Author Topic: "Camping" With the Jones'  (Read 14563 times)

Grant Q

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"Camping" With the Jones'
« on: July 13, 2014, 12:25:16 AM »
I came home from work last night and my neighbor had a large, tandem axle camping trailer in his driveway, and he was out cleaning the windows on it.  I had never seen it before and I went over and asked him if he'd bought a new toy, and he said that he'd had it for a few years, he keeps it in storage and uses it once a year to go to a city 180 miles from our house the last week in July.  I had never been in one of these things before so he gave me a tour of the whole thing...a part of it slides out and makes a whole living room, with a flatscreen TV with built-in surround sound (Bose speakers), it has a master bedroom with a queen size bed and even a 2nd story loft with an oak staircase going up to it (only about 3 feet of clearance up there, but still), it has a real bathroom with a shower and bathtub!  It was unbelievable.  He pulls this thing with a new four-door Chevy diesel pickup truck that he once told me cost more than $70k.

I told him that we liked the little pop-up campers because you can get one that has air conditioning (sorry, I'm not badass enough to sleep in a tent in July in Texas, but we would still like to go camping all year), and you can pull it behind my hatchback, used on Craigslist for about $3k.  And maybe we'll buy one once FI is achieved.  He said, "Yeah, we were looking at those too, but we got such an awesome deal on this one that we couldn't pass it down.  It was only $18k!"  Holy shit!!!!  18 grand, for one week a year, and then pay to store it the rest of the year.  I bet it costs $100 a month just to store it.  The whole time I was getting the tour, I was daydreaming about punching him in the face, but at the end I just hopped out and said, "That's pretty cool, see ya."  Oh. My. God.

Snow White

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2014, 01:55:54 PM »
It IS incredible how much some people will spend on "toys"! Our neighbor has one of the huge RVs too complete with "slide outs". I think he told my husband that it was over 30 feet long but I may have that wrong as it doesn't seem possible.  Anyway...they do the same thing...store it for 50 weeks of the year but then take it to a nearby lake for two weeks every year.  They park it in front of their house a week before vacation to get it ready and then spent days cleaning it after they return.  It seems like way too much work and definitely too much money for my taste.  It too requires an oversized pickup truck to pull it.

This same neighbor has a golf cart for his teenage daughter to cruise around the neighborhood in and we aren't a golf course community so that really is the only thing it is used for.  He and his wife drive late model luxury cars too and they have a couple of all-terrain vehicles in the garage that I have never see out of the garage.  Maybe he makes so much money that he can afford to piss it away but it makes zero sense to me.

CWAL

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2014, 03:23:43 PM »
If they just lived in it year round, 18k would be a pretty badass price to cover your living arrangements. ;)

Russ

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2014, 05:38:36 PM »
*glamping*

pipercat

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 06:58:42 PM »
When we were kids, my family only vacationed in campers.  This was because my parents didn't have much money.  Now I can't believe the money that people spend camping!  For me, it would really be better to spend that kind of money staying in a hotel.  At least then I wouldn't have to pay for storage, cook my own meals, make my own beds, etc.

I'm not sure I would call that camping!

MMMdude

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 07:28:46 PM »
I live in Alberta and from what i've read this is the RV capital of North America.  Lots of money up here and lots of lakes to go camping at.  The few people I know who are into this spend inordinate amounts of $ on it.  Like you say, you need a truck powerful to tow one of these things and that isn't cheap, then when not in use, you have to store it and weather proof it.  Just one massive headache.  Co-worker has one that is a fifth wheel and the biggest one available.  When I ask how their camping weekend went (which they only do about 4 times per year) they say it was great and they were able to finish entire seasons of their favorite show....so let me get this right...you are paying nearly 100k after factoring in truck and trailer costs to go see movies???

clarkfan1979

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 07:32:44 PM »
I wouldn't fault them for the total cost, but the cost per trip. Once a year seems like a waste. I know of a family with a similar total cost but they probably use their 5th wheel nine times a year. They are also planning on retiring within 5 years and camping across the country for at least 3 months out of the year.

seanc0x0

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2014, 08:59:53 AM »
I've thought about giving up a permanent base to buy a motorhome in retirement. It seems a decent way to move about without the hassle, and can be relatively inexpensive if done right. 

What I don't understand is buying them then using them to go camping once or twice a summer. That's an awful lot of capital invested in a depreciating asset, not to mention storage, maintenance, and truck ownership requirements. It's pretty easy to rent a self-propelled one if you really want to, though I'd rather wake up in the morning to the fresh air and birds chirping through the walls of my tent.

No Name Guy

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2014, 01:28:28 PM »
Sorry, but using a towed or driven vehicle is not "camping".  It's moving into the woods.

And Holy Sh*t Batman, what crappy economics - buying an 18k trailer for one week a year, AND paying for storage.  Goes to show how innumerate a large fraction of the population is.  A quick search indicates a place in Austin Texas that rents trailers for between $103-$140 / day. 

Running the numbers:
Rent:  $721 to $980 for 7 days (plus any sales tax, cleaning fees, etc) - end all, be all cost of renting.

Buy:  Assume money borrowed at 5% per year (my CU is currently listing rates for RV's at 4-18%), $18,000 borrowed (since most schmucks don't have the cash to put anything down) and a 10 year term.  The PMT function in Excel say's it's $190.92 / month, or $2,291.02 / year, before storage charges, registration / license fees and taxes, paying for maintenance and paying the depreciation costs, etc, etc, etc.

MicroRN

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2014, 02:43:48 PM »
If we had a vehicle that could tow it, I'd probably look for a pop-up tent trailer.  I see them used for cheap all the time. I love camping and my husband doesn't, so that would give us a decent compromise.  He'd be more comfortable with a bed, but with the tent trailers you don't feel like you're in a hotel room.  On the other hand, we could also rent one locally for less than $500 for a week, so if we only expected to use it 1-2 times a year, we'd just rent. 

Some of the RVs are just incredible though.  I had a co-worker who had one of the bus-size ones with recliners, king bed in a loft, multiple slide-outs, gorgeous kitchen, flat screen TV.  In fairness to her, that was her house.  She's a nurse who does 13 week travel assignments all over the US, and that way she could move seamlessly and not worry about finding housing that allowed her cats, or have to pack all her gear every few months.  I can understand it if it's your house, I don't get it for "camping,"  because that is not camping. 

Forcus

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2014, 10:51:47 AM »
I love RV's and "camping" (I'll be honest... I am done with sleeping on the ground) but the #'s seldom work out. The truck, the storage, depreciation. I think a lot of people buy new ones because of the financing (some of them can be financed for 10 years) but then immediately are upside down so all they can do is store it and use it once in awhile (they don't have the money left over to pay for the gas to actually go camping?). I'm still trying to convince the wife to try a tent camper or teardrop camper with A/C but she hasn't bit yet. I might end up building my own so that it has all the trappings of modern life but still a compact package.

ketchup

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2014, 11:02:30 AM »
Last night, I dropped my girlfriend's brother and his friend off next to the forest a few miles from home with a tent, a borrowed frying pan, and a bag of supplies.  They'll be back when they feel like it.  That's real camping.

MgoSam

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2014, 11:40:42 AM »
Last night, I dropped my girlfriend's brother and his friend off next to the forest a few miles from home with a tent, a borrowed frying pan, and a bag of supplies.  They'll be back when they feel like it.  That's real camping.

I'm lukewarm on camping, but yeah that is what it should be. The only thing I've done is drive to a campsite and pitch a tent with some friends, would love to have a true camping experience.

Daniel

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2014, 12:53:53 PM »

sheepstache

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2014, 02:48:33 PM »
Reminds me of that scene from Spaceballs.

"What is this?  I said take only what you need to survive."
"That is my industrial strength hairdryer.  AND I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT IT."

MgoSam

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #15 on: July 15, 2014, 03:03:30 PM »

MgoSam

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #16 on: July 15, 2014, 03:04:16 PM »

Richard3

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #17 on: July 15, 2014, 04:05:42 PM »
Yeah, for 18k I'd buy it from him and get rid of my house. It sounds niiice.

I am debating living in a trailer / motorhome next year actually, although my rent is pretty cheap. Will have t do some investigating.

RetiredAt63

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2014, 02:23:41 PM »
They left out canoe camping - you can take whatever the canoe will hold, but you have to paddle and portage it all, so there is an incentive to keep things down.

My DD went canoe camping last weekend - no tent, they all slept in hammocks, and she said it was so much more comfortable.  It rained one night and they were fine.  I remember sleeping on a blue foam pad and that was not comfortable at all, but it was light! Ah, the memories, 4 day canoe trip with students and storms and high winds on the lake, fun.

I'll just leave this here: http://semi-rad.com/2014/04/the-hierarchy-of-camping/

Lol, hadn't seen that before.

dandarc

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2014, 04:02:10 PM »
The numbers make this sound like a time-share.

4alpacas

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #20 on: July 16, 2014, 04:23:55 PM »
Reminds me of this

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2009/08/14/128-camping/
My favorite quote, "In theory camping should be a very inexpensive activity since you are literally sleeping on the ground. But as with everything in white culture, the more simple it appears the more expensive it actually is."

CanuckExpat

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #21 on: July 16, 2014, 06:09:58 PM »
I told him that we liked the little pop-up campers because you can get one that has air conditioning (sorry, I'm not badass enough to sleep in a tent in July in Texas, but we would still like to go camping all year), and you can pull it behind my hatchback, used on Craigslist for about $3k.  And maybe we'll buy one once FI is achieved.

So this got me kind of curious, do you have an example of a pop-up camper that would attach to a 1 1/4 hitch receiver (this is class I if I recall correctly) and be able to be towed by an economy car?

shadowmoss

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2014, 11:33:46 AM »
http://www.livinlite.com/camplite-overview.php
Not for economy cars, but even my wimpy Jeep Wrangler will tow it.

http://www.golittleguy.com/
Basically a hardside tent on wheels.

Angie55

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2014, 11:39:09 AM »
Teardrop campers! I built mine and love it. I haven't weighed it yet but my initial build estimate put it between 700-800lbs so easily towable. Supposedly you can tow them with just about any car and several tow with Mini Coopers, small Kia's, etc. I didn't want the liability in case I was in an accident towing it with a car with 0 tow rating.

They have commercially available ones but they are absurdley expensive to just not sleep on the ground. At least in Colorado there are several used ones on Craigslist all the time.


golden1

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2014, 11:45:59 AM »
Maybe it's me, but if you need to have something the size of small cabin to comfortably camp in, doesn't it make more sense to rent a small cabin in the areas you want to camp in instead of lugging a big heavy camper with an oversized car? 


Goldielocks

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #25 on: July 30, 2014, 10:44:18 AM »
Maybe it's me, but if you need to have something the size of small cabin to comfortably camp in, doesn't it make more sense to rent a small cabin in the areas you want to camp in instead of lugging a big heavy camper with an oversized car?

Yep, just you. Camping is about seeing new places for us. Each year we drive 6-18 hrs away to. Ew area to explore.   There are no cabin rentals in many of these areas , or cost a lot more than camping. Good choice for first timers, but a $2000 trailer can be worth it over10 yrs.

paddedhat

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2014, 08:09:17 AM »
Sorry, but using a towed or driven vehicle is not "camping".  It's moving into the woods.



This whole concept of "look at my idiot neighbor with the RV" gets a lot of air time here on MMM. As a serious RVer, and  early retiree with a serious pile of coin under the mattress (well actual parked at Vanguard) I'll argue the other side of the story.

#1 The whole idea of RVing is to tour, explore and enjoy yourself. If you need to dismiss it because it doesn't meet the definition of backpacking into the woods, and sleeping in a 15 sq. ft. tent, that fine. One has nothing to do with the other, however.
 
#2  I could give a rat's butt hair how much anybody "saves" by staying at a Motel Six. I often arrive at a campground and spend the evening enjoying a home cooked meal, a great walk in nature, and a few glasses of wine at the fire, before I head to bed. I'm sure the $49 room on the edge of the interstate, with trucks idling in the lot, sketchy folks in the hall, and the smell of mold in the bathroom is just lovely, but not quite the same.

#3 Yes there are LOTS of morons that end up with mortgages for their new, and horrifically depreciating RVs and tow vehicles. OTOH, next week we pick up a seven year old motorhome that is in extraordinary shape, and was used very lightly. It will cost us less than half of the new owner's original investment, or roughly a third of the window sticker on a similar 2015 model. Obviously it's a cash deal, since only fools borrow money on these things. In our second decade of owning RVs, I can safely say that our annual cost of ownership is typically FAR less that what our neighbors spent with family trips to Disney, stupidly expensive beach house rentals, cruises or other options. RV ownership can be pretty reasonable once you learn to find that sweet spot where a unit has suffered most of it's depreciation, but is still in reasonable condition, and easy to resell. I bought two trailers over the years that cost $11-12K and sold them 3-4 years later for $8K.  Given the use they got, I couldn't of rented an basic cabin at a state park and came out ahead. By the time our children headed off for college they had been all over North America. One of my daughter's American History teachers found it to be quite entertaining to try to find places covered in his curriculum that she had not been to. There weren't many. I would rather see this set of experiences in their past, than 18 consecutive summers spent with a week at the beach or at Disney. 

#4 We spent last winter on the Gulf Coast. Toes in the sand, drink in hand, waiting for the dirt cheap, local seafood to finish cooking. This was at a luxury resort, and cost about $12/day on a monthly plan. Next it's off to Maine, then the Black Hills and the Rockies for early fall. Winter again along the Gulf, and by late spring the rig is pointer toward Alaska for the summer.  This all happens on roughly a third of our available "post-retirement income" and is far from an expensive way to enjoy life.

To each his own. Don't forget however, that that "idiot next door neighbor with the RV" might have a lot more going on than you ever imagined, and be enjoying life a hell of a lot more than you are.

GrayGhost

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2014, 11:01:00 AM »
There was a recent thread on Reddit about a few Australians who went to Canada and, while working and without having ever taken on a project like this before, converted a decommissioned school bus into a camper.

Obviously $10k-$15k is quite a lot of money, but when you consider the knowledge and experienced gained, the laughs and fun had, and that you now have your own camper that you can take pretty much anywhere for any amount of time, that's not a bad deal at all. If you decide to live in it, you're even better off.

Travis

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2014, 05:13:28 AM »
If they just lived in it year round, 18k would be a pretty badass price to cover your living arrangements. ;)

One of my fellow officers is doing this.  He's single and as far as I can tell is planning to stay that way.  He owns a massive pickup truck (Dodge family, diesel engine and the kind with four rear tires) and some species of camper/5th wheel.  Since the Army moves us around every 2-4 years he just packs up and moves to an RV park near the base.  I'm sure he spends quite a bit on fuel and commute time, but our housing allowance more than covers the cost of the RV park utilities and by now the truck and camper are paid off so he's pocketing quite a bit of it.  I don't know if after the Army he's going to settle down in a regular home or keep the camper, but for now he likes his living arrangements.

GrayGhost

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2014, 07:32:13 AM »
That certainly makes moving a lot easier!

I had considered living out of a camper, but I'd prefer to buy a fixer upper and fix it up, and sell it at a profit.

Matte

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2014, 06:16:55 AM »
Its a pretty wide brush to paint all rv owners as wasteful. IMO it has a lot to do with how you manage it.  My travel trailer is an 04, 18' and was 5k on craigs.  For the places we can go (bc and pnw) at 20 to free per night its hard to beat.  Used trailers can be a bargain, but are work.... I think its about 10 years till it needs caulking, tires, all those goodies. Beats paying 30k of depreciation any day, even if you hired the work out. The whole needing a 3/4 or 1 ton diesel is a bit of crap... Even half tons tow 7-9000lbs and get 20+ mpg and cost about 1/3 their bigger brothers at any age and price range.  I can deal with 9mpg towing and not being able to make it up hills at 90mph. 

Typed in a comfy rv bed steps from the lake :)

Scandium

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #31 on: August 05, 2014, 07:32:23 AM »

http://www.golittleguy.com/
Basically a hardside tent on wheels.
Those are cool! 10k is a bit much, but maybe if I find a used one. Now I just need a way to add a hitch to my car..

odput

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #32 on: August 05, 2014, 07:36:41 AM »
Its a pretty wide brush to paint all rv owners as wasteful. IMO it has a lot to do with how you manage it.  My travel trailer is an 04, 18' and was 5k on craigs.  For the places we can go (bc and pnw) at 20 to free per night its hard to beat.  Used trailers can be a bargain, but are work.... I think its about 10 years till it needs caulking, tires, all those goodies. Beats paying 30k of depreciation any day, even if you hired the work out. The whole needing a 3/4 or 1 ton diesel is a bit of crap... Even half tons tow 7-9000lbs and get 20+ mpg and cost about 1/3 their bigger brothers at any age and price range.  I can deal with 9mpg towing and not being able to make it up hills at 90mph. 

Typed in a comfy rv bed steps from the lake :)

These kinds of posts keep coming up in this section, and I think its time for another reminder...this is "The Anti-Mustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy."

Of course there are economical ways to do RVing, as there are with many typically anitmustachian hobbies.  Anyone on these forums that partakes is probably an exception.  But here, we deal primarily with the "rule", not the exception.  And the "rule" (i.e. vast majority of people who do it) here is that it is financed new and used sparingly.  Which is of course ridiculous and wasteful.  This is NOT an attack of economical RVing, but still deserves to be mocked with healthy facepunches issued where necessary.

Enjoy the lake...I'm sure it is much nicer than my cubicle view ;-)

No Name Guy

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2014, 01:26:32 PM »
Matt and Padded

Uh, I'm not saying that RVing per se is a waste, just that the OP's story of a used 1 week a year, bought new 18k trailer that must be stored at a paid off site location is a waste.  The cheaper way for the OP's story person is clearly to have rented, not bought.

And RVing is not (backpack) camping - they're totally different activities - one involves a wheeled vehicle with accommodations and accoutrements that are not too far off from what is in a home / apartment, the other involves what one can carry on their back (and yes, I'm skipping over "car camping" which is yet another distinctive activity, somewhere in between the other two).  And each activity (RVing or camping / backpacking or car camping) can be done in a cost effective manner, or be done in an absolutely wasteful manner, such as the OP's story relates.


greaper007

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #34 on: August 15, 2014, 11:04:33 PM »
Teardrop campers! I built mine and love it. I haven't weighed it yet but my initial build estimate put it between 700-800lbs so easily towable. Supposedly you can tow them with just about any car and several tow with Mini Coopers, small Kia's, etc. I didn't want the liability in case I was in an accident towing it with a car with 0 tow rating.

They have commercially available ones but they are absurdley expensive to just not sleep on the ground. At least in Colorado there are several used ones on Craigslist all the time.

Teardrops are great, but they only fit 2 people without getting into custom chassis or wild configurations.    The only reason I want to get a teardrop/pop up is because my wife and kids can't handle cold Colorado nights.

If it was just me camping I'd stick to ultralight backpacking.

Alex321

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2014, 05:57:55 AM »
This is the first thread I've read on the Forum, and I enjoyed it. I agree with the OP, and I agree with those who pointed out that camping in RVs can be cost-effective.

We bought a used Livin Lite Quicksilver 10 popup a couple years ago. It's only about 1,000 lbs unloaded, so it's very easily towed by our Odyssey, which is rated for 3500 lbs towing.

In my mind, I have a running tally about approximately how many more nights I need to use it before it becomes cheaper than renting campground cabins, and I'm not there yet. But, either way, it's been fun and it's a slightly more memorable experience for my children owning our little camper, packing it, towing it, setting up, that sort of thing. We can keep it in our yard; if I had to pay for storage, I probably wouldn't do it.

Rollin

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2014, 07:32:05 AM »
Sorry, but using a towed or driven vehicle is not "camping".  It's moving into the woods.

To each his own. Don't forget however, that that "idiot next door neighbor with the RV" might have a lot more going on than you ever imagined, and be enjoying life a hell of a lot more than you are.

Aren't these two statements contradictory?

Either way, you win!

Just don't turn your generator on in the campground next to the tenters.  From your perspective of "enjoying the hell out of life" I can see that they would be envious.  However, from their perspective I'm sure it would be a different conclusion.

paddedhat

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2014, 03:49:59 PM »
Sorry, but using a towed or driven vehicle is not "camping".  It's moving into the woods.

To each his own. Don't forget however, that that "idiot next door neighbor with the RV" might have a lot more going on than you ever imagined, and be enjoying life a hell of a lot more than you are.

Aren't these two statements contradictory?

Either way, you win!

Just don't turn your generator on in the campground next to the tenters.  From your perspective of "enjoying the hell out of life" I can see that they would be envious.  However, from their perspective I'm sure it would be a different conclusion.

Ah, generators, the only thing that I have even seen that has caused a face to face, about to turn into a brawl confrontation, while pursuing the gentle art of camping. My take on it is that 95% of us do just fine with them and respect others. The other 5% can be total A-holes. Basically, I do not ever run one in a campground for any reason. But, I have seen everything from an idiot breaking the stunning silence of a moonlit night in the South Dakota badlands with a roaring construction genie, to a pair of older couples who set up in the dead center of a bowl shaped tenting campground and thought that they were going to run their generators 24/7 to keep their camper vans powered up. A small, angry mob of tenters made it clear that that was not going to happen. Bottom line is that I prefer to stay either so far away from anybody that it is a non-issue, or in a place where running them is specifically banned.

Bob W

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2014, 09:34:36 PM »
Campers only pencil out when you can sell them for more than you paid.  Two years ago we camped 45 days.  Over 100 for 10 of those.  All the rv people never came out, stayed in the ac watching TV while we swam in the cool lake.  Oh I forgot to mention I was a finance manager at an Rev dealer just prior to that. 

Rollin

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2014, 06:28:52 AM »
Sorry, but using a towed or driven vehicle is not "camping".  It's moving into the woods.

To each his own. Don't forget however, that that "idiot next door neighbor with the RV" might have a lot more going on than you ever imagined, and be enjoying life a hell of a lot more than you are.

Aren't these two statements contradictory?

Either way, you win!

Just don't turn your generator on in the campground next to the tenters.  From your perspective of "enjoying the hell out of life" I can see that they would be envious.  However, from their perspective I'm sure it would be a different conclusion.

Ah, generators, the only thing that I have even seen that has caused a face to face, about to turn into a brawl confrontation, while pursuing the gentle art of camping. My take on it is that 95% of us do just fine with them and respect others. The other 5% can be total A-holes. Basically, I do not ever run one in a campground for any reason. But, I have seen everything from an idiot breaking the stunning silence of a moonlit night in the South Dakota badlands with a roaring construction genie, to a pair of older couples who set up in the dead center of a bowl shaped tenting campground and thought that they were going to run their generators 24/7 to keep their camper vans powered up. A small, angry mob of tenters made it clear that that was not going to happen. Bottom line is that I prefer to stay either so far away from anybody that it is a non-issue, or in a place where running them is specifically banned.

Awesome awareness!  Thank you!

paddedhat

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2014, 06:43:59 AM »
Campers only pencil out when you can sell them for more than you paid.

Strongly disagree on this one. We started doing serious vacations to distant national parks many years ago, and did so the traditional way. That being, motels, three meals at restaurants, and even renting a bigger car, since we didn't have enough room for our young family in our own car. Three years in, we bought a used pop-up camper for $2500 and hit the road. We stayed at national and state parks, cooked for ourselves for the most part, and had a great time. By the end of the trip we had discovered that we were camping for less than half the cost of the motel/restaurant method, and enjoying the trips a lot more. After two years, and 70-80 nights of use, we traded that camper in for $1800.

As for selling them for more than you paid, it's possible but unlikely. I did it once where I got an exceptional price on a new one and flipped it, two years later, for $100 more than I paid. Generally if I hear stories of making a profit on a unit, there is usually a heck of a lot of sweat equity that never gets mentioned. As in, " we paid $5K and sold it for $7K" but the hundreds of hours of renovations and thousands in parts costs are left out of the story.

As I said previously, there is a sweet spot, particularly with towable units, when they can be bought used and a few years old, then sold in 2-3 years with very little in maintenance or repair. It takes a bit of savvy to do so, and it typically isn't going to happen at a dealer, but it is something that I have done repeatedly.


 Oh I forgot to mention I was a finance manager at an Rev dealer just prior to that.

You must have some amazing anti-mustachian stories?  I'm always amused when I sit down with these guys. I never have financed a dime for an RV, but typically they end up doing the title and registration work, so I get stuck in their offices on occasion. My favorite are the ones that fake a great look of concern when you are dangerously opting to decline their obscenely overpriced, and often worthless, extended warranties. The last two deals I did involved walking away with an RV and a check, which really blows their minds. I wonder what the industry would look like if everybody engaged in financially responsible behavior, and there was no need for F&I guys conning folks into $599/month mortgages on depreciating crappy RVs, as they carefully downplay the fact that the loan is for 120/180 or even 240 months, and that they will be horrifically upside down for at least 70-80% of the duration?

Tallgirl1204

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Re: "Camping" With the Jones'
« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2014, 12:50:27 PM »
Shortly before I discovered this blog, my family spent an inordinate amount of money on a 4wd pickup truck and slide-in camper-- we could afford it, in terms of debt etc., and we paid cash, but nonetheless...  I have been tracking the cost-per-night ever since I found this blog, and thinking about the pluses and minuses of this extravagence, compared to our previous tent-bound state.

Minuses: 
1.  the ridiculous never-to-be-recouped capital expense that is now depreciating forever.  Cost-per-night be damned, it will be 10 years before we reduce the per-night cost of these two items down to anything within reason.   
2.  the truck gets about exactly half the gas mileage our previous camping vehicle did.
3.  Given how and where we drive it (a lot of dirt roads), I expect the life of the truck to be shortened.  We expect 20 years out of our vehicles, but time will tell. 
4.  As a person of a certain age, I am a little scared every time I climb in and out of the camper-- it is an awkward move to make. 

Plusses:
1.  We can camp anywhere that we can park on a relatively level surface, including places that are quite unsuitable for tents (i.e., rocky ground).  Living in the west, this means that we use a good road map and look for forest service and other "camping at large" areas.  In national parks like Death Valley, we can camp anywhere as long as it's several miles (the rules vary) off the pavement.  We are spoiled by the big skies and silent nights that we can usually arrange.   
2.  We camped more than 50 nights in 2013, and are on our way to the same in 2014.  If we continue this use trend, I feel better.  Mostly. 
3.  It is MUCH faster to "camp on" at night compared to putting up a tent and making meals outdoors.  (I will say that the morning break-down seems to be slower than I'd hoped.  Not sure why.)
4.  We rarely seek a "break" at a hotel, which seemed to be a regular thing when we were car-camping it.
5.  We rarely eat out, again a regular temptation when we were car-camping. 
6.  We're sleeping on a queen-sized real bed.  Again, as a person of a certain age, I appreciate this comfort. 
7.  We can camp in grizzly country without wakeful concern at every noise.  I know a little too much about bears, and even though the risk is extremely low, it's a high-consequence danger that I am happy to relax about.   

Neutral considerations:
1.  It seems to take the same amount of time to set up the camper and clean it out after a trip, as it did to prep and breakdown our old camping gear. 
2.  We can make "real meals" pretty easily-- this is a good thing because it keeps us healthy and happy and away from restaurants, but can also be a bad thing in that it takes a lot of time which could be spent hiking or other recreation--
3.  We can't really haul any more stuff than we could in the car-- the camper only creates a living space, it doesn't add storage.  This is actually more positive than not-- we're cutting back as we understand the "how" more and more. 
4.  The new truck replaced a 20-year-old pickup-- we thought.  In reality, we're still driving the old beater truck in town (when I'm not riding my bike, that is.)

At any rate, there's my 25 cents worth.  I think we wasted the money, but yet...   it was money well spent. 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2014, 05:59:41 PM by Tallgirl1204 »