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 > New to RV’ing need advice

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JAC1982

Brighton, CO

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Posted: 01/07/19 02:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look, I get the student loan thing. I'm 36 and still paying mine off. Thankfully, we now have good incomes and can pay them down in a reasonable amount of time. My husband paid his off last year. I think living in an RV to save money with 3 small kids sounds like a terrible idea LOL.

What about selling the house and use the profits instead to pay off/pay down the student loans, and rent an apartment/small house while you save up to buy another house/pay off the rest of the student loans? I'm not super familiar with rental costs in Alabama but how much could a 2BR apartment cost? We have friends doing what you are doing (sold the house to save money etc), in a 2BR, and their kids are older than yours, and they homeschool. The kids are happy and they live in a nice family-friendly apartment complex with a pool, playgrounds, and a dog park for their dog.

As previously mentioned, RVs depreciate at a very quick rate. Example, our first trailer, a nice 32' bumper pull toyhauler, was purchased new at around $34,000. Less than 3 years later, we traded it in for $20,000. We could have maybe sold it on our own if we waited long enough for a few thousand more than the dealer offered.

So sure, the lot rent of $425.00 sounds appealing, but as mentioned, think of the other costs involved. Laundry costs. Heat costs, as RVs are not well insulated, even the "4 season" ones. Higher grocery costs since you can't buy in bulk when things are on sale. And, of course the money you lose in depreciation every year, that's a huge "expense".

The last thing to consider is who your neighbors might be in a long term RV park that is only $425.00 a month. I know the ones around here, some of the folks that live here are not who I'd want my kids growing up around.


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Crodad

Lafayette, LA

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Posted: 01/07/19 02:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My rule of thumb is don't pay more than $20,000 less than sticker price. Don't buy from a salesman that ask how much you can spend. They will show you $30,000 units and sale it to you for $55,000.


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NoVa RT

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Posted: 01/07/19 02:43pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ShoalsChiro wrote:

. . . The 55k budget was going to be used via the sale of our current house we live in. We were going to take that money, and put it towards an RV. This knocks out a mortgage payment, water payment, utilities payment. . .

RV quality varies considerably by manufacturer, and unit to unit. I doubt any RV is as reliable as a well-made automobile, so its not as easy as picking a new car with a good reputation and having almost everything covered by the warranty and following the normal service schedule. If your read these Forums, you'll see that dissatisfaction with quality control and service & maintenance issues are persistent topics. Those who are handy (and have the time) can address some of the issues themselves, but it's real work. Most RVs are used only part-time - they aren't expected to be used 24/7 by a family of 5, so wear & tear may be a larger problem for you than most here.

As others have noted, your house will likely appreciate in value, while any RV would depreciate, and possibly be worth very little in a few years. With the changes to the tax code, increasing the Standard Deduction & Child Tax Credit, would renting an apartment be a better option? You could still use the house sale proceeds to reduce your student loan debt, but you'd have greater cost certainty and perhaps a better living arrangement.

You're already doing pretty well if you own a house with some equity, despite your student loans. Maybe you just need to stick it out, rather than look for a quick fix? The student loans may be a drag, but the balance will decrease every year, and your home equity should increase steadily. Good luck with whatever you do.


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WTP-GC

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Posted: 01/07/19 03:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My guess is that the OP came on to this forum for answers to questions related to RV brands and models...wait...that's not a guess because its exactly what they said. Nowhere did the OP ask for life advice, family counseling, or a lesson on economics. Yet, similar to many other threads, those responding assume they know more than they do and use that false knowledge to "preach" at the OP. If they wanted that advice, they probably would seek it somewhere besides a RV forum.

OP, right or wrong, its the choice for you and your family. I'm not going to interject my personal feelings into a matter which I know nothing about regarding people I'll probably never meet. I would recommend you consider a fifth wheel over a TT due to the spaciousness they provide. From a SF perspective, you may not gain much, but they provide better headroom and that adds a lot of value. Also, fifth wheels are just built more rigid than TT's. Don't spend a lot of time reading negative reviews of one thing or another. Instead, go the brand-specific forums and read comments related to warranty matters. For the most part, I feel like they're all going to break in some way or another, so the response you get from the manufacturer in dealing with warranty repairs is huge. Also, consider the position of each manufacturer towards full-time living. Some of them reportedly do not allow warranty coverage for full-time units.

I'm not plugging Grand Design here, but its my understanding they do not deny warranty based on how you use the unit. They also have a 2 year warranty. And, in the few minor issues we've had with ours, they are quick to respond and have even sent out new replacement parts.


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Me Again

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Posted: 01/07/19 10:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MNGeeks61 wrote:

Cummins12V98 wrote:

Tyler0215 wrote:

You are struggling with student loan debt, but you have a budget 55k for a new RV? Whats wrong with this picture?????


BAM!!!


x2 plus his profile links to an rv park. lol


Looks like a nice clean little park right on a busy divided 4 lane highway? Three entrances from the main highway and one on a side road. Wonder who monitors all the security cameras? Good place to raise children????


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Jack Spratt

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Posted: 01/08/19 04:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dave Ramsay who always urges folks to drive “beaters”
Hard to believe he would encourage you to make a purchase
that would depreciate 30% as soon as you leave the lot.

MetalGator

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Posted: 01/08/19 06:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WTP-GC wrote:

My guess is that the OP came on to this forum for answers to questions related to RV brands and models...wait...that's not a guess because its exactly what they said. Nowhere did the OP ask for life advice, family counseling, or a lesson on economics. Yet, similar to many other threads, those responding assume they know more than they do and use that false knowledge to "preach" at the OP. If they wanted that advice, they probably would seek it somewhere besides a RV forum.


I agree 100% Lots of judgemental people on this forum.


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Me Again

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Posted: 01/08/19 07:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MetalGator wrote:

WTP-GC wrote:

My guess is that the OP came on to this forum for answers to questions related to RV brands and models...wait...that's not a guess because its exactly what they said. Nowhere did the OP ask for life advice, family counseling, or a lesson on economics. Yet, similar to many other threads, those responding assume they know more than they do and use that false knowledge to "preach" at the OP. If they wanted that advice, they probably would seek it somewhere besides a RV forum.


I agree 100% Lots of judgemental people on this forum.


OP Said "Is anyone willing to offer advice as we begin this new journey?" He did not say purchase, he said journey!

As we have all traveled the country in our RVs we have most likely all stayed in a park where families were living in RV's. If it made the same impression on you as it did to us, then your would be posting similar advise, to proceed carefully. And to consider the situation that you are putting your children in.

I would call this life style as a last resort, as it has appeared to us in several encounters that is exactly what it is/was, a last resort. This life style in not going to give a child a leg up in life. Chris

* This post was edited 01/08/19 08:45am by Me Again *

tommyznr

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Posted: 01/08/19 08:55am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If this is an option that you still find intriguing after all this odd advise, then it is still worth exploring. I recommend sliding on over to the full timer forum and asking there. It seems some posters here don’t realize that full timing is a thing.

If I were trying to do your plan, I would find an owner who thought full time RVing would be great a year or so ago and now realize that it is not their lifestyle after all in the hopes that they are trying to get rid of a high quality fifth wheel for a reasonable price. In my fantasy world you would have the best of both worlds…….a quality full timing RV in the price range you are looking for.

Good luck, I think it would be awesome to raise kids in a campground if I could find the right one. Security is generally not a huge issue, though I suppose there are places where it could be. One advantage, if you don’t like your neighbors, it is not too difficult to move.


Tom

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DutchmenSport

Between Anderson, Pendleton, & Lapel, Indiana

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Posted: 01/08/19 10:06am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

jim1521 wrote:

Shoals,
Don't be discouraged. ...

Once you've done that, THEN sit down and think about executing on the plan.

DAILY LIFE QUESTIONS
...
5 YEAR BUSINESS PLAN
...

MAINTAINING THE RV
Are you handy with tools?
Can you fix things yourself?
Do you have the time and tools to fix things yourself?
If you can answer YES to those questions, consider buying a used (1-4 years old) 5th wheel. It will be much easier to sell a 5th wheel than it will be to sell a Park model (see 5 Year Business Plan above).

...



Shoals has it right with these thoughts. However, I am one to purchase new instead of used, whatever you get. And you sound like you are wanting to go "new" also. So, that does bring up one other item on Shoals list, if you go "new"...

Every new RV's purchased will come with a warranty, usually 1 year, some more as it's getting better. But rest assured of all the brand new ones sold 99.9999999999% of them will need to go back to the dealership for warranty work of some kind or another within the first year of ownership. And unfortunately, sometimes, dealerships can keep them on their sites for quite a long time.

Heaven forbid, but if that happened to you ... with a brand new RV, under warranty, and it has to go back to the shop, even for a day, what do you do with the family?

What I'm saying is ... you need a contingency plan "B" all the time! Always. You must always have a plan "B" ready to throw into action if for some reason you find yourself unable to use the camper.

In a stick-and-brick home, a tornado or a hurricane can blow the house away too. But in an RV, there are a lot more things that could happen that will leave you sitting at an empty campsite, roasting hotdogs with a stick over a fire and sleeping on the ground.

It's just something to keep in the back of your mind. Keep a plan "B" ready to throw into action.


DutchmenSport

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