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Caiyenne

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Hi all. I recently joined Escapers/Escapees Club. I'm interested in exploring the full time RV lifestyle. I have been reading about this for a couple of months now and now I'm ready to make some concrete plans and move forward. I do not yet own an RV. My budget will be about 60K for new or used model. I'm leaning toward a Class C because I do not like driving HUGE vehicles and do not want to tow anything. I live in the Philadelphia area and I will not be able to travel much except weekends and vacation times because I am working full time.

 

This week there is a huge RV show event in Hersey PA that I plan to attend. This will give me the opportunity to see first hand many different RV makes and models.

 

i welcome any advice you guys can give me as a newbie just started out! I'm particularly interested in hearing from any of you that have experience full timing in the Northeast area of the country.Thanks!

 

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This week there is a huge RV show event in Hersey PA that I plan to attend. This will give me the opportunity to see first hand many different RV makes and models.

 

Attend an early day, the sales people aren't worn out and packing up to leave yet. Beware of the new unit depreciation factor. I think I read 5 years old depreciates half, 10 years old more than 2/3s.

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Welcome to the Escapee forums! We will do our best to help and support you in any way that we may be able.

 

Very few RVs make very good homes in cold winters and the class C is particularly true in this issue. Very often there is plumbing that is exposed to the winter cold and most class C RVs do not have their waste tanks in heated locations. In addition, there are probably very few RV parks in that area that stay open all winter. I suggest that you think very carefully before you begin this venture. Living in an RV in the cold of winter takes a lot of planning and preparation. It can be done, but it probably won't be much fun.

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Thanks for the advice guys!

 

Sculptor57 - I plan to attend on Friday and the show runs through Sunday I believe so hopefully they wont be too worn out when I get there. You are right about depreciation being a real problem. I really hope to find a used RV that has already taken the hit. Unless there are VERY COMPELLING new features on the current year models, I see no reason to buy new.

 

Kirk - Very sage advice. The weather was my #1 concern when I first considered getting the RV and still is! I didn't even think it was possible to do this in my area until found out about people who are doing it and how they are able to do it. So for this first winter, I will buy the unit that provides some of the needed features for winterization and/or make modifications to the unit to make this possible. I have budgeted for mods as well. I also plan to do a winter trial before I give up my brick and mortar residence to be sure it's a fit for me. Worse case scenario is that it totally sucks and I have to store the RV for the winter and just use it in the spring/summer/fall... until I retire or switch to my dream job that will let me travel!

 

As far as RV parks,I live in an outer suburb. This part of the county has five (year round) manufactured mobile home communities, two of which I confirmed rent RV lots. Also Identified a few RV parks in NJ and nearby PA counties that rent year round. Always good to have a few options.

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Again as Kirk stated it can be done but its not fun. If I were forced to live in an RV through a cold winter I think I would try to find a heated shop of some kind that I could park the MH in side and still live in it. There would be some air quality issues but they can be dealt with.

I would second that idea, but with the caveat that you use only electric heating sources inside the RV and for heating the water. Would not take long in an enclosed building for the c0to build up to dangerous levels inside a building with a propane furnace and gas water heater running. You may be able to get by using your gas range, but appropriate ventilation would be a must. I cannot imagine the rental cost of an enclosed heated building compared to average apartment or home rentals in the area. It will not be a "money saving " activity.

 

Rod

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A few things that will be very important to look for in an RV to spend a cold winter are things like dual pane windows with thermally broken window frames. (This helps to insulate and also to prevent excessive condensation.) Fully enclosed waste tanks and plumbing with a means of heating the space where tanks and plumbing are located. (With the Coachman in the picture it would be necessary to heat the space under the RV to prevent freezing.) As much insulation in walls and ceiling as you can possibly get and an insulated floor if at all possible.

 

You will also need some means of removing moisture from the air inside during cold weather as your living activities will contribute as much moisture to the air as in a stick house but with perhaps 20% as much air volume. If possible, 50A power cord and system to allow you to use at least one and perhaps two electric heaters to supplement the heat of the propane furnace. As you noted that propane tank in the picture above, that is a 100 gallon propane tank that was connected into the RV with additional gas lines that must be added later because an RV typically has less than 20 gallons of usable propane capacity and you can expect to use as much as 20 gallons of propane per week in very cold weather. The tank shown in the picture is usually rented from a propane supplier and the propane is delivered. At current prices, I would expect to spend at least $200/month for propane.

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