Author Topic: Life in an RV: Tips? Ideas? Experience?  (Read 2630 times)

JanetJackson

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Life in an RV: Tips? Ideas? Experience?
« on: October 23, 2017, 07:37:47 AM »
Hello!
I am considering living for at least a few years in an RV. 
I live in an area that has plenty of campgrounds with 6-12 month stay options and rental lots on private land as well (I live near a mountain-ish area) and have considered an RV over a tiny house or travel trailer because I should only have to title, register, tag, and pay personal property tax on ONE additional item that way, rather than to have a truck + dwelling + my car.  When my budget extends in the future, I do really like Tiny Houses on Wheels and may look into that with a truck, but I want to be realistic about the next 3-ish years for myself.

Maybe about seven years ago I lived in a small camper on a friends property for about a year, but shared the main house for plumbing/laundry etc. and the experience was good.  I did not feel cramped, I was able to modulate with the seasons and keep moisture in the camper low(ish) and I learned a bit about remodeling the interiors (I ended up flipping that camper for about 2x what I paid).

I've been looking for a new rental, as my rent prices are increasing 20% next year, and I am tired of sharing a studio with another person and my 60lb dog (quite crowded, not in the physical sense, I like small spaces... but more in the personal sense, if that is understandable?). 
No matter how small the efficiency/studio/mother-in-law/room for rent that I seem to find (and I have looked at some REAL sh!t holes in this "find a new place to live" adventure), when I add up the lot rental, initial cost, pet deposit, estimated maintenance (this is where I need help...), and registration, etc.... it REALLY seems like an RV would save me money and give me some independence (my quality of life is definitely affected by having roommates).

I have about 6k saved specifically for a home in the future, a THOW, or an RV... and recently I have come across a few RV's in my area that are around that price- an older Toyota and an older Winnebago, most recently.


  • What do I need to consider when looking at an RV from an independent seller? 
  • What maintenance or regular service should I be considering? 
  • I certainly know to look for regular engine wear & tear and the normal stuff like oil leaks, timing belt, brakes, etc... just from buying so many used cars, but what do I need to look for in an RV?


Any input or help would be SO VERY appreciated, thanks!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2017, 08:06:33 AM by JanetJackson »

Dave1442397

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Re: Life in an RV: Tips? Ideas? Experience?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 11:17:05 AM »
I've never bought one myself, but there are a lot of youtube videos out there about it.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=what+to+look+for+when+buying+a+used+rv

I watched this video, which gives you a good idea of how to check for water ingress, etc.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx0SPexRHgo

Rcc

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Re: Life in an RV: Tips? Ideas? Experience?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 01:29:39 PM »
Also might look into the forums here:

https://escapees.com

Lots of folks doing the full time RV liftstyle.

doneby35

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Re: Life in an RV: Tips? Ideas? Experience?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 03:24:26 PM »
I've been looking at RV vs tiny house myself. Isn't an RV going to cost you 300-400 month just to park in RV parks? In that case tiny house on wheels would be better in the long run I would think.

ixtap

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Re: Life in an RV: Tips? Ideas? Experience?
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 03:25:38 PM »
I've been looking at RV vs tiny house myself. Isn't an RV going to cost you 300-400 month just to park in RV parks? In that case tiny house on wheels would be better in the long run I would think.

Where are you going to put a tiny house that you can't put an RV?

JanetJackson

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Re: Life in an RV: Tips? Ideas? Experience?
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 05:09:07 PM »
I've been looking at RV vs tiny house myself. Isn't an RV going to cost you 300-400 month just to park in RV parks? In that case tiny house on wheels would be better in the long run I would think.
Thanks for the reply.  The difference right now is that I could buy an RV outright, but it'll take maybe 2-4 more years to save for a Tiny House, losing rent money in the meantime.  I've found a few tiny house locations, but also would have to pay lot rent at about the same amount.

bogart

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Re: Life in an RV: Tips? Ideas? Experience?
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2017, 07:20:27 PM »
Am I right in understanding that you're proposing to buy, park/hookup, and have, just an RV?  DH and I vacation in a camping trailer (pulled by our truck) and like it, but one thing we much prefer about the trailer setup to an RV is that when we get where we are going (i.e. when we are in what will to you be "home,"), we park the camper, hook it up to water, electric, sewer (if applicable, actually we often rely on dumping tanks when we leave -- but if we were living in it long term in one place would probably want on-site sewer). 

I know Mustachians are all about no-car or low-car living and more power to you if that's the plan (or if you have the patience to hookup/unhook everytime you drive somewhere), but it is something to be aware of.

Rocketman

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Re: Life in an RV: Tips? Ideas? Experience?
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 09:51:26 PM »
Another optio could be a 5th wheel trailer - you would need a used truck to pull it. Or also a tow behind trailer (bumper pull).  Maybe your current vehicle could pull that - or buy a used vehicle that can. 


JanetJackson

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Re: Life in an RV: Tips? Ideas? Experience?
« Reply #8 on: October 24, 2017, 05:46:42 AM »
Am I right in understanding that you're proposing to buy, park/hookup, and have, just an RV?  DH and I vacation in a camping trailer (pulled by our truck) and like it, but one thing we much prefer about the trailer setup to an RV is that when we get where we are going (i.e. when we are in what will to you be "home,"), we park the camper, hook it up to water, electric, sewer (if applicable, actually we often rely on dumping tanks when we leave -- but if we were living in it long term in one place would probably want on-site sewer). 

I know Mustachians are all about no-car or low-car living and more power to you if that's the plan (or if you have the patience to hookup/unhook everytime you drive somewhere), but it is something to be aware of.

Thanks for the reply!  My plan would be to have an RV that tows my 1st gen Honda Insight (~1500lbs and I see the car tow hitches used on Craigslist for $500-$800 or so) so that I could detach my car in order to travel to and from work.  There are a number of year-round (about 4) campgrounds within a 50 mile radius of my work (I am currently 30 miles from work in an inner-city studio apartment) and two of which do not have a max stay- so my plan would be to have a sewer hook up site, which is about $400/mo. with wifi (requirement for my work).  My current rent in a shared studio apartment is $500.
 
My general plan would be to hook up, and stay hooked up- at least a year or so at a time... other than if I need to unhook to be sure I'm driving the camper once every 6 months or so (I would certainly start it once a week to keep things lubricated).  Do you think this is feasible, or am I not quite thinking it through thoroughly enough?

Rocketman, I'm hoping not to have two (well, three) vehicles (the 5th wheel/trailer and the truck {and my car}) to have to title, register, and pay property tax on (fairly high here, I'm in Virginia). 
I did weigh out this option, because I could certainly use the truck to help people move/haul for money/etc that MIGHT offset those costs (does anyone do this who could share their experience?)... but it just seems like a lot to have a Truck, a 5th wheel or travel trailer, AND a car for work (I'm going to keep the car until it kicks it- it gets almost 60mpg)
.