We did it… we bought our new home! For the last few months we’ve been wandering around RV dealerships and trying to decide which floor plan and basic features we wanted, and it’s all finally come to fruition.
We were really drawn to a specific floor plan with a separate bedroom in the back, which would allow one person to sleep while the other was in the front working. It seems like a silly thing, but our year-long stint in a San Francisco mini-studio taught us that while we can survive having little to no space, it’s paramount to our collective sanity that we’re able to accommodate our different sleep schedules.
Another issue we’ve been looking for in an RV is multiple workspaces. These rigs have all the trappings of a tiny home (kitchen, shower, microwave), but we spend an inordinate amount of time on our computers, so we wanted at least three possible places to work. In the floor plan we chose, I work at the dinette table, Kali mostly works in the bed above the cab (it was hard to find one tall enough so he could sit!), and either of us can relocate to the bed in the back with our lap desk at will. Pretty efficient!
Once we settled on this model, the next issue we faced was finding a used one within our timeframe (perhaps arrogantly sure of our selves, we gave our 30-day notice before truly starting to look). Having no luck in that arena (despite opening our search to most of Southern California), we eventually settled on a new option from a dealership that had been quite accommodating to our incessant questions and nervous test-driving.
Armed with our previously-unused bargaining skills and the internet knowledge that one could conceivably get up to 30% off the MSRP for a new RV, we spent an entire day (suggestion: eat a huge breakfast and bring food!) haggling and negotiating and reassuring each other when the salesperson left to talk to his “boss.” Kali and I tried to play good cop/bad cop, but we weren’t really sure who had which role. I got nervous partway through and almost buckled under the salesperson’s scorn (“I’ve never heard an offer so low!”), but we played it cool and the boss eventually came out and conceded that we “knew our stuff.” Well done, internetz, you’ve prepared us well. We managed to shear 28.5% off the MSRP, so we left feeling cautiously pleased with ourselves, albeit mildly terrified that we’d just made the largest purchase yet in our lives and so hungry we were on the verge of passing out.
We thought that choosing Mayhem (yes, we dubbed her Mayhem) and settling on a price would be the biggest hurdle, but apparently we didn’t take into account how difficult it is to get approved for an RV loan. They’re “luxury recreational” items (hey, that’s my home you’re talking about!) and apparently the fear is that you could drive them out of the country and disappear. Loan security fail. At one point a loan officer actually told us it would be easier to get a loan to buy a private plane, which sounded tempting for about a nanosecond. After begging and pleading with every loan agency possible to give us a loan, we finally tricked a local San Diego credit union into thinking us trustworthy despite our paltry credit history (I’m sorry, but if I lived so extravagantly that I needed the requisite FIVE lines of credit with FIVE years of history on each by age 25, wouldn’t that make me a LESS reliable financial bet?). Oh, also, fun tip — for some obscure reason the powers-that-be have determined that student loans don’t count as loans, so your having paid them off reliably for years is absolutely worthless in this context. Anyway, I don’t know if it was our great credit scores or horrifyingly high down payment that was the kicker, but thank you obscure little credit union!
But that’s all in the past — we pick up Mayhem in a week and will park her outside our apartment complex while we pack and clean and acclimate. Once Mayhem is parked, we’ve got exactly one week (until street cleaning rolls around again) to choose the possessions we need and liberate the rest!
UPDATE: Here are some pics! 🙂