Many have dreams of buying an RV. Whether you plan on living in an RV full-time or if you are only interested in the occasional getaway, there are many ways for you to afford one so that you can start living your RV dream.
One of the many factors holding back a potential RV er is that they are unsure if they can afford the RV lifestyle.
The answer: Yes! Do research, prepare finances, and above all, be realistic.
There are four main components that go into affording the RV lifestyle. By evaluating them, you can determine how much money you need to save or earn. These include setting an RV budget, creating a monthly travel budget, finding ways to save money while on the road, and lastly, earning money on the road.
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Be realistic about your RV budget.
There are many options when it comes to RV types, starting with choosing motorized or towable. Motorized come in three types: Type A, Type B, Type C, depending upon the size and layout that fits your style. If you already own a suitable tow vehicle (pickup truck or SUV) consider a travel trailer, fifth wheel, folding camping trailer or truck camper. For those who don’t want to tow or move their RV frequently, there are park models. Prices can vary greatly, which makes it a good idea to analyze the various options to see what is best for your budget. To learn the difference between RV types, go here.
Create a monthly travel budget.
Creating a budget doesn’t end with the RV purchase. Just like home, also think about what you spend each month on everything else.
Some fixed expenses you will want to calculate include how much you will spend on:
• RV payment (if you have one)
• Food – groceries and restaurants
• Gas or diesel
• Campground fees
• Health insurance
• Household items such as toilet paper, soap, etc.
• RV insurance
• RV maintenance and repairs
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Find ways to save.
There are many ways to save money so that you can afford the RV lifestyle. Just because another RVer spends a lot of money doesn’t mean that everyone has to spend the same. In fact, most RVers have quite affordable budgets and are still able to enjoy their time on the road.
The many different ways to save money include:
• Choose campgrounds and RV parks that only have amenities you plan to take advantage of during your stay. Generally, the more services and amenities a campground has, the more it’s going to cost. Campsite fees don’t have to break the bank. State parks are a great low-cost option, as are many RV parks. Look here to find a campground or consider travel apps to help you find the campground that best suits your need.
• Travel at the posted speeds. Fuel is usually one of the largest parts of an RVer’s budget. Traveling at posted speeds cuts down on fuel consumption.
• Limit your impulse or unbudgeted purchases. It’s somewhat easy to limit purchases while traveling. RVs can only hold so many possessions. Before buying extra gadgets and “stuff,” it’s wise to think whether or not an item is really needed.
• Make meal preparation a new shared activity. Shop local farmers markets for fresh in-season options, try new foods, and share meal preparation with campground neighbors. Cooked-by-you means healthier eating because you control the ingredients. Dining out is fun and convenient, but to save money, making your own meals will be the best decision for your budget.
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Earn money on the road.
If you are not retired but you want to RV travel a majority of the year, find ways to fund your travels.
Luckily, there are several ways to make this a reality. Seasonal and part-time jobs are available at campgrounds, national parks, online, remotely through your full-time job, and so on. Working while you travel is great because you don’t have to wait until retirement to have fun on the road.
There are many ways to afford the lifestyle if your dream is to own an RV. By setting an RV budget, creating a monthly travel budget, finding ways to save money while on the road, and earning money while on the road, you should have no problem living and enjoying the RV lifestyle.
A variety of factors should be taken into consideration when planning your RV budget. Here are five common RV expenses to consider when planning your budget.
When it comes to gas, there are two types to know: the fuel to drive the RV and the propane. If the RV requires propane to power any appliances or hot water, know how much you can get out of a tank and plan accordingly. Fuel prices can also fluctuate widely from month to month and state to state, so know the prices in your final destination as well as pit stops along the way. Always budget in a buffer when planning gas expenses.
RV insurance is a necessity. It not only helps provide comfort in case something happens to your RV or belongings, but it is also the law. On average, RV insurance can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars a year. It is always best to do your research when selecting an insurance provider, which includes tangible costs such as value and intangible costs such as customer service and reputation.
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Maintenance and annual fees
Whether the RV you purchase is new or used, there will be maintenance expenses and annual fees. It is always best to have a general idea of what the cost will be ahead of time, as it can vary widely among RV models and from state to state. Maintenance costs and annual fees for an RV may include oil changes, tires, appliance repairs, license costs, registration fees, and more.
There are many costs for having an RV that may be overlooked at first. While you won’t have to worry about room service, hotel stays or a rental car, you will have to think about campground fees, food, entertainment costs, and more.
Purchasing the RV is most likely going to be the biggest RV expense you have. There are many types of RVs, and they come in many different price ranges. The good news is there is one to suit every budget and lifestyle. RVing can be a very enjoyable experience as long as the proper planning is done from the start!