Author Topic: Home away from home?  (Read 5023 times)

ShavenLlama

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Home away from home?
« on: January 11, 2013, 02:51:00 PM »
So I'm on the Amtrak from the OC to Santa Barbara. Lovely views of some areas of LA county I've never known about before, but we keep passing lot after lot after lot of RV storage facilities.

We have a neighbor who just upgraded his 5th wheel to a friggen tour bus. His sits in a lot too, 11 months of the year. So I have to wonder, just how many people actually need to own one of these things? If I wanted to rent my neighbor's, I wonder if he would even consider it? I wonder if any of these people who own these thousands of motor homes would consider renting or loaning them out? Anything to recoup the enormous cost of ownership? Probably not.

I can only imagine the cost to store something like that, probably hundreds per year? Only to use it once or twice. Then the gas to go somewhere. Then the hassle of a campsite long enough to get your rig in.

I bought my hiking shoes and backpack about 8 years ago, my tent 5 years ago, and I'm good to go on any terrain. And all my stuff fits in my closet.

MrChanticleer

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Re: Home away from home?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2013, 04:08:46 PM »
I've wondered about this myself. I live in OC as well and I see a fair share of RVs.

There are a few "RV share" type businesses around here though.

Here one for example. (I've never used it, this is just from google)

http://www.sharemyrvrental.com/

strider3700

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Re: Home away from home?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2013, 08:40:36 PM »
my uncle had 1 big motorhome that would have been about $200,000 when he bought it.   He of course bought it after selling his house.  Him and my aunt spent two years driving around and seeing most of north america after they retired.   They then moved back to the same city rented a small place for a few years and my uncle sold the motorhome.  He later took a job selling motorhomes for a few years before deciding to hit the road again.  This time with a F450 and a giant fifth wheel.   They just recently bought a condo in town as they're getting too old to constantly travel and they want to be close to their daughter and their grandkids. 

I'm sure it was a pricey lifestyle  but it was probably the cheapest way they could spend close to 5 years of constantly travelling around the continent.

Karl

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Re: Home away from home?
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2013, 04:23:18 AM »
Ummm...I think I could rent a lot of motel rooms for $200,000.  Assuming $50 a night on average (no camping out, staying with friends, staying with family, or anything else I love to do when I travel), I think I could rent motel rooms for almost 11 years solid at the cost of such a motor home.  Clearly, this would not include food.  On the other hand, the difference in gas mileage between my car and a motor home might wipe out the food consideration.  I hope the people using these rigs have that much enjoyment out of them.

venkol

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Re: Home away from home?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 12:48:05 PM »
Ummm...I think I could rent a lot of motel rooms for $200,000.  Assuming $50 a night on average (no camping out, staying with friends, staying with family, or anything else I love to do when I travel), I think I could rent motel rooms for almost 11 years solid at the cost of such a motor home.  Clearly, this would not include food.  On the other hand, the difference in gas mileage between my car and a motor home might wipe out the food consideration.  I hope the people using these rigs have that much enjoyment out of them.

I would imagine RVs hold their value a lot better than your typical Sedan (imagine, i really have no idea) so I wouldn't use the 200K figure. 

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Home away from home?
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 03:45:15 AM »
I can only imagine the cost to store something like that, probably hundreds per year? Only to use it once or twice. Then the gas to go somewhere. Then the hassle of a campsite long enough to get your rig in.

As for the cost of storage, no idea.  When we had an RV, I just parked it next to our house.  That's one benefit to living in a rural area with no HOA...no stinkin' rules saying no RVs parked in the winter time, no snowmachines (or whatever) in summertime, etc.

We used ours though.  It probably paid for itself.  Wife did travel nursing.  Got a housing stipend, whatever we didn't use we got to keep (tax free).  It costs a whole lot less to stay at an rv park than it does to stay in a full-blown apartment (not to mention it's much easier to find a spot for an rv for a short-term stay).  Now, the gas (or rather, diesel) cost to drive it to Anchorage, AK was indeed pretty high, but the fact that we had free rent (camperhosts for the Anchorage school system) more than made up for it.

Sold it when we came to Australia, miss it.  We do the tent camping thing, and have twice slept in the back of our car (ford falcon station wagons are great for this; can almost fit a queen airbed in the back, which a family of four can just almost fit on).  But let me tell you, it really is nice to just drive drive drive until there's no light (and driving to Alaska in summer...well...that could mean past midnight), pulling over wherever you want (there's lots of spots to pull over for the night), flipping some switches (if you needed the generator running), and walking 20 feet to your bed.  Oh, and on our first outing (to Texas), when there was a freak snowstorm and the interstates were at a standstill...sure was nice to be "home" with our tv, fridge, bathroom, beds, and heaters.

ShavenLlama

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Re: Home away from home?
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2013, 11:26:40 AM »
That sounds awesome, Jose! I also love a good roadtrip.

For the record, since I was a teenager I've always had it in my head that when I retire I want to buy an RV and just drive around for a few years. My grandparents took 3 months every year in their RV traveling from CA to MO visiting family and usually took a different route home to make it interesting. THAT is what RVs are for.

I just think it's absurd the cash people throw at these things (and at the storage for them) and then hardly use them.

bo_knows

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Re: Home away from home?
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 11:37:55 AM »
This sounds like something from the Zeitgeist Movement or the Venus Project.  Their whole pitch is that there are so many resources out there that we do not need to own individually, and that we should just be able to "share" as a community.  Just think about how many things you own and how much they sit there in your house unused.  (Car, tools, even cooking stuff, etc).  If only we could use technology to effectively catalog and "pool" these resources... :)

paddedhat

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Re: Home away from home?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2013, 07:12:06 AM »
Interesting to see  comments for folks who have no experience with what is essentially a totally different lifestyle for many of us. Like all financial choices, it's what you make of it, and RVing can be stupid cheap, or a study in horrifically obnoxious, over the top extravagance. There are plenty of blogs out there from full time travelers out there who live quite comfortably on monthly budgets that would make any mustachian proud. I wonder how many of us would turn down the chance to live a very comfortable existance in a few locations on a yearly rotation, while enjoying beautiful weather, and little to no expenses for utilities, or rent, year round?  Winters in the desert southwest, free power from the onboard solar installation, zero rent cost at thousands of free campsites on federal land.  Think you would enjoy summers in the Black Hills, the Rockies, or Alaska? How about days spent  biking, golf, fishing, exploring? Yea, it's a rough life. As for the wife and I, we have been doing it as much as possible, and try to spend a few months on the road every year. We will be financially independent at the end of the year, and heading out on the road.

I ran the numbers on becoming a "resident" of a low cost, RVer friendly state, and living in a motorhome, as compared to keeping our paid off home in rural PA.  We would end up gaining roughly $28K/yr by dumping this home and becoming full time RVers "living" in a state with no income tax.  Once you really face the reality of R.E taxes, state and local income taxes, maintenance, repairs, insurance and lost opportunity cost as the "biggest investment of your life" earns absolutely nothing, the picture can be pretty shocking.

Interesting eh? 

Jamesqf

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Re: Home away from home?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2013, 11:22:59 AM »
I can see your point.  RVs can be useful if you use them (though I could do much the same in a tent).  What puzzles me is people like my neighbors, who have one parked in their yard that I know for a fact hasn't moved in at least 4 years.  Alongside the power boat and jet ski that haven't moved in longer than that.

paddedhat

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Re: Home away from home?
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2013, 04:39:31 AM »
I can see your point.  RVs can be useful if you use them (though I could do much the same in a tent).  What puzzles me is people like my neighbors, who have one parked in their yard that I know for a fact hasn't moved in at least 4 years.  Alongside the power boat and jet ski that haven't moved in longer than that.

Your neighbors own toys, not tools. They bought the toys to satisfy a need. The need however, cannot be met by the purchase, so they buy another toy. The good part for those of us who want a tool, in this case mobile housing, is that there are millions of fools out there buying toys like RVs and doing us a great service by doing so. First, as you note, they really are going to use their toy very little over their ownership. They are too busy on the hampster wheel, earning cash to pay for stupid choices. Second, they create a huge market for these new toys, and keep the prices in the "middle class affordability range" by doing so. Third, because they do stupid stuff, like taking out 15 years loans on these toys, or draining all their home equity to buy them, they create a huge market for used toys, and create massive depreciation in used value. It would blow the average 'stash mind to see some of the choices these folks make as they trade rigs in every few years, or dump them due to their self inflicted financial messes.
 
        So, when folks like me come along, wanting a used tool to wander the country in, we are in a pretty sweet spot. In our case, we are shopping for a used motorhome. The new model we want lists for roughly $135K, and an agressive buyer will be out the door at $105K with it. however, there are thousands of them out there in the 7-9 year old range for $35K ish. The units are often not only in nearly new condition, with very little use, and crazy low miles, but they can be a bitch to sell. The issue is that the typical buyer is a classic North American "Consumer". You know this species, somebody that has $513 in savings, and a good enough credit score to continue digging themselves in deeper. Unfortunately, vehicles that we are interested in create a problem for this market. They will continue to depreciate rapidly, in the bank's view they are "old", and therefore, there isn't a lot of enthuaism to be loaning cheap money against them. So the buyer either has cash, or has the increasingly rare ability to suck cash out of their home equity.A lot of folks who have a burning desire to buy a rationally priced RV simply can't. The dealer can get them financed for a nearly new $85K rig, at 5% over 15 years, but not a nine year old, $25K unit that would be just fine for them. Ah, the ties that bind, eh?

  As the wife and I continue to move away from what society expects of us as middle age folks  (49 and 54, in our case) that being, keeping the well manicured single family house in the burbs, mowing the law, getting raped by some of the highest R.E taxes in the nation, and being good little drones, we are heading in a new direction. We have greatly downsized our lives, and are moving into a very small ranch that I'm currently building. ( I'm a builder by trade) We will then do a few years of extended roaming, and find the place(s) that best suit our needs, and budget. At this point I'm leaning toward a "home base" in the southern Black Hills. This would be a piece of ground with a one or two site "campground", and the potential to build a small cabin on it, in later years. This would probably be complimented by the motorhome, not only as a dwelling at the base camp, but for use in the colder months in a nice location like AZ, or deep in south Texas.

As I said in my first post, it can be a lifestyle, not just a stupid purchase that sits in the yard, or worse yet, at a storage facility for $150 a month. It certainly isn't for everyone, but it can be a very 'stashian and intelligent choice. Finally, James. I doubt you would want to lead this life in tent, LOL. I have been caught in a blizzard that dumped 30" of snow on our RV, and camped in the desert when it hit 115* in the shade. in both cases we were happy and extremely comfortable. Doubtful that a tent would provide the same.