Full time RV Living, Is this the retirement life for you?

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Does everyone dream of the day you can hit the open road to see and learn new experiences?

Many people dream of this as they sit in their offices or cubicles working towards the rewards of retirement.

To some, travel will be a big part of their retirement plans.

I know I have often joked with my wife that her dream home will come with a motor and wheels.

Roughly 10% of the population owns some form of RV and this number is growing quickly. Just look around at all the RV dealers and parks that have popped up over the last few years.

This is becoming a big business.

Many are now seeing the RV as their primary home. With this though comes downsizing and adjustment to lifestyle. They find that some things become quite easy, but something become more difficult to do.

However, living in a smaller but a mobile space can give you a feeling of freedom. The freedom of travel and exploring new and different places. The freedom of setting new goals daily and even weekly.

Today we will discuss having the RV retirement plans that you may or may not find appealing, the world of RVs.

We will go over why people are getting into the RV craze, what type of RVs are available, if you want to go full time verse part-time in your RV, and one very popular hobby that the RV community is embracing (one that you have probably thought of before).

Do I really want an RV?

Do I really want to go full time RV living? Before you make this decision, give a lot of thought to the idea of living in a smaller space and downsizing from all the “things” you have today.

Downsizing can be a very emotional task for most as they are used to saving a lot of things, some with emotional ties and some not.

Before making the decision to buy a RV and how you plan to live in it, do your homework.

Consider a number of things:

  • Close families may find it hard to have the separation of RV living. Many find it difficult to sever ties to a physical community or even a geographical area. I know my grandchildren all live within a hours drive of each other and this would be a big adjustment for me personally.
  • How do plan to stay connected to your family and friends. With the internet and all the social media available today, this does seem like an easier task, but it can be difficult too.
  • As we have already discussed, less space for all your stuff. This also means less personal space for you and your spouse.
  • Consider the costs. What will my initial cost of buying the RV be? How do I budget for RV traveling? You will need to plan everyday life if you are traveling. Here are just a few items you need to consider:
    • RV payment (if you have one)
    • Food for on the road – groceries and restaurants
    • Gas or diesel
    • Propane
    • Laundry if you don’t have a washer and dryer on board
    • Campground fees
    • Internet
    • Health insurance
    • Household items such as toilet paper, soap, etc.
    • RV insurance, maintenance, and repairs
  • Do you plan to work while on the road? Some people have discovered that after a year or so traveling, they like to pickup part-time jobs to help with travel expenses and needs. This also gives them feelings of fulfillment and staying productive.
  • Will you be establishing a RV base home. You need to carefully consider how to do voting, where do I keep my drivers license, insurances, and health records (primary physician).

You need to decide why do you want an RV. Even though this can be an emotional purchase, it is still a big commitment and not taken lightly.

Depending on how you plan to use it (full time living or part-time traveling) will determine what type and style you will buy.

So once again, do your research. There are tons of e books and regular books devoted to the RV lifestyle and communities.

There are social media available to the traveler that will connect you to the world of RVing just as Facebook does for everything else. This connects you with like-minded people that are always ready to help you if needed.

There is a type of RV for every need!

After you decide why and for what you are buying a RV, now is the time to decide what type or style is best suited for your needs and expected future.

If you plan to be on the move more than sitting still, this can dictate the size and type of trailer for you. If you plan to stay in one spot for a long period of time, then a bigger and roomier type is better for that style of living.

There are motor homes and trailers. The motor homes are self-contained with the motor to move you down the road. The trailers are pulled by a truck or even a car depending on the size and weight of the trailer.

 

If you plan to buy a RV with a motor, then you need to understand the 3 basic classes of motor homes:

Class A are usually built on bus like frames and are heavier and more expensive. If you want the room and luxury of a home, then these are the motor homes for you.

These RVs can come with gasoline or diesel engines. The puller, the engine is in the front pulling the motor home, and the pusher, the engine is in the rear pushing the motor home are the two type of Class A.

However, the bigger rigs will be limited on where you can take them, so consider where you plan to go with one.

Class B motor homes are build on van frames and are much smaller. However, these home will have the mobility that larger one will not have.

Even though these RVs will have the amenities that the larger ones have, the smaller space can be overwhelming.

These small rigs will be less expensive, but after you add extras in for comfort, the price tag can get pretty big.

Class C is bigger than class B, but smaller than class A. It is usually built on a larger truck or van chassis. This will give you more solid frame and are more economical to use than the larger Class A RVs.

This rig will sit closer to the ground, so there will be less storage than the Class A. This RV has a smaller living space than the Class A, but can be very nice and comfortable.

Class C have become very popular for the person that wants the comfort, but not the expense of luxury living on the road.

If you plan to buy a trailer, then you need to understand the different types that will suit you travel and exploring needs.

Travel trailer:

Travel trailer can be pulled by mid-size cars or pickup trucks depending on the size and weight of the trailer. These trailers come in a variety of sizes usually in the ranges of 12′ to 35′ to suit your camping or living needs.

The larger travel trailer can have the convenience of home with bedroom, living space, and full kitchens. These trailers are popular because of the ease of pulling and maneuvering.

5th Wheel Trailer:

The 5th wheel trailer is usually larger than the travel trailer giving you more living space and closer to home living. However, because of their size and weight these trailers require larger trucks for pulling.

These trailers are typically in the 21′ to 40′ range in length and are more adaptable for longer living because of their size.

This larger size can limit the spaces that you may want to park the trailer.

Toy Hauler:

If you are a family that loves you r ATV’s of motorcycles, then this is the trailer for you. These trailers have a back wall that will lay down and allow you to park your ATV or motorcycle inside the trailer like a garage.

The downfall is that you loose living space. These trailers typically come in the ranges of 19′ to 39′ in length.
Folding travel trailer:

The folding travel trailer is usually referred as a pop up or tent trailer. This is a good camper for people that do not want to sleep on the ground, but living in one of these trailers is next to impossible.

The trailer if equipped will have very limited bathroom and kitchen facilities.

My new dream home has wheels and a motor.

Well, have you made up your mind yet? RVing can be very affordable way to explore the world and experience new things. However, before buying check out all the options available for buying versus renting.

There is a world of e books available to assist you in your research, even giving the knowledge you will need when purchasing and selecting your RV.

Renting a RV and going on a small trip will give you a better understanding and actually give you a test drive inside the RV lifestyle.

If you do decide to buy, know how you plan to use the RV. If you want to live in the RV for any length of time, the larger RV will be for you as it will give you more space.

RV’s are a bit different from land-based homes. Even though the RV has been around for a long time, when you buy you can expect a breaking period. So plan for that and make sure everything is working and customized to your taste.

A picture is worth a 1000 words.

What would be the best way to preserve the memories that you will be making and record your trip? The number one hobby that RV families pickup in retirement is photography.

There are a number of digital SLR cameras that are very affordable that can be the right instrument for this hobby. The technology has changed over that few years making photography very accessible for the novice photographer.

The quality of digital will give you very pleasing pictures and help build that scrapbook of memories you can share with anyone.

Get ready because I’m ready!

OK, I’m ready to retire and my RV retirement plans are in the planning and execute stages. This will be an exciting time to explore new surroundings and make new friends.

You will find that RV friends are always willing to help if needed and you will be living a lifestyle that will give you that feeling of freedom

As you look around, you will see the craze that has taken over our country with RV living and see how it is more than just a hobby for many. There is excitement in traveling and seeing the open road ahead.

I hope you have found this article interesting and useful. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave that below and I will get back to you ASAP.

Now go out and find that open road ahead of new and exciting adventures in world of RV living or traveling.

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