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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > Question about Full Time living in a Travel Trailer

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bsinmich

Holland, MI

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Posted: 05/30/12 03:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you are looking into repos why not look at a Mobil Home. They are built a little better for cold weather and if you buy right you may resell for a good price. You could get a lot more living and comfort for similar money.


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wbwood

Lake Norman, NC area

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Posted: 05/31/12 03:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bsinmich wrote:

If you are looking into repos why not look at a Mobil Home. They are built a little better for cold weather and if you buy right you may resell for a good price. You could get a lot more living and comfort for similar money.


What I was thinking...i've seen new single wides around here for under $30k. There was a decent double wide for around $12k a couple years ago that the flooring was redone in. We were thinking of it as a place for our then 19 yr old son. It was on craigslist. It could easily be sold or turned into a rental. Look around at that option. Then you won't have to worry about towing weights and etc.


Brian
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Fizz

Ottawa, Canada

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Posted: 05/31/12 06:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Best advise we got was to look at every trailer you could. It's easyer to illiminate the things you don't like. Eventualy you will walk into one and know it's the one for you.
For us it was more windows, larger counter space, good entertainment unit across from the couch. If you're ever cooped in for a few days these make a big difference.

bakerkids

IL

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Posted: 05/31/12 09:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A mobile home is not so portable when he relocates for grad school and needs to take it with him.


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ridgerunner609

South Carolina

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Posted: 05/31/12 10:14am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm looking at a couple options right now. Buying a mobile home isn't an option at the moment due to the fact that I don't know where I will have to go when I graduate with my BA. I'll have at least 1 year after that for grad school and closer to a year and a half more than likely. While I agree that if I was staying in place for an extended period of time that the mobile home would be better but I need something I'm not going to be stuck with until I can sell it that's impossible to move without permits and a tractor/ mobile home hauler.

mlts22

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Posted: 05/31/12 04:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very true. Even though a mobile home would be more comfortable, it is a PITA to get rid of and unload. Worst case, a trailer or 5W can be donated or sold as scrap. A mobile home would require paying someone to haul off, and that can be a good wad of cash.

I think a lot of the core points have been addressed, the ones I emphasize are to be careful (some sellers will omit details such as leaks, leaving them for you to find), and let caveat emptor be the rule of the day. Trailers are not cars; there is no lemon law on them, so if you get a dud, you are stuck with it.

I'd start considering some other items to go with the trailer. Depending on where you are living, and I'm assuming full hookups, you might consider adding some budget room in for a couple items:

1: If you don't have it already, a large propane tank. Not a bottle, but a full propane tank that is 100+ gallons. That will help when it comes winter, and you can schedule a truck to come by for refilling it.

2: Depending if they allow it or not, extra storage space. Some places don't care if you set up a shed. Others might require a trailer, and sometimes deals appear that one can get an enclosed trailer with no leaks for a good price. This is a low priority, but it is something to consider down the line.

3: Skirting around the trailer, especially before winter. If done right, after skirting it, you can leave 1-2 Vornado heaters, or other fan-force heaters that make warm (not hot) air on low, which will keep the underbelly from freezing, and give you an alternative to the propane furnace. (My only complaint about the furnace on my rig is the fan noise.)

If done right, skirting can also give you additional storage space, as well as protect the tires from UV damage.

4: Consider a power surge protector. The C-note for a Progressive Industries unit is a lot cheaper than replacing a converter.

5: Find a way to get a strongbox that can be bolted inside your trailer. Trailers are easy to get in, so having a secure place for one's laptop and armaments is a good idea when gone. Laptop theft is common, and I would say the worst time in life to have data go missing is during college (due to term papers and so much stuff being due), so having a way to lock it up while gone is important, and more than just the Kensington cable that gets cut by a set of bolt cutters.

wbwood

Lake Norman, NC area

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Posted: 05/31/12 11:49pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't forget about during the winter if the power should go out. You might want to consider a generator and/or another source of heat. Not sure if you would want a kerosene heater in such tight quarters there. At least with a mobile home, you can use a kerosene heater or some of them have wood burning stoves/propane fireplaces in them. I would think that a mobile home could be sold quickly there in WV. Or even rented out as a source of some income.

I know you mentioned 2 different schools and not being able to move the mobile home. To me it sounds like a circle. It might be worth paying a little extra and just renting something. At least you won't have to worry about repairs. Staying full time in a used travel trailer for a couple years, something is bound to break or need replacing. Additional costs.

Where you park it, you will have lease costs plus electric costs. Heck you might even have metered water costs, you never know. At a cost of $12000, you are looking at $500/month for 2 years plus your monthly lease cost of at least a few hundred dollars (if not more). You can easily be looking at about $800/month before your electric (unless your lease includes it). Then the additional costs of heating over a stick and brick place. It will cost more to heat during the winter. You also need to look at the the negative equity will be in your TT, as there will be negative equity in it after a couple years. Go online and check the NADA guide for the value of a TT and then check for a similar TT thats a couple years old and see what negative equity will be. Trailers, whether TT or mobile homes lose value. And as I stated, count on some maintenance costs along the way. I would think that you should be able to get a decent studio or 1 bedroom apartment for less than $800.

The main thing, is do your homework. I know this is probably part of that homework, but there are things that you need to look at. Travel trailers, 5th wheels, and motorhomes are not cheap ways to live or travel by any means. We don't all do it because it's cheaper. We do it because it's a lifestyle that we enjoy. It's an expensive hobby.

roadtripray

Fort Mill, South Carolina

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Posted: 06/01/12 03:33am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wbwood: You bring up power outage as a negative point against travel trailers, but travel trailers are designed to be operate without power for some duration. It would seem to provide an argument for a tt.

Same thing with the cost -- after paying the $12k for the tt he would at least have to show for it

Not to mention I think you can get a pretty nice tt for $8k -- or even a good bit less.

Ray

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