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Old 10-05-2019, 05:24 PM   #1
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Cost Benefit Analysis -- is it worth it ????

Hello All,
While I am anticipating going RV fulltime I have to admit that after reading hundreds of different comments from RV owners one woud think that most RV's are a money pit and are simply a rolling maintenance nightmare that quickly depreciates into an overall poor investment. As a retired Facility Engineer i get a little nervous looking over the hundreds of posts regarding electrcial problems, plumbing problems , poor quality construction and terrible dealership service. With that in mind I often think I would be better off buying a small house simply because it represents far fewer headaches on a day-to-day basis plus it should appreciate or at least hold its value over time.
Now before everyone jumps up and raves about all of the wonderful views you have had while burning up the miles all over America I still wonder if I couldn't simply hop into my car and simply check into a hotel everywhere I go -- use the hotel as a temporary base and use the car to explore. i'm not trying to be a wet blanket here but why would i want to spend my golden years wondering if the ******* is full ?????
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:51 PM   #2
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No... It is not worth it but very few things in life are free! If it is something that you enjoy like I do, the money is secondary. There are a lot of folks on here that I think spend a lot of money on this and that, some stuff needed, most not, but it is what they WANT! At this point in my life I can still roll up the 50 amp cord so that is what I do. I have a friend that just spent $500.00 to have a reel installed because he does not like to fuss with it.
As for the build quality of the coaches, it is the same as buying a house. You can buy cheap and get a tract built home or you can spend more and buy a custom. Same size house you just get what you pay for.
The DW and I did not want payments so we settled on an older class A that was built by a good though not "top of the line" manufacturer.
It is all in what you "need", not necessarily what you 'want"
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Old 10-05-2019, 05:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Norvyet View Post
Hello All,
While I am anticipating going RV fulltime I have to admit that after reading hundreds of different comments from RV owners one woud think that most RV's are a money pit and are simply a rolling maintenance nightmare that quickly depreciates into an overall poor investment. As a retired Facility Engineer i get a little nervous looking over the hundreds of posts regarding electrcial problems, plumbing problems , poor quality construction and terrible dealership service. With that in mind I often think I would be better off buying a small house simply because it represents far fewer headaches on a day-to-day basis plus it should appreciate or at least hold its value over time.
Now before everyone jumps up and raves about all of the wonderful views you have had while burning up the miles all over America I still wonder if I couldn't simply hop into my car and simply check into a hotel everywhere I go -- use the hotel as a temporary base and use the car to explore. i'm not trying to be a wet blanket here but why would i want to spend my golden years wondering if the ******* is full ?????
Greetings, Dr No...


You've pretty much got the internal debate down pat. I think George Carlin's "A Place for My Stuff" applies: if you want/need to carry more stuff with you, you need more transportation.


If you've got a problem with hotel hygiene/sanitation standards you'll probably want to carry your house with you.


I think that unless full-timing and using a domicile with retirement friendly tax and inheritance laws, chances are good that for a lot of us simply keeping a modest sticks and bricks and traveling by car or airline or rickshaw would be cheaper than the *total* expense of a nice, new Class A diesel pusher. Things that can alter the balance include buying pre-loved (used) and enjoying someone elses depreciation and having the shake-down already done. Sometimes previous owners have added useful modifications like bigger battery banks, solar charging, updated floors and upholstery, etc.


But from a strictly monetary view, RVing can be an expensive hobby that provides its returns in the lifestyle experiences and adventure memories enjoyed by RVers.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:05 PM   #4
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Either you want to travel and this way appeals to you or you don't. You can't make a logical decision on what is essentially a way to do bucket list. And if you just look at it as being a way to enjoy exploring, of getting to see all this country has to see, of being able to have a comfortable way to travel, to enjoy new places, then it is worth it.

Yes, there is maintenance required. And a lot of people try to do this on the cheap because they haven't really planned for it. And thus they don't really know what they are getting into. Have you ever RVed? If not, rent a Class C for a couple of weeks and go see something. Find out if you can relate to traveling this way.

When I go to bed, it is my bed. When I use the toilet I know who last cleaned it (me) and who has been using it (us), if you have any dietary problems, RVing makes seem easier to you.

We got a used Class A 14 years ago. She is still going strong, but she does require maintenance every year, new batteries and tires every few years, etc. and things will break down. Have you ever had a house that didn't need repairs and upkeep every year? Same with an RV - which is a house bouncing down the highway.

And if you have any qualms, then don't do it. It isn't for everyone.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:22 PM   #5
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This is exactly why the majority of the population does not choose to go full time. I would guess that 95%+ of the retirees still own a S&B house and do limited travel based on their desire.
On the other hand, maintaining a RV can be done if you are handy and have a desire to do the work. Personally, I like to work on the RV and just today added a second elec plug near the kitchen table. Even owning a house, most people are capable of replacing the roof, but few people consider it a DIYS job. I replaced the roof on our house just before we sold it and I also replaced the roof and plywood on our RV slideout. I can say first hand that the slideout roof was alot easier and less $$ to replace then the house roof was by a factor of 10X. (mostly due to the size)
Follow your instinct, if your gut tells you not to do something, then don't!
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:37 PM   #6
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I worked hard all my life, probably just like you. The last time I checked, no one that died got to take anything with them. No money, no house, no boat, car or RV. It's my opinion that I'm entitled to use all the "stuff" I earned during my life.

If you can afford to fulltime and you want to, then do it. If you need to invest and save and make sure you'll have enough for old age, then invest wisely, and travel accordingly. Only you and your accountant know exactly where you are financially. An RV is not an investment that will increase in value. But since you can't take anything with you, why not enjoy the fruits of your labors?
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:46 PM   #7
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Thanks for your reply. I especially like the reference to George Carlin and his routine regrading " what do i do with all of my stuff?". My favorite quote says " the one thing you will never see on the road is a funeral hearse towing a UHaul. I get it and thats why I'm considering the full time RV thing. My original goal was to go with a Tiny House but that is not the complete answer to my needs. I have lived all over the country and travelled all over the world so the RV thing appeals to me only because if I get tired of the view I can always unplug and head out.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:53 PM   #8
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Well Norvyet

My Dad always told us 6 children.

If you have to Ask ???
Dont do it.

He never ask anyone if he should finish high s hool, go to college , graduate, buy a house, buy a farm, what car or truck to buy.

You live your life and you spend your hard earned $$$s

My wife and I got married because we wanted to, bought a home where we wated to and raised 4 children because we wanted to.

We ask no one.

We purchased several rental property's
We wanted to.

We sold out and built a boat to live on for 20 some years. No one suggested nor told us to.
We always had some sort of RV.
Because we wanted to.

Your correct for you, buy a small home and feel secure.

If you have to ask ?
Please don't buy an rv.
Its allot of ( work ) and allot of ( experience. )

No one says it isn't.
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:59 PM   #9
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Maybe this thread is just fishing and trying to get things all fired up -- If you look at this as a cost benefit analysis.. ie, it is cheaper to stay in a hotel vs an RV,.. then you should stop right there. Yes, it is cheaper to stay in a hotel. Just as is most hobbies it is cheaper to not do them. It is cheaper to buy a steak than to go hunting. It is cheaper to buy fish and to go fishing. It is much cheaper to just buy your fruit and vegetables than to raise your own. Some things you do for pleasure and or as enjoyment and or a hobby. RV/Travel is one of those things that.. you do it because you find pleasure in it.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:59 PM   #10
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Our all in costs without food or entertainment full timing is about $80 a night. That’s nice old used gas class a driving about 2500 miles a year. I wouldn’t have an Rv if I couldn’t work on it and I wouldn’t have a class a if I didn’t live in it. Buying new class a every 8-10 years and paying for repairs I would expect costs to be $150-200 a night.
Own bed, own food, and following the weather- priceless!
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:16 PM   #11
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No, stay home.
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:39 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Norvyet View Post
Thanks for your reply. I especially like the reference to George Carlin and his routine regrading " what do i do with all of my stuff?". My favorite quote says " the one thing you will never see on the road is a funeral hearse towing a UHaul. I get it and thats why I'm considering the full time RV thing. My original goal was to go with a Tiny House but that is not the complete answer to my needs. I have lived all over the country and travelled all over the world so the RV thing appeals to me only because if I get tired of the view I can always unplug and head out.

My views about travel are similar - I've been all over the USA and parts of Canada for work, some of those places I'd like to genuinely visit as a tourist. If something isn't to my liking I can change location with an engine start. That's almost having ones cake and eating it, too.

The benefit comes from the satisfaction you get from the whole experience, not just pieces and parts. Applying your management skills is making a monetization comparison with some things that can't be *accurately* priced: the emotional and intellectual experiences you get from pursuing your travels by RVing (or perhaps, not get).

As Carlin pointed out, "my stuff" requires a place. That we always seem to need some of our stuff with us it becomes both a personal and practical matter - how much do we need to feel secure, for how long? That's another thing that doesn't lend itself to a quick monetization.

It's all a series of compromises and I don't think anyone here would presume to tell you what is or isn't acceptable for you, but they can share their experiences and observations and you can decide what applies to your situation.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:19 PM   #13
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Hi,
Thanks for responding -- you made valid observations. I'm often reminded of the old Janis Joplin song "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose". I'm retired, financially secure and its just me . I have had all of the bells and whistles in life and now I completely subscribe to the "less is more philosophy" so thats what makes the RV thing somewhat attractive---tiny house life style but yet completely mobile. I was an Air Force brat growing up so moving is the norm for me. My family had a saying the we lived by " Delta is ready when you are" ....
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:27 PM   #14
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Solo,
You are absolutely correct in that the entire effort cannot be reduced to just dollars and cents but rather the experience. Speaking of that I have enjoyed all of the bells and whistles in life but Carlin is correct about stuff and I'm done with seeing how much stuff I can accumulate so the RV thing is attractive. Like you there are places I have worked but would like to go back just for a pit stop. At this junture in life I would rather collect good experiences because in the end memories are the only thing you will have when the lights go out
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