Within the next two years, my wife and I plan on becoming full time RVers. We currently do not have an RV, but I have some financial questions.
We will be employed full time in California. We don't plan on traveling THAT much, but are looking to live in our RV. I am just wondering what a budget for two would look like for one month. I also need some general advice. I was wondering where/how you get your meals if you aren't plugged up to an electrical outlet. We plan on living near the beach, and I was wondering how this would work. I've heard of "wallydocking," but I was wondering how strict beach rules are when it comes to overnighting it in an RV?
If you have any suggestions/tips/books/DVDs/etc. that would be of help, please share. As of now we are rather ignorant to the whole thing. Thanks.
If you have never RVed you really need to try it before hand.
Rent an RV this summer and see what you think of it.
Then you will know how to cook meal without hookups, how to take 'Navy" showers, how to live in a small space. If you get a unit with a propane oven (some just have convection/micro combos) you can cook. The fridge runs off propane too.
Where will you be working? Is there parking for an RV nearby? My Uncle used to work at YVR and kept his RV next to the hanger. Of course he had the noise of jets all day and night.
If you will be working in a big city, it may be challenging to find safe places to stay for free. Also where would you leave the RV while at work?
Go to an RV show to evaluate the different options (Classes of MHs, TTs, Fivers,etc)to better get a feel for what type best suits your needs. Do "searches" on these threads as to your specific questions to better educate yourself. In terms of finances, my opinion, do not buy new--letting someone else take the 1st couple years of depreciation may be one of your best cost-saving moves, although opinions vary vastly.
as CA Traveler said, CA beach camping is popular and very expensive.
heck, our state parks charge up to $65 per nite for beach sites with hookups. private parks, near the beach, may be the same or more in price.
and most summer beach sites have to be reserved 6 months in advance.
there are very strict rules in most CA cities against overnite RV parking, especially in beach areas.
most CA Walmarts ban "Wallydocking". only a few in rural areas allow it.
i think the idea of camping near Calif. beaches sounds great but the reality is that it's extremely competitive to get sites, even in the off-season and it's very expensive.
knowing where you plan to work, would help us give ideas and recommendations.
Dan- Firefighter, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever, 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LS, 2007 Rockwood Roo 23SS w/Equalizer and Prodigy, and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes
I was wondering where/how you get your meals if you aren't plugged up to an electrical outlet. We plan on living near the beach, and I was wondering how this would work.
Humans were cooking with fire long before electricity was invented. Use a campfire or propane stove inside. Most RV refrigerators will run on propane also so you'd only need 12V battery power to run the circuit board in the frig.
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You might try checking out the folks on the 'full-timers' forum on this site, especially for your financial questions. As others have said, California will not be cheap. Is that a definite for you? There are many other beautiful spots to consider. Do you have a job yet? If not, and you're flexible as to locations, consider some other alternatives.
Extremely Happy Full-Timers for 16 years
.... now trying to adjust to 3-season traveling - and it isn't easy!
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As the others have said beach-camping in CA is *VERY* expensive. You're talking $65/night or more, sometimes without hookups! And most beach campgrounds are booked 7 months in advance.
If you want to live full-time in an RV look into private parks that do monthly rates. For example here in San Diego you can stay close to the beach for $800/mo (in winter) or $1500/mo (in summer). If you're willing to go 15 miles or so inland that drops to $700/mo...if you're willing to go to the desert you can find deals for $400/mo or you can boondock for free on BLM land, but then you're talking at least 50 miles from the beach.
It is darn close impossible to do long-term boondocking (free-camping) by the beach since no places I know allow it -> Walmart is really only for an overnighter or a few nights (at most), and there is no BLM land (that I know of) by the beach in CA. There are some spots along the CA coast where you can park *for the day* by the beach (for example here in San Diego you can park on Fiesta Island), but then you need to find somewhere to overnight thereafter -> I do know folks that boondock for months like this (spend the day parked by the beach and sneak off somewhere inland to park on a street at night), but it's not for the faint of heart.
As for cooking without hookups we use our propane cooktop & oven.
I would definitely second the idea of renting for a while to see how you like the lifestyle.