Low Income, How Can We Survive?

Low Income, How Can We Survive?

by Patti

I am starting to think full time rving might be for us but I am not sure. I am hoping all of You full timers can help answer this question for me.

I am in my late 30's and my hubby just 40. Our children are just grown and we have three dogs.

We have a low income due to my husband having a bad back from hard work all those years to support us. We can barely afford to live here any more and I am scared if some thing major comes up we could lose our home.

I am also scared about permanent in an rv because we never done any thing like this before. I was thinking along the lines of a pull trailer or fifth wheel and living by our family for 6 months and the other 6 down south where it is warmer. We have a 1/2 ton Dodge to haul something with.

It would just be him the 3 dogs and I. Can any of you full timers advise us if this would be more affordable than a stick built, I see a lot of you talking of how cheap it could be. I need really cheap living, is this a good option for us?

Thank you all so much.

Comments for Low Income, How Can We Survive?

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Aug 28, 2016
living low the way to go
by: catt

I am 66 and husband 60 my life has been down the tube in 3 yrs, my husband is no longer a person I can depend on to help with money or to do work on our home. he had stroke that almost took his life and left him in a near vegetative state he is not normal but better and I want us to live before we die.

if I do not sell my home I will loose it yes I could get food stamps and live in a low income housing but that is not living you are not free if you have two pets you must put one down if you save money you must hide it if you like to pack rat you're tossed out if you want a car its got to be cheap if you don't like cream walls you can't paint better to have nothing then lose your freedom I used to part time rv never wanted to come home now I try to move to a new place sell and fear being homeless why I have RV I have tents I could live better free and poor hey go to a beach.

Dec 07, 2013
Join the club! You won't regret it!
by: Rick in Alabama

I am on permanent disability due to degenerative back disorder and sold my house December 21st, 2012 and am living full time in a 30'-6" motorhome. I am also a HAM radio operator and have installed my radio equipment into my motorhome.

I do not regret my decision to go full time one bit. I can go where I want and operate my radios to communicate all over the country and world. I am not tied to a grid and am totally self-sufficient.

Living in an RV park is the cheapest way to live, once you own your motorhome or trailer. Your park rent includes your water and electricity and most of the times free internet! I can run off of my generator when in remote areas, and use my own water supply.

It the power goes out because of bad weather it doesn't matter to me as I have battery, generator, and hope to install solar panels as well. You will be surprised at the good people you meet, and the freedom you feel by being able to survive without being hooked up to the power grid. "Try It, You'll Like It," as they say!

Dec 03, 2013
Starting in the March
by: rick

House is up for sale can't wait to get moving down the road, we have a 5th wheel and love the life on the road.

Jul 19, 2011
Camping Fees
by: happyharold

To all of you rv'rs that are either disabled or senior citizens, the national parks systems have an option available to reduced and/or free camp sites. At the first national park you come to, check with whoever is collecting fees and ask them the details.

The golden pass gives 1/2 off campsites for senior citizens and guests. The golden access pass gives free camping for disabled persons and their guest.

I have heard there are some changes since I got my golden access pass, but mine is still good and is accepted. If I am wrong, which I often times seem to be, feel free to correct me. Any information you have regarding this will not only help others, but me as well.

Thank you,


Jul 19, 2011
Working a plan!
by: Rick in Alabama

My job of 23 years shipped their mfg to India and I was forced into early retirement on disability. My wife has in-operable cardiovascular disease and is diabetic. She has always wanted to see this or see that, so we decided to work toward full-timing. We do have a plan that we are working on. We presently are paying off all our debts and sitting home rather then eating out or the usual entertainment. As soon as the debts are gone, we will sell the house and purchase a truck matched to most likely a 5th wheel. (Our thinking at this time anyway.) My wife is still working 7 days on and 7 days off for our insurance, but she can't hold up much longer. As quick as we can get ready, we will hit the road and see as much of North America that we can for however long we have together. We are very much looking forward to getting started, and our plans seem to show we will save money while we are doing it. I just pray that I can get us ready as soon as possible so my wife can quit work and we can get started. We love traveling and this seems a great way for us to enjoy the remaining time we have together. Their are some beautiful sights to see in the US, and we plan on seeing as many as we can.

Jul 01, 2011
You'll love the life style, Good Luck
by: Anonymous

To Anonymous, You seem to have the right attitude. There are a lot of people out there living full time and there are also jobs to be had in the right places. I'm sure you have already checked out the Work Camper websites, and the Corp of Engineer site. Good Luck the kids will love it.

Jun 30, 2011
We're going for it!
by: Anonymous

My hubby and I are about to lose our apartment, and there is no work in our area, so we are just going for it! We really just don't have any other choice, so we have to make it work. We have 2 small kids who we are homeschooling anyway. We think that this can't be any harder than keeping up with the rat race here, right? And once we buy (or actually, trade for) our trailer we'll own it, so we will always have a home- and that's the most reassuring part- the rest we'll figure out as it comes. It will be our grand adventure, while we're still young enough to enjoy working hard and roughing it... good luck, everyone!!

Jun 19, 2011
My thoughts are short and simple.
by: Jimmy LaFoe

I am 67 and I have been full time since 2003 and it is ok by me. I am low income ($1650.00 a month) and this is a way to live out your life. I started with a 1984 class A Chevy and was happy with it but someone from Oklahoma offered me to much money for it so it's gone and now I have a 2000 26 1/2 ft. fifth wheel (paid off), I was told my 2003 F150 would not pull it"""WRONG"""" it does and it does it well. If you intend to run it 75 mph on the interstate, it won't. So I piss every body off while I am running at 50 mph. I get good mileage, if you are pulling into the wind you won't, and neither will any one else (slip into a rest area and let the wind die), if you are in the mountains turn on your flashers and putt up the hill in the right hand lane, you paid taxes its your road also. But most of all""""YOU ARE FREE""". You say I wonder what it's like in Indiana, go see!!!, storm is coming, leave. Kinda chilly here, go south. Bottom line you are free to find yourself and seek your creator....jimmy2060@yahoo.com

May 25, 2011
Your Time to Travel
by: BR

I am in the the same spot in my life as many of you. I retired last August and am waiting for my wife to retire. I, too, would like to hit the road as a full time RVer. I am a retired Park Ranger and have talked to 100's of folks like you. There several things I learned you might think about before you head out. #1- You are not going to get younger. Health can become a problem. Death of one of the couple may occur. Then what is the plan? Another piece of advice was given to me, do not sell your home right away, see if it will work before you give up a place to return to. Do not invest all your savings into your camping rig. Plan ahead and have it paid for before you leave on this new adventure. One person said they lived on 600 dollars a month, I would expect around $2500 a month. Anyway I hope it works for you.

Mar 12, 2011
Low Income
by: poppajohnf

I am with you, I am disabled and with what I make I can not support a home or rent. I can afford a very low payment (no more then $210.00 a month) with medications insurance, and gas. I can only hope to make it until I am able to get to work.

My wife is divorcing me after 18 years so I need to go. I feel that boondocking is the life for me. I may be able to make a negative into a huge positive for me I will be starting an on line site and making money off it. Good luck to you you may want to get the 5th wheel it is cheaper then a class c in a lot of cases. I need to find someone willing to work with me and help me purchase a class c. I am having mo luck here in Florida. There are no buy here pay here's and I do not have good credit due to unpaid doctors bills. Good Luck. And I pray God lightens your way.

Feb 14, 2011
You Can Survive
by: Travelingrandma

We have been RVing for about 40 years on vacations with kids, and without kids. We have had a Class A, that we vacationed in, then we lived full time in one. After my husband retired I thought I wanted a house, so we purchased a home, but still found ourselves traveling 4-8 months a year. We have tried a Class C, but settled on a Sprinter which we have loved traveling in.

After our summer trip this year, I finally told my husband I was ready to get rid of all the expenses of having a home and go full time so are in the process of liquidating. We have chosen a 5th wheel, 33 ft with 3 slides. It isn't large, but has lots of windows, and plenty of space. I think it has about 350 SQ Ft of living space. At this time our living expenses are running around $3000 a month, but once we are totally full time our expenses should be in the neighborhood of between $500 - $600 a month, but could be cheaper if we decided to work for the National Forest Service for a few months, or to do some boon-docking. At this time our daughter is in a campground that is costing her $395 a month.

That's everything except her propane. Our grandson is in another park that is $155.00 a month, but he does have to pay his own electric, which generally runs him around $100 a month, and his propane.

I wish you the best of luck, there is a large beautiful land out there just waiting to be explored. You might check out the Escapees web site. Escapees is an organization made up of people who are living the full time lifestyle and Escapees has a fantastic mail forwarding service.

Jan 31, 2011
Fulltime RV hopefuls!
by: Johanna Barker

My husband and I are wanting to fulltime RV also. We read books about it (the best book I found was "RV living in the 21st century" by Peggi McDonald. Read this book, it covers absolutely every aspect of RV'ing that you can think of. This couple are still fulltime RV'ing after 26 years! They are an inspiration to people who are thinking of this lifestyle. I would love to talk to them! We are waiting for our house to sell, and then we will hit the road! Good luck with your future RV plans!

Jan 18, 2011
Low Income
by: harold

That is a question that only you can answer,,,
but I look at it this way,,, what I hope to save in just heat bills will pay for a spot, and I hear the corp of engineer campgrounds are decently priced.. I am somewhat different that most who contemplate this,,, I adopted special needs kids years ago, and this makes it somewhat more iffy... as we will always have these kids with us, it will cost us more per camping spots than a normal man - wife set up.. but it will give the kids a chance to see what they never would of elsewise,,, and it can't be any worse then during the depression, when all they had was the clothes on their backs, a run down buggy and a prayer... but then again, they were a lot tougher than we are today.

Just my thoughts.

Jan 18, 2011
Better to "fulltime" it!
by: Valerie P.

My husband and I purchased our 1986 Winnebago Minnie Winnie (Class C) last September. Since then we discovered that our expenses are: gasoline, vehicle insurance, life insurance and campground fees (if we don't boondock). We do not have rent/mortgage, gas/electric, homeowners/renters insurance, the hassle of lawn care and home care, etc. We are putting away $500 per month - something we could not do when we lived in a home. Give it a try. You can always go back to an apartment - but I bet you won't!

Jan 17, 2011
It is very do-able.
by: Gwendarling43

My husband 39,myself48, started full-time a year ago and have have achieved almost being debt free. We have a 34' pull trailer and a Dodge 2500 diesel that is more than sufficient to pull whatever we choose. The trailer is very comfortable and we are getting along just fine. We have found that is about $1800 a month less to live this way that in a house/utilities/insurance. We travel for work, and needed to be mobile to go from job to job as needed. I am enjoying the travel and doing temp work through Express Employment Professionals at each town we visit.

I suggest you make sure your bills are paid down before taking off,to make sure you can save some each month for repairs and emergencies. I try to put away $500 a month for this.

Good luck my friend...it's a great way to live.

Jan 16, 2011
Pro's & Con's
by: CamperDon

Full time RVing has a plus for those who are tired of living in the same area. The Insurance in most cases is covered by the tow vehicle, however once disconnected it does not. So, house or RV, you must pay insurance to safe guard your investment. Gas prices are on the increase, but is it worse then what you pay for home electric,gas and property taxes. Will your fuel expense and camp site fees exceed that. In most cases it is cheaper if you already meet a certain criteria. Is your tow vehicle paid for? Is the tow vehicle large enough to tow your choice of trailers. Is your house paid for, and or will the gross profit from sale, purchase your desired vehicle and trailer. The nomad experience is cheaper and can be a good life if your are debt free. In answer to the first question; unless you have the horses, a 1/2 ton is not a tow vehicle for a larger trailers. Even with Ultra Lites, a 1/2 strains in the mountains, and gas consumption is high. The best...

Jan 16, 2011
Affording Full Time RV
by: 59Cadillac

Well, I'm far from full time but have pondered the possibilities for years. I live in Florida where we have a very large population who are living exactly what you are dreaming.

It is do-able as evidenced by that population. What I have learned is that most parks discount their rates if you commit to longer time in their park. Some include extras like cable/wifi and others do not so be sure to ask. If the prices are too high, consider applying for a Camp Host position. This is a position which requires that the host greet and answer questions and prep sites after campers leave. Might include some raking or blowing of leaves, removing trash, etc. Nothing heavy. This position is often in lieu of camp fees.

I really love my job so I'm not ready to go now but full time is definitely a future possibility. I did purchase a book a few years ago that was written by some full-timers which discussed all of the pros and cons as to which type of rig was best for full timing. I concluded that the Fifth Wheel was probably the best. They can be purchased very reasonably used, they are large enough, no engine/drivetrain to repair or insure. Lot's of basement storage area.

Just my thoughts, best wishes to you as you embark on your new adventures.


Jan 16, 2011
Me too.....
by: happyharold

I am planning on full timing too, I cannot see it as being more expensive than living in a house (with a mortgage). Everyone says, "the price of gas will make it prohibitive". I am not planning on driving everyday, just find a spot then set up, enjoy what is thereabouts. Even with mis-haps, repairs etc, (the same can happen with a home), I cannot see how living "there" would be any more, if as expensive. What we pay for heat, and other utilities, taxes, and mortgage pmts, comes up to more than a monthly fee for an economical RV spot. So as soon (if) my house sells, I plan to see what is over the next rise in the road, or on the other side of the mountains.

Just my thoughts,, P.S. I have had RV in past and enjoyed being "out there".


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