Benefits of RVing - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-05-2020, 10:34 AM   #1
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Benefits of RVing

We've traveled for the last 20 years mostly in our 1991 Scamp 16 averaging 7+ months a year on the road. It has been a truly marvelous time, if you will a seemingly end of life honeymoon.

Ginny and I will turn 78 this month. We just returned from Pickleball, it was 83F and 79% humidity without a breeze.

We returned home wet, Ginny would say 'glistening', ready for a shower.

Cooling down for a minute before our showers, Ginny reflected that before we retired she could never imagined playing Pickleball, certainly not at 78, least of all in Florida summer weather.

Friends and family ask us how we can stand Florida summer weather. Actually this is our first summer in Florida, normally at this time of the year we're in Newfoundland or Maine. The national condition has us waiting it out in Florida though we've always wanted to try Florida in the summer. It turns out it's just fine.

Our two decades of retirement, of traveling in our RV, of hiking about regularly, has made Pickleball at 78 possible. Our decision to retire and hit the road was a true blessing.

Just a thought...
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:06 AM   #2
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That's great to hear.

I'm glad you're having the experience.

From my perspective, RVing makes these things possible, but there has to be a certain amount of lifestyle design. Seeing people in campgrounds around me, and knowing my own personal tendencies, it can go the other way.

Living in an RV can be confining and limiting. I find I get more exercise when I live in a house over the winter, because everything in my life is so much more certain and structured, I can get into a regular exercise routine, and have space to exercise in any weather. I'm not constantly setting up, taking down, moving my camper. More brain space and time is available for getting out on hikes or other exercise.

Being in an RV can easily turn you into a worse couch potato than ever. You're constantly either driving, sitting around camp, sitting in the camper, "hiding" in the camper because you're stealth camping in a city, unwilling to go on too long a hike because you aren't sure where to leave the camper or can't leave or bring dogs, etc.

Active people will find even more exciting and interesting ways to stay active with an RV lifestyle. More sedentary people will find RVing just another level of inactivity.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:08 AM   #3
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Gail and I are in the same boat, Norm. We had planned to go back to New England this summer as I really don’t like Florida’s summer heat and humidity. So I’ve been spending 4 or 5 hours doing outside maintenance. Around 11:30 I’ve usually had enough. But like you, at 71 I’m in relatively good shape because I do a lot of physical labor. Hope the rest of the summer is good for you and Ginny and we all can resume our traveling by next summer.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:21 AM   #4
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Couch Potato

We are rarely in our trailer once we've eaten breakfast. As to driving we generally limit ourselves to 150 miles a day or 3 hours, when we do a loop of the USA our average day towing is about 30-40 miles since we usually spend about 4 days in one place. WE rarely ever stealth camp in a city, generally stay away from them. If we want to visit a city we park outside and drive in.
Right now there are a number of cities I would not go to for any reason. We have the no pet rule because as much as we might love a dog, it's limiting.

Most people in a campground are seasonal or weekend campers, not what I call travelers.

We traveled in a Scamp for 10 years and most days I do a series of about 20 exercises, usually on the floor of my camper. It's all about choices and finding a way.

WHen you look you can find. Last year we spent two months in Coastal Oregon a town of 1000 and found a group of about 20 that played Pickleball 3 times a week. When not playing we hiked the coast and mountains.

We find our RV freeing. The burdens of a home, the home routine, and so on, are gone and it's an opportunity to develop a new life, possibly a different life. We have enjoyed our travels so much it's hard for me to fully explain. I hope I wasn't too aggressive.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:43 AM   #5
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I completely agree. I didn't mean to sound negative, only realistic. With any lifestyle, being healthy requires intent. I personally find staying active and healthy while living in an RV to be slightly more challenging, or requiring more intention. But it is absolutely doable, if it's your intention.
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Old 08-05-2020, 11:59 AM   #6
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Zach,

When we first retired, we had never owned an RV, it was al an experiment that we thought might last 2-3 years. I recall our simple goal was to travel and see the country. We did not realize what we had started. Between us we've lost 140 lbs, who would have ever imagined that and we lost it without intent but over many years. And even now we are still losing weight.

I believe I've changed in many ways beyond the physical, we've even changed fiscally. My anxiety level is way down, my pace is down.

Rving, basically full time RVing ,is such a break with your past that is a massive opportunity to change.

Right now we're relatively isolated in a small RV park, basically it's just Ginny and I though the our retired kids stop by frequently. For us it's not a bother, it's just like traveling cross country in the RV, just the two of us.

I wish I had started my married life living in an RV, particularly a Scamp 16 sized RV.

Wishing you well.
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Old 08-05-2020, 12:00 PM   #7
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CPW,

If I'm not in Newfoundland next May, June and July it means I'm dead or the borders are still closed.

Norm
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Old 08-06-2020, 01:57 PM   #8
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Smile This makes my heart happy and gives this 49 year old hope!

I absolutely LOVE that you posted this, Norm. As a 49 year old single mother of 5, two of whom are still in high school, the monotony of day to day life, especially whilst living through COVID, is quite depressing I must say. What you've written is SOOOO refreshing and positive and I greatly appreciate hearing your experience over the past 20 years. My fiance' is a fulltime firefighter and I am a nurse, and we have often talked of just setting ourselves free from the burdens of a brick and mortar house and all the duties and worries and debt that come with it. After my last two kiddos have graduated, of course. Thanks for sharing...just wanted you to know that you were an inspiration to me today. Sending virtual, mask-wearing, social distancing (in other words WISE and being conscientious of OTHERS!) hugs. Stay safe, wear a mask not just for you, but for everyone ELSE, and know that at least one woman was impacted positively by your post. Well said! All the best to you and Ginny! Pickleball on and may you be in Newfoundland next May!
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:01 PM   #9
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PS: My fiance' and I are in the process of refurbishing a 1972 Boler American that we stumbled upon and have just purchased a 2015 Safari Condo Alto r1713 aluminum camper to stay in on our lake lot for the time being. Let me tell you, as they are made in Canada, and we purchased used from a Canadian seller, it was a TRICK to get it over the border...but worth the money and hassle of sorting it out. Cheers mate!
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:16 PM   #10
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Sure good to hear from you two Norm and Ginny, Its been awhile and some of us had wondered about you. Glad to hear everything is going well.
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Old 08-06-2020, 06:47 PM   #11
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Mer - Just a couple of thoughts.

Escapees was started by a couple who gave up their home and hit the road. She wanted to do it but he wasn't sure. She wrapped his sandwiches in maps. He eventually got it and they started the Escapee group, a mostly fulltimers group. Kay Petersen went from a stationary nurse to a traveling nurse.

Living on the road really costs less than a traditional life.
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Old 08-07-2020, 12:33 PM   #12
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G'day Norm. Thanks for the reply. Good stuff! We nurses are quite persuasive when we need to be, I reckon. lol And yes, we have often discussed me doing travel nursing, which I think would be awesome. Just need my boys to finish up high school and then will definitely look into that. This may be asking a bit much, and don't respond if you're not comfortable, but what do you reckon an estimate of your monthly living expenses are? Or maybe I should ask what percentage decrease have you noticed vs. when you lived in a brick and mortar house? I imagine no property taxes, utilities, home repair bills, etc. Just curious but really not necessary to answer. Ballpark would be plenty good for an answer, if any. Thanks so much! Take care...

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Old 08-07-2020, 01:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by mtodd5kids View Post
G'day Norm. Thanks for the reply. Good stuff! We nurses are quite persuasive when we need to be, I reckon. lol And yes, we have often discussed me doing travel nursing, which I think would be awesome. Just need my boys to finish up high school and then will definitely look into that. This may be asking a bit much, and don't respond if you're not comfortable, but what do you reckon an estimate of your monthly living expenses are? Or maybe I should ask what percentage decrease have you noticed vs. when you lived in a brick and mortar house? I imagine no property taxes, utilities, home repair bills, etc. Just curious but really not necessary to answer. Ballpark would be plenty good for an answer, if any. Thanks so much! Take care...

Mer
When we left for the road in 2001 we expected we'd see the country in 3 years and return to our NH home. We never expected RVing would become our life. As a result we did not sell our house. Our house was a small beach cottage In NH. NH only has 17 miles of coast so property is expensive. As well NH has no sales, income tax or estate tax making it desirable. Also with the market crash we did not sell our home until 2014 even though we recognized we should have sold it. Owning the house, though there were years we only spent 6 weeks there and rarely more than 3-4 months, cost us the order of $10.000 dollars a year.

For the first 7 years we were not eligible for Medicare so we purchased a catastrophe medical insurance policy. It cost us about $7,000 a year, something we never used. Our son retired at fifty 2 years ago and was able to get medical insurance at a reasonable rate. I believe he worked through an agent who knew the ropes and has a great policy at reasonable rates.

We've doe 7 loops of the USA and Canada. A 8000 mile loop in the first 7 years would use 1000 gallons of gas for the RV (8 mpg for the Motorhome). After those first 7 years we switched to small trailers and would average around 20 mpg towing mostly with our Honda CRV using 400 gallons for the loop. So over an 8 month loop gas is not too expensive. Now some of our trips gas was more expensive than it is today like a trip across Labrador, 10 trips in Newfoundland and a trip to Alaska.

In addition to towing costs there's driving around costs on these loops. We probably burn another 400-600 gallons on an 8 month trip driving around sight seeing. (We towed a Honda behind our motorhome and towed all our trailers with a Honda.)

Since we sold our home in NH we bought into an Escapee Park in Florida, about $12,000. When you no longer want your site you get your money back, when you're not here they rent it for you. We bought in recognizing at some point we won't be 'road worthy' and would need a place to settle. Now we spend about 5 months of the year here, typically winter. There is a yearly maintenance fee (about $1500 a year) that covers yard work, water, sewerage and wifi.


Escapees have about 20 of their own parks that you can stay in across the country, fees are about $20 a night. In addition they have a boon dockers group called Days End and a younger group named Xscapers, typically people who work and travel.

We belong to Passport America as well, a discount camping club, $45/year that pays for itself our first week on the road.

I'm wandering just to give you some ideas.. The Escapee club has over 100,000 members. Escapees have a great forum with all kinds of info at Escapees.com.

Outside of owning our home for 14 years I'm wildly guessing we spent the order of $35,000 a year traveling. The early years were more expensive because we had the medical insurance, but we were more frugal in the early years and campgrounds cost less. In the later years we spent more but had less expensive rigs.

I will say we never worked. Generally spent cash until we started collecting social security, some small pensions and 401Ks.

Of course this was off the cuff wandering, I know that I have data somewhere because we used to keep track of everything we spent. Over the next week I'll look for some actual data.
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Old 08-12-2020, 01:13 PM   #14
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I detect you two really enjoy Newfoundland. My son and I took a cross province motorcycle trip 10 years ago. Very sparsely populated and very beautiful. What do you find most interesting about the province that drew you back so often?
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Old 08-13-2020, 07:40 PM   #15
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Great post, Norm. Glad you and your wife were able to take advantage of your retirement. I got some good ideas from you and hope to start pursuing my extended travels next year.

Stay healthy, my friend.

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Old 08-13-2020, 08:46 PM   #16
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You end up with a smaller 401K account so your kids have less to squabble and fight over !
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:05 AM   #17
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You end up with a smaller 401K account so your kids have less to squabble and fight over !
The effect is twofold. First there is the cost of RV ownership- purchase, maintenance, tow vehicle, gas, camping fees... Add to that the statistical likelihood of a longer lifespan due to maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.
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Old 08-14-2020, 09:19 AM   #18
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The effect is twofold. First there is the cost of RV ownership- purchase, maintenance, tow vehicle, gas, camping fees... Add to that the statistical likelihood of a longer lifespan due to maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.
Right now our 2019 Ram 1500 and our 2018 Escape 21 are comfortably resting in storage inside our pole barn , depreciating as we speak
Having that much invested , and not being able to put it to good use is rather depressing .
At this point I figure 2020 is a lost year and at my age I am not sure I will be able to make up the loss .
RVing to me is a way to pass the time but it is not a way of life or a calling from above .
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Old 08-14-2020, 11:50 AM   #19
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It is too bad this year makes RVing difficult. Ginny says being somewhat isolated from the world is a little like traveling long term in an RV, just the two of us. I'm not sure that the country should have shut down but it did though it seems somewhat political. I heard a commentator say it will disappear after the election, or minimally once people have the mental security of a vaccine. I sit here planning our next year's trip and that makes me smile.

Since we were young when we started RVing , had no prior planning, we tended to be careful how we spent money (certainly different from our pre-RV lifestyle). As a result we always bought our RV's used, over 20 years we spent $46,000 for our 4 RVs. We still have 2 RVs that we purchased for a total of $10,000, our 1991 Scamp and our 1993 BornFree. Our most expensive RV was our 1st, a 1997 Bounder, 32 foot Class A Motorhome for which we paid $35,000. When I consider the present worth our present RVs and the money when we sold what we no longer have, the cost of RVs over 20 years about $20,000. This amounts to about $1,000 a year.

As to tow vehicles or towed vehicles, we began with a small vehicle we owned and purchased a Honda CRV that lasted for 10 years and covered 250,000 miles. For those vehicle costs were less than a $1500 a year. Our new Odyssey will be closer to $3,000 a year.

I figure under any condition we'd own one vehicle and that's all we've ever owned since we began RVing. (This has been a major cost savings compared to the two vehicles that were required while we worked.)

In summary, our RV lifestyle for vehicles was much lower than when we were working. Before RVing we had 3 vehicles, two for work and one for fun.

Owning an RV is very inexpensive per year. Our only mistake was buying the Class A. However it was a great vehicle for the first 7 years of our RV life before we learned we didn't need big.

Wishing you well and happy RV dreams.
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Old 08-14-2020, 12:15 PM   #20
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Depressing

At 78 with limited RV time left, we're hoping for 7 more good years, it's sad we're missing out than I think of my neighbors. They are 93 and have been married for 70 years. He's forever approaching me to buy our Scamp 16. Primarily to use it to drive back and forth to their home in Michigan. (They own a 5th wheel and no longer want to tow it back and forth.) 70 years of marriage and still want an RV. Just amazing, maybe we'll be RV until were 85.

So 2020 is not what we expected, we were definitely planning on two months in Newfoundland. Now it's our target for next year. Here's hoping.

One benefit of this year is we are accumulating cash, it's certainly less expensive here in Florida for the summer than on the road. Also we've wanted to know what Florida is like in the summer. Now I know I can do well here. What amazes me the most has been the virtually daily rain and the ability to actually see grass grow.

Once the local kids are back in school (this week) Ginny and I are planning a tour of a few FL State parks. They are very inexpensive for FL seniors and generally great parks.

I am responsible for the WiFI system in our park. I can see by the data usage that a lot of people have their tvs and computers on. Ginny and I have watched a bit. One thing we've enjoyed is YouTube. Previously I only used it for how to videos. Now e watch to broaden our view. There's so much out their, it's just unbelievable and broadening.

AS to 2020, my Dad used to say "this too will end"
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