a Yogi Park in Hudson Falls NY about 1/1/2 hrs. from my sister and brother-in law; whom I got to visit and they visited me. Oh yeah; Found a job from 2001- to the Fall of 2009. My brother died in June 2006 and I was left as the owner of this Class C.

I worked from Maryland to Mississippi to Iowa; visited the Grands again; went to KY at the Amazon gig spent a winter on the gulf came back to KY; then to Iowa; Mi. and Back to Ky at Amazon. The second year at Cave City; KY I had my Heart Attack and now I kind of Hung up My Hat at my signature line. With another Dream floating in my air space in the conference room (Head). LOL! PIEERE

I done this on as little income of $7,700.00 to $10.5 thousand. Almost 3,ooo miles and a 7.3 MPG fuel burner. It can be done if you put your mind to it. I enjoyed most places I worked; met a few friends who still stay in touch and miss it the most!

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Mike is the "bestest" but Cheryl, don't sell yourself short because you inspire me with your Energizer Bunny, keep your chin up attitude and I'm betting you inspire others too.

I have been poor enough in my younger adult years to not want to be like that again. There was a time that I had to read the electric meter every day to see if we could have the lights or play the TV in the evening since I allotted a certain dollar amount for electricity each day so that we could afford to pay the bill. I budgeted to the penny. I learned to cook economical meals and we were never hungry. You are either a survivor or you aren't and if you have a goal in mind, it makes the "bumps" a little easier to ride out.







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Great Thread! You're the best, Mike. Yes, people can full-time on any budget. We plan to retire to a full-time mobile lifestyle in 5 years. Having recently lost my S&B house to a bankruptcy I understand the mindset of financial hopelessness. Changing one's mind is the and deciding what one wants to do is the first step. Fortunately I have a good paying job and my DW is doing as you suggest, turning a crafting hobby into a steady paycheck. Though her business is not generating much more than minimum wage for the time she puts in, she is doing shat she likes, and working toward a goal makes all the difference.

In fact I just purchased our tow vehicle for our full-time lifestyle. I bought it a little sooner than needed for full-timing, but DW needed a new vehicle for her business. It's a 2008 Ford F-250 6.4l diesel. A new diesel truck costs big bucks these days, in fact the Kelly bluebook value of my particular 109,000 mile 3/4 ton diesel is $18,500. Through persistent looking, I found it on Craigslist (a well maintained leased truck) for only $11,900, which is $6,600 below bluebook. So it is possible to get a good deal if you look long enough. Now I know this is still a lot of money for many people, as it is for us, but we were able to save enough since our BK to put 1/3 down and finance the rest (though our interest rate is an astronomical 14.5% because of our BK) on a 3 yr loan, we needed to re-establish credit and appreciate the credit union taking a chance on us. Our plan is to scrape up every penny to pay it off ahead of time, saving unnecessary interest that we can put toward the purchase of a lightly used travel trailer that will be our home for the rest of our lives.

To save money in retirement we are making a list of inexpensive RV parks in south Texas and out west (in the $200-$350/month range). We plan on snowbirding to avoid harsh weather, moving monthly (or perhaps seasonally) to reduce fuel costs and enjoy monthly/seasonal CG rates. Where there's a will there's a way.

BTW I was one of those motorcycle campers back in the 70's and 80's, taking extended trips with my DW on a 750 Honda, a couple changes of clothes, small tent and lots of camping gear, tools and chain lube, but very little cash!

Chip

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Chip...

its not mention in this forum without a dead end so I figure there is only a few of us but......fleamarkets and Festivals generate alot of cash flow.....there are several sites that list national craft fairs and markets.....I know of 7 markets on the east coast area that have RV parks attached .....they make for good travel income and a means to see and talk with other vendors/RVers that are doing the same.....

I have found traveling in 150mile increments (east Coast) can put me in a different market each week.....Keep in mind my expense are low due to boondocking almost continuously but all my travel and living is made thru these markets.............there are rallies and other means to amplify this if your product or services are in demand in these areas

I see alot of people afraid to step out of the box after they get on the road....in fact sometimes when I look and notice 80 % of the RV workforce is struggling to be a workamper and for less hours and a little ingenuity a profitible means is right before there eyes.....

most of these people say there not crafty or mechanically inclined.....Wrong answer!!!........they just havnt got in there head yet that a little patients and practice makes a pro!!

living on the road as an RVer is Great but to make a living out here on the move means Being in the second demention in 3 dementional America.....you develop a skill set not only to plan on travel but to see income potential in different regions as you pass thru.....

I met several friends over the summer that spend their winters at large markets/shows /Rallys in the southern warmth and then come up to Maine to the little markets and shows during the summer and do well.

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

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My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Mike: I would like your opinion on budgeting. For us, budgeting is essential so that I can track and understand where the money goes. This doesn't include accounting specifically for every penny (thank goodness not anymore) but knowing the basics. This was part of the reason that we became debt-free combined with deciding that if there were money when an emergency did come that that same money, if I could figure out where it normally was spent and maybe not necessary, could be saved to be spent on travel and relocation. I have had people really disagree with me and that is fine but to me it is essential. I just wonder what your thoughts are on budgeting.

We have always lived below our means and frugality is sort of a religious principle for me. When I look at the budgets of others, I can usually cross off at least 1/3 of the listed items.

We hope to work for concessionaires on public lands and I know what it pays but it has been our "dream" from the beginning.  The "dream" is sort of like working a Rukic's cube, the answer is there but it takes some work to get there.



-- Edited by SnowGypsy on Friday 6th of December 2013 10:15:03 AM

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Mikes monthly Budget!!!

fuel average with weekly travel $400.....any money not spent on this goes into emergency funds

groceries......$400 again I apply all unspent money into my emergency funds and apply it to the portion of the budget it was originally meant for..

tv...phone and internet 75.00

insurance. 150

park and disposal fees....200

mad money 200

50 per week into emergency funds as its own payment.....this is 2500 a year that is a blessing if you blow a tire or need a major cash pull

my monthly basic budget is around 1500....keep in mind I am solo...and some floating exspenses like the vet and care for nikki are reimbursed but they are paid out upfront by me....(hence the Emergency fund)

I live a minimal lifestyle when on the road....in fact it cost me at least 1k a month more while Im static waiting up here to finish up.

your budget will really have to be determined by your income and your comfort level......I have met and travel with several people who set there budget with a $900 SSD check base...(and I thought I had it bad!).and they are happy and travel the same way I do!!

my micro business is self supporting....and I draw only 1/3 from the gross when needed of any one of them the rest is put right back into materials and operations.

I have been known to take my emergency funds and purchase an RV deal that I Know I can flip quickly with a little work....in fact It has gotten to the point the profits are now kept in there own fund so I dont steal from my emergency fund anymore....(It has paid for my last 3 coaches and became a nice nest egg!!)



-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Friday 6th of December 2013 10:44:27 AM



-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Friday 6th of December 2013 10:45:42 AM

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Great post Mike! You'd probably be surprised if you knew how many people you inspire that never speak up. Keep up the good work.

Red

May I ask what phone ans data service you use?

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I use Boost mobile unlimited talk text web.....55 a month.....(sprint network)

most of my internet is done via WiFi......I built a directional WiFi antenna from a satellite dish and have an amplifier....I use an old laptop onboard to generate a hotspot!!......it has an average range of 1 mile plus depending on terrain....(gotta do what ever it takes as a boondocker)

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!

DRV


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I know that there are a lot of low cost conversion vans, travel trailers available and used by Work Campers.  And I know from my 5th wheel shopping experience that there are plenty of barely used recreation vehicles that people buy thinking they will use them and sell because they do not use them.   

I think due to Christmas around the corner that this is a good month for shopping so parents can travel to see family members or buy nice presents for their children.  I am a Camphost/work Camper at a campground in Georgia and I can give you a couple of Camphost buying examples.  I know of vehicle homes for Camphosts that range from a $3500 Class C to expensive motor coaches. 

 

1.  The $3500 van was bought on Craigslist from a dealer who wanted to get rid of cause it was a trade-in that the dealer did not want staying long at his dealership.  The camphost bought the $3500 vehicle on payments because they did not have that amount of money without a loan. 

2.  I bought my 5th wheel from a bank repossession site called CrankyApe.com.  I bought my 2005 5th wheel in 2012 and have been living in it permanently.  I bought with a 10 year bank loan and my bank payments are less than $200 a month.   And my bank said I could have received a loan for $10,000 more than what I paid for the 5th wheel. 

 3.  Another Camphost lives in an older model 20 foot travel trailer that I would guess the blue book value at less than $5,000.  That camphost does not have a vehicle to pull the trailer and she is a permanent Camphost.   

 

I agree with Pierre…… It can be done if you put your mind to it.



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To give some people out here an Idea of what can be had..................someone give me a purchase budget or an actual "This is all I have left before Im Broke " and I will find Actual set-ups and a means to create an income stream scenario. I can show just a coach arrangement....or a 90 day I gotta get out of here and make money 2 situation!!...(profits may vary!!)

dont forget to put the region or state in which you want me to start it from.......I will give you an Idea of whats available for best deals and just get me out of here budgets !!!!.......it will be kinda fun to teach this!!

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Mike, thank you. I like your budget since it is uncomplicated enough that people can customize it easily.  Ever consider a career as a motivational speaker?  You have the calling!



-- Edited by SnowGypsy on Friday 6th of December 2013 12:26:48 PM

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I've Decided in the last few years to concentrate on motivational living........tried the other side of the coin and didnt like it so well !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

The old Saying you only live once is wrong........if you have enough insurance & money the Doctors will make sure to bring you back "everytime", right down to the last penny!!!!

There are 4 types of people in the world!!

Those that just lay down and give up
those that raise a hand with a tin cup

the best 2
those that raise a hand for that pay it forward hand up!!!
and those that put 2 hands down and push up!!!

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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I have seen many requests for budgets on bare bones. I think this is the first thread that addressed that question. Maybe we could list budget items and break each one out by importance and cost. For example, TV; over the air, free, cable in a park, typical $, satellite, pay as you go, $, satellite, HD with DVR, $$. From cheapest to most expensive. Then whoever is creating a budget can select the cost based on want/need and budgetary constraints.

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Don't forget to add insurance: car/RV and health at the minimum. I fear that will be my biggest budget expense.

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Cheryl B. in her new RV

(well, not new any more! Full timing since 6/25/14)

2008 DRV MS 36TKBS3 (the CoW: Castle on Wheels), 2005 Ford F550 hauler (the Bull)

My blog is http://mitcheryl-rv-journey.blogspot.com/

My business: www.AZAdminSolutions.com



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Cheryl ......Keep in mind that car/RV & Health insurance will be dependent on where you domicile out of and as far as car and RV will be age , year & plans....not to mention driving history.....big variables in those alone...but if you already have car and health you already have 2/3 of the equation!! they wont change that much..


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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Anyone interested in full-time RV living budgets, just google and you'll come up with a bunch from "Van Tramp", seriously bare bones to those with luxury and Howard has an example on the main part of the the website using 3 different scenarios. Most neglect what Mike is offering, suggestions on how to make an income and find a decent RV on your budget if it is limited.

Anyone that is a veteran needs to see if they quality for VA Healthcare. Both myself and my husband have that benefit both being prior military. Also, shop around and make that a consideration when choosing your domicile as I have seen recently that those looking for tax benefits forgot to look into the cost of insurance.



-- Edited by SnowGypsy on Friday 6th of December 2013 01:55:04 PM

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Thanks for the reply, Mike. I think you might have missed your calling - full-time RV consulting. Your plans and ideas sound great. Thanks for sharing.

My DW has a unique craft business. She has an agreement with a local brewery to make and wholesale her specialty branded products, crafts and jewelry to the brewery who then resells them. Unlike many crafters who spend more time selling than making, she spends her entire time in production - at times pressured to keep up with the sales volume. Unfortunately she makes such a small percentage that she can't afford to pay anyone to help her and still turn a profit. It's steady work and makes her happy, so it could be much worse. I'm sure when we full-time, we could explore the flea market sales plan. She certainly has the talent, if we can find some marketable items without infringing on anyone else's ideas or copyrights. She is drawing a small pension now, so we will have that plus our social security, which should be more than sufficient for our needs, if everything is paid for. At 65 we'll have access to a little more money to fall back on when things go awry. Who knows what the health insurance situation will look like in a few years. Oh well; it is what it is. We'll either be able to afford healthcare or we won't. So far we're in good health, but who knows what the future holds for any of us? I guess the only thing that is certain is death and taxes - and I've heard of some people who don't pay taxes. ;)

Chip

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Chip add this to your research arsenal........

www.artscraftsshowbusiness.com/shows.aspx
www.fairsandfestivals.net/states/NH/
festivalnet.com/indexes.html

these are the search engines for showing and selling in the craft areas.....a couple shows and a couple good flea markets should do it!

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Duly noted. Thanks!

 

Chip



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In any lifestyle change, you have people who do use the excuse that they can't afford it because they fear the change and most people don't want to admit to being fearful. I know that lifestyle change is easier for us because we have been relocating for years and a couple of moves were major financial risks and took some adjusting to carry them off. I think maybe there is a difference between a "fantasy" and a "dream" but both can get you through another day and whatever it takes to do that still works.

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Mike generally what type of crafts/items do you sell at the festivals and fairs. Is there one or two types of product, goods, or services that you see that is popular and that is profitable?

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I personally sell routered wood signs ,both types ....hand carved and with a CNC unit.....I also make wood toys and custom items thru the CNC.

I have noticed anything that can be personalized onsite is a big seller.

Craft work that that uses nature as a base is also big.....Lamps from stumpage , rocks ,things that are not the normal.

I run into a lady that sells strictly dog leashes and collars made of leather , she is making them on site and they are not cheap.....but she cannot keep them in stock.

I ran ito a solo RVer , she makes pillow shams,bed skirts and covers and sells out....she also sells while she is in the parks and does well.

I guess the big thing would be to stay diversified and have several fallbacks.....when you get to a show , you want to have a product that either disappeared years back , or something no-one else is selling. it keeps the demand high


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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

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My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Great thread Mike!.......I'm working on a business plan where we can bottle your tenacity, gumption, positive attitude, creativity and desire not to give up and sell it.......make a fortune and spend the rest of our lives traveling to give it away!  How bout it? biggrin



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Airplane Guy: Sign me up for 3 bottles! And, what would the name of this miracle product be?

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Snow Gypsy! I think Airplane Guy is talking of "A Bottle of Charisma" that Lucky Mike has the patent for! The charm of the gift of mesmerizing your audience to believe not only in your "product" but to believe in you I think is what increase sales whether you are selling tangibles or intangibles. Help me with this Mike??? Pieere

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AWESOME post Lucky Mike! Sooo very good I shared it with my FB group called RVing On A Budget. Lots of good info (and motivation) for the realities that RVing FT brings.

We all WANT the fancy Newmar MH, but most can not afford it. That doesn't mean RVingFT isn't do-able, it just means we need to reasse our priorities.

You are an inspiration and as I said on my post ... I sooo would appreciate some campfire time sitting next to you .... you a 1 of those Life Nuggets that are a treasure.

Thanks again!


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I was thinking!!!.................(Boy did that hurt!!!)


If you are on the road , Try this experiment with yourself....

for 1 week no parks.....boondocking only...try to survive off of onboard resources only....all meals , entertainment and day to day living is to be done with only what you have onboard....going for walks , free sight seeing or any free activities only..

keep a daily log of expenses.......and activities

at the end of the week go back to normal living , wait about 2 weeks and now just monitor a week of good living at the parks and activities.(it will take 2 weeks for you to get back to normal habits)

Now take the 2 lists and compare spending and habits and it will amaze you just in costs and habits for yourself!

you can trim your budgets this way....add to your interests and recreation....and most of all see all of the Waste$.......


If you plan on doing this let us all know.....that way we can give input while your doing this to help in comfort , and at the same time it becomes a learning process for all....

in the meantime....those that are going to be in southern Florida around the time of the Boondock rally, Look them up....the basic skills of boondocking are a must!!

The only things I go without during boondocking or Wallydocking is having nieghbors and FHU's....other than that I conduct my business online and make my product outside.......I still play tourist and if Im wallydocking I leave my wallet behind when I'm bored and window shopping!!!!!

The inside of the coach never changes other than waste habits....energy consumption and simple scheduling to make sure that waste & energy are at a minimum.

__________________

 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Funny that you said that. Last Friday through Monday we were shut ins because of the ice storm in Dallas. Didn't spend a dime....well almost, just 1 ebay purchase and I needed it of coarse. Anyway I ways thinking how inexpensive those 4 days were.

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Mike - do you have a website?

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Thank you everyone for the great information. I just joined this forum from the link on the RVing on a Budget Facebook page. My wife and I recently became interested in full-time RV'ing but can't do it now because I work for the State Department and work overseas. However, I'm 52 now and can retire in 8 years with my State pension plus my military pension, so we should be able to full-time at that point. We are both frugal - my German wife especially -- and plan to pay cash (or as much as possible) for an RV at that time....the problem is ....WHAT KIND? We've bounced back and forth and back again, from a Class B (my wife's preference) to a Class A with a toad, then a Class C, then just a tent, and then at our last RV show we fell in love with a fifth wheel! Fivers are extremely rare in Europe, where we live now, and it just stood out. Last time I was in the US, I went to REI and priced out a complete camping equipment set-up for going out with just a tent. When we think in terms of tent camping, we're thinking we'll get out there and meet other people, see different rigs, and then figure out what we want. So I guess you'd say we are pretty indecisive at the moment but in our defense we are in the planning and dreaming stage.

So my question, after the rambling intro: How do we decide (and how did you decide) what RV type is best? Quite frankly I think we could make just about anything work, we move around every 2 to 3 years and are assigned a house or apartment that we have to accept and make do with. I've lived two years in a small shipping container-like living quarters in Iraq, and I lived 8 months in a tent with the army in the Balkans. We're pretty low maintenance.

Still, there are a LOT of choices and a lot of rigs out there - which one is right for us?

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Greetings Jiggs Casey and welcome to the board!

It's OK to be indecisive at this point as it gives you flexibility to "think outside the box" so to speak. Finding ourselves in a similar situation a couple years ago, we too are planning a full-time mobile lifestyle, just a little further down the road than y'all are. I've done the tent thing in the Germain Alps courtesy of Uncle Sam, plus I've tent camped extensively on a motorcycle too. As we age, our capabilities, needs and goals change. I'm too old to sleep on the cold, hard ground, or in back of a deuce and a half anymore. When choosing what would be our "ideal" RV we realized that everything in life is a compromise. At first, we looked at hard-walled, pop-up RVs (Like the Chalet XL, the now extinct Hi-Lo, and Trailmanors) for both ease and economy of movement, imagining retirement as a life-long vacation, which would quickly wear old. But after a time, we realized that unless we were planning on boondocking most of the time (a possibility, but definitely a chore with the limited holding tank capacity of these diminutive rigs) this type of rig was not ideal for our needs. I'm sure you'll find the same limitations apply to a Class B. I know you can expand your living area with outside tentage/screen rooms, but the limited interior space that these types of campers provide might put a strain on family relations over the long term, especially in foul weather. Togetherness is great but everyone needs a little private space from time to time - especially if you plan on traveling with pets. We plan on traveling with at least one noisy sun conure.

Our thinking evolved to being snowbirds (so a heavy, expensive 4 season rig is not needed in our case) spending most of our time in RV parks, moving monthly (perhaps seasonally, as we age) for the best rates and to save fuel, though retaining the ability for limited, moderate duration boondocking in remote locations, which we both love and are not willing to give-up. A fiver has many advantages, but one of its disadvantages is the loss of the bed of the pick-up for storage. Since pulling a toad behind a fiver is out of the question for us (and most folk) the only solutions are:
a. Driving an economy car separately, (necessitating extra fees at many RV parks) burning extra gas and making travel a lonely prospect (perhaps fulfilling some of those "alone time" needs.)
b. Purchasing a HDT and configuring the space in front of the fiver to carry a sub compact car or motorcycle.
3. Forgoing a fiver for a TT pulled by a flat bed truck with a small car on the back or a pick-up with a couple of small motorcycles in the bed.

The latter is our plan. A class C pulling a toad is another viable option, but compromises space, fuel mileage and your towing components (engine, drive-train, etc.) are part of your home requiring moving out for perhaps a week or so for major repairs. A class A with a toad probably has the least compromises other than the expense to own and operate. Your budget will determine if this is a viable option for your family. It wasn't for us. Whatever you decide there is no right or wrong answer. Our decisions were made to minimize our retirement expenses to fit a tight budget while maximizing comfort, retaining some flexibility at the compromise of some flexibility and luxury, but best satisfy our particular needs - your solution will most certainly be different, but that's how it should be in this free land of ours. Thanks for your service to help maintain this freedom.

We no longer have a house and have just purchased a TV. Next, for the size, brand and features of our (slightly used) TT..... Ah the planning never ends.

Chip



-- Edited by Sushidog on Saturday 14th of December 2013 07:30:09 AM

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   Lucky Mike.... Thank you for such an awesome post and words of encouragement. I plan on purchasing an RV and living in it full time by the Spring of 2014. Right now saving up the money with my part time job. Many people have tried to discourage me because I have very limited income and I am disabled. But the way I see it, I can struggle to make ends meet living in a stationary place that I am not happy in, or I can struggle to make ends meet while doing something I love... traveling and being on the road. Each time someone tells me it can't be done because it is too expensive, I just smile and tel them... "watch me, I am really doing this!"  I'm not going into this in blind faith. I am doing tons of research, talking with many full timers,  researching ways to make money online using my writing and photography talents, and checking out workamping opportunities. I strongly believe anything you want to do in life is completely possible to achieve if you have the die hard determination to make it happen and determination is my middle name. I've never allowed anyone to tell me what I can't do.   So thank you once again for this post. I look forward to someday meeting up with you and others living the dream!   biggrin  



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Freedom!!!!!......

Keep in mind ....we are not Disabled until the brain shuts down and the blue screen appears!!!!

I see myself in so many ways as I read your post and the key word is " Determination " once I accepted that it was time to re-learn how my life was going to go forward and set basic goals it took off fast!!!

some will think Im crazy, but if you add up the basic costs of sitting at home in that easy chair its cheaper to just pull out of the driveway in something self contained period!!

just to put a roof over your head without basic utilities is 8 to 1200K a year and once you add utilities you can add another couple thousand!!

if you try within your town to generate an income you are limited to a static amount of customer base,sooner or later that income has to dwindle.

like I have said in earlier posts, you can pull out of that driveway for under 5k.....and be in a sustainable RV that will be a good start on your first year of freedom for half or less of a static S&B!!

Go for it!!...........We are not disabled....We are Challenged......and so isnt everyone else in some way ,shape or form. its motivation and the want to succeed that will get you there , and setting simple realistic goals that keep it going!!

Good luck and ask as you go ,If you get to meet me on the road we can trade stories ....in the mean time...just ask ,its easier than it seems....(the first 2 days out are the scariest)..LOL




-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Saturday 14th of December 2013 05:57:13 PM

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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I am going to bump this since the Facebook page 'RVing on a Budget just promoted it on their site . It has been an awesome thread and Mike you are 1 in a million.

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Jiggs Casey wrote:

Thank you everyone for the great information. I just joined this forum from the link on the RVing on a Budget Facebook page. My wife and I recently became interested in full-time RV'ing but can't do it now because I work for the State Department and work overseas. However, I'm 52 now and can retire in 8 years with my State pension plus my military pension, so we should be able to full-time at that point. We are both frugal - my German wife especially -- and plan to pay cash (or as much as possible) for an RV at that time....the problem is ....WHAT KIND? We've bounced back and forth and back again, from a Class B (my wife's preference) to a Class A with a toad, then a Class C, then just a tent, and then at our last RV show we fell in love with a fifth wheel! Fivers are extremely rare in Europe, where we live now, and it just stood out. Last time I was in the US, I went to REI and priced out a complete camping equipment set-up for going out with just a tent. When we think in terms of tent camping, we're thinking we'll get out there and meet other people, see different rigs, and then figure out what we want. So I guess you'd say we are pretty indecisive at the moment but in our defense we are in the planning and dreaming stage.

So my question, after the rambling intro: How do we decide (and how did you decide) what RV type is best? Quite frankly I think we could make just about anything work, we move around every 2 to 3 years and are assigned a house or apartment that we have to accept and make do with. I've lived two years in a small shipping container-like living quarters in Iraq, and I lived 8 months in a tent with the army in the Balkans. We're pretty low maintenance.

Still, there are a LOT of choices and a lot of rigs out there - which one is right for us?


 

Welcome, Jiggs Casey.

For your benefit and so as to not "sideline" this thread, I'd suggest you copy the above comments and start a new thread in the "Introduce Yourself" or "Buying an RV" category of the forums.  That way, we can concentrate on your questions and what would be things to consider.

Terry

Moderator



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RV-Dreams Community Member

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Terry and Jo wrote:

Welcome, Jiggs Casey.

For your benefit and so as to not "sideline" this thread, I'd suggest you copy the above comments and start a new thread in the "Introduce Yourself" or "Buying an RV" category of the forums.  That way, we can concentrate on your questions and what would be things to consider.

Terry

Moderator


 Thanks, Terry, I did not intend to hijack the thread! (and sorry it's taken me so long to respond but finding this thread again is not easy, as I have to navigate from the post on RVing on a Budget on FB.

I will post on one of the other categories.   I realize I'm not necessarily going to be RVing with nothing - which is the subject of this thread -- though I'll be on a budget and quite unable to afford the $400,000 Class A dream rig!  But this has been a great thread to get the creative juices flowing.



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Great thread Mike and everyone who has posted!! It really is inspirational to read and see everyone join in and give helpful information. On the budget...what kind of things does everyone plan on for their emergency fund? I was thinking repairs, and enough $ for a couple nights stay if our RV is in for repairs...I realize that it's budget driven but what amount is a good stash to have availible?

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I'm thinking more than a fixed amount is to contribute a small amount to your emergency fund on a regular basis. Everyone's budget is different, but for my own planning, I'm thinking about 10% of my income every month. If there are those with an irregular income, like I had for many years, this will not be possible. Just remember when times are good put back extra for when times aren't. Remember you will have unexpected vehicle repairs, like flat tires, in addition to planned replacement of tires when they wear out, for example. Sometimes I find planning for the inevitable tragedy disheartening. as there will always be events when you will never have enough. I guess the Lord tests our faith in circumstances such as these, to trust in His love and mercy. Things always seem to work out over time.

Chip

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it would depend on your comfort level and actual finances......when I was in the poor house and really couldnt afford to save....I tied my hardest to keep it at 2500.00 so I knew I could handle being down in an emergency.

Iv'e built that up to 10k......so that most emergencies even major dont hurt so much...


if your flying by the seat of your pants I would suggest folding up a couple hundred dollar bills in your wallet and know your safe in survival mode for a few days!

__________________

 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!



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Lucky Mike wrote:

To give some people out here an Idea of what can be had..................someone give me a purchase budget or an actual "This is all I have left before Im Broke " and I will find Actual set-ups and a means to create an income stream scenario. I can show just a coach arrangement....or a 90 day I gotta get out of here and make money 2 situation!!...(profits may vary!!)

dont forget to put the region or state in which you want me to start it from.......I will give you an Idea of whats available for best deals and just get me out of here budgets !!!!.......it will be kinda fun to teach this!!


 Purchase budget of less then 5 thousand and will probably have to finance for 3 thousand of it. We want a motorhome because we don't want to buy a truck too. I have been interested in flea markets and craft shows but have no idea where to start. That is where the means to create a income comes in.

We live in Knoxville Tennessee and if I have my way I want to be "out of here" by early summer. (waiting on 9th grandchild to be born in March.)

Teach me your ways o' great Lucky Mike!



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louisville.craigslist.org/rvs/4262307028.html ......3k......2500 will take it home

bgky.craigslist.org/rvs/4258405879.html..........6500 5k will take it home..

These 2 are driving distance from you if your serious......your going to have to shop out of your area to get any Deals and head for low income areas to get a good buy or this time of year head into the snow .

I know it seems small but if you are going to finance this unit at this price, your going to have a hard time because of the age of the units in that price range...

I only posted Class A's for starters.....there are plenty of class C out here........if you look at dealers around your area....you will find in there back rows units they dont want around and there cash sales for short money!!


I sent you a PM so we dont flood this thread with listings......what I sent should keep you busy , also let me know how far out your willing to travel to pick one up



-- Edited by Lucky Mike on Thursday 9th of January 2014 04:59:53 PM

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 1998 ...Harney Renegade DP  class A

rers1@mail.com

 

My Service dog and life partner " Nikki"......Klee Kia Miniature Husky....(she Runs the ship!!)

We are not lost in the Woods.....Just Extreme boondocking!!!!!!

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