No we didn’t buy an RV, but we are seriously thinking about it. It may not make sense to follow a financial independence post with one discussing making a large depreciating asset purchase like an RV, but here we are.
Our major goals include spending more time outside, experiencing new things/places our family, and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone. An RV certainly could accomplish that.
We came upon this idea after a recent ski trip to Winter Park, Co. We have some friends who live there and we’ve taken the crew (well, the oldest two…the littlest crew member stayed with grandma) the past two years and absolutely loved it. It was a new fun experience for the kids, and we love skiing and of course being surrounded by the gorgeous mountains. But each time we concluded the trip it was SO hard to come back to our regular life. We’d jokingly talk about buying a home in Colorado, and then we’d look up the real estate prices and feel pretty defeated with the idea of ever being able to afford a place that would fit our family of 5.
This year as we were driving back home, we instead played a game where we asked each other what is one place in each state you’d like to visit. There are so many cool places in this country to explore, places we’d love to experience with our kids, but finding the time and the $$$ for flying/hotel is intimidating. We’ve already started breaking into credit card travel hacking, and that helps cover the cost of a few trips each year, but our kids are growing up fast and we don’t want to miss out on opportunities now.
Thus we came upon the idea of an RV – what if we sold everything and moved into an RV to travel full time? We could travel the entire country at our own pace, however it’s super-intimidating to contemplate completely letting go of our current lifestyle…that’s one idea we’re not quite ready to try (yet). It’s not even about the stuff. I like my job and have worked hard to get to this point, so I’m not ready to give that up. Plus, even if we hit our frugal FI (financial independence) goal in a few years, I’m not sure I’d be ready to stop bringing in income and instead rely solely on savings. We’re still young(ish) and have kids dependent upon us, so something catastrophic like a big medical expense could completely wipe us out.
Ok, so full-time RV-ing is out (for now…). But part-time is definitely an option, and still satisfies our goals although makes things a bit more expensive since we’d have to cover the cost of our current life + RV. Our tentative plan is to purchase an RV and towing vehicle by this time next year, and immediately start using it for our family vacations. In a few years when we hit FI, I can scale back to part-time work and we can travel more and for longer periods of time. Assuming we feel we can handle the RV lifestyle, maybe eventually we’ll go full-time. One day at a time, right?
In the meantime, it’s kinda fun to start looking. 🙂 We dragged the kids to a local RV dealership and scoped out their inventory – mostly to get a feel for how big (or rather, small) these things really are. How much room we think we “need”, what are some fun features, etc. In typical fashion it was chaos herding our kids around and keeping them on task, but still worth it.