Considering RVing

by Phillip Kirk
(Elgin, Ok USA)

Q. I am getting ready to retire and I have just now considered selling off everything for RVing. Don't know diddley squat about it. Have a lot of questions, some I may not even have thought of yet.

One question is about receiving Internet as you travel and also receiving mail. Also I enjoy hunting and fishing, so how about hunting and fishing licenses as we travel? I also have a HD motorcycle and a small SUV I would like to take along with us. Would a 2-tandem trailer be efficient to purchase?

We will be a total of 4 people occupying (1 72-yr- old woman, 1 mentally and physically handicapped woman, plus my wife, and I) and maybe a dog, so what size will be efficient for 4 people to travel comfortably? Also the cost of insurance. We're also concerned about cost of upkeep. About how much minimum emergency savings would be efficient?

Marianne's Reply:Hi Philip
There are various options available for Internet these days. It really will depend on how frequently you depend on it and how much you're willing to spend. Verizon (and similar companies) offer wireless mobile Internet that can be part of a cell phone plan or sold separately. We have purchased their usb mobile device in the past and paid roughly $50.00 per month without a contract. Some people have a satellite Internet connection -expensive but very dependable. Autonetmobile is another interesting option.If you don't need it "on demand", you can access free wifi (with the purchase of a coffee) at a lot of coffee shops, MacDonald's restaurants, and other locations across the nation. There are websites that list free wifi hotspots. I list a few on my resources page. For the most dependable FREE Internet, stop at town libraries as you travel. Even the smallest branches will offer it. A few charge a dollar or two but most often it's free.

RV clubs such as Escapees and a few others will collect and forward your mail for a small fee. Cut back on mail by transferring all your regular bills to automatic payment.

Unfortunately, fishing licences are issued separately by each state - there is no federal licence to cover various states.

We know nothing about hunting licences....maybe another RVer can chime in. I also don't know much about towing - and don't know what you mean by a "tandem trailer". I'm hoping a reader will comment.

To figure out what type and size RV would suit four people like yourselves, try going to a local RV show. They'll have lots of options to show you and, if you all go together, you'll be able to try functioning in the space to see how it feels. You'll also be able to see what type of floorplans, door width, steps, etc. will work best for the handicapped person. The RV showroom would be a good place to ask about towing that trailer too.

We are pleasantly surprised that our RV insurance is about half the annual cost of our automobile insurance yet both vehicles have similar value and coverage. This is in Canada but it may be the same in the USA.

As for emergency funds - that will depend very much on what you're comfortable with. There are too many variables and types of emergency situations that no one can forsee. This is, however, the case even when you're living in a stationary home.

Comments for Considering RVing

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Dec 04, 2012
Bud's right - Give it a lot of thought and try . . .
by: Kenwills

As for towing a 'small SUV' and a Bike, a dolly can be had w/ allowance for both. It's been a year since I was in the market for such, but I think Landgrebe is the manufacturer, and they can put a one or two bike rack on the front.

The SUV must be able to be towed w/ the rear wheels free turning, as a Front Wheel drive, or a FWD transfer case in neutral.

Again, traveling in a two room appartment requires a lot of certainty that all will get along ok. The more time together thus, the more critical it can get.

Nov 14, 2012
Considering the same -- in Europe
by: Anonymous

My dream is to spend my "golden years" driving all around Europe in a small camper, most of the time alone. I am a woman with a good knowledge of Europe and no experience camping. Has anyone on this list RV'd in Europe for an extended period? What is your best tip or advice for me?

I already plan to begin with a trial period in a rental with a good friend who is an experienced camper and who is French.)

Nov 14, 2012
You're Not Ready Yet
by: Bud Corwin

Hi Philip,
Take some advice from a full timer. Don't sell everything yet. First, take you and the other three people to an RV dealer. Look at what is available in your price range and RENT it for a month or two.

Living in an RV with more than two people will be very hard to adjust to. If there are small things that bother one of the four of you now, it will be multiplied ten times within a small area.

As for hunting , there are many game preserves in many of our states. I don't believe you need a lisence to hunt on most of these, but they will be fairly expensive.

The above is also true with fishing. Many campgrounds have their own fishing ponds for their guests.

As for towing a tandem trailer for your HD. You could get away with just a single axle if the HD is all you plan on hauling. They make a lift that fits on the rear of your motor home or 5th wheel for hauling bikes. This may be the better way to go.

Take my advice, try it before you buy it. It may save you from having to sell a motorhome or 5th wheel that you decide you really don't want. They are very expensive and you will never get back what you paid for it.

Hope this gives you some insight on RVing. If you decide that the four of you can all get along and do purchase an RV, I hope to see you down the road.

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