In recent years, living the RV lifestyle has become popular, especially among young people and recent retirees. The appeal of living in an RV is mainly the freedom to live anywhere, travel anywhere, and not be tied down to one location. It can also be a cheaper way to live depending on a person’s individual circumstances. Although living in an RV can be cheaper long-term, it does require up-front expenses. If you don’t already own an RV, or if you want to buy a newer RV, you’ll need to take out a loan.
The camper lifestyle is a growing movement involving people who choose to live in recreational vehicles rather than a house or apartment. Many of these people dream of living a nomadic life where they can travel anywhere and park at rest stops and campgrounds along the way.
Although many people living in RVs want to be nomadic, there’s another group of people who choose to live in an RV on someone else’s property. Sometimes people live in a fifth wheel, but many live in a recreational vehicle. Either way, it’s a big contrast to living in a house or apartment.
Living in an RV for extended periods of time appeals to people with a sense of adventure, people who want a change of scenery, people who love to travel, and people who don’t want to be tied to a mortgage or rent.
The cost of living in a trailer park will vary depending on many factors. If you don’t own an RV, you’ll need to take out a loan to get one. This will require having a good credit score and a positive credit history. If you don’t qualify for a loan, you’ll need to save some money for a bit to buy a used RV from a private person. Your other expenses will vary depending on your circumstances, but in general, you can expect to pay for:
- Repairs and maintenance
- Sewage services
- Overnight parking at campgrounds or parks
- Rent and electricity if you move into a trailer park or onto someone’s property
As far as the cost of living goes, living in an RV doesn’t eliminate all of your usual expenses. In some cases, it can actually increase some common expenses. For example, if you rent an RV space on someone’s land, you can expect to pay hundreds of dollars a month for electricity, especially if you run any kind of space heater. If you’ve been renting a room or have had electricity included in your rent, this expense can be a shocker.
If you live on the road, your internet bills also might be higher than what you paid in your home. To get internet anywhere on the road, you’ll need to rely on your smartphone or a Wi-Fi hotspot, which can cost more than a home internet connection. Also, these connections are limited in terms of speed and bandwidth. Even “unlimited data” plans have a capacity at which they slow down your speed.
There are certain expenses you won’t have when you live in an RV. You won’t have to pay for water or garbage, but you will need to pay for periodic sewage services. Other expenses like rent, a mortgage, yard maintenance, HOA fees, and homeowners insurance will disappear. However, you’ll have to pay your RV loan payments, RV insurance, you’ll have propane expenses, and you’ll need to buy gas if you’re on the road. You might also end up needing repairs to your heater, refrigerator, or stove.
Living in an RV isn’t free, but it doesn’t have to cost too much if you plan it right.
Your other option is to live in a trailer park. You might be surprised to learn that many trailer parks are well-maintained and have high standards for residents.
Here’s how you can save money while living in an RV:
Don’t go for fancy right out the gate. Get an RV that will meet your needs, but don’t splurge. You’ll pay your loan off faster when you stick to the basics.
It’s still important to have a budget for your household expenses. Create a budget for food, entertainment, and anything else you spend your money on.
Know the cost of a campground before heading over to spend the night. Some are far more expensive than others and over time, this will add up. Avoid campgrounds that offer a lot of amenities if you’re only making a brief stop; there’s no point in paying for services you won’t use. Another option is to get a park pass and park in a state park overnight. They’re generally cheaper than campgrounds.
Travel apps are great for finding low-cost parking spots and connecting with other people who travel frequently. You can get advice from others who have been in the area before and find some good hole-in-the-wall restaurants, too.
Limiting your purchases is always a good way to save money, and when you’re living in an RV it’s a bit easier. You won’t have room to store anything big. However, it’s easy to splurge on things like music, electronics, software, and more. To save money without depriving yourself, give yourself a finite monthly budget for these types of expenses.
If you’ve always dreamed of living in an RV, reach out to Finance Solution to start planning your dream. With a solid budget and the right RV loan, you’ll be able to make living in an RV affordable.