The average family of four spends around $4,580.
According to a study by American Express, that’s the cost for one vacation.
Buy an recreational vehicle and your family can enjoy numerous vacations for a fraction of that cost.
However, when you own an RV there are other ongoing expenses you need to be aware of when considering the cost of an RV lifestyle.
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.
The dramatic drop in fuel costs over the past year makes owning an RV very attractive. Even so, you need to be prepared to incur additional fuel costs when you travel with an RV just as you would with any other form of travel.
Consider that fuel costs vary over time with supply and demand, exploration and production costs, and taxes which vary from state to state and province to province.
Consider where you will store your RV and the related costs. Be aware of current city bylaws that may prohibit short and/or long term parking on your property. The costs of renting a storage unit will depend on the size of your unit, whether you want an enclosed space and whether you’ll be renting this for short term or long term storage. Storage units can run anywhere from $30-40 per month to as high as $150 per month or more.
The cost of campgrounds for RVs varies by location, campground amenities, and length of stay. Depending on where you travel and the degree of luxury you desire, costs may range as high as $100 per night or more. Expect to pay more when camping near a major tourist attraction or large city, the ocean or popular lake, and during peak season.
An RV is a major investment. Like home ownership, regular maintenance is just a part of the deal. Every year, you’ll want to inspect roof, sealants, wheel bearings, and appliances. Thorough and frequent cleaning will also go a long way towards keeping your unit in good shape but you may want to schedule yearly inspection by your local RV service department just to make sure you haven’t missed anything.
If you do your own RV maintenance, be careful what products you use. General-purpose cleaners are not intended for RVs and can cause damage. Use RV-specific cleaning products only.
Have you put…
—sign at a Dickson, Tennessee campground