RV Lifestyles Ezine
January 25, 2014
No. 313
Frugal RV living: alternate housing, RV sabbaticals, running away from home in an RV, working on the road.

George and Jaimie
1. A Note From Margo 

I received an interesting eMail from Christina who is exploring the RV lifestyle. She needed advice on that first RV purchase. Spending a  large amount of money is unnerving enough without the nagging feeling of loss if you make
the wrong choice.

          ?   ?  ? ?

“I am thrilled to have stumbled upon your Ezine. I am just beginning to explore the RV lifestyle and I so very much appreciate all of the information that your Ezine provides. You all do such an incredible job of sharing valuable insights in an entertaining and informative manner. Thank you for enlightening my discovery of all things RV. 

My husband and I are making steps towards purchasing an RV in the weeks ahead (ideally we'd like to have one by March) and all of the insider tips and stories of adventure are really inspiring. 
Would you happen to have an opinion regarding purchasing an RV - we are wondering whether it's better to find an owner who wants to sell one (is there a good place to find owners who want to sell their RV?) or is it best to go through a dealership? We're considering both but wondered if you have thoughts to share? We've been looking around and we are serious about making a purchase but trying to go into it with as much knowledge as possible. Your thoughts are much appreciated.”
My reply:
“Hi Christina,
Welcome to our wonderful world. As you have already figured out, finding the right RV is important. Also know that over 50% of long-term RVers change vehicles in the first five years of their travels. Until you experience owning one, the important factors are often overlooked.
To get the best option the first time, here are a few tips:
Decide if you want to travel (motorhome or bus) or stay several months in one location (fifth-wheel). Forget about the extra space in a fifth-wheel if you have to back it into a space every few weeks.
The first change RVers make is a switch from one type to the other. If you are a travel bug, don't even think about fifth-wheels, go motorhome or bus. Without experience driving a big rig, start with something in the motorhome 33 ft. range. If one of your drivers has experience, the best value is in a 10-year old 40 ft. high-quality motorhome. Full body paint is important for the long-term.
The layout is paramount if you are planning to travel full-time. Slide-outs are a nice addition along with a washer/dryer. Another important feature is storage space. Having full basement compartments, automatic levelers, and newer tires are on the top of the list for motorhomes. Ensure that the salon is laid out to suit you, the TV in the right place, not too many sofas, etc. 
Please resist the urge to redecorate until at least six months down the road; you cannot recoup the money spent if you decide to change vehicles.
Know that the Class C used models are built on a much cheaper chassis  (truck) than the Class A, so construction is not as solid either. If you buy new, there are some quality Class Cs out there now.
Once the basic decision has been made (motorhome or 5th-wheel), search RVT.com and RVTrader.com. RVUSA.com is another site to explore. Use the NADA.com database to get a price range. Also decide on gas (much cheaper original cost and at the pump) or diesel (more power, longer life) for the engine choice; do your research first about maintenance. Read this article: http://www.rversonline.org/ArtFAQ3.html for tips about how much you should pay for your RV.
Choose about three models you like, then get serious about finding one from a private owner. Here are a list of websites to peruse:
  • RVOnline.com
  • Escapees.com forum
  • rv4salebyowner.com
  • rvsfsbo.com
  • classyrv.com/
Never purchase an RV without an "independent" RV maintenance person giving it a thorough search. Mobile RV repair services are everywhere, but most reliable RV repair facilities have someone who fills the bill. This service can be free (hoping to get the repair work) or up to $100. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Have the current owner drive it to the facility (liability reasons). If you decide on a motorhome, it is a good idea to have an oil analysis done. This can tell you a lot about the current state of the engine. 
If you wind up at a dealer's lot (last choice), have a mobile service stop by for an hour. ALWAYS plan to attend this, never accept the salesperson's word. Be careful with warranties, do your research. Don't assume anything while at the dealer's lot. Get EVERYTHING in writing. Be prepared to deal with sales personalities, do not let them intimidate you. Succeed in getting the best value by not signing on the dotted line before doing all your research. If you need to, put a small deposit down on the rig until you decide if it is the right one for you.
                                                                                                Hope this helps,


Find out if the RV lifestyle is right for you. If you have questions, The RV Lifestyle: A Dream Come True; an ebook that contains the answers.

– Buying That Dream RV - Things to Consider
– Equipping an RV and Tips on Maintenance
– Managing Power, AC and DC
– Emergency Road Service
– Towing Your Auto
– Planning Trips - How To Get The Most For Your Money
– Boondocking (Primitive Parking)
– Earning an Income on the Road

– Staying In Touch with Family and Friends



2. RV Lifestyle: Rent Before You Buy
Readers are always asking about purchasing an RV. Unfortunately all I can do is give them tips that I have gleaned from my 18 years on the road. When I suggest they rent an RV first, their response is always “too expensive.” 
I did a little research and came up with a company that supports the RV lifestyle by bringing together people who own RVs but do not use them full-time. Here is an overview from their website, RVShare.com.
“RVShare is a community-driven RV rental marketplace comprised of independent dealers and private owners who find immense satisfaction introducing families everywhere to the joy of the open road.
Independent Dealer RV Rentals
Until now, those looking to rent an RV were largely restricted to the handful of mega-fleets and chains across the country that offered limited selection, limited availability, and if you read the customer reviews, less than satisfactory customer experience.
RVShare gives mom-and-pop rental dealerships the web presence of the mega-fleets while still giving them the complete freedom to run their businesses as they see fit. We help small rental dealerships do what they do best--take great care of you and your family.
Peer-to-Peer RV Rentals
The average family’s RV will sit unused for approximately 90% of the year. Meanwhile, families everywhere want to rent an RV and taste the open road for themselves.
RVShare brings these groups together, providing RV owners with the platform and tools to rent their RV and families who want to rent an RV with even more options for doing so.”
Check out their website for locations, photos and pricing. See if renting might help with your RV decision-making process now or in the future. I have not used these services, so as always, buyer beware. Visit their website, RVShare.com.


Margo's eBook, "Conquer the Road: RV Maintenance for Travelers" is available at all major eBookstores. It covers all the basic systems: air conditioning, awning, generator, hot water heater, hydraulic levelers, inverter/converter, roof, sewer, tires, and much more. Driving and weight balance tips are included.

BACK ISSUES: See back issues of RV Lifestyle Ezine at RetiretoanRV.com and RVLifestyleExperts.com.


  3. RVing Nugget: Get a Book on Your Phone
For book lovers still getting in touch with what your phone can do, check out the Overdrive app for your Android, Windows8, iPad and iPhone. Amazon handles the Kindle library version through Overdrive.
With more than 30,000 libraries in 40+ countries, chances are there's a participating one near you. Use the map on their website to find a library near you. A library card is, of course, still required, but now readers can use an OverDrive account to log in and read the ebooks they check out. 
OverDrive libraries add to their collections from a catalog of over 2 million eBooks, audiobooks, and videos.
The apps can be found in the appropriate app stores, including Google Play, iTunes, and the Windows Store. For more details, visit the OverDrive website.


You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Margo Armstrong is an RV lifestyle expert and coach who has been on the RV road for more than 18 years. She specializes in making the RV lifestyle seem friendly, interesting, adventurous, and safe, all at the same time. She has authored 18 eBooks (8 about the RV lifestyle) including The RV Lifestyle: A Dream Come True... All the Information You Need, For Women Only: Motorhome Care & Maintenance and For Women Only: Traveling Solo in Your RV- The Adventure of a Lifetime. She also created and maintains a weekly blog and writes articles for other RV lifestyle resources. Find out more at MovingOnWithMargo.com
Jaimie Hall Bruzenak is an RV lifestyle expert, specializing in getting started in the RV lifestyle, life on the road, working on the RV road, and solo RVing. She has been RVing since 1992. She and her late husband weren't retired so RVed on a budget and worked on the road. She is the author of Support Your RV Lifestyle! An Insider's Guide to Working on the Road, Retire to an RV: The Roadmap to Affordable Retirement and other RV books. Find out more at RetiretoanRV.com and RVLifestyleExperts.com
You will also need to get permission from any contributors. Send Margo or Jaimie an email with your request.
See Jaimie’s blog, RV Home Yet? for more tips, tools, and strategies to help you explore the RV lifestyle and get started. RetiretoanRV.com and RVLifestyleExperts.com have articles on all phases of the RV lifestyle.


Join Margo for life enhancing information at MovingOnWithMargo.com, a weekly blog.

4. RV fun, resources and news
Free eBooks
The digital age is a real boon for travelers, particularly for those of us that consider books an important part of our lives. Obtaining eBooks is now easier than ever. Here are a few resources to check out.
Project Gutenberg is one of the longest-running resources for free ebooks in many formats, and it currently has over 46,000 free books to choose from.
Archive.org has set itself the goal of backing up the Internet and all content everywhere, so it has a few more titles than that ... by about 6 million or so.
The Online Book Page at the University of Pennsylvania is an index of some 2 million ebooks which can be found online.
Library eBooks: Thanks to Amazon's close integration with OverDrive, you can check out library ebooks and load them on to your Kindle.
For more information, read Sites With Truly Free eBooks.
 Money Trivia 
  • Nearly 22,000 checks will be deducted from the wrong account over the next hour.
  • On average, the life span of an American dollar bill is eighteen months. 
  • The Bank of America was originally the Bank of Italy! 
  • The revenue that is generated from gambling is more than the revenue that comes from movies, cruise ships, recorded music, theme parks, and spectator sports combined. 
  • There are more female than male millionaires in the United States.
  • To sell your home faster, and for more money, paint it yellow. 
  • Warner Chappel Music owns the copyright to the song 'Happy Birthday'. They make over $1 million in royalties every year from the commercial use of the song.


VOTE AT OUR POLL: Will you see family this holiday? Check the results so far and vote at RVLifestyleExperts.com.


RV Home Yet?



Contact information 

RV Lifestyles Ezine is published twice a month. Part I comes out on or about the 10th of the month. Part II comes out around the 25th.

Contact information:

Contact Margo

Moving On With Margo website

Contact Jaimie

Retire to an RV website
RV Lifestyle Experts website
Follow Jaimie on Twitter
- search for Jaimie Hall Bruzenak
Become a fan of RV Lifestyle Experts

Publishers: Margo Armstrong and Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

Editor: Sue Bizek

Pine Country Publishing
127 Rainbow Dr., #2780
Livingston, TX 77399-1027

Disclaimer: The information presented in this ezine is for use at your own risk. RV Lifestyle Newsletter makes no warranty to completeness, accuracy, or fitness for any purpose. Use common sense and take normal precautions in how you use this information.