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Others are doing it too….

It is still muddy here and in case you don’t know it, bulldozers and sticky clay mud don’t mix too well.  I have been reading articles all afternoon about full time RV living.  I have to say that the internet is a huge source of information and I could not do without it but it is also a huge source of mis-information as well.  Consider this great (yeah right) article about how cheap fulltiming can be….

Living the dream on $400 a month

At the Siesta RV Park, in Las Cruces, New Mexico, within walking distance of the historic village of Mesilla (where William H. Bonney, a.k.a. Billy the Kid was jailed for murder), we met a husband and wife who lived full time in their motor home.
They told us they were ‘wintering at the park’, and when the weather in southern New Mexico warmed up in the summer, they would be moving to a park in the cool Pacific Northwest.
Then, when the weather in the Pacific Northwest turned wet and cold, they would head back south.

I asked them how they came to live this lifestyle, and they explained it this way.
When they lived a normal life, with all the overhead of a real home, and maintaining two jobs, and having to cover all the costs related to their home and lifestyle, it was costing them nearly $7,000 a month.

Yes, between them they earned almost $10,000 a month, but after taxes and expenses, they had little to show for it each month. In contrast, they found they could live in an RV park almost anywhere in the US for under $400 a month, and that $400 would cover space rental, all utilities (including electricity, water, phone, cable tv, sewer and unlimited internet), trash pickup, and yard service.

When living in the RV park, their only other expenses were food, health insurance, and life’s incidentals, which worked out to less than $500 a month.

I just have to call BS on this — the guy is talking about 2 people — not just one like me. My health insurance with a $5k deductible (!!) is $203 per month. I went to Wal Mart last Thursday and bought groceries that I think will last me 10 days and it was $120. You know what folks? Some of your expenses may go down but some are just not because you are living in an RV. Your food costs are gonna be about the same. Your health insurance costs are going to be the same. You may be fortunate enough to find a place like the Rio Grande Valley where the cost of living is low and the climate pretty temperate in the winter but it is NOT going to save you 90% like this idiot suggested.

Chances are maintenance and upkeep on your RV are going to exceed the maintenance costs on your stick house. Nothing on an RV is built to last 20 years. My old Fish Bus is 16 years old and it certainly has had its’ share of maintenance upgrades. The RVs these days are built to accommodate the weekender with a family– that is the market. That is why you see the proliferation of Toyhaulers and bunkhouse models. As a matter of fact, many new RVs come with a disclaimer in the warranty the says matter of factly they are not designed for full time living and it will void the warranty. Read the fine print.

So I spent the entire afternoon looking for quality information on full time RV living and I really couldn’t find a single one. Lots of blogs about a couple retiring early and setting off on a great adventure. I would notice the blog entries would continue for several months and then just stop. So what happened to these adventurous folks? Were they murdered by Mexican Banditos? Did the close quarters and togetherness end in a bitter divorce? My guess is they tired of the lifestyle and went back to a stick house. They just left that part out of the blog.

The other sites I visited were nothing but what they call ‘scraper’ sites. They scrape content from one source or another and then they present adds for you to click on to make money. Some of them did make a pitiful attempt at some original writing but it was all ‘fluff’ – couple of pointless paragraphs at best and then more ads.

I also found this article about some fellow Texans living out in the Oil Patch. When it is booming out there, there is no housing. Here is an excerpt:

Tyler Matz enters his home. He takes off his boots and sits in his breakfast nook trying to catch a moment of rest after a 10-hour day on the job.
His younger brother Joel hops into the shower that’s no bigger than a closet.
Tyler plays the music in hopes to drain out the barking of the dogs stowed away in a kennel nearby.
As the train passes by, he takes out a cigarette, lights it and inhales.
Tyler said that usually indicates he’s home. Home for the brothers, who work in construction, is a 1991 Winnebago – tucked in the back of an empty parking lot off of Highway 80.
“It can get annoying having to turn sideways just to pass each other in here,” Tyler said. “It may not be meant for living, but it’s home to us now.”

The construction duo from Indiana are not the only ones who’ve had to resort to living in recreational vehicles. Of the four RV campgrounds in Midland, all report having 98 percent of their occupancy being workers from out of state unable to find affordable housing. And oftentimes, like the Matz brothers, employers provide the residential vehicle for them.

“I’ve never been in a place where every 7-Eleven around the corner is hiring,” Tyler said. “It’s complete opposite of where we came from.”

Yep, my long term GF is an Oil Patch baby and that is how it is. I bet the situation has changed now though with oil at less than $50 barrel!

I will keep looking for good full timing articles to bring to your attention… Today has not been productive.

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