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Old 12-11-2017, 03:36 AM   #1
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Is being independently wealthy a requirement for full-time RV'ing solo?

Hey all, lurker here, finally made an account. I've recently become interested in learning more about RV'ing full-time. I've been reading blogs, watching YouTube videos, and researching prices and types of RV's (I am an RV noob, no prior experience whatsoever). I'm 40, male, single (and love it), Navy vet, and a registered nurse for the past 14 years.

From what I've learned so far, you either have to be independently wealthy, retired with decent income, or able to work from "home" to RV full-time, none of which I am LOL. My job as an RN does allow for "travel nursing" which I suppose would support my lifestyle, but I'd need to do more research into this line of work within my profession.

I've read some on workamping, some of the jobs seem pretty cool (i.e. working in Nat'l Parks), while others sound less than desirable (Amazon...hard labor, long hours).

I guess really what I'm wondering is how did those of you who aren't wealthy, retired, or work from "home" get started, how much money did you have in savings, and how did you ultimately afford your travel "rig"? Maybe I'm asking the wrong questions here but this for now is my main interest and can't quite wrap my head around how to go about getting started in this lifestyle without a SUBSTANTIAL investment (and one that would seem to depreciate, as RV's certainly don't seem to appreciate in value as other real estate would). If after 20 years or so when its time to buy a new rig will I be able to afford it? Especially solo? Ugh its a bit frightening to think about.

Insight? Thanks in advance

Jeremy
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Old 12-11-2017, 03:53 AM   #2
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How much it costs to live in an RV depends on how frugal you want to live or not.
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Old 12-11-2017, 04:07 AM   #3
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HI Jeremy and welcome! It can be hard to give a definitive answer, assuming you will be working will be a big help. Obviously they don't give rv's away but as said it depends on how frugal you live. As a traveling nurse I assume you would be settled in one place at least a month, so depending on the location you could get a monthly spot for as little as 200 or as much as 600 a month plus electric, so that is no different than paying rent. The rest is everyday stuff like you have now, phone, insurance, fuel, internet is sometimes free in the campground so that could be a savings. Still gotta eat. Most people struggle with trying to travel full time with no financial means. Good luck, I am sure you will get it figured out, there will be lots of help here for you. You only go around once in life, live it full do get old and wish you had tried it. You can always go back to old ways.
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Old 12-11-2017, 04:14 AM   #4
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We’ve met several traveling nurses over the years in campgrounds. They seem to do 3-6 month contracts and follow the weather. One couple I talked with had a 12 year old and was being home schooled by dad while mom worked.

This may be a fun way to work and see the country. Maybe worth investigating if you are interested.

Welcome to the forum, great resource with really great people.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:29 AM   #5
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Thanks. Yes travel assignments are 3 months each (typically), with options to extend if you do a good job and the need is still there. I actually did some travel nursing back in the mid-2000s, but I only worked for 1 hospital and I lived in the company's apartment. The money is very good, however my ultimate goal would be getting to a point I am not working, just living (Hence why I'm curious about alternative means for income and how much savings is needed). I've went the traditional route of investing into 403b's (and I still have my Thrift Savings Plan from 6 years in the Navy), and have a decent chunk saved up, but at 40 definitely not enough to "retire". Plus the penalties involved with withdrawal at my age is prohibitive.

Thanks for the warm welcome

Oh and I am pretty frugal, I'm not wanting glitz and glamor. I understand that I can't expect to stay at a $40/night RV resort every night. I guess I'll keep on learning about the lifestyle and see if it works out
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:38 AM   #6
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Look into Passport America, if you are a sound sleeper it can be a huge savings while traveling as they get you 50% off of fees, almost always they are near airports, train tracks, highways ..you get it lol. Doesnt do you much good for long term stays but while moving from one place to another and needs a couple nights stay why pay $50 a night. Also if you have time on your hands and are so inclined, a lot of campgrounds will trade labor for site.
PS: When we were traveling full time Passport America was our biggest saver out of all. Even now when we just travel to another spot we will use it, and in Ohio, most of their state parks accept it which is where we prefer to camp anyway.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:45 AM   #7
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Hey thanks I'll look into that. I lived for 2 years on a ship in the Navy, theres nothing a good pair of earplugs can't handle haha.

I'd really like a solo RV'ers take on this. And please more info than "depends on how frugal you are" LOL duh.
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:49 AM   #8
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For your situation; Being single(and loving it), still working, mostly moving to get to next work location.

If you have or are willing to go to a truck you could start with a TT. You get a ton for the money and you get to start your new dream quickly. Most of your money would be in your truck but if that's ok with you than do it. My friend that was an AF captain did exactly that. His family stayed in their home if Texas and he stayed in a TT. It worked and they saved money.
Many or most here seem to be glad to be "rid" of their S&B. I for one think that my homes are part of my retirement. I may not live in them though. I would hate to be retired and not have at least one home paid for. If you are handy you could by a little fixer upper at one of your locations and eventually rent it out. In most places the house will eventually be worth more than what you paid for it. Then 15 or less years from now you have the paid for house to help with retirement. I'm sure some will tell about how it didn't work out for them......

Good luck partner!
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Old 12-11-2017, 05:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomadnurse View Post
.....The money is very good, however my ultimate goal would be getting to a point I am not working, just living
Yes, you need to be independently wealthy to quit work, retire etc. Just sayin'
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:03 AM   #10
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You mentioned having savings as part of your analysis.

Try to figure out how to manage without having to dip into savings regularly...otherwise, your cushion keeps getting smaller as you get older. Not a good future...

RVing FT is akin to living on a sailboat. Go to a marina that charges almost nothing and you get......almost nothing. How much you can afford will tell you how much you'll enjoy/tolerate the experience.

BTW, those holding tanks are what rule your life here. If you aren't connected, you'll be moving every couple of days; at least once a week. That's a big deal in inexpensive parks...
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:06 AM   #11
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:37 AM   #12
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NomadNurse-

The Full-timers forum (link here) has threads that may interest you. Also, here's the link for the RV-ing On a Budget forum.

If memory serves, travel nurses are well-paid. I can't think of many other jobs that would allow you to move around and make that much money. If you can salt away most of your income, then in several years you should be able to consider moving to part-time work at lower pay. You also would have the experience of living in other parts of the country and in an RV full-time on which to base decisions about your next moves. Plus,you never know- you may no longer be traveling solo.
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:59 AM   #13
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And since you may be a traveling nurse, your rv and remote living expenses are a write off to some extent
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:59 AM   #14
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Before we knew what full timing was we traveled for years (not single) in travel trailers following work. I'm a construction electrician. We worked in bigger areas but would try to stay just outside of them. Many times we found private places that had an RV spot. They enjoyed making an extra buck and we had plenty of room. Made very good money also, but we were just making a living. The travel trailer life made it nomadic which suited us. I now am retired and bought a used motorhome. If it does not get to the point where it stops nickel and dining me, may look at other options. Good luck. I have only missed four states in the country. It was great if you like it. For me it was hard being married. Wife did not stay, but found another victim.
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