Tin Can Travels —
What It’s Like To Live, Work, And Play On The Road
(Year-Round, In Less-Than-200-Square Feet)

Home / Tin Can Travels —
What It’s Like To Live, Work, And Play On The Road
(Year-Round, In Less-Than-200-Square Feet)
/ Living In A Tin Can --
A Blog About Live-Work-Travel In Less-Than-200-Square Feet
/ On A Rig-Picking Expedition --
Dropping The Quan On That Sweet Sweet Ride

On A Rig-Picking Expedition —
Dropping The Quan On That Sweet Sweet Ride

Dropping The Quan On That Sweet Sweet Ride -- find out you can expect to spend on that RV of your dreams (#blogpost #RVlifestyle #RVer #fulltimer #fulltimeRVing #Airstream #glamping #travel #buyingarig #homeiswhereyouparkit) at http://ramonacreel.com/2018/02/14/living-in-a-tin-can/dropping-quan-on-sweet-ride/Well, well. You’re shopping for an RV that will comfortably accommodate year-round-on-the-road live/work/travel? Then please allow me to direct your gaze toward la ligne du bas.

(That’s French for “the bottom line.” Oui, it is.)

Once you hit the road, nearly every sentient being you meet is gonna ask (and I’m talking within the first 15 minutes) how much your rolling home cost. I find this rather odd — especially when these folks would never DREAM of grilling a total stranger about their rent or mortgage or car note.

Fortunately, I like to brag about what an amazing cheapskate I am — so I don’t mind!

Said inquisitors (whether non-nomads, existing full-timers, or wanna-bes) are universally flabbergasted that I paid a ridiculously low $15,900 for my fully-restored-ready-to-roll-retro-cute-and-hip-as-hell rig. And a made-to-last-forever Airstream, no less! (With used RV prices averaging mid-five-figures, most never even dreamed they could get a broken-down-moldy-shell-of-a-thirty-year-old-fifth-wheel for that amount.)

What can I say. One of my congenital superpowers is the ability to magnetically attract bargains. If I could share, I would — but the damn thing isn’t rub-off-able. Please just understand, this sum ain’t the norm.

So how much of a hit should your wallet anticipate? Depends on whether you go new or new-to-you.

A straight-off-the-factory-floor RV faces the same “worth-less-than-what-you-paid-as-soon-as-you-vacate-the-lot” issue as a comparable car. Those in the know suggest that first-owner rigs lose 30% of their sticker price at checkout, 10% more after 365 days, and another 6% each following year. (Although vintage built-like-a-frigging-tank Airstreams hold more original value than some crappy guaranteed-to-crack-like-a-sonofabitch fiberglass box.) Regardless, your best bargain’s a vehicle that’s three-or-more years old.

A second variable is the type of RV.

Motorhomes are the spendiest option (both initial-investment-wise and in terms of ongoing outlay), followed by fifth-wheels, then travel trailers. You can easily shell out several hundred thousand dollars on a new top-of-the-line class-A, a cool couple-mil for a custom unit, and still-in-the-realm-of-six-figures if it’s used. Not to mention gas and maintenance bills down the road — those big fuckers gobble up more fuel than towables, repairs cost a small fortune, and even a basic oil change can break a modest bank account.

Engineless rigs are far more affordable — half-to-three-quarters what you’d spend on an A-B-C model.

Market also matters. (Any vehicle in LA or Frisco is guaranteed to require fatter stacks than the same one in Des Moines or Dubuque.) Nor do “extra” features come free — slides, high-end appliances, and fancy interior design materials all jack up your final bill. (Oh, and brand names like those silly Eddie Bauer and Tommy Bahama special editions — what the blue blazes is up with that boomeriffic consumer trend??)

Of course, used RVs have their own financial drawbacks. You always-always-always gots to balance out any cost savings on the rig itself with the neverending-nickel-and-diming that accompanies a fixer-upper. More than one friend of mine has purchased a “steal” with the intention of turning it into a showpiece, then ended up on a path straight to hell because the work was far too expensive and overwhelming.


Unless you’re a skilled renovator, be cautious about buying a “project” rather than a home — especially one that needs gutting, which could delay your launch by years and add tens of thousands to your tally.

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