I finally pulled the trigger and am about to embark on the next part of my journey. I am about to start full-time RV living. This has been a goal or dream of mine for a few years. I have been looking into it for about two years now. There have been a few reasons I have not done it sooner
- Didn’t want to get into more debt
- Didn’t want to cash flow a truck and RV
- Was scared of such a big decision
My first issue was I really hated the idea of getting into debt. I felt I had such a great thing going with investing and building my wealth that frankly, the idea of getting into debt made me feel like I would be going backward. Because to do full-time RV living I needed a truck and the RV as my little Scion XB would not be able to tow anything. I also hated the idea of either selling stocks to cash flow the purchases or stop investing so much to cash flow the purchases. Finally, I was just terrified of such a big life decision. I felt no matter how I tackled it I was taking steps backward in my journey.
That is until someone sat me down and went over some math with me. That someone, of course, is my financial savvy partner. I was shown if I just look at the decision differently I would have a different outcome than I originally thought. What came of this was that I finally realized I could simply get a loan for an RV, truck, and site to live for less than what my rent costs each month. I also finally realized that I could spend between RV, truck, and site about $47K as that is what my apartment would cost over the next two years. That’s right if I could find an RV, truck, and site for a total cost of $47K by simply moving out of my apartment it all would pay for its self. The worst outcome would be I have an RV, truck, paid off and experience to see if I like the full-time RV life. So the search for an RV and truck was alive again.
There are tons of RV options and it can be overwhelming. There are driveable RV’s, Fith Wheel Camper’s, Toy Hauler RV’s, Travel Trailer RV’s, and Tear Drop Campers. All of them have pros and cons and to be honest, it was hard to make the choice. But ultimately I decided on a Travel Trailer RV. I decided I wanted something small and started looking at 20-foot trailers. I found one setup I really liked after looking at a few different layouts and models. The model was a GeoPro and the dealer was asking around $26K. Some of these trailers can be pricey! A 16-foot Airstream started out around $60K and a 23-foot one was around $76K. I could not for the life of me spend that much on a fun project that I was not sure If I would even like yet. The dealership I and my girlfriend went to for the GeoPro we had the worse experience. The “Finance Guy” starts giving us the sales pitch and trying to play games. I asked what his bottom price was and could not get a straight answer. After about 35 minutes of our time wasted we walked out. I started to get pricing from other dealers in other states and even looked at used. When to my surprise something amazing happened.
I was on a full-time RV Facebook group asking questions and someone said they were selling their RV. They just so happened to be living in San Diego. After an exchange of messages and pictures, I was interested in seeing the RV in person. It was a 2018 32-foot Forest River Salem that they no longer lived in full time. They also no longer wanted the truck they used to pull the RV. It was bigger than I was originally looking at but really liked the idea of buying it as a combo for the right price. Bought both for $24,000. Crazy I got a truck and RV for less than what I was originally was going to buy. Well, I think some pictures are needed. Now, this is a few pics of it before.
The above photos are from the previous owners. I will be doing another post with updated pictures once I get everything in the RV and set up how I want. As of right now, I am still in my apartment and will be in the RV on December 1st. So as you can imagine It’s a slow but steady transition to moving into the RV. Right now I’m selling, donating and throwing things away as I decide what to take with me to this next chapter.
It’s already been exciting and terrifying all at once. I’m looking forward to the new lifestyle and also excited to write about it all on here. My first big project that has already started is going full solar on the RV. The main reason is one of the sites I want to live at has no hookups for power or water. The second reason is so I can live off-grid If I decide too for future adventures. Going full solar is no easy task and took tons of research and to be honest I was still not fully prepared. Mind you it’s not even complete and hoping it will be done before December 1st.
I will also be tracking all my expenses in the RV so I can compare it to my luxury apartment. I’m curious to see if over the course of this the RV life would be cheaper or more expensive than my luxury apartment. I am hoping and betting the RV life will be better for my wealth building. As of right now, I have around $2,300 invested in my solar project. Mind you that is way cheaper than what I was quoted for a shop to do it. Let’s just go over those numbers.
- Solar Kit $2,800
- Four 6 Volt Batteries $1,600
- Install could not quote me
So just in parts, they wanted $4,400 without any labor or any what if’s coming up. At first, I was going to simply pay this because well I had no fucking clue what I was doing. Yet this journey has taught me I can learn how to do this myself and acquire a new skill in the process. I found kits to be very overpriced for convenience. So I decided I would just piece together my own kit by looking at expensive kits and the good old help of the internet. Like I mentioned above I as of right now have everything I should need for a fraction of the cost. Mind you everything is not together so in the next few weeks we will see if we installed everything properly once I connect my panels to the batteries. Another big bonus is this year I will get a 30% solar tax credit for this purchase. My worst-case scenario is I get a 90% solution and have to pay a person for the final 10%. I guess it’s better to just show you what is done so far. Honestly, if it was not for the help of my partner this install would not have been so smooth.
It’s not all about the numbers with me, as I have wanted to try this much simpler more intentional lifestyle out for a long time. I’m trying to build my FIRE lifestyle now. To me, that means less stuff, more freedom, and spending my time on things that bring me long term happiness.
Well, I hope everyone enjoys my opening post on full-time RV living. Maybe I just found a new skill to start a side hustle!
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That RV looks nice! And considering what you got WITH a truck. Seems like a great deal. Looking forward to seeing the updated photos.
I think that is a smart play with doing the solar install yourself. What all are you trying to power with the solar panels and how did you determine how many panels you would need?
Kim @ The Frugal Engineers says
That’s a BEAUTIFUL rig!!! Can’t wait to see pictures of the “after” 🙂 And now I’m inspired to go spruce up our RV interior (travel trailer) before the snow melts!
Wow! Looks amazing. The solar work you have done yourself is really impressive and inspiring. What was the name of the Facebook group you found the RV on?