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Old 06-27-2011, 02:02 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 46
Just a newbie in Hawaii saying Aloha


My name is PJ. I live in Hawaii with my significant other. We do not currently own an RV, but are talking about changing that. This is the reason we are joining this site.

I owned a 5th wheel back before I moved to Hawai, although that was back before I met my spouse, so she does not have quite the depth of experience that I do. Hawaii offers some wonderful lifestyle options, but Rving is not one of them. We have enjoyed rental Rving over the years. We have rented Truck campers and Class Cs.

We are now in our mid-50s and are looking forward to retirement. The sooner the better! Although, thanks to Wall Street and the recent economic situation, our 401ks have taken a beating and we have lost all the equity in our home. So, we are staring retirement in the face with minimal resources. Luckly we love RVing and are considering the possibilties of full timing or perhaps half-timing (e.g. full timing on the mainland for half the year, and spending the winter half at our place in Hawaii?).

This idea is not without some challenges, due in large part to being isolated in Hawaii during the preparation time between now and our retirement launch date. This geographic displacement causes several problems:

1. We don't own an RV right now, because we live in Hawaii

2. If we bought a 5th wheel on the mainland, we'd also have to also buy a truck to tow it with, and leave both parked for extended periods of time somewhere on the mainland while we are in Hawaii most of the time for the next few years. That might lead us to buying a small motor home for now (so we don't have to do two major purchases), even though our ultimate thinking is that we'll end up in a 5th wheel. We can always trade later.

3. If we did own an RV we'd need a place on the mainland to keep it while we are at home. That would mean renting a storage spot. Plus we know that when purchasing an RV there are always issues that need attention and tweaking to get it tuned to our style. That would be so much easier in a place where I could easily spend leasure time tinkinkering and conducting trials and shake down runs until we figured it all out. That's not easy to do when there is an ocean between you and your rig.

4. If we had a rig on the mainland somewhere, while we live in Hawaii, Then with the expense of flying to the mainland to use it, we wouldn't get to use it as often as we'd like. Maybe a couple of times a year. (remember, for us to vacation on the mainland US is nearly as big an expense as it would be for you to come here.)

5. If we don't buy one, and just continue to rent, in order to do extended trial runs to make sure we can co-habitate in the confines of an RV for months at a time without driving ourselves crazy we would have to pay many thousands in rental fees. (money which would ordinarily go toward a purchase)

4. No RVs for sale in Hawaii. To find a good deal to purchase an RV, we can't just go to auctions or react on short notice to opportunities to purchase from motivated sellers, etc.

5. No RV shows in Hawaii. Even RV shows to help us decide what our prefered rig might be, are a major investment and hassle. (air fare, hotels, etc.)

If we lived on the mainland somewhere, I'm sure we'd have an RV and would use it for weekend, full week and longer trips, but as things are... that is just not possible. We know the goal is to own the right RV for us and use it for large portions of time during our retirement. We are just struggling trying to figure out how to get there from here.

So, as we try to think these challenges through, we thought we'd at least join the forumn and live vicariously through you and maybe get some creative ideas to help us figure it all out.

I guess I've rambled on long enough...

Warm Aloha,
PJ and Darlene

p.s. anybody wanna do a vacation swap? your RV on the mainland for our house in Hawaii? :-)

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Old 06-27-2011, 04:12 PM   #2
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First things first --->

I can see your challenges, but as they say, where there is a will...

Do you know anyone on the mainland that you'd trust to give you an opinion on any particular RV you may think is interesting. Perhaps they could at least let you know that it is either not worth pursuing, or perhaps worth taking the trip over to look over yourself. I suspect most dealers might be happy to hold a rig, subject to your personal inspection, for a few weeks with some kind of good faith deposit (with the understanding if the rig does not meet with your approval the deposit would be returned).

Do you know anyone with a large property or a farm on which you might keep the rig when you are in Hawaii? I'd be nervous about leaving it at a public storage yard, especially if I could not check on it frequently. Around here some farmers will even rent out space in one of their barns or out buildings.

As for the long term storage, many of us do it every year. In my case, the RV is in 'hibernation' for 6 months every year. We've been doing this for 30 years. There are procedures for putting an RV into long term storage and the membership here will be happy to guide you through that, depending on what you end up with.

Like I said earlier, if you've got the will, you'll find a way. I know the IRV2 membership will be happy to help where ever they can.

Good luck!

Jay & Peggy Monroe with Dolly
Can't take it with you - don't plan on leaving any behind
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Old 06-27-2011, 05:42 PM   #3
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If you know any military folks you should start there, they move often and know folks everywhere! Many of the folks here at Ft. Riley sell their rigs prior to PCS to Hawaii, Korea, Germany,etc.. for the same reasons you have- not wanting to leave it for extended periods unattended. So purchasing near a military base could be a good option as well as secure storage for fairly cheap$40-50 a month.( not indoor though and you have to have an ID Card)
You could consider a time share option for your house on the island to supplement you extended trip here in the states but would need to make sure your rental agent has your best interests at heart and not their bottom line. ( been there with a lakeside cabin and the agent wasn't looking out for us).
Ron & Wendy-Kansas
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:36 PM   #4
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I can appreciate your challenge. We lived in Honolulu for 12 years and clearly RVing is out of the question on Oahu.
We recently moved back to the mainland and are now enjoying the excitement of traveling across the states in our RV.

It will really be a challenge keeping an RV on the mainland and maintaining it properly unless you know know someone that can care for it while you are in Hawaii.

I wish I could offer you a good suggestion but I will say that there are some great cabins available for camping at Bellows AFB.

Kung Hee Fat Choy

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Old 01-23-2012, 09:25 AM   #5
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Hello and welcome to iRV2......wishing you luck in whatever you decide to do.....
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:59 AM   #6
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Hi PJ & Darlene! Welcome to IRV2! Sure glad you decided to join the group! I can see you are facing a lot of challenges as you approach retirement. Hope you can get it all worked out! Good luck & God bless!
Joe & Annette

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Old 01-23-2012, 11:08 AM   #7
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Welcome to the forum PJ and Darlene. Hope you enjoy the site and maybe get some of your questions/concerns answered between now and when you decide to retire. Good Luck with all your plans and future travels.
Steve & Sally / Hudson Our Little Pom / Heidi, Houston & HiTee Forever in our Hearts
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hootie-Owl View Post
I wish I could offer you a good suggestion but I will say that there are some great cabins available for camping at Bellows AFB.
I loved Bellows! I grew up in Hawaii and graduated from Kalaheo.

An option to consider is renting out your place (using a management company) on the Island and coming to the mainland for a year. This would allow you to purchase your rig and get familiar with ways/places to store your rig when back home.


1990 Itasca Suncruiser 32'
1996 V8 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
7 Pomeranians, a white Chuihuhia & a 1982 Honda Express Scooter
~ Salt Creek Recreation Area Olympic Peninsula, Washington ~
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:35 PM   #9
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Howdy PJ and welcome to the forum!
.2012 Fleetwood Bounder 33C

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Old 01-23-2012, 03:55 PM   #10
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PJ, Welcome to the forum and congrats on your upcoming retirement. I'll bet there are a lot of people that wish they had your dilemma. Sounds like you have most of your plan thought out. I think you renting out your house and finding the right RV choice for you and finding a safe place to store it will be the best of both worlds. Good luck...Regardless of what you decide..
John, Deb; & our dog, Benji, Forever in our hearts.
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:06 PM   #11
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Hi PJ and Darlene, welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have some real head scratching to do.

Travel well, travel safe,
2006 Tiffin Phaeton - 2011 Cadillac SRX
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