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Old 12-18-2009, 03:36 PM
 
674 posts, read 1,417,247 times
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Anyone out there traveling/living in a RV full time who visit this forum? I have read, that most RV'rs are just going someplace they want to see/visit, and setting up camp for a few months or more. They may find some work to put some money back in the bank or just ......what ever they want, if they don't need to work.

If you are doing this, what advice would you give to someone just getting into RV living?

If a person was going to do this with a travel trailer, what is the smallest size a person should go with. I've heard that too small a trailer can make a person feel cramped in.
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Old 12-18-2009, 03:53 PM
 
Location: TX and NM on the border of the Great Southwest.
11,767 posts, read 15,788,877 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msta999 View Post
Anyone out there traveling/living in a RV full time who visit this forum? I have read, that most RV'rs are just going someplace they want to see/visit, and setting up camp for a few months or more. They may find some work to put some money back in the bank or just ......what ever they want, if they don't need to work.

If you are doing this, what advice would you give to someone just getting into RV living?

If a person was going to do this with a travel trailer, what is the smallest size a person should go with. I've heard that too small a trailer can make a person feel cramped in.

Reminded me of one of my favorite old comedies The Long, Long Trailer:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxx4ijz3aig
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Old 12-19-2009, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,163 posts, read 16,510,896 times
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Maybe a mod can move this to the "Camping and RVing" sub-forum.

I've not RV'd full-time, but my wife and I plan to do just that within the next year or so, and I've talked to hundreds of full-time RVers. I've known those who use all sizes and types of RVs, from converted buses, to pickup campers, to travel trailers, to all sizes of motorhomes to large and small 5th-wheel campers.

By law RVs are limited to 400 sq ft. Those are the monsters of the RV world, and they get to that size by being 40 feet long and having multiple slide-outs. Compare that to the smallest efficiency apartments. Yeah, my wife and I would both go bonkers in a small RV after a few years. On the other hand, if it was me alone, I could get by just fine in a smaller unit -- one that would fit in most state and national park campgrounds, forest service campgrounds, etc.

Full-time RVers come in all varieties, but most are retirement age or close to it. Some have budgets of $100,000 per year and some get by on $20,000, but few can make it on much less than that. Insurance (health, RV and vehicle) is often the most expensive item on the budget, followed by camping fees, fuel and food. Many RVers volunteer 20 or so hours per week in exchange for a free parking spot at government owned campgrounds; others work at commercial campgrounds and earn enough to pay for their campsite plus other living expenses. They're called "Workampers", and their means of income is nearly as varied as those living in stick-built homes. Some follow the harvest, some sell on the road, some are professionals who work all over the country for a few weeks or months at a time.

I'd suggest you visit RV.net for starters. It's a large RVers site with lots of full-timers who would be happy to give you tips. Read over some of the threads before you jump in and start asking questions. You can learn a lot just by reading what's already posted.

Other than that, my best advice would be to actually try RVing if you haven't yet. Have a look at what's available at your local RV dealership, but buy an older unit for starters. It'll take awhile before you know what you want.

Those who do a lot of traveling usually prefer a Class A motorhome with a towed vehicle behind it, while those who travel less and spend more time at each campsite more often prefer 5th-wheel campers pulled by 1-ton or larger trucks. Whichever way you go, you'll want a high-quality rig. The less-expensive campers are made for weekend use and won't stand up well to being your only home.
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Old 12-19-2009, 05:44 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,095 posts, read 12,738,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post

Those who do a lot of traveling usually prefer a Class A motorhome with a towed vehicle behind it,
Mostly known as "The Toad".
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Alachua, FL
4 posts, read 44,387 times
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We just came off the road as fulltime RVers after more than 3.5 years and 27 states. We workcamped just about everywhere we stayed. We really enjoyed our travels. We stayed and worked on the edge of the Mojave (Yermo, CA), Greenport, Long Island, Pidgeon Forge, TN, Bar Harbor, ME, The Poconos of PA and more.

We own a 38+ foot diesel powered motorhome. My wife, myself and our 2 dogs were very comfortable. We knopw fulltimers who travel in travel trailers. They are just as comfortable. But, they do NOT own SMALL travel trailers. Unless your moving up from tent camping or maybe a small pop-up camper, I don't think a small trailer is a good choice.

You're going to need or accumulate a certain amount of "stuff." You'll need room for that. I would suggest that around 22' and bigger is what you might consider.

If money is an issue then search the Web by search terms such as "used RVs" used travel trailer" or even "used" motorhome. Most dealers, like my employer, have searchable inventory online. Visit RV shows and dealers and don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions.

Good luck!

Lew Mann
Moderator cut: advertising not permitted

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 12-29-2009 at 11:59 AM..
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:22 AM
 
2,890 posts, read 5,152,172 times
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Did it twice for over 2 years each run - while working a regular full-time white collar job. Of course - my coworkers thought we were a little strange! We lived at a KOA the first round with both dogs and cats, at an RV resort the second round with just cats. Loved it, loved it, loved it. You can live on a small budget because you don't buy stuff you don't need.

The advantage of an RV over a trailer is the amount of storage space. We had plenty of basement storage space. Our last one was a 38' RV. You can find good deals on ebay and the internet - but always get a thorough inspection. Make that a condition of sale.

My advice:
  • Go for it!
  • Invest in a nice set of folding patio furniture - that way you double your living space.
  • The east coast is more affordable than the west coast with regard to space rental.
  • Enjoy it. RVers are an odd and diverse bunch of people. People who wouldn't talk to you in their home neighborhoods will invite you over for a potluck. It's the wierdest thing ever. RVing is the great equalizer.
The only reason we stopped was because we couldn't miss a great deal on a house. I would full-time again in a heartbeat. Best of luck.
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:26 AM
 
29,988 posts, read 35,842,224 times
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Throughout the nation there are HUGE "rallys" of RVers. These gatherings cover acres and acres of land and have display tents from not only RV dealers but manufacturers and service providers of everything having to RVing. The attendees will vary from those who simply travel with their RV's to those who live in them full time.

I'd suggest you try to find these rallys and attend a few to get the real "inside scoop" on RVing as a way of life. Think about what happened 2 summers ago when diesel prices went sky high and ask yourself if you would be prepared to live in an RV if this happened again. Could you face $500-700 or higher per fill-up if we see an energy tax enacted?

What plans would you make for healthcare? Do you have enough saved to get out of the RV lifestyle if life circumstances required it or would you become nearly homeless "except of the RV) with no permanent place to park your home on wheels? RV's require a significant amount of maint.: do you have that bugeted? A new RV loses a significant amount of value one driven off the lot that you will never realize back in return: are you prepared for this?

Not trying to discourage you but I have family who made this choice several years ago and are now without any choices because they failed to ask themselves some serious questions and do enough research ahead of time. They cannot leave their RV because they cannot "trade-up" from it to a house. They cannot afford apartment rental but park for free in exchange for light work. Both are over 60 and are facing severe medical challenges for the rest of their lives.

Do your research carefully and thoughtfully. The romance of the road works better for some than for others. Should you choose to RV full time please have a back-up plan should it not work out as you expected.

Last edited by lifelongMOgal; 12-29-2009 at 10:59 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:47 AM
 
1,477 posts, read 4,736,564 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post

.

By law RVs are limited to 400 sq ft. .

That is not correct, many coaches have more then 400 sq feet of living space and many of the Marathon Coaches have over 500
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:04 PM
 
2,890 posts, read 5,152,172 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtandc View Post
That is not correct, many coaches have more then 400 sq feet of living space and many of the Marathon Coaches have over 500
The closed area may be limited - but slide-outs can significantly increase the sizes of the interiors.

I would rather have a smaller RV with many deep slides. I prefer a square over a shotgun layout.
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:10 PM
 
5,598 posts, read 16,997,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtandc View Post
That is not correct, many coaches have more then 400 sq feet of living space and many of the Marathon Coaches have over 500
I think she's actually correct in that the Feds (H.U.D.) set the limits on the maximum square footage of RVs with the recommendation from the RVIA. A few years ago, all RVs, including park models were limited to 400 square feet.

Motorhomes were recently raised to 500 and-something square feet. Didn't I read where the RVIA wants to suggest that 5th-wheels be raised to 500 sq. feet too?

Somebody correct me if I'm giving wrong info.
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