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Old 09-15-2013, 09:48 AM   #1
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Full time living for a Pilot?

Currently I'm lower hour pilot building time, but I'm older so I want some solidly in my life. So I'm thinking about buying a 40' Toyhauler so I'll always have my home no matter where I'm transferred. Plus I'll have my motorcycles with me at all times. Any advice, words of caution? I'm still putting the idea together and looking at costs. The biggest problem I have is while in California there are few places to park for longer period, cheap!
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:18 AM   #2
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If you are building time to get hired as a commercial pilot, my advice is find something else to do.
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Old 09-15-2013, 10:45 AM   #3
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If you are already flying for a living there are lots of people who park in an airport lot at the end of 25L in LAX and use there RV as a crash pad.

If you are building time to get a job that wouldn't work.

As far as the advice to look for something else to do, I disagree. This is, I believe, one of the best times in a long time to be starting out in a historically very cyclical industry. There has been a lot of stagnation for the last ten years or so but that is in the process of changing. And since I still need to work it is certainly not a bad place to be. I still complain about some things but really have nothing to complain about.

It has allowed DW and I to spend lots of time in the RV on the road as long as I am near an airport to commute to work.

Good luck.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:16 AM   #4
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I'm retired but my GF has been a flight attendant.
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:21 AM   #5
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Oops. Hit the send too soon. My GF has been a flight attendant for 13 years, and right now her airline is hiring. It's a good time to be flying! On the other hand, even after 13 years, she's only in the middle of the pack seniority wise. But, her schedule is flexible and it gives us plenty of time for RV'n!
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Old 09-15-2013, 11:35 AM   #6
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Old 09-15-2013, 12:02 PM   #7
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I had a single friend who lived out of his pickup while flying a full schedule each month. He loved to camp and travel, so when he needed to go to work he parked in the nearest airport parking lot and commuted to his base for his trip. IIRC, he did this for 5-6 years, until he found a wife and "settled down".
I realize that a toy hauler would be more inconvenient and costly to park for longer periods, but the idea is the same. If you want to do it, do it!

I haven't kept up with the industry's hiring since I retired five years ago, but if you have the desire to fly for an airline go for it. It was the best decision I could have made, after retiring from the USAF.

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Old 09-16-2013, 10:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA Navigator View Post
If you are building time to get hired as a commercial pilot, my advice is find something else to do.
Too Late!
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:55 PM   #9
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Been there done that. The typical low hour pilot building time towards CPL, CFI, ATP etc, typically lives off of Ramen Noodles. You must have $$$ in the bank to be able to drive a Toyhauler with toys around the country building those not-so-cheap hours. Sounds really fun to me and an adventure for sure, but make sure you can afford to fix stuff on the Class A that inevitably breaks all the dang time.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:20 PM   #10
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Been there done that. The typical low hour pilot building time towards CPL, CFI, ATP etc, typically lives off of Ramen Noodles. You must have $$$ in the bank to be able to drive a Toyhauler with toys around the country building those not-so-cheap hours. Sounds really fun to me and an adventure for sure, but make sure you can afford to fix stuff on the Class A that inevitably breaks all the dang time.
I'm a independent instructor, making ok $$ but was a former construction executive so credit is good. Just o old not to have a "home". Plus I have all the toys from my previous life, the toy hauler note will be less then my rent in San Diego!
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:52 PM   #11
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Look into joining the Elks. They have RV space at a lot of the lodges around the country and most of them have storage space.
Camping at an Elks lodge costs $10 to $20 a night.. You have to be a member and the dues vary from lodge to lodge but are between $100 and $200 a year. Mine is $128.

If you haven't done any RVing I'd suggest renting a unit for a week before you purchase anything. You'll soon learn what to look for in an RV.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:03 AM   #12
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Now is the best time I can remember for a young aspiring pilot. Lots of retirements in the next 10 years so the hiring window is open now with hiring continuing for the forseeable future. Good luck, follow that dream. I spent my entire adult life looking out that cockpit window and I never got bored. Good luck son...
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:53 AM   #13
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"the toy hauler note will be less then my rent in San Diego"

This may be true, but do not forget to add Depreciation to your costs. It can be a significant cost each year on a MH.

During 11 years, we have incurred about $8,000 of depreciation in value each year. And we started with a 7 year old rig.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:48 AM   #14
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Look at monthly rates in local parks. In San Diego we met a lot of young military families who did exactly the same thing. You can stay at a nice park like Santee Lakes for $650/mo plus electric, still a lot cheaper than most rents. They allow 6 month stays after which you have to move for 2 weeks. When we were staying there our next door neighbors were a young military family plus child who lived fulltime in their toy hauler. If you have flexibility in your schedule you can even look at Workamping to get the site for free. Many of the regulars in Santee did just that.
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