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Well-known member
Mar 3, 2021
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No RecreateVehicle is remotely adequate for full-time live-aboard.
Of course not. RVs are built for recreation. Anyone who wants to live full time in a vehicle will have to modify it for that purpose, whether they start with a Prius, box truck, school bus, or van. Starting with a factory built RV makes this less of a task.

How about:
* little-to-zero insulation -- neither acoustic nor thermal
* multiple Holes! In! The! Roof!
* weak frames and suspension
* chinesium tires past their (alleged...) safe-date.
I agree, most factory built RVs are poorly made, quality control is major problem in the industry. A constant maintenance regime is required to keep everything in an RV in working order. But that doesn't negate the fact they have complicated systems in order to recreate the comforts that we've grown accustomed to in our stick built housing. My RV has 2 bedrooms, a completely equipped kitchen with all the normal appliances, a full sized bathroom supported by big tanks, 3 ACs and ducted heating to keep it comfortable regardless of weather, and essentially unlimited power with the built in generator. I can sleep, shower, cook, and lounge around just as comfortably as in a studio apartment. DIY builds don't come close to that level of comfort because very few people have the requisite skill, time, and money to create that level of sophistication. I have seen a couple of custom/professional van builds that offer that level of amenities.

RVs, especially used, have great bang for the buck. 2-3 year old travel trailers can be bought for less than $15k. Class Cs less than 10 years old for under $40k. As consumers, the cost of materials alone could exceed the purchase of a well priced RV. Price out replicating a Class C using a box truck. Or a travel trailer using a cargo trailer.

* No way, no how, could I ethically or morally recommend acquiring a factory RecreateVehicle.
Not at a great interest rate, not for free.
They crumble to dust the minute they leave the factory.
And you are left with a decade of payments on a high percentage loan?
RVs do not crumble to dust physically or financially, but they do depreciate. Fairly rapidly in most cases (past couple of years anomaly aside). If an RV is financed over 15-20 years, there's a high likelihood of becoming upside down during the loan term. This means it's financially foolish to do that in many cases, but not all. In the US, debts die with the debtor. From a time management or financial perspective, there are things are sound to do at 80 that wouldn't be at 40.


Well-known member
Mar 8, 2021
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Baja frequently, Oregon occasionally
... upside down during the loan term. This means it's financially foolish to do that in many cases, but not all. In the US, debts die with the debtor. From a time management or financial perspective, there are things are sound to do at 80 that wouldn't be at 40.
We are closer to agreeing than you may realize.
At a certain level of infirmity -- old and cancers and waiting to die -- a loan might be the ultimate get-back at bankers!
Get that RecreateVehicle, live the heck out of it.
You have my blessings.
Just do not burn my beloved credit-unions.
Digressing into reality...
Debts are eternal.
If I fail my obligations, that debt is transferred to the next schmuck.
I am still paying for the 1898 Spanish-American War in Cuba.
I am still paying for The Great 1914-18 War.
Although I was a mere merry tingling in my mother's "danger zone" -- thus had zero opportunity to vote against it -- I am still paying for The Golden Gate Bridge.
And yet, this seems to be the system we agree to play inside.


Well-known member
Jun 29, 2021
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I wouldn't totally discount buying something on time. Yes, it's a monthly payment, but so is living. However, I must also agree with those that are disappointed in the quality of every factory RV I have every examined. They may show well, but tend to be vastly under insulated, very prone to leaks - which leads to massive damage and generally not very well built. At least with a converted cargo van or trailer you can get something more reliable and comfortable..

I guess the best of both worlds would be to finance a converted van/trailer from someone that does good work. Just keep it within your budget. If that's a problem, do as much of the work yourself as you can...


Well-known member
Sep 13, 2018
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Jake, You certainly have the cross country driving and outdoor skills to go along with the desire.

As I recall you said you prefer a high top van. That does seem like the best solution as for medical appointments you might need to do urban boondocking or do stays with your parents. When you go on cruises you will want something easy to find parking for while you are away. Plus the simpler the setup the better for a person who is energy challenged due to health issues.
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