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Old 04-01-2013, 08:50 AM   #41
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We started camping when the children were young. purchased a used soft top tent trailer. It cost a lot less to camp for a 2 to 3 week vacation then staying in motels. The savings in motel cost paid for the camper the first year. We then started upgrading. Now we are looking at purchasing a 2nd TT to leave on the west coast and have one in Ont. Then we will only have to drive the truck across Canada. I worked for the same company (Black and Decker) for 35 years before i got the rusty boot. I did receive a great severance package and health benefits for life. We sold our house and went full timing.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:07 AM   #42
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No worries here, yet. Ignorance is the norm, unfortunately.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:24 AM   #43
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1. We are blessed. There are things that happen to people every day that would take away our ability to camp.

2. Debt. I don't subscribe to the philosophy of working every second I can and putting back gobs of money and never seeing my kids just to have X number of dollars in the bank at retirement so I can live lavishly when I don't even know if I'll be around then and then my kids can use that money to go to therapy to figure out why Daddy was never around. (I know that's a run-on; done for emphasis.) We borrow WITHIN OUR MEANS to be able to do things now. Saving for 15 years just so we can pay cash for a camper as opposed to financing one is useless if your kids' entire childhood has passed by just so you can stay "debt free".

3. Avoiding the "New Necessities". We don't have smart phones with data plans. No cable. No High Speed Internet. No Netflix, Hulu, etc. We don't buy expensive clothes. Only 1 cell phone with basic voice service in the family. Making this change alone would provide the average family enough money to pay a payment on a NEW $20,000 camper and pay for a nice used tow vehicle.

4. We eat out rarely and camp for vacations. We also spend very little on entertainment such as going to the movies, renting movies, etc. No money spent on video games and the like.

So, it really boils down to priorities. I firmly believe that most families out there, even lower middle class, could easily afford to camp if they chose to do that instead of bury their faces in some type of tech gadget. JMHO.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:26 AM   #44
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When it hits the fan, go to Korea!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leathergypsy View Post
Not sure if I missed it or not, but what is it that YOU do, BigBaron? Whats YOUR story? Ya know....cuz Im always so curious as to what others do, like you....
Well, we used to own a union commercial waterproofing/caulking company in California. We did the caulking on all but one of the L.A. highrises downtown, and many other landmarks. I took it over after my dad had his 3rd heart attack. After wages almost doubling and insurance costs tripling, we got stiffed for over $500k.

We figured there were easier ways to lose money, so decided to fold it up after 41 years.

After the dust settled, we had our house and $400 to our name, so I got a job for another contractor. We visited Korea many times, and after my in-laws moved back here for good after 20+ years in the states, we joked, "If it hits the fan, we can always come here and teach English."

Well, it did, and we did.

We were supposed to teach out of the house, and even had it in writing from the consulate in L.A. that it was o.k. Came here and found it it wasn't, for me at least. My wife could because she used to be a Korean citizen-she was born here, but moved to the states when she was young. We met in College in 1985!

Instead we took the money from the sale of our house, bought commercial property and started an English school in 2003.

Baron's English Academy

Ten years later, we're still going. And I'm beyond homesick...

Camping is my only escape from everything.

I am so glad my wife tricked me into buying our first trailer! (2007 Starcraft 1701) I would have never spent the money. I'm a little gun-shy about money. I wonder why...

Here, trailers are 3X the cost of what they cost in the states, so we imported our own last year when we decided we needed a bigger one.

Here's Connie, our new trailer, and Penny, our first trailer, in their beds asleep.



Now we just have to sell Penny. She'll go for around $8K here! She's perfect.

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Old 04-01-2013, 09:52 AM   #45
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I have busted my donkey for many yeats to get where I am today. Now it's play time. Still working part time to pay for more gas and goodies.
Employment is good around here, the copper mines are going full tilt and lots of contracters on site doing infrastructure improvements.
I am driving a ready mix truck and working 3 to 4 days a week.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:57 AM   #46
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I'm 32 and have a wonderful state job with a University that is doing good. My pay isn't all that but insurance is good, its secure. We are able to have all the things we have because my wife had a government job with the USDA making 55k a year. Way more than I do. Unfortunately her unit shut down and she decided she would take a break and raise our 2 kids until they went to school. I guess what helps is that with our 2 paychecks at the time, we paid off a lot of our recurring purchases, like vehicles, and RV. So right now we just owe house payment and a few small medical bills from the birth of our son this past November and that's about it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:04 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustman_stx View Post

2. Debt. I don't subscribe to the philosophy of working every second I can and putting back gobs of money and never seeing my kids just to have X number of dollars in the bank at retirement so I can live lavishly when I don't even know if I'll be around then and then my kids can use that money to go to therapy to figure out why Daddy was never around. (I know that's a run-on; done for emphasis.) We borrow WITHIN OUR MEANS to be able to do things now. Saving for 15 years just so we can pay cash for a camper as opposed to financing one is useless if your kids' entire childhood has passed by just so you can stay "debt free".
As a wise man named Ralph Kramden once said on an episode of the Honeymooners. "Whats the point of saving if your not around to spend it" lol. I actually agree. I'd rather spend the money NOW that we are young, healthy and with our kids than to just use it up when we're older and can barely move. Like you said, by that time we may not even be around.
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Old 04-01-2013, 10:16 AM   #48
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Please try to keep political commentary to a minimum in this thread.

Having said that, my parents and uncles lived through the Great Depression and it was only a Depression if you were out of work (and 30% were); IF you had a job, you did OK. If you had a steady Railroad job for example, you were "rich" according to my dad.

They were rich only because their kids could have things like birthday presents and candy. My dad and his brothers ate pasta made with black birds caught by taking a screen door off its hinges and putting stale (normally moldy) bread under it and yanking a stick out with a string. My grandfather worked piece work and 12 hour days when the patent leather mill had a contract (no work when they did not).

In many ways it is the same today. If your job is secure, you may be pinching pennies, but you are not starving. With careful management, there may even be a bit left over for luxuries like an RV; OR you are just making ends meet by LIVING in your RV (way cheaper than a house and even paying rent for the same square footage in many areas).
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:43 AM   #49
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According to another RV forum, about 66% of RV owners are 51 years old and up. Just turned 60 myself today. In that age category, your financial position tends to be different (notwithstanding job layoffs and other societal economic issues). Some will be empty nesters and may have downsized and will also not have ongoing expenses for dependents. Some may have never had children. I heard the other day that it costs on average about $140K per child until they finish high school. Ouch. Some folks will have had deceased parents that have left them inheritances. Some may have invested wisely in real estate over the years. Some have even sold their houses and are RVing full time. Some will have been prudent at saving money over time and have a good savings account.

Just because people have nice RVs, it doesn't mean that they must have robbed a bank or have a grow-op or have wealthy parents. Often, it is a case of how well your money has been managed. Am fortunate to be married to an accountant and that really has helped. Whenever I took my elderly mother for a drive, she would ask about houses on a street "I wonder where they all get their money from?". I'd reply that they all have jobs. She never did get it. She never had to work and my grandparents were wealthy enough to give my parents a house when they got married. Unfortunately, my grandfather was quite wealthy before WWII with many real estate holdings and a printing business, but he panicked when the war broke out and sold most of it for peanuts.

As for us, we are both fortunate to have had well-paying professional jobs for many years and have not spent money on expensive trips every year - we would rather go camping! Our son is in university but is pretty much self sufficient and is presently studying in Europe on an exchange program that is virtually cost free due to scholarships. He even bought a new car (zero interest payments) and owns a small condo/apt. at the university that he makes the payments on himself from summer employment. He is learning good money management early in life. He'll be the one in a c/g later in life with the biggest RV there, lol.

And one final note, there are many other "hobbies" that people partake in the are as equally expensive if not more like horses or car racing for example. And then there are those that buy a vacation home that makes owning an RV cheap in comparison. I guess you have to put in all into context. When I was much younger, I swore I'd never own an RV partly because I thought it was such an uneccessary and flagrant waste of funds. We're now planning to move up to our 2nd TT.....
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:58 AM   #50
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I think that is key. How well you manage money. We hardly go out to eat and to movies etc. Each of those with a family of 4 will cost at LEAST 25.00 for dinner and 50 or so for movies. You do those multiple times a month are you spending the equivalent of an RV Payment per month on CRAP.
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