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Old 11-22-2020, 07:40 PM   #1
BC1
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Anyone snowbird from in their RV?

Hi all,

With each year the winters get harder for me as I have some medical issues that are much worse in cold weather. Even though I'm not near retirement age yet, I have been starting to think about getting a place down South and working there from at least Dec to Feb. I have been working from home since March due to Covid so I think it may be do-able work-wise to start doing this next year and not wait until retirement.

I just don't know how it will work logistically for a few non-work reasons so I started thinking about driving the RV down south and staying somewhere nice instead of investing in buying a small home or condo.

Wondering if anyone else here does that?

Take care,
Beth
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:56 PM   #2
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We don’t exactly snowbird but last winter spent February in Navarre Beach Florida as kind of a test drive. (Indiana is less inviting now that I’m retired.). We were in our 30 ft class A and I liked it fine. Was a bit harder on DW as she missed her friends and roots. The essential adaptation for us was bringing a car and staying put for the whole month. I don’t think we’ll ever go full time but I’d like to spend 6 weeks or so each winter in the warm. We were considering Arizona this year but with COVID ended up with no plans at all.
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Old 11-22-2020, 11:07 PM   #3
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Beth,
If all you need for work is a phone and an internet connection: go for it.
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Old 11-23-2020, 12:34 PM   #4
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Last year I wintered in AZ with our View and two bikes. My wife does a ton of dog shows so the View was great for that but living in it for months I discovered it just to small for us, plus we both really hated the dinette seating, so we upgraded to a 2016 Vegas 24.1. Now I head to Florida 2 days after Thanksgiving for 4 months. The Vegas 24.1 is still small enuff for her dog shows but laid out much better for living in for 4 months (or at least I hope it is.) We call it our tiny house. Twin beds, a great bathroom layout, and the sofa has been replaced with 2 recliners.
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Old 11-23-2020, 02:34 PM   #5
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I was a snowbirder for several years flipping back and forth between our home in Connecticut and a condo in SW Florida. While down in Florida I caught up with two boating friends who live down south in their motor homes in the winter. One has a 36' Class A and the other has a Class B.

The Class A guy stays at high end RV parks that cost up to $3,000 per month which is par for nice places in S Florida. The Class B guy does a combination of state park and RV park camping but probably spends at least $1,500 per month on average. Both make reservations a year in advance.

In addition to the long lead time for reservations the other problems will be wifi and cell phone access. The high end RV parks usually have wifi and cell reception is also usually decent. State parks can be hit or miss, never having any wifi, but sometimes the cell service will allow decent internet browsing speeds.

Now contrast that with the three years that we owned a condo. We sold it last summer and made about 3% per year appreciation less real estate commission of 6%. Taxes, and condo fee were $3,000 and $6,500 per year on a $275,000 condo.

It was actually cheaper than the high end RV park costs for the Class A guy above. Depreciation on the Class A probably equaled the taxes and fee on our condo. And it was a whole lot easier to drive down over a two day period and when you got there you were in your 1,500 SF canal front winter home.

David
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Old 11-23-2020, 02:41 PM   #6
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Yes - great way to stay warm

The wife and I love wintering down south in our Class A. Spent last winter traveling around the southeast. Stays varied from a week to three weeks. Costs per month started around $750 and as high as $2,500 in the Florida Keys. We got to see a lot of great places without a lot of crowds.

This winter we are heading down to the Gulf Coast of Texas from Houston down to South Padre.

However, most places fill up quickly, so you should start planning 7-10 months before. As much as 12 months for the more popular places.
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Old 11-23-2020, 02:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
I was a snowbirder for several years flipping back and forth between our home in Connecticut and a condo in SW Florida. While down in Florida I caught up with two boating friends who live down south in their motor homes in the winter. One has a 36' Class A and the other has a Class B.

In addition to the long lead time for reservations the other problems will be wifi and cell phone access. The high end RV parks usually have wifi and cell reception is also usually decent. State parks can be hit or miss, never having any wifi, but sometimes the cell service will allow decent internet browsing speeds.

It was more expensive than the RV park costs for the Class A guy above, but not a whole lot. Depreciation on the Class A probably equaled the taxes and fee on our condo. And it was a whole lot easier to drive down over a two day period and when you got there you were in your 1,500 SF winter home.

David
The world has changed because I remember when having the internet was just a luxury and not a necessity. And playing the one year in advance game can be a challenge at times but also a commitment. These folks who run the resorts need to know for sure who's coming down there.

I like your idea of a Condo except we like to visit many different places to ride our bikes. Last year it was AZ, this year Florida, next year it's going to be the Hill country of Texas, then maybe the Carolinas after that. The Condo is great if all you ever want to see is the same beach. I think bike riding, and the search for great roads motivates us this way, and the fact that we NEED an RV for her dog shows really makes this ideal for our Snowbirding lifestyle.
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Old 11-23-2020, 06:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Iron View Post
The world has changed because I remember when having the internet was just a luxury and not a necessity. And playing the one year in advance game can be a challenge at times but also a commitment. These folks who run the resorts need to know for sure who's coming down there.



I like your idea of a Condo except we like to visit many different places to ride our bikes. Last year it was AZ, this year Florida, next year it's going to be the Hill country of Texas, then maybe the Carolinas after that. The Condo is great if all you ever want to see is the same beach. I think bike riding, and the search for great roads motivates us this way, and the fact that we NEED an RV for her dog shows really makes this ideal for our Snowbirding lifestyle.


My thought as well. We have an RV because we like to travel! Next summer we’ll be in Montana for about 6 weeks then Florida in the winter. Can’t do that in a condo.
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Old 11-23-2020, 07:05 PM   #9
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Well...
An RV is a lot like a condo...
But without the HOAs!
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
Well...
An RV is a lot like a condo...
But without the HOAs!

Oh.... it has HOA’s..... those are known as the price we pay per night..... and it varies with the amenities for your condo on wheels..... full hookups.... no hookups..... pool access.... etc.
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:35 PM   #11
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That's a fair trade to make!
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Old 11-23-2020, 09:43 PM   #12
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Condo or RV everything costs money and it never gets cheaper. Tho when I travel in my RV I stop and sleep at the truck stops. It works well for me since I don't sleep much as I generally only get 4-6 hrs of sleep, have my cup of tea, then roll on down the road for an hour or so, then stop for a good bkfst. Works for me.
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Old 11-24-2020, 12:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob denman View Post
well...
An rv is a lot like a condo...
But without the hoas!
truth!!!!
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Old 11-24-2020, 12:27 AM   #14
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truth!!!!
And you never get tired of the scenery!
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Old 11-24-2020, 12:30 AM   #15
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Coming from New York, you will probably head for Florida. If you can stay in the central Florida areas, there are nice RV resorts for less $$. Four months might cost you around $800-1000 per month. Most of them have decent wifi, but most campground wifi systems are weakest in the evening. There are many RV resorts with plenty of availability, even in the peak winter months.

When we are at campgrounds with weak wifi, I can use my cell phone for a hotspot. With today's unlimited data plans, that's not the concern we had in years past.

After a few winters in Florida, we decided the summer heat was less onerous than the bitter winters up north, so we found a house for our main residence and sold our house in the frozen Midwest.
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Old 11-24-2020, 03:18 AM   #16
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We did the snowbird thing for 3 winters in central FL - from Michigan... from 3 to 5 months.
I’m not retired, but have worked from home for many years - as long as I have internet, I can work.

If you are ‘work dependent’ on internet, I wouldn’t rely on campground WiFi. Extenders can help if not close to tower, but nothing fixes the poor bandwidth many have.. or an off hours outage needing access to campground gear.
I used an unlimited hotspot (AT&T Mobley), with a cell phone hotspot (Verizon) as backup and worked from the passengers seat of our Hurricane.

Why did we stop? Like Mr Sunshine we moved to FL full time.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:54 PM   #17
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My wife and I are both retired and live close to the Texas Gulf Coast. We love to get away for quick trips of a week or two to some of the beachfront RV resorts, especially in Surfside Beach, Port Aransas and South Padre.

Unfortunately (for us anyway), it gets tough to be able to get into any of these RV parks after Thanksgiving due to all of the snowbirds flocking to the coast. Nothing against them, but it is kind of frustrating that they seem to take over our favorite spaces during the winter.
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Old 11-26-2020, 01:15 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the insight which is very helpful and some things I didn't exactly think about. Good internet connections/speed is definitely something I need until I can retire so thanks for that info.

May just try it next winter or for a couple of winters until I figure out where exactly I want to buy a small place if at all.

Thanks again.
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Old 11-26-2020, 02:27 AM   #19
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. All of the fun is in the shopping!
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