Are you dreaming of an RV lifestyle? Does the thought of traveling the highways and byways of the country fill you with excitement? Even if your dream is only to be on the road part of the year, it’s still doable and still different than living in a house. It’s a lifestyle filled with adventure, exciting new places and new people.
So what do you do first?
First of all, you should make up your mind whether you want to live in an RV full-time or part-time. This is the first decision you should make because everything else flows from it.
If you plan to live full-time in an RV, it may make sense to sell you current home. This can also help finance the purchase of your RV. Living in an RV without a mortgage is much easier than doing so with one.
Do you plan to get rid of all of your possessions, keeping only that which you can take with you? Or will you keep some possessions, looking toward the day when your traveling is over? Is a storage unit the answer?
Will you “work from home” on the road or do you have a source of income, like savings, a pension or retirement money? Although your biggest expense will likely be the purchase of the RV, you’ll still have expenses like gas, oil, engine repairs and tune-ups, as well as everyday living expenses like food and clothing. You’ll also be paying lot fees for parking in RV parks, along with electricity and water.
If you plan to live in an RV part-time, what do you plan to do with your current home while you are away? What months of the year will you plan on hitting the road? Will you find it necessary to have someone live in and take care of your home while you are away?
Unless you live in a gated community, a condo in a secure building or a safe-beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt neighborhood, you may need someone to look after your traditional home. Knowing that your home is secure and looked after will bring you piece of mind and make your journey that much more enjoyable.
Your next step is to assess what type of an RV you want to purchase. Will you get a self-contained unit complete with motor and cockpit? If so, understand that you will be using your “home” as transportation for everyday errands unless you decide to pull a car behind you.
Will you opt for an RV trailer? If you want a trailer, you’ll need to have a reliable vehicle with enough horsepower to pull it. The advantage of a trailer is that you will have a vehicle for errands and short trips when you have put down stakes in an RV park.
How big do you want your RV to be? Are you satisfied with something just large enough for you and your partner? Or do you want enough space to accommodate family and friends who may travel to stay with you for short visits?
Once you’ve decided your general plans and taken stock of your everyday “housing” needs, you’ll need to address your budget. How much RV can you afford? How much do you want to spend on it? Are you looking for luxury or are you on a budget?
Regardless of your financial situation, there’s most likely an RV for you at your local RV sales dealer. Most dealers sell both new and used models. Whether you’re looking for something fresh from the factory or one that’s been used and loved, chances are that you will find just the right unit for your wants, needs and financial situation.
When you are ready to shop for an RV, come prepared with a tape measure and a list of the items you want to bring with you, along with their measurements, if they are something that you will use as furniture, décor, or artwork.
How much do your possessions weigh? This will factor into fuel efficiency and the ability of the RV engine or towing vehicle to efficiently tow the aggregate weight of the vehicle and its contents. You don’t want to find out that your engine will not propel your fully-loaded RV when you are half-way up a mountain.
Once you’ve decided on a unit, signed the paperwork and transferred the title, you’re ready to move into your RV.
Try to only bring with you possessions that you will use and enjoy. Leave the “what-ifs” that are not related to safety or on-the-road problems at home or in your storage unit. They will simply add unnecessary weight which will lower your fuel efficiency.
Finally, make sure that you have a place for everything and put everything in its place in your RV. Small spaces demand organization and in an RV it is especially important. After all, it’s going to be driving down the road at 60 mph or more; you don’t want things to start flying around in there.
Visit our local RV sales dealer and look for the model that fulfills your dreams of an on-the-road lifestyle. Chances are very good that you’ll find just what you’re looking for.