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  1. Hello All, I am a disabled unemployed veteran. I can not keep up with my home, both payments and care, so I am considering full time RV living. I have a bit of savings, about 100K, to purchase my very first RV. I have rented them previously, and found them adequate for short term living. They were small gas RV's. I am planning/hoping to make this my permanent home. Probably in Texas. I do plan to travel in it quite often, during the summer, but probably park it for the winter in the south. I am looking at Class A diesel pushers, and also making sure it is 4 seasons. I am very handy and can fix many things, but do not want to buy one that needs a lot of work at least for the first year. So here are my questions. Please feel free to add your suggestions or concerns. Private Party or Dealer? I think I can save money from a private party. However, the big risk is in the honesty of the private party, along with they ability to know what needs to be done and how to take care of an RV. I have personally seen RV's that people have said they were immaculate, but not according to my standards. I not sure the standards of many others either. I don't know if they were simply lying or they have a different definition of immaculate. I went to see one that they said was "perfect" only to find that the engine was bad, really bad. So part of me says that if I buy a used RV, and have to put 10k in it just to get it in great shape, why not just goto a dealer who has already gone through it. Then there are others who will say that dealers will do the same thing. They will get an RV in and do the bare minimum to hide anything that needs to be fixed or repaired at a later date. I'd like to find one that simply didn't get used and someone willing to be a bit philanthropic so that I can have a home. :) What club/organizations should I join? I have joined the EscapeesRVclub in Livingston Texas, but I am finding more and more clubs out there. Good Sam for one. I really don't want to overdo it but want to join organizations that might help in this transition. What do I need to look for in an RV, and avoid? I have literally looked at about 30 RV's I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but traveling from dealer to dealer and private party takes some time. The ones that tripped my trigger are out of my price range. The ones around my price range seem to be cheaply built. There was one with a rubber roof that was nice, until it rained and it looked like it melted. I know tires are a big deal, and so is the engine. What does it take to maintain an RV? In life I have experienced that the more something costs, the more it costs to maintain it. I am planning to budget about $500 a month simply for maintenance (not diesel/gas/propane, insurance, or other consumables). What are the the things you wish you knew going into full time RV'ing? The problem I think I have is that I don't know what I don't know, so I might not even know what I need to ask concerning full time RVing. I just learned that smells in an RV usually mean mold. And dealers are really good at masking those smells. I also found out that painting an RV can cost up to $5000. Tire dates are just as important as mileage. Refrigerators seem to be always an issue if they run on propane only. Generators don't always run everything in the RV. There are different power hookups for RV's. Water tanks are significant! Waste water disposal and maintenance ease is necessary. Take showers and wash clothes at parks whenever possible. What else? I welcome your comments, concerns, criticism. Tom
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