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Old 12-07-2010, 10:30 PM   #1
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2007 25' Safari SS SE
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Half or full timing budget?

Greetings All,

My wife and I are planning to do half timing and then move into full-timing. Our rig is a 2007 F150 pulling a 2007 Safari SS25. We are looking for any and all information relating to the cost to do this over one year. Our anticipated scenarios/questions are as follows:

1. Half Timing Scenario: In our Airstream for about six months during the first year, criss crossing back and forth to our home in St. Louis. (Our home would be cared for by family while we are away, with utilities still on but at minimal settings.) We would stay in state parks or memberships camps 2 to keep the costs down and would stay in one campground 2-3 weeks each to keep the nightly rate as low as possible. We'd also use only an electric hookup, choosing to keep filling/emptying on-board fresh water/waste water tanks. Our entertainment needs will be minimal, as will the need to visit local attractions. We'll eat in mostly - a simple diet with lots of veggies, rice, spaghetti, etc. Ah, the simple life. For the driving part, we are assuming we'll go about 400 miles every 3 weeks, or about 4,000 miles during the year, at 11 mpg.

2. Full Time Scenario: Get rid of the stuff and sell the house so there would be no costs here. Driving would be about 8,000 miles at 11 mpg. Same on-the-road scenario as per above, otherwise.

So the questions: Any body out there doing something similar to either of these scenarios? We'd love to get some rough ballpark (or specific) information on annual costs so that we can begin planning in earnest and construct a realistic budget. Also, any idea how much to budget for repairs/maintenance on the Airstream? Appreciate any information or references to sources that you can provide.

James Pona
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:36 PM   #2
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check out this web site..

Young Fulltime RVers-
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:18 AM   #3
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If you've been camping for a few years you already know most of the answers.

There's a more active community of fulltimers at rvforms.net who will be more help than Airforums.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:24 AM   #4
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Greetings and welcome!

We are about half-to-two-thirds-timers, maintaining a small house and a small RV. We have kids and grandkids, and will not be giving up our house.

When we first retired 3+ years ago and started traveling extensively, we kept track of every dime we spent. After about three months, we had a good feel for monthly expenses and were spending much less than anticipated.

We like to stay to $20 or less per night for a campsite, but splurge occasionally on a more expensive, full service campground when we want location and amenities. If we are in an area and temperature that is conducive to boondocking several nights a week, costs drop dramatically. We eat a couple of meals a week out, prepare everything else ourselves.

I suggest you put pencil to paper, estimate how much you will drive and total up what your anticipated costs for fuel will be, and what you need for essentials, groceries/meals out, etc. each month. I would suggest budgeting $25 per night for an inexpensive campsite---some will be less, some will be more.

We like Passport America for overnight stays, which are not always lovely but you pull your blinds and close your door and you are home wherever you are.

Spend less, do more.


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Old 12-08-2010, 09:04 AM   #5
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

First off, welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

As to your questions, we have some experience in this area. We travel extensively with our dear Lucy, who is a 2005 Safari 25FB. We pull Lucy with a 3/4 ton Suburban. In the past 4 1/2 half years we have spent 760 nights in Lucy, and have towed her almost 70,000 miles. That works out to 48% of our time spent in Lucy during this period. We are back and forth to our home in the Florida Panhandle on a regular basis. Our longer trips are six weeks in length.

As to our expenses, our tow vehicles are gasoline and get about 10 mpg towing and 13 mpg without Lucy. We cover about 20,000 miles per year which includes touring the areas that we visit while not towing Lucy.

As to campgrounds, we usually stay at full service private campgrounds which run in the $40 per night range including tax. We prefer five point hook-ups as Lucy is our home while we are traveling. We spend very little time around the trailer during the day. We are generally out touring the area. When we come back to Lucy, we want all the comforts of home. We have found that many private campgrounds will give a seventh night free when staying for a week.

We rarely eat out in a restaurant when traveling. We take almost all of our meals in Lucy, so foods costs are the same as when we are home.

All in all, if you want to see the USA extensively, an RV is the way to go.

Brian
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Old 12-08-2010, 09:41 AM   #6
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I'm extremely comfortable sitting at home. The only reason for me to get up and move is to be more comfortable than I currently am. I can't get my mind around being more comfortable dry squatting on the side of some road. My travel budget is $200 a day minimum.

My idea of travel is to check out the best of an area. That includes trying out the best restaurants and shopping in the best stores. If I want to be happy, comfortable, and save money, I'll just stay home:-)
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Old 12-08-2010, 10:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitrock View Post
I'm extremely comfortable sitting at home. The only reason for me to get up and move is to be more comfortable than I currently am. I can't get my mind around being more comfortable dry squatting on the side of some road. My travel budget is $200 a day minimum.

My idea of travel is to check out the best of an area. That includes trying out the best restaurants and shopping in the best stores. If I want to be happy, comfortable, and save money, I'll just stay home:-)
Well, good for you!


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Old 12-08-2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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Jim Pona, you didn't mention your age. If you qualify for the Senior "America the Beautiful" National Parks Pass (must be 62), you can camp for half-price in many national parks and national forest areas. Check out the Web site below, for details:

http://www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm

If you only use electricity, you might consider solar or a generator, and camp in national and state parks most of the time. We prefer these sites, along with boondocking on federal and state land, which is free in many cases. These have beautiful views with fewer neighbors. And, those that you have are not camped right on your doorstep.
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Old 12-08-2010, 03:29 PM   #9
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Jim Pona, first of all welcome to the forums. I think you will find most of the members here helpful, thoughtful and responsive to your questions.

We are considering a similar scenario as your half time plan except we would be making spring and fall trips with winters in Tucson and summers on a seasonal site in Wisconsin near our children and grandchildren.

It would seem that unless your resources are unlimited, a budget is a very good idea and something you are wise to address early in your planning. The basics, food, clothing, medical expenses, entertainment, etc., probably won't differ much from what you are currently spending. The cost of owning and maintaining your home will be either zero or pretty much the same as it is now with lower energy costs. So, it seems that the costs you need to pin down or at least estimate within a realistic range are the costs of camping/parking the AS and maintenance of both the AS and your TV and the cost of fuel. I would think the maintenance costs would be the most difficult to estimate but could be minimized if you have the ability to do some of the work yourself.

I'll be interested to see if you get any suggestions on the estimated costs of maintenance. And you may want to mosey over to the Full Timing section of these forums and check out the information there as well.

Good luck with your planning.
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:40 PM   #10
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Financial Information

Not an Airstreamer but they have 5 years of their budgets and financial data online.
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:59 PM   #11
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Camping or Glamping?

For me, adjusting to a shower that was limited to 5 gallons of hot water was an effort. Now it's normal. I still work, and reside in my Airstream more than I travel.

I did run into an interesting idea about fulltiming on a budget. Some campers at Virginia Highland Haven (and other Airstream only campgrounds I suppose) stay at the campground during the summer and move into a subsidized rent senior's only apartment from about Mid-October to April when the campground reopens. Now that's inexpensive living. The campground is a buy-in deal, but even for guests they only charge $8 to $10 per night.

There are all different levels of campground from very basic to very luxurious. The only thing that I'll add is that dry camping without water is fun on a rally, week in/week out it would get old fast unless you park right next to the shower house all the time. Even then - some are great, others are nasty! Go ahead and plan for a water/sewer hookup in your budget especially during high summer. The black tank frankly "ferments" in hot weather - and dumping it at least once a week is what makes life bearable. I fill the gray tank in a week because I don't DO a two gallon bath!~

Hanging on to the house and camping half time... a good short term plan. Everyone differs and three months later you might be DONE with long term living in the Airstream. If a year later you still love it, UNLOAD the house!
You can live in a all suite hotel for a couple of weeks when you're visiting the family!

Camping or Glamping - it's what you make of it. Like owning a house, some people are thrilled to have a 2 bedroom bungalow, others want seven bedrooms and 8 baths and a restaurant kitchen or they think they're roughing it.

True happiness is within you. (... after you have basic security taken care of).

Paula
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:27 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
For me, adjusting to a shower that was limited to 5 gallons of hot water was an effort. Now it's normal. I still work, and reside in my Airstream more than I travel.

I did run into an interesting idea about fulltiming on a budget. Some campers at Virginia Highland Haven (and other Airstream only campgrounds I suppose) stay at the campground during the summer and move into a subsidized rent senior's only apartment from about Mid-October to April when the campground reopens. Now that's inexpensive living. The campground is a buy-in deal, but even for guests they only charge $8 to $10 per night.

There are all different levels of campground from very basic to very luxurious. The only thing that I'll add is that dry camping without water is fun on a rally, week in/week out it would get old fast unless you park right next to the shower house all the time. Even then - some are great, others are nasty! Go ahead and plan for a water/sewer hookup in your budget especially during high summer. The black tank frankly "ferments" in hot weather - and dumping it at least once a week is what makes life bearable. I fill the gray tank in a week because I don't DO a two gallon bath!~

Hanging on to the house and camping half time... a good short term plan. Everyone differs and three months later you might be DONE with long term living in the Airstream. If a year later you still love it, UNLOAD the house!
You can live in a all suite hotel for a couple of weeks when you're visiting the family!

Camping or Glamping - it's what you make of it. Like owning a house, some people are thrilled to have a 2 bedroom bungalow, others want seven bedrooms and 8 baths and a restaurant kitchen or they think they're roughing it.

True happiness is within you. (... after you have basic security taken care of).

Paula
Very nice, Paula.

We consider fresh water and a dump station to meet the needs of our smallish fresh and holding tanks. Most places have those, and will do for an overnight stop. We like full hookups when we are staying someplace for awhile.

Maggie
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:35 PM   #13
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2007 25' Safari SS SE
St. Louis , Missouri
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Greetings All,

My wife and I are planning to do half timing and then move into full-timing. Our rig is a 2007 F150 pulling a 2007 Safari SS25. We are looking for any and all information relating to the cost to do this over one year. Our anticipated scenarios/questions are as follows:

1. Half Timing Scenario: In our Airstream for about six months during the first year, criss crossing back and forth to our home in St. Louis. (Our home would be cared for by family while we are away, with utilities still on but at minimal settings.) We would stay in state parks or memberships camps 2 to keep the costs down and would stay in one campground 2-3 weeks each to keep the nightly rate as low as possible. We'd also use only an electric hookup, choosing to keep filling/emptying on-board fresh water/waste water tanks. Our entertainment needs will be minimal, as will the need to visit local attractions. We'll eat in mostly - a simple diet with lots of veggies, rice, spaghetti, etc. Ah, the simple life. For the driving part, we are assuming we'll go about 400 miles every 3 weeks, or about 4,000 miles during the year, at 11 mpg.

2. Full Time Scenario: Get rid of the stuff and sell the house so there would be no costs here. Driving would be about 8,000 miles at 11 mpg. Same on-the-road scenario as per above, otherwise.

So the questions: Any body out there doing something similar to either of these scenarios? We'd love to get some rough ballpark (or specific) information on annual costs so that we can begin planning in earnest and construct a realistic budget. Also, any idea how much to budget for repairs/maintenance on the Airstream? Appreciate any information or references to sources that you can provide.

James Pona[/QUOTE]
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:38 PM   #14
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Thanks to all who responded with your great comments and suggestions!
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