If you’ve ever dreamed of ditching most of your worldly possessions and assuming a simpler lifestyle, consider adopting an RV lifestyle. By making your motorhome your permanent home, you can slash your cost of living while exploring this beautiful country. Find out just how affordable it can be to adopt this exciting lifestyle by reading on below.
Here are eight areas where you’ll save money:
- Your present home: If you’re looking to downsize, live full-time in your RV, or thinking about moving into a tiny house, then the first thing you’ll need to do is sell your current home, or perhaps rent it out, if applicable. You can use the money to buy a class A motorhome, a class C motorhome, or any type of RV. Unlike buying a house, you won’t have to worry about property taxes going forward. If you can, paying for your toy hauler or other RV up front won’t leave you with monthly payments to worry about.
- Fuel – Yes, gas is expensive. However, since you’ll essentially be on a permanent vacation, you’ll have no reason to rush. Staying put in each place for extended periods of time reduces fuel consumption and keeps costs in check. Especially if you tow a vehicle, using that car or truck to get around town and nearby sites, will reduce your gas consumption.
- Food – When taking motorhomes on short-term vacations, people tend to dine out. It’s easy to get the impression that living in an RV means dealing with high food costs and restaurant food, but you can easily address this issue by dining in as often as possible. In fact, cooking-in saves incredible costs, while leaving more money for those really special restaurants, events and sites on your bucket list.
- Taxes – Since you won’t be rooted to one place, you can select your own domicile, which means that you can choose any state as your home base. Consider selecting one of the seven states that don’t have income taxes–Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas and Washington–to save. And don’t forget the beauty of boondocking: free, usually off the beaten track, quiet places to restore inner tranquility.
- Campsites – It’s easy to assume that campsite fees will destroy your budget, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of opportunities to park for less or for free from time to time (off-season), including on public land, in Walmart parking lots, at county fairgrounds and in friends’ driveways, all as boondocking opportunities. You might also consider joining a half-price club like Passport America.
- Communication – With a smartphone and ideally, a tablet or laptop, you’ll have your communication needs covered. Free wi-fi is often available and a perk at motorhome parks as well as many restaurants and public institutions, so use it whenever you can to keep costs in line. Also, when telecommuting your free wi-fi will enable you to frugally do your freelance work (see our note below regarding travel and working).
- Clothes – Even in a very large gas or diesel RV, there is only so much space for things like clothing. But if you have below-RV storage compartments, box up all-weather clothes to rotate seasonally. Most commonly you’ll wear casual clothes, so there’s no need to spend a fortune on getting dressed up. Most larger RV’s contain laundry machines and this easily reduces the need for trying to store too many extra clothes.
- Utilities – Finally, utilities are usually rolled into campsite rental fees. You may be charged for electricity during extended stays, but there are ways to mitigate the cost. Avoid relying too much on heat or air conditioning by following nice weather as you travel. Also upgrading to solar panels to keep your diesel or gas RV powered up for less, is something to consider.
RT Staff notes: One important way full-timers are making this lifestyle really work for them is getting part-time, temporary work as-needed at various campsites, National Parks, doing field work, fishing, freelancing, and even Amazon offers work for their full-time RVing employees, called CamperForce. Workamping is so common now there are many resources available. Our article on Workamping will help give you a head-start. Quick search Roaming Times and read: Can You Make Money On The Road While RVing?
Also, recent findings show that in the U.S., the trend is on a steady incline for RV purchase and use. Our lifestyles are changing across the board. An article written by Woodall’s Campground Management, published a review of the RV industry as a whole. Read Roaming Times’ recently published: Positive Change Afoot in Outdoor Recreation. Owning and living in an RV is not only trending, it’s looking like the new lifestyle for many more than retirees.
So if you want to travel-at-will while reducing your cost of living to a fraction of what it currently is, you can’t go wrong with buying a motorhome or fifth wheel, and making it your permanent home. In addition to saving money, travel as you please, you choose your lifestyle and life-pace. It’s home on the road!
Article redacted from Thor Motor Coach Made to Fit Newsletter, Posted on February 06, 2017.