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Old 06-28-2013, 02:51 AM   #1
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2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
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Depreciation & Full-Timing

I'm thrilled with my very gently used 2012 Eddie Bauer and my brand new 2013 Ford F-150, Ecoboost heavy duty towing package truck.

But as a few of you know, I got them not because I won the lottery, but because I totaled the 2008 Chevy Silverado 2500 Diesel and the 2006 25' FB SE Safari on June 10th.

We can all ignore depreciation - totally! UNTIL we sell or lose our vehicles and/or trailers.

Now I'm going to have about $50K of very real "payment book" depreciation after I get my final insurance settlement checks... and that was with REALLY GOOD insurance. Is that as much or more than I've saved over the last 8 years? Not quite, but it is a big chunk outta it.

On the up side, interest rates are SO much lower than they were in 2005 and 2008 I'm not sweating financing both new acquisitions. Also, I saved up enough to make big down payments on each, and after living within my means (and then some) for the last 8 years, my credit rating is pretty much bulletproof.

I've always encouraged others to be super realistic about the down sides of fulltiming. And I've just learned a few MORE downsides -
  1. I wasn't as good at thinning out the "stuff" as I thought. If you fulltime, once a year pull every piece of clothing you own out of storage/ Airstream/wherever - and brutally get rid of things that you "might use" again. If you ever have to do it post wreck, you'll know why Less IS easier to deal with in every respect.
  2. once a year, do the same with tools, cooking equipment, cleaning stuff, etc. empty every nook and cranny and reconsider. Also remember your relatives might have to do it for you if you're dead or disabled, so "put your house in order" (Heard one very funny/tragic story about a family who found out daddy liked to wear lace undies... eeeerk.)
  3. where WILL you live while waiting for the new Airstream to arrive? I spent 10 days at Extended Stay America on Bonney Road in Virginia Beach - dreary, dank, poorly maintained, depressing, and a great reminder of why I hate "modestly priced" motels. I'll spend the next week sleeping in my office at work. Think about it ahead of time, even so, it won't be pleasant.
  4. Your family and friends are your biggest assets. KARMA to my sister and niece! Your Airstream friends can comfort you like no one else. I got offers of "let me lend you my sparestream" from two people and several private contacts from people selling NICE units who even offered to bring them to me in Illinois. Bless you all.
  5. It does absolutely no good to "save money" by full-timing if you don't actually SAVE quite a bit of it. If I'd spent it all on some other hobby or vice or activity I'd be well and truly up that legendary creek! Money isn't all that important... if you have enough to give yourself the power of making CHOICES. No one can predict everything, and there are some financial crises that will just destroy you no matter how well you plan, but a reasonable, balanced plan is priceless.

I'd always worried that my Stream might be stolen or destroyed by a flood, hurricane or falling tree... never considered that I could be in a serious accident. I'd only been in a few minor fender benders in the whole of my driving career (though in the last year two people had changed lanes INTO the right side of my big honkin' RED Silverado - both at about 15 mph in 4 lane roads in Virginia Beach itself. One driver was on his cell phone, the other just wanted to be in the far left turn lane and didn't see me there. Compact car... my tires would have been in her window view.) Perhaps it's been building up like an earthquake along a fault line.

Depreciation is REAL and when you have an accident you DO get slapped with it REALLY.

Still can't guarantee it won't happen again, but the PO of my new Eddie Bauer left the Hensley on it, and while I'm not fond of getting older, I'll always drive like a chickensh** at 55mph, and get the heck off the road if that speed is dangerous to other traffic, and choose less traveled good roads over interstates!

OH, and another little surprise. I'm getting another trailer - a Casita or something similar, or maybe an A-line type if there's one that doesn't leak like a sieve... just to take on weekend jaunts. The Airstream will go on 3 or 4 trips a year max. Less exposure!


Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
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Old 06-28-2013, 04:51 AM   #2
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as always Paula, your posts are filled with wisdom.

2012 F150 Super Crew 5-1/2' bed Ecoboost 4x4 3.73 elec. lock diff. Propride hitch
give life. kidney & pancreas transplant 9/9/06
Ingrid-my unofficial '"World's Oldest Streamer" 1909-2008 R.I.P.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:00 AM   #3
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1993 21' Sovereign
Colfax , North Carolina
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I've gotten gap insurance, which pays the difference between amount owed and depreciated value, in case of a total loss. I also learned to get slightly used to help offset the hit of the first couple years' depreciation. At least if it all goes south on us again, we start over from zero, rather than in a hole.
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy, and taste good with ketchup.
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:15 AM   #4
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Glad to hear things are coming in place for you Paula. You are such a trooper and an inspiration for us all.
Warmest Regards,
Annette ...... Canopener Party Planner
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:37 AM   #5
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2007 23' Safari SE
Central , Connecticut
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Paula, that was a really informative post.

Obviously the hit is worse if you're full-timing, but I admit that the thought of depreciation in case of an accident haunts the back of my brain too. They don't build our trailer anymore, and even getting a different new 23' trailer is another $20k over the value of ours...nevermind the difference between the $29k value of the TV vs the $40k for a new one...

Wonder if there would be a business model for "replacement cost" insurance for full-timers, just like you can get on a house. I bet the risk exposure is actually pretty low for the insurer.

Curious to see what other trailer you'll get - I'm partial to a late-model Bigfoot 17" trailer myself but $10k buys a nice Casita...

Now: 2007 Safari SE 23' "Anne" towed by 2011 Dodge Durango "Herman"
Before: Argosy Minuet and T@B, towed by various Honda Odysseys
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Old 06-28-2013, 06:59 AM   #6
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Glad you are ok!
Peace and Blessings..
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:15 AM   #7
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Paula, you have come thru this nightmare still displaying the strength and common sense that have always been abundantly evident in you.

You've survived and you've learned. Thanks for sharing.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:32 AM   #8
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Fort Worth , Texas
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Congrats on new rig!

Depreciation is what one makes of it. Bying new (or nearly so), but being a fulltimer mkaes this less important based on number of nights aboard. But I don't follow with buying another TT as the one bought is already small . . depreciation here is significant by the same metric.

But best hitch, tires (+TPMS), brakes do NOT fit the mold at all for depreciation purposes . . neither does this TT design if one believes that safety -- in all aspects -- trumps dollars.

You'll be fine in the range of 58-62 mph. I'd recommend finding out the convergence point of the rearview mirrors with the rig hitched up. How many feet behind the TT do the L/R perspectives merge? And look to the best add-ons for the towing mirrors to lessen that if one is more comfortable . . it is on my list. As a commercial driver with better mirrrors than RV'ers (not just more of them) I believe it makes a difference. State laws also address this. Three seconds of separation is a minimum . . and 97% of Americans are too damned dumb to reduce this, they're tailgaters. Any two lane is more problematic than the Interstate for this alone.

As with any rig, three passes across a scale to set WD best is recommended highly. And very easy to do with an H/A. Ideal WD settings and TV tire pressures (inside FORD range and then to load vs. pressure). It is important to have the "feel" of the rig be correct for later diagnostic purposes, not just driver confidence.

For that alone -- driver confidence -- the more trips the better with the A/S as tires, brakes, bearings, torsion suspension, etc, are the better for being exercised. This rather kills any idea of depreciation concerns on a second trailer. It becomes outside what can be considered for the A/S. An outlier. Thus the earlier recommendation on TT disc brakes with anti-lock. Make this one the best and use it if value received for monies spent is at the heart of what is covered under "depreciation".

Agreed on annual house-cleaning. As well as better load securement (per another post made).

1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:25 PM   #9
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2005 31' Classic
Garner, , North Carolina
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have to agree on gap insurance.. I like to buy used for the very reasons you stated.. 50K upside down on the rig a '08 Silverado and '06 AS should show how over priced stuff is new. I find 3-4 yrs old is the sweet spot for vehicles, bit it depends on the deal..

I bought a 2008 Impala LTZ with born on date of 3/08 with 13K miles for 16K which was right at half of sticker price on thanksgiving weekend 2008.. car was paid off in 4 yrs and now still worth some 10K with only 79K miles..

sounds like the insurance company got over on the claim with the depreciation BS.. i hear clark howard talk about that and how you have to know retail on the vehicle and only take that for it.. why should they give you wholesale when you have to get an new(er) one for retail.

PS who was this good insurance company?.. USAA is a good company. statefarm is not in my book.

Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
I've gotten gap insurance, which pays the difference between amount owed and depreciated value, in case of a total loss. I also learned to get slightly used to help offset the hit of the first couple years' depreciation. At least if it all goes south on us again, we start over from zero, rather than in a hole.

Carl, Raleigh NC
2-24-16 got a 2005 Classic 31D check it out for good rental deals
2003 F-250 SD, CC, 7.3L PowerStroke
WBCCI#1691, Piedmont Airstream Club, Unit #161, Region #3
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