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Old 09-01-2010, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default money pit?

My financial planner says the campers are "money pits that you lose a lot of money on when you buy them". Any thoughts on the depreciation factor on a used Class B? Any thoughts on whether your camper is 'money pit'? I disagree with the financial planner, but could be wrong. Thanks so much for your input! Jen
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: money pit?

Every situation is different.

My wife looks at the cost as an expense. Just like a big TV or a cruise to far off lands. Money spent, money gone. Some people try to look at it as an "investment" but basically you end up selling it for less than you bought it for.

You'll probably take a big hit if you purchase a new $125,000 unit and end up selling it. Obviously, you'll take less of a hit on a used $10,000 unit.

A Class B can also be used as a primary or secondary vehicle so that can be valuable.

The vacations we remember the most are the ones we took in an RV - that's priceless!
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:36 PM   #3
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First off I hope you didn't need a planner to tell you that. I don't know your finances or if you can afford a Class B. Is it a good financial investment??? Heck no. Is a car? A meal at a restaurant? A vacation? The extra shoes you purchased? The list goes on. If you have a planner that thinks he/she needs to share this with you I would look for another planner. If you can afford a B it could be a great investment for your relationship, family time, sanity, and an improvement towards a healthy lifestyle. Hikes, sight seeing, relaxing, biking, swimming...what ever floats your boat. If you can afford a B the little you invest can also add a few years to your life so you can spend more of that money your planner is helping you with. The more you invest or hoard the more they make.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: money pit?

Gotta agree wholeheartedly with Steve. If you have to ask a Financial Planner, then you probably don't really want one. While your Planner is for hoarding the bucks and foregoing any time of pleasure (I know a few personally), if you and yours want it, can afford it....in that it does not detract from your family lifestyle, then make your decision. We've never regretted one hour of hours, nor the boat we own; everything is long paid for! Safe travels.
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: money pit?

Steve, Lisa, and Ron are in line with my way of thinking
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: money pit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gablesgal
My financial planner says the campers are "money pits that you lose a lot of money on when you buy them". Any thoughts on the depreciation factor on a used Class B? Any thoughts on whether your camper is 'money pit'? I disagree with the financial planner, but could be wrong. Thanks so much for your input! Jen
I would agree with my peers on this, with the caveat that everyone and every class B is
different. Some might consider a B that costs the owner $2000-3000/year a money pit.
Others might think it's good value and fun for the money. Depends on how your PFP/CFP
defines money pit. If he/she is making you scads of $$$, maybe you should listen, but if
you're making the same as everyone else, I might look for a better way to manage your money
and your recreational dollars. Just my opinion, no offense or financial advice intended.

My feeling is that a used B will depreciate at about the same rate as a used car. It's more
often the new vehicles that take the brunt of the depreciation hit when sold. Like new cars.
That said, there are many additional things on a B that can have problems and require repairs
over and above the basic mechanical issues with the underlying van.
So the unexpected stuff can add up, but so can the planned upgrades, and general maintenance.
The vehicle related stuff is generally about the same as a large van or truck in frequency and cost.
So, I wouldn't call my Roadtrek a money pit, but some might. Based on it's age, I think it's not bad.
The memories of the places we've been and the things we've seen in her, really is priceless!

Another way you might look at it is the money saved in the better gas mileage, and convenience
of taking your travel accommodations with you, and the lower price of buying used, really offsets
the higher costs of maintenance and the depreciation.
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Old 09-02-2010, 03:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: money pit?

I was a financial planner prior to retirement. The comment was made within a context. But please don't ask us to second guess your financial planner, with or without the comment. If you truly need a second opinion, approach another financial planner and make full disclosure. All the best.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: money pit?

I've had Truck camper, Pop-Up, small self contained TT, large self contained TT. Yep, lost $ on all. Did I have fun with them........YES! One thing I can say about my newest type camper(a "B"). I drive it to work when I can't take the motorcycle. Couldn't do that with any of the others. One of the best investments(FOR FUN) I ever made..........Mike P.S. unless something crazy happens I doubt I ever sell this one..........
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Old 09-03-2010, 12:12 AM   #9
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Default Re: money pit?

Quote:
"money pits that you lose a lot of money on when you buy them".
Technically yes, but the same can be said of any auto you buy, restaurant meal you enjoy, movie you go to see, vacation you take or any other non-investment venture you spend on... You can almost say the same today for the house you buy or the stock you invest in. If you want to live an enjoyable life you have to part with your money because you can't take it with you. The real question you need to ask of your financial planner is if you bought the B you want, do you sacrifice anything else that you cannot deal with financially? Don't think of a B as a financial investment. It's not.
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: money pit?

Thanks so much to everyone who posted a reply on my money pit question. All of the replies were thoughtful and helpful. I, in no way, meant to ask anyone to respond as to 'financial advice' - just your personal thoughts on cost vs. enjoyment. I think I definitely have my answer. )) Now, any thoughts on generators vs. no generators and showers vs. no showers? Some people with these say they never use them. What about all of you out there who've been the miles?

And, thanks again for all your input. Can anyone tell I'm a 'researcher' by nature. ha!
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:23 AM   #11
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Default Re: money pit?

as for the generator or not issue. For me I have always planned on boondocking at times. Maybe on a long trip every other night so something like that. Also for me AC is a must. So to get AC while boondocking I had to have a genny. No question about it. Believe me I have used it.
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Old 09-06-2010, 08:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: money pit?

We bought ours new, so I went for the options of generator, tv, etc. The generator is great when your boondocking, the shower is a nice touch also, escpecially for the wife; we have the one outside and I have used it - great. On another point in favor of the generator, we were visiting a daughter and their power went down, of course in the winter months!! We run power from our Trek to their home and they could have a light and a couple of electric oil-filled radiators - priceless. Although we don't travel as much as prior years, you couldn't take this vehicle away from us. Safe travels.
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Old 09-07-2010, 01:03 AM   #13
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Default Re: money pit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gablesgal
Thanks so much to everyone who posted a reply on my money pit question. All of the replies were thoughtful and helpful. I, in no way, meant to ask anyone to respond as to 'financial advice' - just your personal thoughts on cost vs. enjoyment. I think I definitely have my answer. )) Now, any thoughts on generators vs. no generators and showers vs. no showers? Some people with these say they never use them. What about all of you out there who've been the miles?

And, thanks again for all your input. Can anyone tell I'm a 'researcher' by nature. ha!
For me, a generator is a must. I like the additional layer of power/energy security it provides.
The benefits out weigh the liabilities. They can be finnicky. But when they're working, they're
worth their weight in gold to run stuff, when you can't plug your van into A/C shore power, or
you need more than your house batteries can provide, like air conditioning, or the microwave.

Here' s a link about showers, lots of pros and cons and opinions. We don't use our on board, and
get along OK, but there are some minor problems and disadvantages associated with using public
showers.
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1598
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:30 PM   #14
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Default Re: money pit?

I was the guy that answered the poll a long time ago by saying I would never get a generator. I now have one in the 2010 PW Excel and things have changed. We travel so much now that I would not be without a genny. I use it to run the air when the wife is shopping and I am reading, napping, or watching t.v. in the palace. We use the genny everytime we clean the MH to run the vacuum cleaner. We use it while on the road to run the half time oven to warm things up....the list goes on.
As for the shower: We use the shower all the time. It is easy to clean or dry and better than not having one.

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Old 09-15-2010, 09:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: money pit?

Well, not abnormal for us at all, but most all of everyone's answers are contrary to how things apply to Heidi and I. Of course that just supports the statement that people are different and how their B fits into their life is really going to impact each answer to the questions asked. Heidi and I full time in our B so yes, financially it was a wise move and great investment. We no longer have all the bills associated with a fixed residence and the stuff required to support it. We no longer need another car or otherwise, our lives have become very simple and enjoyable. Cost of entry for us was much lower than typical also. I found an amazing deal on a 97 RT for under $5K with 117,000 miles. Now after many upgrades, I have around $12K into including original price. Pretty hard to feel bad about those numbers given it has been our very comfortable home for over 2 years now.

More varied data for you. We use our highly customized shower all the time! We did before the mods as well. We just have always preferred it.

We never have needed the AC and don't have a generator. All our other 110V needs come from a 2500 watt Xantrex Prosine inverter or shore power when available. We have 220 AH of AGM battery bank that stores plenty of energy for our needs. Between that and LP, the genny has never been missed!

We definitely don't fit the normal parameters of a B user, but it is more data that hopefully you can use to make your decisions. We will never get rid of our B as long as we can keep her running and the thought of living any other way makes us cringe! This my friends is a great lifestyle! Any info you may be interested in learning about us is probably found easily on our blog. The addy is in my Sig.

Hope that helps!

-Mike & Heidi
97 RT 170P "Taj Ma Trek"
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:14 AM   #16
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We have just returned from a 2 week trip to Yellowstone in our new to us RT that we bought in March this year. Our last "motel room on wheels" was a TT and we had a wet bath/shower in it and had purchased a generator to use the TT while boon docking. Not wanting to pull a TT anymore we went with the B and love it. After having the "luxuries" we would never be without them again. We used our generator and shower everyday on our trip to Yellowstone. They come in handy when you park overnight in a parking lot or parks that have no hookups.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: money pit?

We were just in Yellowstone a few weeks ago, too, on the 12 of September.
There was a buffalo just walking along the side of the roadway into the park
from the entrance, well past the reservoir/lake. Like he owned the place.
YS reminded us of lots of other parks, including Yosemite and RMNP.
I guess they're sort of in the same neck of the woods, so maybe it's not surprising to some.
Impressive, none the less.
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