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Old 06-14-2016, 01:01 PM   #1
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Starting From Scratch

Hello!

I am Ginny and my DH is Steve. He is semi-retired and currently doing his own sales business part time, supplementing his income and SS with driving for Uber and doing handyman jobs. I am a medical professional and hope to semi-retire in 2 1/2 years.

We live in the Phoenix area where we have family, including an elderly mother and one daughter. Our other daughter is handicapped and lives in Illinois, where we are from originally. In our efforts to find a way to balance our love of travel (we cruise a lot, love road trips and have tent camped a lot in the past) with being closer to our Chicago daughter for longer periods, and our obligations in Arizona, we have discovered the RV Lifestyle and are seriously considering becoming FT RVr's beginning in January of 2019.

At that time I hope to accept a 13 week medical travel assignment in the Phoenix area. We hope to rent out our S&B house and move into a Class A 36-40 foot MH with our 2 cats and 2 chiwhoppers (fat chihuahuas). We believe at this time that the Class A would work best for us so we could tow a small car, which we would need. We would be close to "home" for those first three months while we try out the MH and work out any bugs in a familiar area. After that we would hit the road and go to Texas to set up Domicile and visit more family before heading to the east coast and eventually landing in Illinois, close to DD #1, for the summer months. While there I would hope to pick up another 13 week travel assignment. Then we would head back west before landing back in Arizona for the winter and repeat the process. Along the way we hope to engage in a Christian Volunteer project or two, each lasting 3-4 weeks. We plan to commit to this lifestyle for at least two years before selling the S&B home in AZ.

Because of a previously failed business venture our income would be mostly limited to both of our SS and a small savings, which would hopefully be reserved for emergencies. We would both be over 65, so no insurance concerns. Our health at this point is excellent. God willing it will stay that way for awhile. My working for half of the year in the travel assignments would supplement our income (hopefully saving much of that) and the travel company would supplement our lot rental in parks, likely paying most of it. Any time spent doing volunteer work would also provide free parking during the time we volunteer. Our "free" travel time would target National and state parks. DH will also continue to Uber & be available for handyman jobs when I am on work assignments.

So, that is our plan. I welcome ideas and suggestions. Does it seem feasible? We will be looking to spend about $125,000 on a Class A, new or used. If/when we sell our S&B we will pay that off if we choose to continue the FT lifestyle after two years. I would prefer to sell the S&B upfront and buy the RV plus a small condo that we would rent out (paying cash for both), but DH want to keep our 2200 sq ft newer house for awhile.

Our big questions at this point are finding the right MH and what kind of car to get to use as a Toad (and also do we use a dolly or 4 down?). Thanks in advance for any advice offered.
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Old 06-14-2016, 01:22 PM   #2
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Hi Ginny & Steve



Glad to have you here in the forum with us.

At your budget you should be able to find class A motorhome. If you are planning to be full timers, and like to travel look at a good diesel. I am a proponent of towing 4 down as the hook up is fast, and you don't have to worry about storing a dolly. There are a lot of vehicles that can be towed 4 down. Remco Industries has a good site with all you need to tow and what vehicles can be towed 4 down.
Good luck with your plans.

Happy Trails!!!
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Old 06-14-2016, 01:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TonyDi View Post
Hi Ginny & Steve



Glad to have you here in the forum with us.

At your budget you should be able to find class A motorhome. If you are planning to be full timers, and like to travel look at a good diesel. I am a proponent of towing 4 down as the hook up is fast, and you don't have to worry about storing a dolly. There are a lot of vehicles that can be towed 4 down. Remco Industries has a good site with all you need to tow and what vehicles can be towed 4 down.
Good luck with your plans.

Happy Trails!!!
Thank you! The gas vs diesel question is a big one for us. So far we haven't seen a diesel in our budget with a floor plan we like. But then, we just started our search!
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Old 06-14-2016, 01:43 PM   #4
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Careful with uber

Be careful with uber my insurance company told me if they find out I'm doing uber they will drop me ,you aren't insured for "driver for hire"you need a commercial license.This is what they won't tell you till it's too late
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Old 06-14-2016, 02:35 PM   #5
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Be careful with uber my insurance company told me if they find out I'm doing uber they will drop me ,you aren't insured for "driver for hire"you need a commercial license.This is what they won't tell you till it's too late
Thank you. He has coverage. he has been doing it for awhile now.

Question - has anyone had any issues renting their S&B while FT RV'ing?
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:18 PM   #6
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First, your plan sounds very well thought out and very doable.

The only thing you should consider is keeping the house. Renters are so hard on homes and since you'll be retired, will you really want one that big in the future? We certainly didn't. Our lake home was 2700 sq ft and we then full-timed for 16 years. Our present home is in a completely different area of the country - one we never planned on - and it's only 1100 sq. ft - a total joy at our age. Also, probably the rent fees won't even cover insurance, taxes and maintenance.

To give you a general idea on motorhomes, gas or diesel, look over these two consignment sites. They will give you a general idea and you can study floorplans.

There are many vehicles you can tow four-down and I'd recommend that rather than a dolly. We used our Jeep Liberty for awesome fun four-wheeling. We sold it with 175,000 driving miles and many more towing miles. Others that would be our top pick are Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevy Equinox or it's counterpart, GMC Terrain. However, there are many more.

Best of luck to you. You can do it!!

http://www.royrobinsonrv.com/images/...yGuide2015.pdf

Luxury Pre-Owned Motorhome Dealer for Foretravel Newell Country Coach.

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used_rvs_for_sale.htm
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Old 06-14-2016, 03:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
First, your plan sounds very well thought out and very doable.

The only thing you should consider is keeping the house. Renters are so hard on homes and since you'll be retired, will you really want one that big in the future? We certainly didn't. Our lake home was 2700 sq ft and we then full-timed for 16 years. Our present home is in a completely different area of the country - one we never planned on - and it's only 1100 sq. ft - a total joy at our age. Also, probably the rent fees won't even cover insurance, taxes and maintenance.

To give you a general idea on motorhomes, gas or diesel, look over these two consignment sites. They will give you a general idea and you can study floorplans.

There are many vehicles you can tow four-down and I'd recommend that rather than a dolly. We used our Jeep Liberty for awesome fun four-wheeling. We sold it with 175,000 driving miles and many more towing miles. Others that would be our top pick are Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevy Equinox or it's counterpart, GMC Terrain. However, there are many more.

Best of luck to you. You can do it!!

http://www.royrobinsonrv.com/images/...yGuide2015.pdf

Luxury Pre-Owned Motorhome Dealer for Foretravel Newell Country Coach.

http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/used_rvs_for_sale.htm
Thank you! Great information
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:06 AM   #8
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Hi Ginny & Steve! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Hope you find the perfect rig for your needs and that the fulltiming works out great for you! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:55 AM   #9
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You are in a great position to make that all work well.
We are into our Windsor with toad, (Olds Alero) for about $75,000.
That includes putting all new tile floor, tires and a starter., toad and tow bar
I would drive anywhere with it, even with it being a 2001.

Just shop for a well maintained used coach, and yes I would recommend a DP if you drive more than once a year.

But that's just me.
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Old 06-15-2016, 11:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by MSHappyCampers View Post
Hi Ginny & Steve! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined us!

Hope you find the perfect rig for your needs and that the fulltiming works out great for you! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
thank you for the warm welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMan59 View Post
You are in a great position to make that all work well.
We are into our Windsor with toad, (Olds Alero) for about $75,000.
That includes putting all new tile floor, tires and a starter., toad and tow bar
I would drive anywhere with it, even with it being a 2001.

Just shop for a well maintained used coach, and yes I would recommend a DP if you drive more than once a year.

But that's just me.
Wow! Great price. Thank you for the input.
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Old 06-15-2016, 03:21 PM   #11
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We also started from scratch

Ginny and Steve, glad you could join us. You will gather very useful information on this forum, I have.
We purchased all of our autos without giving towing any thought. Owning a MH wasn't on the horizon when we bought our cars. Fortunately, one of those turned out to be four down towable. I would have preferred to tow the Suburban but it's not a four wheel drive, so we tow the Buick. On top of our purchase price it cost another $7,000 for a base plate and Blue Ox tow equipment, PDI, and full service fluid and filter changes, dash AC repair, taxes & title. While the cost ($7k) exceeded my expectations, it blew DW away
The dash AC lasted about 15 hours before it started blowing hot air. In all fairness, the first problem was that the fan would not blow the air through the front vents. It was debatable if the air coming up through the defrosters was or was not cool but it was circulating the air. The service provider did fix the problem of air not blowing through the front vents and the freon checked out so they said we were good to go.
The service provider is the company in the second link listed above by another poster. MH's of TX has repaired the AC with an air exchanger valve (or something like that) costing about $130.00. At $115 per hour they are not cheap and that's a point I want to make. A MH isn't for the faint of heart. If Steve or you are unable to do mechanical work then be prepared to pay the piper. MH's of TX is a great place to do business. They have our Monaco as we speak (key?). Waiting on a new latch for a storage bin which broke in my hand. I am expecting a $500 plus bill for our second visit, and that's with only a $150 bucks in parts. I had one tech working over an hour straightening out TV issues. If you go to the web site you get an idea of pricing. However, they do not have any junk.
PPL isn't a place to shop at least for the next 3-4 months. They do not hook up anything to shore power and it is unbearable inside the coaches. It's also really difficult to get them to let you test drive anything. I visited them twice and had bad experiences. They want you to look and make an offer.
If I come off as negative I don't mean to, just be aware that you need to expand your budget if you get one. A gas job (I'm told) is less expensive, but I love our diesel. I hope we can upgrade in a year or so to a 45'er tag axle with three slides.
Mike
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:36 AM   #12
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I spent a lot of time at PPL and another consignment lot and had bad experiences. Two coaches that I looked at failed the independent inspections that I had done.

I hope I don't sound like a broken record (I will if you search this site much) but you want a coach that has been used fairly continuously throughout its life (especially with a diesel pusher). You know this by looking at the maintenance records. You should see oil changes approximately once per year and you can look at the mileage on the receipt to find out how much the coach was driven per year.

So my recommendation is to take your time looking. Find a coach from a private individual who has maintenance records. Have an independent inspection of the chassis and the house (two different inspections, usually). Don't be afraid to look all across the country (RV trader is a good resource) as you will find the good ones in limited supply.
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:51 AM   #13
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Ginny and Steve, glad you could join us. You will gather very useful information on this forum, I have.
We purchased all of our autos without giving towing any thought. Owning a MH wasn't on the horizon when we bought our cars. Fortunately, one of those turned out to be four down towable. I would have preferred to tow the Suburban but it's not a four wheel drive, so we tow the Buick. On top of our purchase price it cost another $7,000 for a base plate and Blue Ox tow equipment, PDI, and full service fluid and filter changes, dash AC repair, taxes & title. While the cost ($7k) exceeded my expectations, it blew DW away

Mike
Thank you. My DH is beginning to think a Jeep is the way to go. He currently has a Ford Edge and I have a Ford Fusion. Before we make this leap both cars will have well over 100,000 miles on them - the Edge already has that many. So, we will probably replace the Edge with a 4 wheel down towable in about a year and will sell the Fusion when we are ready to hit the road. I love my Fusion, so that will be hard for me. We usually buy cars new and then run the wheels off of them before getting new ones, but are now thinking of getting a good low milage used Jeep if we can find one. We need one with easy access, though. We have a handicapped daughter who would have difficulty getting into one of the high ones, so we still have some research to do.
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:55 AM   #14
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I spent a lot of time at PPL and another consignment lot and had bad experiences. Two coaches that I looked at failed the independent inspections that I had done.

I hope I don't sound like a broken record (I will if you search this site much) but you want a coach that has been used fairly continuously throughout its life (especially with a diesel pusher). You know this by looking at the maintenance records. You should see oil changes approximately once per year and you can look at the mileage on the receipt to find out how much the coach was driven per year.

So my recommendation is to take your time looking. Find a coach from a private individual who has maintenance records. Have an independent inspection of the chassis and the house (two different inspections, usually). Don't be afraid to look all across the country (RV trader is a good resource) as you will find the good ones in limited supply.
Good advice. How do you find independent inspectors?

We are heading to a RV show this weekend in Phoenix. Good thing it is in an indoor stadium as we are expecting the temps to hit 120 degrees! We re slowly forming a picture in our minds of what we want, but still have a lot of unanswered questions.
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