The DOWNSIDE to full timing.

Discussion in 'Full Timers' started by Bulletguy, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    OK....most of us on this board are simply mh/campervan owners who either enjoy the odd weekend away or a couple of weeks now 'n then. Some of us dream about selling up and getting rid of the house, taking early retirement, and getting a van we can go 'full time' in. Some have actually done it.

    Many different threads and comments on here but i'm not sure just how many on the mb are real genuine 'full timers'.....and it's you i'd like to hear from.

    Ignoring the freedom lifestyle for a moment, lets concentrate on exactly what are the downsides....the negs to full timing?

    For example; you don't have a fixed address so where do you get mail sent? If drawing a pension how and where do you open a Bank account?

    Is it easy to 'full time' in the UK....or better out of the UK?

    What size/type of mh would be suitable for somebody like myself (single man living alone), which would give a decent living standard without going totally 'ott'?

    I'm hoping to retire in a couple of years time, am totally peed off with the rising cost of maintaining the bricks 'n mortar of my house plus still having a mortgage, so have considered a variety of options to get shut of the mortgage, shove some cash in the bank, and give me a more relaxed lifestyle.

    I've thought about Park homes (not gone into that much yet), narrow boat (put off by listening to a guy who had actually done it who commented it is not cheaper than running a house like most people think), and 'full timing' in a mh.

    So what are the downsides and what are the 'hidden' costs?
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    not much help really but you gonna need something a damn site bigger than a transit based M/H:Rofl1::Rofl1:
     
  3. Don Madge

    Don Madge Funster

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    Hi,

    Have a read of MagBaz Travels - A to Z of Long-term Motorhoming you shoud get most of your answers there.:Smile:

    Don
     
  4. Parcverger

    Parcverger Funster - Campsite Owner

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    We've full-timed now for the better part of six years, and have never regretted it. :BigGrin::BigGrin: We bought an RV - a Georgie Boy Cruisemaster - that is 32ft long, no slideouts, and have found it to be ideal for our needs. We are agreed that if we were to buy another RV we'd buy the same again!:thumb:

    We spent the first 2 1/2 years largely in the UK, with visits to France, and the rest of the time has been mainly in France, with visits to the UK. It's fair to say that when in the UK we can't wait to get back to France!:Doh: The weather and the way of life is better, and we love it here.

    Banking is no problem, as your pension(s) can be paid into your UK bank or into an European bank - we have kept our UK account, but also have an account with Credit Agricole, who offer accounts for Brits. Living in France we can move to anywhere on the continent without having to cross the Channel, and we are just a comfortable days drive from Spain - easy!

    Do not forget you would be exchanging what would normally be an appreciating asset (your house) for a depreciating one, but you can buy an RV second-hand with much of the depreciation already gone. You need to maintain it, so must make allowance for that, and for eventual replacement, but you can go where you like and stop where and when you like! Like us, most sites will offer special terms for long-stays, so if you find somewhere you like then you can stop there until the urge to travel bites again!:Laughing:

    If you want something to do, there is always a demand for site managers or assistant wardens (adverts are in the back of the CC & CCC mags).
    One thing is sure - you will meet many wonderful people (we have).

    Just realised - you asked about the downside - er...er...can't think of any off-hand!!!:Doh:

    Cheers!

    Bob and Di
     
  5. sprokit

    sprokit Funster

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    great item and even if you aren't planning full timing there is so much info there which is useful for us ordinary motorhomers still working and using the van when we can.
     
  6. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :Cool: We ARE genuine Full-timers. But perhaps different to most. We did NOT sell our home's to fund our lifestyle. We still own 2 cheapo's that we rent out to family at a meagre rent. So we cannot really help you.
    The down sides to Full-timing?
    If you are mobile? You need to get MOT, Tax and insurance every year.
    If you are parked full time on a camp site? You have to pay fees.
    Other than that? Can't think of any. :Rofl1:

    Size of RV/Motorhome? Depends on your lifestyle and hobbies.
     
  7. moandick

    moandick Read Only Funster

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    BulletGuy asking if he should get a bigger motorhome .......... Is this really the same Bulletguy who has expressed his views so forthrightly in times gone past? quote: "Anyone who carts a great big lump of an RV around" :Eeek:

    We have been totally full-timing for nearly 5 years now - we have had to opt for a quad slide RV because Mo is quite often confined to her wheelchair.:Smile:

    We have NEVER had a problem with anything to do with normal life - just so long as we have access to the Internet via a mobile connection - and bear in mind we run a fairly large club/business on the move! :RollEyes:

    Would we do it again given the same choice (sell the house and all our belongings and become 'gypsies') too darned true, we would BUT we would have done it ten or more years earlier! :thumb:
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    One of the big downsides I have heard people mention time and again is what to do when you full time and get old and ill. This prospect does scare a few people.

    Full timing in the USA is massive, with just one of the fulltiming clubs boasting over 36,000 paying members. They have full-timers nursing sites, for those members who lose their health. They can park up and have the benefit of on-site nurses and doctors and eventually a priest! :Smile:
     
  9. Pikey Pete

    Pikey Pete Read Only Funster

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    Most fulltimers are couples and though much of the advice you will get is very useful, as a solo fulltimer you will find you have different requirements. For example whilst I agree that the unit you have is not really big enough, you don't need a big RV.
    I have a an Adria Coral 650 which meets my needs pretty much and is not huge being about 7meters long.
    Storage space is some thing you need to consider and you soon find that you never seem to have enough, so my next MH will have a garage.
    I've been solo fulltiming since last December and though I thought I had all the base's covered when I set out, I soon found I hadn't.
    A relative can be your C/O address and if you intend to travel around Europe, sometimes it's a good idea to rest up on a site and get your important mail sent out from the C/O address to the site address. It works for me.:thumb:
    Pete.
     
  10. johnsandywhite

    johnsandywhite Read Only Funster

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    :RollEyes: MOST Full-timers (single or otherwise) that we have met over the last 11 years have had a big box trailer and roof boxes fitted if they didn't have an RV. As I previously mentioned. It depends on your hobbies and lifestyle. Some could even live in a car with 6 dogs. Believe me we met such a French lady. :Eeek:
     
  11. PenelopePitstop

    PenelopePitstop Funster Life Member

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    We're fulltiming and have been now for nearly 15 months.:thumb::thumb:
    We have a Knaus SunLiner just under 7m with fixed rear bed and large garage. Both essential to us.:thumb: Plenty big enough for the two of us. We can take it places where you can't take an RV and fuel economy is much better - we're getting around 24 to the gallon at the moment. Also cheaper on ferries and toll motorways.

    Internet access is important both for keeping in touch with people and things like internet banking. No problem in UK with 3 dongle etc. In Europe we found many sites had wi-fi - either free or charged for by the hour or day. When really stuck you can always use a public library or find an internet cafe. Never been completely cut off for long.:Rofl1:

    We sold our house and now live with friends who send us an email each week detailing the contents of our post - don't get that much these days now we've shed the weight of house and jobs!:Rofl1:

    We spend the summers in UK catching up with family and friends and getting the van serviced etc then head off somewhere warm for winter!:Laughing:

    Haven't found any downsides yet - OK you have servicing bills etc but they're nothing like the expense of having a house.:Smile:
    Miss the kids and grandkids but when we do see them it's quality time!:thumb:

    It's a completely different way of life to what we've been used to and the learning curve is quite steep - you just learn to look at things in a different way.
    e.g. - we don't tow a car or trailer or have bikes so rely on public transport once on site - no problems so far with that - eventually you get used to sorting out where the buses and trains go etc! Great in UK now we've got wrinklie passes - been all over Cornwall for free the past few weeks - pity we still have to pay for Rex but he gets his pass next month!:Rofl1::Rofl1:

    In April we bought a drive-away porch awning and that's been great for cooking "outside" - we have a double ring electric hob for when we have hook-up and a camping gas cooker with 2 rings and a grill for when we don't have hook-up. This means that unless the weather is really horrendous we don't cook inside the van. When it's fine we use the BBQ - a Weber gas which doubles as an oven!:thumb:
    We have a solar panel on the roof and have managed a week without hook-up easily - plenty of battery power for charging lap tops, phones and cameras.

    All in all it's a great way of life - we've met some lovely people along the way many of whom we're still in touch with - it's great to meet up with people again!:Rofl1:

    Anyway - enough of my rabbitting!:Laughing: Just do it!:Rofl1:

    Marie
    :Rofl1:
     
  12. dethleff

    dethleff Read Only Funster

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    The novelty might wear off.
     
  13. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Hi there Don!

    Will do just that.

    Now returned from my treck around the eastern bloc and got up as far as Ukraine border and up to the Baltic. Not bad going for an old tranny! I could do with contacting the guy who did that site with the co-ords though. Many are totally non-existent and one given as a 'Camping platz' near Nuremberg turned out to be a sheet metal fabrication company that had been there for over twenty years!
     
  14. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    To quote more precisely i asked what size/type would be considered suitable/sensible for a single person travelling and living alone......not if i should get a bigger motorhome. My personal observations (re. big lumps of RV's) are in relation to the amount of folk who drive these trucks about for two or three weeks each year which to me seems quite crazy.

    Obviously it would be unrealisitic to expect to live 365 days of a year in a swb Transit camper....but then my Transit is in use as daily transport as well as a camping vehicle and has just completed a 3.900 mile tour of Germany, Czech, Poland, Holland and France in three weeks.
     
  15. Jan Pendreigh

    Jan Pendreigh Read Only Funster

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    Fulltiming is the best thing we ever did! We sold up and everything and now our belongings travel with us, but you find there's so little you actually need. After one year we look back and have made many good friends, we've had very valuable help along the way, we've had so many laughs and we feel much healthier and more relaxed than we ever did at work. OK, we're a couple but we have met solo fulltimers (one lady in Canterbury last year aged 75 gleefully spending the family inheritance rather than sit alone in her valuable bungalow hoping for visitors). Our friends have recommended good sites which we use. We're not working and we haven't been abroad yet.

    The downside - ask me again in about 10 years!

    Jan
     
  16. PenelopePitstop

    PenelopePitstop Funster Life Member

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    If it does we'll do something else!!:Rofl1: You are allowed to change your lifestyle if you change your mind!:Rofl1::Rofl1:

    Marie
     
  17. TJ-RV

    TJ-RV Deleted User

    I hate to throw a wet blanket on someone's dream, but I've watched folks go down this road so many times over the years, and we have many friends and acquaintances who fulltime. We even considered it ourselves at one time, but decided against it, preferring to be part timers.

    You're 100% correct to do your research and ask others before plunging into the deep end of a major lifestyle change. I believe there are some unique personal characteristics that make up a happy fulltimer, and there are many such people around. I'll post some of these characteristics in a separate reply.

    At the end of the day, only you can know if this is right for you. For many, it was absolutely the right choice and they've lived their dream ever since. For others, it's been an emotional &/or financial disaster. In yet other cases, one spouse thinks they've done the right thing, while the other hates every minute of it.

    A few of the downsides, based on observation of many others and some of our own findings, in no particular order are listed below. Apologies if they overlap with or duplicate what others have said. Since you asked for downsides, the list looks like doom and gloom; Some or maybe all won't apply to you, but hopefully the list will help others in the future. Maybe we should create a parallel list of upsides, some of which have been well articulated by others here.

    • Confined space, especially if you happen to be in inclement weather. My wife and I enjoy each others' company, and have taken many long trips together (e.g. our maiden voyage on our current coach was 10,000 miles over 4 months), but there are times when we each like our own space. I like the ability to walk to another room, go out on our (covered) deck, work on a project in the garage, or hop on one of the boats and go fishing. Similarly, my wife likes to work on her projects without me bugging her.
    • We enjoy our trips, by land or water, near or far, brief or extended. But, every time we drive into our community, I look over at the driver (my wife) and ask "are you glad to be home?" She always nods her head vigorously.
    • I'm a bit of a magpie, or packrat as I'd be named over here. We downsized from a large 2-story house to a single story 7 years ago, and I'm still complaining I don't have enough space for my "stuff". I can't imagine where I'd put even a fraction of it if we were fulltiming in the coach.
    • At some point, medical or mobility issues will inevitably occur. Hopefully, the NHS will take care of you. Here in the US you'd better have good medical insurance, which is also true of a stick house (aka normal house here in earthquake country). One big difference is that you can get in, out and around a house in a wheelchair, but that's not so easy in an RV.
    • If you're a couple, what happens when one partner unexpectedly dies? Some friends of ours had gone fulltime, bought a lot in Yuma, Arizona where they spent the winters, and travelled north in the summers. After 7 years of this, the husband died unexpectedly. The wife didn't drive the motorhome, so she got stuck on their lot in Yuma, which can get to 120 degrees (49C) in the summer.
    • If someone sells the house and puts the proceeds into an RV, they've traded a long-term appreciating asset for something that loses a big chunk of its value the next day. When the day eventually arrives when they discover fulltiming is not for them, or they can no longer do it for other reasons, all too often they don't have the financial ability to get back into the housing market which might have experienced skyrocketting prices in the meantime.
    • I've watched so many people take out a 30 year loan on a very expensive RV or boat, apparently failing to understand that it won't take long to owe far more than it's worth. When the inevitable replacement time rolls around, they can't possibly sell the RV for anywhere near what they already owe the bank.
    • Don't expect fulltiming to be free or nearly so. Most of our RVing friends and acquaintances keep detailed records of all expenditures, and they report that most of their expenses are not all that different from living in a house. I'm not sure I totally buy that, but they reason that eating and vehicle costs are essentially the same. They trade a mortgage for campground fees which, by all reports I read, are increasing significantly, and they trade home maintenance for RV maintenance. So they essentially became renters or maybe gypsies. Since many of them travel as a way to occupy their time, their fuel costs are quite a bit higher. OTOH many fulltimers don't move very often, preferring to spend a season or two in one place.
    • Most RVs and their appliances are not made for fulltiming. So, expect things to wear out or break much sooner than the equivalent items at home.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2008
  18. theboadacea

    theboadacea Read Only Funster

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    Just spent 4 years living in a transit based motorhome with boyfriend. 3 of them with 1 dog, last 6 months with 2 dogs and also working at least 6 months of each year. Can be done!

    About to move into a house to sell van to buy a bit bigger and go again. Latest dog is very bouncy and takes up the space of 3 dogs .... :BigGrin:
     
  19. Bulletguy

    Bulletguy Read Only Funster

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    Interesting post TJ with perfectly valid comments/observations which make sense. I can assure you however that it is just one thing i'm currently 'researching' at the moment and no way would i ever go plunging in without asking people who have had (or already are), experience of fulltiming.

    Re. the matter of taking out a 30 year loan etc. No way on planet earth would i take a loan out on anything.....having a mortgage is bad enough! But then a property mortgage is one thing......a loan to buy a MH is plain potty, but there are lots of potty folk about keeping the credit companies extremely busy!
     
  20. peaps

    peaps Funster

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    Hi
    We've been doing it for 2 1/2 years, I am still working until next year when god willing I can take my pension and enjoy even more the life we have chosen, but still have to enjoy to the full, would we change our life? no we just wish we had done it earlier.And what is the downside? there isn't one, you can find your way around anything. It just needs application
    Pete
    :Smile::Smile:
     
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