A nice lady living in the Northern part of the Eastern United States set me this email looking for help. To keep her personal info private I left some parts out.
I will be selling my condo in MA (hopefully it will sell) within the next few months which should leave me with a decent chunk of money, but that's all I have in the world. I would love to do a "trial" of Vanaboding, having never even camped before. Here are some important facts about my life: I have family obligations remaining in MA so I will need to return here once a month for a week or so each time. I will also work here in MA during that time, one weekend a month, at least initially). I plan to take my grandchildren with me on a few trips over the summer so traveling with little ones is part of the plan for quite a few years to come. I remain uncertain about what type of vehicle to buy. Does a class B make the most sense, initially ? If so, would you recommend buying used ? Or should I go immediately for the van and set it up with two bunk beds ? I will say that spending all of the money right away makes me nervous. Well, I think that is the scenario in a nutshell. I look forward to your take on it.
If you have $600 a month in income you can pay for food/gas/lodging (sleeping in van). So cash flow is important plus you need to cover health insurance. Besides that, a Class B is a great idea but do NOT buy brand new unless you plan on financing it and the payments can be stretched out so far that you plan on dying before paying it off. I would recommend a 2 to 5 year old WELL MADE Class B like an Airstream, Coachmen, or Winnebago at about half the price of new. IMPORTANT! If you buy a class B you will NOT be able to camp free some places. But if your budget allows (or you prefer to be in legally free or paid campgrounds anyway) then it will not matter - Class B OR Vanabode.
I published this website on the different kinds of rv's and this page of RV types
will help you also.
Make sure you read over the VAN chapter in the book and if you decide to GIVE up some of the Vanabode advantages make sure you get what you want in return. Remember especially that it is MUCH easier to get out of a VANABODE than it is to get out of a Class B or any other type RV if you don't want to do it any more.