Pros and Cons of living full-time in a Motorhome?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by azblackbird, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    Now that I'm single, I have put my house and all contents up for sale. Shortly after everything sells, I'll be purchasing a late model used motorhome with trailer (exactly or very similar to what is pictured) and plan on living in it full-time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I can do business anywhere I have an internet connection, so continuing my business operations will not be a problem. I've always had an adventure streak in me, and this rig would seem to fit the bill on allowing me to experience the adventures and goals that I've always wanted to accomplish.

    I'm on the escapees forum and have learned a lot about the lifestyle. Just curious if anybody here has ever lived full-time in an RV, and may have some first hand advice to share with me on what the pros and cons are/were in doing so?
     
  2. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Um, mail?
    We often have protracted conversations with full time RVers about what to put on their record for 'address'. Try to nail something down beforehand, to tell people when they want your address!
     
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  3. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'll be using my mother's or brother's address in CO for getting for my drivers license as well as opening/transferring my accounts to the local bank. I'll be buying a shipping container for the stuff that I'm keeping and will have it hauled up to their ranch to store it. So I guess after 30 years in AZ, I'll be a resident of CO once again. I'm not going to do the TX, WY, or SD tax dodge stuff that many full-timers do. AZ and CO state taxes are pretty much the same. RV registration in CO is a little cheaper though.
     
  4. Paul Allen

    Paul Allen Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The three most popular states for full time RVers are Texas, Florida and South Dakota. No income tax and there's mail services available that will handle your mail and a home address.
     
  5. FORANE

    FORANE Pattern Altitude

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    I am not familiar with the RV shown but you want to make sure it is designed for full time 4 season living. Our full time newmar 5th Wheel has double pane windows, 2 furnaces, 2 ac's, fully insulated belly with heat containing the pipes, rv 500 continuous hot water heater instead of a wimpy 10 gallon electric, etc.

    Google full time rv mail service and multiple options will be found including opening, scanning and uploading images of your mail for your review.

    5th Wheel rv's owned free and clear may be insured by your trucks insurance rather than the more expensive class a rv policy.
     
  6. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Kinda looks the opposite of downsizing. That rig is huge! To each his own, I suppose. Is there a plane in that trailer?
     
  7. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Motorhomes (and big boats) can seem homelike, but do not expect the appliances, furnishings etc to hold up like home versions. We used to have an aft cabin motor yacht and now have a Winnebago we use as a dog show vehicle. In both cases, the frequency of maintenance/repair issues makes airplanes seem like Toyotas. Fortunately I have found they're pretty easy to work on, but parts acquisition can be a hassle and, of course, then there's the time it takes to do the work ...
     
  8. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    We enjoy the simplicity of living in our 21’ travel trailer for up to weeks at a time.

    That is, of course, a whole different thing than the rig depicted.

    The main problem we would have is a place for our toys, but the gargantuan size of that rig might cover that base pretty well.

    Anyway, there are forums focusing on full-timing. Airforums.com has one such sub forum dedicated to it, albeit with a focus on Airstreams.

    It’s something we may do someday, but after time on the road, getting back to home base always feels pretty good!
     
  9. wayne

    wayne Line Up and Wait

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    Sounds interesting. Not my cup of tea (RV'ing), but when I was young and single the thought of living on a sailing boat and working from it anywhere in the world sounded like a neat idea. Internet connectivity wasn't there back then, nor the "remote work" acceptance.

    Is the trailer your garage and storage? Looks like it from the pics.

    Have fun!
     
  10. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Obviously, you won't have as much room in the trailer as you would in a "normal" shop, but personally, I like the Tormach CNC mills - we have the PCNC 1100 (it does need 230 volts), but they have smaller ones. Also the Tormach slant pro looks cute - I was lobbying for one, but I got a second hand EMCO Maximat Super 11 for free - nice little thing if a manual lathe will work for you. Runs on 110 20 amps, and the tool post / cross slide is not that stiff so you won't be hogging metal with it.
     
  11. wrbix

    wrbix Cleared for Takeoff

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    You'll likely want/need a smaller conveyance to get around in once that rig is moored somewhere. Room in the trailer for a car or motorbike?
     
  12. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Depending on your personality, this could be a pro or a con - you can expect to do a lot more "operation" of basic systems like plumbing and electrical than you would ever think about. Sanitary tank getting full? Water running out? Batteries wearing down? Guess who gets to fix it? You will live with the mobile home, as well as in it. You'll be constantly aware of every system of it.
     
  13. TCABM

    TCABM Line Up and Wait

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    What we found is understanding the overall build quality and customer service from the factory had great variability, and generally speaking, it had was regardless of price.

    Whether you purchase new or used, every time you hit the road, you’re putting your home through a continuous earthquake until you next stop.

    Repairs will need to be made. Some manufacturers will send you schematics and provide technical support whether your the firs owner or a subsequent owner. Some will tell you to see a dealer. You never really know the quality and experience of the dealers except through word of mouth.

    For state of residence, I don’t know CO law anymore, but in TX you will most likely need a CDL-Exempt Class B or Class A drivers license due to the GVWR or GCWR of your RV and/or tow vehicle; our code is written such that a GCWR of 26,001Lbs or greater requires the Class A. I forget the GVWR for single vehicle operations, but it can be easily referenced.
     
  14. cgrab

    cgrab Cleared for Takeoff

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    We have friends with a tiny house and they go to the mall allot to be apart. That's probably not going to be an issue with you by yourself.

    My parents lived for months in there motorhome when they travelled from DC to Alaska. They were guest campers in Kodiak (I think) and got their spot for free but had to do traffic control on the weekends to help out the rangers. In the fall they went home but all the other folks went to AZ and created a city on an abandoned runway. They visited there once and said the campers were just lined up and the grocery trucks would drive down the middle and people would flag them down to shop.
     
  15. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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  16. cgrab

    cgrab Cleared for Takeoff

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    My niece and nephew are converting a bus to travel across country when she gets her "pairing" for her internship. They don't plan to put in a toilet or shower but instead join Planet Fitness and stop there to shower.
     
  17. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I'll bet cash money the rig pictured cost more to acquire and maintain than my house. I've an adventurous streak myself, but I'll be damned if I wanted to schlep everything in the world with me.
     
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  18. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    We use a mailing service. they filter out the junk, and when we're at a place for a few days they mail us the important stuff.
    You'll find a phone with a Wifi hot spot will be a big help.
     
  19. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    I did it for 9 years and am still doing it for about half the year, in fact heading south for the winter in a few hours. I found and joined Escapees when first starting, lots of good info. That's a lot of RV. First thing I said was, where ya gonna park it? It's getting harder and harder to find space. More boomers doing this now and more folk priced out of house rentals are putting demand on decent RV parks. The place I'm heading to now has never been a problem before but they had to do some wheelin and dealing and I had to adjust dates to get in. with a rig like that you'll need two spaces in most parks. Mail is easy. There are private 'Mr. Post Office' places all over the place and most forward mail. PM me if you want to hear more of my experience
     
  20. TCABM

    TCABM Line Up and Wait

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    Good point. Also, IIRC, 40 ft is the max length most National Park campsites can accommodate.
     
  21. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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  22. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Have some friends who do it. They’ve had some good adventures and some bad.

    That rig is too big to fit in many RV parks. Very limiting on options of where to stay. Many parks that will hold that thing will have the ambiance of a truck stop. We found, the nicer the park, the higher the price with our fifth wheel, which makes sense of course. Many State and National parks are much nicer to stay at for a while with limits on length of stay, but also have the oldest facilities for roads and pad sizes, and will not allow a rig that long to even attempt to enter, it won’t make the corners.
     
  23. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Well, there's always the ambiance of a Walmart parking lot!

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    I thought about doing the "tax dodge" by having one of those states as my "domicile", but I own a business and it's much easier to make one state (CO) my home for everything business and personal wise. CO RV registration is cheap, taxes are similar to AZ and insurance in my rural area is dirt cheap.

    Yes, it's an "all weather" motor coach. The idea is to spend my winters here in the southern states and summers in the northern states.

    This rig is basically a miniature version of my home. I have the same hardwood trim, tile, and furniture. The only thing different is I have arctic white carpet (wife's choice) and not the beige as pictured.

    [​IMG]

    These days even the home appliances don't hold up any longer. Seems everything is built to fail after a short time period.

    Yes. That trailer will be my "toy box". It will easily hold a car, UTV, and several motorcycles with plenty of room to spare.

    Yes. The trailer is a stacker and will hold all my toys, tools, and whatever else I need for the road.

    Plenty of room for all my toys. I'll have a car, bikes, or UTV to get around with.

    I'm very mechanically inclined and "fix" all my own stuff anyways whether I live in a full size house or an RV.

    The Renegade or Haulmark series of motor coaches are some of the best built in the industry.

    I'll have satellite internet backed by cellular for remote locations. Otherwise, most of your luxury RV parks offer wifi these days.

    I've always had a hankering to go back to farming or ranching. I just love that lifestyle. 75% of the places I park will be on a large farm or ranch somewhere and helping those families out with their operations. Otherwise, there are tons of luxury RV parks around the country that are tailored specifically for these size of rigs.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  25. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    I think this is about as big as I could handle ...

    Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 10.04.27 AM.png
     
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  26. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Do you have your pilot certificate yet? It might get expensive getting a plane and CFI to follow you around.
     
  27. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Crowded for two, perfect for one.

    I lived in my RV on 2 different occasions, once for 18 months and another time for 24 months. My 5th wheel was not near as nice or big as your rig.

     
  28. tspear

    tspear Cleared for Takeoff

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    @azblackbird

    That looks very nice. My wife and I keep discussing about going the route of a yacht when we retire. Since we are a little more coastal oriented with family up/down the east coast. It seems like a good weigh to move around and see family/friends.

    Tim
     
  29. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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  30. tspear

    tspear Cleared for Takeoff

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  31. iflyforfun

    iflyforfun Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For mail, use https://www.sbimailservice.com/
    I live overseas and use this. They can even help you apply for Florida residency. So far, they've worked pretty well for me.
     
  32. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's the beauty of living in an RV. I have no doubt whatsoever that I can pull in to just about any Mom and Pop run FBO anywhere in the ag belt, and convince the owner/operator of the FBO to trade me out flight instruction (many have CFI certs) in exchange for me helping them out with their ag operations during season. Who knows... I may even want to pile on the hours and experience and become a traveling crop-duster. I'm always seeing ads on all the ag/aviation sites for crop duster pilots during the heavy seasons. It would be a blast to drive a tractor and till/drill a field of wheat while working for the farmer, then come back later and crop dust the very same field I planted while contracting with the aerial applicator. :cool:

    Actually two people can live pretty comfortably in those rigs. A doctor friend of mine has a similar rig and travels the country contracting his services with underserved towns until they can get a permanent doctor to take his place. Him and his wife make do just fine.

    You'd get a kick out of this guy. He's living the dream. I prefer to stay land based and enjoy our great country and what it all has to offer.

    I saw that guy not too long ago on a TV show dedicated to unique full-time RV lifestyles. I was drooling!

    My mother or brothers address will suffice. The only thing I really need is record of address for IRS, drivers license, vehicle registration, and voting. Anything else is all handled online.
     
  33. Scott@KTYR

    Scott@KTYR Pattern Altitude

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    Gone with the Wynn's is a young couple from Dallas that do a video blog on the RV lifestyle. Lots of How To videos on everything RVing. Lots of good info. They did it for many years. Now they have sold there RV and bought a boat and doing the same thing with a boat.
    https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/rvin
     
  34. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Maybe but I bet it uses less gas than the aquatic-only version.
     
  35. tspear

    tspear Cleared for Takeoff

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    It depends :D
    I have debated sail powered versus fuel with a few boat crazy friends. If you travel a lot, sail is awesome and cheap. If you rarely move around, fuel is much more comfortable since the sailing mast is not up there waving in the wind.

    Still years away for me.... I need to buy another plane first!

    Tim
     
  36. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sez the guy who has never bought a new set of sails.
     
  37. tspear

    tspear Cleared for Takeoff

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    Touche :D
    Just going by what a few boat crazy friends have told me. To travel 1000 miles up/down the east coast sails are cheaper then diesel.

    Tim
     
  38. orange

    orange Line Up and Wait

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    I hope you get a good alarm system/attack dogs. Wouldn't want to get burglarized while you sleep, especially the toy trailer.

    Would it still be called car-jacking or house-jacking if you were to get car jacked? :p
     
  39. azblackbird

    azblackbird Cleared for Takeoff

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    I remember researching the Wynns when my wife and I were discussing living in an RV before she came down with cancer. Her being sick kind of put the kibosh to our dreams. Both my businesses are pretty much self supporting, so that leaves me ample time to play and look for new ventures. One business I'll be starting while on the road is traveling from place to place YouTubing the YouTubers. It will be a mixture of Mike Rowe's (Dirty Jobs), Anthony Bourdain's (Parts Unknown) and Guy Fieri's (Guy's Family Road Trip or DDD). The content I will be providing might possibly even be reality TV worthy, but definitely will be YouTube worthy and should develop in to a good subscriber base and following much like the Wynns have built.

    I'll have my guns along with remote alarms/sensors with video streaming capabilities should an undesirable breach my perimeter. Gotta love modern day technology! :thumbsup:
     
  40. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    last I checked campgrounds ain't all that cheap to check into.....$50-60/night to live in your rig. It's kinda fun at first....till you get stir crazed by the small quarters.