Originally Posted by Papabear
I could'nt see taking a hundred grand loss in one year. I might as well invest.
HEY WAIT, I did that, and lost that.
True, but if you buy a brand-new RV, you KNOW it's going to depreciate big time. I'm not sure many people's 401K lost over 50% in a year, but give it another couple years and I bet most are at least back to where they started (unless they withdrew at the low point, plus penalties, etc.). That RV isn't going to suddenly start appreciating.
Rest of my post isn't directed to anyone in particular.
I've stated several times that I would like to get a "proper" RV. A nice big one, with multiple slides to give us plenty of room (tend to stay in one spot for a while). One that doesn't have much wasted space, plenty of cargo bays, etc. Maybe even a directv dish on top that'll auto-track while we go down the road; at least one that'd automatically lock on with a push of a button once we're at our site.
Here's the problem with that:
They're expensive. To get an RV for $10k or so means I'm probably going to get an older one that's in bad shape, or a small Class C. Any Class A I could afford that has slides, probably has issues with the slides (and other parts as well). Not to mention they're not built near as sturdy as a bus (except maybe the most expensive models). I'm also going to have to deal with layouts designed for people mainly wanting to use it for a few days at a time, or maybe a week or two out of the year. Tiny sinks, tiny fridge, tiny stove, tiny bathroom with a shower a skinny short model couldn't fit in, a bed made for a midget, table that takes thirty minutes to convert to a bed, etc.
For about $10k I have a 95 model bus (bookmobile) that has been properly maintained, with a working generator. I've got a bathroom with a regular sink, full-size shower, and a full-sized toilet (still an RV model though). Regular queen bed, large double-sink, big fridge, convection microwave, cooktop, 32" tv, couch that folds out to a bed, captain's chair next to that, two bunk beds (short, but they're for kids only), washer/dryer combo, etc. Virtually everything except the couch, chair, and washer/dryer are completely brand-new (try getting that with a 14 year old RV). We generally don't eat at the table at home, so we didn't put in a table here (there are two table/desk thingies that came with it, we just store electronics on one and junk on the other). Didn't need an oven taking up a lot of space, just do our baking in the microwave (bakes cookies, cupcakes, and frozen pizzas just fine). I hate the wasted space due to it not being a flat-nose, but definitely like having the motor up front (it never overheated once driving to Alaska, and there's some tall mountains on the way; that would tax a rear-engine I'm sure).
If we continue needing to full-time in it for 6-9 months of the year, we'll grow out of it in 2 1/2 years. I know if I sell it, I won't get out of it what I put in. However, even if I just drive it off a cliff, I've only "lost" about $10k. Much easier to swallow than a brand-new one where I could lose over 50k in just a year (I don't think I'd ever buy a 200k one, so I'm figuring on a 100k RV).
Oh, and not only is this bus built stronger than most RVs, but I'm not as worried about every little branch, pothole, etc. that I might run into. If I had a new 100k RV and was driving past Destruction Bay (bad frost heaves), I'd be going 10mph, have a death grip on the steering wheel, sweating bullets, wondering what that weird noise the engine was starting to make, etc. Instead I just drove like normal, had a bumpy ride, and afterwards had to whop the side of the inverter to bring it back to life (it still cuts in and out some since then, oh well). Might even take it on a 300 mile or so gravel road this week (and that's one-way). On the rv.net forums everyone's talking about which campground they should leave their RV at while they take their toad (towed vehicle) on that road. Me, I'm gonna have all the amenities of home with me.