Motor Home Adventure

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by NVBeav, Jul 1, 2007.


  1. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    A few months ago I was surprised to hear my wife talking about wanting to buy a motor home. At first I was mostly against it because I didn't think there was much utility to the "soft life" camping, but she was very persistent.

    I soon realized that this was the only way we were ever going to get her to go camping again. We're not spring chickens anymore, both of us are on the North side of 40 - with me 7+ years beyond her.

    My first objection was that I didn't want to spend 20 or 30 thousand dollars for something that would depreciate to a tenth of its original value in a very short time. Besides, we both hate debt!... but she did some great homework.

    She printed out about 10 or 20 various motor homes' info from the local Craig's List - all < $6,000. I was shocked to see just how many there were for sale locally in Western Nevada; there is a broad selection.

    Since we are novices on the subject, we settled on a 1977 Winnebego Itasca that is in very good condition (although not without faults). It cost us all of $3,000. For us it was a hasty decision because we had been looking for all of three weeks and say (maybe) 10 different units.

    The main reason we bought such an old unit: if we ruin this one then we won't have wasted thousands on a new unit. We hope to learn a lot and keep this one in great condition.

    Here's one reason I changed my mind about getting a motor home: we don't have a survival retreat, but we have friends who do (and have invited us).

    I'm curious about others' thoughts on this subject - anyone here already done this? I can definitely see problems in certain scenarios trying to get out of Dodge with a Chevy 350. But I can also see some great advantages to having this until we can afford to buy our perfect ranch house with property (when do the cows come home?).

    Sorry to ramble on so long! This is something I thought worth more input on. :^)
     
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I have friends who liquidated all property and went into RV-ing fulltime. They kept moving up to larger units until their last one has 2 baths, a king sized bed, bump out, satellite, etc. They traveled all around the US, Mexico, and Canada and really seemed to enjoy the life. Not for everyone, not for me, but great for some. It seems like a reasonable compromise when one likes camping and the other doesn't. Keep us posted on your adventures
     
  3. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    It also makes for a great Bug Out vehicle. You are bugging out your entire house. Self sustainable, and lots of room for supplies. I have been thinking about buying another RV trailer for this very reason.
     
  4. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    "Bug out vehicle" was exactly like I was thinking! My wife is not much in the Survival camp, so, when she brought up the motor home, I almost kicked myself for not jumping on the bandwagon earlier!
    [beat]

    Initially we had no consideration for a motor home at all because of their imagined costs. We had toured a 1/2 million dollars unit a few years ago for grins, and it was utterly preposterous for us....
     
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Think fuel. [dunno]
     
  6. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    That was my first thought too
     
  7. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    Fuel ?

    :^)

    For sure it's a major consideration. We'll be keeping ourselves to a < 100-mile radius for camping. As a BOV it will be better than sleeping in a tent at the retreat -- the gas will be 2/3 expended when we get there.

    What about adding a mini woodstove? -- has anyone seen that done on a motorhome before? Of course there are safety considerations, but the gas and propane won't last forever if the balloon goes up. It wouldn't take too many sticks to heat it.
     
  8. duanet

    duanet Monkey+++

    Frind of ours , in her 60's, lost her husband to cancer. Between the bills, loss of income from husband, medical bills that weren't covered and all, she ended up loseing the house and having nothing to live on or in besides her salary, $13 an hour at the time, in New Hampshire. They had an old motor home, late 70's, that the creditors considered worthless and let her keep. She moved it into a RV camp with electric, water, sewer, and space and lived in it for 3 years for about $250 a month plus utilities. Nothing fancy and not a bug out vehicle, but it sure as heck saved her bacon and let her keep her independence. When she turned 65 and retired she moved into subsidized housing and had an apartment, but she did not give up the RV and still has it 6 years later. The wife and I am thinking of getting some land farther out in NH. We are to close to Mass if things get really bad. With a small storage shed on the land and a RV somewhere nearby, so the damn vandels don't wreck it for "fun", you could have a place to live and a low profile prior to the SHTF. Have lived in trailers and the maintainence on as RV is high, but outside of t he engine, not expensive. Take care of the roof, don't walk on it and keep it painted with the protective roof coating and keep it sealed and I wouldn't worry about a 1980's that has been relatively well taken care of. The critical things are the refigerator, stove, hearer, water heater, water system, plumbing and holding tanks. If any of those are bad, they are relatively expensive to replace and the price should reflect that. Also any rot due to leaks in the wate, plumbing, shower stall etc can be a real pain. As Halffast pointed out in his EMP story, there are worse ways to be in a bug out situatin than sleeping on an interspring mattress and cooking on a propane stove. Might make an excellent short term bugout destination and FEMA seems to think that travel trailers are a good short term housing answer to those displaced by the huracanes.
     
  9. NVBeav

    NVBeav Monkey+++

    Duanet -- great comments on the maintenance of RVs. I've got to say that the one we picked up was taken care of very well. There are some minor problems, but there's nothing we can't fix (given a free weekend)...

    Since RVs are big gas-hogs, the price of motorhomes seems to be falling steadily (we spent all of $3,000 on ours), and there seems to be a glut of them on the market. The way I see things, it can be extremely useful without having to buy a lot of gasoline. In a Schumeresque situation, it will be a versatile shelter for either my family or others coming to my house.

    Would I rather have a log cabin on farming property with a barn and a creek? Yes, but...
     
  10. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    Sounds pretty good, just get out of dodge before the traffic grinds to a halt...
     
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