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trying to understand my costs of a 1 yr fulltime


kpetrey1

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My wife and I are trying to figure out the real costs and savings {or losses} of a 1 yr full time. Our plan is to buy a $30-$40K dollar Class A used and roam the country, mainly out West. We are using a budget of $3000 a month. We plan to stay in campgrounds using a couple different campground passes and boondock ..50% -50%. . My big question is what is the diiference for us on the road or in a rented 2/2 apt for a yr. What am I missing below...

 

2/2 rented apartment ..$1800 + $300 for utilities

a free and clear car... $100 a month gas, $100 insurance a month plus upkeep $50 a month

 

VS

 

Buy a 40K dollar RV cash and budget $3000 dollar a month budget for all expenses {food, gas, entertainment, Etc.} Will have a used Motorcycle 600cc we plan to take along for side trips and local errands

 

The big unknown for us is unexpected breakdown costs and maintenance and depreciation of the RV after 1 yr. We plan to sell it after. I plan to buy the best Winny, Bounder, or Tiffin I can find around $40K. I figure 1 yr depreciation on the RV to be around 15% when I go to sell it the following year. What am I missing and what are my miscalculations

 

Thanks in advance!

 

 

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Your decision depends on do you want to stay in an apartment or do you want to travel and see things?

 

RVing is not cheap and yes, you have to plan for the unexpected. No one can tell you what is the best for YOU. You've done the numbers and only you know if it's worth it to you or not.

 

It's a big decision, for sure.

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I think a one year repairs estimate is hard to make. Just one major breakdown can run into a great deal of money, but over the course of just one year, there's a good chance that there will be no major problems at all.

 

We use our Thousand Trails Membership as much as possible, also our America the Beautiful Pass and Passport America. However, we don't boondock at all. Our camping costs in 2015 averaged just over $400 a month.

 

You might find my blog budget related posts helpful: http://pastorscott.com/travel/tag/budget/

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Many people RV on far less than $3000 but many spend far more. If you do an internet search you find several people who list all their expenses RVing on a yearly basis. Several on this group will chime in. We full-timed on around $3000 a month and were very comfortable but if you like to eat out a lot at nice restaurants, enjoy going to many paid tourists places, want to stay at nice parks, etc., you could easily go over that. You will also save substantially if you stay for at least a week, or even a month at RV parks. You almost always get a better rate.

 

Also, just my opinion as many will disagree, if you dry camp 1/2 time you may find you end spend unexpected money on generators, solar systems, better water systems, etc. I think it would be tough for me to dry camp 1/2 time on the regular RV systems....unless you plan on dry camping for 2-3days, then hitting full service parks for 2-3 days. But that gets real old after two or three months.

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Thanks everyone for the quick replies. The $3000 will be for everyday living on the road.[ food , gas, parks, internet,etc.}Maybe stop and work for a month or two at a RV park in an area we like. We plan to boondock half the time, eat in mostly, we don't drink, spend most of the time in the West and have no debt. I plan to spend $40k and would travel almost anywhere for a good deal. When buying a 10 yr old RV, I would consider an extended warranty. Any thought on the warranty? or I could set aside another $300 a month for unexpected problems. Also, what would be a ballpark % depreciation on a decent 10 yr old RV like a Winny, Tiffin, or Bounder each yr? 10%, 20 % ??

PS. We would be first timers to the full time life but have rented a c class on a couple occasions. Not trying to save money on this adventure, just looking to get by on $3k a month, but we understand we will also lose a % when we sell. Who knows, maybe we'll get addicted and continue on after a year, We are in our 40's and all I need is an internet connection to work

Thanks again

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...My wife and I are trying to figure out the real costs and savings {or losses} of a 1 yr full time...roam the country, mainly out West. We are using a budget of $3000 a month. We plan to stay in campgrounds using a couple different campground passes and boondock ..50% -50%...all I need is an internet connection to work...

If you are planning to actually travel a lot, campground fees and fuel costs can be two of the larger budget items. They are also controllable. The best campground/RV park rates are obtained by staying at least a month in each location. Probably not want you want to do very often if you are planning to visit very many places in one year. We do not generally do monthly stays. Over the past year and a half, the average cost of our 247 stays in developed campgrounds was $27.10/night ($813 for 30 days, $407/month if 50/50 boondocking). Costs ranged from $5 up. Our longest stay was a week.

 

How often and how fast of an internet connection you need for work may affect where you can go and where you can stay. I seem to have an uncanny ability to find areas with no or slow verizon data service. There are quite a few in Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. The dead zones are not always very large, but if they are where you want/have to camp, the size doesn't really matter. My old mifi would at least connect and let me do email with a 1X connection. My current smart phone does not like 1X and will often say that an internet connection is not available. How fast a connection you need may also affect whether campground WIFI is usable for you. Folks like Technomadia can provide a lot of information and help with getting and staying connected while RVing.

 

Good luck with making your adventure come true!

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You are likely going to spend $200-300/month on connection technology to ensure that you can reasonably access the Internet. There are not any "cheap" alternatives to that for a solid connection that will work in a wide variety of locations. And it could be a bit more. Plus some capital costs to get going. You might refer to the Technomadia "Mobile Internet Handbook" for technology options.

 

The $3000 a month in my opinion is plenty, once your capital expenses are covered. The biggest possible issue is a major breakdown, so you need a reserve.

 

The resale price of a 10 year old Class A is going to be about the same as you bought it for. It is mostly depreciated, and if you get a "fair" or "good" deal originally, it should sell for around the same price.

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Purchsasing a good quality used MH is a good thing. The keybus having it inspected by an independent person a and if its a DP take it to a diesel facility for trucks and have the entire chassis system ( engine, tranny etc) inspected

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You are likely going to spend $200-300/month on connection technology to ensure that you can reasonably access the Internet. There are not any "cheap" alternatives to that for a solid connection that will work in a wide variety of locations. ..........

I have had very good luck with my cellphone for connecting to the internet. Of course in some remote locations there are no connections of any type except for an expensive satellite connection. Anyone who is satisfied with 90% can get by cheaply. BTW, I also use PDAnet as a method for connecting my laptop using the cellphone connection. PDAnet is a simple app that avoids the high hotspot costs from the cell phone providers.

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You can buy a suitable travel trailer for a fraction of the cost of a Class A. Of course you need something big enough to pull a trailer but if you keep the size and weight down the cost of a tow vehicle should be reasonable.

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I have had very good luck with my cellphone for connecting to the internet. Of course in some remote locations there are no connections of any type except for an expensive satellite connection. Anyone who is satisfied with 90% can get by cheaply. BTW, I also use PDAnet as a method for connecting my laptop using the cellphone connection. PDAnet is a simple app that avoids the high hotspot costs from the cell phone providers.

For someone that is working and depending on the Internet to do that work, they are VERY likely going to chew through a significant amount of data. Thus my estimate of 200-300 a month. I'm around $250/month and only because I have double data. MOST of the people that I know that work from their RV are in the same range or more. There are some exceptions, of course. But the OP did say they needed the Internet for their work. So a reasonable "average" usage would be in the 200-300 range, IMO.

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For someone that is working and depending on the Internet to do that work, they are VERY likely going to chew through a significant amount of data.

 

And need a significant system. A mifi, booster and antenna are likely needed. Even with those you are dependent on cell tower location and demand. I have a friend who does transcription who had to turn down at least one contract because she could not guarantee a reliable, high-speed system as she traveled.

 

Linda Sand

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Where would you travel and what do you want to see? It's part of the cost with fuel - motorhome =7mpg maybe and tow car = ? It's part of the equation. Will you go somewhere and sit in one spot for a long time. We are usually on the move every few days to a week except during the winter months then we will slow down at times for a month in one place. Our 1 1/2 to 2 year adventure is now over 4 1/2 years long and still going. We don't plan to workcamp.

 

Jeff

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  • 1 month later...

Buying a used, high-end DP in that price range is quite reasonable. Yes, there can be some major expenses, but those can also occur with newer coaches. Anything that is over a year old is likely out of warranty, so whatever breaks is covered by the owner's bank account. The general advice is to keep about $10,000 in reserve for needed repairs/upgrades on any coach. Tires and batteries are the two major items that will age out, and they can be costly. The best deal is to find a coach with fairly new tires and batteries.

 

Winny and Bounder are entry-level brands and Tiffin is a mid-level one. Beaver, Bluebird, Foretravel, and Newell are among the high-end brands.

 

Some people can full-time on $2000/month, while others need $5000/month. Depends on your lifestyle. If you work-camp or volunteer you can save quite a bit on campground costs. If you have a DP you will burn a fair amount of fuel while traveling, but that is only a small part of your total fuel costs. You can tow a fuel-efficient vehicle for your running around. If you are parked for a month you won't burn any diesel in the MH. If you eat out a lot you will spend more than if you eat at home. If you are over 62 you can get a "geezer pass" that lets you camp for half price at most COE campgrounds.

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