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Old 09-21-2010, 11:33 PM   #1
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Real cost of RV ownership??

Ok my friends..

We are "looking" to go to an RV as a means to escape the high cost and anchoring that comes along with home ownership.. We are both loosing our jobs soon, have a decent savings and income but we are too young to retire looking for work somewhere around the Southeast.. we have our home in Florida now....

So before the crap hits the fan, we are looking at getting a nice older Class A bus, possibly a 2001 Allegro " noted in my signiture".. If we have to lose everything, at least we have a roof over our heads and can relocate where a job shows up in this economy..

I'm Looking at the total costs of ownership like this, and tell me if I am missing something.. these are estimates..
RV Pmt of $425>> insurance of $75>> Lot rent $ 375>> some utilities of $75, tags, propane of $ 45, with limited monthly milage (fuel) Of $50..

Add this up and I come up with $ 1045 A MONTH!!! plus everything else.. Food, car, Rx, basics..

Frankly this is not what I expected.. that is only a few hundred less than my house pmt.. So remind me again why I should be doing this?? I know it sounds crazy, its this or be subject to landlords and leases and bad credit in a year..

Did I miss anything?? I am still on the fence about going this direction now..
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:29 AM   #2
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As you seem to have already figured out there is not much savings in doing this. The one thing I can see you may not have figured on is;If you are looking at used motorhomes you have to realize you will also have maintenance costs due to unforeseen things that will break at the most inopportune times. On the plus side as you said you can go to where the work is.
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Old 09-22-2010, 01:42 AM   #3
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Only way you're going to get ahead is to get a far older or less fancy RV. Big busses Cost as much as a home in some regards, so as your math has show you, yer not eliminating the bigger expense.

Now, for me and the misses, I'm already fulltiming using my already paid for RV, for the misses to join me, a TT or 5er has to come into the picture, but since the camper is already paid for and its only extra regular expense is its registration (Truck Camper's fall under the truck's existing policy since they're "Cargo"), I'll be keeping it for camping and the trailer will stay put in the park.

A decent far less fancy TT I can grab new off the lot for around $125 a month. I'm already paying my rent so that's not a new expense, but it'd get us both here, living cheap while she does school, then we can start saving up the 20% for a home down payment.

Apartments around here go for as much as some mortgages for dumps, so for us its better to stay where its cheap till we're ready to take on the homeownership financially, and at the end of it, we've already got a TT for using with Kids when we have them.
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdpreece View Post
....If you are looking at used motorhomes you have to realize you will also have maintenance costs due to unforeseen things that will break at the most inopportune times.
Based upon my year here so far I'm sure that the statement above could be applied to those whom have purchased new as well. In many cases I've read story after story about new Motorhomes having, in some cases, far worse issues than the older ones due to the complexity of the newer systems. In the end the statement can be applied equally to both new and used.
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Old 09-22-2010, 08:39 AM   #5
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Having had the experience of owning a 99 MH you should plan on averaging $2000 per year in repairs
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:36 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 94-Newmar View Post
Based upon my year here so far I'm sure that the statement above could be applied to those whom have purchased new as well. In many cases I've read story after story about new Motorhomes having, in some cases, far worse issues than the older ones due to the complexity of the newer systems. In the end the statement can be applied equally to both new and used.
That's certainly true but new coaches usually carry warranties.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:46 AM   #7
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Depends where you are. In Key West it is cheaper to park MH and rent an apt.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:48 AM   #8
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Reviewing your monthly cost estimates, I think you may be a bit optimistic. I think it will cost you more.

Your monthly site cost of $375 (12.50 a day) usually means you are also paying for electricity separately. This year we have paid for electric a few times. Depending on the local cost of electricity per kilowatt hour, we paid from $2.90 to $4.65 per day or the equivalent of $87 to $139.50 per month. Also, your guess of $375/mo. will not hold in all parts of the country and probably not near areas where better jobs exist. I'll add to that you may not be happy staying in some of those $375/mo. places.

Now if you work camp for your site, you may be able to eliminate most if not all of your monthly site costs, however, this may interfere with your ability to gain substantial employment.

If you are heating with propane, $45 per month will not heat your motorhome if you are in a cool to cold climate at the time. However, if you use little propane for 9 months and heat for 3, it may average out to $45 per month.

$50 per month for fuel- even for a car- just will not work.

Maintenance costs for a motorhome can be high. Most likely higher than other rv's. If you could swing a good tow vehicle, a fifth wheel might be better choice. We love our mh but also loved our 5er. The 5er was less money to own and operate. We budget $200/mo. for rv maintenance and use every penny over a years time.

Not trying to throw a wet towel over your solution, but make sure you are looking at the real costs before you leap.
Best wishes on whatever you decide to do.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:57 AM   #9
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RV'ing is a lifestyle, we do not do it as a means of saving money. I think you will find that you will spend a little more than you have budgeted. As others have said older motorhomes need more frequent repairs and if you can them yourself you can save a lot of money. But, the problem you will find full timing is that campgrounds do not allow you to perfrom repairs. A lot of full timers do it in a Fith wheel which can be more cost savings that a motorized class A motorhome but you need to invest in a tow vehicle capable of towing your unit. More cost. If you are on a really tight budget as you realized it may be more costly to RV than stay in your home.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:53 AM   #10
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I would suggest you buy an RV outright. Forget about payments. We are in a small town and currently pay $350 per month (there is at least one place here that is less per month but I don't know what that includes). Our current campground, on our row only, includes water/electric/sewer, Cable and we have free wi-fi. Previously, we were in Corpus Christi, in a mobile home/RV park. Site rental there $210 for 2 plus electric... wasn't over $75. We set up our own cable and got the included internet. We haven't paid over $400 per month (utilities included) since we started full-timing in 2006. We do not stay in upscale parks. We work and tend to stay in places that have workers, don't mind older RVs and will allow our food cart.

As for the maintenance... Except for the first remodel/repairs we performed when we bought the old RV in North Carolina, we haven't done anything to it since. We have far less problems than many on this forum with much newer units. Since our unit and our cars are older, and owned by us... no payments, we only carry minimum insurance.

We've owned 4 houses (or rather, they've owned us). We like full-timing. We like being able to leave if the work isn't there.

As for work... currently minimum wage/minimum hours seem to be available out here. With no payments, it's doable.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:01 PM   #11
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Thanks for the advise

With the economy tanking further, it seems alot of people are making this move or looking at it before they can't afford it, or have lost their credit.. With limited funds, tied up and battered 401K's and the real prospect of losing our last source of income, its a scary world to face after 25 years of doing the right things being a good consumer, paying my bills, raising the kids, bla bla bla...

And now instead of buying a RV to vacation in at our age, we are looking to make sure we have a roof over our head that no one can take from us as long as we are paying for it.. "cheaply" The loan and insurance, even the fuel is ok, but the lots rents equal or exceeding those costs really makes if tough unless one wants to boondock..

From what I have read thus far, that is a tough hard core life and I think the fun would soon fall away to dispare and more worry.. I like the workcamp Idea.. I dont mind that at all, office/ park management etc..

Again, thanks for the ideas, and advise.. we are letting this idea simmer for a while so we have a chance to discover more and make a good choice.. please keep the ideas coming..
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:49 PM   #12
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Add tires, oil changes, brakes, to your list of expenses. MH tires are not cheap, oil changes can easily cost over $100, and no RV parks/CG's I know of allow DIY.
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:17 PM   #13
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$50 FOR FUEL.....

I have a 1993 32' widebody with a Chevy 454 gas. We bought it for $10,000 at $300/mo from a nice older couple that came down with some down luck on medical and sickness and didn't have a use for it anymore. It was in good shape when we bought it and thanks to Full Coverage Insurance from Geico ($97/mo full coverage plus minimum coverage on my '95 S10 Blazer toad) we were able to remodel the entire interior PLUS fix all the damages caused by the hail. I did all the work myself and saved over $7,000 doing so...

ANYWAY... $50 in gas at $2.43/gal gets me just over half a tank. Half a tank, pulling my 2000lb toad gets me about 150 miles. Last I checked where I am from, 150 miles will not get you to a "better economic situation". All $50 will do is get you into trouble sitting on the side of a highway without even enough gas to run your generator.

I have:

$300/mo payment
$100/mo insurance (toad and RV with RV Full Coverage)
$100/tank of gas @ 300mi/tank
$55/year tags
$300/year manditory maintenance (oil changes, etc.)
Well over $4,000 in preventative maint. with another $500 in high intrest savings JUST IN CASE!

as for RV Parks, well not going there cause i haven't stayed at them enough to tell you but I think $375 is an underbudget unless Queens or Harlem is ok for you...

$45 for propane... that will get you 1 fill... last fall I used 1 tank every 10 days to heat my rv, keep my hot water heater warm (not hot, just enough to not freeze it overnight) and cook 1 meal a day... that lasted 10 days, and you would be doing atleast 2 meals a day and probably a hotter water temp... it would go by a lot quicker than you think...

I also hate putting a Debbie Downer in your morning paper but I would hate to see someone sell out and jump in head first without seeing the "No Diving" signs... I'm 26 and wife is 23... she cleans houses for Property Mgmt. Companies and I do odds and ends jobs off Craigslist to get by. Fall harvest helps my dad out and he pays my bills so whatever the wife makes is her "girly money". There is work everywhere, us American's just need to step down a bit and take the work instead of take the pay, thats how I make decent money... I'm cheaper than normal 9-5 handyman and I enjoy it so I do a better job, my customers know it and love me for it, might take an extra day to fix it, but I won't be back in 2 days to fix it again on THEIR dime...

GOOD LUCK, KEEP US POSTED, I'M SURE WE'D ALL LIKE TO HEAR WHERE YOU GO...
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Old 09-22-2010, 11:17 PM   #14
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one last chuckle.... I LOVE THE "POST QUICK REPLY" BUTTON...

especially when my post is 5 pages long!! sorry for the long post AGAIN!
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