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Old 07-18-2011, 02:29 PM   #1
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This is the "PLAN"...Your thoughts?

Good afternoon...must have too much time on my hands so I thought I would get your thoughts on my developing PLAN to become an RV Guy

1) Wife and I are age 64...both self employed but beginning the "wind down" and planning our next life stage.

2) Resources are "reasonable" for retirement as long as we don't do toooo much "stupid"...unlikely since I am a conservative, risk adverse "type"

3) Our tastes are fairly "end"...ie; we would love a 42' high end diesel pusher with all luxuries. But...no way I would risk that particularly since we are not sure how well we will "prosper" with RV avocation.

4) Thus...MY (not sure about DW) PLAN...find a slightly used early to mid 2000s high end 5er...let's use New Horizon as an example...could be Excel or Hitchhiker or ???????? (another thread going on that question). Cost of "entry" goes down from new of over $100K to used of less than $50K.

5) RV "use" anticipated. This is...I think...the exciting part.

We have a log cabin on a small lake in Northern Minnesota...been in the family since 1920s...currently primarily used by adult children and grandchildren and their 4 large dogs. We have a home about 30 minutes away and visit them from early AM and then travel home early evening to the comforts of "home"...and leave them to talk about us over the campfire.

We also have a townhouse in Mpls area as that is where our kids live and also we use for our self employment...part-time.

Opps...almost forgot the "key" to my "PLAN"...last summer we bought 40 acres of beautiful woods/property 1/2 mile from our cabin and bordering on a river...key point as you will see below.

Thus my grand PLAN/scheme...1) Sell the home that is 30 miles from the cabin...2) Make our town home our "primary" residence...3) Buy a 30-34' 2002-2004 New Horizon 5er AND build a "roof" on the new property 1/2 mile from the family cabin. Also put in power and a sandpoint well...perhaps an outhouse until we decide to put in a septic system.

Visualize the "roof" as a large starting point for what could become a garage is we decided to build a cabin on the new property in the years to come. In the meantime it would be summer "home" to the 5er...would provide shade for the 5er and an area for outside picnic table, etc. Roof would be purposely designed to make conversion to a large garage not a problem. Land is well drained, gravely soil and might not do anything but build up a bit...ie; no concrete floor. This, at end of evening Grandma and Grandpa would head (in our Polaris Ranger side by side) the 1/2 mile to our air conditioned premium quality 5er...only to rejoin the fun as we wish the next day...just MAY let a grandkid join us for the night?

NEXT part of my PLAN...pick a "snow bird" spot in maybe Arizona/New Mexico/California...or where ever...and look for a lot to rent for the winter...perhaps eventually replicate what we have at our prperty by the cabin.

Might end up only moving the 5er back and forth for winter/summer seasons...or we could enjoy so much we may want to do some "side" travel from either home "base"?

IN SUMMAY Main residence at townhouse in Mpls where our kids reside (Mpls...not town house)..."roof" w/ utilities on 40 acres 1/2 mile from out 1920s lake cabin where the kids and grandkids spend most of the weekends and vacations during the summer...get rid of the "extra" house we have that is 30 miles from the cabin in Northern MN (note; bought it when I worked full time in N MN...and can not sell unless I have an alternative "access" to our lake cabin)...plan to move 5er in spring and fall to follow the seasons...maybe more travel as we wish.

Risk is moderate and I think the rewards could be great?

Questions or comments? WHat say you? Thanks for listening...Tom R
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Old 07-18-2011, 02:40 PM   #2
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Sounds like a dream come true!! We've started down a similar path with a little River property and an old RV that's mainly meant to drive out during a flood. City house being paid off is our next big goal then I'm thinking work-camping...Good luck and keep us posted..
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:49 PM   #3
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Sounds good, but did you factor in a TV to move that 5er back and forth? Although not the largest the brands you're talking about are fairly heavy and will require a good size (preferably a 1 ton dually, just my opinion) to move between climates. There is the option of hiring a transporter to move the rig, but that would rule out any side or weekend trips and I don't know what that would cost. This year we'll be spending more time in our rig than our stick house and plan on being in warmer climate from Nov to May. Good luck which ever way you go.
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:03 PM   #4
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Sounds good, but did you factor in a TV to move that 5er back and forth? Although not the largest the brands you're talking about are fairly heavy and will require a good size (preferably a 1 ton dually, just my opinion) to move between climates. There is the option of hiring a transporter to move the rig, but that would rule out any side or weekend trips and I don't know what that would cost. This year we'll be spending more time in our rig than our stick house and plan on being in warmer climate from Nov to May. Good luck which ever way you go.
Yes...I was planning on working with a 1 ton SRW/CC short bed...diesel. I have become aware that the New Horizon/Excel 5ers (and similar) likely are well into the 15K++ GVWR and either just AT the limit for a SRW or more likely above it. Haven't completely dealt with that yet. I WILL wait to buy a TV until I have decided on WHAT I need to tow...and will make sure I have some level of "safety" cushion in weight limits.

Still could end up with a motorhome or a TT...PLAN pretty much works with whatever RV we might chose...the real benefit of the NH?Excel is the living space and the residential quality...along with a moderate price once you go back a few years. Might eventually have to warm up to a DRW...which should move into the roughly 15K++ GVWR category...would plan on keeping 5er to the "shorter" range of NH etc...maybe 30'-33'-35'(maybe not 35')

I do want the ability to move more than twice a year...I hope to enjoy the flexibility of the PLAN...Thanks...Tom R
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:05 PM   #5
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Something in many states that may affect your plans in MN too. Here in NC you must have a single family dwelling to get a well and septic system permit. If you can get power from your local electric company for a "barn" you might be able to get around it. Just don't mention that you will be living in your RV (it's a storage barn).

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Old 07-18-2011, 09:08 PM   #6
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Something in many states that may affect your plans in MN too. Here in NC you must have a single family dwelling to get a well and septic system permit. If you can get power from your local electric company for a "barn" you might be able to get around it. Just don't mention that you will be living in your RV (it's a storage barn).

Dave
Hi Dave...our 40 acres is quite rural and we actually still have "outhouse" regulation

Would first start with power and "sandpoint" well along with my "roof" idea...could add the septic if/when we determine it is working well in our PLAN.

I will remember to just refer to as a "barn"...just in case it has ramifications...Thanks...Tom R

P.S. I can imagine you enjoy your 42' AMerican Eagle! Question...did you jump right in with the American Eagle or build up to that over time? TMR
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:04 AM   #7
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Tom,

We built up to it over time. Had 3 different 5ers, 32', 34', &38'. It was primarily due to cost. If I could have afforded it we would have gone with the most we could comfortablly afford. In fact, we're getting ready to sell our 42' and buy a 45' with a bath and a half now that we see our retirement is working out better than expected. AE is owned by the same Fleetwood company. If you are thinking about it, go with a Tradition, Eagle, or Heritage (there may be another one I'm not including in their luxury coaches). It's nice to get up and walk on heated floors when it's cold.

In my opinion, these things are a piece of cake to drive and park compared to the TT or 5er. More flexibility by pulling a small toad to get around in when you get to your destination, more cargo, more comfort when driving and when you are parked.

Dave
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomR View Post
Yes...I was planning on working with a 1 ton SRW/CC short bed...diesel. I have become aware that the New Horizon/Excel 5ers (and similar) likely are well into the 15K++ GVWR and either just AT the limit for a SRW or more likely above it. Haven't completely dealt with that yet. I WILL wait to buy a TV until I have decided on WHAT I need to tow...and will make sure I have some level of "safety" cushion in weight limits. Thanks...Tom R
Good idea to wait on the TV until after you decide on the specific RV! Our Excel, with all of our stuff, weighs around 16,500 pounds (1,000 below the coach's GVWR of 17,500). As one previous post'er recommended, consider a dually vs. SRW; higher capacity and more stable. Also consider a longbed. The longer the wheelbase on the TV, the more stable it will be. Also, you won't have to mess with a slider hitch.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:52 AM   #9
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a 42 Footer is a bit long for many campsites at many Government parks. Just so you know, also, since you are both "of age" be sure to get one of the Federal "Golden age" passes (Interagency passes) these get you discounts on parking in COE (Core of Engineers) campgrounds, (50 percent) and in many cases BLM bookdock parking, Discounts up to 100% on access to federal parks (Day pass) and such, HOWEVER, in many federal parks the campground is "Vendor operated" and the pass won't work there.

For what they cost (less than a day pass at the Grand Canyon) it's a bargain.
(I should note that the pass gets you into the Grand Canyon... FOR FREE so you save money the very day you buy it if you buy it there)

Learning to drive: There are 3 bits of advice

1: A good place to learn is where there is no traffic.. A shopping mall, after hours. Do learn to center the vehicle in the lane,, use of 2-way radios, or hands-free cell phones and have your partner follow (At a safe distance) in what will be your towed car can help here. Find a spot on the windshield and either place a sticker on it (A small round dot) or remember where it is, that lines up with the center line on the road. Learn to back into parking spots, if you tow 4-down (all 4 wheels on road, no trailer you do not need to practice backing with towed, I you trailer (4 up) you can, dolly.. Do not back up.

RV-Driving school.. Consider it, You can find a couple on the web

Mitchlein Safety Videos.. Those too MAY (i hope not) Help. (Why do I hope not.. Well, I hope you do not NEED that kind of knowledge, but if you do, it will help.

I've been driving for 50 years, 45 on the road, (First 5 on a farm) and I've had many flats in that time, Of course a few of 'em were at the great grand speed of ZERO miles per hour (went flat overnight) so they don't count but I learned from that video.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:46 PM   #10
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Anyone else tried my garage "roof" port idea...building it with the prospect that it could be easily converted to a full-walled garage if that became appropriate? I would anticipate allowing for a future door height that maybe could house an RV for storage...even when the garage is fully built up in the future.

Another question (somewhat related) is "Why don't you see many covered (ie with port style roof) in the south RV parks? Would that not make for a MUCH more comfortable coach? Would that not help with the many air conditioning adequacy issues that are posted frequently?

Just wondering...Thanks...Tom R
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:10 PM   #11
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Since you plan on moving up you may wish to start a bit smaller in lenght until you are confortable pulling and parking a large rig. Getting in and out of gas stations is not always easy. You really need a long bed if you have a long rig to be safe. Research wheelbase ratios. Be sure to look at diesels and gear ratios for heavy duty towing. We have had our rig in the western and eastern mountains many times and have had no problems. We use downshifting to hold the rig back and have not added engine brakes. Try to curb the desire to go really big because of how the rigs look on the lot. You have to tow it in heavy traffic and park it in tight places. AND as you get older that is more of a challenge each year. My husband is 66 and I am 64, so we know that we cannot maintain the same schedule that we did in our 40's. I do not feel older but my body does.

Nancy
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Old 07-22-2011, 09:17 PM   #12
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I presently am thinking about doing the opposite. Selling the river place and getting a 5th wheeler to do some traveling. I started off with a trailer on a river property I am presently selling in VA and it was flooded by the river. Be sure to checkout the flood plain where you plan on building or parking our RV. I lost mine to Hurricane Fran in 1995. I like your idea of the covered / garage to park the RV. Have you thought about a park model. It may give you more room. If you don't plan on traveling , it may be a option. It sounds like a wonderful place. I am just tired of the grass cutting, weed eating and maintenance.
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