Can someone spell out the $ and other benefits of camping???

chery2July 25, 2005

DH and I just returned home to VA after taking the Southern route all the way to the West coast. We were humbled and awed by the Grand Canyon, Mackenzie Pass/3 Sisters, and all the wonders of Yellowstone. We followed the Pacific Coast Hwy all the way into OR, where my brother lives.

One thing kept cropping up in our conversations: We wish the kids were with us. They'd love this!

We could tell from their emails and our phone talks that they really wanted to take such a trip.

Here's what we're thinking:

1. We have 2 daughters, married, with husbands who work. I'm retired, and DH has one more year. Could we divide three ways the cost of an RV big enough to hold the 6 of us , split gas money, etc, enabling us all to go?


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smiles... I read camping... and then I read your post about RV camping.

To me, camping is setting up a tent, and sleeping in it. :)

Camped almost all the way from coast to coast last year.


Here is a link that might be useful: monis bike camping tour

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 9:41PM
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Tents aren't expensive. If you'd plan to have a larger group only occasionally, better get one whose size fits the ones usually going - or probably a little larger than you think you'd need, which I think you'd appreciate later. Then get a second tent to accomodate the occasional travellers: if two other families were to alternate, they could share the cost and own it between them, unless the second family would need it at the same time as the first accompanying family.

Campgrounds, which aren't expensive, have sites without power supplied, which would mean that you'd need a gas-powered lantern, but you can get sites with power for a slightly higher cost. Then you'd need power cords and lights.

A propane-powered campstove isn't too expensive, either.

You'd almost certainly want sleeping bags - do you have any now? Most folks also want air mattress(es) (but they tend to spring leaks) or a slim foam pad on which to lay the sleeping bag(s).

However - if you want to get a motor home, they're pretty expensive.

My kids have one for sale, following the death of their mother - asking about (Cdn)$50 - 60,000., I think. Any takers?

Might be more attractive if, after upcoming retirement, you plan to do a lot of travelling.

But if you could find return on alternate investment of 4%, on $50,000. that's $2,000./yr., which means a cost of $1,000./wk. if you use it only for an annual vacation of 2 weeks.

Before you consider extra costs for renting space at motor home parks or gas for the larger vehicle, in many cases not just during the vacation, but for at least occasional use all year long. Plus insurance surcharge, maintenance, depreciation and other costs.

Many folks consider camping rather primitive - but our forefathers experienced a lot worse, so you can be sure that, in most cases, it wouldn't kill you, as most of them survived.

Camping people share a lot of good-will, also - you'd find that you make a lot of friends.

But then, my ex- did while travelling in her motor home for three months in winters plus occasionally in summer, previously to and during almost all of 10 years of retirement.

If you're used to and desire most of the comforts of home, better rent either one of these alternative systems for a trial run before you decide to buy - remembering that with rental stuff, usually when you've rented things three or four times, you've paid most of the cost of purchase.

Good wishes for making a choice that you won't regret - well, not more than marginally, anyhow.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 6:51PM
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I'm not sure what you are asking???

We just took a trip in our 26 foot travel trailer/truck with my folks and a sister for two weeks. We had a great time, but a motorhome would have been really nice so we could get up and move around, play games at a table,ect.

Nice, large motorhomes are expensive to rent, but if it fits your budget it would be a great way to travel.

We have tent camped and RV's over the years. They both have their pros and cons. It just depends on your needs.

Camping and sitting around a campfire, and playing games without a tv and the stuff to distract one at home is a great way to bond with family. One thing I don't like about the RV thing...TV could become a pacifier rather than spending time with each other, which is why we camped and got away from it all.

One of my dislikes of tenting is setting up and packing. Staying for a few days in one place makes that a lot easier. Tenting would be the cheap way to go and you could still have a great time. The kids may want to take a tent anyhow and a little privacy for each of you might be nice. I love my folks, but after two weeks I wanted some space and I'm sure they did too. For me, I like the RV...I like my nice soft ready made bed and a close bathroom at night:-) We did use an air mattress when we tented though. We even had a porta potty for middle of the night needs.

I'm sure you'll cherish any such trip with your adult kids. I can't wait until ours want to do something like that again.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2005 at 10:19PM
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Ponder, days are gone that we did the family tent thing. I agree w/ Erma: "To me, roughing it is slow room service." But we saw SO MANY RVs on the road on our cross-country trek, it started us thinking. Some wouldn't call it actual camping, but it's gotta be better than paying an average of $100/night for a hotel room! Thanks for responding, chery-va
P.S. Oregon was one of the best parts of the trip. So green and beautiful. I told DH, if I were a flower I'd want to live in OR. [went to SOC in Ashland my freshman year; that was '68-'69]

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 9:47AM
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Hi again chery2,

Talk about stupid!

No wonder I make such a poor salesperson!

First I say that my kids have a beautiful motor home for sale.

Then I give half a dozen reasons why one wouldn't want to invest in one.

Oh, well.

And you indicated that such a concept was more or less what you had in mind.

You've no doubt noticed that a number of motor home drivers are towing a car behind, or carrying bicycles. It is helpful if, on arrival at one's destination, one can travel locally without battening down everything in the home and unhooking all of the connections - an advantage if one uses a travel trailer or a fifth wheel trailer towed behind a pickup truck.

Grandma used to say that "Honesty is the best policy".

But she added that, while one should tell the truth, one wasn't required to blab and tell all that one knew!

Grandma'd been around for most of 85 years, at the time - so I guess she'd learned a few things.

I haven't been around that long - yet. Not quite.

Hope you're enjoying your summer.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 11:42AM
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Ya know, we actually calculated the expenses of traveling with the rv or hotels. They came up pretty close for the places we wanted to stay. The savings came in eating meals at "home". Still there is a lot to be had in camping rather than hotels for some of us regardless of that. It's also really convenient for pulling over and eating lunch on a long road trip.

I agree Oregon is a beautiful place. I was born here and don't plan to leave. I am putting in a plug for the beauty in Montana and Wymoming though, There is so much beauty there. Just couldn't get enough of the rivers and mountains.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2005 at 8:39PM
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I have "done it all" - camping in tent, in RV, and moteling. I have even slept in the back end of my Ford Ranger under the canopy. This has all been as a single senior citizen. The RV was the biggest problem, because this gurl is no mechanic and somehow I always wished there was one of those in the other seat. Best wishes for finding what works best for you!!!!!!!!!!



    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 11:28PM
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When you compared the costs - was that for the direct expenses related to the trip only? Did that include the extra costs of fuel related to a truck rather than a smaller, lighter car?

Or did you take into account cost of ownership of an expensive, seldom-used vehicle rather than using the cost for something else, depreciation, cost of insurance, etc.?

Such expenses tend to be hidden, as we don't consider them as part of the cash outlay for this year's vacation - but real, none the less.

If you've had your vacation - I hope that you enjoyed it.

One of the nice things about being retired is - every day's vacation.

As I used to tell a number of clients and prospective clients when I worked as a financial advisor, "If you give me 10% of your money - I'll have you retire early".

In fact, in a money management magazine to which I subscribe, a young man of 34 is telling how he has retired already.

ole joyful

P.S. For those of you who own a motor home, travel trailer, etc.

You might be interested to suspend your insurance for public liability, property damage, etc. if you only use it for a short time each year and don't take it for weekend getaways throughout the year.

You'd want to continue your comprehensive insurance, most liely, to cover you in case a tree falls on it, the neighbour kids break a window, etc.

Though, in many cases, it makes sense to carry a fairly high (offset- not the right word, which I can't remember, but the amount that you must pay first, before the insurance company must cover the remainder of the cost). The right word is "deductible".

o j

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 2:29PM
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