Author Topic: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through  (Read 7015 times)

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« on: October 07, 2016, 09:34:46 AM »
My wife and I were kicking around the idea of a Gap Year or Sabbatical.  Take a year off of work and travel the US.  Why save! save! save! save! save! save! save! save! save! save! save! save! save! save! save! to retire at 50, when our kids will be out of the house by then and living who knows where?  We really want to be intentional about how we raise them, I think a year of travel would do that.  We have $50K in cash now including $20k as an emergency fund.  We could probably increase that to $75K by next spring if we went into cash hoarding mode.

Here is some brainstorming that we have done, I'll try to break each of these down into specific posts to flesh out the details.

  • Recreational Vehicle: Primary plan is camping (preferable boondocking) or staying with friends/family
    - Overland vehicle setup w/ cargo trailer incl camp kitchen?
    - Overland vehicle setup with rooftop tent + ground tents?
    - Minivan + small popup?
    - Larger vehicle plus small expandable travel trailer?
  • My resume gap explained by school principal/driver/scoutmaster roles
  • We already homeschool, no big change there, would allow me to take a more active role in teaching our kids
  • Rusty the dog (German Shepherd cross), wife would prefer not to bring him along, I would love to have him with us
  • YMCA memberships for showers if spending an extended time in a state?
  • One day a week in a library
  • The route: Visit everyone we know, Visit every national park, Visit every state, Canada, Mexico
  • Bring bikes to explore around our campsites and stay fit
  • Part-time telecommute job for health insurance?
  • Subsidized healthcare (Medicaid?) since income will be very low?
  • Contract work for former employer?
  • A year with God instead of the day with God that I try to schedule 4X per year
  • 2 hours/day study for me (define new career, definite spiritual emphasis)
  • Attend a straw bale workshop
  • Build a simple straw bale cabin on family property as a trial run
  • Store possessions or get rid of it all?
  • Figure out what job I want at the end of the year (Interview/shadow/online courses?)
  • Work out every day (body weight exercises with the kids, hiking, biking)
  • Hunt with friends (supplement groceries where possible)

I found a family that did something similar for 6 months, looking forward to reading their book once it is released:

http://6kidsandapopupcamper.com/pages/about

Any and all comments are welcome, looking forward to fleshing out these ideas with the MMM community!
« Last Edit: November 07, 2016, 07:33:42 AM by change_seeker »

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2016, 09:45:25 AM »
not much info here about where you are in the savings process and how this affects your plan to fire etc.

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2016, 09:56:34 AM »
Good point, I forget that not everyone reads my journal.  First priority - a post with numbers.

redbird

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 534
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2016, 10:18:31 AM »
Visit every national park
Visit every state, Canada, Mexico

That feels quite difficult to do in only 1 year. Canada and Mexico are large countries and you could spend a while in those alone. There's 59 US National Parks spread across the US, and this includes US territories like American Samoa and the Virgin Islands. Hawaii alone requires a 5 1/2-6 hour one way flight even from California. At least if you go to Hawaii, you can easily visit 2 of those 59 National Parks in 2 days. They're on the same island but I really don't suggest visiting both in 1 day. Especially because there's a LOT to see in the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

But I guess I wouldn't like it - even the 6 months and visiting 43 states like the family you linked did - because I wouldn't see enough of any of those places to feel satisfied personally.

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 761
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2016, 11:01:16 AM »
Following!

Imastoner

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2016, 11:28:15 AM »
As others have said there are too many unknowns to know this plan is financially smart. How far along are you in your savings for early or regular retirement? Any debt? Will you be starting over with a career or do you think you can start back up again without any loss of pay or status in your current career(s)?  Chances are financially you could do better by not taking a year off even if you pay it from cash. However if you really do have a healthy amount of investments to let sit and grow for a year and taking of the time to work will not affect your retirement date too much, say delay it 1-2 year, then maybe go for it if everybody is on board. Again it is really difficult to give advice without much more background information.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8856
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2016, 11:54:28 AM »
Following for the thought process. I have no input at this point =) Sorry.

Christiana

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 173
    • Zatera Ul
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2016, 01:30:54 PM »
My ebook on the Christian sabbatical, first 15% available as free sample:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/242530

Tsh Oxenreider has written a lot about traveling simply with a family.

I went to a straw bale exhibit wall one time, and was surprised that it sounded hollow when I tapped on it.

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2016, 01:41:52 PM »
My ebook on the Christian sabbatical, first 15% available as free sample:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/242530

Tsh Oxenreider has written a lot about traveling simply with a family.

I went to a straw bale exhibit wall one time, and was surprised that it sounded hollow when I tapped on it.

I've bookmarked your ebook, looking forward to reading it after I get through a couple other books on my list.  I've actually never been in a straw bale house before, but I guess the hollow sound makes sense.  A good portion of a bale is air, and the outer plaster coating would make a good sounding board.

ruraljuror

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 67
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2016, 09:09:20 PM »
Do you have the ability to take a shorter sabbatical to see how you like it, and provide some additional time to plan out the longer version?

We took off a month this summer (longest time I've ever spent not working) and it really provided some perspective as to how our family dynamics play out with that much time together. It gave me a better understanding of what our expenses would be with everyone at home too.

Taking a month off every few years may be a compromise.

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2016, 11:33:20 PM »
not much info here about where you are in the savings process and how this affects your plan to fire etc.

As others have said there are too many unknowns to know this plan is financially smart. How far along are you in your savings for early or regular retirement? Any debt? Will you be starting over with a career or do you think you can start back up again without any loss of pay or status in your current career(s)?  Chances are financially you could do better by not taking a year off even if you pay it from cash. However if you really do have a healthy amount of investments to let sit and grow for a year and taking of the time to work will not affect your retirement date too much, say delay it 1-2 year, then maybe go for it if everybody is on board. Again it is really difficult to give advice without much more background information.

Age: 35
Married
Four kids (ages 9, 6, 4, & <1)
Current income: $135,000 per year (my salary, my wife stays home and homeschools our kids)

Savings:

401(k): $124K
Roth: $5k
Home equity: $86K
Cash: $47K

Spending:

$40k annual excluding mortgage and home-specific items

My FIRE calculations showed us retiring in 15 years, when I am 50.  I think not wanting to come back to my $135k job is a bigger threat to that FIRE date than a year of missed income.

Do you have the ability to take a shorter sabbatical to see how you like it, and provide some additional time to plan out the longer version?

We took off a month this summer (longest time I've ever spent not working) and it really provided some perspective as to how our family dynamics play out with that much time together. It gave me a better understanding of what our expenses would be with everyone at home too.

Taking a month off every few years may be a compromise.

I have 3 weeks of paid vacation per year, and I don't think my employer would be receptive to a sabbatical since I have only been there 2 years

2Birds1Stone

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5496
  • Age: 32
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2016, 06:47:26 AM »
Hmmm, that's a tough question.

How likely are you to get back to your $135k income upon return? Is an unpaid sabbatical an option?

You only have 2 years of gross salary saved, and would need to tap into that to take your year off.

Right now your biggest asset is your human capital and future earning potential.

Miss Piggy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1314
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2016, 08:05:44 AM »
Looking at your kids ages, I wonder if you might be better off waiting until the oldest is about 12. At their current ages, all but the oldest wouldn't have much memory of the adventures later on if you did it now.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27911
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2016, 11:11:12 PM »
I have lots of thoughts, but will wait to share/post until you flesh out your thoughts some more.  For now, following!
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2016, 01:49:42 AM »
Looking at your kids ages, I wonder if you might be better off waiting until the oldest is about 12. At their current ages, all but the oldest wouldn't have much memory of the adventures later on if you did it now.

That would work out well for the budget/savings, as well. Might even get a sabbatical from the company at this time.  Would be a great way for the oldest to enter their teen years.

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2016, 07:20:59 AM »
Looking at your kids ages, I wonder if you might be better off waiting until the oldest is about 12. At their current ages, all but the oldest wouldn't have much memory of the adventures later on if you did it now.

Wait until the oldest is 12!!!  Twelve years from now seems like a VERY long time.

I think a big part of my desire for this gap year is my loathing of my current job.  I've been fighting depression for the last couple of years, and have a hard time envisioning myself enjoying any job.  My plan would be to use this year to determine what kind of job it is that I would like to have.

Hmmm, that's a tough question.

How likely are you to get back to your $135k income upon return? Is an unpaid sabbatical an option?

You only have 2 years of gross salary saved, and would need to tap into that to take your year off.

Right now your biggest asset is your human capital and future earning potential.

I don't feel that a year off is going to hinder my ability to work in any of the fields that I have up to this point (aerospace, automotive test, motorsports).  The key variables are where I am willing to live and my ability to stomach a job that I don't enjoy.

Thanks for the perspective on savings.  The $47K cash is the result of two home sales over the last couple of years, and I had not mentally committed that money to retirement savings.  $20k of it is earmarked as 'emergency fund'.  I had proposed limiting the length of the sabbatical based on how long we could live off of the remaining $27k.

Right now my valuation of my human capital is very low.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27911
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2016, 07:26:09 AM »
Looking at your kids ages, I wonder if you might be better off waiting until the oldest is about 12. At their current ages, all but the oldest wouldn't have much memory of the adventures later on if you did it now.

Wait until the oldest is 12!!!  Twelve years from now seems like a VERY long time.

12 (future age) - 9 (current age) = 3 years. 

:)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2016, 07:39:00 AM »
Looking at your kids ages, I wonder if you might be better off waiting until the oldest is about 12. At their current ages, all but the oldest wouldn't have much memory of the adventures later on if you did it now.

Wait until the oldest is 12!!!  Twelve years from now seems like a VERY long time.

12 (future age) - 9 (current age) = 3 years. 

:)

I don't know what the cause is, but my brain is completely fried lately...  In my defense, I'm an engineer, not good at math ;)  That being said, 3 years seems like a stretch as well.  I can't fathom staying at my current job that long, and the though of moving/interviewing/etc fills me with dread.

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through (#7 The Route)
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2016, 07:46:55 AM »
I edited the original brainstorming list in my first post to make it easier to refer back to.  As additional topics come up, I'll tack them on to the end of the list.

7.  The route: Visit everyone we know, Visit every national park, Visit every state, Canada, Mexico

Mexico is out as my wife feels it is too dangerous.  No need to visit every state, the emphasis will be on cool places in nature and spending time with friends and family.  I found this interesting roadtrip plan, might be a good idea if we are in a popup or a tent!


arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27911
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2016, 08:09:06 AM »
My FIRE calculations showed us retiring in 15 years, when I am 50.

How'd you get that?

I like running the numbers, so let's do that!

Current income: $135,000 per year (my salary, my wife stays home and homeschools our kids)

Okay.  Let's start with income, and taxes.  135k gross.
Minus 18k 401k contributions
Minus 12,600 standard deduction
Minus 4050 per person x 6 people personal exemptions = 24300
=80,100 taxable income.

It may be less, if you do an IRA or HSA or have other deductions, or whatever, but let's keep it simple, and know we're in the ballpark.

On that taxable income, you'd pay 11567.5 (1855 on the part in the 10% range + 8512.5 on the part in the 15% range + 1200 on the part in the 25% range) minus 4,000 (1k per kid) in child tax credits = about 7.5k in taxes.

That knocks your 135k income down to about 127.5 net (with 18k of it going in the 401k, and 109.5k left to spend/save outside that).

Savings:

401(k): $124K
Roth: $5k
Home equity: $86K
Cash: $47K

Spending:
$40k annual excluding mortgage and home-specific items

Okay, so, with the above amounts, plus the income/taxes we calculated, we can do a simple calc using Networthify.

So, we plug in 127,500 income.  40,000 spend.  176k current portfolio balance (I'm ignoring home equity, since you didn't mention if you're going to tap that to ER.. so we'll assume not, but you're in even better shape with that 86k, obviously).  Leaving return on investment at 5%, and WR at 4%.

That gives me 7.5 years to FIRE.  Not the double that, 15, that you got.

If you need a break, that's fine... but making it with all the correct information is always helpful, IMO.

Feel free to fix anything I have wrong from misunderstanding or lack of info.  :)

If you worked a few more years until the kids were a bit older, then took a sabbatical, you could get most of the way to FIRE, and let the stache compound while you took the year off and spent a little (hopefully largely offset by renting out your house while you are gone--e.g. if you can rent the house for 1500/mo, that's 18k, and you can probably travel around in an RV for 20k or so).
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

onlykelsey

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2172
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2016, 08:11:59 AM »
Following mostly to see your thought process. 

If you're only spending 40K a year, 15 years seems like a while to me.  Are you assuming a 2 or 3% withdrawal rate?

Imastoner

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 10
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2016, 09:35:11 AM »
There seems to be the theme in each response that you hate your current job. I would really look into why you hate it and what you like about it. Before you make any major life changes talk to your boss. It is a pain to find good people so maybe they would let you do part time and/or take a few months off without pay. Maybe they can switch your role or move you to a different dept, area, or even office. Don't just assume you have no options. You are pretty much out the door so it doesn't hurt to speak up and be honest.

I'll share a little of my story in hopes it helps you out. I was in a similar boat as you years ago. I had a job I hated but I was able to stay there for many years. I figuring out what I liked about the job and most importantly I changed how I viewed work in general. To do this I thought about how work didn't used to be so stressful. I thought back to a job where I was working at a deli in college.  I liked some of it and I  hated some of it. I never took it home with me and it never made me depressed or stressed out. That deli clerk job never defined me as a person. It was a means to an end.

Then somewhere along the line I got a degree and started to build my career. Without realizing it my job was turned into my life and became what defined me. It took me a while to break this mindset and a lot more to fix my finances but I am back to looking at my job as a shift. Don't get  me wrong, I still work very hard and sometimes work long hours. I still strive to advance in my career. However I figuring out what I like about my job and changing my mindset on what work is to me was the key. I no longer think of my career as who I am. I just work as hard as I can when I am on my "shift". I do my best to leave it all at my desk at the end of each shift just like I did when I worked as a deli clerk so many years ago.

If you don't like the field you work in then you may need to forget about what you have a degree/experience in. This may mean you have to deal with a large pay cut. That is ok compared to spending your life being miserable. Your family will pick up on your depression and be affected by it as well. A gap year may certainly help you figure all this out but you might also be able to figure it out in a few months of soul searching while you are at your current job.

I wish you the best and let us know what you come up with. Again, don't be afraid to test the waters at work to see if you can work on your terms. Once you have the savings to walk away for a year you have more power than you think. There is no rule book to life and what works for some doesn't work for all. Good luck to you.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through (#7 The Route)
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2016, 12:02:05 AM »
I edited the original brainstorming list in my first post to make it easier to refer back to.  As additional topics come up, I'll tack them on to the end of the list.

7.  The route: Visit everyone we know, Visit every national park, Visit every state, Canada, Mexico

Mexico is out as my wife feels it is too dangerous.  No need to visit every state, the emphasis will be on cool places in nature and spending time with friends and family.  I found this interesting roadtrip plan, might be a good idea if we are in a popup or a tent!

Interesting map - what's in south Texas that is so great to see? Maybe starting in Florida and working north would be more enjoyable?

Goldielocks

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6325
  • Location: BC
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2016, 12:31:30 AM »
not much info here about where you are in the savings process and how this affects your plan to fire etc.

As others have said there are too many unknowns to know this plan is financially smart. How far along are you in your savings for early or regular retirement? Any debt? Will you be starting over with a career or do you think you can start back up again without any loss of pay or status in your current career(s)?  Chances are financially you could do better by not taking a year off even if you pay it from cash. However if you really do have a healthy amount of investments to let sit and grow for a year and taking of the time to work will not affect your retirement date too much, say delay it 1-2 year, then maybe go for it if everybody is on board. Again it is really difficult to give advice without much more background information.

Age: 35
Married
Four kids (ages 9, 6, 4, & <1)
Current income: $135,000 per year (my salary, my wife stays home and homeschools our kids)

Savings:

401(k): $124K
Roth: $5k
Home equity: $86K
Cash: $47K

Spending:

$40k annual excluding mortgage and home-specific items

My FIRE calculations showed us retiring in 15 years, when I am 50.  I think not wanting to come back to my $135k job is a bigger threat to that FIRE date than a year of missed income.

Do you have the ability to take a shorter sabbatical to see how you like it, and provide some additional time to plan out the longer version?

We took off a month this summer (longest time I've ever spent not working) and it really provided some perspective as to how our family dynamics play out with that much time together. It gave me a better understanding of what our expenses would be with everyone at home too.

Taking a month off every few years may be a compromise.

I have 3 weeks of paid vacation per year, and I don't think my employer would be receptive to a sabbatical since I have only been there 2 years

Fire before 65 is a choice.   After, well, not so much.

That is why I suggest getting your savings pulled together such that you have enough for a basic age 65 and over retirement, before spending the money your future self will need.  Especially given that time is your friend for compounding, it is easy to put away a bit more now, for lots more later.

Do you want to retire on 25k per year at age 65?   That is what you have saved now (plus whatever modest SS you have earned to date).  in today's dollars, allowing for 5 pecent annual growth, net of inflation.

If so, no problem delaying FIRE a bit and going on a long trip.   If not, save up a few more years, then decide.

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Gap Year / Sabbatical - WE ARE DOING IT!!!
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2017, 07:33:58 AM »
I was ... given the opportunity to resign ... by my current employer.  They have kindly let me stay on until March 1 to get things sorted.

My wife and I have decided that this is the push that we needed to start our sabbatical year.  First order of business is to finish a long list of home improvement projects in the hopes of a quick sale for our current home.  Then we will move on to purchasing our new home on wheels.  Current thinking is a 12 passenger van (Chevy or Ford) and a 28 ft travel trailer to pull behind it.

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2017, 07:35:52 AM »
My ebook on the Christian sabbatical, first 15% available as free sample:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/242530

Tsh Oxenreider has written a lot about traveling simply with a family.

I went to a straw bale exhibit wall one time, and was surprised that it sounded hollow when I tapped on it.

Christiana, I bought your book and REALLY enjoyed it!  It was very encouraging to read stories of others who have gone down this path.  As you can see from my post above, we are launching our sabbatical year in a few weeks!

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27911
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2017, 09:41:49 PM »
Hot damn, congrats!  I'm looking forward to hearing about the plans and seeing the transition!  :)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - WE ARE DOING IT!!!
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2017, 11:49:07 PM »
I was ... given the opportunity to resign ... by my current employer.  They have kindly let me stay on until March 1 to get things sorted.

My wife and I have decided that this is the push that we needed to start our sabbatical year.  First order of business is to finish a long list of home improvement projects in the hopes of a quick sale for our current home.  Then we will move on to purchasing our new home on wheels.  Current thinking is a 12 passenger van (Chevy or Ford) and a 28 ft travel trailer to pull behind it.

Congrats! Good luck; I'm sure you'll have a blast.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2017, 06:09:51 AM »
i've put a lot of thought into how we would do this with 2 kids.  it may change with 4 kids but why not use a class C RV and tow a fuel efficient car big enough for the family.  i'm sure its a math game but towing a travel trailer with a 12 passenger van probably eats as much gas as the class C and if you tow the more fuel efficient car i would think you'd come out ahead depending on how long you stayed in each area. 

MostlyBearded

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 58
  • Age: 33
  • Location: England, UK
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2017, 06:22:13 AM »
posting to follow, sounds fun - good luck :)

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2017, 07:21:46 AM »
i've put a lot of thought into how we would do this with 2 kids.  it may change with 4 kids but why not use a class C RV and tow a fuel efficient car big enough for the family.  i'm sure its a math game but towing a travel trailer with a 12 passenger van probably eats as much gas as the class C and if you tow the more fuel efficient car i would think you'd come out ahead depending on how long you stayed in each area.

Initial purchase price is my main reason for going this route.  I think I can get a used van and travel trailer for around $15000, it seems the class C plus car is going to cost me much more.  Another factor is our German Shepherd mix... My wife says he can't come unless he has his own space in the back.  When we travel with him now in the minivan, he tends to end up in her armpit at some point during the trip.

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2017, 09:50:13 PM »
i've put a lot of thought into how we would do this with 2 kids.  it may change with 4 kids but why not use a class C RV and tow a fuel efficient car big enough for the family.  i'm sure its a math game but towing a travel trailer with a 12 passenger van probably eats as much gas as the class C and if you tow the more fuel efficient car i would think you'd come out ahead depending on how long you stayed in each area.

Initial purchase price is my main reason for going this route.  I think I can get a used van and travel trailer for around $15000, it seems the class C plus car is going to cost me much more.  Another factor is our German Shepherd mix... My wife says he can't come unless he has his own space in the back.  When we travel with him now in the minivan, he tends to end up in her armpit at some point during the trip.

Good points. The cost savings could pay for a lot of gas differential.

snapperdude

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 107
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2017, 11:32:00 PM »
Take the dog. Leave the wife at home.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7849
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2017, 05:23:30 AM »
i've put a lot of thought into how we would do this with 2 kids.  it may change with 4 kids but why not use a class C RV and tow a fuel efficient car big enough for the family.  i'm sure its a math game but towing a travel trailer with a 12 passenger van probably eats as much gas as the class C and if you tow the more fuel efficient car i would think you'd come out ahead depending on how long you stayed in each area.

Initial purchase price is my main reason for going this route.  I think I can get a used van and travel trailer for around $15000, it seems the class C plus car is going to cost me much more.  Another factor is our German Shepherd mix... My wife says he can't come unless he has his own space in the back.  When we travel with him now in the minivan, he tends to end up in her armpit at some point during the trip.

Good points. The cost savings could pay for a lot of gas differential.

Yeah could is the optimal word. Math should be done

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #34 on: February 10, 2017, 09:02:10 AM »
boarder42-

So I did the math, and it actually came out as a wash.  One major issue is that a fuel efficient car that fits 4 car seats doesn't exist.  So we would be towing a minivan with a Class C RV, which the internet claims is doable but dicey.

i've put a lot of thought into how we would do this with 2 kids.  it may change with 4 kids but why not use a class C RV and tow a fuel efficient car big enough for the family.  i'm sure its a math game but towing a travel trailer with a 12 passenger van probably eats as much gas as the class C and if you tow the more fuel efficient car i would think you'd come out ahead depending on how long you stayed in each area. 

Metric Mouse

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5299
  • FU @ 22. F.I.R.E before 23
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2017, 01:17:17 AM »
boarder42-

So I did the math, and it actually came out as a wash.  One major issue is that a fuel efficient car that fits 4 car seats doesn't exist.  So we would be towing a minivan with a Class C RV, which the internet claims is doable but dicey.

i've put a lot of thought into how we would do this with 2 kids.  it may change with 4 kids but why not use a class C RV and tow a fuel efficient car big enough for the family.  i'm sure its a math game but towing a travel trailer with a 12 passenger van probably eats as much gas as the class C and if you tow the more fuel efficient car i would think you'd come out ahead depending on how long you stayed in each area. 
I will admit to some bias- seeing an RV hauling a minivan down the road would give me an instant mental picture of the owners. I should work on being more open minded.

change_seeker

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 188
Re: Gap Year / Sabbatical - help me think it through
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2017, 06:27:28 AM »
MM-

I'm glad my post could help make you more open-minded ;)  For the record, the analysis just confirmed for me that the Van+Trailer option is our best option.  I would rather have my kids buckled into their seats in a 12 passenger van than roaming around inside an RV.