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Is it Cheaper to live in a House or RV?


Bob52

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There is no correct answer to this question. It all depends on a myriad of factors. The fact is that you could live cheaper in either one, depending on how you do it, what you include in the calculation, and what you mean by cheaper.

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There is no correct answer to this question. It all depends on a myriad of factors. The fact is that you could live cheaper in either one, depending on how you do it, what you include in the calculation, and what you mean by cheaper.

 

If you buy a house that costs 50,000 or a Motorhome that cost 50,000 which one would be cheaper a year in money?

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From a financial perspective only, I believe it's less expensive in a house but there are a LOT of variables. Lifestyle expenses should be a wash. Maintenance is probably less in an RV.

 

The big financial problem RVs have is depreciation. Housing has taken big hits twice in my adult life, otherwise it's been a good investment. Especially if you own for a long time. With prices low, now is a great time to buy a house. An RV always depreciates from the moment you buy it unless you buy it on the distressed market (divorce, family member, someone who just wants it gone). One other possibility for appreciation is you put a lot of work into it but even then you won't get your money back out of it when you sell. Check out "completed sales" on Ebay for a reality check of RV values and depreciation. You didn't say how long you plan to live in the RV but the residual worth of the RV should be an important part of your exit strategy.

 

There are people making their living buying and selling RVs. I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about buyers who are going to live in, or at least use, their RV.

 

You mentioned a $50K house. Given today's market, in 1 year I'd say it'll be worth $50-60K. In 10 years maybe $80-100K. I believe the economy will have come back a ways by then.

 

In a year a $50K RV might be worth anywhere from $30K for a newer one to $50K for an older one you've put some work into. In 10 years the newer one may only be worth $10K and the older one maybe $25K. I put in a LOT of assumptions and based it on my own limited experience with RVs and boats, which I consider similar "investments".

 

My 2 cents. Worth every penny you paid for it.

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There are just too many variables and not enough info about what you are considering. We spent less money on the road in an RV than when we were living in our S & B, but we were quite frugal in not eating out a lot, not going to a lot of events, places that charged entrance fees, etc. But our truck and fiver continued to depreciate. Of course, our house lost money, too, because of the market. So I think the question is too general to give an easy answer. I would say if you want to go full-time--do it--you can certainly manage your finances in an economical way. But you have to figure in far more variables to answer your question.

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There are just too many variables and not enough info about what you are considering. We spent less money on the road in an RV than when we were living in our S & B, but we were quite frugal in not eating out a lot, not going to a lot of events, places that charged entrance fees, etc. But our truck and fiver continued to depreciate. Of course, our house lost money, too, because of the market. So I think the question is too general to give an easy answer. I would say if you want to go full-time--do it--you can certainly manage your finances in an economical way. But you have to figure in far more variables to answer your question.

 

I have 30,000 to spend only and I'm thinking about buying a used 5th wheel camper for 11,000 and I will need to buy a truck to pull the 5th wheel and looking at used trucks around 15,000 dollars. Planning on living in this 5th wheel for 10 years. Not going to use it for camping. I going to keep my 2007 XLS Ford Escape which get real good gas mileage. My house utility bill is 125.00 a month and this camper utility bill will most likely be alot more mainly in propane.

 

 

 

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Are you talking about just buying this and parking it somewhere for 10 years to live in? If so, why do you need a truck? Where will you park it? How much will the rent be?

 

As I said before, there is really no way to answer your question without knowing a lot more information.

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Are you talking about just buying this and parking it somewhere for 10 years to live in? If so, why do you need a truck? Where will you park it? How much will the rent be?

 

As I said before, there is really no way to answer your question without knowing a lot more information.

 

 

Rent will be free. The only thing will cost me is the utilitys and insurance if I can get it. The truck will be used to move it once every year or so or more. I just might be a good idea to rent a truck to move it instead of buying a truck? I have will move it over 600 miles one way.

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Guest alaska315

That was going to be my question to you Carl.Why spend 15K on a truck just to move 600 miles once a year or so.Either pay someone to haul it for you or get a cheaper truck that won't take the depreciation hit that the 15K truck would take.

 

And I got just the truck for you,lol

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That was going to be my question to you Carl.Why spend 15K on a truck just to move 600 miles once a year or so.Either pay someone to haul it for you or get a cheaper truck that won't take the depreciation hit that the 15K truck would take.

 

And I got just the truck for you,lol

 

 

Give me a plain jane laugh.gif No 4x4 or super cab, no diesel engine. Only gas.

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Guest Connie B.

Yes, it could be cheaper to live in a house or an RV. As has been said many times on this entire forum, it's all about you and your lifestyle. If you are frugal, you can live cheaply in a house or an RV. If you spend a lot, you can live in a house or RV for an expensive amount.

 

Personally, I would go for the RV. The advantages are it can be moved (don't buy a truck). Get someone to move it for you (friend or pay for service). No grass to cut, low maintenance costs of trailer or fifth wheel compared to a house, smaller which makes it easier to keep clean or heat/cool. Disadvantages are less storage than a house, depreciation.

 

One of the problems with a house is you can't just sell it when you want to. You have to have a buyer. Then there is all of the hassle of moving, cleaning up the house, making repairs required by the buyer.

 

 

If you are a single or have to move for your job, the RV would be ideal. But the question becomes can YOU live in an RV with it's smaller space? Do you want to build up equity in a home? Do you have a spouse/significant other who can live in an RV or wants a house? There are many factors which need to be considered before a decision is made.

 

Good luck whatever is your decision :)

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Bob,

 

Sounds like the fiver has potential to be a much less expensive option for you. Especially if you don't buy the truck to tow it. There are a number of cost estimating/budgeting worksheets out there. Try working through some of those. Folks here on the forum can help you wiith specific costs you're unfamilliar with. The 2 biggest costs for me are fuel while travelling and campground rental. You won't have either of those.

 

Good luck with whatever you decide.

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In my opinion this really is an impossible question for us to answer as those are two entirely different lifestyles. Your daily expenses will be pretty much the same no matter which one you live in. Clearly if you plan to move 600 miles or so each year, buying a stick house don't make much sense. At the same time there is generally a much better comfort level with a house and it usually will increase in value over time while the RV drops. To give a pretty simple history lesson, here is what our experience was.

 

In 1998 we bought a gos powered motorhome that had an MSRP of $81,000 and we actually paid $66K for it. We took delivery in May of 1998 and moved into it fulltime in April of 2000 and we lived in it all of the time until Jan. of 2011. when we shifted to part time, but then took one more trip of 5 months with the same motorhome. In early 2012 we sold that motorhome and the NADA listing for average retail was $13,780 but the marked tor a privately sold coach of 14 years age is not that great and we actually received $10K in return. That means that we basically paid $4K/year for the RV, plus all of our maintenance and other expenses. In looking at our actual expenses we probably paid out very close to $5.5K or just a little bit more per year, including things such as replacement of our couch & refrigerator, upholstery for the chairs, and what chassis repairs that we had. Of course, that was with our RV on the road for about 5K to 7K miles per year on the average.

 

Had we spent that money on a fixed home it would no doubt have been more economic return on the investment, but maintenance would likely have been as much. Also with an RV it has furniture inside when you buy it but most houses do not.(I say most as we bought our home-base furnished.) If the monthly expenses of your daily living are the only thing of concern, they living with no site costs would probably be lower with the RV, but remember that one which you buy for $50K is likely going to need to be replaced in 10 to 15 years while a house would not. On the other hand, if you must move about annually, then the house could be nothing more than a headache and even a cash drain.

 

This is more a question of lifestyle and future plans than one of economics. You need to determine how and where you plan to live over the coming years and base your choice on what is best for you, or even possible. Buying houses is not very practice for one who moves each year, but buying an RV is never going to recover even close to the invested money.

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I'm thinking now of buying a Truck for a slide in camper that is made for winter living. I'm the only one that will be in this camper. The slide in camper should be easy to heat I hope which is a

2004 Arctic Fox 811 model. Truck will be a one ton dually and might just be a 4x4 with a standard cab and a gas engine. Found out most of the houses that are below 50,000 I had a pick of are mobile homes which are not good investments. In my area house costs are 100,000 and up which I don't want to buy for just one person.

 

One good thing by doing this I can move around to find the right place to live with good jobs for a 52 year old man.

.

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Cheaper to what end? Not only does one have to know the circumstances and locations, one needs to also think about the time frames and longevity of said plans.

 

Over the course of 5 years or so, one could provide valiant arguments that either could be the correct choice.

 

If one is thinking in terms of how the rv you'll buy today will compare with the house you'll buy today, say, 25 years from now, then it's a little different story.

 

A given rv has a fairly limited lifespan. Most probably don't get more than 15 years of serious use out of one. Some get more, some don't get that.

 

A well built house can last for hundreds of years.

 

Granted, most of us are probably not looking toward what our investments will look like in another 100 years but it's still another factor that could play into a decision of what's the "best" choice.

 

Just a thought...

 

 

Brian

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Cheaper to what end? Not only does one have to know the circumstances and locations, one needs to also think about the time frames and longevity of said plans.

 

Over the course of 5 years or so, one could provide valiant arguments that either could be the correct choice.

 

If one is thinking in terms of how the rv you'll buy today will compare with the house you'll buy today, say, 25 years from now, then it's a little different story.

 

A given rv has a fairly limited lifespan. Most probably don't get more than 15 years of serious use out of one. Some get more, some don't get that.

 

A well built house can last for hundreds of years.

 

Granted, most of us are probably not looking toward what our investments will look like in another 100 years but it's still another factor that could play into a decision of what's the "best" choice.

 

Just a thought...

 

 

Brian

 

My travels will be to Michigan, North Dakota, Tennessee. I will travel to find work mainly in five years. Then sell the truck and camper. The only problem I would have also is the gas mileage. What would it cost to travel to all these states in fuel? Camper weight is 3700 lbs and pulling a Ford Escape as a toad.

 

At one time I was thinking about buying a Ford Transit Connect van and having a electric roof mounted heating/cooling unit installed. I would have lived in it. I have lived in off and on in travel trailer for five years in the past and enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

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If you have no one but yourself to worry about do what feels right. Personally I'd have a go at the truck camper if it was just me. You can't beat the freedom and the easy access to just about anyplace you want to go. No real worries of fitting in to fuel up, if you'll fit in a campground or not, etc.

 

I feel it'll just be easier to care for than a house, I've about had my fill of home ownership though,FWIW.

 

GOOD LUCK, AND STAY SAFE.

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I wonder if you shouldn't also be comparing buying an RV with renting an apartment or house instead of just looking at buying a house? This option also gives you more freedom to move.

 

Also, I think the question of whether it is a better financial decision to buy a house or rent has thoughtful advocates on either side of the debate. Obviously, these days many home owners wish they weren't.

 

Cheers John

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I've almost decided to pick the truck camper over anything now. Here in Tennessee you don't need a title and pay sale taxes on a truck camper. Rent here is not cheap because this is a college town and also landlords want 12 months contract.

 

Been having a problem finding a RV dealer to install the brackets to hold down the camper to the truck. RV dealers said they don't work on truck campers for some reason.

 

 

Thanks, Bob

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I am late to this topic but I would be way ahead living in an RV. My taxes on the house are almost $5000 a year and just keep going up and up. Taxes were $1400 when we bought in 1988 and in all that time the value has only just now doubled, though taxes have gone through the roof. Taxes on our RV are $57.50 and the truck is $64.25. Utility bills have $76 of service fees planted in every bill. I could pay park rent + elect and come out ahead. natural gas bill was $26 for $9 cost of gas, I don't think buying LP would cost me anywhere near my yearly gas bill. Don't even want to think about the cost for water and waste water charges. Insurance is also a lot on the house, over $1200 a year, 1/3 that for the RV.

 

I would live in the RV if I could but can't see that happening any time soon.

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I think it is cheaper to live in an RV. Plus the freedom you get from living in an RV is a huge benefit. We are a family of 7 traveling full time in our RV and are loving it. Choosing an RV over a house has enabled us to live an amazing life. We are doing so many fun things. Check it out at our blog NeverEndingRVTrip.com to see how we live in our RV. The places we are going and the things we are able to see would never have been possible if we stayed in our boring house.

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Just thinking about it... the northern states in the winter in an rv is not going to be ideal, even with the best made of rvs. If you're parked in ND when it's -30(F) with the wind whipping past, I can't think any of them would be all that great.

 

And even if the rv is fine, it's still a pain getting propane often, filling fresh water tanks, and dumping waste tanks when it's super cold outside.

 

If you're going to stay more towards the southern half of the US, I can see living in the rv through the winter. This is our 7th winter and the most northerly so far, southern KY. Not bad so far. Coldest night so far was earlier this week, a little above 20 degrees (F). But so far, we haven't stayed below freezing all day long. It's not nearly as challenging.

 

Most anything "can" be done if one is determined enough.

 

For my tastes, I think I'd rather have a little more room than a slide-in truck camper for extended living. A 250/2500 with a long bed and a nice cap for storage, possible an extra fuel tank, a place for a generator, etc., and maybe a 24' to about 30' camper behind would be more conventional looking for staying at typical rv parks and would also be quite a bit roomier. But I know each has their own tastes, likes and dislikes.

 

Sincerely, best of luck as you figure all this stuff out. And keep us informed as it happens. We're kinda like family around here and we wonder what happens to each other. :)

 

 

Brian

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