Tags - Popular | FAQ  

PrevPrev Go to previous topic
NextNext Go to next topic
Last Post 08/22/2011 12:30 PM by  sb
Is buying an RV worth it???
 41 Replies
Sort:
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Page 2 of 3 << < 123 > >>
Author Messages
SteveZ
Member
Member
Posts:66


--
08/11/2007 9:43 AM

My Chevy is a 1500HD.  (Basically it is a 3/4 ton truck, but the genius marketing folks at Chevrolet Motor Division thought "1500HD" was more desirable than plain 2500.  This truck pulls my 36 foot fifth wheel with no problem (other than lousy gas mileage), using a 6.0 liter gasoline engine.  I have pulled the rig from New Orleans down to Miami, up to North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and through Texas, Missippi, Alabama and Georgia with no power or braking concerns. 

The floor plan I posted earlier is accurate except for the location of the Queen Bed at the front.  My rig's bed is in a third slide out the left front side, which allows for the front cap to be a full-sized closet.  The rear office section is able to be closed off by two sliding doors which truly separates Work space from Home space. 

I have shown this rig to about sixty adjusters, and most agree that this floor plan is perfect for an adjuster on the road.

As everyone else who has done the RV adjusting gig has stated, sleeping, cooking, showering and living in your own place beats a dirty motel room any day.

I know adjusters who rent condominiums and apartments, and end up spending a lot of money on furniture, microwaves, etc just to live.  My monthly note on the rig is only $250.00, and that was brand new.  If I had thought about it sooner, I would have bought a used rig, and just replaced all the mattresses and had it professionally cleaned, and probably saved myself a bunch of money. 

0
SteveZ
Member
Member
Posts:66


--
08/11/2007 9:49 AM

One more thought...

I don't only use this rig for adjusting.  My family and I use if for camping vacations, weekend getaways, and I store it at my fextended amily's waterfront fishing camp, so we have a comfortable place to stay on weekends.

As stated by someone earlier, unless you get to work enough each year to cover the cost, or unless you like to camp/vacation in an RV, maybe it is not "your thing". 

MOTEL:                                  $69.00 / night

RESTAURANT MEALS:      $50.00/day

ADDS UP.

 

RV:                                         $250.00/ MONTH

Cooking Meals:                   $15.00/day

SLEEPING IN OWN BED EVERY NIGHT.....              P R I C E L E S S

0
MDC
Guest
Guest
Posts:16


--
08/12/2007 11:33 PM
If you like living out of a hotel and breathing the moldy air conditioning air, sleeping on a bumpy mattress, then RV adjusting is not for you.

However, if you like to sleep on the same bed at night, work at your comfortable desk and basically have the creature comforts of home, then RV adjusting is for you.

In 2005, I went to adjust Hurricane Dennis claims in Florida and stayed in a motel that had "black mold" on the A/C filter. I stayed one night of a supposably five night stay. Actually felt sick sleeping in that room for that one night.
Came home after adjusting about a dozen claims and purchased a used 30' travel trailer and diesel truck. Have'nt looked back since. The best decision I made and have talked other adjusters into doing the same.
One recommendation I would post here is that if you have a disel truck, purchase a fuel trasfer tank and place it in the trucks bed. It sure beats waiting in long gas lines to get fuel while in the heart of a catstrophe site.
0
Virginia Topley
Guest
Guest
Posts:14


--
08/13/2007 5:51 PM

Absolutely it's worth it!  In 2005, hubby and I looked at all the options and purchased an Exiss 3 horse trailer with living quarters. It works like a charm. This is an all aluminum horse trailer, called the "Sport" horse model- 307 which had everything except an oven. David pulled the aluminum stalls and saddle rack out of the back and set that up as an office. He insulated it with marlite panelling in the back, installed an air conditioner back there as well and it's all set up as an office. He can walk from the front area, which has a queen size bed, 5' long sofa w/table, frig w/freezer, sink, range top and microwave, go through the roomy bathroom with separate shower (and actually enough room for him to stand up in as there's a skylight) through to the back and work in his office. It already had antenna hook- ups and he added a flat screen TV that folds back against the wall. It comes with a stereo system as well. He has plenty of room in the back for a 6' table, all the electrical "gizmos" for satellite hook-up, file storage, etc. This trailer is just under 29' and 7' wide. It can be cozy with 2 people (preferably married or very friendly!) but works great for this purpose, and you can't beat $250. per month payments. Monthly rates in RV parks have been around $600. which sure beats a motel room! A 1500HD pick up hauls it just fine.

We love to RV anyway and have used it to also haul a Goldwing motorcycle to the Blue Ridge Parkway for a week as well as scuba gear to the lake for a week-end of scuba diving. And it can even be used to haul horses if that's your thing (don't have any at the moment).

0
swink_d
Member
Member
Posts:96


--
08/13/2007 6:53 PM

It can be worth it.
But I am not committed to using it for all assignments. We use a 36 foot fifthwheel that allows us to set up two seperate offices, as both my wife and I work our own claims. Its nice to sleep in our own home, but its much easier on a smaller storm or in the winter time to just drive out and stay in a Suites.

I have never really thought of the RV as cost saver as much as it is a tool to get a job done more efficiently in most cases but not all .

Heres a Pix of 2005 in Florida

Attachments
0
Gale Hawkins
PowerClaim.com
Member
Member
Posts:386


--
08/14/2007 2:59 AM

Well with the price of gas being what it is any RV with an engine and a little age can be fairly “cheap” to purchase. After some strong encouragement from CADO regulars to balance my work and family time last month we picked up a 1993 Geogie Boy model Pursuit 3200 (32 foot) Class A motor home. They had the same basic external look from 1993-1999. While it is 14 years old with 90K miles and has sit outside most of its life the $7995 price tag was attention getting and it seems to be very solid and drives and handle wonderfully even at 70 MPH on a smooth highway. One big plus for me was that 16K miles ago it got new tires, a 4L80-E GM remanufactured/with updates transmission, all new shocks and the suspension air bags plus it has been serviced regularly and driven yearly so it has stayed fresh in a mechanical sense. As with most any 14 year old vehicle or mobile home there are some things that needs to be done so that is enabling me the chance at training the kids who are turning 10 next month in both home and vehicle repair. We are doing a deep cleaning of the inside now and just reinstalled the sofa/sleeper Sunday evening and then went to town in it to eat and top of the tank with 50+ gallons of gas at $2.54 a gallon. When it cools up we will start on the outside detailing it.
 
I see the RV trailer as being very attractive for adjusters in long term storms. The A and C class motor homes require you tow your working vehicle unless two of you are going and both drive. There are cheaper ways of housing oneself or traveling the country so RV’s are more of a personal choice than a requirement. From what I can read after a couple years of debugging/customizing new ones they can be very dependable. Unlike with an RV trailer if they will not start and run you can’t move it by borrowing a friend’s truck.
 
While I am do not adjust I have been working from the RV some days since it is close enough to the house to get a fair internet connection and just use the cell phone for making calls but in my case I do a lot by email anyway.
 
The one thing I can already see is that if you do not know basic home and vehicle repair skills it could get very frustrating trying to work 16 hours a day and keep up a motor home. Ours has the older 30 AMP electrical service so load balancing is not an option plus you have to understand both AC and DC.  Ours is built on a 1992 P37 Chevy chassis with the 454 engine so parts and service for chassis issues are available at most any shop. The P30 series is basically a 3500 series Chevy one ton truck without a cab and the controls are all moved forward. I do like the 19.5 wheels. They take the “bump” out of the Wal-Mart speed bumps.
 
In our case having a road worthy self contained unit gives us a back up power source and mobile office should disaster strike our home base. The real reason is for the RV is to hit the road with the family but there is the need to apply logic after making an emotional decision they tell us. We are planning on doing the Grand Canyon and Rocky Mountains next summer after some short trips this fall. We are trying to get out now at least once a week to go eat, shop and visit someone that lives at the dead end of a small road to build driving skills. It is much easier to drive than an old farm grain truck loaded but with the long tail you can smack a building or the gas pumps if you pull way like you are in the SUV. Unless it is rush hour parking at McDonald’s or most other restaurants parking is not an issue. I would say driving ours is similar to driving a long school bus. While you can drive them most places things will go better if you pick your parking spots in advance. The second owner had it 10 years and put 60K miles on it which included two trips to AK and never towed a car but I am sure they keep their side trips down to a minimum.
 
Some can’t back a RV trailer, some can’t handle an overloaded truck (as is the case with most all RV motor homes) and others can do both can just choose not to do so and look elsewhere to sleep. From years of observation most new adjusters should punt for hotels and show up with some basic transportation unless RV’ing is already part of your life style. Drop a transmission on the road and unless you just spent $100K on a new RV you better have $3K in cash or on a credit card or you are not going home with your belongings. My point is the stress level is high for any adjuster especially a new adjuster so the more things you can control the better things may go for you.
0
AGricks
Guest
Guest
Posts:1


--
08/14/2007 3:22 PM

Hey, I am Rob. I am using my wifes screen name. I bought an RV right after Wilma, which was my first storm. The RV does have advantages. First need to decide what kind, trailer, 5th wheel or class A or C. I have a travel trailer. I did find it difficult to find an RV park after Wilma in Jan 06. Snow birds bring their RVs here and live throughout the winter. Sometime, like when I bought mine, the dealership offers a membership to an RV club. I paid $300 or so. But I get into parks for as little as $8 a night. There are restrictions on when you can go and for how long. Some parks have wireless, either free or a minimal fee. I do not take mine everytime I go out. Sometimes (I live in Tampa) I can get everything coordinated in Miami where I am there only a day or two. A lot of times, I use it for a work / vacation. Went to the Keys last December. Picked up 10-12 claims, basically paid for the vacation. Storage... (I live in a HOA as well) in FL it will run 40-60 a month. Dean comes up, I will probably take it, being that the Snow birds won't be here until late Sept. Other than that, we look at it as home if storms do not come up frequently and we lose the house.

 

Rob

0
Tim_Johnson
Member
Member
Posts:243


--
08/15/2007 11:26 AM
Seven thousand Nine Hundred Ninety Five Dollars!!!? That Gale Hawkins dude sure is not an adjuster being able to throw that kind of money around! I betcha he is a wealthy software developer or something like that!
Tim Johnson
0
Gale Hawkins
PowerClaim.com
Member
Member
Posts:386


--
08/15/2007 11:36 AM

Tim I knew I should have limited my purchase price to Nine Hundred and Ninety Five Dollars so I did not stick out like a sore thumb.    Hey with all of the TD's working the busy  time may be about to roll.

0
SteveZ
Member
Member
Posts:66


--
08/15/2007 10:57 PM
I guess it all boils down to personal preferences, that's all... I understand the point about shelling out a bunch of money on something that you will only use to adjust in, but, for those of us who also vacation in our RV, it just makes good sense. I drove to Houston this week for a three day claims seminar, and stayed in the vendor's sponsor hotel... total of about $420.00 for three nights including tax... HECK, that's two month's RV Note on my 36' fifth wheel.

Shame on ME...
0
MarCat
Guest
Guest
Posts:2


--
08/19/2007 9:34 PM

Good website for research on living out of an RV is www.escapees.com   Several have posted their budget and findings on ins and outs of spending a lot of time in them.  Escapees was originated for those who uprooted and live in them full time. 

Martha

0
F Taylor
Guest
Guest
Posts:16


--
08/21/2007 4:52 PM

Before my first CAT deployment to Wilma I purchased a 24'5" NASH fifth wheel. I have no regrets other than maybe that I should have gotten the next size up. Not because I need more room but because it had the option of an internally mounted generator. I bought a Honda 3000 that sits in the back of the truck instead.

I pull it with a '97 Dodge 3/4 4x4 diesel that if I keep my foot out of it and stay around 65mph will get 13-15mpg. If I do 75mph it gets around 10-12 mpg. A 2x4 truck would work equally as well and probably cost less. The added traction of the 4x4 comes in handy manuvering around on uneven terrain or steep hills. I agree about taking extra fuel along. I carry at least four 6 gallon cans of diesel for the truck and two 6 gallon cans of gas for the generator.

Like others have said the advantages of having all your stuff packed and ready to go far out weigh the negatives. It's great to have all the personal supplies like clothes, toiletries, pots and pans, Bar-BQ grill, DVDs, music CDs, as well as the office supplies like copier, fax machine, paper, file cabinet, spare camera, extra tape measures, chalk, scope pads, reference material, ready to go.   Mine is stocked with at least one months worth of canned and packaged food and supplies so I don't have to look for food or grocery stores for some time. I load up on frozen items and perishables before I hit the road. When I travel I only keep about half a tank of water to save on weight. If I'm heading into a severely damaged area I can fill up at a truck stop before I get there.

It also great when on the road. I live in MO so Miami is a two day drive. With the fifth wheel I just pull into a rest area, cook dinner, and hit the sack.

One modification I want to make is the addition of more batteries and a solar charger. Last fall I was working Hail in the midwest. The temps were pretty chilly and it would have been nice to have been able to run the gas furnace all night at the rest area without running a generator. I'd also like to mount a ladder rack on top.

I opted for the regular table and chairs as opposed to the booth/dinette. Works better as an office table.

0
SteveZ
Member
Member
Posts:66


--
08/21/2007 6:05 PM
Forrest:

I would suggest NOT putting the ladder on the roof. Any mounting method up there WILL cause leaks. Law of gravity kicks in.

0
SteveZ
Member
Member
Posts:66


--
08/21/2007 6:09 PM

Found a more accurate depiction of my floor plan.  Note the bedroom slide at the front, and the office in the rear.

Attachments
0
F Taylor
Guest
Guest
Posts:16


--
08/21/2007 6:54 PM
Posted By Steve Zibilich on 08/21/2007 6:05 PM
Forrest:

I would suggest NOT putting the ladder on the roof. Any mounting method up there WILL cause leaks. Law of gravity kicks in.


I thought about that. It already has a rack on the rear of the roof  that would be more than adequate for a ladder. I just need to get another mounted further forward. The one currently up there is bolted down and the bolts and brackets are sealed with rubber caulking.

What I do right now is strap the extention ladder to the ladder on the rear of the 5th wheel. It works but limits the size ladder I can carry. 

0
F Taylor
Guest
Guest
Posts:16


--
08/21/2007 6:55 PM

Looks like yours has quite a bit of room.

0
okclarryd
Veteran Member
Veteran Member
Posts:954


--
08/26/2007 8:43 PM
I was introduced to the RV world via Katrina claims. Nooo place to stay.

Since then, I've bought a sold a couple of RV's and presently have a 30 ft 5th wheel with a 13ft slide. Perfect for me and my wife.

I can understand the reality of staying in a motel or RV. I don't think I would take my trailer to Chicago for a windstorm in October but wouldn't hesitate to take it to Florida or Texas for a similar storm.

It just depends on where you want to stay and how available an RV park is to the storm area.

And, as was pointed out, the deployments seem to be getting shorter. A motel may be the better choice.
Larry D Hardin
0
SteveZ
Member
Member
Posts:66


--
09/09/2007 12:07 AM

A few more thoughts. 

To those who question the size of tow vehicle...  Simple physics dictate that if you have a 40foot fifth wheel, you don't try to pull it with a Nissan pickup.  My 36 foot fifth wheel tows just fine behind the 1500HD (which is actually a 3/4 ton truck, according to the specs from Chevy).  Total scale weight of my truck/trailer combo is just around 18,000 pounds loaded.  It is within the total limits with about 12% to spare.  If I don't tailgate or try to "Indy Car" drive the setup, it is just fine.

To those questioning the "cost" of owning a fifth wheel trailer... If you use it for vacations and travel, not only for work, i think it is worth it.  Like another post stated, "the deployments are getting shorter".    Maybe for some, but I haven't stopped since 2004... literally. 

The "cost" of one month travel trailer ownership for me is $230.00 plus park fees of about $300.00 per month for a total of $530.00 per month.   If I were to stay at the RatBag Inn for $199.00 per week, that would be $796.00 per month.   I would also guess that if I were to rent a condo or apartment, the monthly rent would run at least $900.00, PLUS utilities, deposits, and aquisition of furniture, dishes, etc.  My RV has all the comforts of home built right in. 

Then there's the cost of food.  If you stay in the RatBag Inn, chances are you will be eating "out" every night, some mornings and some mid-day meals.  This costs WAY more than keeping my RV fridge and pantry filled with food.  I can pack a lunch every morning, after I eat MY Cheerios, and come home to cook my dinner right there.  

Yes, fuel may cost a bit more to get TO the cat site and HOME when it's over, but I will also be saving fuel by not having to go OUT to eat here and there every day.  Over the span of a three month deployment, the extra $300.00 in total additional fuel costs would be absorbed in savings from travelling to restaurants every day (or at least close to it).

FINALLY, as stated before...  If you ever walked from the bathroom area of a motel to the front door in white socks, they will not be white socks for long.  I know exactly WHO has been sleeping in my bed, showering in my tub, and sitting on my throne.  You don't know WHO or WHAT has been doing these things (and much more) in the RatBag Inn.  Added to this, my workspace is in the rear section of the RV, I don't have to travel back and forth to the cat office every day, thus saving fuel costs.  And when all is said and done, I can take the whole family on vacation, knowing that they will be comfortable and safe from those creepy/crawly motel critters...

Just my two cents worth...

Z

 

 

0
ChuckDeaton
Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1110


--
12/27/2008 9:40 PM
Just a thought on working out of an RV. Currently I am in South Louisiana working Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ivan claims. Knowing my mind set I know that I would not have stayed this long had I had to live in a motel.

Jim Davidson and I bought this unit before Katrina, lived in it and made money, Jim went on to buy a 5th wheel and I am living in the motor home. Based on our experience our business plan has changed, we drive diesel pickups with transfer tanks, we get on site early and plan on picking up claims that others have abandoned due to the rigors of living in a motel far off site and not being able to find fuel. Katrina was the perfect case study for this business plan and it has worked well since.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
0
ChuckDeaton
Life Member
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts:1110


--
12/27/2008 9:41 PM
Maybe I meant Ike claims not Ivan.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
0
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Page 2 of 3 << < 123 > >>


These Forums are dedicated to discussion of Claims Adjusting.

For the benefit of the community and to protect the integrity of the ecosystem, please observe the following posting guidelines: 
  • No Advertising. 
  • No vendor trolling / poaching. If someone posts about a vendor issue, allow the vendor or others to respond. Any post that looks like trolling / poaching will be removed.
  • No Flaming or Trolling.
  • No Profanity, Racism, or Prejudice.
  • Terms of Use Apply

    Site Moderators have the final word on approving / removing a thread or post or comment.
U SCOPE...  Estimate Smarter.  Faster.  More Efficiently