Our Fulltiming Costs - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-21-2012, 02:48 PM   #29
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Name: Cathy
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I was at another forum where they were saying if you didn't have $2,000 to $3,000 a month to spend that you should forget it! As has been pointed out, it really depends just like living in a house. I was born thrifty and frugal. I keep a budget so as to put money in savings. We don't eat out because we don't like to so that is a savings. We like to savor an area so we have always tried or wanted to stay in areas long enough to really see everything there. I think the lifestyle works better for those that are accustomed to and or become accustomed to having a budget and sticking to it. Before I maintained a budget, I didn't really know where the money went and once I did, it we needed to cut the budget because of job loss, something major or a vacation to Disney World, I could look at the budget and see where we could cut. We didn't think we could afford a vacation at Disney World but when the refrigerator broke down and we bought a new one, we found money for that and in doing that, I learned that if something was a priority, I could get it done. I'm the one in the parking lot bending over to pick up the stray penny! Really, what do you spend now? How many of those expenses will be going with you full-time? What additional expenses do you see besides gasoline and site rental because both of those can be tweeted to your budget if you are determined to do it?
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Old 12-22-2012, 06:40 AM   #30
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Hi: Cathy P... Confusion Say... "Man/Woman who stoops to pick up penny never broke"!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:23 AM   #31
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Budget

Cathy,

We have kept a budget for the last 12 RVing years. It's not that we strictly follow it but writing our expenses down every day keeps us conscious of money.

I did not give the amount of our medical insurance cost, but it amounts to about $20 a day, a significant portion of our daily expenses. This includes our Medicare, Medicare supplement and Prescription coverage expenses.

We could reduce our expenses further by cutting our camping expenses, probably to levels Byron spends and staying in one location for longer times could cut our fuel expenses.

"Gas - $11.55/day - about 3 gallons, 70 miles/day
Auto Repairs - $0.42/day - mostly oil changes
RV sites - $14.42/day
Groceries - $9.50/day
Restuarants - $9.29/day - includes a number of group and special occasion dinners
Entertainment -$3.22/day
Misc - $4.62/day
Propane - $0.20/day - mostly cooking, some fridge
Clothing - $0.64/day - the clothes we start with are usually enough
Laundry - $0.37/day

Our total daily expenses amounted to about $89 a day. The $89 includes our medical insurance. It does not include auto or trailer insurance or any costs to maintain our small home."


I am certain that it costs less to be travelers than to live at home. For example our utility bills are substantially higher at home.

Since we are not fulltimers we still carry a number of 'home expenses' like taxes, maintenancs costs, home insurance and some utility costs. Sometimes it seems foolish that we still own a home when we have years where we use the home for only 6 weeks a year.

I will say, regardless of cost, I find the road to be worth the cost.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:17 AM   #32
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Name: George
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Norm,
I enjoy following your post and hearing of your adventures; however I am faced with an interesting dilemma. What does one do with there home residence when on the road for an extended period of time? Do you have a care taker or appoint someone to watch over your property? If so, do you pay for this as this would be an added expense for me; however the wife and I are not ready to sell at this time.
George
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:55 AM   #33
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George,
We've kept our home for 13 years. In the beginning it seemed trival because at least on paper the value went up. Our house is at the beach in NH and relatives occasionally use it while we're away. As a result we keep it powered.

We don't hire anyone to watch it or check up on it though our next door neighbor is like a hawk. I will say NH seems to have a relatively low crime rate

We buy a contract with the gas company. If our furnace goes out and the temp drops7 a light comes on our porch and our neighbor calls the gas company. It's happened twice.

We have been gone 7-11 months a year. Between everything, it costs us about 8-10,000 a year to own the house. Taxes, insurance, water, heat, electricity, repairs, ......

I should have began that we livein a beach community,houses close together, many only occupied in the summer. Most where the land is worth more than the house.

Even in the middle of the winter some friend or relative will go in to use the fridge or stove as backup for a party at their house. (A lot of people have a key) Relatives haveusedit during power outages ( ours rarely goes out because there arefew trees at the beach

Now that we've spent $100,000 on keeping our house I wish I had sold it on day one. True the house contains memories but most of them are in us. We are in a sense different people now realizing "things and stuff" has little to do with the true joys of life.

I hope you understand what we do. IfI missed something let me know
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:06 PM   #34
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Hey George, I'll come house sit while you travel, we are in Georgia right now, left home thanksgiving day and will be back home around the first of march, we have someone checking our house, plowing the snow etc, so far we are loving it, we are also in a 13 ft Uhaul, we are staying in s. Carolina for 4 days the end of feb at hunting island, not sure where after there heading back to n.y., where are you n.carolina? We stayed in the outer banks last year on our way back north
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:20 PM   #35
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Thanks Norm,
Just trying to get a realistic idea of how to approach a full-timing adventure. From what I gather from your perspective it depends on the amount of time you spend on the road and not knowing that for sure at the outset I guess we'll still have the shack to come home to until we answer that question.
George
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:36 PM   #36
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Thanks for the offer Bob,
Beaufort is a lovely area, wish we could join you for a few days at Hunting Island and catch the snowbird special; however the better half is still working, a few years yet, then the fun begins. We are in the center of the state just north of Charlotte, not a bad location between the beach and the mountains. I'll keep you in mind if I need a house setter.
George
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:10 PM   #37
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Another budget to look over and a fun blog to read The Cost of Living full time on the Road in an RV | Gone With The Wynns
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:25 PM   #38
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George,

When we started our adventures we only planned to be at it for 3 years.... thinking we might come back and even work again.

It did not happen. If I had known how much fun it would be we would have quit working at a younger age.

We plan to head north early this year to spend a few weeks in MB, SC before heading north to get ready for our spring Newfie trip.

KenC, I read the Wynn's budget. It reminded me of our first years with our motorhome/ Fuel quickly becomes very important. Our motorhome used 3 times as much gas as our fiberglass tow vehicle, 7.5 versus 22.5 mpg. In part one has a reasonable ability to control costs.
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:31 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
George,

KenC, I read the Wynn's budget. It reminded me of our first years with our motorhome/ Fuel quickly becomes very important. Our motorhome used 3 times as much gas as our fiberglass tow vehicle, 7.5 versus 22.5 mpg. In part one has a reasonable ability to control costs.
I would like to get 22.5 mpg too! Please tell me about your vehicle (engine, gears, other?) and your trailer (weight, height, width) and any help you can give me that will help me get your super mileage. What is your gas mileage solo versus pulling the trailer?
We pull our 17' trailer (about 2500 lbs loaded, no water) with a chevy pickup (4.8L) that gets 23 mpg solo, but only 14 -15 mpg when pulling. And when we pull we seldom go over 55mph. The truck is a 4 speed auto and when pulling it often needs to be in 3rd gear unless we have a tail wind or there is almost no wind and the terrain is pretty flat. Does your mileage drop off like ours does when you are pulling?
Maybe our next vehicle should be more like yours!

Cheers John
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:49 PM   #40
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Honda CRV Tow Vehicle

John,

Our tow vehicle choice is definitely opposed by a number of people on the site.

We tow with a 2004 Honda CRV with 5 speed manual transmission. It has a 2.4L gas engine with about 160 hp and 180 ft lbs of torque. It has an 'on demand' 4 wheel drive that kicks in automatically when a front wheel slips.

Mileage depends on the type of driving. Not towing we get 30 mpg on the highway. Around town we typically get 26 mpg. Towing last year for 315 days we averaged 22.5mpg. We typically tow in 4th gear because our ultra gauge says we get the best mileage in 4th which means about 3000 rpm.

Our Honda is rated to tow 1500 lbs in the USA. In Europe 1500 lbs is the rating for towing a trailer without brakes. In Europe it's rated for about 3000 lbs if the trailer has brakes. We follow the European ratings and of course have brakes.

We have been towing for 5 years and our Honda now has 180,000 miles on the odometer. It has never had a driveline failure. This year we had one of the two radiator fans fail. Same clutch as the day we bought it. We use a 3500 lb Curt Hitch. We do not use a weight distribution hitch but do have an anti-sway bar.

We have made two loops of the USA...many Rockies crossings.... and a NB, NS, Nfld, Labrador and Northern Quebec loop...tons of steep, dirt road grades... all without issue. Clmbing western moountains we are generally im 4th downshifting to 3rd when necessary.

Our trailer is a Scamp 16. It weighs 2400 lbs; 200 lbs of this is tongue weight. The Honda has a 100Kg/220 lb limit on the tongue weight. We stay under it by having one propane tank, one battery and loading sensibly. We do carry at least a 1/2 tank of water at all times. Our trailer has more organized storage space then most Scamps because we travel extensively. We have also towed a heavier Casita 16 about 5,000 miles. (if you don't know our trailer read Preparing a 1991 Scamp under Modifications.)

We generally drive at 55 mph except for Interstates where we drive at 60 mph. We do not rush up to stop lights/signs and jam on our brakes. We generally coast into these situations. We are not hyper mileage people but are sensible drivers. We find the Scamp (and Casita) tow beautifully. No complaints what so ever.

I know there are people who think you need to be able to go 75 mph, I used to be one of them but not on tires rated for 65 mph as mine are. It's also apparant that high speeds are more dangerous and I suspect more so as one ages and this is our 12th year of at least 7 months a year on the road.

We have tire pressure monitors on our trailer and we are checkers and recheckers of our setup. We never let our tires get old. Being old we have time to be careful.

Our goal when we bought the Honda was 10 years/250,000 miles, that seems likely. Actually the Honda has another 50,000 unregistered miles of being towed behind our Motorhome.

We most love our Honda because it has been extremely reliable and gets good mileage. It has low depreciation with time but is not much of a concern because we keep them a long time and usually pass them on to family members.

To be balanced, the critics of our tow vehicle mainly are concerned about liability and warranty issues. To us the latter is a mute issue. We've had 5 or 6 Hondas and simply have never had a warranty issue. We did have an air conditioner fail once after 60,000 miles, well out of warranty, and Honda fixed the $1100 problem at no charge and without us screaming and shouting.

Our insurance company insures both are only vehicle, the Honda, and our trailer. We were hit once when towing and the company covered all repair costs.

That's our situation so far. I report what's worked for us.

Unfortunately Honda no longer sells the manual transmission CRV in the USA. We may have to switch to an Outback, our kids own one and we could do an extended test, or try a Honda automatic.

If I missed anything please don't hesitate to ask.

Safe Travels.
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:35 PM   #41
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Thanks very much for your thorough explanation.
I know that we have more tow vehicle than the trailer needs, but we have a 65 gal fresh water tank in the back of the pickup for extended boondocking. After four years of doing this I don't think we will need that tank in the future (or maybe a much smaller one) and may want to downsize our tow vehicle when the pickup needs replacing. Your info will help me think about that future purchase.
Safe and fun travels to you both.

Cheers John
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Old 02-02-2013, 09:11 PM   #42
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Just jumping in here a bit unprepared.
I have a 2005 Dodge 3/4 ton 4x4, 5.7 Hemi, automatic.
It is a completely stock truck, I even buy original equipment tires.....ops it does have the leveling kit installed that raised the front of the truck so the truck sits level.

I use the on board trip meter to get my fuel mileage.

I drove 900 miles last spring to pickup my burro and then 900 miles home with a few night camping on the way.

I got better mileage pulling the trailer than not.....My wife and both felt like I drove both ways the same as I always drive......

I was a professional trucker for about 5 years and do tend to drive conservatively, I was thinking it had to do with the air flow kind of like the nascar effect when they team up......

My mileage went back down after I started driving the truck with no trailer.
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