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Old 10-17-2014, 08:36 AM   #15
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Good point. Let me clarify. Debt free from existing debt (cc, morgage, student loans, etc.) but what we will do to make this happen (rig, travel expenses, etc.). The idea is to have enough built up in cash and have a reserve in credit for those emergencies. We will have enough to pay the note for an entire year in the bank before partaking. I have no delusions that we will be taking on significant debt to make it happen. I appreciate the question.

Also, wife may be able to take sabbatical.

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Old 10-17-2014, 08:49 PM   #16
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Location: Guam, USA and Montgomery, TX USA
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Don't overload yourself with too much debt, you really don't need to do that to start your dream. You don't need a new rig. We went used on both the FW and TV. And we're not driving junk by any means. Most times I get compliments at the CGs we stay at.

The only reason we're looking to upgrade now is that our daughter is getting into her teenage years and my son is growing. It has become obvious that we will need a second lavatory. We figure if we're gonna' get a bigger FW now, may as well get everything we need so we're going for the largest TH we can get. But I still work and have a pretty good job at that. Hence financing a new FW TH is less of a burden for me than some. Unless you're making a good income, I would advise against financing your way into your dream. Since you don't plan to do this right away, you have time on your side and can search high and low for that right unit that hasn't been used much, but just needs a bit of cosmetic upgrading and cleaning.

In your case, you could copy what we did. I found a low-mileage used, very clean, diesel. I then upgraded the motor to 390 hp/ 750 ft lb tq. So my TV has nearly the power of a 2015 $70-80,000 new rig, yet I owe nothing on it. Then I found a FW that came in well below our budget. I dropped another $5,000 in parts and 7 weeks of hardcore sweat equity into it. When all was said and done I have a FW that I can easily sell for twice what I paid, and a tow vehicle that I can sell for what I have in it. Point being, you can get into this lifestyle with a very respectable RV setup WITHOUT going into debt, or at least keeping the debt load quite minimal.

Initially we were going to buy new. But we came over from the boating life and we weren't sure that RVing was for us. Now that we're doing it, we like it and will upgrade to a newer or brand-new unit. Only now we know exactly what we want in an RV after having lived life on the road for a while. Had we bought prior to starting out, I think we would've made some poor purchasing decisions and been stuck with a huge depreciation issue.

No longer full timing, but still camping 10 days at a time every other month.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:15 PM   #17
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Before you make any decisions take a couple weeks of vacation rent a rv and travel a few hundred miles away just to be sure it is the lifestyle you expect. Some folks have committed and found out the hard way that it isn't what they expected, at least get a sample of life on the road before your in too deep. If you like it go for it we love it but we camped for years and had a pretty good idea what we were in for.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:21 PM   #18
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We are planning on going to the smokeys this summer to do just this. Any recommendations on what we should try renting?
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:05 PM   #19
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Why not rent one, if you're patient.

If you go to the smokies, not sure where you are located, but do yourself a favor by taking the correct route to skip driving through Gatlenburg.

We stayed at Smokey Bear - very nice.

And if you like to fish, I know of a secret hidey hole full of small mouth - just PM and I'll point you there.

As to rentals.. RVamerica????
RVM#78 - -USAF- F-15 Eagle Radar Vet
'5 Fleetwood Revolution- '15 Airstream Intl Sig. 27FB
Jay, Andrea, Stella '14 Ram 3500 Aisin '18 ORV F30RLS
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:36 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by plasma800 View Post
Setup on a class A is a snap.......

.....Yank out the electrical cord, plug er in. If I'm full of water, and my tanks aren't full, I won't even pull out those hoses.

back inside, hit the auto level button, wait 2 minutes while it does it's thing,... once done, open the slides, lay down a rug, have a beer. finished.
Boy, Jay, you've got it easy!! I have to manual level (less than 2 min), and I have to lay down two rugs. This hard work is killing me!
John & Diane, Fulltimers. RVM103 NHSO
On the road since June '12 with Lincoln, the guard cat.
2002 Dutch Star 40, Freightliner, Cat 3126, 2004 Element
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Old 10-18-2014, 07:26 AM   #21
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Planning for something crazy!

Originally Posted by StupidDialUp View Post
Any recommendations on what we should try renting?

Try to rent something as close as possible to what you think you will buy. Renting
A large class A motor home is not cheap. $2200 per week is not an outrageous
price for a 40 foot diesel. But at least you will have an accurate feeling of what
it's like. Renting an entry level class C (if that's not what you would eventually buy)
gives you the impression that RV's are cramped, flimsy, uncomfortable, noisy, underpowered, etc......compared to a larger, quality class A diesel pusher..... I'm sure you get the point.

I'm not bashing entry level class C motorhomes.....many people love theirs......but from what I read about your dream, class A is needed with kids, dogs, and doing it full time to boot!
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Old 10-18-2014, 07:35 AM   #22
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Here is a sample of a rental


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Old 10-23-2014, 11:15 PM   #23
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Thanks to everyone for their imput. Price, room and practicality purposes, would you guys recommend a dully with a 5th wheel or a class a?
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Old 10-24-2014, 07:15 AM   #24
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Whatever works for you. We went with a class a because I didn't want to be stuck driving a duel wheel truck all the time in unfamiliar cities. We have a small toad behind the motor home that gets thirty plus mpg, park the house and go exploring in the toad, but fifth wheels have their advantages too.

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