The large and well-equipped recreational vehicles now available to consumers can be quite luxurious. You may have been tempted by the idea of living like a nomad and taking to the road full-time. Traveling in an RV can save you money that would otherwise be spent on mortgages, home repairs, home owner’s association fees, and yard maintenance.
However, there are 10 key things to consider before purchasing a recreational vehicle and making the switch to full time living in an RV, according to a Pedata RV Center news release.
1. Fuel Costs
The heavy chassis and construction materials require a powerful engine for recreational vehicles large enough for comfortable full-time living. This translates to fairly high fuel usage. Many full-time RVers only occasionally travel, spending most of their time at their favorite RV campgrounds.
If your RV is both your home and primary vehicle, a fairly comprehensive insurance plan is required. Most insurance companies only cover occasional usage in their plans for recreational vehicles, assuming that they will only be used for summer vacations. Look for a company that caters to full-timers. All contents of your RV also need to be insured. It’s the same as having homeowner’s or renter’s insurance that covers the cost of replacing the items you would lose if the “home” were destroyed or damaged.
Buying a recreational vehicle can cost as much as a house. Small and medium RV models usually start at $100,000 for a new vehicle, and the biggest and most luxurious options can come with price tags in excess of $500,000. Used vehicles cost less upfront, but may require more maintenance over the years. Decide what will suit your needs and your budget and carefully make the best decision regarding your RV purchase.
4. Secondary Transportation
Your RV may do a good job of traveling across the nation’s highways, but you can’t pull them into a drive-through or navigate congested city streets. You will also need secondary transportation for trips to local attractions or the grocery store. Many travelers tow a small car, while others enjoy using a motorcycle for their day trips.
5. Medical Care
Full-timing can quickly lose its charm when you’re sick and not sure where to find a good doctor or hospital care. Check with your health insurance provider to determine if you will be able to find doctors that are in your network while traveling. Many plans are regionally focused, meaning that you must pay out of your own pocket for any doctor’s visits when you aren’t in your hometown.
Even the largest pickup truck handles and maneuvers different than a large RV. You may require training or practice to develop the skills necessary for driving and parking a large rig. Diesel pushers may require special licensing. Taking a course at a nearby training facility will make it much safer and easier for you to adapt to these new challenges.
7. RV Camping
Your RV may be a fully contained living environment, but you need to connect to electric, water, and sewer hookups to enjoy the modern amenities. Plan your trips to ensure you spend each night at an appropriate location.
A mail forwarding service will ensure that you receive your mail in a timely manner. Most full-timers also use electronic devices such as a cell phone or smart phone, Internet, and GPS.
Since you’ll have no home residence you’ll need to select a state of residence for registering your vehicles and pay state income taxes, if applicable.
Consider how you’ll deal with being away from friends and family. The multitude of online networking tools are not only useful for social interaction, but for professional interaction as well.
Free again! All it takes is a clean windshield and a full tank of fuel, and you feel a terrible craving to be “on the road again”. Let’s see what’s over the next hill complex. Is that Willie Nelson singing. For real, there’s the music of this friendly engine pushing you along with the lyrics of the road. The RV is familiar, always familiar. Cozy, like home. Better than home. It is home!