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Old 09-14-2022, 09:10 AM   #1
Trailer Trash
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RVing vs Vacation Property

We have been exploring replacing our 2018 Montana High Country 310RE and are a bit shocked by prices of new 5th wheels across the industry. I shouldn't be surprised that prices have gone up since everything else has risen but it's still a shock. For those that buy large motorhomes the price has always been equal to or greater than buying many vacation property options but the gap between buying a new 5th wheel and a vacation property has significantly narrowed over the past couple of years. Here in Canada our new Chev 2500HD Duramax is coming in at $110,000 Cdn, add a new 5th wheel at pick a number between $125,000 - $150,000 and your total is a cool $250,000 for the combo. The annual cost of wintering in Florida in RV resorts and the annual operating costs of a vacation property are roughly the same so when the gap narrows between depreciating assets such as trucks & RV's vs a worst case scenario of a vacation property selling in the future at at least what you paid for it, it causes us to really think about how to move forward. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
 
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Old 09-14-2022, 11:03 AM   #2
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Alan,

To me it is more about how you want to travel than the money. The real advantage of a RV is the ability to move a see many different areas. If you plan to stay in one spot you are probably better off with a second home.
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Old 09-14-2022, 11:13 AM   #3
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For the most part we stay in two places and have Monty's in both. We own the land in one and lease the land at the other and just drive back and forth. Of course we bought one as kind of a wreck and fixed it up so we don't have much over 20k in that one.
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Old 09-14-2022, 11:54 AM   #4
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RV'n is not cheap......maintenance on the trailer, truck.....gas prices. You can always travel and stay at a hotel. A vacation home might be worth it and with property prices increasing you'll no doubt get your money back on the investment.
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Old 09-14-2022, 12:55 PM   #5
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If looking to purchase a vacation property and have ownership of it will unearth lots of obstacles to overcome, but all of them are do-able.

First to consider, what do you do with the property when you are not there? Unless you plan on leaving Canada completely and stay in the USA. Or even if you get a vacation house in Canada, you'll still have the same obstacle of what to do with the property when you are not there.

Second to consider, do you want to return to the same location, the same community, the same everything or do you enjoy the travel more. Answer that question and you'll immediately have your answer, regardless of the cost factor.

Third, don't forget about real property: insurance, electric, sewer, and water bills, and property taxes (if such exists in your designated location).

Now, there is another option that may be more reasonable if you really want to experience the vacation property, still have mobility, still have no commitments, and still .. probably ... come out cheaper. That would be to rent someone else's vacation property. This way, if you end up NOT liking the area, you have no commitments to stay any longer than your reservation time-frame. Once the time is over, you are free to return back to your home and plan the next year .... maybe somewhere different.

This is just an option I'm throwing out at you, if you haven't thought about it. In a way, it would give you the best of both.... you can still travel to different places, have a solid roof over your head, and have no life-long mortgage and utilities and taxes you have to deal with .... for the rest of your life! (either a new camper / truck .... or a vacation house). On the other side, it's rental. And anything you rent, other than the satisfaction, joy, or need to use a rented item, is money that will be gone forever.

Again, it's just something I thought I'd toss at you, if you haven't considered it.

Good luck!
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Old 09-14-2022, 01:03 PM   #6
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What scares me about buying a permanent vacation home from a lifestyle point of view is that your neighbours are permanent too. That may be a good thing but if it's not, you are stuck with them. Of course that,s true of a home as well. We live on a large acreage for that very reason. An RV is not taxed like a home. Investment wise, you,re better with real estate.
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Old 09-28-2022, 10:03 PM   #7
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I guess it just depend on what you want to do and what your goals are. We want to see the US, all the states and all the attractions, we can’t do that with a vacation property. If your plans are to just have a place to go for vacation and you don’t really care about seeing different sites, then a property would be your best bet. Properties usually gain value over time. For us, we will pay the price to travel different places and go at our own pace. In the end we will not get the money we invested returned for what we need to do our traveling but that is what we want to do and we are willing to pay the price to do it. Unless you can afford to do both then we have to pick our poison. Good luck in whatever you do!
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Old 09-29-2022, 08:24 AM   #8
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Cost of new rv's and continuing quality issues are a valid concern. I think if you wait a while the current boom in rving will wane somewhat and demand will dwindle. Lot of folks are finding that the cost of rving and upkeep etc are not what they thought it was. The result should be typical supply and demand economics. If you aren't against buying used there are/will be opportunities to get a nice unit at greatly reduced prices.
I would like to see costs related to RV "resorts" drop as they are getting ridiculous compared to pre pandemic.
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Old 09-29-2022, 08:44 AM   #9
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We have both the fifth wheel and a timeshare. It all comes down to how you want to travel and stay at various locations. Only you can make that call. On the rv side we can go many places where timeshares aren’t available such as mountain locations. On the timeshare side it is luxurious accommodations and vacation destinations like Hawaii. To do it all over again I (not the wife) would have a smaller upscale trailer to get into smaller campsites and increased availability of spots. On the timeshare side the Hilton Grand Vacations is working just fine. Good luck on making the right decision the first time around.
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Old 09-29-2022, 10:43 AM   #10
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I agree that it’s got to be about how you want to vacation or travel. That should drive how you want to spend your money. DW’s parents did the snow bird thing in AZ for many years with an investment there in property and maintenance. We decided that we prefer the idea of having a comfortable 5th wheel and not being locked into a single location. These decisions are also driven by the amount of income you’ve got to invest in these things. Maybe you can afford to do both.

For us it’s a 5er and truck, not a vacation property or time share. What makes more sense to you?
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Old 09-29-2022, 01:12 PM   #11
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I am amazed how the RV industry can continue to build Low Quality units and raise the Prices.. The screws that hold the underbelly on aren't even galvanized.. For another buck they could be.. Stuff Can fall off the walls, pictrureboard can peel.. But how dare they mess with the structures.. Axels Breaking off at the leafs springs.. This is a. public safety issue, lug nuts and wheels breaking, another public safety issue.. Slide outs breaking... Walls Cracking... You'd think after the first 4 or 5 units breaking in these areas they'd double the thickness of the Aluminum... but nope.. I guess the Stock holders are of more value than the product..But people are learning.. Now, if we can get Congress to break up Thor and Forest River, maybe we'd be better off...
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Old 09-29-2022, 06:59 PM   #12
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I think it depends on how you RV. Do you go and stay in one place and have no desire to go anywhere else or do you like to go see different places. I like to go to places where the only way to see in from my camper.
My wife and I just returned today from Grayson Highland State Park Va. There are no camp grounds anywhere close so a fixed site or vaccination home wouldn’t work for us. Figure out what will work the best for you. You really don’t need to spend a quarter million on a truck and camper. Let someone else take the depreciation and you enjoy the camper. You can buy like new for a fraction of the new cost like I do.
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Old 09-30-2022, 04:11 PM   #13
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To RV or Cabin?

My brother-in-law can answer that question. They purchased a nice lot with a nice sized cabin a short way away from the beach. Every time we got together he would complain " Dang ! Seems like all I do is work on the darn place to which I replied, All I do is wash my vacation place. A couple other friends thought they had the solution. We stay in hotels and motels. No maintenance. Ahh, but you have to pack and unpack all the time. I do it once when we leave and once when we get back. Plus some things stay in the rig all the time. Plus I get claustrophobic in hotel rooms.
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