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Old 09-24-2010, 10:23 PM   #29
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Alpine Owners Club
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Location: Vancouver, WA
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Dxbear - Don't give up so easily, everything has a cost associated with it, and only you can tell if you can afford it. Your initial thought process was valid.

Cost of rig: XXX.XX
Park Rent: XXX.XX
Insurance: XXX.XX
Upkeep/Maintenance: 100.00 a month to be safe
Gas-Oil-Misc: XXX.00

Then you have the everyday stuff, food, and medicine, if you smoke, that cost, if you drink you have that cost. Transportation costs to work/home, etc.

Since you are giving up the house note (assumed) that is money you can/will use for some of the above. Also, you said you are handy, so then your maintenance costs will go down, since you can do them. Your labor is a wash. Cleaning up and RV takes less time and money than a conventional house.

Don't send the books back, or maybe do, then go down to the library and check out some books and see what it all is about. Cruise some RV/Trailer parks, and talk to some RV'ers directly, explain what you are thinking about doing, and they will be happy to give you ideas, and explain what it costs them each month to live that way.

It's good you are taking the time to consider everything, so I will provide some approximately number in my case. We went across the country last winter so I could attend RV Repair College. The training alone was 6000.00 dollars. I had to purchase some specialty tools which cost another 1000.00 and those costs are still ongoing. I took another certification class on a specific heating solution and that costs 400.00. I still have to purchase those spare parts on that training to become a service center and that will cost 1300.00 dollars which I don’t have now. Liability Insurance is 1000.00 per year.
The cost per month in the RV Park in Florida in season (special rate because of class) was 400.00 per month. Our food costs came to about the same since we eat out some. I shared the transportation costs going to school and back to the trailer park with other students so that was a wash. The diesel costs from Washington State – Florida – Washington State were 3800.00. The lodging fees were around 800.00 for the 7 months aside from the trailer park while in school. We were able to stay in our Thousand Trails campgrounds which saved us some money. We used Passport America Parks or RPI membership parks for all the rest with the exception of where we broke down in Heyburn, ID. That came to 80 for 4 nights. We spend around 900.00 in repairs on the road, on things I could not fix. Now I can fix all those things so it’s only parts now which will cost. My labor is free.

Since you are not doing any of those things you costs would be closer to 1000.00 a month not counting a payment. Counting a payment you might spend 600.00 a month on that, my payment is twice that. I am retired, but with the exception of the RV, debt free. But to survive I still have to work, since I like RV’ing, I chose a career which can parallel that desire to travel and see the country. So far I am in the hole with it, because as you know, the economy is in the toilet and no one is paying for much work if they can do it themselves. Problem is, someone will try to fix a furnace, and not know what they are doing, and blow themselves up. Or not know how to wire a 30 or 50 amp plug, and fry all the circuits in the rig. That is when they call me, after the screw up not before. Just read a post in another forum, a fellow had his father-in-law wire up a 30 Amp receptacle so he could plug in the RV, yep you guess it, wired it wrong, fried all the circuits in the RV, and now he has to wonder was not paying a qualified person the money worth the thousands of dollars in repairs he will have to pay for. It’s a wonder he did not burn the RV to the ground. And this forum has some of the most knowledge RV’er around, and if they don’t know how to fix something, someone on here in one of the forums does. RV’ers love to help fellow RV’ers, and nine times out of ten, they love to show off what they know and don’t care if they get money for it. I’m a little different since I have a business, but check out the Alpine coach forum, I give out lots of free advice in there.

So don’t give up – you are doing the correct thing and researching all the associated costs, fees, and expenses first. That is great. If you think you might like the RV lifestyle, then don’t let us folks scare you off. Lots of people RV and work at the same time, and would never go back to a stick & brick existence. That decision is yours and your family’s to make.

My last suggestion is something you already have sort of made, get a 5th wheel, at least 32 feet, and my reasoning is this; 1st) - that is enough room so you each have some space; 2nd) - that way it’s plumed for a washer & dryer or already has one installed, that alone is a godsend. 5th wheels also have another benefit, foot for foot; you get 98% of all those feet as useable space. A travel trailer, you lose the front 3 feet for batteries and propane tanks and at least 6 inches on the back for a bumper. A motorhome loses the first 6 feet up front for all the driving area, engine (gas rig/diesel FRED chassis), if rear engine, then it’s a little better, not by a lot. MH’s offer a safer environment usually since you don’t have to get out of the towing vehicle to set up, as everything can be done inside a MH. So there are those considerations to think about.

Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:52 AM   #30
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we arn't FT yet, but when we take out "my baby" we stay at county/state parks and fair grounds too. My favorite place to stay is a monthly cost of $235.00 per month it includes water and electric, no sewer, but I have a honey wagon and if you wish to be pump out its only $7.00 per hook up. the dump site is free, along with the boat launch, my insurance is $600.00 per yr full covarge for "my baby" as for our vehicals its also $500.00 per year. its cheaper , for us to go FT, to see the great country that we all live in, meet people that we never met before, and of course if you want to move, its not like getting a moving truck and a group of people to help. We enjoy camping as DW calls it, me I call it living the dream. The truth is, its what you make of it, where you stay, how you spend your money.

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Old 09-25-2010, 10:05 AM   #31
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A better approach would be a nice used and paid for 5er and a used truck.

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Old 09-25-2010, 11:01 AM   #32
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Have you and your bride ever actually been in an RV for an extended period of time? Another cost factor is the impact on your relationship. Moving from a 1500 (or larger) sq ft house to a 200 sq ft RV can be quite a shock. (Don't eat a lot of burritos ;-) ) Many people have done it and love it. Many have not.

If you buy a very used RV to avoid a payment as I did (1988 Winnebago) be prepared for a lot of initial maintenance and upgrades and if you can't do them yourself, it will be expensive.

Good luck on your decision and job status.

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Old 09-25-2010, 11:53 PM   #33
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No we have not.. it would be a hugh adjustment of us.. but one that could be done if the overall expense was affordable.. as for a 5er.. Nah, we looked at that option, and we just dont like the idea.. we would rather have our toad and a nice A class.. we just missed the opportunity for a very nice one.. as describbed in my signature line.. it was a once owner, very nice.. and only 37K!. I had 2 chances at it.. tomorrow she is oing home to a Canadian couple flying in to take her from her warm Florida home back north..

I doubt I'll find another deal like this one anytime soon.. in the mean time we will stay put in the stick and brick.. and consider this another time.. as to the parks.. I was unable to fond such a cheap deal around here unless it was a trailer park and it was not a very nice place to live in.. down here in east cental Florida, its 500 to 1200 a month! for a park.. all are very nice.. but it defeats the purpose, at least for now..

Thanks for the insight.. good luck to all
Not RV'ing yet.. too expensive, but learning everyday
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Old 09-26-2010, 04:19 AM   #34
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dxbear, all may not be lost for you... it appears that Motorhome is not permitted to be imported and titled into Canada: Section 5.1 - MOTORHOMES CLASS A AND C

EDIT: Nevermind... the website was broken, Tiffin is clearly there in the list.
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Old 09-26-2010, 10:43 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by dxbear View Post
.. down here in east cental Florida, its 500 to 1200 a month! for a park.. all are very nice.. but it defeats the purpose, at least for now...
Of course you can always leave FL (like we did in the early '80's)!
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Old 09-26-2010, 11:49 AM   #36
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DxBear - there is a nice alpine coming up for sale in the next few months. I don't know the price, and I have been in contact with the owners helping them figure out an issue with it. If it does, and I remember, I will let you know.

For your future information, I would read every forum on this site, to become familiary with issues on different models.

And nuts, my post went into this thread twice. Does anyone know how to take one out?
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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Old 09-26-2010, 06:25 PM   #37
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One of the largest cost of owning a motor home is the depreciating. A motor home is a depreciating asset. Values have plummeted over the last several years. You don't write a check every month for it, but it is still there just the same. There are a whole lot of folks out there that are underwater (loan more than value).
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:21 PM   #38
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Well it seems the Rv I was interested in is still for sale, I might offer him a really stupid low price for it now that he jerked me around about it last week when I was ready to buy it then...

But then again, If I could fins a pretty decent Rv realy cheap that needs reowrk and TLC, I have the time maybe, I can make something out if her.. without a big loan..
I did send the books back.. but that can be recovered down the road.. and I'll look into doing work-kamping to help pay for the whole deal..
Not RV'ing yet.. too expensive, but learning everyday
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:07 AM   #39
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The more that you can liquidate, the better off you will be. My wife and I are both retired (Social Security....not a 401K)...........Mine is medical related, so I cannot work; we have an '08 TT that is more than adequate, the truck is paid for, the TT is being paid off in the next 18 months. Then we are buying a boat as we live on a very nice riverfront lot in a small RV park. Our neighbors to the right are million dollar houses, and our neighbor to the left is a "ranked" golf course. We have gated entry and private boat dock. All of this for $200.00 per month plus electric (average $40.00).

We travel about 4 to 6 times a year and love it. One of the main things to remember about living out of your RV......you cannot act like everyday is a vacation day.you will be broke before the month is out.

I would not worry so much about how much I would be saving up front as much as i would be concerned about the security that this move would give you. REMEMBER kick the stress to the curb and drive off........

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