Sunday, April 7, 2013

How To RV On A Budget

English: Caravan of Heartland Bighorns on the ...
English: Caravan of Heartland Bighorns on the way to the Summer 2009 Oregon Rally in Winchester, OR. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many of us think of retirement as a time to finally relax and explore the vast country we live in. From the moment I got my accounting degree I have been planning how to make this dream a reality. Now that it’s time to go out and do it I realize that you don’t need years of planning to make this happen if you already have your retirement account set up. 

Here are a few things you should decide before you set out on your journey:

  1. Do you want to RV part time or full time? 
  2. Do you want to own your vehicle or rent one? 
  3. Do you want to stay in one place, travel through a state or travel the country? 
  4. How many people and pets will you be traveling with? 
  5. Will you be hosting guests? 

Let’s discuss why these points are important.

If you plan to RV you need to know what you are going to do with your current home or apartment and other belongings. If you’re planning a trip for a month or less you’ll just need to ask a neighbor to check on your place. Should you leave for longer you’ll need to decide if you want to rent out or sell your home. Having a property that you’re paying on but not living in is a waste and will seriously cut into your travel budget.

When it comes to RVing there are so many options when it comes to vehicles. If you plan on staying in one park you can buy or rent a park model (a home that doesn’t move) and would not have to worry about gas. The only extra expenses would be utilities and lot rent. Should you choose to purchase a mobile RV a great way to find deals is to call RV Resorts and see if they have any abandoned RVs or park models they’d like to get off of their lot. Many times these vehicles are in great condition but the owner couldn’t afford to keep it or decided to move on without it. You can also rent an RV from one of the many companies that do this and travel wherever you’d like with it. Just know in advance that this option is much more costly than renting one at a specific park or purchasing one should you be on a long trip.

Should you decide that you want to stay in one place there are many RV Resorts that offer discounts for extended stays. In fact, many RV Resorts have multiple locations and have loyalty programs so if you decide to “park hop” there may be discounts available should you stay within the same chain. When traveling throughout the country you’ll want to do research ahead of time to make sure that you’re not hitting every Resort in “peak season.” That can mean double charges per night. You’ll also want to check out “boondocking.” As long as you’re in an approved park and remove all of your waste when you leave it’s completely free! It’s also very neat to get to spend the night under the stars in some of our Nation’s most beautiful parks.

If you plan to have more than two people with you, your options for vehicles will get more expensive because of the extra space needed. Though the motto is always “the more the merrier,” while traveling or living in a recreational vehicle space can get tight. Make sure you’ve tested out the extra beds to make sure that you won’t regret the purchase after you get it off of the lot.
ISUZU, ELF,(It is called N-series or REWARD ex...
ISUZU, ELF(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you plan to bring pets make sure to call your RV Resort ahead of time to make sure they’re “pet friendly” and if there are any extra costs associated. Some parks even have dog runs so that your furry family member can get out of the RV for some exercise. 

Hosting guests can be great but, again, space in an RV will be tight. Many RV resorts now have adjacent hotels or motels and will rent to your guests at a discounted price should you be a resident of the resort or a long-time guest. This will make it easier when hosting grandkids as well as bring the price down for your whole family.

These are just a few things to keep in mind before heading out for your retirement. If you plan ahead you can live the “RV Life” on less than you would have had you stayed in your home. Hopefully you found these points helpful! Happy trails!

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