You might think you can’t afford the RV life, but with a little smart budgeting, it might be more practical than you think.
Whether you already have an RV or you’re thinking about making a purchase, figuring out your RV budget is an important step. Planning ahead and budgeting correctly will save you a lot of frustration when you want to hit the road.
What Goes Into Your RV Budget?
The cost of the camper itself isn’t the only thing to think about.
Here are 4 often overlooked financial categories that you should take into consideration when planning your RV budget.
Remember that there are two kinds of gas to consider for your RV experience.
There’s the fuel that powers your engine and gets you from place to place…and there’s also the propane that powers things like your hot water heater and appliances.
Since gas prices fluctuate by region and by season, remember to pad your estimates if you intend to travel more heavily in the summer.
It’s also smart to do a little bit of research into gas prices in areas where you’ll be stopping along your way. Your midwestern gas prices might be great, but if you’re camping in Southern California, the difference might be dramatic.
Since fuel prices sometimes go through unpredictable fluctuations, always budget more than you think you’ll need for gas.
If you want to have an RV, you also need to have RV insurance.
Depending on the RV you choose, your history, your region, and your provider, your insurance might be a few hundred dollars per year, or it might be a few thousand.
Shop around for providers and look for deals if you bundle insurances.
3: Maintenance and Fees
Registering and maintaining your RV is vital.
Registration costs vary from state to state, but you should be able to find out how much you’ll need to budget ahead of time.
Don’t ever skip proper RV maintenance! Some things are safe to do on your own, such as checking your tires for wear and tear, but RV maintenance is not the same thing as taking care of your personal car.
Since a properly functioning RV is a major safety concern, always get maintenance checks from a qualified party.
4: Camping Incidentals
You’ve got your own kitchen, beds, and shower, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to travel for free.
Things such as campground costs, food and drink, and the roadside entertainment stops you’re definitely going to make if you have kids can add up gradually into a fair chunk of change if you’re not careful.
Plus, even with your mobile kitchen, you’re going to want to check out some of those quirky restaurants along the way, too.
Other little things like first aid kits, fire extinguishers, and extra blankets are just a good idea.
Be sure to give yourself a cushion here, and while you’re on the road, try to respect your budget as closely as possible so you don’t end up overextended, or worse, stranded.
Can You Afford the RV Life?
With all of those things in mind, the last thing to calculate is the cost of an RV. You might be able to find a great deal – just consider the total costs before you make a decision.