You'll do what you want, and you're right to ask the questions you have. I'd continue to plan despite the rainy parade around here, my comments included in that. I'm not going to try to persuade you one way or another, but this is written in that manner:
I'd nix the remodel idea from the beginning. A perusal of threads around here will show that the combined skills of carpenter, electrician, plumber, auto mechanic, electronics tech and the rest combine
to make for headaches just in planning. Takes time, much
time in out-thinking factory engineers and planners. IMO, makes this idea as much an impossibility as any other. With a remodel completion date three years hence, maybe
(and contingent on extensive prior RV experience). And, frankly, many re-models suffer in comparison to OEM. An advantage gained, here
, but lost here
as a result.
The single most important consideration as I understand your question is equipment cost -- capital outlay -- thus what timeframe of calendar and miles: three years, five years? One needs an endpoint, a calendar date
, to make an initial spreadsheet work; with $$ room for changes as one goes along. Make no mistake that you will put it on the line somewhere and in some fashion.
Implicit in this is loss of income. I think from the assumption, if it can be outsourced, it will be,
as this is the larger trend nationally and globally. Implicit also is serious illness. In other words, what is my capital investment, and how much can I afford to lose? One can, obviously, face the same predicament in rented housing. And be faced with trying to replicate the same all over again, a $$ non-starter due to reduced income and/or higher expenses versus living with relatives. The obvious advantage of an RV
is that one has an "out", another means of shelter, etc. It can be parked about anywhere.
While an A/S is cool, you are looking at very hard use. I'm no fan of other design types, but their size and disposability make them more attractive. A 5'er (correct brand, size, layout) is almost a no-brainer for this situation (family versus couple) as the storage, on-board generator, and water tankage
are deal-breakers in my mind. A month here and two months there
are what these things are good for. I'd care less about maintenance and appearances . . I'd be going nuts with trying to keep up an A/S to like-new standard. The mistakes you will
make are "livable" with more space, etc. Plus, there is always
inclement weather, colds and the flu, etc. Days on end indoors for those affected and those who must care for them.
Starting big is easier. Potentially cheaper for initial outlay. RV techs and other service shops are comfortable with SOBs. Some are quite wary of A/S (and for good reason). Clarity will
come from experience, and being able to pinpoint how to size down
will be workable. Give it more than a year.
As to transportation: yes, more trips to store and laundry. Walmart Man.
Decent planning can alleviate much here. All trips are combined, in other words. No last minute runs. A discipline that pays, but also costs
in terms of headache to adjust. No matter the RV type (critical with one, less so with the other). Bicycles of the proper type can reduce this expense (short trips). Best to use the seven months and log every vehicle trip
now being made: time, distance, objective. And then restrict use to certain hours, then to certain days. Etc.
The Tahoe is unacceptable. I'd say that for a couple it can be made workable, but with a family (and, as in above posts) the need for storage and usable space makes a van, Sub or big pickup a better choice based on payload. A Megacab Dodge Ram would be on my list, in 1T configuration, SRW. That A/S bunkhouse linked above has up to a 1,260-lb TW
. Any trailer big enough will be similar. A 1/2T can't carry anything, a 3/4T runs out of payload, and the 1T is closest in fit and numbers. Shortbed is okay for an A/S, but a crewcab DRW with longbed is almost required with a 5'er. (These aren't the only choices, but they bookend what is available). (I also wrote more about tow rigs, my view, here).
For the above reasons, this is a situation where I'd rate the TV as more important than the TT
(or 5'er) against the usual thinking around here. The family Conestoga is one thing, but a good mule team is harder to find . . but they could pull anything.
Best to start at this end of the combination rig, IMO.
The big savings for full-timers is not against rented housing, but when one is presently a homeowner. The reduction in fixed expenses plus maintenance/repairs (assuming a non-income producing property) is where the savings lie. But that's just money. The less stuff in storage -- paid or not -- the better. What is great about full-timing is the lack of headaches, the time freed from house work, and the greatly reduced distance to re-creational activity.
People have been doing this for years. Sailboats, gypsy wagons and the rest. So how important are social factors? I tend to think glorifying teenagers in this society (immature adults) is a mistake; there is no doubt it is as much a marketing label as any other (Gen Y and similar crap; someone elses profit, not my well-being), thus easily ignored. It wouldn't stop me at all. Your kids will be much more interesting (let's hope in the best sense) than the drones from suburbia.
Follow your heart, but be able to walk away from the traveling if need be. Park that big dude somewhere and re-group.