Monthly Archives: July 2014

Decisions, Decisions

My wife and I have been considering an RV for several years.  We have some decisions to make before we take off.  Things like timing, what to do with the house and possessions, what kind of RV to get, how to earn money, retirement and so forth.

Timing:  We would love to get one in a few more years, when the kids are off to college, to travel and see the U.S.  Right now, that gives us 7 years.  It would give us the advantages of seeing all of our family and maybe saving a little money while we’re at it.

House:  We can rent out the house, letting the renters pay off the mortgage and have the extra go towards our retirement funds.  Most of our possessions can be sold because we don’t want to pay storage fees for things we can just buy again when we decide to settle down.  The rest of the stuff, like the sentimental things and photos, can be kept in containers with the kids.

Working:  My wife and I will still be young enough to work.  I’m a software engineer so I can work anywhere, whether remotely or taking a contract position.  My wife is considering workcamping, which is working somewhere in exchange for a free site or an hourly pay.  The jobs can be anywhere — amusement parks, Amazon warehouses, raceways, circuses and state and national parks.  We’re also considering diversifying our income with sources like blog ads, affiliate marketing for Amazon and turning my photography hobby into a paying business.

Retirement:  This is more than just money.  It’s where to live and how much money to have saved up before we call ourselves retired.  My wife wants Chattanooga, TN, and I would like Ft. Walton Beach, FL. Since we’re looking at traveling this can be resolved with a few months in each place.  We could trade in whatever RV we have for a Class B van and drive back and forth with the seasons.  Neither Tennessee or Florida has a state income tax so that should help out.

But the decision to make right now is what kind of RV do we want.  They each have their pluses and minuses.  I have tried focusing on our needs and how we want to travel.  We have gone back and forth from truck camper to fifth wheel to travel trailer and now to Class Cs.  We looked at a Class A for sale last night.  It’s a 1988 Coachmen Classic and, as expected for something that old, needs some work and updating.  It had been in storage for 2 years and wasn’t looking that great but for the $3500 price there was room left to make some repairs.  We talked about it and I think we’ll pass.  There seems to be a little water damage and I’m not a handyman kind of guy.  I would have to pay someone to repair the water damage, hoping it’s not worse than it looks, and pay more to update it and fix the fiberglass cracks on the outside.

We’re okay with letting this one go.  Class As aren’t really what we are looking for, anyway, and it was probably bigger than we want to get.  A Class C would work.  If we get one big enough we can tow a car behind.  Having just one car can work if I’m working remotely or if my wife is workamping at the campground.  We have looked at a toy hauler Class C as well.  That would give us the flexibility of bringing a motorcycle along so we each have some transportation.

We have some time to figure this out.  As we focus more on what our needs will be this will become easier.