Things to Think About Before Buying an RV
Can I Afford It?
Owning an RV can be expensive plain and simple. There are the obvious costs such as fuel expenses to get from point A to point B…and then there is all of the other expenses that you learn about after owning it for a while.
- Maintenance – Maintenance for an RV is hopefully not very often but when it does come up, unless your handy yourself, you can expect maintenance to not be cheap. Fixing things on a motorhome is a somewhat specialized task so it will potentially cost more than if you were fixing your car.
- Food – The cost of food is hopefully no more than it would cost when you are eating at home, but you might find that when RV’ing, it is easier to order out rather than cooking for yourself. If this is the case, the cost may add up fast.
- Camping Cost – There isn’t only expenses for getting to the campsite but there are potentially costs associated with renting out a campsite.
- Insurance – You’ll want to insure against several types of risk from owning an RV so talk to you local insurance agent to get an idea of what insurance will cost.
What Do I Intend To Use It For?
If your answer to this question is “I don’t know” then perhaps an RV isn’t for you. But if you think you’ll go RV’ing on the weekends or if you’ll even live in the RV, this will have a big impact on what kind of RV you decide buy. There are as many uses for RV’s as a person can dream up, but you’ll definitely want to know exactly the RV’s intended use before purchasing a “big ticket” item like this one.
Make sure you do your research. You need to consider use, locations you plan to go to, how do you plan to handle water needs in an RV, do you need dumping stations and more.
What Kind Of RV Do I Want To Buy?
Sometimes with buying things, there is a saying of “Form vs Function.” But when buying an RV, you’ll definitely want to put function ahead of form(of course you’ll want something that looks nice too). When talking about the form though, you’ll want to buy something that fits your needs. For example, if you plan on using it for camping alot, then you’ll want one that’s suited for that…maybe a fifth wheel that can be pulled behind a truck. If you are going to use it to tailgate at college football games, then maybe you want one that is a Class A motorhome. It all depends on what you want to use it for.
Can I Get By With Renting An RV?
If you don’t plan on using the RV on a regular basis, you might be surprised how affordable it is to rent an RV. I say “affordable” when compared to all of the maintenance and storage expenses of actually owning an RV. There are even websites that are similar to AirBNB where you can rent someone else’s RV for a time and pay them per night. That can be a very nice alternative to owning an RV.
And if you own an RV, putting it up for rent so others can pay you to use it, can be a very nice alternative to not getting paid to own your RV.
Should I Finance The Purchase of My RV?
Buying an RV outright can be difficult to do since they are so expensive. But it may be your best option if you don’t have enough liquid cash to purchase the RV. With interest rates still at a low point relative to history, it could potentially be a good opportunity to finance an RV without paying a ton of interest to the bank during the period that you own the RV.
The good news is that you can play around with an RV payment calculator to see how much you can afford with a fixed interest RV loan. RV loans are going to likely have higher interest rates than a typical home loan so check your local lender or dealer for RV loan interest rates.
Here are 5 things that a person should be thinking about before purchasing your next RV. This list isn’t exhaustive but it’s a good place to start to get your wheels turning.