Author Topic: Justifying our RV popup  (Read 2121 times)

kevj1085

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Justifying our RV popup
« on: October 25, 2017, 12:19:39 PM »
We use our pop-up camper maybe 5 times a year
 2 to San Diego which saves us probably $500 ($1000 total/yr), and a few mountain camping trips which save us probably $500 total/yr. So yearly savings using it around $1500. It cost us $6500 plus accessories probably $7000. Had to sell our minivan and get a truck to tow it (3900 gvwr), so were out about 2k on that.

We are trying to be minimalists as a family of 4 and this has been a major thorn in my side so to speak. When we use it it brings us great joy, wonderful memories and experiences. The down side is we only use it a handful of times. Insurance is $13/mo.

My wife and I don't want to go back to tent camping just yet w a 4 and 1 year old, we need something more confining and amenity based w how insane they can be. Maybe down the road when they're like 6 and 9.

I guess I'm wondering if others would keep it or sell it. Fyi I'm not trying to retire early, I'm just trying to rid myself of burdensome STUFF to make way for more happiness in our lives. So this is hard for me because it brings happiness but also stress. I also know every time it just sits around it depreciates.

JLee

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 01:19:12 PM »
3900lbs is a huge popup..that's well into travel trailer range.  Why not get a $1000 popup on Craigslist that you could tow with the minivan?

plog

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 01:34:39 PM »
1.  You are using "save" like an annoying commercial advertisement.  "Buy Now And Save 50% On This Crappy Thing You Don't Need".

2.  "When we use it it brings us great joy, wonderful memories and experiences".  Case closed.  That's your main goal, it fits that main goal without being a crippling financial burden.  Keep it.

MrsPete

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2017, 11:29:53 AM »
So you love the thing, but you're thinking you don't use it often enough to justify its expense. 

Would you be open to renting it out?  People pay big bucks to rent such things.  You could limit it to people you know, and you should ask for a damage deposit.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2017, 11:42:49 AM »
So you love the thing, but you're thinking you don't use it often enough to justify its expense. 

Would you be open to renting it out?  People pay big bucks to rent such things.  You could limit it to people you know, and you should ask for a damage deposit.

I don't know about "big bucks" but we rent out our 1999 Coleman popup on RVShare for $75/night with a mandatory $25 cleaning fee.  It helps us offset the maintenance costs and is a small income stream for us.  It is helpful to have a 15 year old or newer trailer as RVShare's insurance system only works for trailers that meet this criteria.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 11:52:52 AM »
The way I justify expenses is will it bring me an equivalent amount of joy compared to amount of money I'm spending on it. And, does it fit in my budget without prolonging my other goals.

I am personally looking for a second or third or more hand pop up. I would like to take the family camping more and this is the way to do it. I know, I know, tent camping is cheaper. But I can't sleep when I'm hot and that really shortens our camping fun. Plus my wife has no interest in tent camping anymore. I saw a ton of them this summer in the $1500 - $2500 range that would work and when we go to sell we will probably be close to breaking even.

Dr.Jeckyl

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 11:55:17 AM »


I don't know about "big bucks" but we rent out our 1999 Coleman popup on RVShare for $75/night with a mandatory $25 cleaning fee.  It helps us offset the maintenance costs and is a small income stream for us.  It is helpful to have a 15 year old or newer trailer as RVShare's insurance system only works for trailers that meet this criteria.
[/quote]

I never thought about this. I live extremely close to a state park and would probably be able to rent it out weekends I'm not using it. It may even pay for itself this way. I'm off to check out RVShare now!!!

v8rx7guy

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2017, 11:57:59 AM »

I never thought about this. I live extremely close to a state park and would probably be able to rent it out weekends I'm not using it. It may even pay for itself this way. I'm off to check out RVShare now!!!

I should also mention that they RVShare takes 20-25%.  We enjoy the service, we've had really good luck so far.

Retire-Canada

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2017, 11:59:14 AM »
I guess I'm wondering if others would keep it or sell it.

How many nights total are you using the pop up a year? I'd base my decision off of your answer. If we are talking 2 weeks of use a year I'd get rid of it as the hassle of owning/storing it and owning a vehicle for it makes no sense. OTOH if you are using it 6-8 weeks+ a year it starts to make sense to own an inexpensive RV.

scottyah

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2017, 12:42:21 PM »
Sell.

You're not saving any of that money- were you comparing it to the cost of a hotel? Would you really be staying in a hotel if you didn't have it? Did you take into account depreciation, insurance, more gas used, and overall more stress and less fun?

That truck purchase just to haul the thing around would get you a MMM punch to the face! Sell that too, and return to the minivan.

Here's the thing: kids in a tent may seem a little more rough, but it's worth it. My aunt and uncle had great success throwing their kids in a tent while taking out the seats of their minivan and sleeping in the back of it. I was personally half raised in some form of a tent (especially in places like Anza Borrego near San Diego, you don't need anything between you and the stars at night). I think you'll find it is a lot more fun as well as character building. While I agree there are other, and valid, opinions on where the line between nature and civilization ought to be whilst camping- I tink you'd want to go out to experience something wholly different, and be able to gain a new perspective for yourself, and watch your kids grow and develop off the standard "track" society can have.

Trailers and trucks you don't use often do take up too much space, and you barely use them but for a few times a year!

My vote is to drop the anchors these things give you, and use the new-found energy and money you acquire in selling them to take an awesome trip up the coast or into the desert!

mm1970

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2017, 01:42:40 PM »
Cost: $9000 ($7000+ additional truck)
Savings: $1500/ year

It will pay for itself in 6 years, when your kids are 10 and 7, right?

This is a tricky one, because I think a LOT of it depends on how much joy you get out of using it, and how often you use it.

I like to camp (we tent camp).  My husband is kind of over it.  My neighbors have a camper van.  This is just background.

For a long time, I thought about getting a teardrop.  You can buy one for $6k that can by towed by our "big" car (a Matrix).  But the teardrop only sleeps 3.  Then we went and had a second kid.  Once you start moving up to something that will sleep 4, even the smallest thing requires more towing capacity.

For us, I just didn't see us using it enough to justify having to upgrade our car.  For the following reasons:
- Traveling with kids is tiring - ESPECIALLY at the age of your kids
- Getting campsites near-ish where I live requires, for the most part, booking 6 months in advance.
- My big kid gets carsick
- We don't get enough vacation time.  Now, that's not really true - we both earn decent amounts, but even decent amounts for an American means a few long weekends a year

I mentioned my friends with the campervan because they use it a LOT (or used to).  Week long music concerts, usually a month-long summer road trip, many long weekends during the year.  The convenience of keeping everything "there" and the ability to just GO, plus their natural personalities - works well for them. 

My reality is that is not my personality and we don't have those kind of jobs where we can disappear for a month at a time.


Only you can answer the question of "how much are you going to use it in the next 6 years".  And "how much joy does it bring you".  Renting it out might be a great option to bring in some side money.

Tent camping with a one year old. I've done it.  It kind of sucks.  He ended up in my sleeping bag with me.

Uturn

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2017, 01:45:12 PM »
I just went through this exercise.  I had a truck for the main purpose of pulling a trailer for camping. I also used the truck for Home Depot runs and such.  Registration and insurance was due at the end of this month, and I noticed that I only put 2k miles on the truck this year.  Also, the last two time I went camping, I took a tent and left the trailer behind.  I sold the truck and trailer this month. I also sold the riding mower who's only purpose was to move the trailer into the back yard because it was too heavy to move by hand. 

I have no better memories of trailer camping than I do from tent camping.  It's the activities and people that make the memories.  The only thing that would make me want to go back is if I was spending months out of the year camping instead of days. 

MrsPete

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2017, 09:33:35 PM »
- My big kid gets carsick
Okay, we're way off topic now, but my youngest child and I are both awful about carsickness ... and all kids take a turn with the stomach flu at some point, and they aren't as adept as we adults at reaching the toilet.  My mother invented the best system ever when we were kids.  I use it today, and I've even whipped up a few of these for friends whose kids were sick -- everyone says it's the best way to deal with an unpleasant situation: 

- Find yourself a #10 can, preferably one with a lid
- Put the lid on the bottom of the can
- Double-line the can with TWO good, thick plastic grocery bags (Target bags are nice and thick)
- Place a crumpled paper towel in the bottom of EACH grocery bag

When your kid (or you) is sick, the can is small enough to keep nearby -- a kid can take it to bed or in the car -- we've carried them into the doctor's office.  When the kid throws up into the can, you tie a knot in the first grocery bag and discard it (or, if you're in the car, just set it aside).  If the bag happens to leak, no harm done -- you have a second bag underneath.  If the child throws up again immediately before you have time to replace the used grocery bag, the second bag is there underneath.  Why the paper towel?  Because it absorbs some of the liquid-y part of the vomit and prevents splash-back.  Why the lid?  Okay, it's not absolutely necessary, but a small child can probably put the lid on the can more easily than he or she can tie a knot. 

I highly recommend keeping one of these sick-cans in your bathroom linen closet AND another in the trunk of your car.  SO CONVENIENT.  Make them now before you need them.   

Another hint for carsickness:  Eat candied ginger.  You can buy it at Harris Teeter in the produce section.


sequoia

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2017, 03:01:02 AM »
We use our pop-up camper maybe 5 times a year
 2 to San Diego which saves us probably $500 ($1000 total/yr), and a few mountain camping trips which save us probably $500 total/yr. So yearly savings using it around $1500. It cost us $6500 plus accessories probably $7000. Had to sell our minivan and get a truck to tow it (3900 gvwr), so were out about 2k on that.

We are trying to be minimalists as a family of 4 and this has been a major thorn in my side so to speak. When we use it it brings us great joy, wonderful memories and experiences. The down side is we only use it a handful of times. Insurance is $13/mo.

My wife and I don't want to go back to tent camping just yet w a 4 and 1 year old, we need something more confining and amenity based w how insane they can be. Maybe down the road when they're like 6 and 9.

I guess I'm wondering if others would keep it or sell it. Fyi I'm not trying to retire early, I'm just trying to rid myself of burdensome STUFF to make way for more happiness in our lives. So this is hard for me because it brings happiness but also stress. I also know every time it just sits around it depreciates.

Keep it. Why? Because of "great joy, wonderful memories and experiences" for you and the kids. And from financial point of view, sounds like you can afford it. When they grow they will have fond memories of trips with this camper. IMO that is worth more than trying to save some money from depreciation. Your kids are only kids once.

Now, if we are talking about I just lost my job, and if I should keep this camper, then I would say sell it asap :)

kevj1085

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2017, 06:03:56 AM »
We use our pop-up camper maybe 5 times a year
 2 to San Diego which saves us probably $500 ($1000 total/yr), and a few mountain camping trips which save us probably $500 total/yr. So yearly savings using it around $1500. It cost us $6500 plus accessories probably $7000. Had to sell our minivan and get a truck to tow it (3900 gvwr), so were out about 2k on that.

We are trying to be minimalists as a family of 4 and this has been a major thorn in my side so to speak. When we use it it brings us great joy, wonderful memories and experiences. The down side is we only use it a handful of times. Insurance is $13/mo.

My wife and I don't want to go back to tent camping just yet w a 4 and 1 year old, we need something more confining and amenity based w how insane they can be. Maybe down the road when they're like 6 and 9.

I guess I'm wondering if others would keep it or sell it. Fyi I'm not trying to retire early, I'm just trying to rid myself of burdensome STUFF to make way for more happiness in our lives. So this is hard for me because it brings happiness but also stress. I also know every time it just sits around it depreciates.

Keep it. Why? Because of "great joy, wonderful memories and experiences" for you and the kids. And from financial point of view, sounds like you can afford it. When they grow they will have fond memories of trips with this camper. IMO that is worth more than trying to save some money from depreciation. Your kids are only kids once.

Now, if we are talking about I just lost my job, and if I should keep this camper, then I would say sell it asap :)

It is paid off, same w truck. Our other car is also a Prius which we use 99.99% of the time and most months I go not filling up the truck. It's not hurting us financially at all, it's just a thought on my mind moreso.

mm1970

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Re: Justifying our RV popup
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2017, 10:50:55 AM »
- My big kid gets carsick
Okay, we're way off topic now, but my youngest child and I are both awful about carsickness ... and all kids take a turn with the stomach flu at some point, and they aren't as adept as we adults at reaching the toilet.  My mother invented the best system ever when we were kids.  I use it today, and I've even whipped up a few of these for friends whose kids were sick -- everyone says it's the best way to deal with an unpleasant situation: 

- Find yourself a #10 can, preferably one with a lid
- Put the lid on the bottom of the can
- Double-line the can with TWO good, thick plastic grocery bags (Target bags are nice and thick)
- Place a crumpled paper towel in the bottom of EACH grocery bag

When your kid (or you) is sick, the can is small enough to keep nearby -- a kid can take it to bed or in the car -- we've carried them into the doctor's office.  When the kid throws up into the can, you tie a knot in the first grocery bag and discard it (or, if you're in the car, just set it aside).  If the bag happens to leak, no harm done -- you have a second bag underneath.  If the child throws up again immediately before you have time to replace the used grocery bag, the second bag is there underneath.  Why the paper towel?  Because it absorbs some of the liquid-y part of the vomit and prevents splash-back.  Why the lid?  Okay, it's not absolutely necessary, but a small child can probably put the lid on the can more easily than he or she can tie a knot. 

I highly recommend keeping one of these sick-cans in your bathroom linen closet AND another in the trunk of your car.  SO CONVENIENT.  Make them now before you need them.   

Another hint for carsickness:  Eat candied ginger.  You can buy it at Harris Teeter in the produce section.
Oh, there was this one attempt at a road trip Thanksgiving week.  Little one got the stomach flu.  We waited an extra day before heading out, thinking we'd dodged it. No luck.  Both kids start barfing in the hotel room.

So, next morning - no free breakfast for anyone.  Hubs runs off to the hardware store.  What for: paint buckets. Plastic paint buckets with lids, bought 4 of them.  They were perfect for the six hour drive back home. 

(At some point my hubby put them all in the back shed and I said WTF??  You have to make sure at least TWO of them are still inside the house.)