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Old 06-11-2014, 10:17 AM   #1
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Newbie here: Need help with decision to go FT!

Our main reasoning is to become debt free but not sure how cost effective this decision will be:

1. My hubby and I have an 11 month old so we'd probably need a 5th wheel with a bunk room for a pac n play and a washer/dryer. So we are looking at around $43,000-50,000.

2. Hookups: the camp sites we are looking at cost about $350-$400 for a w/15, 30A or $540-$600 for a w/30,50A/S. How do I know which hook up our camper needs?

3. Are campsites difficult to book in advance? (We are currently in Fl and possibly moving to Tx, Virginia or Maryland.

4. We are thinking it might be more cost effective over time, however, we think we only want to go FT for a year and some change then keep the RV and use it for camping trips. (We plan to have another child in a year or so).

5. If we decide to sell it after a year, what is the avg. depreciation rate?

6. What is the avg cost to insure a fifth wheel that costs btw $35k-50k?

7. Does the metal in them attract tornados?

8. Is there any costs or difficulties I have not mentioned that you think I ought to consider?

Thanks so much, in advance!


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Old 06-11-2014, 10:46 AM   #2
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Great questions for the conversion to Full-Time.

You might consider asking questions specific to Full-Timing to those who already do it, here:
Full-Timers - iRV2 Forums

I know that many young people have made this conversion successfully for many reasons.

Best luck and safe travels

Kim and Steve, Mustang LCDR (Ret), '07 Damon Outlaw #1193
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:21 PM   #3
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2. Hookups: the camp sites we are looking at cost about $350-$400 for a w/15, 30A or $540-$600 for a w/30,50A/S. How do I know which hook up our camper needs?
Quick rule of thumb: If it has two AC units, it is a 50amp unit. If it doesn't, and is less than 35ft, it is probably a 30 amp unit. You can get adapters for a 50 amp unit to a 30 amp service pedestal. Figure all budgeting with the 50 amp costs.

7. Does the metal in them attract tornados?
Not really, although that is a big joke here in Oklahoma that tornadoes are attracted to large accumulations of aluminum. It's just that the devastation of a tornado hitting a trailer park makes for a much more "striking" news cast. You know the old adage about the news . . . If it bleeds, it leads . . .

You'll get much more and better info than I can provide from other members on this forum. I just bought my 5th wheel and will not be going full time for at least six months and maybe even a year.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:06 PM   #4
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You really need some experience in camping before you're going full time. And most of those full timers prefer fifth wheels or motorhomes that exceed your budget. For example, you'd want a unit with a washer/dryer with a young child.

You might want to research your decision carefully. There's not enough room here to discuss so many bullet points.
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:29 PM   #5
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Do not believe it is cheaper to live full time in a camper. We are full time for the last 6 years. Most campers don't hold up well. They depreciate horribly. Not uncommon for unit to be needing trading and still a mortgage on it and can't get squat for it. Do your homework and buy a high quality unit and it will last longer, if taken care of. That's a big if too. We love our lifestyle and wouldn't trade it for anything. If we won lottery we still would full time rv.
2003 Teton Grand Freedom. 2006 Freightliner Century 120 with Detroit 14L and Ultrashift.. Full time going from job to job. Building and maintaining plants across the USA. Sold 2006 Mobile Suites 32TK3
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:59 PM   #6
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I would agree with Bamaman on you need some RV experience prior to jumping into full time. With that said, the next issue is you said you may only do it for a year? You will not get debt free in one year IMHO, if you want to try it, buy a used unit, someone else has already taken the big hit on the depreciation. Realistically you will lose 40% of value on a new unit in 1st yr. Look for bank repos, buy from an individual. Look at Craigs List and compare to dealer inventory, normally even after tough negotiations you will pay a dealer 10k more on a used unit.
To really save money you can look at campgrounds that offer steep discounts for long term stay. Some of these will have separate utilities and you can get a 50 amp spot for 325.00 a month in non resort areas.
You did not mention a truck, do you already have a suitable tow vehicle?
Lots of variables, you can live for less, but would be a challenge with children.
Can you live in 400sf or less? We have 42' with 3 slides and have 412 sf. Not bad for 2 people, but with kids???
Best wishes and give us an update if you decide either way.

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need help, newbie

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