Hello all. Old member, but not active, I registered in January 2009. Anyway since about 2004 or 2005 my wife and I have wanted to travel the country in an RV. It began as a Class A, then after selling Class A motorhomes, I learned that most people fulltime in 5th wheels. Well a 5th wheel would be great, but they are so expensive, so we have settled on getting a travel trailer.
The travel trailer choice is for more than just cost, we also want to get a suburban for the interior room for our pets, and car seat.
Anyway I've wanted this so much for so long, that I am not letting myself believe that it is within reach it seems. We want to live in an RV and travel. We love change, and really feel at home traveling (odd statement).
I am a web developer by trade. That can be done anywhere, but finding clients is always hard for me. I basically do anything related to website, and I also do IT work. Anyway income while one the road is my MAIN concern. I know we can workamp, but that means I'm not enjoying exploring, hiking, walking, and seeing sites. I'm fine doing it if it means we can get on the road.
I used the full time budget spreadsheet here and it was about 2500 monthly. I used 1000 a month as my campsite fees.
Anyway this could start as soon as July 1st. We own a Prius, and have about $5,000 equity in it, so we can sell it, pay off the loan, and still pocket about 5k. That plus my income for june should give us $6500, which is enough to get a used travel trailer and 4x4 suburban to tow with.
I know this isn't optimal, but we can't wait for the perfect moment, the 36 foot 5th wheel, and the diesel truck that we would want.
I'm basically introducing myself right now, seeking out wisdom from the elders, and just trying to convince myself that this is going to happen.
If you're wondering what our rush is, I recently lost my job where I was making about 4k a month, now I make 2k, but it's a local job. So we can not longer afford our apartment rent here in Southern California, and our two options are move in with family, or move into an RV.
I will retire in 3yrs, so I have spent 1000's hrs researching how to live in my RV till the end.
You don't really need a 4x4. Extra cost, maintenance, gas. 4x2 is good enough. Figure about 50 cents per mile for gas, @ 8mpg towing.
ALWAYS figure cost high !!! any left over will be spent elsewhere.
Stay at each camp for at least a month to get a break on price.
read, read, read....RV forums.
Plan, plan, plan. learn, learn learn every aspect of the trailer you get, so you will be able to repair things.
same for TV
The more you know, and the more you can do for yourself, the cheaper it will be to survive.
Join Passport USA for 50% off campsites.
Set up on-line banking.
Learn all you can about how to boondock (dry camp) for long periods. You don't have to go solar, but 2k watt genset, and 2-4 6v batteries are a must. Save lots of $$$ dry camping.
Fulltime livin' & lovin' it in '94 Bounder 32h.
Chevy 454ci Retire in 3yrs.
I have to agree with the above post. I would not want to head out on the road without any savings. You will not get much truck and TT for $6500. My guess is that you will need a good bit of money for repairs. Does your budget include health insurance? Most people have a hard time paying car insurance when the monthly budget is so tight. I would do what I have to do to build up a small nest egg before hitting the road. You never know what might come up. Good luck on whatever decision you make..
I wouldn't jump on this just yet until you can figure out the financial side a little better. The numbers you are using seem very low. Maintenance alone on a vehicle could sink your plan. What about health needs and insurance? A TT and adequate tow vehicle for that cost will fail you quickly. What about the tech equipment you need for doing the IT work, it must be upgraded frequently to keep abreast in the market. Do some more planning first.
it is your home situation--you can't pay your existing rent now.
so options are RV lifestyle or move in with family.
I would take the RV lifestyle if I HAD to choose between the 2.
I believe you can come in lower on that $1000 per month on campsite fees. If you workcamp...you know most times it is about 20 hrs per week for a free campsite. THAT is truly not alot of time given to have free lodging. Of course location matters also but I know I have seen monthly rates of $450, 550 etc in my area for campsites.
worst is your gas consumption. travelling around and sightseeing etc. takes money in the tank. You will probably end up more parked at a campground and enjoy the area, then move on.
If the RV lifestyle is what you want then I would head in that direction and GO for it. worst happens is you find yourself back later with family to get yourself on your feet if needed.
$6500 for a tow vehicle and TT is kinda low but if it ALL you got then go find the best you can.
People have made it on way less. Sometimes the jump into the unknown is scary. but sometimes it can be the most rewarding decision you ever made in your life!!!
We are younger and need income as well, and workamping does allow us time to explore areas, as well as make some money.
Over the winter we took a gig that was a basic 12 hours each (24 total) per week for a free site. Now we're working at Mt. Rushmore for the summer season (in their bookstores, not Xanterra) - we work fulltime, get a free site, all hours paid, and plenty of time to explore this amazing area. We also take a month or two off between jobs to explore as wel travel, so you can have a balance of exploring and working.
Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions about workamping. Good luck!
I sense your desire for the adventure of the road but it sounds scarey to me, financially. 1st of all $6,500 isn't enough to get a decent trailer and tow vehicle that won't need a ton of work and have ongoing problems. Secondly, don't rely on workamping for an income. The great majority of those jobs will get you maybe $500 a week clear and that's if you can find 40 hr/week jobs for both of you. Not enough for a family to live on the road.