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Retirement Discussions / Retire Well on Less


Subject:  Re: Cost of Living Comparison Date:  3/26/2007  1:07 PM
Author:  NewPenny Number:  1055 of 1708

<< I've thought of getting one of the smallest RVs in the future - in a couple of years after I retire. I guess it would be a good idea to rent one first to "try it on for size". >>

This is exactly what I did. I rented a 25ft then a 27 ft Class C. They weren't far beyond my comfort level as I'd expected/feared they would. I rented because I suddenly needed a mobile abode when I visited my sister to help her move. Her DH was terminally ill, the lease was up in a few days, and the moving team she'd put together had backed out. I couldn't stay with her as the move would take a number of days, and her dog was a threat to my ferret, and my ferret frightened her dog.

The RV was a great refuge from the chaos for she and I, while her DH was sheltered at his parent's home to keep his stress level low. We had a comfortable place to sleep and eat and were able to pack with no regard to our current needs. Sure beat sleeping on the floor for two nights!

When you choose to rent/buy an RV, it's best to think of how you plan on using it. I chose a large one because it is my primary residence. Class B's are geared toward short trips (a few days/weeks) and can be parked easily as they take up only one parking space. They're easy to sightsee in, and grocery runs are super easy. They're great to retreat into the wilderness areas, park next to a stream, and fish, hike or relax. They're not idea for more than one or two people, and the facilities (toilet/sink/fridge/stove) tend to be miniaturized. (think airline bathrooms) Some even have showers, but again, very small. I've visited folks in these, and they make a nice cocoon when traveling, but not so pleasant as a long-term living space.

Class C's tend to be fitted to load up the family and head out to explore the country. Length of the trip isn't restrictive, but space is a premium. The kids can sleep in the loft that overhangs the cab, the sofa folds out to a full-size bed, the dinette folds into a twin bed, and there's usually a full or short queen bed (with a privacy curtain) as well. The sofa & dinette have seatbelts for more people to safely travel. Stove/fridge/sinks and bathrooms are larger than a Class B, but aren't often full size. Parking isn't too bad, but they tend to take up a number of parking spaces. Parking to the back of a store's lot is easiest, so taking up more than one space isn't so much of a bother to others.

An RV with a "basement" gives the greatest storage space. Propane tanks, furnace, water & waste tanks, pumps, etc a