For the adventurous traveler, a recreational vehicle or RV may seem like a great purchase. After all, it provides the lodging you need whenever you have a mind to go camping. There are many options when it comes to size and accommodations for an RV, so you ought to be able to find something that works for you and your household. Before you make that purchase, here are some important things to consider.
Just as with a new car purchase, you have options for buying a recreational vehicle. A brand new RV can be very expensive and loses about 10-20% of its value when you drive it off the lot. Buying a used RV or camper is often the better choice. Not only can you save a significant amount of money, but with a used vehicle, there will be a performance history that you can analyze to help you make a decision. Used RVs can still be quite expensive, so shop around.
As with any vehicle, consider the full cost of ownership. This includes operational expenses as well as routine and special marine RV maintenance. Recreational vehicles aren’t known for being fuel-efficient. Moreover, you’ll need to pay for things like oil changes, tune-ups and repair. You’ll also need to budget for the various interior accessories that make a camper special, such as electronics, home goods and appliances. You will likely have to pay to store your camper in a special location when it’s not in use.
One of the things you need to figure out is whether you need a special license to operate an RV. The answer depends on two factors, where you’ll be driving your RV and the size of the vehicle you plan to purchase. Although requirements vary from state to state, the largest vehicles, designated as Class A and ranging from 13,000 to 30,000 lbs tend to require a special license. Some states require a commercial driver’s license (CDL) which is the same license used by those who drive tractor trailers, while others require a non-commercial option. Keep in mind that you’ll need to be compliant not just where you live, but also in the places you plan to visit.
A recreational vehicle or a camper provides a fun option for those who like to get away in the great outdoors. There are several important things to consider as you make a decision. Make sure you understand local rules and requirements before you proceed.