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Old 11-23-2012, 11:05 AM   #1
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Explain the Appeal of the RV Lifestyle Please.

Seriously, this is not a troll and I'm really interested in the answers.

DW and I have been lurking on here for months to gather information while at the same time shopping for a class A DP which would be our first MH. My first post being, "what would you buy for a 100K?" Got a lot of good responses on that, thanks. But, it also brings up some things that puzzle me.

I figure we're like a lot of folks here in that we're a little older, successful, (we can afford a MH), and live in a nice house on the water in Florida. Both retired so we have the time.

Maybe we have the wrong perception of RV'ing but, we both like the idea of being as comfortable on the road as we are at home. Not having to live out of suitcase, having the same bed to sleep in every night, my own kitchen and most importantly, my own bathroom. Also like the idea of not having a fixed schedule and being able to visit places that are tough to get to without a MH. We also expected to get away from the crowds and enjoy some solitude in remote and beautiful places.

Some of the stuff that doesn't look appealing? Leaving my waterfront home in my 100K MH and spending the night in a Walmart parking lot? Being camped in an RV park with just enough room between me and the next guy to put out an awning? When I look a photos of RV parks, I see high end coaches parked right on top of each other and cannot understand the appeal of that.

So please enlighten me. Is being close to others and socializing the appeal and the norm? Or, is there another side to RV'ing I'm not aware of? Boondocking maybe? Or maybe it's just us as we don't do cruises because of the crowds either.

Looking for answers.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:26 AM   #2
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We like the social atmosphere, not necessarily all parks are the same, so the experience is pleasant or not. We were sitting in a very close park right now with a wide variety of-individuals. The conversation is like minded. The need for assistance is always volunteered. The lifestyle is one of brotherhood, sisterhood. We are very private people, our travels include two wonderful canines, they are welcome most everywhere, my own shower, toilet, bed, food, all so easy and convienent exactly like home. Bottom line we like this lifestyle. We feel free!
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:35 AM   #3
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All great questions.

We jumped in to the lifestyle in 2007 when we bought a new DP and soon went full time. The attraction to us was in being able to travel and "live" anywhere we wanted to for as long as we wanted to. We'd see the sights in each area and maybe target some experiences to scratch off our bucket list.

We're not "campers"... we're "travelers" who happen to use campground facilities along the way. We too want all the comforts of a stick house and we've outfitted our coach to provide them. When living on the road, we find that we spend a lot of time inside our rig because it's so comfortable and after all, it's our home... not just a camper we take out on weekends. Rarely do we sit outside around the campfire. There have been threads on the forum which showed that some folks interpret that behavior to be snobbish but it's really just a difference in expectations IMHO.

In some private CGs, you'll find spaces which are so close together that one doesn't even have the room to extend their awning. I think it's necessary to take the good with the bad and when staying in those places we're usually only there for a short time to see the sights so are gone a lot.

State, local and national parks offer much better ambiance usually but can have limited hook ups and sometimes presents a challenge for larger rigs.
BTW, we've never stayed at Walmart either and I don't see it happening any time soon.

If budget isn't a major concern, there are a lot of high end parks available which can offer sites with anything you can imagine. We spent four months in Indio, California at Outdoor Resorts a few years back where they had sites with outdoor kitchens, patio furniture, many sites with their own boat docks... you get the idea.... but it wasn't cheap.

Just to get a flavor of this type of facilities, feel free to check out a slideshow we did of some of our neighbor's sites while we were staying there. Outdoor Resorts Mototcoach Country Club - YouTube

The sites are individually owned and we rented directly from an owner. It's not even obvious from the pictures that it's an RV resort.

After about three years of full time, we bought another stick house last year in Arizona. Although we loved it on the road, we now find that it is tough to leave the stick house... and the three golf courses we live on.

Best of luck.

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Old 11-23-2012, 11:39 AM   #4
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For us it is not where we park so much as it is what we plan to do and see when we reach our destination. It is our hotel on wheels.

The picture is of a permanent site we own. We could have put a park model on it, but with the fifth wheel we have the freedom to go or stay as we please. In the summer with the trees, we only see our neighbors when we want, but we are really more interested in the nomadic life style when we can retire.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:43 AM   #5
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You made many of the basic 'arguments' for and against dropping $100K. Real bottom line is unless you're going to actually use the thing more than a couple months out of the year .... it probably isn't worth the expense. (Just rent one, which may be a good idea to begin with.)

That said, if you've got plenty of time on your hands and like to travel, see/learn new places, etc., having all your own 'stuff' is a true treat. Sitting here in Southern Oregon and 'Self says to Self,' I haven't fish the Chetco River in a couple of years. Load in the food, toss in the Yellow Lab and I can be gone in a couple of hours.

Couple hundred dollars for gas, $350/mth for a great place on the river, and I'm good to go. Weather blows out (it is winter), no big deal just pop in a DVD and watch a movie (or TV), play on the internet, etc., etc. In a nut shell, I've never spent two days in a motel room that I enjoyed.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedpeddler View Post
Seriously, this is not a troll and I'm really interested in the answers.

DW and I have been lurking on here for months to gather information while at the same time shopping for a class A DP which would be our first MH. My first post being, "what would you buy for a 100K?" Got a lot of good responses on that, thanks. But, it also brings up some things that puzzle me.

I figure we're like a lot of folks here in that we're a little older, successful, (we can afford a MH), and live in a nice house on the water in Florida. Both retired so we have the time.

Maybe we have the wrong perception of RV'ing but, we both like the idea of being as comfortable on the road as we are at home. Not having to live out of suitcase, having the same bed to sleep in every night, my own kitchen and most importantly, my own bathroom. Also like the idea of not having a fixed schedule and being able to visit places that are tough to get to without a MH. We also expected to get away from the crowds and enjoy some solitude in remote and beautiful places.

Some of the stuff that doesn't look appealing? Leaving my waterfront home in my 100K MH and spending the night in a Walmart parking lot? Being camped in an RV park with just enough room between me and the next guy to put out an awning? When I look a photos of RV parks, I see high end coaches parked right on top of each other and cannot understand the appeal of that.

So please enlighten me. Is being close to others and socializing the appeal and the norm? Or, is there another side to RV'ing I'm not aware of? Boondocking maybe? Or maybe it's just us as we don't do cruises because of the crowds either.

Looking for answers.
Answer is, w/o reading the replies, is that you do not have to do any of these things. You can choose where to park. Its called freedom..
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:50 AM   #7
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"Maybe we have the wrong perception of RV'ing but, we both like the idea of being as comfortable on the road as we are at home. Not having to live out of suitcase, having the same bed to sleep in every night, my own kitchen and most importantly, my own bathroom. Also like the idea of not having a fixed schedule and being able to visit places that are tough to get to without a MH. We also expected to get away from the crowds and enjoy some solitude in remote and beautiful places."

Pretty much sums up the lure, enjoyment and advantages of the RV Lifestylle I would say.

"Some of the stuff that doesn't look appealing? Leaving my waterfront home in my 100K MH and spending the night in a Walmart parking lot? Being camped in an RV park with just enough room between me and the next guy to put out an awning? When I look a photos of RV parks, I see high end coaches parked right on top of each other and cannot understand the appeal of that."

When we're enroute to our destination, we don't have a problem overnighting in lower quality RV park as we'll be asleep and not overly concernd with our close by neighbors.

Upon arriving at our destination we usually look for an RV park with pleasant accommodations where there's adequate room between the RV parking spaces, so I guess we haven't faced the overcrowded situations you mention.

For folks who have the concerns you've stated, perhaps the RV lifestyle isn't their cup of tea.

Insofar as we live in the desert, we like to get away during the hot summer months and spend them in beautiful Washington State near the Canadian border.

I suppose with the RV lifestyle, one must be willing to accept both the good and the bad.

We've always enjoy meeting nice folks during our travels and enjoy the RV lifestyle immensly.

Perhaps before you make a final decision on buying a coach, it might be wise to rent one for a couple of weeks or a month, take a trip, and see if it works for you, just a suggestion.

Good luck with your decision and if you wind up with a coach, safe travels...
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:57 AM   #8
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Answer is, w/o reading the replies, is that you do not have to do any of these things. You can choose where to park. Its called freedom..
Where do you go if you want to avoid those kind of places? Can you just overnight where ever you want? Seems unlikely and possibly dangerous.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Glassalley52 View Post
For us it is not where we park so much as it is what we plan to do and see when we reach our destination. It is our hotel on wheels.

{Snip}
A lot depends upon why you RV. We've done the "camping" thing (Backpackers for years) and now we are "sightseeing". Our 5er is our home away from home and where we park it is secondary to why we are in an area. Just like the sticks and bricks, you can't always choose your neighbors, some are better than others and some parks are better than others. CG's (commercial) tend to be "packed together", but, since we aren't there to "sit outside and commune with nature", it isn't an issue as long as the CG's ammenities work, that's why we have a big 5er. If we wanted the "commune with nature" thing, we'd have something smaller that would fit handily in the more rustic and primitive areas. When we get back from sightseeing, and the sun goes down with us inside, it isn't that important how much "realestate" we've got to our site. What is important is that we have our own bed, our own kitchen, our own bathroom, our pets, some of our hobbies and the comforts, basically, of being at "home", but, hundreds or thousands of miles away. We are "good" that way for about 4 months. Then it is time to go back to the sticks and bricks and our solitude. We're fortunate that we have a large chunk of property in the middle of a state forest; no neighbors for miles. That is where we go for "solitude" The travel time is full of experiences; people and places and like everything else, you have some good experiences and some bad, but, life is like that and you learn to just roll with it.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:08 PM   #10
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You made many of the basic 'arguments' for and against dropping $100K. Real bottom line is unless you're going to actually use the thing more than a couple months out of the year .... it probably isn't worth the expense. (Just rent one, which may be a good idea to begin with.)

That said, if you've got plenty of time on your hands and like to travel, see/learn new places, etc., having all your own 'stuff' is a true treat. Sitting here in Southern Oregon and 'Self says to Self,' I haven't fish the Chetco River in a couple of years. Load in the food, toss in the Yellow Lab and I can be gone in a couple of hours.

Couple hundred dollars for gas, $350/mth for a great place on the river, and I'm good to go. Weather blows out (it is winter), no big deal just pop in a DVD and watch a movie (or TV), play on the internet, etc., etc. In a nut shell, I've never spent two days in a motel room that I enjoyed.
X2, not all places will be a "Resort", it's what you want do with your time and money.

BTW, we have never overnighted at Wally World.

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Old 11-23-2012, 12:13 PM   #11
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Funny thing is, when we first started out, our absolute biggest concern was that we would be really put off by staying in "trailer parks". I guess stereotypes led us to believe that CG environments wouldn't be attractive to us.

After spending well over 1000 nights in these places, we've found that concern to be unfounded. We love seeing the diversity of folks that gather in CGs... especially on holiday weekends when the families gather for traditional outings with the kids.

Rick
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:23 PM   #12
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Where do you go if you want to avoid those kind of places? Can you just overnight where ever you want? Seems unlikely and possibly dangerous.
There are many.. City parks, County parks, State parks, Federal land - Bureau of Land Management/Corps of Engineers etc, etc.. Of course, most you wont get into with a 40 foot plus DP luxury home on wheels..
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:46 PM   #13
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There are two places my wife and I feel comfortable and cozy. One is our home in Washington and the other is our motor home no matter the location. We actually are a bit giddy the first night out in our motor home when we leave for our winter away. The bed is so nice and the coziness is inviting as we snuggle down and hear the furnace spewing warmth.

I cannot describe to you just how bad we feel in a hotel room, even a very nice one. We did all that as a working couple and had our fill.

The Seattle winters are not as much fun for us as they us to be. If we are going to travel and be away from "home' for months and be in the USA our motor home is our desired choice by far. In essence we are not away from home ever as a result, but we enjoy our sun and warmer weather year round.

We are seasonal travelers four to five months and we generally stay in the west where we have family and friends. We also enjoy places that compliment "home" living, some grass, flowers, walkways, ambiance and comfort.

What we have found is that we can find accomodations that suit us all over the place. Lots of room and amenities and different parking situations to provide privacy and inclusiveness all at the same time. This is not difficult, there are any camping references that rate and review camping locations.

When traveling we have found the same but only after experience and trial an error. We learned the places that accomodate our needs and we return there when traveling. We like the park with the stream running down the center, the one with the lake front view, the one with the quarter mile walk to the ocean, the one with easy access off the freeway for a quick start in the morning[ all different all nice.

True we have stayed short term in some crowded places. One in particular, the most crowded, is also about the friendliest and cleanest place we have ever been. It is centrally located so we have used it a fair amount. And true some have not been so nice but we were there a night and gone. The same happens when traveling by car and staying in hotels but in your motor home you are in your home; big difference.

Even if we change our route we still have been able to find places simply by looking in a Woodalls book or any other camping guide that rates RV resorts. We tend to stay at the highly rated places because that is what we like and can afford.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:48 PM   #14
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What I bought, for 100K, in 2005, is what I'm sitting in as I type this (A 38 foot class A gasser 3 slides).

What I am going to do is compare the stick and brick life to the RV life.

Stick and brick first: there is an old saying "Unless you are the lead dog the view never changes" not 100% true, when I got my Stick and Brick the view was a fairly nice neighborhood, howver over time the view changed, and not for the better. The house next door, As I waited for the shuttle driver to pick me up and take me to my car (At dealer shop) so I could drive to work, I was standing there in the company varsity jacket (Michigan State Police) watching the guest next door re-pack his product for re-sale.. I suspect I don't have to tell you it was MJ.. That is not a view I like.. Just before I left the house (next door) got shot up and shortly after firebombed (I was gone by then).

Now you know how the view changed.

I paid over 200 a month for Gas and Electric alone, another 50 or so for water and sewer. and over 3,000 a year in property tax.

It got downright cold (S.E. Michigan) in the winter and trudging through snow and slipping on Ice is no fun, neither is shovelling or rakign leaves.

Today (The RV life style)

Well, property tax (Due soon) is less than 400 (Registration fee)
Thanks to membership parking I spend LESS than 200 a month for parking, this includes water, sewer and electric, adn I spend perhaps 200 a YEAR for gas. (Propane that is) the difference in taxes covers most of my Gasoline as well.

The view changes every 2 weeks, and if I find a view I don't like (I have never seen a neighbor repacking MJ,,Have seen a few who were firefighters or cops but never an MJ dealer) Well, you slip the key in the slot and turn clockwise and you are OUTTA THERE.

And though it's getting right cold again in S.E. Michigan.. I'm in N.W. South Carolina.


Now for some snow in teh winter is a once every quarter century or so event.. But those folks triple digits in teh summer are quie common.. Summers.. I'm back in Michigan and with TWO memberships. paying less than 100 a month for parking.

We have made a lot of friends, Including a few who became friends due in part to the forums. Since with our current very tight budget we tend to frequent the same few parks these are fairly long term friends.

Soon, however, we will be expanding our travels and when that happens we will make even more friends. `
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