Living in an RV Full Time
- 1 Living in an RV Full Time
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- 5 · A Beginner’s Guide to Living in an RV Full Time
Want to save money or crush debt? Start living in an RV full time! It can save you hundreds of dollars per month and also won’t flood you with the stress and mental clutter that you face in a home. You don’t just live in the RV and save money, you also drive across the country and visit your favorite places.
We perceive living in an RV full time as a tad more difficult and complicated than living in a house, however, if you are serious about saving money and motivated, it is a great way to control your finances and live a satisfied, happy life.
Apart from saving money, there are many other benefits of living in an RV full time.
- If you buy a good RV at a good price, you can sell it later.
- Tiny space compels you to live your life simple; no space to spend extra money.
- You travel a lot and take your home with you wherever you want.
- Settling in different cities and different places is easy if you work remotely.
- You can focus on your significant other and relish a million romantic moments.
Before you opt for this lifestyle, it’s important to consider a few important things.
Choose The Right RV Type
The RV (recreational vehicle) is available in different types. It is easy to become overwhelmed with many options. To make an educated decision, weigh the pros and cons of each model.
Below are the three basic classes of RV.
- Class A: Class A RVs offer the smoothest rides; they give the experience of a city bus. These classes are usually between 30 and 45 feet long. They are rather expensive and often used by the celebrities who turn them into a lavish home, according to their taste. Don’t be baffled and drop the RV living idea after watching the cost of class A; we don’t recommend it either for saving money. You have another great option as well – Class B.
- Class B: Class B, on the other hand, is what you need. This is an ideal option for all those who have a money-saving mindset. Class B is also known as ‘Camper Van’. It is possible to find both diesel and gasoline variations in it. This RV is easy to drive and maneuver and it is less costly to fuel and maintenance, which is a big plus. The only drawback is it is suitable for a couple if you have kids, this isn’t a good option for you.
- Class C: It is a mid-sized RV and offers some advantages like class A. These models are usually intended for families and large groups. Therefore, if you 3-4 family members, you can opt for it. Though it will be a tad more expensive than class B, it has extra sleeping quarters and packed with all basic necessities. In case you have a plan to travel a lot, keep in mind, this model is expensive to maintain and operate. Don’t expect it to be affordable like class B for traveling.
The Fuel Cost
This is what decides your savings when it comes to living in an RV full time.
First, the cost of fuel entirely depends on how big your RV is and how often you use it. If we consider the overall structure and the fuel cost, class B (camper van) is a winner. They typically get 10-25 mpg depending on the model.
Besides, class B holds around 25 gallons; it is comparable to class C but a lot less than class A.
The class B is available in both gas and diesel mode also; the choice is yours. If you are thinking to travel a long distance, class B diesel fuel type will be much more efficient and have a greater energy value.
In order to calculate the exact expensive, there are a few steps you can take.
- It is important to know how many miles per gallon your RV gets. This will facilitate you in calculating the expense according to the average price of the gasoline. This information can be available on the manufacturer’s brochure. If you are concerned or have any question in mind, contact the RV seller; they have all the information regarding the fuel consumption.
- Extended stays on a particular spot can save a big amount of money. Most parks and campgrounds have weekly or monthly rates that are suitable and easy on the pocket. Usually, the fee is around $15 a night per vehicle. Plus, when you are not traveling, you save on gas too. Just remember, if you have decided to stay in one place, ensure that it is somewhere near power, water, and sewer hookup. These things make a huge difference.
Luckily, the RV industry has memberships too.
The membership programs help you save a lot of money. For example, you can relish a discounted RV park fee… Besides, they have an active community that becomes like family.
The Maintenance Costs of Living in an RV Full Time
Maintaining your RV on a regular basis is immensely necessary if you don’t want to run into serious problems. If you won’t hold the value of your RV, it would be utterly difficult to sell it.
No one will pay a good price if it isn’t upgraded or doesn’t function properly.
According to experts and full-time RVers, one should expect to spend $120 monthly on the maintenance. This amount can be spent on anything, such as the engine fan blades. For all-time travelers, engine fan blades often create troubles. They are likely to break loose at full speed.
Next, the charge air cooler and the radiator are the big things.
Replacing them means wasting thousands of dollars. For that reason, make sure you are cleaning them thoroughly on a regular basis.
There can be some other minor things too that can demand your money for the maintenance, particularly, if you aren’t settling in one place and changing the location over and over.
- Smoke Alarm
- Battery Box
- Drawer Railings
- Freezer Door
- Hydraulic Fluid
On the whole, many things can create trouble, since it is your home on wheels.
But this shouldn’t create a problem for you in any way. You don’t have a mortgage and you are not paying property tax either. Unless you are spending so much money on the lavish things, you should have enough cash to deal with all the maintenance.
The first year of RV living will always be fun; it will be repair-expense-free. You will have a good idea about how much money you can save with or without your RV maintenance.
Keep A Budget
Keeping a budget is required for living within our means.
Since we don’t come from wealthy families, and it is significant for us to adopt budgeting habits and processes. You need to know where your money is going each month. Otherwise, it would be so difficult to afford full-time RV living.
There is no need to be a financial planner; just get a spending spreadsheet so that you can comprehend where your money is flowing and how you can control it. Many websites and apps have a free online budget spreadsheet, which you can use for truly making sure you stay on budget. They have many categories, such as:
- Cell phone internet charges
- General maintenance
- Campground fees
- Clothing, laundry, and grooming.
To be more frugal, one can focus on free and economical activities too.
The easiest line items in which most families spend way more than they anticipate is the entertainment. Therefore, look for fun places to travel on a budget. For instance, in the United State, Mississippi is economical. It has major kids-friendly attractions and the cost of the meal isn’t expensive either. Many magazines have listed this region as the best for visiting and retiring.
Colorado is another great option, particularly for the RV owners, as they can save a lot of money in this state. Outdoor enthusiasts discover many suitable family-friendly attractions in it.
Apart from this, try to settle near a local farmer’s market.
This will give you plenty of options. You can try new foods, share meal preparation with your significant other, and stay healthy. In addition, dining out is fun and convenient.
In case you are still anxious about the budget, people have shared their yearly budget online. Read them to find out what type of expenses you can expect in an RV lifestyle and how you can avoid them to save money.
Living in an RV full time is one of the best setups for anyone looking for an alternative and economical lifestyle. You don’t only have a home, you can earn on the road too. For example, seasonal and part-time jobs are available in all cities, especially in the campground and national parks. You have fun with these jobs, earn extra money, and you don’t have to wait until retirement either.
With an RV, you will also be much more mindful of what you buy; you hardly waste anything.
Are you an RV owner? Do you have other special tips for saving money? We’d like to know about them in the comments section below and tell us why you have chosen RV over a home.
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The Frugal ElfLast updated on: