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How To Manage The Hidden Costs of RV Ownership

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Owning an RV can be therapeutic.

Imagine having the ability to stay on the road any time of the year, touring unique places, creating beautiful memories without having to worry about the hassle of accommodation?

However, owning an RV does not come cheap, and you need to be well prepared financially before you can commit to one.

When buying an RV, most people look at the price to purchase, but not at other hidden RV ownership costs.

These hidden costs can drive the total amount you spend on your RV up.

Here are some of the hidden costs of RV ownership and tips on how you can manage them.

rv ownership costs

Maintenance and Service Costs

Your RV will start depreciating the moment you drive it out of the sales yard. When you think of all the maintenance services you will do on the RV, you will agree that owning an RV can be expensive. Occasionally, you will need to replace tires, brakes, oil, and other minor repairs. These do not come in cheap, and they are unavoidable. To minimize spending too much on these repairs, always make sure that your RV is well-serviced. A well-serviced vehicle will be reliable. 

Insurance Costs

You must have insurance for your RV before you hit the road. These costs can vary greatly depending on several factors. If you have a large rig, expect to pay more annually as insurance costs.

To manage this, try bundling the insurance with your house and motor vehicle. You will pay less than what you would usually pay if you took individual insurance on each asset. 

Fuel Costs

Large rigs burn through a lot of fuel. If you plan a long trip, you need to factor in fuel as a hidden cost of RV ownership. The price goes higher if you are driving on rough, mountainous terrain. To save on gas, avoid fueling in petrol stations along the highway. They tend to mark up their prices. You can also use cards that offer you a discount whenever you fuel. Download an application such as Gas Buddy that gives you insights into the petrol stations along your route and the fuel prices charged. You might save some money in the long-run.

Supplies and Utilities

People who spend a lot of time on the road in their RV are accustomed to living the nomadic lifestyle. They know how to get deals on food and utilities they need in their vehicle. If you are a beginner camper, you may not know how to shop right to save money on utilities, especially if you are in a foreign state. Buy all the utilities you need locally, in malls you understand. Try finding coupons and sale discounts to reduce the amount of money you will pay for these items. 

At the campground, expect to pay for other utilities. These are clean water, electricity, heating, sewer dump, and bathroom. The cost will vary depending on your camping ground.

Tow Vehicle

If you are not buying a class A or B RV, you may have to buy a tow vehicle. Tow vehicles are expensive. You need a rugged vehicle that can tow your rig effectively. 

Loan Repayments 

Buying an RV can be expensive. That is why most people go for loans to finance this venture. If you are not careful, or if you have a bad rating, you may end up spending a lot of money on monthly interest payments on the loan you took. Remember that the RV is a depreciating asset. Buying the rig hoping to re-sell it at a higher price can be difficult. 

To avoid paying excessive interest charges each month, take your time to shop for a favorable bank or financing option. 

If possible, buy an excellent second-hand RV, which will automatically exempt you from paying these high-interest rates. If you want to buy a new rig, shop around for better financing terms. Improving your credit score can enhance your credibility, allowing you to pay lower interest fees.

Camping Charges

I know you have an itinerary of the places you would like to visit with your RV.

Most of these campgrounds charge a small fee for their campsites. You have to put this into consideration. 

If you book numerous campsites for an extended period, you may end up spending a considerable amount of money.

To save money, buy an annual pass that allows you to park in multiple locations without paying extra charges.

For instance, a Federal Parks Annual pass will save you almost 50% of what you would have paid if you booked each campsite individually.

Toll Charges

You will need to pay a toll on several roads in the US. In some cases, toll roads are unavoidable. You have to deal with it. If there is a way you can avoid a toll road safely, do so. 

Do your math to figure if it will be worth circumnavigating the toll road to save some little money. It is advisable to avoid using backcountry roads you are not familiar with for safety purposes.

Customizing Your RV

When you buy your RV, you have to customize it to suit your taste and needs.

Custom-made RVs can cost as much as the vehicle itself.

Others cost even more, depending on the preference of the owner.

A motorhome such as a class A rig can cost a lot of money customizing. Have a budget for this when planning on buying the rig so that you can enjoy your vehicle. 

Storage Costs

What happens when you are not on the road in your RV?

Where do you park it? Proper storage of your RV can be a headache, especially if you own a large rig and have limited parking space. 

You will be paying a fortune to keep your RV parked as it awaits the next adventure. 

You may wish to consider a company like Outdoorsy to rent out your RV to people seeking to go on a trip during this period.

Renting your RV is a great way to solve the storage problem and put some money in your pocket.

You may wish to consider a company like Outdoorsy to rent out your RV to people seeking to go on a trip during this period. Renting your RV is a great way to solve the storage problem and put some money in your pocket.

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