As housing prices rise and technology advances, more people are finding the prospect of RV life attractive. NY Times’ write-up on RV ownership highlights how RV ownership has increased 26% over the past decade, with sales of new RVs in March 2021 breaking all records.
Gone are the days when RV living meant making do with batteries that provided little more than a trickle of power. RV life is more high-tech now, and this can mean more expenses than you would usually expect — unless you follow our tips below.
Renting instead of owning
Renting an RV can help you decide if the lifestyle is right for you without any long-term commitments. Our previous list of Best Deals on RV Rentals discusses how you can rent for one month to three years. It helps that camper rentals on a monthly basis usually come with more affordable rates without the substantial costs of maintenance or taxes.
One can even try out a variety of RVs to find out which one they prefer driving the most. There’s an average of 29% depreciation for four-year-old RVs, so renting can help mitigate any buyer’s remorse in case you purchase an RV only to find out that the lifestyle isn’t for you.
Opting for auto insurance
If you are certain about the RV lifestyle, insurance will be necessary. Because an RV is a motor vehicle similar to a car, RV owners typically try to shoehorn RV coverage into a typical auto policy. This can sometimes cause gaps in coverage as RV insurance is also meant to cover emergency expenses, total-loss replacement or agreed value, and campsite liability.
However, specialized RV insurance often features higher liability thresholds than typical car insurance. That is why many RV owners find that it is more practical and cost-efficient to opt for auto insurance, especially if they’re only taking the RV out on occasional vacations. Sound Dollar’s guide to saving on auto insurance lists ways from raising your deductible to improving your credit score that can help lower your auto insurance costs even further. This would be enough to cover liability while using the RV, but an independent insurance agent can further negotiate how much of your coverage may extend to your RV.
Joining RV clubs
An RV club means that you can avail yourself of the advantages offered in a member program. Good Sam and KOA are some of the most popular clubs around, which open up access to a network of campground affiliations and roadside assistance. The initial subscription may be costly, however, and that’s why it’s important to first determine how often you camp and where.
This will allow you to decide whether to enroll in only one program and plan your trips around access to that chain or enroll in two programs so you can take advantage of more discount programs. What’s important is making the most of your subscription so that the initial cost balances out in terms of exclusive discounts and promos.
The current advances in RV tech don’t mean that you can’t go old school and simply camp outside an established RV park with no extra amenities. This is called boondocking and is the most cost-efficient way to escape the prices of popular campgrounds or RV club subscriptions.
Safety is still key, however, and RV owners can look to apps like FreeRoam which display free campgrounds with reviews. Here, you can even filter results by cell phone reception, crowdedness, and road difficulty so that you don’t have to entirely sacrifice comfort for an accessible night out on the road.
With these tips, you can enjoy your RV lifestyle for longer. To know more about RV living or even about boat life and tiny homes, check out our other blog posts on CampingComfortably.