Could You Call A Recreational Vehicle (RV) Your Full-Time Home?
Is The Full-Time RV Lifestyle For You?
For any number of reasons, more and more Americans are buying recreational vehicles (RVs). Of course, most people purchase these mobile homes on wheels for recreational use. A small, but growing number of people, are adopting a part-time or full-time lifestyle. They save money, enjoy living in different places, and reduce complications. The most common reasons that RV owners give for having a recreational vehicle are convenience, flexibility, comfort, affordability, versatility, and a chance to enjoy the outdoors.
Consider some U.S. RV Statistics from the Minnesota Tourism Center.
- One out of twelve American households that owns any vehicle, owns a recreational vehicle.
- U.S. RV ownership has grown 38% since 1980.
- Baby Boomers own the most RVs, and they are the fastest growing segment of owners.
- They typical RV owner stays on the road for about 1 month of each year.
Do You Have To Retire To Live In An RV?
Many people who choose to call an RV their home are retired. But many full-time RV’ers still work. If you telecommute, freelance, or own your own business, there is no reason you cannot outfit your vehicle with phone and Internet service. In fact, it might make it a lot easier to pick up and travel to traditional or contract jobs if you can take your house with you instead of having to worry about selling it! Lots of contract workers say they have been able to take advantage of a lot more job opportunities since they started living in their RV!
Actually, this lifestyle can give you lots of opportunities for employment even if you do not have your own business or a telecommuting job. Many RV parks will hire their own residents to do jobs like taking reservations, performing maintenance, etc. This might earn a paycheck, free rent, and a utility allowance. You might also offer services for other campers like pet-sitting, cleaning, or making repairs. Since many of these parks are near tourist attractions, you might find employment there as well.
But downsizing to an RV might give you a chance to increase your retirement savings or live on less money. There are still expenses associated with motor home living, but they can be offset with some real savings and opportunities too.
Where Do Full-Timers Take Their RVs?
There are lots of nice RV parks that provide many of the same amenities as the best neighborhoods. You can enjoy a swimming pool, utilities, and community centers. Many people choose a home base to stay in most of the time. For baby boomers, this might be a location near their kids, jobs, or friends. However, when they have time, or want to see a family member in another city, it is a fairly simple matter to take off and leave for an RV park in another location.
How To Set Up A Home Base And Stay In Touch
Of course, cell phones and wireless Internet services are a big asset to full-time RVers. I would think that anybody would want to invest in at least one smart phone or similar device with 4G Internet access just to be sure that email can be checked and online bills get paid. You can also rent a mail box almost anywhere, and some of these come with mail forwarding services. If possible, you might also set up your mail box by a good friend or family member who will offer to send along any important mail to your current location.
One big advantage of enjoying a truly mobile home, is that you can call almost any state home. Apparently South Dakota is a popular RV home base because there is no state income tax or property tax on RVs.
Types of Motor Homes
There are several different types of motor homes that you might choose from. Of course, your choice will depend on your preferences and budget.Most people who plan to live in their motor-home full time will choose larger vehicles than those who just plan to use theirs for vacations.
- Class A: These are motor homes that are made out of a full-sized bus or truck. .
- Class B: These are also called conversion fans, and they are constructed from full-sized vans.
- Class C: – This type of motor home is permanently built on a truck chassis with an attached living section.
- Truck Campers: These can be placed on a truck bed temporarily.
- Trailer Campers: These are towed campers. They can be pop-ups or have hard sides.
How Much Does It Cost To Live In An RV Full TIme?
Of course, many retirees and working baby boomers downsize living costs with a motor home. Still, there are costs associated with this lifestyle.According to an MSN money article, RV living costs can range from anywhere from $200 to $12,000 a month! That is quite a gap, and your own costs will surely fall somewhere in between this range.
RV parks might charge a daily, weekly, or monthly fee. If you plan to stay in one spot, it is usually cheaper to pay monthly. But if you pay monthly you will probably also need to pay for utilities. These may be included in a daily rate.
Also, do not forget you will have to buy RV insurance, just as you would for any other vehicle. Insurance rates might be another reason to carefully select your home base location as vehicle insurance rates do vary by state or even zip code. The type of vehicle that you have will also affect your rates. But remember that you insuring both your vehicle and your home when you purchase coverage. You can probably expect to pay anything from about $800 to $3,000 a year for adequate coverage, depending upon multiple factors.
Food and Utilities: Of course, you will still need to eat and pay for cell phone and Internet charges. If you plan to travel, consider fuel costs too. In fact, fuel costs might affect your choice of a good RV.
You might want to add up your estimated bills to see how much money you can really save if you decide to exchange your traditional house for a recreational vehicle.
Full-Time RV Resources
One RV site posted a complete guide to living in an RV full time that you might enjoy. The guide covers everything from maintaining relationships to the cost of buying and maintaining a recreational vehicle for full-time use.