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5th Wheels Selling house to go full time RV living?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    My own little mountian top
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    4,420

    Selling house to go full time RV living?

    I'm seriously considering selling my homestead and buying a RV to live in. I don't like being stuck out here in the middle of nowhere any more. I'm getting older, and want to see America before I take that forever nap. I'm wondering if I'll be sorry for selling out. I'm wondering if I'll like living in a small space.

    I know some of you are doing it so please share the pros and cons to help me decide if I should stick it out on the homestead or go for the gusto in a RV.

    Right now my plan is to buy a new 5th wheel, 2 bdrm cause my son & grandson will be with me for the foreseeable future. Planning to go west and spend winters in AZ and then north for summers to stay out of the super heat. Most of my camp spots will be free camping on BLM lands (Boondocking) but staying in a campground sometimes to enjoy the amenities while they are available.

    I'm retired so no worries about job. My son is thinking about picking up odd jobs for pocket money. I've heard that it's not real hard to find temp jobs in various areas.

    I'll have to buy a new truck to pull it with, so there's another expense... BUT... I have 3 houses I can sell so they should pay for everything plus.

    Those of you who have done this... did you regret it? Do you enjoy it? What are some of the drawbacks? My biggest worry is that I might feel "lost" not having a home base to return to, but at the same time, it makes no sense to have a empty house setting somewhere that would probably be vandalized or have squatters living in it when I'm gone month after month, possibly to never return.

    I know I'm rambling. Trying to cover all the bases.

    Thanks for any advice and/or experiences you can share.


    Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike. ~ Ron Paul

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,174
    This is our plan in about 3 years! We've picked up a few books on the subject. We don't want to pull anything though... kind of hard in old age, in our opinion... we didn't like pulling a camper 15 years ago... so we plan to get a Motorhome, but not too big. Small enough so driving it around won;t be hard as we don't plan on towing a car either...

    So I, too, am interested in this subject..

    I will add that my son and daughter in law are not supportive. I will miss seeing my little granddaughter, but I told them we will fly them out to see us sometimes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    My own little mountian top
    Posts
    4,420
    Quote Originally Posted by foreverkeeps View Post
    This is our plan in about 3 years! We've picked up a few books on the subject.
    I've joined several groups on FB that are full timers, boondocking, 5th wheels, class A, class C, and even living in a van or car. I'm learning a lot from them. I'm also watching youtube videos. I've discovered that you can park free in a lot of places out west, not so much midwest and east.

    Different things for different people, just telling what I feel is right for me.

    I was going to get a class C, but then I'd have to take the whole camp with me to go to a museum, or just to run into town for a few groceries. I decided to go with a 5th wheel so I can leave camp set up when I go running around. I also like the fact that they have real furniture in them instead of built in furniture. If something starts looking ragged out I can replace it, or take out the dining set and put something else in that spot. I'm kind of a control freak so it means a lot to me to have lots of options.


    Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike. ~ Ron Paul

  4. #4
    We thought seriously about buying a Motor Home and moving around. We gave up on it when reality Vs optimism took over. We are not physically able to due routine maintenance such as cleaning off the top of the slide outs prior to closing up. Other considerations are that RV's do not suffer cold weather well at all. Insulation even on the better models is minimal. Seals around the doors and slide outs may not be optimal. With a tow truck you will have a separate vehicle for shopping. Buy more truck than you think you can get by with, Mountains take horses and brakes. Maybe not a pickup but a 4 door 2 ton job. Most important do not buy pretty, buy functional. Research publications such as Trailer Life, the internet is your friend to find the better constructed brands. The control systems are complicated, and prone to failure if quality components are not used and construction practices are not followed.

    Edit to add long trailers are harder to deal with than an equal length motor home due to the truck. You have to add 15-20 feet of additional length and deal with a trailer when backing up.
    In Honor of T/S R.L. Hare (Chief Sly)and the members of 322 BS

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    North Georgia
    Posts
    308
    This is the plan I am on.
    Move into a small space in your home, so you get the size/quantity of things right, before you select.

    Set a date.

    Apparently the change for winter/summer in the west is in elevation, and not North/South.
    Here is one from the founder of the RTR (Bob @ cheapRVliving)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghKwrXb_Zo8
    Snowbird Schedule: Introduction, Where to go When
    14.28 run time part 1 of x...

    Watch Youtubes, lots of good information about living, places, daily life.
    Major choice is Introvert vs Extrovert - do you want to travel with a tribe, or orbit one...
    Lots of groups/Knowledge out there, check out Technomadia, RVGeeks, - lots of good pointers on groups (Escapees, Xscapers), tech & why/hows.

    There is a book - Nomadland - it is a pointer to those who do this because they must.

    rick in North Georgia (30' Class A with toad).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    My own little mountian top
    Posts
    4,420
    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderbird View Post

    Edit to add long trailers are harder to deal with than an equal length motor home due to the truck. You have to add 15-20 feet of additional length and deal with a trailer when backing up.
    I feel more comfortable pulling a 5th wheel after driving a 18 wheeler for a few years. I know how to back, how to allow for "tail" room when turning, trailer doesn't follow tire path of tow vehicle, etc. I'm not as confident with a motorhome that doesn't "break" in the middle. Right now I'm thinking my truck will be a F-350, but that is subject to change depending on the camper I end up with.


    Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike. ~ Ron Paul

  7. #7
    A lot of folks do workamping. Here is a couple of Facebook groups for you to check out. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1244...?ref=bookmarks

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1888...?ref=bookmarks
    'Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It's the
    way it is. The way you cope with it is what makes
    the difference.' Edna Ellison

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Swimming in sea quarks
    Posts
    3,767
    Edit, just saw your post on OTR driving, but I'll leave this post alone for others.

    There are several strategies for survival out there with RV/5th wheel living being among them. Every strategy has its strengths and weaknesses. We have chosen to stay in one place, but hedge that bet with 5th wheel mobility.

    Being more specific, we opted out of RV as a weakness tradeoff, but only just. The difference between RV and 5th wheel regarding prep storage is essentially none for the RV cabin vs 5th wheel.

    There is four months of freeze dried food stored in carbon fiber tube one week packs. Our packs and 5th wheels were recently revamped to use this product.
    https://www.rockwestcomposites.com/s...-square-tubing

    I'm not promoting it, but it was the best solution for us given we integrated it into the structure of the 5th wheels. Ordering the tubes for food packs in with the reinforcement tubes for the structural elements made financial sense. It's simple enough to put together, sheet mylar formed into an inner tube, stuffed with freeze dried food and sealed. A word of caution, do remember the low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) grade is required, not just a preference if you plan to pack them tight as we have. It's also essential for structural values as well.

    That gets to another point of consideration. Weight. RV or 5th wheel, weight is a premium both in mass and location. Semi drivers tend to have a better appreciation of those concerns. Which ever way you go (RV or 5th wheel) do take some time to pick the brains of a few over the road drivers.
    In general you want the weight location low and centered on the width axis, and balanced between axles.

    I know of some people who have went this route that forgo BOBs, but this is a mistake imo. Just because you're pulling/driving it around doesn't mean you can't be made to abandon it. Which btw was the break point between 5th wheel vs RV for us. Aquiring another vehicle to pull a 5th wheel is possible, not so much if your RV drive train dies for any reason. For the latter, in a SHTF scenario, mechanics, parts, and tow trucks are not likely to be an option.

    A person could write a book on this subject, so I'll leave this here for now as a few thoughts for your consideration.
    Facts?? We don't need no stinkin facts...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    4,012
    Sell only two of your 3 homes...that way if later down the road should you need a place to come back to there it will be, you could still draw rent on it too.
    "Good is better than evil, because it's nicer."

  10. #10
    I am a Ford guy but the current crop of Fords has me wondering. If they need servicing they are very labor intensive. For example the diesel injectors are buried under the intake manifold. I would check this out. Dodges have a great engine but QC is spotty and body integrity has been poor. This leaves Chevy. BIL has had one for the past 5+ years but all he pulls is a 25 foot tag trailer for weekends. Do not know much about them.
    In Honor of T/S R.L. Hare (Chief Sly)and the members of 322 BS

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Maidenhead
    Posts
    26,062
    Some retirees do it because they are broke and it's all they can afford and they motor around to different places wherever they can find work. These people don't do too well. In your case since you can afford to do it and can purchase a new trailer and truck to go with it and won't have to scratch pennies to make it work your situation might be more bearable. I have lived tiny for years in a small cabin during the winter and in a 38' Montana 5th wheel during the warmer months. With just me and the dog the size isn't an issue. When you start putting more than 2 people in it they start to get on each others nerves after awhile. The question to ask since your son and grandson will be with you is can you bear to be cooped up with them in a confined setting for months at a time? Depending on the age of the kid he'll probably adapt o.k. but it will most likely be the hardest for you. I like kids but even for me in my mid 50's I would need a lot of space if one was around so they wouldn't drive me nutty. I would keep one house with supplies at it so when TSHTF you have some options and also as a basecamp so if you do begin to get claustrophobic you can return to the house and have some more room and privacy for awhile. My 5th wheel is pretty good size with the slideouts and is perfect for me and the dog for months on end but I'd go nutty cooped up with others in such a small space. YMMV
    What is the lake of fire? What is it's purpose? Is the lake of fire eternal hell? Is there any hope of escape for those cast into this lake?
    http://bible-truths.com/lake1.html

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by lisa View Post
    Sell only two of your 3 homes...that way if later down the road should you need a place to come back to there it will be, you could still draw rent on it too.
    This makes a lot of sense! Also, I'd strongly suggest you rent something similar to what you are considering for at least a week, and take *everyone* along who will be living with you. A week really isn't long enough, but if even minor irritations or logistics problems come up, you can be sure they will become major ones later on over long stretches of time.

    Another factor to investigate is firearms laws. I'd never be comfortable without a means of protection, but unless/until we get national reciprocity passed, there are few state handgun CCW permits that easily cross (most) state lines. Much better out west, of course, but if there was something you wanted to see in California, for example, it could become a major problem,.

    Also remember that many western states have agricultural checkpoints, and most forbid the importation of plants in soil (to prevent potential pests from coming in and wiping out important crops) If you happen to enjoy a few houseplants, or even something like growing a few greens and a small tomato plant, it could be a problem.

    Also... health insurance... Will yours (and especially you sons and grandsons) "travel" easily?

    Lots to think about, but I'd never even consider it without a trial run.

    Good luck!

    Summerthyme

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    My own little mountian top
    Posts
    4,420
    Thanks everyone. You've given me a lot to think about.


    Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike. ~ Ron Paul

  14. #14
    My parents strongly considered doing exactly that. After a few years of research they changed the plans. A lot of that research was asking questions of people who are already doing it. The information in person differed drastically from the information posted on different forums.
    The overwhelming advice was to have a home to come back to, even if it was just a paid for piece of land with hook ups for the RV. But better if there was an actual house on the land, no matter how tiny. There are a whole slew of reasons for this most having to do with the need for an established residence for different reasons.
    RVs have maintenance issues, period. My parents have owned three different ones, including their current one which was designed for them. One of my brothers has owned one that he got an amazing deal on and he has kept it for 10 or so years now. Both of them have spent small fortunes on maintenance and repair. Dad has had to do repairs even to the "brand new" one. In addition, my brother's insurance just told him that they would drop him if he did not store it in a covered location resulting in him building a pole barn for it. (He found out that none of the affordable policies now would carry him if it was stored "in the open".)
    Per Dad, if they offer a warranty plan that will cover maintenance stuff - take it. His warranty plans have paid out more than they cost him over the years and saved him from having to raid the savings account for big repairs.
    RVs do not deal with winter weather well. Think trailer without underpinning. And, like trailers, RVs lose value relatively quickly.

    Anyways, my folks got a much smaller house and an RV. They spend at least half the year traveling and exploring the country but they know they always have a place to come home to. They also know that if anything happens, they have a warm, secure home. And when they can no longer travel, for whatever reason, they can sell the RV to pay off the remainder of the note on it. The house and land are paid off.
    BTW, they tow a vehicle behind their RV so that they can explore without having to pack up and move the whole camp. It works just fine. It also allows them access to the RV amenities while they are on the road.
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

    http://survivingtothrivin.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    tn
    Posts
    1,782
    rv.net and youtube have a ton of info on this sort of thing.

    rv.net has been around a long time so tons and tons of reading. Youtube you sometimes need to take with a grain of salt, but a lot of folks who full time post videos of sorts now and then they have a video about why they enjoy it or things they dislike and what not.

    To me, someone who is always outside doing something is the sort that would enjoy fulltiming. A portable home is just not going to probably make a homebody very happy.

    cheaprvliving something or other, run a search on it, has a lot of sections for doing stuff on cheap and articles on various stuff for boondocking. You will also find the fella over on youtube with the rubber tramp rendezvous and he interviews folks with various fulltiming rigs and asks about the good and the bad.

    I like the idea of a seperate vehicle and camper. I am not quick to think 5th wheel but as a single guy I think smaller anyway. Truck would be nice to have to haul stuff as needed and a good place for storing batteries and water used for boondocking and what not.

    Even if I got rid of a lot of my stuff, I would keep a lot of my tools and what not because working on stuff is just a thing I do to save some money.

    A lot of folks will say to keep one house and rent it out. I would be very careful on this. Yes you have a home to return to if you had to do so, but rentals can go bad and even if you have a management company I don't know what you would do if you were far away and something happened and you felt you now needed to go deal with the problem.

    I consider today's diesels too expensive and complicated but the sizes of stuff I look at would do just fine with the gas engines you can get in a 1 ton truck. Yes driving a diesel is nice. Paying for the parts and labor to have major work done on one is not so nice.

    I agree on searching about the workamper thing and what not.
    working on unplugging.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    My own little mountian top
    Posts
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    Thanks again for the info. I've spent a lot of time camping so it's not totally unknown to me. My parents were full timers in a 5th wheel. I stayed with them for a month on vacation once. We had a lot of fun shopping in Mexico about 20 years ago. I don't think I'd dare go down there now!

    2 of my houses are in other states and are currently rentals. I've had them about 30 years. I'm thinking of selling them along with my homestead. Maybe I'll keep the homestead for a while in case I want to come back to it. That's probably a good idea. I can rent it out or let someone stay in it just to keep it up while I'm gone. An empty house with no heat will deteriorate quick so it needs someone in it to keep yard mowed, garden tended, etc.


    Whenever a Great Bipartisan Consensus is announced, and a compliant media assures everyone that the wondrous actions of our wise leaders are being taken for our own good, you can know with absolute certainty that disaster is about to strike. ~ Ron Paul

  17. #17
    If two are rentals with good renters, then keep them going. No reason to change that. And yeah, doing the same at the main homestead is not a bad idea. That gives you a continuous source of income and a place to come back to.
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

    http://survivingtothrivin.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    North Central Louisiana
    Posts
    8,015
    As long as you aren't going to be going alone, I say go for it. The world out there can be dangerous.

    Judy

  19. #19
    One thing I don't see mentioned is the fact that you evidently are well off and the reality of most of the people you will be associating with is anything but. Be prepared for a guilt trip to be dumped on you all the time. Simple things like food to eat, money for gas you name it. I have learned this lesson well living in an area with many poor people.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Where hiking boots go to die
    Posts
    10,431
    One thing no one has mentioned is that some RV parks now discriminate against older RV's. If the RV is older than 10 years they may not let you in.
    Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. - Mark Twain

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