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Old 10-04-2015, 10:17 PM   #1
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Default Boon-docking 2015 Style

I think for many, one of the most critical considerations in buying a Class B is the layout and how comfortable it will be for one or more occupants. We started to get another bout of Class-B claustrophobia concerns as we get closer to placing our RV order.

To allay our concerns we visited a local RV dealer Saturday that carries all the big players in the Class B segment. On the front row were many (5-7)pre-owed RVs on the old Dodge van platform and many lookers. Our curiosity required us to go over and see what the big deal was.

In speaking to customers, several said they were going to live in the van full-time. We were kind of taken aback because all of them ranged from early 20s the late 60's. We walked away thinking 'Did we not get the memo?' How could two adults live in a Class B full-time?

We are not naive and know there have always been folks who want total freedom to roam and not be tied to things but is this a by-product of the housing crisis where RVs are now viable permanent housing for those on tight budgets or find themselves homeless?

I would think urban boon-docking on a daily basis would make you a greater target for harassment / violence because you don't have the protection afforded to one who lives in a traditional home.

If this is an economic issue for families unable to find affordable housing, this needs to be part of the presidential election discussions.

Thanks for letting us share.
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:51 PM   #2
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I think a lot of these folks are just shopping a dream. The reality of full timing in a class B is that few could really manage it. I live in Ocean Beach in San Diego where urban boondocking in vans, cars, RV's is very common. Most of these folks are doing it temporarily but I've purposely engaged many of the "regulars" and they seem to have a system/strategy that works for them. There is a well known retired couple in a 2010 View who park right in the street wherever they want.
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Old 10-05-2015, 12:36 AM   #3
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What Jostalli said. This video is more typical of what I've heard: . To paraphrase: "We're doing it because, well, we can." Saving money is a big part, but no more than in past eras with a VW Bus or a used Eurovan.

The paragraph you bolded feels like trying to find a cause ("People are moving into RVs because housing isn't 'affordable'") for a theory ("We went to an RV dealer and met people buying RVs for a use that was new to us, so they must be being forced into it") before finding data to support the theory.

There are easier ways to save money on housing than buying an RV - like, say, an apartment-mate. Looking at cashflow and not cost of ownership, most used class B RVs being sold by dealers start at $20k and go up fast. In most of the US, and especially where an RV could be reliably boondocked for months (ie, in less-urban areas), the payments on $30k RV loan won't be much (any?) cheaper than a 2 bedroom apartment with a roommate.

I'm not saying that permanent living can't be cheaper, just that someone buying an RV from a dealer is probably not saving enough to justify the tradeoffs - unless those "tradeoffs" are attractive anyway. Anecdotally, the wide age range of the people you met seems to support the "We wanted to roam around" theory more than the "We were forced into it by something" one.
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Old 10-05-2015, 01:41 AM   #4
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There is a Van Dweller Facebook group and reading that there are quite a few living in very rudimentary vans.

We don't need to but we wanted to stick with a B and tour. We are in our 125 th day on the road since February and we topped 23,000 miles today. I don't know if you could tour like that in other RVs. What I looked for in our third B was more inside comfort and zoned living. We probably have achieved as much as we could with our articulated beds that do multiple duty and most importantly give you neck and head support when relaxing. Think lazy boy lounging.
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Old 10-06-2015, 03:27 PM   #5
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I follow many of the van guys on youtube and various blogs/facebook. They fall into two categories mostly - the adventurer type and the odd ball types.

The odd ball types are chasing freedom as they see it - whether it is seeking low cost living, or not being tied down, or are restless - it varies a lot. Many go to jobs every day and don't put much concern into their living space - as in, they just don't need alot of "stuff" or space to put it. There are definitely techniques to doing this, as some have been doing it for many years - check out www.tosimpliy.net as a really successful one. These folks are almost always singles.

The adventurer types have more appeal to me. They are just using the B as a means to get to various adventures. Deep in the wilderness, touring off the beaten path, etc. Most of their adventures are fishing trips, serious hiking or mountain biking, base-jumping, etc. They also are more concerned with the destination than the means to get there. Most could do it in their cars and tents, but have moved up to the van because it suits their pursuits and need to carry gear. As a viewer, their reporting is far more interesting to me.

I'm not certain I could live full time in my van for an indefinite period. I can see trips of several months as do-able, but I doubt I'd be the type to sell everything and go full-time in any RV, let alone a B. I worked my whole life like a dog to have a pile of nice things that I'd have a hard time just giving up. Downsize to something more sustainable, maybe.
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Old 10-08-2015, 05:34 PM   #6
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I am the same way. A van is a nice escape when on the road, but living in one 24/7/365 as a permanent place? Not for me. I like having some place, even though small, that I can call home, mail gets delivered to, and all that. I am not the McMansion type, but having space for a garage and a workshop is a must.
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Old 10-08-2015, 09:23 PM   #7
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I'm not certain I could live full time in my van for an indefinite period. I can see trips of several months as do-able, but I doubt I'd be the type to sell everything and go full-time in any RV, let alone a B. I worked my whole life like a dog to have a pile of nice things that I'd have a hard time just giving up.


When you are ready to toss out all those extra toys and caravans, I would be more than willing to relieve you of all those bothersome technology and RV extras at 50 cent on the dollar.

I can get to Greer in an hour (at 80 MPH).
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Old 10-08-2015, 10:03 PM   #8
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50 cents on the dollar!? Where were you when I was trying to sell my house in Florida?
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Old 10-09-2015, 03:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher View Post
50 cents on the dollar!? Where were you when I was trying to sell my house in Florida?
I missed the Florida house, but just call my name when you're ready to sell you 59-G for .50 on the dollar. I'll be there.
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Old 10-09-2015, 04:06 PM   #10
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My wife and I plan to do allot of touring and "adventuring" in a "B" as soon as we can. We are weekenders right now. I would even like to attempt working in short spurts from it, and some long trips (2-6 ,months) But I don't have any aspirations to "sell the house" and "dump it all" for life in a van. I did it for a couple years (about three decades ago), and it was lots of fun, but it's nice to come home. We'll keep a low maintenance home. If we really got into it, I could imagine, someday, buying something bigger and staying out longer, but we would still keep a home base.
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Old 10-09-2015, 06:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottbaldassari View Post
I missed the Florida house, but just call my name when you're ready to sell you 59-G for .50 on the dollar. I'll be there.
You will get crushed in the sale fever and the police will be called to disperse the crowd in Greer.

The Greer Citizen newspaper...

A Private RV Sale Turns Into Neighborhood Brawl

Owner flees in his Class B RV

Great weekend everyone
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Old 10-09-2015, 06:46 PM   #12
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Me neither. I bought a small C and don't think I could had made it in a Class B although I desperately wanted to. It's only me and a 85 lb dog, but I guess we could had survived a B. But definitely need a house. I can see long trips, but not full time.
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:38 PM   #13
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We are in our 130th day on the road since the first of February. I think we have about two more weeks before shutting down until January. We really haven't got tired of it yet. This trip we have our cat along. That is not a problem in spring and fall travel. We only had 4 nights all of June, July and August on the road because of house remodeling and cataract surgery.
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