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surgpsych 06-28-2018 03:46 PM

Difficulty Financing as a Student
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Here is a photo I took today of the UNTHSC housing web page. One of many pages of posting. You can see that you can still find rental homes in the area for about $600. The reason I suggest the rental homes is because they are typically two bedrooms and with nobody living above you. As well, they have small yards for pets, if allowed by the landlord.

HiHoAgRV 06-28-2018 05:57 PM

Difficulty Financing as a Student
Sometimes things look great on paper and just don't execute that way. My college economics professor showed that it never makes sense to buy a new car if your old one is paid for. Until he got sick of driving a 20 year old Covair!
A co worker bought a cheap SOB to live in 4 years ago. He now has an apartment rent and a trailer payment plus a truck note.

brick1 06-28-2018 06:01 PM

I think the big question is where will you park the camper? RV site? Monthly cost? Will that be convenient?

Rocinante 06-28-2018 09:04 PM


Originally Posted by featherbedder (Post 2121384)
You misunder stood my figs. I pd. $10,000 new, now value is $18,000 not a loss of $2000 as you fig. So almost double of pur. price.....These figs. were obtained from fairly large AS dealer

and agreed to by Ins. co. and current market sales. So now case is closed.

Point taken. Thanks for clarifying. If you think waiting more than 40 years to less than double your money represents an acceptable return on investment, that’s your call. I’d also suggest you are waaay out on the bell curve with this experience. Please don’t use your unique situation to suggest that’s what happens to everybody who buys an Airstream. 🤣

Lara Me 06-28-2018 10:35 PM

If you have to have an Airstream and you won’t be talked out of living in an RV for your med school duration, at least find a 3-5 year used AS. There is a reason why many AS owners here are on their 2nd or 3rd trailer - you may desire a different trailer layout very soon. Unlike a car, your loan rate for an RV won’t vary for new or used, up to about 4-5 years old. If it’s an AS you must have, save about 20% off the bat by buying something 3-4 years old. The financials would at least make more sense with that approach. Buying new, you’re just flushing money down the pits. Even the value of a new warranty won’t make up for buying new.

thiel 06-30-2018 08:55 AM


Originally Posted by Sgt.Estes (Post 2120878)
Thank you! And, thank you to everyone.

We definitely have thought this through. I have owned and lived in campers previously. Currently my father lives and travels in one and lives it. However; I’m not confident in the workmanship and final quality of other brands. The monocoque design and buck-riveting, gives me more assurance of structural integrity. I know at least my “shell” with maintenance should hold up longer than any previously mentioned “pop-up,” manufactured home, or other suggested option.

IF, someone here would like to recommend a “better” built camper that doesn’t fall in the category of “class A” I’m all ears. ;)

We are excited about our journey, learning from great people on this forum, and the adventures ahead that come with the AS territory. We understand it’s not all puppy dogs and rainbows.

Best Regards

Better built campers would include Oliver brand.

thiel 06-30-2018 09:04 AM

Most people don’t understand the notion of opportunity cost when it comes to money. If my cashflow is tied up with loan payments, that means I’m going to lose out on the money that cash would have earned in the markets.

The opposite is true too: if I take 100k out of the bank and hand it over to an RV dealer, I lose out on the interest that 100k would have made.

Sure seems to me that you are threading the needle between these two ends of the spectrum in order to get the worst possible return.

Vagabonds_2 06-30-2018 01:14 PM

We are retired, I am working on a graduate degree, and we acquired a Classic 30. I have an incomplete and a summer school class and we decided to come to an international rally in Portland area and staying here for daughter's child to be born. Very difficult to keep focus in trailer. You're basically living in a 30' hallway. You're fiance will tire of it. You will be living in coffee shops and libraries to get away from your trailer. Don't lose focus grasshopper. As others have said, wait until you have time and funds to use and maintain the sodden things. in three months, we have broken a jack and had a shower leak to fix. Don't do it!

TBurns1966 06-30-2018 05:03 PM

Lots of advice, but I haven't heard this
I have been reading this thread and have seen a lot of (what I believe to be) honest, well-meaning people advise you two not to buy this AS, or at least not to finance it. I have a different viewpoint.

It sounds like you have a financial plan pretty well thought-out. It makes sense from a certain point of view. Maybe (probably) it could work out in your favor financially, given your situation. The only question that's up in the air is whether the fiance can actually live and adapt to the RV living in a tiny space.

Not everyone pays cash for an AS. I am 52 years old and I am about to finance an Airstream Interstate. I have a paid-for commuter vehicle that will become my "daily driver". I am putting enough money down on the AI so that its payments will basically be the same as my luxury SUV that I am selling in order to purchase the AI.

In truth, you can't predict what's the right thing to do, but it sounds like you have a pretty good plan. Looking back on this decision 20 years from now, you'll either consider buying the AS trailer an awesome choice, or an expensive mistake. But life will go on, and you'll have the memory of having stepped out and made a bold move that seemed to fly in the face of conventional logic. If it doesn't work out, at least you purchased an AS, which has pretty good resale value a year or 2 later.

Alternatively... you're an engineer. You have mad skills. You could search around for a couple of months and pick up an older AS trailer for maybe $10 or 15K. Then put another 10 or 15K into refurbishing it and it would be worth $50 to 80K. Last week a 1987 3-axle 32' AS trailer sold here in Phoenix for $7000. It was in pretty decent shape. The A/C still worked and the plumbing was all good. It just needed tires, to be cleaned, new upholstery and the mahogany cabinets refinished. So deals like that CAN be found, though they are kind of rare.

A new AS trailer is certainly a good option for the two of you as well, given your financial means and situation.

I believe people should live their lives with no regrets. You're going to make mistakes, yes. Might this be one of them? Maybe. But is it worth a shot? I believe so!

Civilguy 07-01-2018 06:52 PM


I pd. $10,000 new, now value is $18,000 not a loss of $2000
$10K in 1977 equates to well over $40K today based on CPI inflation, so that's not a loss of $2K at all.

HiHoAgRV 07-03-2018 02:44 PM


Originally Posted by Civilguy (Post 2122630)
$10K in 1977 equates to well over $40K today based on CPI inflation, so that's not a loss of $2K at all.

An alternative thought. Had you taken $10k and kept up with the CPI you would now have $40k.
$10k in a asset that is now worth less than $40k could be a 'loss'

Cup 1/2 empty side of the analysis lol!

featherbedder 07-03-2018 04:46 PM

The pleasure and good times of having a AS for 41 yrs. well out paces the cpi that you have not had any pleasure of except a bank account. I have enjoyed many things and times that money in account can't give and 41 yrs. that you can only have one time around. As they say you only go around once and no saddle bags on coffin or brinks armored truck following hearse, so say what you want I have enjoyed life and did not make paper merchants happy, with my $10,000 pur.

Rocinante 07-03-2018 05:28 PM

The point of my earlier comment remains valid: Purchasing an Airstream is *not* an investment from a financial perspective. It represents the purchase of a Depreciating Asset. By claiming your Airstream was a successful financial investment, you are off topic and lost in the weeds.

The OP wanted to buy an Airstream as a *financial investment*. It's not. No purchase of any RV will never be as wise financial investment, per-se. Period.

Thanks, though, for your point that in one's life returns can be measured by more than money. That, frankly, is the reason we bought our own Airstream, despite knowing it would be a depreciating asset. :wally:

Oregon Ms 07-04-2018 10:46 AM

Read Cory Fawcett's books. You may want to reconsider.

Ranger Doug 07-04-2018 10:59 AM

As an airstream owner and retired dentist who currently mentors students through this process I would proceed cautiously for the following reasons:
New or Used? Used Airstreams can have expensive problems, especially when they're parked for long periods of time. New ones also have issues right out of the box.
Where would you park this--I don't know of many RV parks nearby Medical Schools. If on a private lot--you now have a landlord again.
I would wait until you are accepted, then work the problem the other way possibly connecting with other like-minded people to share housing very local (walking if possible) to your classes.
Purchase your Airstream as a graduation present.

KJJorgen 07-04-2018 11:05 AM

I am going to go against the crowd and not try to talk you out of it, but I will give a few cautions. First of all--financing. My best suggestion is to go to a few lenders and see what they will do. I doubt too many have done it this way before, so you might not find those who have done it this way. I don't think anyone can tell you for sure how this will work out.

Now for the cautions. Yes, you will need a tow vehicle, and don't scrimp $$ for the hitch set up. And yes, things will break down, even with a new trailer, and how this will work for you depends a lot with how handy you are with repairs. You didn't mention if this would be used or new. New trailers are quite pricey. If you get a used one, not so much, but more likely in need of repair. I would doubt a new trailer would be the most economical way to go about this. Used perhaps, but either way, if you decide on the trailer live in it a month or so before classes start so you can get the routine down and the bugs worked out.

And the final caution, med school is strenuous (ask me as to how I know!). Support is needed from friends, partners (spouse or fiancee), and fellow students. Will the living situation allow you to collaborate with those you need? Living 40 miles away in a campground or RV park is not conducive to collaborating with other students.

And finally the final thought. Divorces and partner break-ups are common during this time, and immediately after. Will this living situation allow your partner (fiancee) to live her (or his) life and be happy and fulfilled? After all, you will be gone a lot. It is very easy to get in a rut where a spouse is not happy but agrees to hold out until med school is done. But then there is residency. And then there is a practice which gets demanding. The social and career and work needs of your partner need to be of prime consideration. The model where one partner goes to professional school and loses contact the other, where the "other" is asked to sacrifice with hard work, financial support, and thus also loses contact is a model that often (not always) destined to failure.

AtomicNo13 07-04-2018 11:08 AM

Your life, your money!
Life is too short.... Just do it. You'll either love your decision, or live with your decision.
Best to you

BAMBiBURTON 07-04-2018 11:57 AM


Originally Posted by brick1 (Post 2120746)
One issue I did not see discussed is where you will park the Airstream. Campground? Have you checked the monthly cost of a site?

On that note, most campgrounds have limits to how long you can stay. For example: California State Campgrounds have a maximum number of days per month that you can stay in ALL their sites, so you can't go hopping around. Then, if you must move around, this requires reserving ahead of time, and availability gets difficult, especially around holidays. It's becoming common for communities to restrict "street camping" now too. If you move every few years, are there enough camping options local to where you'd be?

Regarding repairs, when we take our Bambi for service, she's gone a few weeks, and this happens at least once a year. You'd be sending your Home, And all your belongings, away for repairs. Then you have the stress of needing to stay somewhere else, all while studying for med school. Perhaps you will have financially planned for that, but needing repairs tends to happen at the worst times (Murphy's Law), piling more stress on top.

If your current (or future) landlords aren't fixing your AC, it's cheaper to buy a portable one yourself than it is to buy and live in an Airstream. Feel free to substitute "AC" with anything else, same will hold true. Especially "roof" which needs to be resealed for California (Texas too) sun every year. Airstreams Love to leak. It's what they live for.

Someone mentioned the future option of buying a house or condo... which you will do. Then you'll also want to keep your Airstream (of course!). This raises the issue of making sure there's a place to park your Airstream, or you'll be renting a spot in an RV/Boat Storage (which we have to do).

I Love and share your dream! Logic and life finally let my dream come true in my mid-40s. Good luck to you and your fiancé 🍀

Mansderm161 07-04-2018 12:10 PM

Everyone is different in regards to needs, but having gone through med school, residency, studying for boards, being in a relationship, I can't imagine living in an Airstream in an RV park, quite a distance from school, the hospital and library in a relationship and surviving both the educational demands and the relationship. Consider also what you want to specialize in....some fields are highly you need to be in the top of your class? You will need quiet places and quiet times. Get an apartment close to school and the hospital that has a separate room you can claim when you need space. Otherwise I think you will run into many situations when you resent your fiance, your living arrangements and maybe even your career choice. That's my opinion as a woman who tried to do it all. And I did it all in Houston.

Ronman 07-04-2018 01:01 PM

Why is everyone trying to play mom and dad? Go out and buy your airstream. You seem like a smart person who has thought this through and has a plan in place. You’re on the right track regarding financing and you have a co-borrower in the wings if needed. Sit down with a sales person. Negotiate a good deal and weigh out the best financing program. Through the dealer, credit union, personal bank, etc. The dealer will more than likely find the best rate. Push on them to perform for you. They want the sale.
Good luck.

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