DH and I spent the entire July 4th holiday weekend driving out to Michigan, picking up our brand new (left over 2017 model) RV Hummingbird Jayco Model 17RB and then hauling it back home to New York. If we had purchased this same exact model in New York, it would have cost us $22,000. If we had purchased it in Florida, it would have cost us $20,000 BUT by buying it and picking it up in Michigan (thus eliminating any destination or delivery fees PLUS it was a leftover, year end model) we got the unit for $14,800 (and this includes a $218 make-ready fee, which was fine with us because New York wanted to charge us a $1,000 make-ready fee).
The entire round trip for us cost us $394 cash for gas, breakfast and dinner (3 each) and a $99 hotel fee for the first night before we picked up our RV. Once we got our RV we boondocked all the way back home. We financed this purchase because we’re not fully retired (more on DH’s so-called retirement later on) AND since we still own two homes, I don’t want to touch our cash reserves just yet. So, what we did was pay off our previous zero-interest charge cards (due to remodeling and new furniture costs) to the tune of $13,097.89 to make ready for this new loan. I know, I know, I know, we’re not supposed to go into debt when this close to retirement but here’s my justification:
There is no justification. No excuses. What we did makes perfect financial sense to DH and myself. We exchanged one debt for another, all payable within our monthly passive income should a calamity come our way. Both our homes and both our cars are paid for. Other than what I mentioned, we have no debt. The interest we are paying on the RV loan is tax deductible (as it’s considered a 2nd home). I consider this a lateral move with no stress whatsoever on our budget. The loan has no pre-payment penalty so if DH decides to sell his car, or we sell one of our homes, the debt will be paid off in full.
The only negative thing that happened with the loan was this: I was quoted, in writing (thankfully) the length, term and monthly cost of my loan, $142 per month. Naturally, when I got to sign the financial papers, the quote was changed to $162. I was told that that was because they couldn’t give me a 12 year loan as promised. They could only do a 10 year loan. Granted, yes, the salesman told me I should be happy because my loan would be paid off quicker. A light bulb moment went off in my head. NO! I said. You’re making me pay $2,400 more over the life of the loan! Then I made the light bulb connection……..MY AGE………I’m 66 and the bank wants its money back ASAP. To make a long story short, I showed the salesman my quote. That’s the reason, I told him, I’m here buying the RV. Honor it or I’m gone…….They honored it. End of story.
If anyone out there has ever applied for an RV loan, it’s one of the most difficult loans to get. Why? Because RVs are considered luxury items. The salesman told me I had an excellent credit score (near800) and I told him I am a fanatic with paying off my debts on time and in full as much as possible. I have graphs and spreadsheets and calendar reminders….I’m a nut…….But having that great score opened up a brand new door for DH and myself. Now, we can finally get to travel all over the United States, plus Canada, and a convoy trip to Alaska. My friends back in Newport RI keep clamoring and asking when I’ll be back. Our family in California and Colorado keep asking us when we will be there to visit with them. Paying for airfare, hotels (think:bedbugs) and worrying about my dog has been such a drag since I gave up my previous RV two years ago. I worked the numbers and because there is so much DH and I want to see and do, going back to RVing was our only thrifty solution. Our main goal is to travel cross country and see the National Parks, especially The Grand Canyon and Zion National Park.
Now we can.
Here are some quick iPhone shots I took of our new RV. It’s only 17 ft long. As I said, if you go small (like DH and I always do) you can have it all. Don’t mind all the tags hanging down. The oven is a microwave/convection that also triples as a grill. Sweet. We have an interior flat screen TV (DH has to hook it up) and indoor/outdoor (bluetooth & USB) stereo music AM & FM radio and CD/DVD player. The bed is queen size. We have a full separate bathroom in the back with sink, shower stall and toilet (not those all-in-one toilet/shower combos……ewwwwww!) We have tons of space (even a linen closet in the bathroom). The unit is solar ready (for when we boondock) also has an outdoor shower (for when we party hardy at the beach), an outdoor hook up for a flat screen TV with satellite and cable and it has an outdoor gas grill. The electric awning has multi-color flashing LED lights if we want to turn the RV into a disco (tee hee….thinking seriously about that!) and we have one slide-out which makes the kitchen/eating area a bit more roomier.
You’ll have to excuse me for now. DH and I are exhausted. I need to sleep now. DH has to go back to work tomorrow. Oh, which BTW, they are so happy with the quality of his work, the company made DH the project manager. This means he got an instant raise PLUS a sign-on bonus, which went right into The Grand Canyon Fund. DH has once again delayed his so-called retirement, which as long as he continues to stay healthy, is fine with me. He’s happy. And our bank account is super happy. Go figure!