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Our Travel Trailer: A Mobile Money Pit — 11 Comments

  1. We went from a 3 bedroom rental house that had 3 different types of mold causing me respiratory problems..to a 30ft travel trailer. I can breathe so much better but am always broke. But this is my husbands dream. How do we know if it is a money pit or not. Well..here are a FEW things since I started making payments . The refrigerator.. the oven…the outside lights and occasionallyt

  2. the heat nor water heater works. I feel like I have to work to keep a dream going…not the way I thought my life would end up. Of course… payments will end in the fall and think I will sign it over to my husband so he can be happy…I am gonna find me a cabin with a wood stove and maybe then Iwill be happy. The things we do for LOVE!

    • Wow! Sounds a bit like a money pit to me…but there is no value that can be put on your good health! Our trailer tale has taken a bit of a turn since I wrote this. We are actually in the process of having our trailer ‘totaled’ by our insurance company. There was extensive damage to the trailer but all will end well. They are offering a fair price for the trailer and we get to leave the trailer lifestyle behind in a fairly pain free manner. Hope things work out well for you as you continue forward!

  3. I see this article as one isolated example that in no way represents the average family. To say it is expensive to live in a mobile away from home is true. But when your mobile IS home, that is far from the truth. Many families are living on the road. Six people and three pets in a 26ft trailer. It’s all in how you live your life. Some people need the best or most appealing looking amenities. Some people need a top notch power system with electric appliances. I for one am an advocate for practical living.

    People should be learning to use solar power. Catch rainwater. Yes. People are creating their own DIY rainwater catch system to put on their trailer to fill up the fresh water tank. They invest into a composting toilet to eliminate the black water tank. That creates an extra fresh water tank. And eliminates sewer cost. Some convert a box freezer into a fridge, which uses far less electricity. So it can run off the solar power system and not rely upon propane.

    There are hundreds more ideas on how to live off the grid, off the lot practical living that minimizes cost and increases self sustainability without resorting to being part of the system. Nobody has to stay at a pricey campground. There are plenty of FREE areas to sleep and play. And when you live off the grid, its even better.

    Living on the road is easier and better than the traditional lifestyle which only serves to make the rich even richer.

    • Very true Joe…like most things “your personal experience may vary.” Our travel trailer was a secondary dwelling and really burned a lot of money. The story did end with a bit of good and bad. Our trailer had an accident and wound up being totaled. The insurance settlement actually covered all costs we had put in the trailer after 3 years of ownership. So a few good memories and even money is the way to go.

      I have a few folks I know who are full-timers like your family. That is definitely a very cost effective lifestyle and a very different subject all together. I’m impressed with your efforts to minimize your impact on the environment.

    • JoeM I need more info like this. We are leaving in September for 12 months. US travel and we don’t even camp!

    • Joe,
      I’m very interested in your “green” approach to full time RVing.
      Any chance you can share more ideas with me/us?

  4. Pingback: Insurance and Reinsurance - Dad Is Learning

  5. I just retired and we will be purchasing a trailer for travel and to visit family. Yes I am sure there will be some repairs but I am spending money on home repairs on my house one. Any place you live you ware things out and repairs will have to be made. I was an accountant. I don’t see this so much as a money saving way to travel…but what I do like is that we will have our own bed. I have spent a lot of time in hotels and am never sure of how clean they are. I question hotel security sometimes also. With my own trailer I am the only one with the key. We are buying one large enough that the children can also use it for their vacations…so we can help them out also. An who knows…maybe some family camping later. And as an accountant the thing I like also is that there is some value in the asset when you are done.

  6. Having a travel trailer IS expensive but for my family you can never put a price on the memories we have made with family and friends! My kids get so excited every time we take it out. So for my husband and I it’s so worth it!

  7. I’m considering a 5 to 10 year old 25′ +/- travel trailer ($5,000 to $8,000) that I will keep parked for free at a friend’s bug out location in a heavily treed rural area within an hour of my house. While society holds together, it will make a nice get-away from the routine of suburbia.

    I understand that every physical object and system requires repair or replacement after a period of time. I would expect to keep several hundred dollars in reserve for initial repairs, and expect annual repairs to average $300 or $400 after that. What are your thoughts about this expectation?