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Old 08-13-2017, 08:12 PM   #1
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When did you decide, now is the time

I am 52 and the beautiful wife is 45. I have a job that takes me all over North America almost every week and the wife has a job working for the governor of Kentucky. At most, if he is re-elected, she will work 6 more years, and I will work until retirement. My job allows me to consider RV life more than just a few trips per year. I could spend a week in Colorado, then a week in Florida. I travel on over 150 airplanes per year and God only knows how many hotel rooms per year. I think I can even get the company to reimburse me for nights on the road I'm traveling and not in a hotel and without airfare. Maybe $600 per week of travel. I think I'm in a very good position, as I said, to start our RV life early.

My question is when did you decide to go "all in"? We are not wealthy people but do okay, thanks to the good Lord. Our thought is to move from our home and into a townhouse and then purchase a Newmar Coach. I am struggling with the idea of having a $125k coach, the townhouse, storage for the coach, and all the other expenses unless we commit to using it at least 6 months a year. The LOML says, to heck with the townhouse, lets do it full time. This wouldn't be possible as long as she works for the governor, we do have cold weather in KY.

Not sure this makes sense and was nervous to post because I'm sure you fine people are sick of these newbie questions. I would appreciate any thoughts and apologize for what I'm sure is an over asked question. Tried to find answers before posting but never found the "answer".
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Old 08-13-2017, 08:52 PM   #2
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Sounds like to me you're asking for reasons why you shouldn't do it. Sorry, all out of those
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:00 PM   #3
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I am 52 and the beautiful wife is 45. I have a job that takes me all over North America almost every week and the wife has a job working for the governor of Kentucky. At most, if he is re-elected, she will work 6 more years, and I will work until retirement. My job allows me to consider RV life more than just a few trips per year. I could spend a week in Colorado, then a week in Florida. I travel on over 150 airplanes per year and God only knows how many hotel rooms per year. I think I can even get the company to reimburse me for nights on the road I'm traveling and not in a hotel and without airfare. Maybe $600 per week of travel. I think I'm in a very good position, as I said, to start our RV life early.

My question is when did you decide to go "all in"? We are not wealthy people but do okay, thanks to the good Lord. Our thought is to move from our home and into a townhouse and then purchase a Newmar Coach. I am struggling with the idea of having a $125k coach, the townhouse, storage for the coach, and all the other expenses unless we commit to using it at least 6 months a year. The LOML says, to heck with the townhouse, lets do it full time. This wouldn't be possible as long as she works for the governor, we do have cold weather in KY.

Not sure this makes sense and was nervous to post because I'm sure you fine people are sick of these newbie questions. I would appreciate any thoughts and apologize for what I'm sure is an over asked question. Tried to find answers before posting but never found the "answer".
Brandss, I bought my first motorhome - with not even one night's camping experience - 22 years ago. I was 44 years old at the time. My Dad said I would be out of it in 3 months, others in six months and on and on. Well, I just purchased by 5th motorhome in February. Have had one the entire time until November of last year - when I sold my 2006 Dutch Star. Hadn't been using it for many reasons - but couldn't stand not having one and got back in.

Why am I telling you this - well - you do need to use it to justify it. We looked at many things and decided we need to use it 3 months a year to justify the cost. As you said, look at your travel cost and how much time to get enough value out of it monetarily. I think you will find a way to use it enough - and you will probably regret not having one already! When I am driving my coach, I feel like I am king of the road. The views and comfort from setting high are worth it alone. I am now 67 years old. I can still drive for 8 hours and I am not tired! But I will also share this with you - buy a diesel pusher and only buy a Newmar! This new coach is an entry level Newmar - it is a Ventana LE. But here is why I say buy Diesel - the easy drive is because of the Comfort Drive! I had a more expensive much heavier Dutch Star - a great coach and I loved driving it too, but the comfort drive takes ALL the stress off driving! You can turn loose of the steering wheel and the coach will continue straight down the road! Think about that - what does mean - you will not be having "white knuckles" when in heavy winds or being passed by a big 18 wheeler. I used to think it wasn't a big deal. Well, you will not think it is either unless you drive a coach for 8 hours or more with and without it - then you will not have one without it.

If you have a limited budget, then look for a used Newmar that will meet your needs. You will find that most diesel motorhomes you run across will have only about 8K miles per year, if that on them. Well, a Diesel doesn't truly get broker in until 50K miles. Miles is not a factor on a Diesel motorhome. My 10 year old Dutch Star had 47,000 miles on it. More importantly make sure the generator has a lot of hours on it - seldom used units are usually problems! Diesels are made to run and the more they run, the better than run! Newmar's "Box" is built to go for 20 years easily - if you just do routine maintenance. The appliances on a coach are just like your home - they have a limited life - but you can replace them just as you do your home. You can re-carpet a coach very inexpensively too! New shades, new furniture - just remember it's just like a home.

I have had 34, 37, 38 and 40 foot coaches. I have to admit I haven't had a tag axle - that was because until a few years ago - they were only on the longer coaches. I have found that 40 footers allows you to go most anyplace you will want to go and are not that hard to park. The new tag axles with steering are advertising they turn more easily than even 35 foot coaches - so that might be something to consider now. If I could, I would get IFS, but more importantly is the new star foundation in my opinion. But remember this - if you travel on toll roads - that tag is going to get expensive as well as maintaining an extra axle and buying two extra tires at as much as $900 each - you will want to replace tires at 8 years too. The manufacturer's recommend a max of 7.

Anyway, I am trying to help you avoid the mistake of buying something for price and then taking a real beating "moving up" to what you really want. The difference of $50K in a coach is around $325 a month currently. Most of the money is interest - so it is deductible. Here's the really good news - if you travel for work - you can write off most all of the cost and depreciate the coach as well - you might find that the coach will actually cost you less- Basically you can depreciate the coach very quickly - and you might get a great tax incentive soon from the new tax program that will probably happen.

My last comment, is once again don't "settle" for a coach. I bought a 34 foot diesel and we thought this is all we need and we can get by in it. Well, 6 weeks later we upgraded to a 37 foot, wide body with a living room slide. The difference in size is incredible and so is the comfort. Make sure you look at the layout of the coach and make sure you get what you want - not what someone tries to sell you. We had a queen bed, switched to a king and will not even consider a queen now. We got a walk thru bath- that was a big deal for us. We got good size showers - get as big as you can get in my opinion. I will not have a coach without a lazy boy - but that is a matter of personal comfort. By the way Newmar will tell you that rocking chairs cause issues - I can tell you they do NOT! What causes problems are chairs that swivel - if you think about physics you will quickly see the problem with swivels! Again, get what you want- if not, you may never be happy and then you will miss out on a great lifestyle and the freedom to do as you please. We lived full time in a 37 foot coach with only one slide for 3.5 years - would still be doing it if life circumstances hadn't changed. You will find out how much you will not miss: mowing the yard, cleaning an entire house, painting the house, and all the work of homeownership. You will learn to live by a rule that will save you a small fortune - "if you can't eat it - you don't need it". Plus this good one, if you want to buy any clothes or shoes - then you have to get rid of something to acquire it. You will be surprised how little you will buy with this attitude.

Good luck and get going!

P.S. I was living in Kentucky when I made the decision to full time in a motorhome.
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:04 PM   #4
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For us NOW is the time. It is the high light of our life traveling in our Newmar coach.
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Old 08-13-2017, 09:18 PM   #5
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No need to justify it! If you want to and can do it go ahead.
Late wife and I waited till we could, I retired at 51, but kept working till the DW could. Aug 1st 2008 she put in her retirement papers, Aug 13th her daughter died, leaving us with her two kids. Shortly thereafter she started having bouts of vomiting blood. More than 15 trips to the ER in a couple years, then it quit as suddenly as it began. So we traded the '02 40' DSDP in on the Magna in late Feb 2015. April 30th they fired her after 33 years with the company. June 10 2016 or so they diagnosed her with liver cancer. After three chemo sessions and finally a liver transplant last July 5th, she died August 21st 2016 without ever realizing her dream of retiring and going full time.
There is no on perfect time for everyone, all I can say is do it as soon as you can. I'm closer to 71 than 70 and still hope to get on the road after the youngest step grandson graduates next year.
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Old 08-14-2017, 04:59 AM   #6
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brandss-

First off,



There are plenty of great folks on these fora, like "Mr_D," who have lived the full-time RV lifestyle and share their experiences. If you haven't already done so, spend a few days looking though posts here, especially on the "Full-Timers" forum.

I have no full-time experience. I can share a story and my initial reaction to your post. Take them as "observations," not advice.

I know a fellow, aged mid-fifties, who has had a consulting business for something around 15 years. He gave up the airport/hotel drudgery about five years ago, purchasing a diesel coach and driving to his client locations. He spends up to a week at a time at those places. His wife (about the same age) worked until last month, and now their youngest is off to college in the Fall they are selling the house and going full-time together.

Sounds like your situation, yes? Now for the "observations."

1) The fellow I know can set his own schedule. Maybe you can, maybe you can't.

2) You travel all over the country. It takes additional time to get there and back in an RV, compared to plane travel. That's additional time spent away from your wife.

3) A coach takes money and time to maintain. Breakdowns occur, and disrupt plans.

4) If you need to travel at all times of the year, in all kinds of weather, you must be prepared for poor driving conditions. By yourself.

All told, my initial reaction is that you should keep your jobs, save your money, and retire in 5 to 10 years, going full-time then. Alternatively, if you could live on just your income, or your wife could get a "portable" job, and in either case travel full-time with you, then that's an option.
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:48 AM   #7
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My last comment, is once again don't "settle" for a coach. I bought a 34 foot diesel and we thought this is all we need and we can get by in it. Well, 6 weeks later we upgraded to a 37 foot, wide body with a living room slide.
I won't take exception with that. It's good advice. But don't go bigger just to go bigger. Not everyone want's a big coach. Don't settle but don't get a rig just because everyone else has one too or they insist you won't be happy. Be true to your own wants, needs and finances.

We're going to full time in a 32 foot Bay Star. We've done our research. We know what we want. People still tell us we'll be moving up to a bigger model soon. They'll eat their words.

As for taking the plunge, if that's what you want, do it. Due to a lot of personal reasons and upheaval in our lives (getting kids off on their own, my dad got really sick...he's better) over the last few years, we put aside our dream to full time. Still sold our house and moved into an apartment and about that time, everything settled down. We weren't here six weeks when we knew we had to go full time. No option to part time. We don't have enough money to own even a modest apartment, buy an RV, store it, etc. and we don't want to anyway.

My advice is to commit. To many folks want to "try" living in an RV. They spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to "give it a shot." Did you do that when you bought your first house? "Oh we'll get a house and give it a try." No! Did you do that when you decided on a career or got married? Nope! You probably committed and worked hard to make those things work.

If the lifestyle appeals to you do the research, figure out if it's feasible and then commit to it. Don't dip your toe in the water. Dive in. If you don't like how it's going, don't give up. Try doing it different. Work at it until you find the right balance (just like you should do in other aspects of your life). Otherwise, don't do it at all. You'll most likely fail. Full time RVing shouldn't be any different than any other major life decision. Do or do not. There is no try.

We hear all the naysayers. You can't do that, you'll hate it, you're crazy, you'll regret it, you'll want a diesel pusher, you should have got a fifth wheel, that's so scary, etc., etc., etc. We don't live to please them and we're not afraid of a little challenge. Live your life on your terms. If that includes living in a MH, so be it. Do it and tell all the "normal" people that can't/won't understand to go take a long walk on a short pier.

And good luck in whatever you decide.
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Old 08-14-2017, 05:38 PM   #8
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I won't take exception with that. It's good advice. But don't go bigger just to go bigger. Not everyone want's a big coach. Don't settle but don't get a rig just because everyone else has one too or they insist you won't be happy. Be true to your own wants, needs and finances.

We're going to full time in a 32 foot Bay Star. We've done our research. We know what we want. People still tell us we'll be moving up to a bigger model soon. They'll eat their words.

As for taking the plunge, if that's what you want, do it. Due to a lot of personal reasons and upheaval in our lives (getting kids off on their own, my dad got really sick...he's better) over the last few years, we put aside our dream to full time. Still sold our house and moved into an apartment and about that time, everything settled down. We weren't here six weeks when we knew we had to go full time. No option to part time. We don't have enough money to own even a modest apartment, buy an RV, store it, etc. and we don't want to anyway.

My advice is to commit. To many folks want to "try" living in an RV. They spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to "give it a shot." Did you do that when you bought your first house? "Oh we'll get a house and give it a try." No! Did you do that when you decided on a career or got married? Nope! You probably committed and worked hard to make those things work.

If the lifestyle appeals to you do the research, figure out if it's feasible and then commit to it. Don't dip your toe in the water. Dive in. If you don't like how it's going, don't give up. Try doing it different. Work at it until you find the right balance (just like you should do in other aspects of your life). Otherwise, don't do it at all. You'll most likely fail. Full time RVing shouldn't be any different than any other major life decision. Do or do not. There is no try.

We hear all the naysayers. You can't do that, you'll hate it, you're crazy, you'll regret it, you'll want a diesel pusher, you should have got a fifth wheel, that's so scary, etc., etc., etc. We don't live to please them and we're not afraid of a little challenge. Live your life on your terms. If that includes living in a MH, so be it. Do it and tell all the "normal" people that can't/won't understand to go take a long walk on a short pier.

And good luck in whatever you decide.
This is good advice IMO too! If you want to be a full timer - you will be a full timer - it is up to you! My only additional comment here is this - does your wife want to do this as bad as you seem to want to do it? If she does - you shouldn't have any problems - it will be another venture you take together!
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:13 AM   #9
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Thanks Everyone

I really appreciate all of the comments and will consider each one of them. In response to a few; my wife is probably more on board than I am, she loves adventure and is not scared of change. With my work if I happen to be in Arizona and need to be in Michigan, I still have the ability to jump on a plane.

I'm certain we are bound for this. We have been discussing and reading up on this for more than a year. Again, thanks so much for taking the time to respond.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:31 AM   #10
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Like the TV commercial said years ago....."JUST DO IT".

There is no such thing as "the right time".
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:15 PM   #11
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If you have NEVER been RV'ing...I would recommend renting or starting out with a used/New entry level. See what you like/dislike before going ALL IN. If you find out you love it...then go ALL IN. If you hate it...at least you didn't sink your fortune into a losing proposition.

I love to travel...but hate hotels. I don't enjoy passenger flights as a passenger. We bought an entry level fifth wheel. Had it for 5 1/2 years...and spent over 60 nights a year in it...averaging 5-7 nights per month. We decided we loved the lifestyle...sold the 5th wheel and bought a diesel pusher. I agree...getting it earlier than later is a good idea. I didn't want to wait until age 65...then unexpectantly pass...leaving my wife with a huge rv payment. We'll pay down a bunch before I retire...and will have a little more play money, when we finally hit the long road. For now, most of our trips are 5 days to two or three weeks, depending on how my vacation time gets awarded.

If you know already...that this is the thing you really want to do...no problem skipping a step. Just do your homework. You can burn a lot of cash bouncing around from coach to coach if you get it wrong.
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:26 PM   #12
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How can you hate RVing?
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:14 AM   #13
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How can you hate RVing?
I know...strange thought,,, right?

But I do think there are a handful of people that prefer hotels. I, for the life of me, cannot tell you why. Although I endure it, as a part of my job...I don't really enjoy the experience of sleeping in a bed that was shared with 10,000 other people...and having almost nothing in common with most of the other guests.

RV'ing means having your own stuff...sleeping in your own bed...and being surrounded by others that, for the most part, are like minded individuals.
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:55 AM   #14
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When did you decide, now is the time

Absolutely get the right RV the First time, two years ago we purchased. Canyon Star 3710, it fit us at the time s we were both going through protracted divorces and didn't want to commit to more$. It was fun and it got us out RVing, but left us wanting more. So here we are with a 2018 4369 Dutch Star on order. Let me just say financially we would have been much better off buying the DS from the beginning.
I'm close to 60 and the DW is 57. We are both still working and feel that while working we can afford to pay down the motorhome faster, while also taking advantage of the tax benefits.
Sorry for being long winded, bottom line get as much motorhome s you can the first time, and for sure do your selfs a favor and drive a diesel before buying a gasser. And don't forget to wear sunscreen
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