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Old 03-10-2012, 08:39 AM   #1
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Will it be worth it?

It's 11:50 p.m. (again) and I've already been on the Internet for over 5 hours doing yet more footwork into finding our first RV (and that's after returning home from my "day job"). We've been at this for over a year... and counting... and I'm beginning to run out of steam. Where's the 5-hour energy drink when I need it?

Who knew there are/were so many RV manufacturers and models to choose from, varying floor plans, options, quality and price ranges. I can honestly say that more than once during the last year, I've wanted to "throw in the towel."

I wonder how many others there are out there like me?

How long will it take me to get rid of all my "stuff?" Can I part with all those vintage clothes, shoes, handbags and accessories? What about our wedding gifts? The good china, crystal? Closets full of sentimental treasures? I'm already beginning to shudder... What's in my future? Garage sales, attic sales, flea market booth, or would a consignment store be best? Have you seen "Storage Wars?" I should not forget to donate to Salvation Army, Good Will and all the other great non-profits out there. And there's always my family!

But wait! My dear husband has even more "collectibles" than I do! Anyone need a gently used lawn mower or some Craftsman tools?

So, to our newly-found iRV2 forum family... my question is "If and when we ever find the RV to "fit" our budget and our desire for quality.... "will it be worth all the work and the wait?"

Will my first (yes, first) night spent in a recreational vehicle be all it's cracked up to be? How about the next "x" months, years, etc. I've never even camped out!

If you're a praying person... you can send one up for me (and my dear husband).

I can hear Montana calling our names already.

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Old 03-10-2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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You have not had one previously? If not, then wait for the 100th unit you have walked through and find that the one side of the bed does not have enough room to walk or the sink is in the wrong spot...
Happy hunting and very few get the right one the first time.... we know which one we want, now that we have one we live with for now :'(

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Old 03-10-2012, 09:17 AM   #3
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So you have never even spent a night in an RV, but it sounds like you are considering full-timing?? Hmmmm. I'd have to say that you might want to rent an RV and see what the lifestyle is all about before selling everything to leap into the unknown.

We are not cut out to be full timers and would not consider it. It's just a personal thing, but we love having a home base to return to. I don't do well in such a confined space over a long period of time, so I know that's not the life for me/us. Many people love it, though.

Are you considering a motorhome or travel trailer? In my opinion, the most important feature to consider is the floorplan and general comfort factor of the RV. Storage, counterspace, "personal" space...whatever is important to you in your house will be important to you in your RV. Good luck!!
.2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C | 2012 Jeep Wrangler

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Old 03-10-2012, 09:21 AM   #4
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First, go rent a motorhome for a few days and see how you like it. You will find things you like and dislike so you will have an idea of where to start looking.

I would also recommend used. Buy a higher end used unit for less than a new one and get a better unit. RVs depreciate heavily, so let someone else take that hit.

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Old 03-10-2012, 09:24 AM   #5
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I would certainly suggest renting a unit first and try it out. You may find that it's not the life for you. You can put alot of money out to find out that you just made a big mistake. Plenty of people love the life but then there are a certain few that think they might but find out it's not for them. JMHO Good Luck with whatever you decide.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:48 AM   #6
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I concur. Maybe find a friend with a RV spend the weekend together. That's still not a guarantee, but it goes a long way finding out whether you like the life style.

My website describes the conversion of my Dodge B-250 van into a small RV. I deal with a lot of woodworking, but hope to be quite specific on solar as well.
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:56 AM   #7
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Hello and welcome to the forum. Donna and I have been full-timing since August. I retired in July and the house was sold soon after. We were technically homeless for about two weeks while our new (to us) RV underwent some modifications and repairs.

My wife first made her idea of full-time RVing known to me about 10 years ago. Mind you, this is a gal who never ever had a pleasant camping experience. While I went camping at every opportunity from the time I was a child, she had never camped until she met me. Every time Donna went camping, it rained. We were once invited to camp with friends and we tried to warn them about Donna's camping curse but they wouldn't hear of it and told us we were being silly. The weather forecast was great! To make a long story short, we no sooner set up camp, than the skies opened up and it poured. The entire weekend was a washout.

Now that you've heard that story you can understand why I might have been just a bit apprehensive of her idea of entering the Full-time RV Lifestyle. For the following 3 years I 3rd degreed her at every opportunity. I needed to be absolutely sure she wanted to do this. It did take all of 3 years to convince me and even then I wasn't sure. However, at that point we began our research. Her convincing and our research lasted for the next seven years.

If you want to full-time there is a tremendous amount of information to look at and digest. Yes, there will be yard sales, trips to Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Furniture given away to friends and relatives. Decisions about where and how to store the really important "sentimental treasures". After all, the rest is just so much stuff. One of America's great philosophers, George Carlin, really puts it in perspective if you listen to his comedic routine regarding "Stuff". After 7 months on the road we are still finding that we have things we don't need and discovering that we sold or gave away things we should have kept. This happens to everyone. We have one secretary's desk that Donna is very attached to still in storage with one of her sisters. It contains the extent of the "sentimental treasures" we decided to keep.

There will also be decisions about where to domicile, how to handle your mail, banking, insurance and investments. Make a lists of features you must have, features you'd like to have but can do without, and features you do not want in your RV. You're not going to get everything but their are enough units on the market that you can come darn close. Look outside of your local area for your RV. You are likely looking at spending thousands of dollars on your purchase. If you can't find what you want locally a couple of hundred for a plane ticket to travel to see something you really like may be a good investment. We lived in MA but purchased our coach in TX.

These are some very hard decisions you have ahead, and no one but you and your husband can make them. Even after 7 years of research we found we didn't get everything right. No one does. That being said, we have found a tremendous sense of freedom in no longer owning a house and the ability to pack up and go anywhere we want at the drop of a hat.

The best advice I can give is to continue to do your homework. If you have never camped in an RV before, you should rent one and take a trip, even if it's a short one. Someone already suggested looking at used high-end units. I strongly second that opinion. Even if you buy brand new, the unit you buy will have issues of some sort. If you go 3 or more years old most of the depreciation will have already taken place.

I wish you the best with you research and decisions going forward. There is a tremendous amount of experience and information here so you've come to the right place.
Craig & Donna
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Old 03-10-2012, 10:57 AM   #8
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renting one is probably the best suggestion youre going to get. Cruise America and many local places have units for rent. Will definitely give you can idea of amenities youll want.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:49 AM   #9
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My 2 cents is partly what others have said, rent first for a few weekends or a week. Then quit driving yourself crazy over WHAT to buy. There is no perfect rv. They make a 1,000 floorplans to appeal to all. What I like may not appeal to you. We started rv'ing in 2002. We rented 2 class c's, then a class a. We ended up buying a used 5'r and loved it. At first we thought we would use it for vacations then live in it while we built 4 new houses. Well, when we would vacation we never wanted to come home. That was our clue. We gave up the option on the land, sold the house and went fulltime March 8, 2006. No regrets! Buy a used one first, no matter what you choose, class c, class a, 5'r, travel trailer. Buy what looks liveable to you. Trust me, you won't really know until you live in it. After a year you will know what you like and what you don't. Then you can trade it in and no huge depreciation. If you don't love fulltiming, no big deal, go part time or go back to stix & brix, it's ok, we all get to make our own choices.
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Old 03-10-2012, 11:49 AM   #10
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If you have already decided FT RVing and selling your house is right for you, then I agree with others rent a Class A 1st. We did not do this, but would have been nice to know exactly what we wanted before shopping.

Yes it is overwhelming thinking bout getting rid of all your "stuff". As with any monumental task, take it one step at a time. The pyramids weren't built in a day (as far as we know) and moving out of a stick 'n bricks that has every nook and cranny stuffed with things is definitely overwhelming. It took us one full year to get ready to move out of the house, but taking it one step at a time helped. Renting a storage unit for those "can't bare to part with" items is great. Then you can revisit later to see how badly you really want to keep them.

Keep in mind there is some room on board for small things you just can't part with. (Some tools for me, vintage jewelery for DW)

Now that we have been FT for over a year, we are ready to empty the RV, reorganize and purge unwanted items.

This life style is not for everyone, but it suits us just fine. 3 years ago we had accumulated a lifetime supply of "stuff" and it weighed us down like an anchor.
Kids were all grown and no reason for us to be stationary, so we made the decision to let it all go. (Not the kids, just the stuff )

Stuff will always be stuff. Life on the other hand is something to be cherished and enjoyed. It's just too short to say later, I wish we had done that when we were younger...
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:09 PM   #11
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Be prepared for severe "buyers remorse".

Once it passes you will be okay. Let us know when the yard sale will be.

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Old 03-10-2012, 06:31 PM   #12
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I was a smart man . let my wife pick out one and went out and got it after a few days of looking locally. from every thing I have leaned on this site , we made a good choice.I now know that I must trust my wife!
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Old 03-10-2012, 06:41 PM   #13
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You will drive yourself right off the deep end trying to over analyze. As others have wisely suggested, rent a unit to see if it works for you. If it does, decide what you like and dislike to narrow your choices. If rv'ing is not your gig chalk it up to experience and move on.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:27 PM   #14
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I am more of an impulse buyer while my husband is the cautious one. This is one time I am glad he is. He searched for the perfect RV for 3 years then decided there are no perfect RV's. We had our "must have list" and our "want list." We did finally decide on a Class A that has most of our "must haves" and several of our "wants." We are very pleased with our choice. We are not full timers as we like to have a home base but go every chance we have. Good luck on your choice - make a list for yourself of everything you think you absolutely have to have and those that you would like to have - then take your time looking for those things. Good luck on your search and your new adventure. We love RvING.

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