RV Living Verses Apartment Living

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					RV Living Verses Apartment Living
A couple of years ago my wife and I decided we were going to travel the
US in a semi-retired state. We kicked out the kids (all over 21), sold
our home and purchased an RV. Well live situations change and we didn’t
get on the road, at least not yet. We ended up staying in the area and
taking full time jobs. But we decided at the time to stay in the RV as
The purpose of the article is to offer some insight as to the
possibilities of using RV’s instead of apartments and the advantages of
Rving. First a little background for those that are not familiar with the
Recreational Vehicle (RV) terms. RVs are classified into several
different categories.
Class A are the bus like vehicles you see traveling down the road. These
are also called Motorhomes and for good reason. Class A’s are the cream
of the crop so to speak. They are the most expensive in terms of cost but
have the most storage and amenities. I have seen some really nice Class
A’s and when it comes time for us to upgrade or trade in our current RV
we will be looking at the Class A again. However, my tastes start in the
$250,000 range, which is a little hard for me to justify.
Next are Class B, these are mini motorhomes. They are built on a light to
medium truck chassis and can be identified by the truck cab appearance of
the vehicle. In my opinion, these will not be suitable for full time use
unless you really like small places. Some newer Class Bs are including
what are called slides which are sections of the RV that ‘slide out’ from
the body giving you more living space inside. Living space is what you
will be looking for in the long run.
After the Class B comes Fifth Wheels. Fifth Wheels are trailers that are
pulled by pickup trucks. So to get a fifth wheel you will also need a
pickup truck of appropriate size. I would figure at least a ¾ ton pickup.
Fifth wheels offer an advantage over Class A and Class B in that once you
have the fifth wheel set up on a campsite, the truck is detached and can
be used as a means of transportation. With Class A & B RV’s you will need
to either tow or bring another vehicle with you to get around. Fifth
wheels approach the Class A RV in amenities and in some cases have more
space. Dollar for dollar you will get more living space in a fifth wheel
than a Class A.
However, you do need an expensive tow vehicle (truck) which has to be
considered as part of the purchase. The fifth wheel is also part of a
class considered as ‘Towables’. The next ‘towable’ is the travel trailer
(TT). These are similar to the fifth wheel except in the connections to
the tow vehicle. With TT you connect to a hitch that sits near the bumper
of the vehicle. Hence, just about any vehicle has the capabilities of
towing a TT depending on size and weight of course. Class A, Fifth Wheels
and Travel Trailers are the 3 main RV that you will find people living in
on a fulltime basis. After the TT comes the camper class. These are light
weight RV really not suitable for full time, however, I have met people
that are full-timers in pop-ups, truck campers and even tents. The top of
the line for the camper class is probably the truck campers.
These are units that slide into the bed of a pickup truck. In general,
the max length is no more than 12 feet from front to back and maybe 10
feet side to side. They are very compact. These offer the ultimate in
freedom, in that they are quick to setup and take down so that you can
move quickly from place to place. However, just like the class A & B,
your home is also your transportation, unless you bring another vehicle
with you. The last group of towables is the popup or tent trailers. These
have a study box frame and as the name implies pop up or lift up to raise
the roof over the frame. This class of campers usually have soft sides
made of cloth. I have used popups for years as an alternative to hotels
while on assignments around the country. Even did some camping in the
middle of winter with snow on the ground in a popup. Needless to say, a
heater was required and it ran all day and all night. At night it wasn’t
able to keep up with the cold so the morning was a little fun getting out
of bed. It was 20 degrees outside and about 50 inside.
That is a basic overview of the types of RV’s available. As mentioned
before, Class A, Fifth wheel and Travel Trailers are the units that most
people will find suitable for full-time living.
Our experiences with living full-time in an RV.
We currently have a fifth wheel. Ours is from Jayco and is 38 feet long
with 3 slides. One slide is in the bedroom, the other two slides are in
the living room one on each side of the trailer. After almost 3 years in
the RV as full-timers, we both love it. My wife likes to say it takes
less than an hour to clean from front to back, floor to ceiling.
Let’s start with the financial side of living in a RV. You have the cost
of the RV. These are to be treated just like cars. If you buy new, you
will take a beating on depreciation. However, like a home, the interest
is tax deductible. So the best deal seems to be a unit that is a year or
two old and financed. If you want to buy new, figure a discount of about
25-30% off from the list price. Our unit was a 2003 still on the lot in
2005 with the 2006 units being delivered. The sticker price was over
$65,000. We paid $40,000 saving us about 38 percent. Now at the time we
did not have a tow vehicle so the dealer delivered the fifth wheel to a
near by campground.
Oak Grove in Hatfield, PA is a year round campground. This is important.
You want to find a campground that offers year round operations. You
don’t want to have to move out in the wintertime. A lot of camp grounds
close from November to March or early April. When we started there our
rent was $375 a month and included water and electric. Our only other
expense was propane for heating and hot water. Oak Grove supplied 2- 100
lb propane tanks and they automatically changed the tanks for us. This is
really nice, kind of like automatic oil delivery when you own a house.
During the warmer months we hardly use any propane, maybe a bottle every
other month if that. However, wintertime we will use 3-4 bottles a month
due to the heater. Currently propane runs about $50 a bottle. So from the
standpoint of renting an apartment to living in an RV expenses are
normally cheaper. My daughter pays $750 a month for an apartment near us
and we pay on average $425-450.
Other benefits of living in a RV – people! The people you find camping
are the most wonderful folks you will ever come across. They are
friendly, helpful, young at heart and just plain nice to be around. We
have been avid campers since before we were married. I used to sneak down
to DE where my wife (girlfriend at the time) and her family were camping
and pitch a tent, then make myself part of the family. In the almost 40
years we have been together and camping we have never met anyone that was
rude, a thief, or not willing to lend a hand if asked. In fact we have
had more offers of help without asking than anytime we lived in a house
or apartment.
It’s funny, but when I traveled and stayed at hotels, you almost felt
like a ghost or leopard or something. Heaven forbid if you said ‘hi’ to
someone in the elevator or hallway. But when camping, everyone waves as
you walk by, some will offer drinks or have you sit by the fire and chat
for hours. Its like we are all family.
Speaking of fires, what is it about a campfire? To sit down at night
around a nice campfire is so relaxing. Nothing needs to be said, just
watch the flames and it seems all the stress just floats away. But
campfires have another benefit, food. Nothing tastes better than food
cooked over an open fire. Try doing that in an apartment.
Rving has another benefit, vacations. If you live in an apartment, you
vacation consist of going to a destination, finding a hotel/motel, eating
out every meal, and taking enough clothes with you for the length of the
vacation. When you live in a RV, your home goes with you. 30-40 minutes
to pack the RV, disconnect the utilities and hook up to the truck and you
are on the road. When you get to your vacation destination, another 30-40
minutes and you are ready to enjoy the sites. Meals are not a problem,
you have a complete kitchen already stocked just like at home, since it
is home. On a special diet? No problem, you normal routine is
uninterrupted. Clothes get dirty, a lot of RV come with washers and
dryers, so you can do your laundry while relaxing in the evenings or
before you get started for the day. Rving is usually cheaper too. When
you compare the expenses you will find the RV trip is a lot cheaper than
hotel/restaurant trip.
These are just a few of the things to consider when you look at living in
an apartment verse living in a RV. I hope you have found the information
Raymond Laubert is the owner of several web-based businesses including
Ray’s business focus is on providing home based business owners with the
information and support they need to succeed on the web. To that end he
is installing a home based business library membership site that will
have over 1000 articles in text and pdf formats covering a wide range of
topics and lots of software available to help the home based business
owner. The library will be online soon and it’s launch will be announced
in his Home Based Business Newsletter.

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