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Old 01-19-2015, 04:41 PM   #1
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Worried and Confused

My husband and I want to full time sometime in April. I am worried on what to do, because we do not have a lot of money.

We will have about $15,000 saved. We have a 2003 Silverado 4x4 z71, 129,000 miles on it. Should we get a TT, or a older MH? We both would rather have a MH. We have seen some in the 1992-96 range for 10-12,000.
That would take most of our money tho. I am scared it wont last. He is very good on maintenance and a real good fixer of things. Do you guys have any ideas? Cost difference on insurance, gas etc?

Thank You in advance. We are both retired truck drivers, so living on the road isnt going to be a problem. The wait and save more isnt an option tho because of commitments we have. Any ideas will help!!!
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Old 01-19-2015, 04:58 PM   #2
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Are you planning on spending your entire savings on the purchase. What kind of pension(s) do you have to support yourselves. Me personally I would buy a used 5th Wheel instead of the MH. The reason being with your budget I think you could get a much newer 5th Wheel than you can a MH for that amount of money, and you already have a tow vehicle assuming it is in good condition. Buying a MH that is that old could be quite a money pit and if you don't have savings to pull from, no matter how handy your husband is you may run into issues where you just don't have the money for the parts needed. And living fulltime is still going to generate expenses, for places to stay, utilities, food, gas, medical, ect. If your pension(s) allow for a small payment you may also consider buying a newer used MH that will/may generate less repair work, finance it and keep your money in the bank for reserves.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:11 PM   #3
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For what its worth I traded my Work Truck on Crags List for an old 1990 Pace Arrow that has serviced us well for the last three years.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:53 PM   #4
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WOW.......1st off, this forum can help, good choice. The first two responders are right on. After 10-12 spent and 3,000 left, leaves things really tight. I don't want to dash any ones dreams, but with a decent pension, health insurance, and no other outstanding liabilities, you can do it. As 2 truck drivers, you know the places already for inexpensive overnight stays. Using a lot of improvising, ingenuity, and smart decision making will help. But, if you have the youth, work alittle longer. Just my thoughts. GOOD LUCK.
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:01 PM   #5
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Maintenance on a motor home will be much higher then a pickup and TT or 5th wheel. Tires alone on a motorhome, depending on size can set you back +3K. Some motorhome systems can be difficult to maintain versus TT or 5th wheel. If you're husband is handy getting a used RV shouldn't be a problem.

As other posters have contributed, your budget will be very tight. You may consider Work Kamping, where you work to pay for your living space in an RV park or campground.

Good Luck
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:12 PM   #6
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So you know upfront, I am a long ways from an expert, but have these observations.

Do you plan on traveling a lot, or spending extended stays somewhere?

First of all, I am thinking your truck is a half ton, which can handle a smaller TT, or 5th wheel, but not much more.

If you can find an older motorhome is great condition, they are a lot less complex than the newer ones, but parts are also more difficult to find.

If you buy an older motorhome, you will most likely need a toad, and a way to tow it.

A lot depends on where you buy. I would certainly suggest buying from an individual. Some will say you don't have recourse with owners, but most dealers also sell "as is, where is" so no help there.

It sounds like you are about to have a fun adventure. Just be careful on what you buy and where. What ever you buy, take the time to crawl all over it, under it and inside it. If you can't do that, pass on it. Don't let anyone rush you into a decision you just might regret.

And one final thing. If you compromise on something to get a good deal, or get an otherwise nice unit, you will regret it.

I know all this sounds negative, but if you are careful, take your time, and if you have questions, get on irv2 and ask. As you can see, there are lots of us with little else to do but offer advise.

Good Luck with what ever you decide.

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Old 01-19-2015, 06:22 PM   #7
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You also have to consider your truck is 12-13 years old 129k. Things like suspension, transmission, brake lines are suspect to age. Getting a older MH. your still going to need a toad if your full timing. If you say your DH is handy fixing things, you can get a nice slightly used 30-32' tt. with one or two slides.

I hope when you say you have 15k saved, you mean that is what you have budgeted for your future home on wheels and not what is your whole piggy bank?
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:09 PM   #8
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Something about this post bothers me. I don't know if I feel bad for the OP because the dream is close but not quite there, or if it's something else. I guess the statement about wait and save more being out of the question is what has me confused. What are the commitments preventing this? Are you planning to escape those commitments by sinking your last few dollars into a motorhome and running?

The reason I ask is because I had a friend who did this in a houseboat; bailed on his child support with a new wife. I helped him move the houseboat on the first leg and he was tormented right from the beginning. As I left him in a marina in Connecticut, I knew he'd never get away.

Now I'm making an assumption about the circumstances and if I'm way off base or out of line, please accept my apology. But if I'm correct, I would ask you to think things over very hard before pulling this particular trigger.
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:25 PM   #9
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Like the OP'er said you are still going to have some good sized expanses. I think the biggest being health care. I think that is becoming the biggest thing keeping people from there dreams of retiring early enough to be free from the 9 to 5. Some don't have to worry about the cost of health care, others have to cover the full cost.

I plan to go next year, and yes, health care is going to cost me $$$. But it is as the saying goes "price-less", because I know I can retire at age 53 and have the freedom to travel longer trips other than the summer season. First off Alaska 2016. You got to have your dreams.

If the OP'er said "full-timing" was his. Then go for it...
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:35 PM   #10
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You don't state the duty rating of your truck. If it's a 1500, I wouldn't advise a 5th wheel. If it's a 2500 or 3500 you probably could do that. There are many travel trailers around in the $10 - 15,000- range that have barely been used and are less than 5 years old. There will be expenses related to that like necessary accessories that may and may not come with the trailer, depending on the owner's intentions. If they are upgrading, expect not to get much. If they are leaving the RV insanity... you may get everything...


Good luck with your decisions and selection.
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:36 PM   #11
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Just 1 point about the pick-up. I believe the Z71 is a half ton pick-up.
That will limit the size of the TT that can be towed...could make full-timing difficult.

If buying a motorhome, you will probably want a small vehicle for daily errands and such, but 2 new vehicles would be expensive. The truck could retained - but would need a big RV to tow it...not perfect.

If it was me, I would get the best/biggest motorized RV (Class A or C) within budget and keep the Z71 for the short term. And plan to get a smaller vehicle after the RV proves reliable and capable.

Best luck and safe travels
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Old 01-19-2015, 09:57 PM   #12
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Well....we could probably talk all night about your options. With not knowing all the details I have to assume that you are both on SS so you do have income. I wouldn't look at the RV issue first, I would look at sustainability. You have x amount of net worth and x amount of income. I dont want to rain on the party but maybe an RV isn't the best choice or maybe RV'ing wont work out as you would like it to.

If you spend all the cash to buy an rv and you then have any break downs, you will be in big trouble. A transmission is $2,500, an engine is far more. Where will that money come from? What happens when you need a new truck? You must have a safety net or the dream is going to be a disaster. There are several variables such as can you work or work part time? Perhaps work as camp host? People often look at rv'ing and think that they are eliminating rent, payments, utilities etc. You are exchanging those costs and headaches for a different type.

I automatically figure $100.00 a day to move and that's without campground fees and vehicle repair costs. You can stay in a lot of free places but will often end up in a park at times and it adds up. When boondocking you become your own power company. The electricity we get in our homes is dirt cheap compared to generating our own power. Batteries, generators, fuel, propane, solar, inverters, on and on.

So let's start with this idea. Could you get into a senior income adjusted apt/condo? Maybe use the money to get a new car and kick back and turn the heat up?

OR, if you do rv I would get a cheap TT. You can get a used 28 foot with slide in the $5,000 and up range, maybe less. Then camp host so your rent and some utilities are free, and possibly work some? You will need to limit your travel so you dont wear the truck out. Move seasonally as it's cheaper to sit still.

No way would I buy a motorized rv. You dont have the resources. If it broke down your house is gone. If you put a TT in a cheap park you then have your truck. If the truck breaks, you still have your house. If you ended up with no truck and even a car down the road, you could pay someone to haul the TT seasonally.

I have seen mobile homes in Fl that are darn near free and $400.00 or so in lot rent.

It's not about RV or house or condo, it's about sustainability. You MUST come up with a plan that gives you a back up plan and a cushion so the first bumps dont destroy you.
Sorry if I'm not good news but only hope the best for you. If you want to talk to any of the people that have tried to help you here you may even be more comfortable messaging them. A lot of smart people in here that will help.
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Old 01-20-2015, 12:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98723A View Post
My husband and I want to full time sometime in April. I am worried on what to do, because we do not have a lot of money.

We will have about $15,000 saved. We have a 2003 Silverado 4x4 z71, 129,000 miles on it. Should we get a TT, or a older MH? We both would rather have a MH. We have seen some in the 1992-96 range for 10-12,000.
That would take most of our money tho. I am scared it wont last. He is very good on maintenance and a real good fixer of things. Do you guys have any ideas? Cost difference on insurance, gas etc?

Thank You in advance. We are both retired truck drivers, so living on the road isnt going to be a problem. The wait and save more isnt an option tho because of commitments we have. Any ideas will help!!!
A lot of good advice in the previous answers, for sure! If it was me, I would look for a nice used TT or 5th in the 24' range with a slide out or two. Something that can be towed by you Z-71 with out putting to much strain on it! You can find a nice used unit in your price range very easy! Do some research on workcamping, and find a nice campground where you can park and get your site and elect. for free! After you do this for awhile, you will fall into better and better places, and it will becom a lot easyer! Save your money, and upgrade when you need to! You will see that the things you need will fall into your lap! Always keep a nest egg put back for the unforeseen! I too say, stay away from the MH, as the cost and upkeep will eat up your savings very quickly! JMHO! Rail!
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:07 AM   #14
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Rv'ing is expensive no matter how you look at it. And that's just budgeting for all the foreseen expenses. You can seat aside a little fund for the unforeseen but it sounds like you guys are very tight on the slush fund.

Some of those unforeseen expenses can be small like finding out you need new wiper blades after driving through a rain storm.
While others can be devastating. A blown transmission leaves you on the side of the road so now you need to be towed in addition to a several thousand dollar repair.

Not trying to be a buzz kill here but it occurs to me you are on a razor blade between living the dream and living a nightmare.
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