Jan 282016

I get a lot of e-mails from RVers and wannabe RVers. Most of the time they are nice folks with legitimate questions and I try my best to answer them with advice, or if I don’t know the answer I try to point them in the direction of somebody who does. But sometimes I just have to shake my head and ask myself, “What the heck are you thinking?”

I got two such e-mails in the last couple of days. One is from a couple who want to fulltime who said they are a family with four kids and three dogs. Unfortunately they have big dreams and no sense of reality. And no money. They told me they had read the book ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, which is actually a pretty good book on blogging, and were now coming to me for real-world advice on how to make money with a blog about their RV travels.

They said they need to make $3,000 a month with a blog and added that their biggest expense will be their combined RV and car payments, which total $1450. “We know that some people spend a lot more money, but we are minimalists,” they added.

I’m sorry, but you can’t make that kind of money with an RV blog, nor can you support your family, pay for fuel and insurance, campgrounds, and other expenses on $1550 a month.

I’ve been RVing and blogging for a very long time. And while I do know a couple of fulltime RVers who get by on not much over $1,000 a month, they are not making RV payments and they don’t have kids to feed and clothe. When I replied and told this couple that, their answer was that, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and we will leave it in God’s hands.” Yeah, well I’m not sure God can help you out with that one, folks.

And as for their plan to make $3,000 a month with their blog, I’m sorry, but it’s not going to happen. For the last two or three years, this blog has had over 770,000 hits annually, and I don’t make $3,000 a month with it. There are thousands of RV blogs out there, some of them very good, but I don’t know of any blogger who is supporting themselves with just a blog. I’m afraid these people are in for a big letdown.

My other e-mail was from somebody complaining that the credit union I recommended he finance his RV purchase with is trying to rip him off. It seems that he is on some kind of disability income and his wife works. When they got their RV loan they added credit life/disability insurance, which will pick up their payments if an illness or injury makes it impossible to work, or will pay off the loan if the person is permanently disabled or dies. They bought the RV in November and now they are mad because the disability insurance won’t pay the loan off.

I’m sorry, it doesn’t work that way. You can’t reasonably expect the credit union to let you have something for nothing. And a pre-existing disability does not qualify under any credit life/disability insurance policy I have ever heard of. It may come into play if his wife, whose income was certainly taken into consideration when the loan was granted, becomes unable to work, but what this fellow expects is totally unrealistic.

Speaking of money and banking and credit unions and such, yesterday we stopped at Books-A-Million down in Gulf Shores, and when I went to check out, my debit card was declined. Hmmm… that’s strange. I used a different card to pay for the purchase and then called my credit union to ask what was going on and discovered that and my account had been hacked. We are in southern Alabama and there were charges in North Carolina and Tennessee totaling over $700. We have not been to either state in well over a year.

So they blocked the account and are sending me a new card by express mail. The credit union representative told me that the charges will be disputed, so hopefully everything will work out okay.

It’s Thursday, and time to kick off a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an autographed copy of John and Kathy Huggins newly updated and expanded So, You Want to be an RVer?: Celebrating the RV Lifestyle. This is the guide to RVing that every wannabe, newbie, and veteran RVer should have on their bookshelf. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Tent camping couple romantic sitting by bonfire night countryside

Thought For The Day When all is said and done, a lot more is said than is ever done.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  16 Responses to “I’m Sorry, You Can’t”

  1. They say if you are going to dream, then dream big but sheesh! I don’t know how you keep your sanity at times, Nick.

  2. Isn’t if fun when people ask for advice, then when you give them the truth, they get hissy and tell you off!

  3. Oops, wrong spot. I agree it must be hard to keep you’re sanity. Keep your sense of humor. Which reminds me we haven’t heard from Bad Nick for quite a while.

  4. Good advice on the wanna be bloggers. And I will say “you too” on the debit card? I was also compromised on my credit card down here. Looks like its becoming pretty prevalent here in Gulf Shores area. I have been compromised at least 5 times while being on the road and I think its been three times here in Gulf Shores.

  5. Please keep mentioning this impossible dream stuff every once in a while. I consistently read several rv forums. There seems to be a post weekly from someone that wants to fulltime with kids, 5 dogs and no $$. Where did they get the idea that this is the answer to their living situation? You are probably too nice with your responses. They need to move to a smaller apartment, get a job and save $$. Those of us that fulltime don’t do this because it’s cheaper, we wanted to travel and see things we weren’t able to when working and raising our kids.

  6. Some birds like sparrows, robins, terns and many others with the drive to forage/find food. Then there are the falcons, owls, eagles and others who have the speed, eye sight, talons-beaks to capture their food.

    However, buzzards hope for the gratuity of road-kill and/or leftovers from the falcons, owls, eagles………….

  7. I agree with Jan W. Plus leaving things like this in God’s hands is totally absurd.

  8. So agree with this post. It seems like every other day there is a post on one of the RV forums saying hey want to live in an RV and wanting to know if they can do it for $800 a month. They don’t have an RV, they have no savings, no RV experience, etc. Someone tries to bring up a list of reasonable costs and immediately gets labeled as a troublemaker just trying to take away someone’s dreams. Several will jump in and say they do it on the same amount or less per month and it is downhill from here on. Unfortunately, those same people never give a really good picture of how they make it on that kind of money. They don’t tell exactly what they spend their money on and what they are doing without….like health insurance, vehicle insurance, etc. And never mention that not everyone is cut out to sit out in the desert with no hookups, no solar, no generator, etc. Most of the groups have had to ban the “GoFundMe” requests begging for money because they have broken down and have no where else to go because they jumped in without any thought or planning or realistic dreams. Maybe they will listen to someone like you.

  9. I suspect that the kind of people Nick mentions in his blog (specifically the young couple with kids) are so unhappy with their current life/situation, and they are so desperate for a change, that they grab at whatever straw they think they can get their hands on. It’s kind of sad if you stop and think about it. However, I’m sure it’s that kind of impractical thinking that got them in their current situation.

    Sometimes you just can’t fix stupid. 🙁

  10. Nick
    Was the credit card you use a chip and pin type credit card (best )or a standard debit card (poor) Seems like you had that same problem back in Oregon
    It’s a real big scam where they bumped up against you with a card reader and I get all that information off it
    With a chip and pin card that cannot happen
    Your case best bet is to carry cash protected by Kimber and her 10 best friends

  11. Speaking of the disability… I used to sell real estate. A couple came to me to hunt for a house. When trying to qualify their income to assess their shopping range, they were evasive but said “we are getting a raise soon too”. So I hauled them to the bank to get pre-qualified. Turns out that neither parent works, so no income. How do they live? Well…. they have three teens, two of which they got labeled “learning disabled” and collect two disability checks for the teens…. and their third child will soon be officially labeled and will collect more money, hence their “raise”! (I met those kids, they seemed like normal everyday teenagers who can function just fine) Soooo the banker looked them right in the eye and said: “You want a 30 year mortgage based on income derived from teenagers disability who will soon all be 18 and out of the house? How will you pay for the mortgage then?” They had no answers. Neither did I. Geesh! Some people.

  12. Thanks for your blog I have learned a lot from your blog and many other blogs
    This is my second week off full timing Thanks Nick

  13. Good grief…this getting credit cards hacked is becoming epidemic!! We had one that has NEVER had an issue hacked in Dec…while we were in Israel even…great timing!! NOT!! Very frustrating…was telling my hubby today I wonder how long we will even have credit cards anymore…they are becoming such a problem!! Glad at least you can easily prove where you have not been…ours fortunately was also in a state we have not been in, in a great many years!!

  14. My card was compromised last year. Many sources told me not to ever use it at the pump of a gas station–always go indoors. It’s toooo easy for scammers to put a card reader on an outdoor pump, then simply drive thru again a bit later to remove it and scoop up all the data. Go inside to pay. Especially we Rvers who gas up continuously!

  15. To the family with the 4 kids and 3 dogs, I’d tell them “God is providing alright. He (or She, if you’re so inclined) is providing for you right now through the sound advice you’re getting from people like Nick. Listen to ’em!” Dreams are good; delusions are not.

    I’ve been on the road for 8 years. When I first started out, I could supplement my income from writing very easily. That was when RV print magazines paid several hundred dollars per article. Those days are pretty much over. Unless these folks have a new angle to grab and keep readers, they’ll be lucky to make 20 bucks a month. There are plenty of folks already blogging about their RV adventures with kids and dogs. What’s the market for another one? Except for the grandparents, probably about zero. Sorry to throw cold water on their dream, but hey, better to hear it now that to find out the truth when you’re broken down and broke in Podunk, USA.

    My advice to them: Pay off most of that debt before hitting the road. Get a temporary second job if you have to. Squirrel away at least $1,000 for those “more month than money” times, because THAT’S when the car will break down, the slideouts won’t close or the dog gets sick! Guaranteed to happen, and more than once!

    Scour the ‘net for every frugal living tip you can find. One of my favorites is Dollar Stretcher. Another good site for novel ways to make a couple extra bucks (note I wrote “extra,” not “main source of income”) is Pennyhoarder.

    Have a Plan B (and no, I don’t mean a way to avoid having a fifth kid!) Sign up with a couple temp agencies before hitting the road, for example. You might get lucky with Workamping, although with this much kid-and-dog baggage, most private campgrounds wouldn’t bring you on board.

    I wish them the best.

  16. We knew we wanted to do this “nomad” lifestyle, but we also knew we had to unload the kids first!!! Sent the last one off to Uncle Sam (aka “the navy”) sold the house, bought a gently used camper, put the rest into savings and off we went…..in our 2 years, we have touched our savings ONCE….our car decided to die on us, so our down payment came from savings…..it’s a used Suburban. We have three expenses: car payment and cell phone bill are monthly, and insurance that we pay twice a year. We work and live comfortably, but we are not getting rich!

    I cannot imagine throwing kids into the mix!!!!

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