Lots of Updates!
Everyone we talked to and followed on YouTube recommended purchasing the fifth wheel before you buy the truck, so you know how much truck you need. We disagreed due to our financial situation. Being younger, and not owning a home, we knew there was no point in buying a 5th wheel if we couldn’t secure a truck to pull it with. The truck was not the easiest to find but…
On February 23rd we found Ahn-J (our new truck!). He was listed on a website for Cable Dahmer Chevrolet in Independence, MO. We called them at 6:30 the night we saw the add (they closed at 8pm), and asked if they still had this truck. They did, and we said we would drive out that night if they were staying open until 8pm. They actually stayed late that night helping us close the deal. Ahn-J is a 2014 Silverado 3500HD LTZ Diesel Dually, and fully ready to tow anything we can afford. We named him Ahn-J because it was the last four letters of his temporary license tag, and John could not stop calling him “Ahn-J the Giant.” The previous owner took great care of it, and towed with it as well. We still have to get the 5th wheel hitch placed in the truck bed, but then he’s ready to tow.
Several similar trucks from around the country had sold out from under us, even after john offered to drive ten hours to buy them. This dealership however, was only 30 minutes away. We test drove the truck, quickly realized the dealership had not noticed half the upgrades done by the previous owner, and drove the truck home that night. John now has a 21.5 foot diesel dually that litterally took the whole driveway (length and width). This truck can easily handle about 99% of the 5th wheel’s on the market with ease. Lucky for us, it was also built to be a comfortable ride.
Our first viewing of 5th wheels occurred at Olathe Ford RV. It left us with an awful feeling about RV shopping. We felt like the staff either assumed we knew nothing about 5th wheels, or had dealt with so many RVs that they just weren’t keeping them all straight. They didn’t listen to anything we told them, and showed us several that we had no interest in. They actually tried to convince us that fixing the entire undercarriage of a 5th wheel, which was falling through to the ground, would be cheap and easy. They expected us to pay $44,000 for the 2013 Cedar Creek 36RE with exterior damage, and cheap furniture that clearly wasn’t stock. We had seen several similar RVs in nearly perfect condition for approximately $40,000 online that didn’t need massive repairs, we were less than motivated to buy it. During the two visits (we were nice and gave them a second chance) they continued to show us 5th wheels that didn’t meet our criteria or budget, and insisted on pushing new fivers that were very poor quality instead. In the end, we decided we could not trust purchasing a 5th wheel from people that wouldn’t listen to us. How could we trust that they would fix the kinks that all new 5th wheels come with?
After Olathe we went to an RV show at the Overland Park Convention Center. We were able to view a few fifth wheels there. Four were way out of our budget, but one was very close and super comfortable. It was a Blue Ridge 3025RL, 35 foot 5th wheel! The layout was absolutely perfect. We might have purchased it then if we had had all of our ducks in a row.
Our friends Mike and Jess came back to Kansas City, from Minneapolis, and we took them up to Camping World of Kansas City. There we all got to see some of the 5th wheels we were interested in, and learned about the appealing financial aspects of owning a 5th wheel. At the end of the day it was so great to have such close friends take a minute to learn with us and really encourage us to go for it. Also, the people at Camping world listened to us, were knowledgeable, and actually cared about helping us get what we wanted.
Interesting financial things we have learned about RV-ing:
1. Interest from the loan payments can be a tax write off because it is considered a second home.
2. You can also write off some of the expenses if you have an LLC and use it for your traveling business (keep your receipts).
3. Veterans get amazing benefits like free or discount camping on government land, better RV sales, and free RV club memberships.
4. If you finance an RV you are not applying for a home or vehicle loan, it is completely separate. If you secure a loan above 50k you can get up to a 20 year rate. This will lower your payments but raise the interest. Again, the interest is tax deductible as a second home.
Today our website launched and can be viewed publicly!!! Exciting. We are working on the typos, so if they bug you let us know and we will fix them,
We are continuing to sell or give away 95% of our stuff. We have dedicated a room in our house for storing things that will be used for the fifth wheel only and are not being using right now. At first it was really difficult to let go of things we no longer used or didn’t need, but it gets easier. The more you sell, the easier it becomes. Suddenly you start to wonder why you have so much stuff, and why you’ve been hauling it around for so long.