Minimum needed to live in an RV?

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gone2day

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Thanks Tripper,

Just curious.If I have a 2011 honda crv at a kelly blue book value around 6k at 180k miles can this hall a small rv trailer without putting wear and tear on the engine and transmission?

Vs trading it in for a Truck that comes with a truck bed as back up and using that to haul the RV trailer ..

Just looking at the most economical way to do this

Thank you
The tow rating for a CRV is only 1500 lbs. so it would have to be a pretty small trailer. Even then you would be putting a lot of strain on your older vehicle. Hondas are very reliable but 180k is getting up there and you would be looking at expensive repairs eventually.

It's possible to sell or trade your CRV for a truck but in today's market you'd have to really be careful. Dealers aren't known to be very honest and will take your money.

You would have to do some very careful shopping and evaluating for an older truck that has a good chance of being reliable. It's easy to get burnt. Whatever you buy, you would need to keep several $1000's as an emergency fund. So you wouldn't have much left for a decent truck and a trailer.

Lastly, your gas expenses will be way higher with a PU and trailer.
 
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gone2day

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Does this mean that stealth parking will be more difficult than a van or suv?
Yes, pulling a trailer in most locations would not be stealth. It's hard to be stealthy even in a van where you can get out of bed and slide into the driver's seat.

If you're living in a trailer, you have to get in and out of it. Hard not to be detected and if trouble comes your way it's not as easy to leave like with a van.

Also, towing anything in the city can be a real pain for ease of parking, general navigating,etc. It can be done but it would just be more hassle.
 
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bullfrog

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Illegal parking is something you should not do in any vehicle. With proper research, planning and asking the right people finding legal parking places has always been possible if not easy for us. We found traveling in a 28’ motorhome was not a problem. We also traveled with a small camper pulled with a too small truck for several trips. The hardest way was with a large tent that had to be pitched. Most any place a semi truck can legally park so can an RV. 24 hour restaurants, motels with large vehicle parking, fair grounds as well as many cities have free camping spots or gyms or businesses that are 24 hour. Worse comes to worse you can alter your travel and sleep schedules and use day use areas. Free camping is really not a concern for one night of overnight parking, staying long term in a single area you need to look for a full hookup lot, private property owner or business owner that will let you stay legally. Trying to hide living in any vehicle just doesn’t work long term often or at all in my opinion. Look at some of the older but out of date forums on web sites like “George and Tioga” and “RV Sue and Her Canine Crew” to see how successful they were traveling for several years.
 
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tripper

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Thanks Tripper,

Just curious.If I have a 2011 honda crv at a kelly blue book value around 6k at 180k miles can this hall a small rv trailer without putting wear and tear on the engine and transmission?

Vs trading it in for a Truck that comes with a truck bed as back up and using that to haul the RV trailer ..

Just looking at the most economical way to do this

Thank you
CRVs have almost no tow capacity (1500 lbs). About the only rv trailer that it could tow would be a 13' Scamp which is 1200-1500 lbs. Or maybe some of the pop up tent trailers, but those are not good for permanent living. I would not use a crv to tow.
 

WanderingRose

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And, whether towing an RV or driving a self-contained RV, you have costs and upkeep of your tow vehicle as well as RV systems, themselves.

And the environmental issues you are so sensitive to, Davsey, may also be present in an RV and exacerbated by the small space.

As well as insurance on both and increased fuel costs, whether towing or driving an RV

As has been discussed here before, it is important to have a savings account, along with the means to replenish it, or breakdowns and other repair costs will find you stranded wherever these occur.
 
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gone2day

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If you intend to stealth camp in cities a trailer will not work. A minivan is the ideal stealth rig in a city, but they suck to live in. If you have a steady fixed income why would you want to camp in a city?
A minivan wouldn't be the best option for living space but would be much better than a CRV. Full-size vans are at a premium right now so in Davsey's situation finding a reasonably priced minivan in good shape might be the way to go.
 

afblangley

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If you have a steady fixed income why would you want to camp in a city?
Cities have lots of interesting things to do. Hanging out at the beach, visiting museums, going to the movies, eating at restaurants, getting a workout at the gym, reading in the library, using the WiFi in Starbucks, seeing the doctor/dentist, washing clothes at the laundromat...

When I want to be in nature, there's no need to leave town, local parks have plenty of trees!
 

gone2day

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Cities have lots of interesting things to do. Hanging out at the beach, visiting museums, going to the movies, eating at restaurants, getting a workout at the gym, reading in the library, using the WiFi in Starbucks, seeing the doctor/dentist, washing clothes at the laundromat...

When I want to be in nature, there's no need to leave town, local parks have plenty of trees!
Yep, and there's a huge variation out there to choose from. Smaller metros where there are things to do but you can still get away with (mostly) flying under the radar. In my travels I've found that in many large cities the Walmarts and other retailers won't allow overnighting but in the smaller places it tends to be OK. A medium-sized place where they don't have a huge homeless problem. Or isn't too ritzy or too touristy so the cops tend to hassle transients less. They're out there...go find them!
 
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[email protected]

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How does this sound for a deal from my friend?

What I was thinking was to use my SUV for getting around and perhaps the RV as a home base to function as a kind of tiny home on wheels

Parked in an acreage of land somewhere in a quiet town in Florida near the beach or rural Alabama.Hopefully don't have to be concerned with mold

Appreciate it Guys and Gals

It’s a 1997 Itasca Sundancer with a new transmission put in 2017 or 2018, new tires 2020, new interior 2019, and low mileage. Runs good. The interior central heat doesn’t work but we’ll include the space heaters that we used. Central AC works fine. The exterior has wear and tear on it. The battery is dead and needs a jumpstart (or maybe replace it). Comes stocked with some essentials for daily living. $6000 for you only.
 

gone2day

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Let them buy a battery for it and get it started so you can have a qualified mechanic look it over, take it on the road and verify that it 'runs good'. Expect to pay someone several hundred $ to do this.

Is it now located in FL? Are you sure you can find an 'acreage' that you can rent at reasonable cost? If you paid $6k for it, you would have very little savings left so if some unexpected expense came up, you would be in a jam.

PS: Has the seller been trying to sell it in the recent past? And maybe have had no takers? Beware of "just for you" deals.
 
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peteg59

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For $6k it should have a battery that will start it, in it already.
x2 on getting a good mechanical inspection on it, especially if it cannot be road tested.

Never take a strange seller's word for anything they can't backup with documentation ie: trans service providers invoice, store receipts for all "new" parts, etc.
If the seller is unable or unwilling to put a decent battery in it and provide docs for recent work and parts, pass and find something else.

It is 100% "Buyer Beware" out there, and after your ca$h has left your hands it will likely be too late to get a refund if the purchase doesn't work for you.
Good luck...
 

abnorm

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I lived there over 40 years..........There is NO escaping Mold in Florida
 

afblangley

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What I was thinking was to use my SUV for getting around and perhaps the RV as a home base to function as a kind of tiny home on wheels

Parked in an acreage of land somewhere in a quiet town in Florida near the beach or rural Alabama.Hopefully don't have to be concerned with mold
Motorized RVs do not make for a good home base. They have all the systems of a house (but more flimsy) plus all the systems of a car (but under more stress). They require frequent repair and constant maintenance, even when parked for extended periods of time. The downsides are offset because Class A/B/Cs rein supreme when it comes to convenience while traveling.

Non motorized RVs (travel trailers, 5th wheels, truck campers) are cheaper to buy, cheaper to operate, simpler to use, easier to work on, and overall more practical as a stationary home base. Before the tiny home craze came into existence, before vanlife was a thing, there were folks homesteading in travel trailers or living in singlewide mobile homes on a lot.

If you want to travel in a home on wheels, get an RV. If you want a stationary abode, get a suitable structure. They are not mutually exclusive, you can have both. I made a seamlessly transition by replacing my SUV with a van, which I then built out.
 

maki2

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Thanks Tripper,

Just curious.If I have a 2011 honda crv at a kelly blue book value around 6k at 180k miles can this hall a small rv trailer without putting wear and tear on the engine and transmission?

Vs trading it in for a Truck that comes with a truck bed as back up and using that to haul the RV trailer ..

Just looking at the most economical way to do this

Thank you
You have to find a trailer that is within the tow ratings of what you're pulling it with. Plus you also need to keep your gear within the overall load ratings of the vehicle.

That said the Honda vehicles get saggy in the rear when they have a good sized load in the rear. That makes the front ends higher than they should be. You can put some Suma Coil spring helpers threaded into the rear springs. That will help. But a better fix is to put in stiffer aftermarket springs and possibly a one inch lift kit as well. Honda does not sell heavy duty springs for the CRV. Go to a CRV forum to find out how to do that.

I have been full time for two years in my Honda Element (almost a sibling for engine and transmision to the CRV) pulling a small, vintage, fiberglass trailer. I just went through a full vehicle inspection at a Honda dealership yesterday and no problems were found, the engine and transmission are in good shape. The trailer I chose weighed just under 900 lbs when it came out of the factory. The Trails West Campsters which is what I have are quite rare now as they were only in production and sold only in the Western USA from late 1968 to early 1971. The Campster trailer has a popup canvas area at rear over the kitchen that creates 6'4" of head room and they have a large bed. The popup is great for hot weather days as heat rises and gets pulled out through the zippered, screened window openings in it.

It is very difficult to find any type of commercial travel trailer that is within the tow rating for a CRV. Most tear drops are too heavy, the little Scamps are too heavy as well. You can find some small aluminum cargo trailers in that weight range but they do not have standing head heigth. There are threads on this forum for building "Foamie" trailers which easily could be made light enough to pull with a CRV.
 
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bullfrog

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^^^Crazy as it sounds it is arts and crafty fun building a small foamy! Lol!!!
 
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