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Old 05-28-2014, 06:26 PM   #1
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Home Ownership or RV Full Time?

I'm seriously considering selling my house and buying a class A RV to live in full time. Some say it's less expensive to RV full time than owning a home. I question this because although you won't have property tax, you will have a huge fuel expense. So I have to wonder if it might actually cost more to RV full time.

Enlighten me please.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:27 PM   #2
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Fuel expense is totally dependent on how much you drive. If you park at one place for long stretches, fuel is very cheap.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:35 PM   #3
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There is a BIG differecnce in fulltiming and being on vacation continually.
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:37 PM   #4
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X2 what FlyingDiver said. We volunteer for National Wildlife Refuges. In exchange for 24 hour a week of "work" we get a free RV pad with all utilities paid. We typically spend at least 3 months in each location, so are not burning fuel during that time. It is a very cost effective way of full timing.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:38 PM   #5
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Hi Resist,
With any housing choice there are fixed and variable expenses. You can calculate the fixed expenses on your house, based on history. One can easily calculate the fixed expenses of living in a coach. It make take some time because one would need to commit to the lifestyle that the fixed expenses were calculated on.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:44 PM   #6
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We are full time volunteers, building churches and working at christian conference centers around the southeast. We spend up to 5 months at one place depending on the job. We "snowbird" at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center in Leesburg, FL for up to 4 months. We usually have some meals provided and free camping.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:46 PM   #7
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We full time. We can adjust our expenses at will. For example, we can boondock for next to nothing or we can stay in a full amenity RV resort.

As far as fuel expense goes, I doubt if we'll drive more than 8,000 miles in any given year. At 8mpg, that's 1,000 gallons of fuel. At ~$4.00/gallon, it's $4,000/year. I spent that much on mortgage, taxes, insurance and upkeep in two months in our sticks and bricks home.

When we're parked, we use our Kymco Downtown 300i scooter, which gets 65-70mpg and occasionally rent a fuel efficient car.

You can see how we do it at flyingthekoop.com.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:55 PM   #8
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Quote:
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At ~$4.00/gallon, it's $4,000/year. I spent that much on mortgage, taxes, insurance and upkeep in two months in our sticks and bricks home.
But with an RV most people will still have a loan payment (mortgage), insurance and upkeep costs. And that's why I initially was comparing property taxes to fuel expenses.

I pay a tad over $4,000 a year for my house property taxes. So with what you are telling me, it seems like I'm not saving much if anything, by moving into an RV full time due to the fuel expense.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Resist View Post
But with an RV most people will still have a loan payment (mortgage), insurance and upkeep costs. And that's why I initially was comparing property taxes to fuel expenses.

I pay a tad over $4,000 a year for my house property taxes. So with what you are telling me, it seems like I'm not saving much if anything, by moving into an RV full time due to the fuel expense.
It sounds like you are considering full timing to save money vs. to see the country (?) Your original statement was that fuel costs would offset property taxes, and as the good folks here have said your fuel costs depend 100% on how much you actually travel. Traveling also brings a variety of costs from RV parks to tourist stops, the actual amount you spend is quite variable depending on your interests & lifestyle.

If you are interested in being mobile, full timing can be very rewarding and again as others have stated the costs are quite variable. In our case we can save up to $2k a month simply by volunteering for free hookups vs. staying in a high end RV resorts, by staying put vs. diesel costs to cross the country, etc. So we do a combination of both, sit awhile & save then use our savings for travel adventures.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:19 PM   #10
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Depreciation is a big factor. A motorhome drops precipitously, especially in the first few years. Most homes appreciate over time.
We decided to buy an RV a few years ago. After the first couple of trips we knew we would not become full timers. Now that we own the motorhome we are away from home 4 - 6 months a year, half of which as state park volunteers here in Texas. In return for 24 hours as a couple (done as three, 4 hour days) we get a full hookup, beautiful site.

I think many people enter full timing without thorough research thinking they will travel constantly. After a couple of trips at 6 - 9 mpg reality strikes. They quickly realize that 2,500 miles is going to cost at least $1,000 for gas and more for diesel. When we travel for leisure we generally go out and stay in one place for a month.

I really enjoy RVing but I also like our house. Our challenge is to parcel out our money to afford both.
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:57 PM   #11
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You also have utility and yard up keep costs on a house.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:43 PM   #12
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If you are considering fulltime RV living for financial reasons, forget it. The only reason to do it is because you really want to.
The monetary reasons, and home maintenance reasons are NOT reasons to fulltime. Just figure it will cost about 10% more to do it. If that doesn't bother you, then do it.
Now, I'm not saying it will cost more, it could cost less. If you go into it prepared to pay the costs and do the maintenance, you'll be much happier.
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Old 05-28-2014, 10:25 PM   #13
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I would try it out first, living in a small box is not for everyone!!!
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Old 05-29-2014, 07:25 AM   #14
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I did a thorough analysis of RV'g vs. owning. I depends on what expenses are included in each. I could have rented a home for what it cost me for owning without all the hassles. Selling closing costs up all the profits of owning. The same view of neighbor's houses, bored me. Full timing got me out to see the US. If I want to be in a home I go visit 8-10 friends and family. Then I'm free to leave when I want. You really can not justify saving $ on one versus the other. My RV costs almost $2/Mile, including depreciation.
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