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Thread: Does anyone own an RV?

  1. #1
    Sprinkles are for winners dougdirt's Avatar
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    Does anyone own an RV?

    So, long story short, I've been contemplating getting an RV, or possibly building out a Van as a camper van in order to do lots more traveling next season for baseball. I believe in the long run it will save me money on hotel rooms as well as allow me to stay in locations longer and thus produce more and better content.

    Obviously, I'd be going with something used because I'm not exactly rolling in cash. Lately I've been looking at some RV's that are in that 16-20 foot range, Class C ones.

    I've got a few questions, though, as someone who has never owned, or even spent more than two minutes in one: First, while I could call the BMV and find out, I read the site and was left still wondering if I'd need a special license to drive one. Second, if you are one that can't park them at your residence, what does it typically cost to pay to park them at a yard/facility? What are some of the things that maybe a 1st time buyer wouldn't think to look into when shopping on the used market?

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  3. #2
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    Are you mechanically inclined? RV's are constant work to keep them up and going. From the parts perspective, a lot of converted RV's are specialized and are difficult to get parts for. It doesn't sound like you are going to go big or are willing to take them to an authorized dealer and spend big bucks to get it repaired.

    I don't believe you need a special drivers license for a smaller RV.

  4. #3
    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    I think you'd be better off with one of those Transit Connect's. Good MPG, easy upkeep, drives like a car, etc.

    Doesn't have a toilet, but that's what the woods, Target (I am a sales rep, on average cleanest bathrooms), and Gatorade bottles are for
    What would you say.....ya do here?

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  6. #4
    Sprinkles are for winners dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    Are you mechanically inclined? RV's are constant work to keep them up and going. From the parts perspective, a lot of converted RV's are specialized and are difficult to get parts for. It doesn't sound like you are going to go big or are willing to take them to an authorized dealer and spend big bucks to get it repaired.

    I don't believe you need a special drivers license for a smaller RV.
    I've never done any real work on a car - I can change oil, I can change brakes and rotors and such. With that said, I have tools, know how to use them and am certainly not someone who has never worked on things. Just never really done much work on cars. My dad was a mechanic, so unless it was a transmission problem, he would just take care of anything. On that same note, I do have a buddy who is a mechanic and has his own shop (who I've gone to twice since my dad died and have been quite happy with the service), and I've got another guy that I grew up with who is a diesel mechanic if I did decide to go that route - though I am leaning more towards gas than diesel at this point.

    The mechanical stuff is something that I've thought about. There's always that concern when getting anything used, though. Fortunately, we live in a time where the internet exists and how-to videos are all over youtube. While I certainly wouldn't tackle something major, smaller things are something that I'm confident that I could handle if something did pop up while on the road. Before buying anything I would have it checked out by a mechanic, just to be on the safe side.

    As for the parts being difficult to get, that isn't something I had really thought about before and something I will look into as far as what kind of things to avoid when shopping around.

  7. #5
    Sprinkles are for winners dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedTeamGo! View Post
    I think you'd be better off with one of those Transit Connect's. Good MPG, easy upkeep, drives like a car, etc.

    Doesn't have a toilet, but that's what the woods, Target (I am a sales rep, on average cleanest bathrooms), and Gatorade bottles are for
    I've looked into them. I'm just thinking that at the price - ~$26,000 before doing any actual build out (which I figure I could do for another $2500), is just a bit outside of my budget. Where as I think I can get an RV with 50-60,000 miles on it, granted something from around 1990, for about $5K on the secondary market and probably spend a little bit of extra money to customize it to better fit my needs. And, if I do things right, I might be able to do it without owing any actual money in the end. More risk because it's not exactly "new", but significantly cheaper and no debt.

    Oh, and FTR, if I do wind up going the van route, there will absolutely be a toilet of some kind. I need four things: A bed, a toilet, a fridge and a desk. Those are non-negotiables.

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?



    There's one of the four must-haves. You are welcome sir.

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  10. #7
    Sprinkles are for winners dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaldaniels View Post

    There's one of the four must-haves. You are welcome sir.
    Lol. I'd definitely go a different route. There are a few different options that, while more expensive, are much, much better for everyone involved.

  11. #8
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I've looked into them. I'm just thinking that at the price - ~$26,000 before doing any actual build out (which I figure I could do for another $2500), is just a bit outside of my budget. Where as I think I can get an RV with 50-60,000 miles on it, granted something from around 1990, for about $5K on the secondary market and probably spend a little bit of extra money to customize it to better fit my needs. And, if I do things right, I might be able to do it without owing any actual money in the end. More risk because it's not exactly "new", but significantly cheaper and no debt.

    Oh, and FTR, if I do wind up going the van route, there will absolutely be a toilet of some kind. I need four things: A bed, a toilet, a fridge and a desk. Those are non-negotiables.
    My knowledge on RV's is somewhat limited. I will say this, in your price range you are getting something that is 25+ years old. Unless you are buying it from someone who has owned it from day one, it is going to have been used and abused hard over the years. Now mechanically, a lot of the stuff under the hood is not to difficult to work on. If you buy a Chevy or Ford you are pretty much using the same frame as say an E450 so a majority of the parts are the same. However, with a car that old, you are going to get some headaches that go along with aging. The biggest issue that I hear about with RV's is electrical. The electrical wiring is much more extensive in a RV than in your average car. Couple that with the fact that the vehicle is older, an a lot of the original wiring may have been replaced to a lesser degree. Think about a house 25 years old, how much things change, what has been replaced and what needs replacing. Some may be easy, others difficult. Add that to the intricacies of a RV and could have an electrical headache. The last think you want is a fridge that keeps shorting out because of faulty wiring. If your mechanic buddy is good with electrical wiring (he should tell you if he is) bring him along to check anything you are interested in.

    On an aside, have you looked into pull behind campers?

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  13. #9
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    What about the smaller teardrop or wave trailers/campers? Seems to offer the amenities you're looking for, might keep the costs down a bit and you can likely rely on your existing vehicle. Certainly no authority here. Just a thought.

  14. #10
    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    You have to factor in MPG as well. What is a 1990 RV getting? 4 mpg? My cousin bought a 20+ year old RV thinking he and his wife were going to save money on vacations. They drove from Toledo to Statesville, NC and spent hundreds of dollars on gas, would have been much cheaper to just get a hotel. When they got back to Toledo they immediately put it up for sale in the paper.
    What would you say.....ya do here?

  15. #11
    Sprinkles are for winners dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucksfan2 View Post
    My knowledge on RV's is somewhat limited. I will say this, in your price range you are getting something that is 25+ years old. Unless you are buying it from someone who has owned it from day one, it is going to have been used and abused hard over the years. Now mechanically, a lot of the stuff under the hood is not to difficult to work on. If you buy a Chevy or Ford you are pretty much using the same frame as say an E450 so a majority of the parts are the same. However, with a car that old, you are going to get some headaches that go along with aging. The biggest issue that I hear about with RV's is electrical. The electrical wiring is much more extensive in a RV than in your average car. Couple that with the fact that the vehicle is older, an a lot of the original wiring may have been replaced to a lesser degree. Think about a house 25 years old, how much things change, what has been replaced and what needs replacing. Some may be easy, others difficult. Add that to the intricacies of a RV and could have an electrical headache. The last think you want is a fridge that keeps shorting out because of faulty wiring. If your mechanic buddy is good with electrical wiring (he should tell you if he is) bring him along to check anything you are interested in.

    On an aside, have you looked into pull behind campers?
    I have considered some pull behinds, but that would require a new vehicle. I own a 2015 Chevy Cruz.... not exactly made for towing anything.

    I'm probably capable of spending a little more than the $5K I talked about if I had to. But, yes, I'm certainly thinking something from about 1990 because it does indeed fit my price range. One thing I'm considering is just going with solar power. For about $1300 I believe I could have enough power to run everything I'd need it to run in order to live/work out of there for a bit of time.

    My uncle bought a very large RV last summer. He doesn't live in Ohio any longer, but I'm going to try and call him later in the week and see what he has learned along the way with his over the last year or so.

  16. #12
    Sprinkles are for winners dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedTeamGo! View Post
    You have to factor in MPG as well. What is a 1990 RV getting? 4 mpg? My cousin bought a 20+ year old RV thinking he and his wife were going to save money on vacations. They drove from Toledo to Statesville, NC and spent hundreds of dollars on gas, would have been much cheaper to just get a hotel. When they got back to Toledo they immediately put it up for sale in the paper.
    I've certainly thought about it. Here's my thinking: Hotels in Arizona where I feel like I won't be murdered at and don't have absolutely disgusting living arrangements are $145 a night. If I stay there for a week, that's $1000 bucks. That also doesn't include the gas money to get there and back in my car (which gets very good milage, of course - but it's still a heck of a drive and probably $350 in gas). So, for a week, we're talking about $1500. I probably don't recoup that money with the amount of content that I produce, at least in the short-term. Long term with the things I pick up, people I meet and two years of youtube views on some videos and reads on posted content on the site, maybe I do. But, what would it cost me to get to Arizona and back, but stay for a month while I'm there because I don't have to pay $145 a night for a hotel? I can turn around and produce a lot more content, maybe spend a little more money, but also be able to recoup that money easier, too.

    The same idea applies to making trips to Daytona and Pensacola. While they certainly aren't as far, and the hotels are a little bit cheaper, being able to stay there for weeks at a time is going to lead to much more, and much better content that I can provide. I haven't done all of the math yet to figure out exactly where the break even point is. It's just an idea I'm still kicking around. But, starting next week when I get paid, that's when I'm placing as much money as I possibly can from each pay day into a don't touch account for whatever project I eventually take on.

  17. #13
    Daffy Duck RedTeamGo!'s Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I've certainly thought about it. Here's my thinking: Hotels in Arizona where I feel like I won't be murdered at and don't have absolutely disgusting living arrangements are $145 a night. If I stay there for a week, that's $1000 bucks. That also doesn't include the gas money to get there and back in my car (which gets very good milage, of course - but it's still a heck of a drive and probably $350 in gas). So, for a week, we're talking about $1500. I probably don't recoup that money with the amount of content that I produce, at least in the short-term. Long term with the things I pick up, people I meet and two years of youtube views on some videos and reads on posted content on the site, maybe I do. But, what would it cost me to get to Arizona and back, but stay for a month while I'm there because I don't have to pay $145 a night for a hotel? I can turn around and produce a lot more content, maybe spend a little more money, but also be able to recoup that money easier, too.

    The same idea applies to making trips to Daytona and Pensacola. While they certainly aren't as far, and the hotels are a little bit cheaper, being able to stay there for weeks at a time is going to lead to much more, and much better content that I can provide. I haven't done all of the math yet to figure out exactly where the break even point is. It's just an idea I'm still kicking around. But, starting next week when I get paid, that's when I'm placing as much money as I possibly can from each pay day into a don't touch account for whatever project I eventually take on.
    Have you ever thought about talking to the the MILB franchise for help with a hotel room? I'm sure they have deals where they could either set you up with a discounted rate or even pay for it. Just randomly thought of it.

    You aren't providing a service to them for no cost to them.
    What would you say.....ya do here?

  18. #14
    Overton Window Breaker WrongVerb's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    I've certainly thought about it. Here's my thinking: Hotels in Arizona where I feel like I won't be murdered at and don't have absolutely disgusting living arrangements are $145 a night. If I stay there for a week, that's $1000 bucks. That also doesn't include the gas money to get there and back in my car (which gets very good milage, of course - but it's still a heck of a drive and probably $350 in gas). So, for a week, we're talking about $1500. I probably don't recoup that money with the amount of content that I produce, at least in the short-term. Long term with the things I pick up, people I meet and two years of youtube views on some videos and reads on posted content on the site, maybe I do. But, what would it cost me to get to Arizona and back, but stay for a month while I'm there because I don't have to pay $145 a night for a hotel? I can turn around and produce a lot more content, maybe spend a little more money, but also be able to recoup that money easier, too.

    The same idea applies to making trips to Daytona and Pensacola. While they certainly aren't as far, and the hotels are a little bit cheaper, being able to stay there for weeks at a time is going to lead to much more, and much better content that I can provide. I haven't done all of the math yet to figure out exactly where the break even point is. It's just an idea I'm still kicking around. But, starting next week when I get paid, that's when I'm placing as much money as I possibly can from each pay day into a don't touch account for whatever project I eventually take on.
    Have you factored in how much it will cost to reserve a space for your camper for the length of time you'll be there?
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." -- Isaac Asimov

  19. #15
    Member Redsfaithful's Avatar
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    Re: Does anyone own an RV?

    #vanlife

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/20...media-movement

    https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/vanlife/?hl=en

    If I were you this is what I'd consider, but there really aren't any good options at $5k, honestly. I think this is more of a do it because you think it would be cool and fun more than a money saving venture, once you back out all the costs.
    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." - H. L. Mencken


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