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Hello,

I am new to this forum -and also not yet an RV'er- but I am seconds away from listing my house, and buying an RV, and hitting the road. I am in the investigation stage now and ran across this wonderfully helpful website. I have way too many questions to list, and will continue to get many of them answered by reading what's already been written, but I do have a few concerns since I am entering the unknown. I'll tell you a little about me and you tell me what you think...

First of all it will be me by myself. I am used to being alone, but not out on the road. I got my class A license, a couple of years ago, but never took a job as a trucker (an intimidating role for a small female). I have been living alone for years and don't really see the difference (house vs RV) -unless there is something that I am not thinking of... as far as aloneness goes. At first I will cut my teeth on the western states, visiting family. I'm in Ca, I have a kid/fam in Texas, a kid/fam in Az, kid/fam in Ca and fam in Or and Wa that I will want to make my rounds to first. Then after I see how that goes I will likely venture out towards the East. 

I have never camped in an RV- always tents, and it's been a few years. 

I love to drive and I want to travel and see things I haven't seen yet (I can't move my house to do this). 

I recently left my job (sick of the grind) and will use my equity to purchase my RV (I guess start out used/cheap in case I hate it for some reason??)... and live on it for awhile, while planning to find some sort of income online. What is a suggested "nest egg" for a very frugal, conservative spender...?

I have a 5lb dog, a canary, and a 12lb, outside, semi-ferrel, 6 year old cat who hates cars-  I cannot abandon him and am hoping to figure out something great for him or take him (??!!)...ugh. I've re-homed cats in the past and they seem to go a little crazy.

I guess the bottom line is that I am looking for a "trigger" that will either make or break my decision to sell my house (which I think is a good idea anyway because of the market), and then I need a place to live. Not the time to buy a house and not excited at the thought of renting. I'd like to get out of this jobless area I'm in and just go. I love nature, camping, etc. 

Well thank you for listening and I really appreciate this website/forum as it is going to be an incredibly useful tool for me. I'd also like more info on the bootcamp please:)

Roni

 

 

Edited by LivingToo!
added a sentence

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Welcome to our world. You sound to me like a good candidate for a Class B RV. You want one you can stand up in. It's nice to be able to drive your house with you as you travel stopping for things like groceries and laundry along the way.

If that appeals to you, you might also want to check out http://www.cheaprvliving.com to learn more about van living.

Linda Sand

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Thank you Linda, that's what I was thinking too. I went yesterday and looked at RV's, and I am pretty sure I could handle one of those. I noticed that the cabs are different on the different classes, but what you live in can all look very similar. I appreciate the website, I'll check it out:)

Roni

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! Lots of folks here who truly enjoy helping others to find the way into the RV lifestyle and most of us have some degree of experience with numerous members who have lived in an RV for many years. You should probably find answers to most of your questions here, but if you haven't done so, I suggest that you also read at least one book on the RV lifestyle before you commit yourself to the change. You can probably find a few such books at your local library or if you wish, Amazon books have a very good selection. 

17 hours ago, LivingToo! said:

I have never camped in an RV- always tents, and it's been a few years.

I think that you might be wise to rent an RV of some type and take at least a two-week trip with it before you sell the house and buy an RV. That would at least give you a taste of what you will experience as well as an introduction to the lifestyle. Doing so would help you to avoid an experience like the one told in this thread located elsewhere on the forums. There is a great deal to learn about RVs and how they work, as well as the experience of driving and living in one.

17 hours ago, LivingToo! said:

What is a suggested "nest egg" for a very frugal, conservative spender...?

This is a very subjective question since no two of us live in exactly the same lifestyle. There was a poll on these forums recently which should give you some ideas about what most contributors to these forums spend and a pretty good idea of what is typical. For most people, living in an RV doesn't change their spending habits very much other than differences such as house payments and extra fuel. 

17 hours ago, LivingToo! said:

outside, semi-ferrel, 6 year old cat who hates cars-  

Pets are very common in the RV community and many travel with more than one, but it is very important to realize that free roaming pets are not welcome in any campground that I'm aware of. 

17 hours ago, LivingToo! said:

I guess the bottom line is that I am looking for a "trigger" t

I believe that reading one or two books on the subject is a good approach to that issue combined with the suggested trip in a rental RV. It is very important to realize that these forums are mostly inhabited by people who love the RV life but that not everyone can make that adjustment and most of those who do not adapt, leave these forums and we never hear from them again. I suspect that far less than 10% of the population would be happy for long with an RV as their only home. Take some time to learn as much as possible before you do this and when you do so, keep a means of returning to your former lifestyle, just in case.

17 hours ago, LivingToo! said:

I'd also like more info on the bootcamp please:)

I suggest that you start with the RV Boot Camp pages on the Escapee site and then ask questions since there are several graduates of that program who can answer them. 

Edited by Kirk Wood

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First post!  We are veterans of the boating and marina lifestyle.  We also did the Harley thing for a few years before that.  This is our next new passion. She's retired, I'm still working full time.  We plan to Escape a couple of weekends a month from extreme North Phoenix heat to the cooler pines of Payson, Prescott, Flagstaff and beyond, with frequent itineraries to the Rim Country.   

We researched all classes and settled on a new Jayco 5th and bought a Ram 2500 Diesel to pull with.  Truck drives like a dream, although my bride could use a booster seat to see better!  

We take delivery May 1.  First trip is planned for Woods Canyon Lake, but we will likely do a "shakedown cruise" of sorts to Lake Pleasant just to try out the systems before venturing too far.  

Can't wait for Country Thunder 2018!

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That is very exciting! 

It seems to me that the more I research, the more I realize that I am probably not going to be able to afford to do this:( I am reading that the average RV'rs spend approximately $41,000 per year in expenses. Bummer. That I cannot do. Oh well, I will just keep researching and see what happens!

Good luck to you two:)!!

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31 minutes ago, LivingToo! said:

It seems to me that the more I research, the more I realize that I am probably not going to be able to afford to do this:( I am reading that the average RV'rs spend approximately $41,000 per year in expenses. Bummer. That I cannot do. Oh well, I will just keep researching and see what happens!

That's why I suggested you check out http://www.cheaprvliving.com/blog/. Lots of people fulltiming on a lot less money. You might also read http://rvsueandcrew.net and http://www.interstellarorchard.com to see how a couple other single women are doing this on limited incomes. You don't have to spend as much as the "average". After all "average" implies half the people are spending less. :)

Linda Sand

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6 hours ago, LivingToo! said:

I am reading that the average RV'rs spend approximately $41,000 per year in expenses.

OMG!!  How could somebody possibly spend that much consistently?  That's just over $3400 per month.  :blink:

 

Cheers,

Ken

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7 hours ago, LivingToo! said:

That is very exciting! 

It seems to me that the more I research, the more I realize that I am probably not going to be able to afford to do this:( I am reading that the average RV'rs spend approximately $41,000 per year in expenses. Bummer. That I cannot do. Oh well, I will just keep researching and see what happens!

Good luck to you two:)!!

Not even a slight chance that we could do that either , but , we've been happily full-timing for 7 years . 

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7 hours ago, LivingToo! said:

I am reading that the average RV'rs spend approximately $41,000 per year in expenses

I wonder where you came up with that average? The Escapee survey that I posted the link to shows that the largest group of us are spending more than $30k but less that $40K, and that number is 28% or 42 people of 148 who responded to the poll. A total of 86 people or 58% of us spend less than $40,000 per year while 15% spend under $20,000. I believe that you need to look at those numbers again.

The simple fact is that most people who are successful in the RV lifestyle do so by learning to live well on the income that they have, rather than by having the income that they want. It is really no different living in an RV than in a stick house. We adjust our choice of home and the lifestyle that we live based upon our available income. Only a few of us change our spending habits significantly by moving into an RV. We still enjoy the same hobbies, eat the same foods, and go to the same type of places. The very best explanation of what is costs to live in an RV was written by Gaylord Maxwell, back in 2001. I strongly recommend that you read his column before you spend more time on research.

RV Living: How Much Does It Cost?

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I don't recall where I saw that either... (that's more than I spend now in my own home and with a car pmt!) I've been doing a LOT of reading... but I also just looked up the links that Linda gave me, and now have a little better idea of a more reasonable expectation. I'll also read the one by Gaylord Maxwell as soon as I'm done writing this, and then move on to something else to research. I'm kind of a "keep it simple type gal!" 

Thanks again for everyone's responses:)!!

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... Ok I just read it and ... well that makes sense! It's the lifestyle that is chosen, and not for reasons of money or lack thereof. The main reason, I'm gathering from all of the readings, is that feeling of freedom. So now with my new perspective I can reevaluate my reasons and make sure this is what I want -based on me and nothing else. If I want it then I'll make it happen and it'll work. 

Strangely that relieves a lot of stress... 

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Take a look at agingonwheels.com, Carol has a situation Simular to yours and puts out a great blog. I think she would communicate with you and put your mind at ease.

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4 hours ago, LivingToo! said:

Strangely that relieves a lot of stress... 

The entire point is that we each live our own lifestyle and that is what makes it freedom of the road. There is no wrong or right way to do things, as long as you enjoy the trip. The only limitation to the ways that you can live in your RV is your own imagination. 

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5 hours ago, LivingToo! said:

... Ok I just read it and ... well that makes sense! It's the lifestyle that is chosen, and not for reasons of money or lack thereof. The main reason, I'm gathering from all of the readings, is that feeling of freedom. So now with my new perspective I can reevaluate my reasons and make sure this is what I want -based on me and nothing else. If I want it then I'll make it happen and it'll work. 

Strangely that relieves a lot of stress... 

Good! I'm glad that one article didn't scare you off.

Linda Sand

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Yes I see that now. It's just like everyone has their own lifestyle when living in a house (or other)...

**not sure how to respond to individual responses. I only see one box at the end of all replies***

And -Nah it didn't scare me. What scares me is -me! Not being able to make a decision because it feels like it is the only one I will ever make, and it's really not thaaaat big of a deal lol... not to minimize it or anything, but I am pretty sure I have made bigger decisions when I was younger and a bit more (?) idk- less experienced with bad decisions? 

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1 hour ago, LivingToo! said:

Yes I see that now. It's just like everyone has their own lifestyle when living in a house (or other)...

**not sure how to respond to individual responses. I only see one box at the end of all replies***

And -Nah it didn't scare me. What scares me is -me! Not being able to make a decision because it feels like it is the only one I will ever make, and it's really not thaaaat big of a deal lol... not to minimize it or anything, but I am pretty sure I have made bigger decisions when I was younger and a bit more (?) idk- less experienced with bad decisions? 

You can just click on the "quote" button.... as I just did.. Then you can respond directly to a specific post.

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Hi Roni,

I'm a single female under 5' and I solo in a class B most of the year. I have a 85 lb dog that is with me and for part of the year, a friend and his two dogs (75 lb and 45 lb) join me so he can escape the bitter Vermont winters. I love my B!!! It's able to go just about anywhere and I can park in a normal parking space. This opens up all kinds of possibilities. Since my van doesn't look too much like an RV (no propane, no awning) I often get away with overnight parking in urban areas, as long as I keep it to one night. In the desert southwest there is more BLM land for free dispersed camping than you can shake a stick at. I tend to travel with the weather, going north and east for summer and fall and south and west for winter and spring. I've been full time for two years now and wish I'd done it years sooner. I'm happy to answer any specific questions you might have.

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How much one spends varies so much that it is difficult to come up with any sort of number. As we were working on our budget we arbitrarily decided that if we kept diesel, MH insurance and repairs, and campground costs to less than what we were spending on our S&B we would be find. Overall, we've usually been well under that amount.

We don't eat out much, so our expenses there are generally a lot less than most other people's. We also like to stay at COE campgrounds, where our "geezer pass" lets us stay for 50% of the regular price. We also do some workcamping (campground host, Habitat For Humanity Care-A-Vanners) that gets us free camping.

Our plan is to work about four months each year, volunteer about four months each year, and do our own thing about four months each year. That part hasn't worked quite as planned, but close enough.

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On 4/23/2017 at 4:44 PM, Jaydrvr said:

You can just click on the "quote" button.... as I just did.. Then you can respond directly to a specific post.

Thank you:) 

I haven't been on here in awhile. Working on getting my house ready to sell and thought I would just take that equity and buy something else up in Medford, Or- however I can't get a realtor to call me back! Now I am thinking maybe my first idea of an RV is looking better and better. I am nervous either way. I don't know the Medford area and I also don't know Or laws... So much to consider! I did see some very nice RV parks up there recently tho... More updates to come:)

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On 4/23/2017 at 5:01 PM, Aeronie said:

Hi Roni,

I'm a single female under 5' and I solo in a class B most of the year. I have a 85 lb dog that is with me and for part of the year, a friend and his two dogs (75 lb and 45 lb) join me so he can escape the bitter Vermont winters. I love my B!!! It's able to go just about anywhere and I can park in a normal parking space. This opens up all kinds of possibilities. Since my van doesn't look too much like an RV (no propane, no awning) I often get away with overnight parking in urban areas, as long as I keep it to one night. In the desert southwest there is more BLM land for free dispersed camping than you can shake a stick at. I tend to travel with the weather, going north and east for summer and fall and south and west for winter and spring. I've been full time for two years now and wish I'd done it years sooner. I'm happy to answer any specific questions you might have.

Thank you! I will have more questions I'm sure. I am finding that this whole process has been incredibly stressful and it took all this time for me to determine WHY it's even a good idea for me to sell my house and move. I have finally figured that out but now I don't know where to go after I sell it! I decided on Medford but the more I research, the less committed I am feeling. This keeps taking me back to RV'ing. I have a 7lb (yapper) dog and a 12lb cat (who is going to hate me for taking him) and a canary (and 5 or 6 very large plants that I guess I can always bungie to something to keep them standing upright...)... 

Do you work at all during the year or do you have a fixed income already?

What is the fastest way to learn how to hook up an RV (YouTube?), and how do I figure out which kind I want? I need space with the animals but I don't want the limiting issues that may come with an oversized vehicle (parking for one). I also don't want to feel like I am living in a car.

Also what is the worst possible thing that can happen out there that I need to determine if I can see myself handling it ok or not..? I can handle quite a bit, but it's really more of a question of do I want to deal with it or not... 

I can totally see myself traveling around and visiting my kids and grandkids more regularly, etc. as long as I don't get too stressed about ..? Ohhhh the unknown!!!

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On 4/23/2017 at 2:12 PM, sandsys said:

Good! I'm glad that one article didn't scare you off.

Linda Sand

Strangely mostly only the unknown scares me... life for me has always been that initial fear of the worst case scenarios, but once I find myself in it, it is usually not as bad as I envisioned. This is just such a long mental process for me! Well I was going to try my hand at driving a big truck for a living, and even got licensed (but then decided that the job really wasn't for me because it is so much more than just driving the truck -that was the easy part). I am guessing that this would be so much better than that:)

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On 4/23/2017 at 1:28 PM, macintyre said:

Take a look at agingonwheels.com, Carol has a situation Simular to yours and puts out a great blog. I think she would communicate with you and put your mind at ease.

Thank you I will look at this.

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On 4/23/2017 at 4:25 AM, Pat & Pete said:

Not even a slight chance that we could do that either , but , we've been happily full-timing for 7 years . 

See when I hear/read that people have been full-timing for many years and love it, then I think I have to try it too. If I love it then why wouldn't I want to at least find out?! If I don't then at least I still have a great camping vehicle! I can start out with an older cheaper vehicle and try it. If I too love it then I can get something newer (or not)... 

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