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This subject pops up every now and then in the Internet forums where I hang about on a regular basis. It may be a post titled "Is your Class A a Money pit?" or "A motor home costs a whole lot more than you think it does!" The people who post these kinds of entries may or may not really have a problem with what a coach or any other large RV may cost. They might just be bored. It's Sunday night and the DW is watching "Desperate Housewives", so there is nothing better for them to do than post some sad story about how broke owning a coach is making them.

The last time I saw one of these threads, I responded to it. I said that owning a motor coach is like having kids. You make a huge financial investment, with no return, but they make lots of good memories, are good for the soul, and will greatly improve one's life if you let them.

I believe the RV lifestyle is underappreciated by most people who are not part of it and also by some who are. Becoming a Motor Coacher has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me and my wife. Has owning one depleted my bank account? I suppose it has, but then, maybe not.

I might have put away the money that I spend each month paying for my coach. I might have put away the money I spend on trips, including gas and food and camping fees, but I doubt it. I would have spent all of my trip and fuel money on airplane tickets, hotel rooms and cruise ships, or something else. The chances are that even if I did save it, a lot of the money could still have disappeared without me spending a dime of it.

The present economic situation has poked a whole lot of holes in a lot of financial balloons. I just try to take advantage of what our coach can do for us. I may have to spend money on gas, a new water pump to replace a squirting frozen one, new wiper blades to replace frozen ones, a new water filter to replace a cracked and frozen one, but considering what our coach does for us it is worth it.

I can tell you this that minus the monthly payment, the two weeks and two days I just spent in Florida, which included eight nights at Disney World, didn't cost us much at all. Not when compared to what two weeks would have cost staying in fancy hotels and eating out. I wish I could have stayed there a lot longer. Responsibilities called me home.

Home is a very subjective word when you own a motor coach. Home is where my coach is. I felt quite at home in Fort Wilderness. As a matter of fact, the guard who checked us in said, "Welcome home, Mr. Parker."

It was home. We spent New Year's Eve in Saint Augustine and the next day climbed a lighthouse. My daughter was there and my son-in-law and my grandson. My wife was there and so was Teddy Bear. I had my favorite DVDs, my favorite beer, my favorite books, some of them anyway, and the things I like to eat the most. I also had great cable TV.

At night we listened to music coming from the Disney Parks. We also heard the fireworks and, if we walked a little ways from our site, could see them, just over the tops of the trees. If we wanted to ride the monorail, we did. If we wanted to take a boat ride, we did that, too. We went to one park, and saw Cirque Du Soleil, followed by sushi at Wolfgang Pucks. We pin traded, we took Teddy to the Waggin Tails Dog Park. We basked in the 70-degree sunshine. We even had the pleasure of spending time with our friends Gary and Janis. What could be better than that?

It was wonderful. It was wonderful until we had to say good-bye. We had to say good-bye to the warmth of our surroundings, our friends and our family. We said good-bye and then made our way back north. We came back to the cold, to work and to our son, daughter and grandsons, whom we missed a lot.

It won't be long before we take our motorhome back out on the road and enjoy another great trip. We will make new friends and see new places.

So, I don't worry about "depreciation" I try to appreciate the emotional and spiritual return I get from my poor financial investment. I hope that all my fellow Coachers and RVers do the same.



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GRAMPS: As a full-timer, I can fully agree with you about 'depreciation' versus 'appreciation'! A quick story from my files.....

Late last winter, or was it then early Spring?, I suggested to my son and daughter (both Duke U. grads) that we go to Jacksonville for the early rounds of the NCAA Basketball tourney--Duke was to play there. It was too short a notice so that was a non-event, but the next day my son called me and said, "Hey, Dad, I forget that you can move your 'house' wherever you want to. Want do you think about taking your two grandsons to the Final Four in Indianapolis?". Of course, we didn't know then that Duke would make the Final Four, but since the boys would be out of school (the tourney took place over Easter Weekend), my son figured they could drive up from Washington, DC, and we could all hang out in Camelot House (the name given to my Monaco Camelot 43 foot Class A) and go to the games. I jumped online, found tickets, booked a campground near Indianapolis, and we watched Duke win another title for Coach K. My 14 year old and my 11 year old grandsons had a great time in the display/interactive area called Bracket Town....we included the other set of grandparents who came up for the tourney at Easter Sunday Dinner in the campground...and the memories? As the MasterCard ad says, "Priceless"! The whole family will never forget the golden memories created because my 'house' is my RV which can go wherever we want it to go!!

Depreciation? I DON'T THINK SO!

Rich Halverson



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You do not loose any money till you sell your coach.I am not a full timer but bought my first new motorhome last May and I could go and check every day on rv trader and look to see how much my coach is worth today.But life is short and there are better things to worry about .I have traveled by RVs since 1994 and have some great memories with my kids that money could never buy.I love to travel in a motorhome and have since 2004.It is just me and the wife now and we going to places that we went went with the kids years ago. Also New places like this year we went to the Outer Banks, Willliamsburg and Gulf Coast in Alabama.We are snowed in hear in Ohio and coach in storage till the end of March . We are planning on visiting our daughter in Myrtle Beach for a week at the end of March . These forms are a great way to get through the winter.

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Who cares about depreciation! Both my kids want to live their lives independently, even if one is sitll at home and the other one still thinking of where he want to go from now on (he is curently traveling for a full year through South America), but when I suggest we take a trip with the RV, they are always ready. That's something that has no value, and definetly an accumulation of memories that will last.

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