Manhattan Couple Ditch Apartment, RV Buy. Was it worth it?
When Jess Glazer and husband Mike DeRose traded in their Manhattan apartment for a 40-foot camper van last fall, they envisioned crisscrossing the United States, camping near peaceful lakes and mountain streams. Last week, via Zoom, Ms. Glazer showed me the Arizona RV park where they’ve been parked since the start of the year.
“It looks like a parking lot,” she said, examining the vast expanse of gravel filled with hundreds of motorhomes. “Well it is is a parking.
Like many young professionals, Ms. Glazer and Mr. DeRose fled Manhattan during the pandemic for greener pastures. Only in their case, the new location can change every week or every day. After leaving last October, the so-called “digital nomads” raced down the East Coast before heading west through Alabama, Texas and Arizona. And life on the road is nothing like what they envisioned.
Motorhome life has many advantages over living in Manhattan, they say. It’s cheaper, for one. They rented a 1,100 square foot two bedroom apartment in Hell’s Kitchen for $ 5,800 a month. Now they are paying $ 2,000 per month in loan for their $ 412,000 Tiffin Phaeton. Even taking into account insurance, fuel, and site fees of around $ 700 per month, their expenses are about half of what they were in New York City. “We’re saving a lot of money,” says DeRose.
Although the RV is around 450 square feet, they’ve shared small apartments in Manhattan before, so it doesn’t look like a squeeze, they say. Plus, the RV includes features their city digs never had – a washer and dryer, heated floors, a central vacuum, and four built-in TVs. “It’s so silly!” Mrs. Glazer said. “We don’t even watch TV.”