How fun would that be?? Minimize your life down to the bare necessities (or throw it all into storage) and then travel free as a bird exploring our great country? All the while blogging/tweeting/LIVING life on the road? I think I could be pretty good at that… At least for the first week ;)
And of course it’s no surprise that I get excited about extreme ideas like this, whether I ever end up jumping on them or not. Remember my dream of living in a hotel? Or on a house boat?? Man, I get butterflies just THINKING about it! Another idea I haven’t mentioned yet too is my “family compound” set up where I get friends and family together and build a small town equipped with a general store and tavern and all ;) Everyone pitching in based on their skills and interest which formulates a nice little self-sustaining’ish village! But that one still needs a lot more polishing up, haha…
But this RV thing is probably the most do-able out of ALL our ideas yet – mainly cuz it’s the first time in a while where we have the freedom (and desire) to just pick up and go somewhere new. Like North Carolina or Tennessee or any of those other places on our list I’ve mentioned before… The only real kicker would be life on the road with a baby! Scary just thinking about it, really :)
Look how fun it looks, though!! These guys are doing it right, and are my brand new heroes:
I reached out to them on Twitter and will be picking their brains once we get more serious about it all :) And will also hit up Adam from Man vs. Debt who set off on the road himself with his family back in 2011, as well as Britt from In Pursuit of Happiness who also sold all her stuff to enjoy RV life as well. Which is how you might remember we got that Ford Mustang convertible to give to one of our Love Drop families back in the day! Funny how the world works, eh?
Here are all the pros and cons I’ve come up with too, ever since thinking about this idea for the past few weeks… I haven’t found anything that kills the dream completely yet, but it’s def. a lot more scarier than initially believed, haha… But maybe that makes it that much better?
Pros to Living in an RV
- You get to travel and explore the country!!
- While living cheaper than in a normal home! (At least I think?)
- And be more minimalist with less mental and physical clutter
- With a fuller savings account too since you’d have to sell a lot of stuff!
- You have total freedom and flexibility! (Snowing out? Drive to a diff. state!)
- As well as more “one-on-one” time with nature – even if more luxuriously ;)
- You get to visit all your friends and family scattered about! (And blog readers! ;))
- All while meeting new ones along the way too.
- And forming memories that will last forever – both with them, and your own family and baby!
- You’d get a lot more ideas for blog posts and inventions too ;)
- And last but not least, you can say you grabbed life by the balls and just DID IT!
Cons to Living in an RV
- GAS GAS and more GAS!!!
- Can’t bring all the stuff you really DO want and/or need for everyday living
- Cramped areas and not very much personal space :( Esp when baby starts crawling!
- No solid doctor/dentist/pediatrician on call for emergencies/life events. Or at least those you already know and trust.
- RVs aren’t cheap (That one up there in the video? *Starts* at $226,000)
- Renting them isn’t super cheap either, at least in my initial investigating… They were running *thousands* a month, which make it seem better to just buy an old used one and run it into the ground and/or sell it at the end of the adventure.
- Lots of communal bathrooms and showers if you don’t get one on board (ick)
- Maybe not that safe in deterring criminals/break-ins?
- Can’t work full-time if you’re driving around all day long… though I’d imagine we’d stop in places we liked for weeks or months at a time?
- No connection to the internet 24/7 – which could prove super bad if your livelihood depends on it ;)
- Big problems if the thing breaks down (and you’re not mechanically inclined like yours truly… as evidence of not knowing if his car is dead or just needs a new battery in last week’s news ;))
- Mail delivery and receiving problems?
- And having too much fun that it then ruins the rest of your everyday “now boring” life ;)
How come there’s never a slam-dunk with this sorta stuff? Haha… I guess that’s what separates out the adventurers from the rest, eh? Big risk = big reward! Although again, for us the timing really couldn’t be better right now as everything’s almost aligned perfectly for a move like this if we wanted to run with it. We’re already planning on moving by this Summer anyways, so the renting of our house and all that will need to be done already to make a dream like this happen pronto – something I left out of the cons list on purpose just ‘cuz it doesn’t apply to us at the moment.
Another idea would be to try this out for just a few months instead of a year, and then see how we like it from there. And would help us explore all the areas we’re considering for our next big move anyways – ya know? We could RV through all the states and cities and spend good quality time there, rather than just relying on quick visits to figure out what our best options are. So even that route would be smart of us! And less committal to :)
Here are 6 financial tips I found on MSN to keep in mind as well:
- Get organized — Set everything up electronically with all your bills/savings/income/etc. Something most of us already do luckily :)
- Have a (flexible) budget — Expenses like campsite fees and electric bills can fluctuate, although the person interviewed for the story (Kathy Huggins) says it’s cost them less living out of their RV than in a traditional home which is good to hear! Even though they’re doing it full-time rather than just a year which certainly skews things… as evidence in the next tip below.
- Save up for your rig, shop for the loan — According to Kathy, “a used motor home will run “right around $100,000 if it’s a diesel pusher and about $80,000 for a gas rig. And they’re pretty comfortable.” The other option is to buy a “fifth wheel” that is pulled by a truck. “You’re talking about $40,000 to $60,000,” she says, but “then you have to buy a truck to pull it, which can be up to $40,000 for the truck.” Another pro of buying an older used one and dumping it at the end of the year – if that’s what your time frame is in the end.
- Get a tax break — From the article, “One of the advantages of living on the road is that you can call any state home. The Hugginses… chose South Dakota as their home base because of the tax benefits. There is no state income tax and… no property tax since they don’t own a home…. Tax rates and other details are available in the book “Choosing Your RV Home Base.” (WHO KNEW??)
- Bring in some bacon — AKA make sure you still work so you can live this dream lifestyle! Pretty much a no brainer for us youngin’s out there, but it is a nice reminder to those retirees looking to get into the RV game too. Anything you can do to pretty much supplement your income will make any of those dreams of yours more comfortable.
- Don’t wait too long — From the article, “The Hugginses’ only regret? That they didn’t do it earlier. ‘”When we first started doing this, we interviewed a lot of full-time RV’ers, and everyone said the same thing: ‘I wish I’d done it 10 years sooner.'” Such is with every big dream, eh? :)
I liked how they ended the article too:
“I think almost anybody can do it…The cost can range from $200 a month to $12,000 a month, depending on what you want to do and how you want to spend your money. That’s the best part about this — it’s your choice…”
It’s cool that there’s over 1.3 million Americans out there RV’ing full-time too :) Meaning there’s plenty of hope! Just a matter of whether it’s a good fit for you and your family or not… Or rather OUR family right now, haha… Sometimes I wonder if I post about all this to convince myself to do these things, or to help others better figure out the ins and outs of this stuff ;) Either way, I hope you’re entertained!
What do you think? Could you/have you ever considered this type of lifestyle before? What stops you (or stopped you) from going for it?
Naturally I still have a lot more investigating to do with this crazy new plan of ours, but I do like how it’s coming along so far… To be excited about something so drastic for more than a week has already pushed this idea over all the others! ;) Now we just need to see how it plays out in real life!
[Photo by Slideshow Bruce]
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!