The perks of having a mobile residence are more appealing now than ever before, especially with millennials looking for a place of their own.
But why would millennials prefer to live in an RV over a traditional house? Aside from the financial break because of the lower cost of living, RVs provide an opportunity to experience adventure. The movement to bypass or delay a traditional home purchase makes sense as millennials, unlike previous generations, prefer experiences over things.
Making the decision to embrace the RV lifestyle still takes some thought. If you are considering dumping the brick-and-mortar house for four wheels, consider the following:
What’s selling and for how much?
The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) estimates that almost 10 million households own some type of RV. The 430,000 purchased in the U.S. last year (and the range of prices for new RVs) include:
282,000 travel trailers: From retro teardrop models that accommodate two people to sleek 35-footers, these are still the most popular rigs. Travel trailers range in price from $5,000-$70,000.
80,400 fifth-wheel trailers: Spacious “fivers,” which look like split-levels hitched to the beds of pickup trucks, tend to stay at a site while the truck explores. Fifth wheels range in price from $20,000-$100,000+.
28,000 Class C motorhomes: With the characteristic sleeping compartment over the cab, this boxy option is reminiscent of a U-Haul—but more fun. Class C motorhomes range in price from $50,000-$100,000+.
22,700 Class A motorhomes: Typically built on a truck or highway bus chassis, these truly are homes on wheels. Class A motorhomes are available in gas-powered models and diesel pushers and range in price from $100,000-$1 million+.
4,100 Class B camper vans: The most nimble iteration of the RV, they are best suited for one or two people. Class B motorhomes range in price from $50,000-$140,000.
Basement: Storage areas accessible from outside your rig.
Black/gray/city water: Black refers to toilet water; gray, drainage from showers/sinks; and city, drinkable water.
Shore power: AC power provided by a campsite (or a friend’s garage, if you’re traveling and grabbing a free night in front of the house).
Boondocking/dry camping: Avoiding established campgrounds to be independent, without using hookups for electricity, water, or sewage. Popular with many snowbirds on BLM land in the Southwest.
Puller or Pusher: Indicates whether the engine is up front or in the back, as in, “I just bought a 40-foot diesel pusher.”
Toad: The vehicle you tow behind your motorhome.
Toy hauler: A fifth-wheel or travel trailer with a garage at the back to accommodate motorcycles or ATVs. Some RVers use the space as a porch.
Fuel costs can deter prospective owners, so manufacturers have incentive to innovate. Cleaner tech so far has been unable to crack the code for more horsepower to pull all that weight, but other developments are promising:
Solar power is catching on. Whether it’s panels on RV roofs or small arrays opened at campsites, they allow boondocking or dry camping without a generator. They also can recharge batteries.
The internet has connected RVers. Scores of websites and Facebook groups offer tips and recommendations on where to dump sewage tanks, which Walmarts and truck stops allow free overnight parking, and how to boost a Wi-Fi signal.
If we agree that the bottom line of life is happiness, not success, then it makes perfect sense to say that it is the journey that counts, not reaching the destination.