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Old 03-10-2011, 09:18 AM   #57
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Reading this I'm amused by all the people that complain about $4-5.00 gas/diesel. We spent about $8,000 on gasoline last year and that is probably way higher than most (~17,000 miles). Compared to the depreciation on a 40' DP ($10-30,000 up?), that's dirt cheap, at least we got something for it!
Figuring about the same for park rental, and fixed costs (depreciation, insurance, etc.) of $4,000, our cost for having a motor home totaled around $100 per night for 200 plus nights ($20,000) last year. We'll probably be closer to 10-12,000 miles this year; not because of gas prices, but because we tried to do more than was reasonable last year.
Compared to airline travel and motels we came out pretty well with gasoline (at about $3.20 average) being about 40% of our cost. For many; I expect gasoline runs 10% or less.
An extra $1.00 per gallon would/will increase our RV expenses about 12.5% but, so would the depreciation on a MH costing $25,000 more than our 2006 Class A Georgie Boy Pursuit that cost us $40K two years ago.
Incidentally, I'm not knocking those who can, and decide to, buy a $100K+ motor home; just noting that the decision to do so has a much greater impact on costs than gasoline prices.

Ernie n Tara

Remember! Life is not a rehearsal!
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Old 03-10-2011, 04:35 PM   #58
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How does one financially justify----golf, fishing, hunting, season tickets to (fill in the blanks), boating, airplanes, motorhomes ? You don't, you do it because you want to and can affors it.

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Old 03-15-2011, 03:41 PM   #59
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Hello again. Logged back in and surprised at the little bit of controversy/strong opinions caused by this thread. Please note my post is has "FOR ME" in the title.

Some points/rebuttals/observations:
I am a certain stage in life. I am 43, own a small business that is growing very fast. It is also seasonal so I am going from 100 hours a week (this is not an exaggeration) in the Summer to being able to take a couple of weeks off at a time during the Winter. All I cared about was the quality of that time off and making up the Summer work hours w/my kids. Cost really didn't matter. I was/am not judging was it worth it for anyone else. It was for me.

We will be RVing again. I don't care what the guy who did this original post says.

Biggest surprise to me owning - the maintenance required both preventative and repair. Also, not just cost but, time required. This is a cost that I did not factor in to the equation which was my time not relaxing taking care of the coach. When we started it was a labor of love but, it was becoming burdensome and I began not to like it.

Surprising to many is that fuel is a relatively small portion of the total cost. It always amazed me when I was new to RVing how fuel costs and mpg were a dominant topic. (My father-in-law being the king of it it would seem) He had 40' Diplomat in the mid - high 6 figures and all he wanted to talk was mileage.

7% return on capital is low for ME at this stage. Every dollar invested in the business is returning a ton of us right now. I will offer that we financed our rig for that reason, to free up more capital for the business. Worked well for us. Just thought 7% was a fair estimate.

Uh - I am never owning a boat.

Love the hunting analogy. I grew up in Northern Michigan where hunting was so big that opening day of deer season was a holiday for school. That is not a joke. One time, me being the smart a** college kid, decided to show my father exactly what we were paying a pound for venison. Lets just say it didn't go over well. Kinda like this post for some.

My favorite reply to this post - "I went on the one payment plan." Love it. More of us Americans could probably do the same.

Please do not be judgmental of those that spend more a night for a campground. We all have different wants and situations. Our big one is young children. For us, a $70/night spot at Fort Wilderness for example is a deal vs. a $25 night park that has absolutely nothing. Also, am I staying overnight and moving on or is this my vacation.

Best RV Resort I stayed at was Pelican Lake. $100 night min. but, immaculate. While it is definitely upscale the people are friendly. Not the best place for kids but, the residents were great all the same. Had stuffier reception at much cheaper places.

Worst - any number of KOA's charging $40+ a night off the Interstate with subpar sites and amenities. I don't begrudge them, if they can get it due to brand and location God Bless 'em. Also, there are many good/great KOA's.

Best Overall Deal - Lazy Days - However, they are trying to sell to you. The free RV driving course there by Barney is worth the time and then some. Not always the nicest neighbors there in our opinion.

Best for Kids and Pets - Fort Wilderness. I would put our park up there too but, it is hard to be objective.
Scott Crompton
07 Dutch Star 4304
Sue (DW)Celia 10, Alec 8, Bella (Greyhound), Isis (Abyssinian)
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:19 PM   #60
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This is indeed an interesting thread, and as you can see I had boats before buying a 1998 American Eagle for cash a little over 2 years ago.

After boating fuel costs and maintenance, the Eagle has been easy on the pocketbook and extraordinary on the "maintenance time vs. enjoyment time" equation.

You can enjoy a vintage DP and avoid the biggest expense (depreciation) if you do not mind not having all the bells and whistles available on today's motor homes. Fuel use is reasonable IMHO and maintenance costs very reasonable if you follow some discipline and are willing to use truck maintenance facilities vs. RV facilities.

I use Speedco for LOF and generator servicing.

The discipline I am referring to is what I learned from 20 years of running boats, that is you have to use them and exercise all of their systems regularly. In some parts of the country and in Canada I realize that this is not possible....but here in Florida it is very easy to follow my 3 week rule.

Every 3 weeks the Eagle gets a 40 mile run

Every 3 weeks the Onan gets a 90 minute workout under load

Every 3 weeks all switches are actuated

Every 3 weeks the hot water heater gets turned on

Every 3 weeks the tires, dash, leather get a good dose of 303

Every 3 weeks the steps get lubed

Every 3 weeks the generator slide gets actuated

Every 3 weeks the automatic slack adjusters get calibrated

Every 3 weeks the diesel tank gets a top-off to make sure that it is full before parking

Every 12 weeks the slide seals get a good dose of 303

Engine gets a wipe down after each trip, plus a periodic wipe down with Boeshield T-9 to prevent corrosion

Hand waxed twice a year (by me)

My point in posting is that there is a way to avoid the depreciation and interest expenses and minimize maintenance costs, but you have to have or make the time to exercise the equipment.

Hope this is not viewed as a hijack of the thread, it is intended to just show that there are other ways to own a Class A (and a very nice one IMHO) at a cost that is very affordable to mere mortals.

1998 American Eagle 40EVS
Cummins C8.3 325 HP
Allison 3060 Six Speed Transmission
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Old 03-17-2011, 11:29 AM   #61
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Formerboater. Are you for hire? LOL
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Old 03-18-2011, 02:10 AM   #62
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FormerBoater, you are right on track! jim
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:57 AM   #63
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:23 AM   #64
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True cost

True cost can be broken down many ways and to many different results. It all comes down to what YOU want or what is important to to you and your family. Eveyones likes and dislikes factor into it. What things cost and the time it takes from other important things. Many people spend money and time on hunting and it's trips, and guns. Others like to spend time and money on cars for collecting or racing. Now myself like to use fireworks. Now I'm sure a hunter or car person would say I'm crazy to spend the amount I do for a few seconds of pleasure. Now I went and did another crazy thing and bought an RV. More money down the drain. Everyone has their own wants and needs. Everyone makes their choice. If you spend $40,000 on somthing you and your family and friends enjoy it, go for it. If it ends up costing to much to enjoy, you scale back or start somthing else. Either way enjoy your time here. Remember we're not here for a long, we're here for a good time. Now these are just my thoughts and I could be wrong but I'm still having fun and enjoying the time.
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Old 03-21-2011, 12:25 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by howardfry View Post
Either way enjoy your time here. Remember we're not here for a long, we're here for a good time. Now these are just my thoughts and I could be wrong but I'm still having fun and enjoying the time.
That's the beauty of this topic... I don't think ANYBODY is "wrong". As you say it's all about personal values and priorities.

Just have fun.

Rick, Nancy, Peanut & Lola our Westie Dogs & Bailey the Sheltie.

2007 Itasca Ellipse 40FD
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:33 PM   #66
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I will have to say the Cost is not the determining factor, If you enjoy the open road, the people in the RV community then that is what counts. If you look at the housing market the homes in most area's have gone down more then your Motor Home ha!!!!!!!!
Andy5010 / 2003 American Dream - ISL 370HP
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Old 03-21-2011, 02:45 PM   #67
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Travels with my wife, summer trips with my Grandsons, seeing this beautiful Country we live in, PRICELESS.
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:28 PM   #68
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I started reading this thread and almost told the wife forget the new Phaeton. We are planning to start full timing it next year after the house sells. Then I broke down the cost of living in my house. $310,000 purchase price with $225,000 financed. It cost me around $30,000 a year to live in it. With housing values dropping like they are, I figure it will take me at least 20 years to break even on it. Just what I save in property taxes will make up the difference in depreciation of the DP.
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Old 04-06-2011, 04:19 PM   #69
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GaryKD, what are the suppliments, sounds great?? Let us know
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:34 PM   #70
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RV'ing is a choice of entertainment. Most always entertainment will cost money. Buy good,used rv's will save $$$$$$. Also,enjoyment cost sometimes is worth a lot.

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