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> Considering A Travel Trailer For Home., A practical alternative?
newbie73
post Jan 12 2010, 06:10 PM
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My new wife and I are considering this option. We both work for a county school system here in Florida (and yet apartment living seems to fully rob us of our combined income), with two boys (to become young men sometime soon), so we've had our eyes on a thirtyish foot travel trailer (three bed) to set in a campground in the Flagler or Volusia County area (for the 'bulk' of the year, to perhaps travel to Tennessee when we're off from work during the summer).Questions of logistics:

1. We've looked at some appropriately-sized Travel Trailers at a nearby dealer, running around $30,000 in price. How difficult would it be for two persons with good credit scores to get such a loan? How much is the interest rates/loan terms/monthly payments for this, typically? Is 'zero-down' an option for those with good credit?

2. Craigslist has some individuals selling some similar Travel Trailers for about one third the price ($10,000). What kind of loan may we want to consider for if we opt for the 'used' route?

3. Can anyone give us a 'ballpark' figure of insurance rates for such an item?

4. If we decide to take a summer trip, what's our chances of getting back into the campground that we left (or, for the matter of being reasonably close to work, ANY campground)? How plentiful are sites at a campground, usually? Is the demand for them so great that we would have to continually pay rent in the event that we pulled up stakes and take a seasonal trip?

5. Crime on campsites: Occasional at SOME or rampant throughout ALL sites?

replies appreciated, vicmaclemo@aol.com
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kcmoedoe
post Jan 13 2010, 12:31 AM
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This is becoming a hot issue across the nation. Many RV parks (and many RVers) are not interested in have full time residents in their parks. I personally try to avoid parks that allow full time residents like I try to avoid anthrax. It is nothing personal, but I travel for pleasure and being around people who are banging out a living is not my idea of recreational travel. It may be a snobbish, unfeeling and downright disgusting attitude, but read the bad reviews on this site and a common theme is often "many permanents". Just be aware that your plan will not meet universal acceptance at all RV parks.
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HappiestCamper
post Jan 13 2010, 05:30 AM
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Most travel trailers are specifically NOT for full time residence - they are only designed for part time use.
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pianotuna
post Jan 13 2010, 09:14 AM
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Hi,

What do you feel are the advanatages of buying "new"?

A thirty foot unit that is 8 feet wide only offers 240 square feet of living area. Add a slide and you may get up to 300 square feet. It's not very much room to live in 24/7/365.


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Don
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dalsgal
post Jan 13 2010, 09:20 AM
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My husband and I have full timed for years now. Our choice of RV is a bus conversion. We have more storage space in the bays, we get better fuel mileage ( 13 mpg), insurance rates are cheaper and just plain love the bus look. Full timing became a necessity for us and at the time we had no choice since we had lost everything we owned. At the present time we are living in a house on the property of the CG we have been managing for the past year and are in the process of remodeling our conversion. I am not certain how it makes a difference to those camping if someone else is camping or working for a living and I fail to see how it affects those that are in the campground or other campers. The CG we manage has been open for at least 20 years and there has never been a theft at all. When there was a construction boom in the area and we were full, many of the workers never even locked their doors when they were away. Not bad for a CG that was full of full timers.
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dog bone
post Jan 13 2010, 10:34 AM
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I think if you look around down in Fla. you will find some good deals on trailers. There seems to be a lot of retired people that get down there with there rigs and sell them. They find a home or a condo and don't need the trailer/motorhome anymore.
Someone else said about the room. A travel trailer doesn't have a lot of room in them. especially storage. A fifth wheel will give you more of both. Depending on the amount of slideouts. I don't know what you are intending to pull the trailer with. That will determine what you can tow. You said you wanted to travel when you had time off.
I can''t tell you the availability of permanent sites in Florida. Someone else can chime in here. If you find one, I would assume it would work like a seasonal site. You pay your site fee and the site is yours. I have a seasonal site and pull my trailer out to go on my vacations and just go back to my site when i return. I pay year to year with a small deposit at the end of the summer.
We are paying about $260.00 a year for our insurance and I would think you can get a loan for about 8% to 9%. That would depend on your credit rating.
As far as crime. I have found that most campers are honest. I might have just been lucky. Do your homework and check out the campgrounds you wish to stay.
Good luck. Bob


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Bob and Deb Allwood
Diesel, the black lab
2003 ford f 350 6.0 crew cab
2003 cedar creek 30' rlbs
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Robie
post Jan 13 2010, 01:06 PM
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I see the first reply you received was a real downer but do not be put off. This is a big step and a big investment to start the RV life. If you do get an RV it is great fun and remember not all RV people are full time. To help you in deciding you should visit some nearby RV parks that have long term stay people. Florida has quite a few RV owners that fall into this mode and the parks and RV units become run down over time and you may not care to get into this kind of situation. I do not want to put you off but this is a fact of life in Florida and when I travel in Florida we use the State Park System as they have a 14 day max stay rule. We have found most privet parks are a bit run down and resort parks are quite pricey. If you check around I think you will see for yourself. As to new RV or used RV; new is always better, as you have warranty and dealer service. This is good if you are a first time RV owner. The used RV option can save on cost but be careful if you have not owned an RV you will not know what to look for in condition and you could get burned bad. On how to finance your RV a credit union is a good place to start if you belong to one. It is best for you to setup your RV loan yourself prior to going to an RV dealer. I would stay away for dealer provided loans. If you have a good Bank relationship inquire there to finance your RV. Given the current finance market it will be hard to find a 100% loan for an RV. Be prepared to put down 10% of front money as lenders want you to have some skin in the game. Some RV dealers may offer 100% loans but beware of the fine print it could cost you big in the total cost of the lone. Terms can be from 12 to 14 years so this is a long term investment but an RV dose hold good value. Talk to other RV people if you can. You will find most will be glad to help but take all advice with a grain of salt as a lot of this is personal likes and dislikes so filter all information.


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Rob Robinson
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kcmoedoe
post Jan 13 2010, 01:28 PM
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QUOTE(Robie @ Jan 13 2010, 02:06 PM) *

I see the first reply you received was a real downer but do not be put off. This is a big step and a big investment to start the RV life. If you do get an RV it is great fun and remember not all RV people are full time. To help you in deciding you should visit some nearby RV parks that have long term stay people. Florida has quite a few RV owners that fall into this mode and the parks and RV units become run down over time and you may not care to get into this kind of situation. I do not want to put you off but this is a fact of life in Florida and when I travel in Florida we use the State Park System as they have a 14 day max stay rule. We have found most privet parks are a bit run down and resort parks are quite pricey. If you check around I think you will see for yourself. As to new RV or used RV; new is always better, as you have warranty and dealer service. This is good if you are a first time RV owner. The used RV option can save on cost but be careful if you have not owned an RV you will not know what to look for in condition and you could get burned bad. On how to finance your RV a credit union is a good place to start if you belong to one. It is best for you to setup your RV loan yourself prior to going to an RV dealer. I would stay away for dealer provided loans. If you have a good Bank relationship inquire there to finance your RV. Given the current finance market it will be hard to find a 100% loan for an RV. Be prepared to put down 10% of front money as lenders want you to have some skin in the game. Some RV dealers may offer 100% loans but beware of the fine print it could cost you big in the total cost of the lone. Terms can be from 12 to 14 years so this is a long term investment but an RV dose hold good value. Talk to other RV people if you can. You will find most will be glad to help but take all advice with a grain of salt as a lot of this is personal likes and dislikes so filter all information.

Good information regarding getting financing in place. You will probably find the days of 100% financing to be mostly gone. A down payment will probably be required, even with good credit. I disagree with part of your statements, however. These people are not starting an RV lifestyle, they are looking to live in an RV park. Big difference. It is not in the best interests of the RVing public for this to happen. If large numbers of people begin to live in RV parks, rather than vacation in them, local government entities and services will eventually begin to feel impact. If governmetn services (police, schools, unemployment costs, uninsured medical expenses etc) begin to appear to be eminating from RV parks, higher taxes and more government regulation will soon appear on the campground's plate. The parks will have no choice but to adopt different business practices and income models to deal with these issues. It will not be beneficial to the RVing public we now know. A simple example is the standards to which RVs are built are not the same as the standards for permanent housing. If RVs were required to meet pemanent housing standards, their costs would rise dramatically. If suddenly 30 children were picked up by the bus to go to school everyday in front of the RV park it would not be long before the school district would look for ways to start collecting taxes to offset those students who parents would not be paying any property tax on their homes. A very quick and easy way for them to do that would be to tax RV lots as residential property and attach an "average" value for an RV on top of the value of the land. These resultant taxes would be passed on to the traveling RVer in the form of higher site rental fees. RV parks fly under the radar of government today, primarily because they require little in government services. Get large numbers of lower income residents (I say lower income, because i seriously doubt most of these decisions are lifestyle decisions, they are budgetary decisions) living in them full time and this will change.
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Robie
post Jan 13 2010, 02:11 PM
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QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Jan 13 2010, 02:28 PM) *

Good information regarding getting financing in place. You will probably find the days of 100% financing to be mostly gone. A down payment will probably be required, even with good credit. I disagree with part of your statements, however. These people are not starting an RV lifestyle, they are looking to live in an RV park. Big difference. It is not in the best interests of the RVing public for this to happen. If large numbers of people begin to live in RV parks, rather than vacation in them, local government entities and services will eventually begin to feel impact. If governmetn services (police, schools, unemployment costs, uninsured medical expenses etc) begin to appear to be eminating from RV parks, higher taxes and more government regulation will soon appear on the campground's plate. The parks will have no choice but to adopt different business practices and income models to deal with these issues. It will not be beneficial to the RVing public we now know. A simple example is the standards to which RVs are built are not the same as the standards for permanent housing. If RVs were required to meet pemanent housing standards, their costs would rise dramatically. If suddenly 30 children were picked up by the bus to go to school everyday in front of the RV park it would not be long before the school district would look for ways to start collecting taxes to offset those students who parents would not be paying any property tax on their homes. A very quick and easy way for them to do that would be to tax RV lots as residential property and attach an "average" value for an RV on top of the value of the land. These resultant taxes would be passed on to the traveling RVer in the form of higher site rental fees. RV parks fly under the radar of government today, primarily because they require little in government services. Get large numbers of lower income residents (I say lower income, because i seriously doubt most of these decisions are lifestyle decisions, they are budgetary decisions) living in them full time and this will change.



Yes I got the fact that the person requesting information was planing on a long term stay in an RV Park and this is not an unusual practice in Florida. You make some very good points but I think you might be taking shots at the wrong target. The problem is not the people staying full time in a park but the park owners that allow great numbers of this type of RV customer. As in all things the driving force is money. Parks start out with a good model but when they do not get enough short stay people to pay the bills they turn to the dark side. This is a real problem in states like Florida. This is one reason the Florida State Parks are such nice places to stay as they have a restriction on how long you can stay. If privet RV Parks did the same they would be in better shape. I do not think this well ever happen in Florida as long as they need the sure money provide by long term stay people. I do not like this but I am pragmatic and I am resolved to the fact that it will not change soon.


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Rob Robinson
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