Wednesday, June 22
So the plot thickens….
Yesterday the Boss and I sat down to figure out some of our financial goals. We figured out our emergency funds requirements and Set some goals for how much money we needed on hand to confidently hit the road. We also figured out our expected monthly travel budget! The numbers are estimates based on our current cost of living but I believe we are pretty accurate knowing our spending habits.
The big unknown is HEALTH INSURANCE…..this will be the next hurdle.
Today we spent the day driving central florida looking at RV’s. WE started last night on craigslist and a few RV sales sites and there are sooo many options we set out to educate ourselves a bit.
We managed to decide on what we want and don’t want, approximate size to meet our needs and have an idea what we will need to spend. There are lots of options, brands, and configurations. Decisions need to be made.
Saturday, June 25
Sitting at home in the early afternoon today, engaged in the same conversation as usual (working out details of our escape) the boss stated that if living in an RV for the last months here in Florida would shorten our time until freedom she was in.
We worked out the math and found that if we put a renter into our primary residence and moved into our camper we could increase our savings rate by $570 a month. In 9 months that $5130 extra = over 2 months emergency fund once on the road! It will require we find a place to park with utilities for $650 a month.
I was surprised as hell by her ambition and at the same time, a bit frightened that the reality of it happening was in front of me.
Looking around at RV’s (specifically 5th wheels) the other day we ran into a very impressive deal. A used 31’ fifth wheel in like new condition for 5k under retail price. It met all of our needs and the boss found it very comfortable. Long story short we agreed to return and take a look at it, arrived, made a lowball offer and THE DEALER ACCEPTED THE OFFER!
We now own a 5th wheel camper. We don’t have a truck to pull it yet but we own a camper!
The dealer agreed to deliver it when we were ready so now we need a place to put it.
This week will be “find a place to put our new home” week. More to come soon!
Post Script (written 7/17/2016)
While reading back through my journal I realized that this short paragraph stating we found an RV and then bought it sounds a bit rash. (It was a bit rash) The longer version of the story is as follows:
The boss and I had no idea of what we were looking for in a camper/new home with wheels. Our search started with local used RV lots. We looked at:
- pop-ups and small tow-behinds (way too small and no bathrooms) –I have to admit I liked the prices and the idea of towing behind a smaller vehicle!
- Small motor coaches (Class C). Although they had bathrooms (sort of) the boss and I decided that the space was a bit too intimate.
- WE RULED OUT Class B and C coaches. WE didn’t like the idea that if our vehicle broke down our house would be in the shop as well. The prices of these units were a bit intimidating as well.
- Larger tow-behind campers were nice but the small roofs and low ground clearance were turn offs. (I am 6’4”)
- WE DISCOVERED 5th-Wheels!
What drew us to fifth wheels was: 1) Bang for the buck! (ignoring the price of the truck to pull it) 2) The ceiling height! What a spacious living space (if you can consider 300ft spacious) 3) The bathrooms and bedrooms would fit the needs of a large adult and his mate.
Once we discovered that we were shopping for a fifth wheel we focused our search. The boss wanted comfort, storage and utility. My focus was a bed that would fit me, a size that would be manageable to tow and park and a price tag that would allow us to purchase without debt!
We found it a bit too quickly as mentioned above. Great price, met all of our needs and the deal was closed.
The purchase was as follows. I called the salesman a day after showing us the rig asking him to explain why the price was $6000 under any price I could find online by any other seller. His reply appeared honest (I am distrustful of salesmen) when he said they got a good deal on it through trade-in and they just wanted to move it off the lot. He suggested that if I was interested I come in and make an offer.
Our intention was to remain debt-free through this process so we were hesitant to go back and make the offer on something we did not have the cash for. We debated dipping into our cash reserve and making a low-ball offer and then financing the balance with the intent of paying in full before hitting the road. That was our plan.
We arrived at the dealership and gave our “Out the door price”. It was the sticker price as advertised but I required that be our final price after tax, title, license, and be sold to us with a warranty. Our salesman took the offer into his manager’s office (the typical sales maneuver), then returned and congratulated us on the purchase of our new 5th wheel. We in-house financed the balance for a ridiculously long term with an insignificant monthly payment.
Its pretty frightening how simple it is to purchase an RV!