Living the full time RV life is a dream shared by Millenials and retirees, alike. Your fifth wheel or toy hauler gives you the freedom and mobility to make your home wherever the road takes you. But, before you sell your worldly possessions and hit the open road full-time, you should be prepared for what lies ahead.
Learn everything you need to know about starting a new chapter in your life as a full time RVer. Find out how full-timers handle their finances, insurance and coverages, and emergency funds while living remotely from an RV. And, discover the adventures, liberations, and realities associated with seasonal or year-round RV life.
The Total Full Time RV Guide for Newbies – 2021: How Does it Work?
There are many different ways to pursue a full time RV lifestyle from your fifth wheel or toy hauler. Some people work remotely while traveling the country, while others seek the freedom of RV living in retirement. And, others use their RV to get off the grid, save money, and pursue a boondocking lifestyle.
The beauty of an RV is that it allows you to create a lifestyle that is compatible with your needs, values, and desires. Enjoy the fast-paced excitement of adventure and exploration, or set down roots with an RV community. Your RV lifestyle is for you to decide.
Becoming a full time RVer comes with many practical choices to make – much like buying your first home. The first things you have to consider mostly concern your budget planning. Full-time RV living is conducive to any budget, but bigger budgets come with a greater diversity of lifestyle options.
The Most Common Day-to-day Expenses
Full-timers are living from every type of RV and on every size of budget. But, the more time you spend living full-time from your RV, the more you notice how every square foot matters. Fifth wheels and toy haulers are popular choices for full-timers because they provide domestic luxuries and ample living space.
So, the first consideration to your budget is the cost of your RV. To set out in your RV full-time you need a vehicle that is up to the task. A new fifth wheel or toy hauler RV can cost anywhere between $70 to $140k, which is comparable to the cost of buying an affordable home. And, like a home, there are other costs to include in your budget.
Domestic Fees and Living Expenses
Many of the expenses associated with RV living are the same as you encounter anywhere. Just like in a home, you have to pay for food and domestic goods. But, with less space comes fewer costs. After all, RV living requires the practicality of space conservation and storage efficiency.
In a home, you might pay for a monthly cable subscription and Wifi internet access. Living from your RV, those expenses translate into a mobile hotspot plan, satellite internet access, Wifi boosters, and a cellular data plan. For a house, you pay property tax, Homeowners Association (HOA) fees, and homeowners insurance, whereas you are responsible for paying campground fees for your RV.
RV Insurance, Health Insurance, and Other Essential Coverages
To protect your property and provide the basic coverages you need – instead of carrying a homeowners insurance policy (HOA) – you can get full-time RV insurance. A full-timers policy provides many of the same coverages for your RV, as an HOA does for your home, but it does not extend to personal property. Insurers often offer additional coverage options for RV insurance that extend to the belongings that you keep in your RV.
Since full-timers often don’t have a permanent house address, it is necessary to establish a Domicile. You can claim a domicile in a state without occupying real property within that state, and some states have better tax incentives than others. Establishing a domicile residency allows you to apply for things like a bank account, PO box, and medical insurance.
Just as with homeowners insurance, there will be times in which it makes more sense to pay for a small repair or piece of maintenance, as opposed to filing an insurance claim that might raise your premium. So, factor into your budget an allotment for emergency expenses. For many maintenance services, full-timers often carry roadside RV coverage. Otherwise, towing and repairs can easily rack up to cost more than the total annual expense for roadside assistance coverage.
Extra Travel Expenses for Equipment and Upgrades, Hobbies, and More
As you travel the country in your RV, there are lots of little expenses that bite you along the way, like highway tolls, gear replacements, equipment upgrades and additions, and more. After all, the best part about making an RV lifestyle for yourself is to have fun and be free! So, every once in a while, you might want to get a new toy, like a drone, bike, or kayak. After a few years, it becomes necessary to upgrade your computer laptop, cellphone, and mobile devices – or to get some new ones.
Your lifestyle budget can be as small or robust as your means allow, and as mobile or stationary as you choose. But, wherever your RV life takes you, choose an RV that accommodates your desired lifestyle. Talk to an Alliance RV associate to see how well a fifth wheel or toy hauler suits your full time RV dreams.