For the dedicated camper, an RV is often a great option. There are always surprises.
Even if your RV travels have been in rental vehicles, there are still some issues to be aware of when you decide to buy. While RV travel is simple and easy, there are many things you need to know about these unique vacation cars.
Don’t worry if you feel overwhelmed. We were all newbies at the beginning. This is why we have put together this post that explains some things you may not know about RV ownership. You’re still open to many surprises, but don’t be discouraged. This is how #RVlife works!
Are you ready to purchase a home? Don’t wait! Before you sell my motorhome fast, here’s some information.
1. RVs are not cheap!
RVing is often seen as a cheap way to travel. The growing community of full time RVers is often attracted to this lifestyle because it allows them to reduce their expenses and eliminate debt.
However, RV prices can be quite high once you begin to shop around. You could spend more on an RV than you would on a regular house made of bricks and mortar, depending on what type you choose. (Psst. Have questions about the various sizes, shapes, or styles of RVs? In a matter of minutes, we’ll get into detail about these.
The purchase price is only the beginning. While RVing can save you money on expensive hotel rooms and costly airfares, it will still cost you the cost of campground accommodation fees as well as the fuel costs to get there. Although RVs can be wonderful in so many ways, fuel economy is not one.
It is important to have a budget in place for both planned and regular maintenance. Because life on the road requires you to learn to anticipate the unexpected.
We don’t mean to be negative: RVing can be a very economical and cost-effective way to travel, no matter if you are a full-timer or a weekend warrior. It’s possible to easily drain your bank account by buying a new RV.
2. Used cars are often better than new ones, and that’s not just because they are cheaper.
RVs are recreational vehicles. They are just like your regular vehicle around the town, and they lose value.
This depreciation can be especially severe if you buy a new rig. You can lose between 10-20% on a new vehicle purchased off the lot. This can make buying a used RV more appealing if you have a tight budget.
Here’s the deal: Used campers can often be a better investment, not only financially. You can often find added value in the customizations and fixes of the previous owner if you are looking at well-maintained, clean campers.
It’s possible. If the dealer has not run the RV extensively, it could have defects on the factory floor. If you purchase an RV that someone has owned for some time, you’ll have the experience and knowledge to identify what works and what doesn’t… and fix at least some of those issues.
Keep in mind that you will lose the factory warrantee and any other buying perks that you might get from a traditional dealer by purchasing used.
3. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to shop around.
It’s possible to buy lemons, even if you are only looking at used cars. Private purchases often do not offer the same protections as traditional dealership floors.
It is imperative that you inspect any RV you are seriously considering before signing anything. You should inspect every corner and crevice for any signs or water damage. If you can arrange for a trusted mechanic, you’re even better.
RV Trader is a great place to search for used campers. It has tons of filters that you can use to help you find the right rig. Check your Craigslist site, and local dealerships, who often trade used RVs with new ones.
4. There are many types of pens.
Even if this is your first search, you probably know that RVs come with a range of sizes, styles, and prices.
We’ve done a thorough dive into the different types of RVs and how to choose the right one for you. However, it is almost impossible to shop for an RV until you are familiar with the basics. Here’s a quick overview.
Class A Motorhomes
These are the large, bus-shaped motorhomes that you may associate with movie stars or singers. It’s also true that Class A RVs are some of the most luxurious and well-appointed on the market. These RVs can be up to 45 feet long and have multiple slide-outs. They also come with full-sized kitchens and plenty of sleeping areas for 8 or more people.
You can find smaller, less powerful Class As, which still offer the convenience of being self-propelled, well-built, and are also more affordable. Keep in mind that these heavy, large vehicles can be very expensive to run. Depending on the model, you may get 6-8 miles per gallon.
Class B Motorhomes
Sometimes called camper vans or sleeper vans, Class-B motorhomes are on the smaller end of the RV spectrum. They often make up for what they lack in space with their flexibility.
There are many price points for Class B motorhomes, ranging from affordable Westfalia vans and VW conversions to high-end Mercedes Sprinters with all the latest features. It might surprise you to find out that camper vans of high quality often fetch $100,000 or more.
Class C Motorhomes
The Class C motorhomes provide many of the same amenities as their Class A counterparts, but at a lower price. These motorhomes are built into standard truck chassis which makes them easy to use even for people who are intimidated by RV driving.
Motorhomes of Class C are typically smaller and less luxurious than those of Class As. This means that you can get 10-14 MPG in a Class C motorhome, while still having enough room for the whole family.
Fifth Wheels and Travel Trailers
Towable RVs like fifth wheels or travel trailers offer unique benefits and challenges to their owners. It’s cool to have an auxiliary vehicle that you can tow behind your motorhome. However, because travel trailers are so heavy, it will likely be a truck or SUV. This might make it difficult to drive in cities. They can be quite expensive to buy.
Travel trailers are a lot cheaper than motorhomes because you don’t have to buy an engine. If you don’t have a vehicle that can tow, you will likely be able to save enough money on your RV purchase so you can afford it!
Travel trailers don’t need to have a cockpit and can boast the most spacious and well-planned living spaces. Some fifth-wheel trailers that have multiple slide outs can offer up to 500 square feet of living space. That’s more than many New York City apartments. It’s not as simple as just pulling the car over and parking it. Most travel trailers require some setup when setting up camp.
There are pros and cons to owning a home
Now that you’ve gotten the basics down, let’s get to the meat of things.
Because there are not many good news, we’ll start with the negative. You also know the drill: Always take the medicine first before you take a spoonful of sugar.
5. Regular maintenance can be costly and time-consuming.
You wouldn’t allow your car to go on for too long without changing the oil from time to time. (… Would it?
An RV requires all the same maintenance requirements as a regular car, plus extras for the amenities and appliances inside. Because of all the seals and seams on RVs, water leakage can be a problem. This is what can end an RV’s camping career.
There are many other problems that could occur with your rig. It’s a fact that things that rattle and shake regularly will eventually fail. If you aren’t careful, you could end up paying a lot for an unreliable RV repair service.
Setting a regular preventative maintenance program can help to avoid many age-related problems. It is also possible to find a reliable mechanic. Here’s how
6. It is easy to spend a lot on accessories for your RV.
You can save money on your travel expenses by buying small accessories for your RV.
Be careful: Not all cute camping gear is going to make your life easier. If you have too many things, your rig will quickly become claustrophobic and crowded.
You can still make your trip easier with some handy accessories. These are our top picks for essential camping gear.
7. Storing your belongings can be easier said than done.
The truth is that you won’t be living the full-time RV lifestyle unless you plan on changing careers. If your rig isn’t being used, it will likely be stored. This can prove to be a logistical nightmare if you don’t have enough space to store it at home.
Your RV can also be exposed to dirt, dust and age-related damage, especially if it isn’t covered. However, RV storage that is covered can be more costly than regular parking lots which could cost hundreds of dollars each month.
We’ll get into RV storage details a bit more in the post. But for now, see our archive of RV storage facilities sorted by state and city . There’s a possibility that an RV storage facility is available in your neighborhood, even if you can’t park your vehicle in your driveway.
These are the cons. Let’s move on to the pros!
8. You’ll be able to travel more by RVing.
The majority of new RVers are not necessarily, or often, travelers from abroad. You might be a wanderer and you are attracted to this lifestyle.
Even if you do your research, you won’t be able to fully appreciate the comfort and flexibility that even a small RV offers until you have actually experienced it.
Traveling by RV offers all the flexibility and convenience that Americans love, along with the added comfort of your own bungalow. You don’t have to worry about finding a hotel room, or grimacing to discover it dirty or untidy once you get in. You will always know when the sheets were changed last!
9. RVing is a close-knit, helpful community.
You will find that RVing is like a family. You can rely on the others to assist you in getting into your back-in spot or just for stories around the campfire.
Even before you go on your first camping trip, the RVing community will be there to help you. To help newbies, campers have started blogs, YouTube channels and forums.
10. Travel can be costly, but there are many ways to save money.
RVing doesn’t have to be synonymous with minimalism, as we said above. A 45-foot Prevost could cost as much as a million dollars, before you even get it off the lot.
If you are a bit smart and resourceful, there are many ways to save money on the road. You’re lucky to be reading this blog because we often write about our top tips for saving money on camping trips.
There are many discount camping clubs that offer you perks and savings. For example, Passport America gives you 50% off your campsite accommodation fees in almost 1900 campgrounds across the United States (and Mexico and Canada). By boondocking, you can save money on your vacation instead of only relying on resorts. Wilderness campsites are often cheaper than traditional campgrounds, and they can be quieter and more beautiful than those in developed areas.
Even if your experience is in tent-camping or car camping, RV camping can be a challenge.
11. You can choose from luxury resorts or roughing it. There are many styles of RV camping.
Based on your experience with RV camping rental, and the resources available to you, you might have a specific idea about RV travel. This could be soaking up the power at a campground like Jellystone park or going as far as possible off the grid.
However, one of the best things about motorhome travel is their versatility and variety. You can choose to live in luxury in an exclusive RV park or completely unplugged in a remote boondocking site. You have the option to choose — and once you have your RV, you will be able to do both.
However, different camping types can result in drastically different costs. While boondocking can be free, resorts with a lot of amenities in popular destinations may charge up to $100 per night. It is worth trying to find a balance, both for your own travel experience and your bank account.
The majority of us cannot RV all the time. Full-timing is possible, but it’s not a common practice. Check out these YouTube channels to see if it would work for you.
It might be more difficult depending on where you live to park your RV in your driveway. Even if you have the space, some residential areas may not allow such a large vehicle to be kept.
There are many RV storage options. Before you store your RV, here are some things you should know.
12. You can rent storage space if you are unable to keep your RV at home.
You can rent a storage unit at an area facility if your HOA is finicky, your neighbor is a snob, or you just don’t have the space. You can view a large archive of listings of such facilities across the country by clicking here.
Housing your RV is not free, but it’s just like paying rent or mortgage to have a roof over your head. You could pay $50 per month depending on where you store your RV and the features it has (e.g. temperature controlled, indoor/outdoor, etc.) or up to $450.
13. Protect your RV when it’s stored.
Unless you’re keeping your RV at an indoor, temperature-controlled facility, your rig’s exterior is vulnerable to damage — dust, debris, water, and ultraviolet radiation. These can cause damage to your motorhome’s exterior, and can accelerate the arrival of water damage.
Even if your RV is covered with a roof, a waterproof RV cover is essential. Make sure you get the right size cover for your RV when shopping. You can find them in your local camping store. However, you can also buy a variety of RV covers online at Amazon.
14. You’ll also need to prepare for pre-storage.
You could end up with an RV that has unpleasant odors, a pest infestation, mold or worse depending on how long it’s out of service.
It doesn’t take much to beat entropy. It’s not difficult to clean your RV from the inside out. This is what you should do.
It’s also a good time to inspect your RV for any signs of water damage and give it a thorough inspection. You can extend their life expectancy and protect your investment with a good spray of seal conditioning and protectant, especially for RVs that have slides.
If you are using a tarp-style RV covering, it is important to make sure your rig is well-ventilated. Humidity buildup can lead to mold growth and can damage sensitive equipment.
15. Psst! There’s an alternative option for RV owners who don’t want it in use: renting it to others.
You may have heard of RVshare before you came to the RVshare blog.
You should seriously consider renting your vehicle instead of storing it. You’ll not only save money on storage, but also make enough to offset the cost of other vehicle costs. Many RVshare owners report sufficient rental income to cover the cost of their RVs!
How do I rent my house for profit?
The private RV rental transaction is easy and secure when you list your RV with RVshare. You can be sure that all your financial and communication activities are conducted through the platform.
RVshare also handles all of the logistical issues that can arise from private rental arrangements. RVshare provides 24/7 roadside assistance for renters and covers all rentals with comprehensive and liability insurance. You have complete control over when, how, and who your RV is rented. We understand that giving away keys can be frightening so we want you feel at ease throughout the entire process.
An RV is a great way to travel and it’s a rewarding investment. We are happy to help you make the right decision.