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Old 08-27-2014, 10:14 AM
 
1,437 posts, read 726,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddstray View Post
LOL. You make it sound so delightfully easy ...

LOL...exactly....like navigating and driving the roads especially in a large RV/camper would be stress-free and without problems. It's bad enough trying to get around in a regular car.

Also, they are not a real bargain when you tally up the costs associated with them considering gas prices, utility hook up fee, waste removal fees, RV camp fees and maintenance/REPAIR costs if and when needed (and they WILL be needed).
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:37 AM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 885,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyram View Post
LOL...exactly....like navigating and driving the roads especially in a large RV/camper would be stress-free and without problems. It's bad enough trying to get around in a regular car.

Also, they are not a real bargain when you tally up the costs associated with them considering gas prices, utility hook up fee, waste removal fees, RV camp fees and maintenance/REPAIR costs if and when needed (and they WILL be needed).
Nothing's free, but compared to purchasing even an inexpensive home, or even renting, buying a used camper and boondocking or parking in a campground is much cheaper, and more flexible as well.

Maintenance is definitely the key with campers, but you can buy a nice pull-behind in good shape with plenty of room for 2 people very inexpensively. Where we are, you can get 5th wheels even more inexpensively and some people find them easier to manage.

As with anything, you need to have money set aside for those known and unexpected associated expenses. I don't think that makes it not doable.

It's a matter of how badly you want to do it. My parents have worked for 2 months as volunteers in a national park, shuttling vacationers around, to get "free housing" in the form of poorly heated shack, basically. And they loved it.

If you are on a low fixed income, yes it's going to require some effort but it's still possible to go south for the winter and have fun doing it, depending on what you like and what your skills are. I guess the difference between the people who are doing it and the people who aren't is probably attitude, and the willingness to think about what CAN be done, rather than how difficult it all might be. Everything is difficult in one way or another, but some things are worth it!
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:51 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 814,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyram View Post
LOL...exactly....like navigating and driving the roads especially in a large RV/camper would be stress-free and without problems. It's bad enough trying to get around in a regular car.

Also, they are not a real bargain when you tally up the costs associated with them considering gas prices, utility hook up fee, waste removal fees, RV camp fees and maintenance/REPAIR costs if and when needed (and they WILL be needed).
Navigating the roads with an RV is no more difficult than driving a car. Our motorhome was 32' and we pulled a vehicle 4-down on a tow bar. Considering bumpers, bars and hitches, our combined length was 53'. We purchased a Motor Carrier's Atlas and avoided secondary roads in cities with little or no difficulty. Yes...there are things that need to be considered, but driving an RV is not really that difficult and if there are worries, there are actually classes that teach those skills.

As far as costs go, you are correct that they add up. Gas/diesel prices are subject to the number of miles driven so if prices are out of control, you drive less and stay put. Utility hook-up fees have been increasing, but in the years we traveled, we only paid a fraction of the $125/mo electric/water fee we pay in a fixed residence. Waste removal fees and basic camping fees are generally included in the site rental fee, although some parks offer sites with minimal amenities for a reduced rate. Maintenance/repair costs can add up as well, but again, in the years we traveled, we never had to pay $5000 for a new roof or $4000 for a new furnace like we have spent on my fixed residence not to mention the property taxes.

And really...this is assuming a large motorhome for comparison purposes. Considering that we owned a small pop-up camper for years before we bought a full-sized RV, there are infinite, modestly priced options for anyone who is seriously interested in going the 'snow-bird' route.

Yes, costs for everything are going up, but it absolutely can be done on a fixed-income

RVcook
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Old 08-27-2014, 12:53 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 814,757 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanama View Post
...I guess the difference between the people who are doing it and the people who aren't is probably attitude, and the willingness to think about what CAN be done, rather than how difficult it all might be. Everything is difficult in one way or another, but some things are worth it!
^^^THIS!!!^^^ SO true!

RVcook
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:16 PM
 
Location: land of ahhhs
277 posts, read 298,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oddstray View Post
LOL. You make it sound so delightfully easy ...
I can tell he's never had an RV. Same money pit as a boat (not saying not worth it). It probably can be a cost effective solution, and one I'm considering--maybe with horses along.
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Old 08-27-2014, 01:37 PM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 885,255 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mastequila View Post
I can tell he's never had an RV. Same money pit as a boat (not saying not worth it). It probably can be a cost effective solution, and one I'm considering--maybe with horses along.
Horses...biggest money pit yet ! But I admit I haven't had a boat.
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:01 PM
 
1,437 posts, read 726,388 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVcook View Post
Navigating the roads with an RV is no more difficult than driving a car. Our motorhome was 32' and we pulled a vehicle 4-down on a tow bar. Considering bumpers, bars and hitches, our combined length was 53'. We purchased a Motor Carrier's Atlas and avoided secondary roads in cities with little or no difficulty. Yes...there are things that need to be considered, but driving an RV is not really that difficult and if there are worries, there are actually classes that teach those skills.
I wasn't talking about the driver's skill.....I was talking about dealing with the multitude of idiotic drivers that inhabit the roadways.

Granted, I see you give your location as the Mid West......I was talking about the NJ/NY/PA metro areas and highways, interstates and NJ's own NJ Parkway. Unless you've driven extensively in this area you wouldn't be able to grasp the vast amount of congestion and, worse, brainless styles of driving. Going from your area to this area is no doubt like another planet.

I'm talking about seeing someone cut across 3 or 4 lanes of highway traffic to get to an exit, women putting on make up while driving, people reading newspapers, etc. (and of course the texters & cell phone users). Some moron backing up on an interstate just asking to be plowed into when they could just drive a few extra minutes to the next exit to turn around or get where they're going.

How about motorcyclists on their "rice burners" driving between cars at a high rate of speed.....and when I say BETWEEN cars I mean BETWEEN cars that are already in their respective lanes.....these crazy a holes will fly by & squeeze literally IN BETWEEN vehicles already doing normal speeds and swerve in and out of lanes continuing on their way to a death wish.

And I'm no Sunday driver either....I travel at a speed consistent or higher than what the avg. motorist is doing and make safe passes/lane changes but the stuff I've seen from some of these drivers would boggle your mind.
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:07 PM
 
Location: land of ahhhs
277 posts, read 298,672 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanama View Post
Horses...biggest money pit yet ! But I admit I haven't had a boat.
No, but it sounds like you've had horses.
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:38 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 814,757 times
Reputation: 1197
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckyram View Post
I wasn't talking about the driver's skill.....I was talking about dealing with the multitude of idiotic drivers that inhabit the roadways...

And I'm no Sunday driver either....I travel at a speed consistent or higher than what the avg. motorist is doing and make safe passes/lane changes but the stuff I've seen from some of these drivers would boggle your mind.
You mean like the teenager driving a tiny Honda trying to merge with traffic from the on ramp going 75 who magically sees 53' of vehicle, guns it to merge ('cause he didn't want to be behind us because that would be HORRIBLE...lol) and then slams on his brakes as he tries to squeeze between our 53' and the pick-up in front of us? Yeah...been there. Or trying to move from the far left to the far right trying to make an exit across 6 lanes of rush-hour traffic in California where everyone wants to drive 85 but no one has the courtesy to allow that 53' to move into their lane? Yep...been there too. However, most of our traveling was reasonably pleasant and the situations I mentioned above were few and far between.

The things that you describe are out there everyday and anyone who is in a vehicle for all intents and purposes, takes their life into their own hands every time they get behind the wheel of their car, truck, van or RV. I would never tell someone to drive an RV that lacked the confidence and did not possess the skills to do so. But to suggest that people shouldn't drive an RV because there are kooks on the road would have even the most competent and defensive driver staying home because those same kooks are out there e-v-e-r-y-d-a-y.

That said, I can not disagree with your description of east cost highways and conveniently, we were able to avoid them for the very reasons you stated. There is lots of open country in the midwest, south, southwest and west coast. If a person can plan their route well, they can easily avoid the majority of what you described. Unless by accident (which does happen btw), I doubt that anyone would willingly put themselves in a situation like that...would they?

RVcook
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:03 PM
 
Location: St. George, Utah
756 posts, read 885,255 times
Reputation: 1971
On the whole I find east coast drivers as good or better than anywhere else--at least they know how to merge (on the whole). There are the idiot drivers you've described everywhere--there's just more of all kinds there! The worst, scariest, stupidest, riskiest driving I've ever seen was in SoCal.

That said, yes I do think driving an RV or towing a camper in that setting would be unpleasant, and I'd want to A) Know what I was doing, and B) get out of that area and into my "snowbird" territory as quickly as possible.

In any case, people do it all the time and it can be done. If that's what a person needs to do to get where they want to be, I don't see it as a deal breaker, but you are right to point out there are some challenges to think through before one blithely heads onto Craigslist to buy a diesel pusher.
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