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Old 08-03-2020, 03:10 PM   #1
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Thinking About Full Timing - Young Family of 5

So my wife and I are thinking about major life changes and going full-time RVing for a couple of years.


We are in our 30s and we have a young family with 3 kids that are 7, 6, and 4.



My work is laying off 25% of the workforce as a part of restructuring the company. Given the nature of my work, I could just go remote and start consulting to make ends meet for our living wage, and I would just travel out of local airports if I need to be in front of the client.


The current theory is that we would sell our house near Houston, TX and buy a plot of land in NH to be able to re-locate our residence for tax purposes and future living plans when we want to move back into a house.



We want to go Class-C so we can tow our mini-van on a dolly to ensure we have a backup vehicle that my wife would be willing to drive.



I have been thinking about going with a Jayco Seneca 37FS. It would provide our children with enough space to have a full-time bed that way we don't have to break-down other furniture for beds. Additionally, it would have the guts to tow our mini-van, full-time life stuff, and have decent resale value if we decide to sell at the end of the time.



Does anyone here full-time with kids in a 37FS?


Additionally, are we "crazy" to think this is even possible/reasonable?


Will our kids remember these times?


What's the MPGs you are getting on these towing a vehicle?


I have only been thinking and researching this for a week or two, so please offer any advice or redirect me to some other vehicle if you think there are better choices.
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:22 PM   #2
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Two things that come to my mind:

How will the kids get an education?

How will they get normal social interaction with their peers and friends?
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:55 PM   #3
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Two things that come to my mind:

How will the kids get an education?


My wife is currently a teacher in our local school district. Our plan would to be some homeschooling charter material and have her do much of the formal educational needs but we would use the places we were to cover things like biology and geology and other easy to incorporate ideas into the world.



Quote:

How will they get normal social interaction with their peers and friends?
Most of our children's interaction is currently just between themselves, even more so when you consider the COVID-19 lifestyle we have been living since February. We would try and get them into museums and hopefully some camp grounds would also have kids on occasion.



We would also want to find a local church to worship in when we are in an area, so hopefully that too would give them some social time, even though it would be with new kids almost all the time.
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:07 PM   #4
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These folks manage it. We saw them in a Tennessee State Park about four years ago.

https://www.kelloggshow.com/about/
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:23 PM   #5
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I love my kids, my wife, and spending time with them camping in our motorhome. That being said, when we get home from a 4 or 5 day trip our small 3 bedroom house feels nice and spacious.

Do you currently have a RV? If not, I would recommend renting or borrowing one for a long weekend before moving into one full time..
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:26 PM   #6
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Old 08-03-2020, 04:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by murky024 View Post

Additionally, are we "crazy" to think this is even possible/reasonable?


Will our kids remember these times?



Second one first, "Oh yeah they will................"
You'll know if/when the therapy bills arrive!




Seriously - plenty of other people do it. Some in larger vehicles, some in smaller. Some with more kids, some with less.


Youtube's filled with people vlogging their adventures.






What I would suggest is before you jump in with a purchase of a six-figure RV, if you haven't spent a lot of time in one before - do that. Rent, borrow, beg or steal one and spend a couple of weeks in one.


You may change your mind, you may not - but you will learn more about what works and what doesn't.




Also start looking into solving for consistent Internet access. That's been my only challenge when working from the road. It's a solvable problem (mostly) but the solution that works for you will depend on a few variables.
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Old 08-03-2020, 05:50 PM   #8
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I love my kids, my wife, and spending time with them camping in our motorhome. That being said, when we get home from a 4 or 5 day trip our small 3 bedroom house feels nice and spacious.

Yeah, I can understand the being around my family too much thing... Honestly, I think that continuing to work in consulting and traveling to customers would help keep me sane.



Quote:
Do you currently have a RV? If not, I would recommend renting or borrowing one for a long weekend before moving into one full time..

We do not currently own an RV but when we stay at my dad's house for Thanksgiving, we spend a week in a smaller camper trailer (not 5th wheel) that has a queen and 2 bunks that we squeeze into at night. When we go on family vacations, we all pack into 1 hotel room and stuff inside there, so I think for us to be truly tested for "compact" living it would need to be longer than a week or two.


That being said, the plan is that we will rent a motor home (probably not bunkhouse style) for our next family vacation to get a better experience before we make the plunge.



I considered looking to buy an older, gasser Class-C but my wife is kind of picky about what she is willing to let me spend our money on and I am not convinced it would do a good job of towing my mini-van and dolly around the Rockies...
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:09 PM   #9
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Second one first, "Oh yeah they will................"
You'll know if/when the therapy bills arrive!




Seriously - plenty of other people do it. Some in larger vehicles, some in smaller. Some with more kids, some with less.


Youtube's filled with people vlogging their adventures.

I have probably watched no fewer than 20 hours recently of videos of different Youtubers ranging in family sizes and lifestyles as far as how "fancy" they want their rig. They have definitely been helpful but I always loved the more personal experience of forums.



Quote:

What I would suggest is before you jump in with a purchase of a six-figure RV, if you haven't spent a lot of time in one before - do that. Rent, borrow, beg or steal one and spend a couple of weeks in one.


You may change your mind, you may not - but you will learn more about what works and what doesn't.
This is a fair point. My hope here was that resale costs of a nicer, Super-C would be better than if we just spent $20k on an older beat-up C or A. We don't currently have a pickup, so trailers are not really a reasonable option.



I would definitely like to understand people's opinions on this topic on what is the more "wise" strategy to reduce the resale losses...


The purchase of the Jayco would mostly be a cash purchase, I would probably take a loan of no more than $25k, depending on a few financial matters.


Quote:

Also start looking into solving for consistent Internet access. That's been my only challenge when working from the road. It's a solvable problem (mostly) but the solution that works for you will depend on a few variables.
I have been reading up on this a fair amount. I am fairly technical so I can make sure I have access as long as there is cell service or wifi service that I can bridge into.
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:45 PM   #10
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This is a major decision and life change for everyone. I would seriously consider doing a test run by renting something similar and spending a couple of months on the road. You can get a lot of useful advise on this forum but nothing takes the place of living it for a couple of months.

My wife and I are retiring this year and think of full timing but we're going to do a test run spending five months this winter in Florida to see how things go before selling the house and committing ourselves to the full-time RV lifestyle. While we've enjoyed eight years of part-time RVing I'd rather not be in the position of having sold the sticks and bricks house to discover after a few months that full-timing isn't for us.
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Old 08-03-2020, 06:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murky024 View Post
So my wife and I are thinking about major life changes and going full-time RVing for a couple of years.

We are in our 30s and we have a young family with 3 kids that are 7, 6, and 4.

My work is laying off 25% of the workforce as a part of restructuring the company. Given the nature of my work, I could just go remote and start consulting to make ends meet for our living wage, and I would just travel out of local airports if I need to be in front of the client.
Glad you have the options of taking things on the road and working the consulting side of it... Being able to take the family on the road eliminates a lot of the worry and stress that comes with that. If you parlay the business travel to client locations into your Seneca's adventures - it can work out with expenses going to your Seneca and adventures. (except in the cold of winter in the northern states)


Quote:
Originally Posted by murky024 View Post
My wife is currently a teacher in our local school district. Our plan would to be some homeschooling charter material and have her do much of the formal educational needs but we would use the places we were to cover things like biology and geology and other easy to incorporate ideas into the world.

Most of our children's interaction is currently just between themselves, even more so when you consider the COVID-19 lifestyle we have been living since February. We would try and get them into museums and hopefully some camp grounds would also have kids on occasion.
Not much different than most Americans who are stuck at home teaching their kids - with little or no experience at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pconroy View Post
Second one first, "Oh yeah they will................"

Seriously - plenty of other people do it. Some in larger vehicles, some in smaller. Some with more kids, some with less.


What I would suggest is before you jump in with a purchase of a six-figure RV, if you haven't spent a lot of time in one before - do that. Rent, borrow, beg or steal one and spend a couple of weeks in one.
.
Yep... rent the biggest motorhome you can find - and try it out!

Quote:
Originally Posted by murky024 View Post
Yeah, I can understand the being around my family too much thing... Honestly, I think that continuing to work in consulting and traveling to customers would help keep me sane.
..
If you commute to the client each day from your RV park - you won't be. If you take your family to the city your working in - double win.

We do this - we take our Seneca to the places I am asked to travel for business.. DW and the fur-kids go on every business trip. I have not flown commercial for 5-years - AND LOVING IT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by murky024 View Post

I have been reading up on this a fair amount. I am fairly technical so I can make sure I have access as long as there is cell service or wifi service that I can bridge into.
We have had our Seneca connected to Internet for 290 days in the past year (per the router logs) That includes planned maintenance and vacations in places we did not expect to have LTE service. We found that we got service in many places we did not expect to with our LHG radios.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:25 PM   #12
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This is a major decision and life change for everyone. I would seriously consider doing a test run by renting something similar and spending a couple of months on the road. You can get a lot of useful advise on this forum but nothing takes the place of living it for a couple of months.

My wife and I are retiring this year and think of full timing but we're going to do a test run spending five months this winter in Florida to see how things go before selling the house and committing ourselves to the full-time RV lifestyle. While we've enjoyed eight years of part-time RVing I'd rather not be in the position of having sold the sticks and bricks house to discover after a few months that full-timing isn't for us.

I want to do this, I just haven't been sure how to execute it... I think maybe we could list our house for sale or rent, get most of the stuff put into storage and live on the road for a month or so while we work on getting the house shown and offers in.



Renting out our house is an option, but the only way we would consider doing this is if I lost my job and got packaged out... That package is a big part of what would "inspire" the whole adventure for a year or two.
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Old 08-03-2020, 07:29 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by SloPoke View Post
Glad you have the options of taking things on the road and working the consulting side of it... Being able to take the family on the road eliminates a lot of the worry and stress that comes with that. If you parlay the business travel to client locations into your Seneca's adventures - it can work out with expenses going to your Seneca and adventures. (except in the cold of winter in the northern states)



Not much different than most Americans who are stuck at home teaching their kids - with little or no experience at it.


Yep... rent the biggest motorhome you can find - and try it out!


If you commute to the client each day from your RV park - you won't be. If you take your family to the city your working in - double win.

We do this - we take our Seneca to the places I am asked to travel for business.. DW and the fur-kids go on every business trip. I have not flown commercial for 5-years - AND LOVING IT!


We have had our Seneca connected to Internet for 290 days in the past year (per the router logs) That includes planned maintenance and vacations in places we did not expect to have LTE service. We found that we got service in many places we did not expect to with our LHG radios.

Thanks for this... I honestly didn't think too much about taking the family with me but honestly that would make for some great tax benefits depending on if I am 1099, starting my own LLC, or just working for a consulting firm... We are originally from Pennsylvania, so northeast winters don't scare us and I think it would be good to get our kids exposed to some real weather changes compared to Houston...
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:03 PM   #14
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I really don't know what's going to depreciate faster, a Super C or a C - given all else being equal. That's a good question.


But I do know they're all going to depreciate! Like tossing a rock off a building. So, buying used is one way to take the sting out of things.


A couple of other thoughts: look at your oldest and remember back when they used to fit in the crook of one arm. Yeah, last "week"... They're going to grow up fast. Our oldest who used to fit in the dinette sleeping area, outgrew that in a couple of years.



Budget - put as much money aside as you can for a rainy day fund. Figure out how much you need, and triple it. Stuff on these things break all of the time. And you'll either need to master the repair stuff or pay a mobile tech to come to you and fix stuff.


Our generator blew itself up. $3300. Our A/C unit puked. $800. And on and on and on.


Truth be told - I'm envious!
I wish I could do what you guys are thinking of doing.
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:09 PM   #15
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Thanks for this... I honestly didn't think too much about taking the family with me but honestly that would make for some great tax benefits depending on if I am 1099, starting my own LLC, or just working for a consulting firm... We are originally from Pennsylvania, so northeast winters don't scare us and I think it would be good to get our kids exposed to some real weather changes compared to Houston...
We should talk... I live in Salt Lake City... it is warm compared to Minneapolis/St Paul in the winter. After a lot of work to make our Seneca "survivable" in the Twin-Cities in the early spring - we know the average Seneca won't survive the cold fronts and blizzards. We have traveled to some really cool places where I drove the "toad" to the place where I needed to work. We have met some great people on JOF while on our travels - Mark S even visited us in one of the KOA campgrounds we stayed at while working in Pompano FL. If it were not for Covid, we would be enjoying Billings Montana and Bismark ND this week... Just in time for Sturgis <<Covid is the spoiler>>

We both work... from our Seneca. I will admit that we don't have kids anymore, but traveled with three 70# dogs that are still not the same when working.. .but we do it!
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:19 AM   #16
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If you're buying new, read the detail warranty first. It could have a clause/statement that full time use will void the warranty.
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