Is it really worth it? - Page 6 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-29-2014, 10:36 PM   #71
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You've asked a great question in that it has generated so much conversation.

Financially I have about $5000 in on my '93 13ft Scamp. That is purchase price plus rehab and upgrades.

We took it out West (UT & AZ) for two of the most glorious weeks of my life. family of 6. 4500 miles. 6 National Parks. 3 State Parks. 2 National Monuments. Turn after glorious turn. Star after glorious star. Rock formation after glorious rock formation. Memory after glorious memory.

Keeping the math simple and paying attention to only the Scamp cost... Divided by our 11 nights in it... Then each night cost $454 and change.

I can be discouraged by that number or....

I can drive it down with years of trips to come - as I/we intend to. And I can recall that the quality of time I enjoyed with my wife and children was not simply better or more than I can have when we hotel it. No, it was of a kind and quality wholly different.

I've had NICE hotel stays but they've never suffered from being SUBLIME - a now common (and 'priceless' as they say) result of our time as a family, in rather wild places, together with our egg.


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Old 07-29-2014, 10:50 PM   #72
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David, you have the right mind-set. SUBLIME....is perfect!

Pics, did you say you were going to post pics?
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Old 07-29-2014, 11:05 PM   #73
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Donna, I'm on it!


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Old 07-30-2014, 05:10 AM   #74
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Donna, Harley can chime in on this one...

When we bought our motor home we took a loan against the house and used it to purchase the motor home and CRV, deducting the interest.

As to interest deductions, these days interest rates are pretty low and it may not be an issue but that will change.
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Old 07-30-2014, 05:27 AM   #75
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More nights

Donna,

Obviously more nights will take care of your cost issue. We've had our Scamp for 3 or 4 years and have camped in it for about 1000 nights dropping the cost to about $6 per night assuming it has zero value today. Similarly the CRV cost was in the same range or less than the trailer.

We have kept detailed records of our costs to live for the last 14 years and with all costs including gifts to others, taxes, medical insurance, RV travel, RV and tow vehicle purchase, ....just everything, our yearly costs is about $50,000 a year. That includes about 240 days of travel a year, the owner ship of an RV, a tow vehicle and a small home in NH.

Financially our NH home, for people who travels as much as we do, was a mistake to keep and maintain though it has no mortgage.

Some ballpark numbers for us.... I admit they could be less. There are a number of areas where we could reduce our expenses by changing what we spend or how we travel. However, regardless of our personal financial choices, I would not change our RV life for any other form of living.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:16 AM   #76
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Is it worth it?

Hi: All... We bought our first fiberglass trailer, while I was awaiting Pacemaker surgery. It was just "What the Dr. ordered".
We're now on our 3rd fiberglass trailer, and I'm still on my first pacemaker. The batteries don't usually last this long!!! Was it worth it? I'll say it was.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:39 AM   #77
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Name: Mark & Deb
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Hi all, my first camping experiences were in a Volkswagon camper when I was a kid. There were 4 adults and eight kids and I would not trade that experience for anything. I remember having to get out and help push the V.W. up some hills. When I got out of the service and got married we got our first popup. We have had many campers over the years but my favorite is our Casita. We try to go camping every other week for four days. I love to be able to take off and if we want to stop at a place with a nice view and eat lunch and then continue to our destination we do. We do not rush to get get there but if we see something along the way that interests us then we stop and visit. I remember when I was younger I would rush to get to the destination and get worked up if we got stuck in traffic. I learned it was much more enjoyable to take your time and stay calm and if you had car or camper troubles to make the best of the situation and just move on. These experiences are what you get to talk and laugh about at the campfires. I would rather spend my money doing something that we both enjoy then working 2 jobs trying to afford a large house and not being able to go anywhere because all the money goes to pay the mortgage. We have been married and camping for 38 years.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:48 AM   #78
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In the “same thing only different” category I recently bought a 15ga cordless air nailer. In excess of $300. I estimate I’ve driven about 10 nails with it so far. The sales clerk wondered aloud whether someone needed such an expensive tool. Certainly there are less expensive nailers out there and I’m unlikely to be mistook for a construction professional. My response was that, technically, all I “needed” was a rock to drive a nail. Much more than that and we’re talking “style”, a highly subjective characteristic. Heck, I’m sure there is an attitude out there that says I should have paid $30 to each of 10 jobless people to each come and pound one nail each rather than the act of conspicuous consumption that I engaged in. In the meantime, I need to start nailing the heck out of everything I see.

But, more on point, I could sleep on the ground under a layer of leaves. But I distain the purists who seem to hold that they’re somewhat closer to the camping spirit. They don’t chase their meals down with flint tipped spears, their trailers are made from a petroleum based fiberglass, they avail themselves of the benefits of civilization such as food and fuel distribution networks, they want ready access to health and safety systems if needed and they tow with a sophisticated and complicated vehicle. I believe even the most rustic camper of today is still skewed way towards civilization and what we’re discussing is only a matter of degrees near the edge of the curve.

Like most things, it’s worth what you’re willing to pay for it. And of course, your mileage may vary.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:32 AM   #79
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
OMG. My new 5er is less than a month old. I've spent 11 days out camping since pickup up on July 3rd. I figure my nights so far have cost me about $2700 a NIGHT and that doesn't take into account fuel, site fees or the new TUG I bought (57 more payments and it's MINE). The ONE thing I've gained is MEMORIES and those are priceless and NO ONE and NOTHING can take those away from me.

Priceless doesn't even come close to the description I feel when thinking about what I have already experienced and what the future may hold. YMMV
Donna,
The MEMORIES you can take with you! But, you can NOT take the money with you! So, please make lots of memories! Enjoy everyday of life that you can!

Thanks,
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:17 AM   #80
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My wife and I met back in the early 70's with a love of hiking and climbing. We honeymooned in the Rocky Mountain National Park back in the late summer of '74, and never looked back. We brought our 3 sons up camping in tents every year, from when they were we babies and onward. Now the baby is 30, and we still get together as a family camping, just they're in tents.

We tent camped for 40 years, and just can't sleep on the ground anymore. Also, we so love camping, we plan to do like what Norm & Ginny have done when we retire a few years down the road. We already owned two fine tow vehicles, so you can't include those in the cost of our camping. The ParkLiner we bought was used, but still pricey, but that's okay. I would much prefer to camp that sleeping in a motel or hotel bed, and the ParkLiner is very comfortable to hang out in.

Each to their own is my motto. YMMV.

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Old 07-30-2014, 09:41 AM   #81
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If you are getting out, enjoying life and creating wonderful memories, and so long as the costs are affordable to you, this should be reason enough to go RVing, despite the costs.

Lots of people compare costs of travelling with a trailer, to car travel and finding accommodations. It is not fair to compare these two options based on cost alone. There are so many other factors, too numerous to list, and different for everyone out there.

I love having my kitchen with me when I travel, and when I stop. Want a coffee at 6AM without venturing out to find one, especially one that is not crappy, no problem. An apple midday, a snack in the evening, or even just the fact you can prepare more nutritious and cheaper meals yourself.

You can't beat stepping outside into your 'Living Room' to sit and relax and enjoy life. Not too many motels offer this, and not going at all may save you money, but you lose out on the experience.

You have a bed, maybe a bathroom, and other amenities that only you use, all at your immediate disposal.

You have the flexibility of going off the beaten path to where your only other choice of being there would be a day trip in, then head out, other than tening of course.

But of course, this lifestyle is not for everyone. I know people that cringe at the thought of going camping in any form, and I don't even try to explain to them why. One fellow I worked with once said "I can't understand why anyone would go to the trouble of going camping, only to inconvenience themselves". I understand.
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Old 07-30-2014, 09:49 AM   #82
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I think what it costs is a valid conversation, and on a topic often neglected. How many "project" campers come on the market because someone finds they can't really afford the cost of finishing it, or isn't using it enough to justify keeping it, especially if there is a larger expense (axle or appliances come to mind).

Considering how much one will use a camper is an important aspect of how much one would reasonably spend on owning one. It's as easy to over buy as it is to over pack.

This REALLY rings true to me. I've felt that cost of things isn't discussed enough here. Which is fine at times, but when it seems to be missing nearly completely from the "conversation,", it sometimes gets to me. I know some would rather not discuss it, but when you're a newbie trying to understand what things cost, or the new cost of some of the FGRVs, it's tough to understand that side of it at times. I understand that some really don't want to know because it would bother them to figure out how much they really are spending per trip/night, etc. And that's fine, you may be happier not knowing. But for me, I feel better when I know that this is something that works not only "spiritually" for me, but financially.


My plan to combat that: An open book on the costs of my rebuild. I haven't kept track of everything we take camping (Pots/pans/kitchen items from thrift stores, etc), but I have tracked the larger and fixed items we've already purchased, and certainly got a rough idea on cost of many of the other items we'll need. So once I start on the rebuild, I'll be tallying up the costs and itemizing it all for all to see. My main thought is to be more open on item costs, and the overall rebuild cost. By the time I'm done, I'm guessing I'll have been able to buy a new or close to new Scamp for the total cost of purchasing and rebuilding my FGRV. But I came to the conclusion that for us, this is what's worth doing because we can't buy a camper configured exactly how we'd like. And we've found that is important to us: having the camper set up in a way that works for US. So with that knowledge, I'm willing to "donate" my labor and get a better value for ME. I'll have some things much nicer than what's available from OEMs, some things of lesser quality, and some the same. But it will be the things that makes US happy campers. (EG: Nice SMEV stove, larger than standard IKEA sink, but no refrigerator. A nice quiet Propex furnace instead of the less expensive Atwood or Suburban units, etc)

Don't get me wrong, there are definitely intangibles that make camping worth it, even if it costs more than other methods. My thought isn't to make it cheaper than anything else, but to spend intentionally. But it helps me to be at peace if I at least know what the real costs are. That fact is why I DON'T have a diesel truck and 35 ft camper, because the increase in cost over what I do have isn't worth it to me for the small amount of increased enjoyment I'd get. I'm just trying to make sure that I'm being "efficient" with my leisure, and spending my hard earned dollars intentionally. If you KNOW where the dollars are going, then YOU can decide if that's worth it. Often, people don't realize they spend X amount on eating out, cigarettes, etc, until they actually sit down and track it. And then suddenly they often realize that they're not getting enough value out for the dollars in on certain things.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:08 AM   #83
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Becoming A Singularity

After we married, our lives in a measure separated. We each had separate jobs, separate cars, and separate focus. We would leave in the morning and would not see each other until evening. At night some portion of the evening our job problems rolled through our heads.

Beyond the jobs we may have had some separate activities like golf, or quilting. We even belonged to some separate organizations. When Ginny was not working her focus was children, mine earning, Sometimes this separateness extended to the weekends.

We had almost never camped before we bought our first RV. Our lives changed dramatically when we took up RVing. We bought our first RV in early 2001, immediately moving in. We lived in it all summer, camping on weekends, busy figuring it all out. On September 11, 2001 we began our 3/4 time life on the road.

We had not considered before we left how our relationship might change. We were too busy learning the ins and outs of our new life style. In retrospect the biggest difference was the closeness of our new life style. We just fell into it without a single issue.

In retrospect some sense it was like pre-marriage closeness and togetherness.

On the road we have become a virtual singularity. We are always together, doing virtually nothing apart. Personally we love the oneness. When Ginny occasionally goes off with one of her sisters I consciously miss her.

We have family members and friends who say... I'd kill him in a week of living in there or where do you go for your space.

For some couples I expect the change is difficult. It is definitely should be a pre-fulltiming consideration.

We bought our first RV from a couple. They had purchased a brand new motor home and driven cross country. When they returned home the wife simply said, You can keep that thing but I'm never going in it again.

The singularity of life on the road is a consideration for fulltiming. A result that we feel has been a wonderful benefit.
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:25 AM   #84
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 19
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I just got back from a 11.5 week vacation with our camper. next year we are planning a 6.5 week vacation up to the Pacific Northwest. This year we saw things that we would never had seen if we were just going from hotel/motel to hotel/motel. I also will be returning to San Diego, next week, to work for a week and have not found a clean hotel/motel for less than $100 a night. I can take my trailer there, and have found a park, close to town, where I can camp for $30 a night with full hookups or as I will be doing this trip, spending $12 a night in the over flow load without hookups. With solar panels, I don't feel like I need to be hooked up. Since I go to San Diego a number of times a year, to teach, using our trailer does save me a bunch of money, even more than the additional amount of gas that I use to pull the trailer. I also don't worry about bed bugs, dirty bathrooms, and know what stained the sheets that I sleep on. Our trailer is worth every penny we have investeded in it and know that with care we will get most of our money back when we decide to sell it.
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