Budgeting To Purchase An RV

Purchasing a recreational vehicle can be an exciting experience, but it can also be overwhelming.

Hacienda RV Resort in Las Cruces, New Mexico, after a day of safe travel.

In spite of rising fuel costs, RV travel is still the most economical and efficient way to vacation with your family this summer. Pictured above Hacienda RV Resort in Las Cruces, New Mexico, after a day of safe travel. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Purchasing an RV is a more complicated process than buying a car.

You owe it to yourself to become well informed before jumping in. Uninformed RV consumers are likely to make unwise choices financially. Create a budget for buying your RV. Do the numbers. Think about how you will pay and/or finance your RV? Large discretionary purchases can throw even the most disciplined savers off course.

What does it really cost to own a recreational vehicle? I’m talking here real cost and not just the initial purchase price.

When budgeting for the purchase of a recreational vehicle, consider the main costs of owning an RV that go beyond the initial purchase price. Many expenses are rarely considered or even contemplated prior to signing on the dotted line.

You need to think about the financials that are involved in licensing and registration fees, insurance, sales taxes, roadside assistance plan, off-season storage fees, upkeep and general maintenance expenses.

rent an rv

Considering the RV lifestyle? Try renting before laying down the cash. Camping in a rental Class C motorhome at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

When budgeting for an RV include the insurance cost in that budget. Doing the research before buying provides a clearer financial perspective of the true cost of the RV.

The insurance jungle can get a bit confusing. Here are some tips on getting the best insurance deal for your RV.

Specialized RV insurance is preferable to auto insurance for your RV. The two are very different. RV insurance covers many more risks specific to an RV that are not included in auto insurance. Some examples are total replacement coverage, personal belongings coverage (e.g. your furniture and appliances), coverage for snowbirds and full-timers.

Also, you have specialized RV claims agents who know RVs, as opposed to auto-adjusters who don’t really understand them.

Compare insurance quotes. Insurance rates are dependent on many variables. Selecting insurance coverage based solely on price is not recommended. Instead, obtain free quotes from multiple companies online, compare their policies, and pick the policy that offers you maximum coverage at the best price.

Factors that affect insurance rates include RV type and model, current value of RV, state or province in which the policy is issued (insurance laws vary), amount of coverage required, primary purpose of the RV, previous RV ownership history, insurance claims history, age, marital status, associations or memberships that offer discounts, and credit score.

EverGreen Introduces 2015 Element

EverGreen Introduces 2015 Element at More Affordable Price Point

So if you are a married homeowner, have a high credit score, low claims history and have previously owned an RV, be sure to tell your agent as you are eligible to receive discounts on your policy.

In addition, you may wish to purchase an extended warranty plan. Extended warranties are not for everyone, but they can be a cost-effective way to safeguard the investment you’ve made in your recreational vehicle.

They can be a waste of money, they can be supremely helpful, and they can also be everything in between. This is a personal choice that should be based on many factors. Ideally, an RV extended warranty should allow you to save time, control your budget, and have less worries while enjoying the open road.

RV Industry Projected To Grow For 6th Consecutive Year © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV Industry Projected To Grow For 6th Consecutive Year © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Knowing what you are able to afford and willing to spend will save you time by narrowing down your choices. An RV lifestyle can be relatively inexpensive or it may require a small fortune. Where you end up depends on your financial abilities and careful planning.

With interest rates still at historic lows, many options are available when buying a new or pre-owned RV. Shop the marketplace for the best rates.

Buying an RV is a major decision. But if you have a sense of adventure, a desire to explore, and a willingness to find your own fun, RVing might be just what you need. Do it!

Worth Pondering…

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.
—Eleanor Roosevelt

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