By Montana Grant

Posted: February 27, 2022

The RV and boating lifestyle are not for everyone. We often see RV’s and boats as our vessels of escape from stress and work. These Toys are inviting and exciting. There are many reasons to hitch up slowly before you go all in. You can see many RVs parked in storage lots that represent folks that may have jumped into the RV lifestyle too soon. 

Here’s some things that may steer you toward smart choices.

RV’s and Boats are BIG INVESTMENTS.    For a new toy, you are often looking at $40,000-$200,00. Things get expensive once you add on all the extras. You will also need insurance, storage fees, fuel expenses, and maintenance. You can save fees by joining an RV club that offers discounts and other savings. Gas is not getting cheaper. The average motorhome or tow rig may only get you 10 miles to the gallon. To travel 500 miles will cost you hundreds more in fuel. The next challenge is to find a campsite.

Quick depreciation    the value of a brand-new camper or boat drops 21% as soon as you leave the lot. After 5 years, the depreciation is 38%. The less you use the toy, the more it will cost you.

RVs are not for urban use. Laws, covenants, and restrictions will define where, when, and if you can use or store the unit in town. RVs are best served in rural or open road areas.

                Campsites and mooring spots are limited. The popularity of toys has dramatically increased. You will rarely be alone.

                Get Ready to work hard on your unit.    Because RVs and Boats need to be energy efficient and affordable, plastic, and flimsy materials are used. Cold winters and hot summers will degrade these materials. Repairs and replacement will come next. Take time to really learn how your toy works and maintain it properly. Maintenance will be constant.

Camping is a lot of work.     Besides using the grey water, sewage, generator, water heater, gas refrigerators, and other luxuries, you need to clean and adapt to routine care. Laundry and other facility use may need to be at public venues.

Towing a toy or driving a motorhome or powerboat is a learned skill. If you don’t learn it, they will teach you a lesson. Accidents are common for those that fail to learn to use their toy safely. Routine damage from road and waterways will happen. Tree limbs fall, hail happens, and weather has a way of getting your attention. High winds and tornados are not your toys friends.

Not all toys are made well.    Make sure that you do your homework before you get out the wallet. Check Customer satisfaction reports. Is there a maintenance/ warranty plan? Maybe rent an RV or boat and try it out before you buy. It may be cheaper to rent a vacation home or boat. If you rent, you return the toy and someone else must worry about the repairs and maintenance.

Start Small. Begin your RV or boating lifestyle with a used or smaller unit. See if you like it or if the expense and work is justified. Once you learn the skills needed to camp or boat, graduate to something newer or bigger.

Plan ahead.     Reserve campsites, look at the maps. Will your rig fit through tunnels and overpasses? Are the roadways too steep, rough, or narrow? You can’t just park along the road or beach where you want. Anticipate your needs and plan, prepare, and do your homework.

Not all Campers and boaters are as friendly as they once were. Selfishness and rudeness prevail. Many recreationists want to be left alone and do not want to share their space.

With all this being said, camping and boating can be a great way for families and friends to celebrate life. Memories made afloat and afield are wonderful. Involve everyone in the work, care, and maintenance. By making the work, care, and maintenance fun, you can enjoy the RV/Boating lifestyle for a lifetime. Invest your time and energy along with your money.

If you hope to just turn a key, or hook up and go, you are in for a big surprise. Just remember how much work goes into your home and now put that onto wheels or water.

The biggest mistake that you can make when becoming the owner of RV’s and Boats is to not use them. You are cheating yourself and family out of having fun and creating memories.

Be RV ready and avoid the misery.

Montana Grant

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